Special Experiment - Fortune Memories

Year of Release: 2002
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:20:00

It has to be the water. Or something like that, because one would otherwise find it impossible to figure out why this kind of thing happens. Maybe people in Germany are covertly forced at gunpoint to play keyboards for hours while listening to loads and loads of instrumental progressive rock. The reason for the bewilderment? Well, none other than Special Experiment's Fortune Memories, which could very well have been recorded by either HolgDale or Alfred Müller's Soniq Theater, both stemming from the aforementioned country as well. In fact, the three are so similar in style that those familiar with and interested in the latter two should keep a close eye on what a certain Dzidek Marcinkiewicz is planning to do in the future. In the future? Well, yes. Please read on if slightly piqued by this curveball, and do keep the bat to yourself as we move on.

Essentially Marcinkiewicz's solo project, Fortune Memories is an instrumental album drenched in keyboard self-indulgence and the usual displays of technical wizardry, dazzling interplay with guitar, and epic ambition that have characterized pretty much every album released since Rick Wakeman decided he could strike out on his own. Not only that, but thanks to the local deity of one's choice (or Bruce Willis, at least), the entire affair makes sense and evades the danger of becoming yet another jaded collection of scales played at ridiculous speeds. Not only that, but the album is more a collection of thought-out instrumentals than an organized shredder-fest, as there are few truly astounding virtuoso moments to be witnessed throughout its duration. So far so good, right?

Well, yes and no. If you happened to be on the stakeout for the meaning of the curveball mentioned two-hundred and eighty-eight (don't you just love computers?) words ago, here it is: Marcinkiewicz is indeed a capable musician, and his style is undeniably related to that of HolgDale and Soniq Theater, but the instrumentals contained in Fortune Memories are a bit too bland for their own good, thus producing the common progressive rock stigma of potential not realized yet once again. Sure, "Fortune Memories" has a pretty groovy guitar riff that one is tempted to bite into and never let go, "Kiss Of A Vampire" includes some rather fun sections in its varied dynamism, and "King Of Twilight" is a guilty pleasure to listen to despite the kitschy grand scale that it seeks to attain, but most of the other tracks lack the same amount of excitement, and even the aforementioned ones could do with some more work.

Not that Marcinkiewicz and his partners in crime aren't giving it their all; it's just that there are simply too many clichés to be found as the record moves on, and that the last tracks especially seem to have more of a background soundtrack quality to them than anything else. The tranquil "Dark Angel" and "Ametyst Eye," for instance, force the listener to wonder exactly when they will end and perhaps bring something more enticing to one's ears; all to no avail. Bringing it down to basics, Fortune Memories loses all its steam as soon as "Night Over Marakesh" hits its end, at that point there are still three out of eight instrumentals to go, and the previous twenty-five minutes or so of music are nothing to write home about. Still, it wouldn't hurt fans of the aforementioned HolgDale and Müller to keep tabs on Special Experiment and its progress. After all, as the old saying goes: one never knows.

Kiss Of A Vampire (5:29) / Centre Opti Fuga (5:23) / Fortune Memories (5:07) / Night Over Marakesh (6:40) / King Of Twilight (4:34) / Dark Angel (7:18) / Ametyst Eye (5:51) / Crystal Lake (4:58)

Dzidek Marcinkiewicz ? e-piano, synthesizers, keyboards, acoustic guitar
Frank Tienemann ? electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums
Daniel Seebass ? bass
Joseph Kappl ? bass
Carsten Witte ? drums
Janine Tienemann ? backing vocals
Nasir Gencer - saxophone

Fortune Memories (2002)

Genre: Other

Origin DE

Added: January 27th 2004
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.special-experiment.de
Hits: 834
Language: english


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