Dogstar Poets - Off-Planet

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Aftermath/Hi-Note
Catalog Number: AFT1011
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:40:00

Jade Warrior is alive and well and living in Dogstar Poets!

Well - sort of. Original Jade Warrior members Glyn Harvard and David Duhig formed Dogstar Poets as an independent spin-off from Jade Warrior. Brian Imig, also a graduate of that band's school of new-age art-rock, joins them with a one-track songwriting credit and an interesting performance on dulcimer. Allan Price played tablas on 2 tracks and Dave Lewis is on drums - although there are plenty of drum machine contributions as well. But despite those guest performances this is very much a 2-man project.

Off-Planet is a fifty six minute album, with Glynn Harvard's restrained vocals adding a relaxing atmosphere to each of the eight tracks. His singing is held back in the mix, though, and it blends very well with the music so it comes across as a mostly instrumental album.

The style is eclectic and original, sort of art-rock meets symphonic progressive with an occasional funky world-music and long, deep spacey elements. Duhig's guitar often has a bluesy Hendrix-meets-Zappa by way of Johnny Winter sound with a lot of free-flowing jamming evident in some of the instrumental passages. And if you're thinking that sounds like an unusual mix of styles, you're right. This music defies categorization. It is art rock for grown ups, played by two of progressive music's most eminent professionals.

A personal favorite is the opening track, "Burning Bridges." It is driven by a throbbing bass line with spacey keyboard bits floating over the top, and the Hendrix-like guitar growling its way through several bridges while soft vocals fit right in with that rhythm ? "I wanna see those bridg-es burn / I wanna see those bridg-es burn?". Hypnotic.

"Dear John " could have come off any Clapton album - imagine the king of slow-hand with a more relaxed vocal style. "Turn That Wave" is a 12-minute piece with keyboard chords throbbing away in a slow staccato at the base, while the guitar hooks into the loop with a variety of voices and styles and yields the most spacey piece on the album.

Off-Planet is difficult music to describe, and any description is likely to raise more questions than answers. Is it reminiscent of Jade Warrior? Is it blues? Is t fusion? Is it world music? Is it arty? Is it any good? Is it worth getting?


[In the time since this review was originally published, the Hi-Note label (and subsidiaries) has gone out of business -ed. 1/13/07]

Burning Bridges (6:55) / Karmakaze (5:11) / Avalon Mists (8:58) / Turn That Wave (11:54) / Dear John (4:10) / Magic Mile (3:16) / Passion Play (9:27) / Fare Thee Well (6:49)

David Duhig - guitars, keyboards, electronic percussion
Glyn Havard - bass guitars, vocals


Dave Lewis - drums & acoustic percussion
Brian Imig - hammer dulcimer (8)
Allan Price ? tablas (2, 6)

Off-Planet (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 2nd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 933
Language: english


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