Paradox One - Dimension Of Miracles


Year of Release: 2002
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: 7CD02
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:12:00

pArAdOx OnE's second release, Dimension Of Miracles, is based in part on the literary works of Robert Sheckley and the musical compositions of Robert Schumann. Rather than a band, the music is performed entirely by Phil Jackson on a variety of instruments, though the most prominent are the keyboards and synths (and no, it's not the Lakers' coach moonlighting). At times you will hear dashes of Keith Emerson, an admitted influence, but during "From The Void" there are particular tinkling organ notes that are very reminiscent of Ray Manzarek's on "Riders On The Storm." In fact, this piece has that same mellow, relaxed feel that The Doors' classic has, though the synthetic percussion add a particularly electronic feel later. In this same piece, we hear Jackson's Emerson influence in a raw and distorted fashion (Moog?).

Another source of inspiration was the Quartermass TV series - and movie and radio program - that aired in the UK in the mid-50s and returned in 1979 for a single season. The films were released in the late 50s through the late 60s? (more info). This seems to have been the original concept behind Jackson's CD (in his bio he mentions his "second CD Quartermass?". This suite spans about 15 minutes of the album (if the three tracks preceding "Quater's Mass" aren't also part of it). Quartermass was, as quoted from the site referenced above, "a British government rocket scientist who's [sic] escapades with invaders from other planets?" are the subject of the series.

Dimension Of Miracles is often spacey and sometimes psychedelic, like the prog of the mid-70s, though I'm thinking more of the German psychedelic bands that were recording during that period. The 9-plus minute "The Road To Osirius" has the feel of soundtrack or incidental music - though because of the UK sci-fi reference, my thoughts shift to things like Doctor Who or Blake's 7 but also to Tangerine Dream, especially as the music at one point seems fold in on and over itself. I find this the most overall interesting piece - synthetic, but also it evolves just enough to say it has dynamics.

"Majesty" is exactly that - what I would describe as dark, gothic organ tones. This is the middle section of the "Tragic Realm" suite. The first "movement" is "I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream," which is a novel by Harlan Ellison. The titular section is more lively, more synthetic and symphonic, though darkly grinding, throbbing tones provide the rhythm, joined by sparse percussion.

"Big Brother," sounds both like something from Rick Ray (whose Neurosis Records released this CD) and something that Saturday Night Live's Horatio Sanz would sing --yes, that infamous Christmas song, only here sung dark and sinister. "Imps And Demons" puts a repetitive, and rather routine, four note keyboard phrase front and center, putting a more interesting passage way in the back. Maybe not more interesting, but more dynamic, at least. "Return Of The Godz" is an interesting piece, a throbbing, deep throated bass is played against overly metallic percussion and swirling keyboard passages - though the bass is the most interesting aspect to the track. "Quarter's Mass Final Movement" is martial, dark, gloomy, with wind like effects making things even more depressing. Not familiar with the series/films/radio show, I don't wonder if this "final movement" refers not only to the final passage of the suite, but also to the death of Quartermass.

As with Reality Quake, Jackson intersperses vocal passages and sound bites - not straight vocal passages mind you. Those that are heard on the title track for example are highly synthesized. And as with his first CD, things are a little cold overall. Though there are some very nice passages throughout the album, some others seem a little plodding. A bit better production might bring out more of the rougher spots. And, for my taste, a little too synthetic sounding.


Tracklisting:
Dimension Of Miracles: Entering The Dimension (3:50) - Dimension Of Miracles (2:08) - The Carmodic Personality (2:11) / From The Void (6:30) / Tragic Realm: I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream (1:55) - Majesty (2:25) - Tragic Realm (4:41) / Alien Harvest (5:54) / Big Brother (4:23) / The Road To Osiris (9:16) / Quater's Mass: An Inheritance Of Dormant Faculties (2:06) - Imps And Demons (4:53) / Return Of The Godz (2:57) / Quater's Mass Final Movement (3:56) / Spaceship In The Sky (1:05)

Musicians:
Phil Jackson - everything: synths, keys, etc.

Discography:
Reality Quake (2001)
Dimension In Miracles (2002)
Escalators To Mars (2003)
Alternate Reality (2004)
Inventing Stars (2007)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: March 1st 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.paradoxone.co.uk
Hits: 352
Language: english

  

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