REVIEW: PITTS-MINNEMANN PROJECT – “The Psychic Planetarium”
There is a degree to which musicians can claim to be ‘unique’ in their sounds. It’s a spectrum ranging from conventional clichés to outright madness. It is also safe to say the Pitts-Minnemann Project deserve the limelight for their sound, which is everything but a cliché. That is normally a pretty dangerous path to tread, so long as you end up not sounding pretty muddy and lost. Fortunately, this isn’t such an instance. ‘The Psychic Planetarium’ by the Pitts-Minnemann Project, featuring Tom ‘Fountainhead’ Geldschläger and Jerry Twyford, is pure fascination.
Coming up first is “Conquistador”, a very tasteful start to the album with an influx of so many influences. It would be meaningless to try and give this one a tag of any conventional identity. Here on, it’s a quest into this whole realm of the unusual. Enter “Imaginary Numbers”; what is lovable about this song is that the unique sounds of each of the musicians is heard so distinctively here. All the way amazing, “The Guide” is just piano all the way. This contrast from the clash of sounds to a piano-only track is a great idea. It seems to be some sort of break in between tracks, easing the listener into the upcoming “Peacekeeper”. Like the album so far, “Peacekeeper” too makes it look like an effortless show to be so incredible. “Of Colours Spontaneous” right after is another piano-only song. By the way things have been going on so far, it would be easy to assume that this lovely track is setting the mood for something (quite literally) huge – “The Psychic Planetarium.”
The “Psychic Planetarium” is a crazy 25-minute epic. The star of the show, this track’s intricacies and virtuosity are on the lines of classical composition. An outlandish fusion of genres along with some matchless flavours, this epic is a successful experiment of crazy. The song jumps from reggae, to jazz with blast beats firing out of nowhere (well, why not?), having a fretless guitar crying in the back ground and the bass giving a strong voice, along the all the oomph of the keyboards. There is this tone of seriousness at first, and then the mood shifts to something fun. This is no Jekyll-and-Hyde action, but the mind of a polished prankster who knows the good stuff, fun and fabulous at the same time. This is that one time you can claim that just one song can have a little something for everyone.
Concluding the album is “A Faint Beautiful Glow”. From all the jumpy excitement from the album so far comes this slow (and perhaps intimate in some sense) number. This is the type of song that lets you retire for the day by the fireside, letting you get lost in yourself. At least now, it’s pretty easy to get lost in this song.
The minds behind this masterpiece – Jimmy Pitts (keyboards and piano), Marco Minnemann (percussions), Tom ‘Fountainhead’ Geldschläger (guitars) and Jerry Twyford (bass) have created blissful brilliance. They have worked out the hardest part in music, which isn’t mere composition but an ability to listen well and comprehend it. It is a mark of sheer prowess to be an artist and place oneself at the receiving end – listening. ‘The Psychic Planetarium’ is pure ecstasy.
The entire album seems to be made of crazy ideas that emerged out of the question ‘why not?’, with astonishing results. It is an apt reflection of life itself in its finer parts – personal, enriching, hopeful, complex, and full of surprises. It is nearly impossible to brand this album into one narrow tag. But for the sake of it, and to keep things on table, this could be called ‘trve progressive’. So here we are with this music, which is a notion of post-modern sonic pleasure. It takes a ton to understand, a life to experience, and an album to express!