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MARGIN - PSYCHEDELIC TEATIME (2014 PRG-PSYCH/3P CARD COVER)

MARGIN - PSYCHEDELIC TEATIME (2014 PRG-PSYCH/3P CARD COVER) video
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Exclusive import from brand new PINK FLOYD/CARAVAN inspired act that really has captured the true essence of late 60’s/early70’s melodic Psych Prog Rock!

* Please click on the Video icon in right corner above to view & listen to a promotional You Tube video *
* Please hover your mouse / pointer over the sleeve image above to see the back-cover artwork *

In the true traditions of our skills in the art of finding new bands that play music in the styles of the real class acts of the past, we can now present you with a great piece of Psychedelic Progressive Rock from the new German band MARGIN, and it’s available exclusively in the UK for now from CDS Towers!

Is there life after PINK FLOYD? It's a long-pondered question, but one that to some extent could be answered by ‘Psychedelic Teatime’, the debut album by Berlin based Psychedelic Prog project MARGIN!

Firstly, it comes in a nicely packaged Double-Gate-Fold, 3-Panel, Vinyl style Card Sleeve, complete with lyrics, track details and band member shots with info.

Certainly the spirit of (early) PINK FLOYD blows though many parts of this album, but not only that, because the breeze of time has also picked up the sounds of early Canterbury Psychedelic Prog legends and CDS favourites CARAVAN along the way. For this I cite the band’s classic 2nd and 3rd albums, namely: ‘If I Could Do It Again… I’d Do It All Over You’, and the outstanding: ‘In The Land Of Grey & Pink’ as being influential on: ‘Psychedelic Teatime’, mainly due to the organ arrangements and some of the vocals. The same innocent charm that exists on CARAVAN’s ‘Grey & Pink’ LP is evident here in the tuneful instrumental work, along with the, at times, similarly executed quirky lyrics that were all part of the Psychedelic fun that made the Canterbury favourite the album it was.
The PINK FLOYD element derives from the melodic charm of the band’s early singles and the softer side of their brand of Psychedelic Progressive-Rock as heard on their 1970 'Atom Heart Mother' album.
What leads on from the PF influence is MARGIN’s tendency to sound similar to their fellow German psyched-up symphonic fantasy Prog rockers ELOY – themselves heavily FLOYD influenced back in the day - with whom they share very similar vocal accenting, giving the overall style as being a cross between that band’s leader and vocalist: Frank Bornemann, FLOYD’s, Syd Barrett and CARAVAN’s Pye Hastings!

75% of ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ is instrumental, and it’s from tightly executed guitar, keyboards, bass and drums in the main, with some additional acoustic instrumentation used in places. Where there are vocal parts, these songs are good too, with strong, memorable choruses that hook you in right from the word go!
The music never gets overly heavy, with the emphasis being on relaxed melody and high quality playing!
Special mention has to be given to the archive Mellotron sounds used on the album – they have a “raw” authentic feel that gives the impression that there is an older model of the instrument in use, with slightly worn tapes and motors in need of a service, but that only adds to the enjoyment of MARGIN’s music and helps give it that late 60’s/early 70’s period feel that it so clearly emanates.
However, despite all the comparisons and the significant genre influences, MARGIN keeps his autonomy by moulding Psychedelic Rock with Progressive Rock into a homogenous and unique sound.

Having listened to ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ several times, it really is hard to believe that the core instruments on the album are all handled by just one man, with additional assistance from two other members, so here is the complete MARGIN line-up: Arne Spekat (acoustic guitar), Carola Meinert (background Vocals) and Lutz Meinert (lead & background vocals / Mellotron / organ / synthesizers / guitars / bass / drums / percussion and all other instruments).

Here’s our track-by-track rundown…

The five-part twenty-minute+ suite that is: ‘Mysterious Cup Of Tea’ opens the album to the sounds of drifting kaleidoscopic guitar patterns set over a bed of soft keyboard textures, then as plodding drums are added to the mix, a melodic echoed guitar sings out a melodic tune. An equally melodious organ passage follows and the whole feel becomes very much like a languid PINK FLOYD classic that is relaxed, yet exciting at the same time. After a spacey exit, ‘Part 1’ cross-fades and takes us drifting into the 2nd Part where another equally languid FLOYDIAN-like acoustic guitar introduces the first of several vocal parts on the album, and it’s played out in an attractive, lightweight, relaxed style with “trippy” harmony vocals, organ and acoustic guitar providing the backdrop. They even drop in the line “a saucer full of secret sounds” as if to reinforce the already clearly evident PINK FLOYD influence. Added vibraphone sounds, flute and electric guitar bring extra tonal coloration to the hazy picture and then a lone plodding drum sound moves the track through to ‘Part 3’ where electric piano and deep, resonant bass transports us into a new place where it felt like I’d landed right in the middle of an instrumental passage where CARAVAN & FLOYD were jamming together in relaxed psychedelic bliss. Then, as the sound of fretless bass comes in, an old friend arrives on the scene – the MELLOTRON – in flute form at first, then after an electric guitar solo and the first appearance of a high-ish register synthesizer solo, it morphs into its familiar string sound where more fretless bass runs and electric guitar top everything off in real style, sending shivers down the listener’s spine as it goes. Electric piano runs then re-appear, this time in a slightly jazzy formation, and the track has now built-up a much more powerful sound as the electric guitars sing at their loudest and prepare to crossover into ‘Part 4’, where the guitar and synths continue with a hazy melodic score for the next vocal passage to return, but still in very relaxed mood. Another cross-fade brings in ‘Part 5’ where a new high register melodic guitar/synth combination solo backed with waves of symphonic keyboards and Mellotron string textures takes over, then draws to a close to the sound of distant VCS3 cosmic ripples.

‘Psychedelic Underground – The Short Trip’ opens at pace with guitar and synth motifs flying beside the sounds of driving bass and drums. This melodic track sounds a bit like ELOY with lyrics that are quirky and a chorus that is catchy in the extreme, and some great stretches of pure Mellotron strings giving a time period feel to the song. If there were to be a “single” lift from the album, this would be it!

‘Landscapes On The Sky’ opens with a short, simple vibraphone/electric piano tune (a bit like - I think - the intro to a track from FLOYD’s ‘Animals’ album). When the song gets going, the vocal has a real sense of sixties innocence to it and again there is an attractive chorus to enjoy. It’s not long before you notice the organ lead, which sounds very like early CARAVAN, coupled with accompanying Mellotron strings. Strummed acoustic guitars lead into the track’s central instrumental passage with the organ taking the lead over the colourful sounds of oscillating electronic tones and thin layers of Mellotron and other keyboards textures, and ends with what sounds like a Balalaika playing over Mellotron strings – all very “trippy” and beautiful man!

‘Last Exit To Pluto’ clocks in at just under eleven minutes and comes in on a long fade-in, and, as per the hint is in the title, we are in a kind of outer space scene man J. A bass line intros the main theme, which is a very simple yet haunting one. A vibes melody line joins the bass, and then the drums slowly enter the mix, gradually building the main theme, layer upon layer. At just past the two-and-a half-minute mark a threshing electric guitar comes in for a few lines, quickly followed by a sombre Mellotron passage and there is an overwhelming sense of mystery and intrigue surrounding this gradually growing piece.
The electric guitar chords re-emerge from a cloud of synth strings hovering high overhead with a combo of organ and percussion and a myriad of other special effects flying through the airspace.
CARAVAN-esque organ comes in and improvises with the melody line for a while before Mellotron choral voices bring a new texture, then a choppy electric guitar theme set over Tron strings takes over and leads the track on towards its final moments with rolling drums and bass keeping thing tight all the way through.

‘Psychedelic Underground – The Long Trip’ enters with a fade-in of striding bass and drums and after it settles in to a flow, the echoed ELOY-ish vocal arrangement of the earlier 1st part starts up. Spiralling and swooping synthesizer effects start to fly around in the background amid washes of sweet string synths as well as the wailing Mellotron variety.
As the halfway mark approaches, a high-register electric guitar comes sailing in over extended Mellotron strings and improvises over the steady driving beat of the bass and drum rhythm section. As layers of raw sounding Mellotron choral chords come and go in the mix, the final vocal refrain is delivered, then the sound becomes an instrumental psychedelic soup of electric guitar and keyboards that eventually closes on an audio high, leaving just a few seconds spare at the end for the bass line that started it all to flutter around and fade.
The trip is now over!

In conclusion, MARGIN’s ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ has captured the sound and feel of late 60’s / early 70’s Psychedelic Pop and Progressive Rock perfectly, and by melding the essence of the quoted influential genres and artists, they have given us a highly enjoyable glimpse into the past from their unique sound perspective of the present day.

If the summery quirkiness of CARAVAN’s ‘In The Land Of Grey & Pink’ and the laid-back Psychedelic feel of PINK FLOYD’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ did it for you, then ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ might just be your ideal audio companion for the hazy, lazy hot days in the summer of 2014!

‘Margin-Psychedelic Teatime’ was released on 21st July 2014.


MARGIN: PSYCHEDELIC TEATIME Track List:

01. Mysterious Cup Of Tea - Part 1 (6:33)
02. Mysterious Cup Of Tea - Part 2 (4:51)
03. Mysterious Cup Of Tea - Part 3 (6:50)
04. Mysterious Cup Of Tea - Part 4 (2:17)
05. Mysterious Cup Of Tea - Part 5 (3:04)
06. Psychedelic Underground – The Short Trip (3:39)
07. Landscapes On The Sky (8:09)
08. Last Exit To Pluto (10:44)
09. Psychedelic Underground – The Long Trip (10:39)

TPT – 56:48