If you had to submerge your self in to history, time and space you would come across the music of Scott Lawlor. A man no stranger to the world of; Prog, Ambient, Experimental and certainly to the ethereal mind of sound. Inspired by the early albums of The Pink Floyd Scott has brought his mastery to unfold the secret findings of unspoken rulers of the light and the dark in sound and the world that dwells deep within his own psyche to bring us this album, “Obscure Secrets Beyond The Dark Side of the Cosmic Temple“. Nine tracks that call up the subconscious mind to absorb the Floyd sounds as they are spent through his fingers with precision and dedication to the genre, the band and to himself as he pours out volumes of the nether regions of the space/time continuum to your ears.
Acrocorinthus Parts 1-4 explores the interiors of 1969’s Sysyphus in this interpretation that not only has that Romanesque feeling to the piano but the tight drumming that gives off that irregular heartbeat that pulsates and pounds for life and struggles for a steady beat but ends up enjoying the chaos and disorder along with snap entrails of Mary’s Little Lamb and beautiful wavy soundscapes that follow keeping you calm through the vortex in which Scott has spun around your cerebellum. Pulling you deeper in to the catacombs of space you drift endlessly as the synthscapes glide over your body in toneful bliss. Changing up the timbre ever so slightly to make you have that feeling of unease and uncertainty you open your eyes to witness the colour schematics of sound rushing past you undisturbed by your presence. Falling in to the abyss of the last segment you careen down the intense overtones in to the darkness of what can only be described as Pompeii through electric current and end up on the dizzying side of the fence as you spin around the mazes that come before you. The intensity builds up bringing you before the Gods and the chorus of souls that echo throughout their temple halls as you are judged as a mortal, a denizen of earth and taker of the planet’s life flow… oxygen, as you are gazed upon and looked down at by the spiritual many before you you are released of their presence and awaken where you started this journey, in your chair.
“The Moment is at Hand” sways us to inspiration from 1972’s Absolutely Curtains from the Obscured By Clouds/La Vallée album. This soft entrance of synths and light tremolo effect on them gently draws us to its charm and sensuous riffs. A quiet passage of tones and nostalgia as you reminisce on times gone by, memories old and young. The low end notes give you that warm connection to feeling and the melody is the emotions that keep you smiling gently as the song carries you across the pond to anywhere you want to be.
The half way point of any album is always the spot that you have really sunken yourself in to a record but this album has you in the full throes of emotional overload from the beginning and keeps you there for the duration. “Dreaming of a New Day” keeps us in the Obscured by Clouds album with this moving piece felt from the Burning Bridges track. With what takes you over like an enchantment the synthscapes capture every breath of the song’s existence here as you almost feel weightlessness sitting there listening. Scott truly collects the sounds he creates with not just intensity but compassion and stretches the tones to empirical lengths with his music as we travel down the stirring journey he has set out for us with this Floydian inspired experience. The reverb, tones, timbre and pitch in which he has dedicated this album with is moving, al;most a religious experience in the ambient world of Prog.
“Bring Me the Body Parts of Sir Jimmy Young” holds back nothing to the imagination and one immediately thinks of The Pink Floyd’s epic piece, One of These Days from 1971’s Meddle album as the band would often use recorded pieces of Jimmy Young speaking before songs like Raving and Drooling (Sheep) in 1974/75 as show for their dislike of him due to his tendency to babble on the radio. The track here has recognizable elements of the drumming and bass lines but swayed in the Scott Lawlor way along with guest Cierra Rowe along for the ride as the vocalist. What sounds like a melding of The Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons Project and snippets of NoSound, Scott conjures up his own renditions of tones and tempos here creating a unique semblance of sounds with a beautiful ending crashing down on your ears to complete your trip down memory lane and the new road paved by Scott and Cierra.
Parts of 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon contained bits of what could easily be confused with soundtrack bits of a Dr. Who episode in the third track, On the Run and here Scott and Cierra(guesting) give us, “BA Two-One-Five to Rome“. The title looks a lot like what you would find in an airport travel board for your flight to Rome on British Airways but whatever it refers to we are tossed in to the mechanical mix here with the looping notes that speak to us in the breaths of mechanical language of electronica that is surrounded by pops and clicks of other chattering robotic rodents and creatures abounding throughout the forest of wires and lights as we are pulled in to its world here. Eat your heart out Kraftwerk because Scott has you beat here with this inspiring piece of carouselling synth notation and swirling words by Cierra that has you standing in a grand hall of the train station or airport spinning around and around as the colours and sounds all melt in to one giant cloud of multi-coloured goo as the drums smash in and out of your brain like lights flashing before your eyes to blind you but awaken you at the same time. A trip all on its own here and you can’t help but play it again to see where it takes you next time.
The last track on the album here is, “The Cat on the Carpet of the Grand Vizier’s Parlor” takes us back to the beginning of the record here in to 1969’s Ummagumma album. Somewhat of a bonus track here in my opinion as this was live on Sillstream 2015-09-04 so we are blessed with a live track to close out the album and a tall telling tale of thunderous drumming of tympani, chimes and gongs to say the least. Tight drumming and echoing reverberations from the snare bring you to your impending end of the trip here as you begin to wind down and come back to earth from the depths of space. The synthscapes and chimes signal your coming end as you begin your descent to terra firma. The short accentuation here are critical to your landing as the syncopation and scent of pandemonium are drawing near. Back on dry land you aren’t in Kansas anymore and things aren’t what they seem and the sounds of distant times of some dystopian state or prehistoric era are clear. Did you come back home or did you forget to turn left at Albuquerque?
Scott has provided us with an ethereal portrait of sound, an audio painting that through inspired Floydian passages has given us an album of sight, sound, thought and feeling throughout. Truly a master of ambient and intoxicating tones.