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Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe | Two-Pack

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Rock: Progressive Rock Jazz: Jazz-Rock Moods: Instrumental
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by Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe

A double mini-CD set; one disc by Robin Taylor, one disc by Taylor's Free Universe.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heavy Friends
Robin Taylor
5:13 album only
2. Ghost of Göran
Robin Taylor
9:56 album only
3. Stoned Mushroom
Robin Taylor
7:19 album only
4. Dark City
Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe
11:41 album only
5. Don't You Miles Me!
Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe
11:43 album only


Album Notes
Robin Taylor - composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound manipulator, arranger, producer and record label owner, born 1956 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Selftaught.

Started playing guitar at 12. In the 1970s he mainly played bass in several local rock groups. During the decade he also explored the possibilities in sound recording and made experiments with tape recorders.
Radio debut in 1978.

Released his first album in 1991. Formed studio workshop group Taylor's Universe in 1993. Film music (93) and three releases by TU (1994-98) - the latter with a new line-up including Karsten Vogel (of Secret Oyster fame). TU revived in 2004 and continue releasing records.

Has continued making solo records with lots of well known Danish players.

Formed Taylor's Free Universe in 2000. The core of the group is Karsten Vogel: saxes, Pierre Tassone: violin & electronics - together with Taylor on guitar, keyboards & electronics. The rhythm section has varied a lot through time. TFU have appeared at various venues - e.g. Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2003 and Aarhus International Jazz Festival 2004.



to write a review

Jack Drake

Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe: Two-Pack
Besides being very prolific, Robin Taylor is an extremely persistent musician, composer and leader-in-general of many varied sonic ventures. Over the course of the last several years I've become somewhat familiar with his music, and if one thing is evident, it is that he has an unwavering vision as well as a very productive method for bringing his projects to life. One of the best things that a musician can do is to surround him-or-herself with other accomplished individuals, be they musicians themselves, or producers, or engineers; this is a concept that Robin Taylor seems to have taken to heart, as evinced in a somewhat ironic fashion by his latest release Two-Pack.

Two-Pack is unique on several levels. First of all is the packaging, or rather what is left of it. Instead of the standard-size CD release, Two-Pack consists of two mini-CDs, the first containing three pieces by Taylor and four of his compatriots, the other containing two pieces by Taylor's Free Universe. It is a configuration that one does not see every day; perhaps it was a cost-containment measure, perhaps it was borne out of the desire to try something a bit different, perhaps it is a the type of acceptance to which a musician must resign himself in an age when physical media of any type is threatened by digital content storage and distribution. Whatever the reasoning behind this type of release, one will rarely see such packaging and that alone would make Two-Pack worth some mention.

Another noteworthy aspect of Two-Pack is the juxtaposition of two branches of Taylor's oeuvre. The first disc represents the more deliberately composed side of his music, while the second represents his propensity for improvisational music. Over the years, Taylor has released several individual albums representing one aspect or the other, but this time around a curious listener can sample both aspects at once. The beauty of that lies in the quality of the music and the engineering of this project; it is excellent example of Robin Taylor's music, but with a runtime analogous to that of a vinyl LP, it can be taken in manageable doses, unlike an 80-minute disc crammed to the brim with more music than one can properly digest.

Perhaps the most ironic aspect of Two-Pack is that, although Taylor indeed worked with some very accomplished musicians, they were not always in the same room together; yet the sound is seamless as if they were. Each musician on disc one recorded his or her parts in separate locations: tenor saxophonist Jakob Mygind and drummer Klaus Thrane worked out of Thrane Studio, soprano and tenor saxophonist Carsten Sindvald worked out of LS Studio, and Taylor recorded his multi-instrumental parts at Soundscape Studio, working once again with engineer and voice contributor Louise Nipper. Such working separation would seem to be the lot of modern musicians, most of whom must keep "day jobs" or otherwise very diverse and busy schedules to make ends meet. And it is true that that Taylor's previous album Artificial Joy was done in much the same way, but much care must still be taken to make the final product so cohesive.

The improvised tracks on disc two were indeed the work of one group in one location. Taylor's Free Universe recorded "Dark City" and "Don't You Miles Me!" at Oyster Song Recording in February of 2006, but the music is only now seeing the light of day. At the time, TFU consisted of Taylor on electric guitar, Pierre Tassone on electric violin, Assi Roar on electric bass, Rasmus Grosell on drums, and Secret Oyster saxophonist Karsten Vogel. Edgy and often aggressive, but not without a good dose of spur-of-the moment subtlety, these two tracks are excellent examples of the improvisational abilities of that band, although such music invariably will not satisfy the tastes of every listener.

Still another aspect which makes Two-Pack especially noteworthy is the contribution of Udi Koomran; he mastered both of these discs out of Ginger's Studio in Tel Aviv, and the resulting sound quality is immaculate. Taylor's discs have generally sounded quite nice to this reviewer, and Koomran helped make a good thing even better.

In the end I would recommend Two-Pack as a great way to "break the ice" with the music of Robin Taylor. His work can be at once brooding and joyous, and he lets the musicians around him (be they in the room or not) add their own flavor to his compositions. Taylor has carved out his own niche in the vast world of modern music, and it is a niche well worth taking the time to explore.

Mark Johnson

Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe
This is a sample of two mini discs of Robin Taylor's latest work. Robin is a composer and multi – instrumentalist, arranger, record label owner and producer from Copenhagen Denmark. Robin began playing guitar at age 12 and he has mastered many aspects of the instrument since then.

This is an instrumental sample of Robin's work spread out over two small minidiscs. There is plenty of improvisation and wild guitar grinding and noise throughout the 2 CDs. This is an instrumental work and it is full of Robin's guitar, keyboard, and percussion work showcased well with great support of drums, bass, saxophones, and clarinet. The second disc features the now retired Taylor's Free Universe band in a live studio setting, which includes members Karsten Vogel on soprano and alto sax, Pierre Tassone on electric violin, Assi Roar on electric bass, and Rasmus Grosell on drums.

It is not quiet relaxing music. It is music to stir your creativity and get you out of your chair and think. It is music full of action.