Wednesday 22 October 2014

Balduin - All In A Dream

A little something to blow your mind. Switzerland's one-man answer to The Dukes Of Stratosphear.

Switzerland's multi-instrumentalist Balduin has been making and honing his brand of psychedelic pop music since 2001. On the strength of this debut LP release for Sunstone Records perhaps now is the time he becomes more widely known. All In A Dream is released at a time when '60s psych influenced music is enjoying something of a renaissance. With the likes of Temples and Jacco Gardner gaining popularity, and psych festivals popping up everywhere from Tokyo to Liverpool, Austin to Berlin, it seems that now is a great time for music that explores inner head-space. And if it has a catchy poppy side too, well even better. All In A Dream has this in spades. And then some.

Which Dreamed It, Balduin's sitar-based opus is up there with any '60s pop royalty's foray into eastern music. George Harrison and Brian Jones included. Any notion of pastiche is eroded by the track's sheer playfulness. With lilting time signatures, shifting quarter notes, modal scales and melody, it's a true joy and highlight of the album. Though there are many more delights to be enjoyed.

With an ever shifting musical palette that contains echoes of Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson and a thousand great but long-lost psych bands, Balduin covers much musical ground. Father is a Lennon-esque piano ballad that Beatle John himself would have been proud of. Autumn is an amicable meeting between Merseybeat and folk-pop complete with baroque harpsichord.

It would be a fair to assume that Balduin's record collection and favoured listening is mid to late '60s British psych, in particular Donovan's purple patch of Mickie Most produced albums. That said this album will resonate nicely with fans of each subsequent psychedelic era, from XTC, through the Coral and on towards today's neo-psych torch bearers such as Maston and Jacco Gardner.

UK dates are planned for later in the year and it will be interesting to see how this man-of-many instruments translates these recordings into a live setting. But in the meantime this LP offers more than enough delights.

Click here for Balduin's website.
Click here for the Sunstone Records.

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