When a band’s influences include Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, Ashra Tempel, Gong and Pink Floyd then they are pretty much guaranteed my attention. When I hear that their latest album was totally improvised, played live and recorded during a one day session then that is something that I definitely want to hear.
My Brother The Wind is a Swedish four piece band who describe themselves as a fully improvisational cosmic rock collective. The four members: Nicklas Barber, Mathias Danielsson, Ronny Eriksson and latest recruit Daniel Fridlund Brandt are also all members of other widely known bands (well, widely known in Sweden at least) Makajodama, Magnolia, Animal Daydream and Anekdoten.
Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One, the group’s third album, was recorded to 2″ tape on a 16 track Ampex recorder dating from 1968. This is highly appropriate as the album has echoes of Pink Floyd’s Saucerful Of Secrets album from that year in several of its tracks.
Entirely instrumental, the album -there’s no way I’m typing Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One or even OTWATWTASWO over and over again so let’s just refer to it as “the album”, okay? – opens with “Prologue.” If history has taught us anything, it is that prologues come at the beginning so if you are going to call a track “Prologue” then it is certainly a good idea to open with it. And open with it they do, warming us up for the two part “Song Of Innocence” that follows.
From the first drum beat of Part 1 it feels like we are in the room with the band. Bass and drums propel us forward. One guitar begins a series of spidery explorations while the other creates a rhythmic drone before both guitars reach a climax. The bass picks up the pace in Part 2, driving relentlessly like Lemmy on Hawkwind’s Space Ritual album but with a much more melodic flair.
The Hawkwind influence continues through the next track, “Into The Cosmic Halo” before slowing into “Misty Mountainside” where hand drums, flute and acoustic guitar mingle with the bass to provide a brief change of pace.
“Garden Of Delights” is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in “Set The Controls” …or “Careful With That Axe Eugene” territory with some stunning interplay between all the instruments, making its 12 minutes seem to speed by in a flash. The next track, the reflective “Thomas Mera Gartz,” is a tribute to the late Swedish prog drummer of that name.
An acoustic guitar returns for the title track “Once There Was A Time When Time and Space Were One” and is joined by heavily-reverbed electric guitar and bass for a brief interlude that takes us into the finale, “Epilogue.” Bass and drums are the stars here, providing a jig-like dance as a Mellotron swells mightily in the background and then fades as we reach the end of our cosmic journey
If you like your music with a spacey, psychedelic hue then I strongly recommend that you look out for My Brother The Wind’s latest release. You are in for a trip.
Once There Was A Time When Space And Time Were One by My Brother The Wind was released on 14 October on the Free Electric Sound Label.
Written by John Scott
Cover photo by Eleni Liveraou Eriksson.