Lost World – “Trajectories”
(Boheme Music 2001, CDBMR 301258)
From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)
Trajectories is the first album from Russian quartet Lost World. Although it was released in 2001, I’m guessing it’s just getting a North American release now. The band plays quite a variety of styles on Trajectories. Much of the album is in the complex jazz-fusion vein, similar in ways to Mahavishnu Orchestra, though with the violin often being at the center of the arrangements, rather than guitar. Because of this, much of the music is also quite reminiscent of Jean Luc-Ponty. The opening three tracks, Trajectory 1, 2, and 3 are excellent examples, the first part being an angular Mahavishnu style, the second capturing more of a Ponty feel in one of his mellower moods, and the third melding the two styles together. But Lost World is much more than this. They also dabble in avant-jazz pop as on My Heart Was Crushed. The vocals are in Russian, but the lyrics translated appear in the liner notes. Other tracks like Splinters and Birds are experimental pieces, drawing on 20th century classical influences as well as jazz influences. The flute is also a prominent instrument in the sound, in fact, the aforementioned Splinters is composed almost entirely of overdubbed staccato flutes, with a little percussion and atmospherics thrown for nice effect. For space rock fans, they even get a little freaky and spacey on what turned out to be my favorite piece on the album, Trajectory Z. With its weird sci-fi synth sounds, heavier guitars, eccentric rhythms and it’s grand, cinematic finale, it turns out to be quite a cool piece. Personally, I would have preferred more of this kind of thing on the album. But Lost World are restless and want to explore a lot of territory. I get the sense, at this point in their careers, that they are still searching for the sound that defines them. I could have done without the more pop oriented stuff, I admit, but there’s not a lot of it, and when I say “pop”, it’s not simple, top 40 type stuff, there’s definitely a more complex approach in their style. Still, the majority of the album follows a more adventurous muse in general, with its complex instrumentals, and that’s the stuff I preferred. The players are all superb, with top-notch skills. The album is immaculately produced, but this does also tend to take a bit of the edge off of it. All in all though, it’s not bad stuff. I gave a listen to some of the samples on the band’s web site (listed below) of their subsequent album and am pleased to hear they have followed their fusion jazz/experimental muse and dispensed with the pop experiments and vocals. I’ll look forward to hearing more from Lost World!
For more info, visit: http://www.lostworld.ru
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald