HYPNOS 69 - The Eclectic Measure

Hypnos 69 - The Eclectic Measure

10 songs
48:21 minutes
***** *****


It's been three years since I first heard a Hypnos 69 album, and to say that it blew me away would still be an understatement. Back then, Promise Of A New Moon obtained a maximum rating from me, but it was only from their following album The Intrigue Of Perception that the Belgians psycho-stoners reached their top form, which now culminates in The Eclectic Measure, unfortunately an album which must be seen as a post-mortem.

Let's hope that we will more from these excellent musicians in the future, but in the meantime we stay in the here and now with The Eclectic Measure, showing the band from their most progressive side. With all members playing several different instruments, a rich sound is already guaranteed. The jazzy parts are emphasised by the saxophones and the clarinet. Theremin and space echo provide the trippy and bubbly psychedelic moments. The progressive element comes in form of many vintage keyboards, including the 70s prog trademark instrument mellotron.

After the short intro I And You And Me (I), the album continues with the rocking psyche-prog title track, before the shorter Forgotten Souls nods in Motorpsycho's direction when they had their soft rock phase, although the saxophone adds a peculiar Van der Graaf Generator notion to the overall sound. My Ambiguity Of Reality is even shorter, not even two minutes long, and sounds like very early-70s King Crimson on a ballad with Mel Collins on sax. The Antagonist takes us back into groovy psyche rock territory, before Halfway To The Stars marries kitschy prog sounds with Beatlesque harmonies. I And You And Me (II) is the sequel of the album's intro, and is another mellower track with a warm sound and nice sax touches. Ominous (But Fooled Before) sounds like a session leftover from the first King Crimson album. Album highlight (and also with nearly eight minutes longest song) is Point Of No Return, an epic and festive prog anthem with an unforgettable guitar line and a middle part reminding of King Crimon's Red sound. Although the album's last song, Deus Ex Machina, another ballad, is also a fine song, it is a bit of a letdown after the genial song preceding it.

The Eclectic Measure would be a flawless album, except that it irks me that after reaching such an impossibly high level, the band decided to quit. Much better than anything Motorpsycho have done in the past, Hypnos 69 have combined early 70s prog sounds from King Crimson to Van der Graaf Generator with their earlier psychedelic roots, although the abundance of softer sounds make the CD more accessible for general audiences. As I once gave them a maximum rating, and they are now back with an even better album, anything less than 10 out of 10 would be an insult to the legacy of Hypnos 69.

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