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As singular and imposing as their name foretells, U.K. trio A Mountain of One wholeheartedly embody the spirit of transcendent psychedelia, with all the beauty, lushness, grandiosity, pomposity, and ridiculosity that entails. The cosmic forefathers conjured in these grooves -- Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Ash Ra Tempel -- may be fairly oft-cited as influences, but rarely have they been echoed with such solemn, magisterial fervor. The group's links to the space-case electronic purveyors of the Scandinavian neo-Balearic wave (artists like Lindstrøm, Low Motion Disco, Meanderthals, and, in particular, balmy noodle-meisters Studio, who've remixed their "Brown Piano") are readily evident as well, but despite the burbling disco grooves lazily coursing through many of these cuts, and the synth-kissed cover of Ginny's 1985 Italo-disco slow burn "Can't Be Serious," Mountain of One aren't exactly a dance act. It doesn't seem quite right to call them a full-fledged rock band, either (for one thing, all three core members are credited with programming in addition to various live instruments), but perhaps that's because moody, spacious synth odysseys, epically extended guitar explorations, and somberly intoned, quasi-spiritual vocals just aren't the sorts of things we expect from rock bands anymore. The "works" collected here -- two five-track EPs and a pair of new songs -- span driving, flamenco-assisted Latin-psych bombast ("Ride"), unabashedly soppy soft pop schmaltzballs ("Your Love Over Gold"), hypnotically free-floating flights of cosmic fancy ("Warping of the Clocks," "Arc of Abraham"), and even a few properly vocal-driven songs (the beatless, blearily blissed-out "Freefall" and the sublimely soaring "Innocent Line," whose gossamer disco-rock amble is stretched out to more than double its length with the Air-ish instrumental reprise) whose potently simple melodies slowly wend their way into your skull. Whether this is just the stuff to fuel your personal rocketship, or whether you find it all a bit too bloated and overbearing to handle, ultimately comes down to a question of taste -- not, clearly, these dudes' chief preoccupation -- but for those willing to climb aboard, Collected Works makes for a spectacularly smooth ride. Either way, it's hard to deny that A Mountain of One are an exceptional band, working with a level of ambition that doesn't come along nearly often enough and -- equally rare -- the chops and the commitment to see it fully realized.
Performance CreditsMountain of One Primary Artist
Dave Barbarossa Percussion,Drums
Leo Elstob Percussion,Keyboards,Group Member
Zeben Jameson Guitar,Piano,Vox Organ,Group Member
Moffett Morris Keyboards,Background Vocals,Group Member
Pablo Clements Synthesizer
Technical CreditsLeo Elstob Programming
Zeben Jameson Programming
Moffett Morris Programming
Pablo Clements Programming,Producer
Mountain of One Composer