Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Duncan Mackay - 1980 - Visa

Duncan Mackay

01. Visa
02. Peru Tu
03. Fistful Of Keyboards
04. See Sea
05. In The Pink
06. South American Express
07. Third Bird
08. Gin-Sing
09. Night Flight
10. Hand Gliding

- Duncan Mackay / keyboards
- Simon Phillips / drums

So. On Duncan Mackay's third solo album, he has thrown away his backing band, other than a light drum track by none other than Simon Phillips, completely rid himself of all Keith Emerson imitations from the previous ventures.

Track after track, Mackay gives us a sound that has the Euro-pop aspirations of Kraftwerk, the synthesizer swirling patches of Tangerine Dream.

Was this a collection of radio jingles paid for by Visa?  If you can get past the limited palette of electronic keyboard sounds and electronic beats, you may even find you can enjoy the tunes beyond the, for me, two or three minutes fade point.  'A Fistful of Keyboards', six bruising minutes long and 'Third Bird' with electronic bird calls added as a variation to the Jean Michel Jarre like theme are the most striking examples.

'Gin-Sing' manages to keep my interest throughout and sounds like something from Camel's 'Stationary Traveler' while 'Peru Tu' could have been on a Jan Hammer album.  'In the Pink', soft and dreamy, could have done without the tish-tish beat but then I don't like dancing.

Overall, there are more good than ugly sounds and if you can find it, don't hesitate to pay a few dollars more.