IN THE LABYRINTH - THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES (Re-issued)

I recently reviewed a disc from Swedish band In the Labyrinth and was intrigued by the Duo’s penchant for crafting moody, atmospheric World Beat influenced Prog. This disc is similar and yet not the same at all. It’s a collection of tunes that were originally recorded over the period 1993 to 96 and originally released on cassette. This is actually the second issue on Transubstans of the original 1996 CD. We’re treated to 22 tracks virtually all around 2 or 3 minutes featuring a wide assortment of ethnic instruments and a trusty Mellotron. The overriding musical mood is an acoustic one with each track featuring some unusual sounding instrument such as darbouka, zither or recorders. Lots of Middle-Eastern flavored percussion sets the foundation for these compositions. In amongst the music are also acoustic guitars, Fender Stratocaster and keyboards but they do play a supporting role. This is music of an organic nature, it feels earthy and natural, it breathes. It’s music that will perhaps appeal to fans of bands such as Karda Estra in that like that band, many of these tunes go a long way to creating visual images or even cinematic landscapes. It’s perfect for those times when you can’t think of what to listen to next.

Jerry Lucky



IN THE LABYRINTH - THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES
(Transubstans Records 2012, CD, originally released 1996)

March 30, 2012 Aural Innovations
 
From Sweden, In The Labryinth combine Folk, Psychedelic and Progressive Rock influences with a passion for Indian/Middle Eastern music. To date they have released three full length albums – Garden Of Mysteries (1996), Walking On Clouds (1999), and Dryad (2002). Having been out of print for several years, Garden Of Mysteries, originally released by APM, has now been reissued by Transubstans Records.

Garden Of Mysteries began life as a 1994 cassette release, the musicians’ initial goal being to explore combining shaman drums with a variety of ethnic music styles. However, the band fell apart the following year and Peter Lindahl, who would go on to be the driving force behind all subsequent In The Labyrinth recordings, added new music with more instrumentation to create what became the 1996 CD release.

In The Labyrinth utilize a stunning array of rock and ethnic instruments and close listening to the music makes clear that they are actually using it all. And just for eye-popping fun I’m going to list it all. On Garden Of Mysteries Peter Lindahl plays mellotron, electric and acoustic guitars, saz, zither, bass, mandolin, samplers, synthesizers, melodion, viola da gamba, flutes, woodwinds, oriental and western percussion (dar- bouka, daf, tambourine, etc), tamboura, sound effects, and vocals. Additional instrumentation is handled by Ulf Hansson on darbouka & Egyptian tabla, Mikael Gejel on flutes, acoustic guitar, bass, synthesizers, samplers, tamboura, percussion, background harmonies and jojk, Karin Langhard-Gejel on djembe, flute and background harmonies, and additional vocals and narration are provided by Helena Selander, Stefan Ottman, and Helena Bringner.

There are 22 tracks on the album, mostly in the 3-4 minute range, though several transition into each other so seamlessly that they play like single song mini-suites. The melodies are beautiful, uplifting and often have a spiritual quality. Indian/Middle Eastern themes are prevalent throughout, though In The Labyrinth never restrict themselves. For example, Gates Of Andorra has a medieval-folk feel. Karakoram Pass is like Celtic-Folk-Prog with a spacey vibe. And Hiram Abiff is an interesting combination of Indian influences and light jazz.

Among my favorites is the trio of Kekova (The Sunken City), Ali Hasan, and Aslan, all of which play like one track. Kekova is a Progressive Rock infused instrumental with Indian/Middle Eastern influences. This sets the stage for the next track, Ali Hasan, one of the few vocal songs on the album. I felt like I was being whisked away to the Arabian desert, and we get a nice acidic guitar solo too. Aslan is like a jamming instrumental coda to Ali Hasan. Then a later track, Andalucy, struck me as being an Ali Hasan refrain. It’s got a cool swingin’ Middle Eastern rhythmic pulse, and I like the searing sitar drone at the end.

Other highlights include Moorish Rhapsody, a rocker which features heavier use of guitar and is another song with vocals I enjoyed. Trans Turkish Express picks up where Moorish Rhapsody left off and is one of the heaviest rockers of the set. On this track the guitar, symphonic rock and Eastern influences really come together nicely. Desert Visions conjures up images of a huge feast and a circle of belly dancers. This segues right into the percussion jamming Ya Qader. And Almeria feels like a Bollywood party song.

After having enjoyed the Walking On Clouds and Dryad albums for years now it was a pleasure to finally get to hear Garden Of Mysteries. While the style is the same on the later albums, the music took on a more overtly Prog-Psych character, and having revisited those albums I’d say they are more compositionally sophisticated. There’s also more vocals on the subsequent albums, which I think goes well with this music. Nonetheless, Garden Of Mysteries is a solid set, showcasing the genesis of a band who so beautifully fuse ethnic music with Folk, Psychedelic and Progressive Rock. For even more background on Peter Lindahl, I recommend also checking out Psychedelic Sweden, Peter’s album that Transubstans released in 2008, featuring recordings he made in the early 1970s (reviewed in AI #37).

For more information you can visit the In The Labyrinth web site at: http://www.inthelabyrinth.com
Peter Lindahl is also an incredibly gifted artist, having done the cover art to Garden Of Mysteries. While on the web site click his name to see a gallery of his paintings.




IN THE LABYRINTH - THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES
(Re-issued)

Peter Lindahl has had a very busy year. The center of psychedelic progressive band In The Labyrinth has overseen two remastering projects, the first being "One Trail To Heaven" which is a compilation released on Trail Records (and reviewed here by RUST) and the other being the re-issue of their very first album "The Garden of Mysteries" on Swedish label Transubstans. Peter also took time out of his busy schedule to talk to RUST Magazine about both releases and we just got our hands on "The Garden of Mysteries."

Several tracks are the same on both releases and the audio quality on both is fantastic. While the Trail release takes a look at the band's overall lifespan, "The Garden of Mysteries" is a re-issue of the band's debut album recorded from 1993-1996 and it presents a more focused, unified collection of themes.  The signature, timeless east-meets-west identity of the band is fully formed and wonderfully explored in every track with exotic instruments and visionary audio landscapes. It's like a sound track to an ancient epic and romantic fable.

Being that the source material is almost 20 years old at this point, listening to this album exposes that very few other projects have done so well in this particular space, and everything sounds both new and timeless.

It's also a case of business affecting art and this album was out of print for more than 10 years due to contract issues with two different labels. Peter Lindahl himself has also been somewhat out of the picture for those same ten years due to a disgust with online piracy, and during that time, this album has been illegally downloaded over 30,000 times. But now that those issues have been worked out, listeners can finally get this beautifully-packaged classic album as it was meant to be, with the people behind it getting their fair share.

This is definitely a case where a dedicated group of people made fantastic music once and have done a fantastic job again in bringing it back before the public. Tobias Svensson of Transubstans (Record heaven) and the rest of the people at the label all put in a lot of time and effort to give an almost-forgotten (and almost unknown outside of Europe) project a new life. RUST highly recommends "The Garden of Mysteries" and encourages listeners to seek out this rare and beautiful gem.
 
Eric Petersen
 



THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES
(Re-issued)

In The Labyrinth - Prog Folk


Escaping IKEA 4 stars
Have you ever wandered around the city at night, and suddenly had a taxi drive by you with wide open windows - attacking you with strange Arabian music flowing right into the streets? Whenever I put this album on, that's what I imagine - that's where my thoughts go. To those wonderful, kind, proud and hard working taxi drivers who talk like machine guns and do their very best to introduce you to the music of their homeland. I've had countless of fares going home from a night out on the town, maybe not the most sober dude, but having a terrific time with my newly found friend for the hour - bobbing my head back and forth to some enchanting desert cobra music.
Just like the previous review I did, this one also takes its inspiration from far far away - far away from the wet and windy Swedish north, juggling all kinds of Arabian, African and Persian flavours whilst still infusing everything with something that I'll get back to a little later. -And yes I'm continuing on my Swedish diet here. My neighbours are worth it trust me on this.

The guy behind this experiment is named Peter Lindahl. The reason I'm calling this an experiment is that nobody - and I mean nobody had attempted to immerse themselves completely in this kind of music before - and then releasing it like a proper album for the casual music fan in Scandinavia - well at least not a native white guy! I'm sure there are many people from all around the world who have been successful in getting albums printed in Scandinavia on the basis of a waiting public - no doubt, but everyone featured on this outing is from Sweden. No introduced spices, and still you'd be hard pressed to put your finger on anything sounding out of place in regards to authentic Arabian or Persian music. It all comes across like revamped Middle-Eastern music gently streaming out of your local taxi cab.

Lindahl plays a wide variety of instruments, and maybe that is something of an understatement on my behalf, because this dude is up there with Mike Oldfield. Wow! Let me just run you through what he gets his filthy hands on through this highly infatuating musical caravan: Mellotron, Fender Statocaster, Saz, Zither, Spanish, western & twelvestring guitars, Bass, Mandolin, Santoor, Piano, Melodion (modified ocAladdins lampakarina), Viola de gamba, Baroque travérs-flute, Kena, Soprano & Alto recorders, Daf, Darbouka, Tamboura, Various percussion, Synthesizers, Samplers, Soundeffects & Programming, Chorus, Vocals and Recitation. Pheewi! Everything he touches sounds well versed and true, and this is coming from a guy who grew up with loads of friends from places such as Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia. One of my best friends who incidentally also turned me onto the drums was from Senegal - he taught me a great deal about this kind of music - the different tonalities it sported as opposed to those beats we are taught here in the cold North. And this album still sounds very much in tune with what the music down there is all about - it's just trying to do something different here. Trying to be ethereal and anti-grounded, even if the instruments are terrifyingly wooden in textures and heavily rooted in the soil. It takes a brilliant musician to change the feel of an instrument - making the drums fly instead of what they usually are - earth bound and rustic.

What makes this album pop and stand out - and ultimately also crosses the line into something the ordinary prog head might enjoy, is the way everything is gift wrapped here. Let me tell you about the paper here, because that's what caught my attention almost immediately. Clean ethereal flutes handled with care sounding like a mish mash of dolphin song and pan flute. Abstract soundscaping synths slowly forming underneath everything like had the earth turned into a sonic version of coca cola. Soulful weeping electric guitar interludes. Beautiful lingering violin sections with nods toward the greener pastures of Ireland - maybe spliced up with a tiny dash of doom. Other times the music turns evil psychedelic - approaching early Floyd tracks like Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - reaching out of Part of sleeve graphicsits own sarcophagus with rotting arms grabbing a hold of you with Egyptian flare and seduction. Then in the heat of the moment we are treated to a female voice stepping out of the pyramid with soaring whispers - tales of flight and the golden Horus.

This is as close as you'll ever get to the real deal, but then again those treacherous flickering pulsating synths do take you places far away from your everyday Nile swim. There are so much going on in terms of mixing different cultures here, but the overall ambiance of Middle-Eastern, African, Arabian instrumentation all mixed together with psychedelic oscillations and folk twists from the North - still manages to sound together. One could easily imagine this experiment winding up as a dish with far too many ingredients, and personally I must say that I do tend to go for the naive and straight forward in terms of instrumentation, but here the end product is just tantalizingly fantastic. The trips down to Congo, the Nile delta and pyramids all through the 3 or 4 minutes of one single track, is to me worth the prize of admition alone. So if you're thirsty for the world and all of it's bountiful fruits, tapestries and alluring rhythms, you can go there without a passport just by purchasing this little remarkable gem.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 | 2012-1-25



IN THE LABYRINTH — The Garden of Mysteries

Review by ClemofNazareth (Bob Moore)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist

This is an artist I ran across in the midst of a Google frenzy researching a completely unrelated band. This is a rare review of an album I don’t own (yet), but I felt it was worth commenting on. The album is apparently out-of-print, and in fact I wasn’t able to find it listed in any catalogs or on-line sites I’m aware of, but there are some used copies floating around.

In any case, that doesn’t take away from the very positive experience most prog fans will likely have listening to this (assuming they can find it). This isn’t really a band per se; it’s more like a group of acquaintances with similar musical interests who collaborate with Peter Lindahl to produce the occasional offering. Lindahl, in addition to playing a ton of instruments and mixing the album, also appears to be the guy who owns most of the recording equipment. So I guess that means he gets to call the shots. The gnome-like creature on the album cover was painted by him too. In poking around the web I see there are at least three representations of this drawing, try and find them yourself and see if you can spot the differences!

There are strong world-music sensibilities to this album, but don't get the impression that it should be lumped in with Irish drinking songs and African percussion bands and Russian folk tunes and all the other world music CDs in the dusty bins at the public library. It’s a bit more than that. Lindahl and friends apparently have a longstanding interest in several musical styles, many Middle Eastern, and most of which are evident in both the song titles and the music itself. There are Turkish, Indian, and even Mediterranean sounds aplenty, particularly in the rhythms and percussion, but also at times the arrangements swell to a bit of a pompous mood, almost Baroque-like (and of course totally appropriate for any self-respecting progressive work).

The whole album is an extended exploration of represented in the mystical and exotic garden, sort of a slightly Eastern-influenced Alice in Wonderland, I suppose. There are very few vocals actually, so much is left to the imagination.

Overall this is a very strong, mostly instrumental album with several beautiful arrangements that combine all manner of ethnic instruments with modern rock ones (just electric guitar and bass really); Towersplenty of synthesized sounds and mellotron (with numerous different flute sounds); languid tempos; and lots and lots of percussion. Fans of world music, middle- eastern traditional sounds, and even ‘tron fans will more than likely ap- preciate this album.

No particular tracks stand out (all of them are very good), but a couple are worth mentioning. “Monsoon” with its moody flute and wistful piano accented by humming female backing vocals and a sole electric guitar is a strong track. This would be great to listen to on a rainy spring afternoon (and someone please tell me where that piano sequence came from, because I know for a fact I’ve heard it before somewhere). “Aral” is mostly synthesized strings and quite a bit different than most of the rest of the album, but does a great job of creating that spacey mood like the still in a storm that brings with it an air of expectation, and really captures one’s attention; and “Ya Qadar” – if you like middle-eastern drums and percussion, this one will really get your feet and hands working.

I’m not totally sure what to make of these guys, but I liked this album enough that I'm purchasing the other two, which can still be found on the artist's web site. I’ve never heard much else quite like these guys, and am looking forward to hearing more. A highly recommended album if you like instrumental music, mellotron, loads of exotic percussion and ethnic instruments, and are willing to get lost inside the mood of an album for an hour or so. Four stars.

peace

Posted Saturday, April 07, 2007



IN THE LABYRINTH — The Garden of Mysteries

Review by tszirmay (Thomas Szirmay)

One common trait specific to Prog is the word "trip" , which of course was coined by Timothy Leary and his Moody Blues influenced LSD philosophy. History and Geography have also been a huge source of inspiration for many progressive orchestras throughout the globe, due to the universality of transcending borders and barriers. Hence, our Swedish voyager guides us fellow travellers on this sonic transporter, through stupendous glimpses from all corners of our planet. In lieu of pasports and visas, we are processed via a litteral arsenal of vintage (yes, we do have a mellotron) and modern instruments , an Oldfieldian menu of gargantuan proportions. Departing from the lofty Gates of Andorra, we soar over the torrid Andalucian countryside , veering into the stark Saharan landscape, leaping into the Holy Land , up through Turkey and the submerged ancient city of Kekova, enduring the blistering monsoons of Siam , swerving into the harsh central Asian plains , to finally unwind and land back in Sweden, exhausted and smack in the middle of a Scandinavian shamanic ritual! Phew!! Sweat is dripping into my keyboard! Now, that's what I call a "trip" , a rather ingenious term to describe this musical maze, even when listened to as a backdrop, one cannot help imagining scenes of luxuriant epochs and dreaming of constant adventure. This is not World or New Age music by any stretch . Just another example of how far Prog can stretch the musical envelope.

Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007




THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES

In The Labyrinth are the modern face of that softer side of Swedish progressive rock, in the realms of Isildurs Bane, Mosaic, Bo Hansson et al., subtly symphonic, folky, classical, and above all – distinctly Scandinavian. The group are an unusual quartet. Peter Lindahl would seem to be the leader (he composes on 13 out of 22 tracks) with a credit of some 20 instruments including Mellotron, guitars, zither and various winds, he’s ably accompanied by Mikael Gejel (composer on 11 tracks) playing a mostly acoustic selection of 12 instruments, notably flutes, guitars and percussion, with additional percussion and flute by Ulf Hansson and Karin Langhard-Gejel. In fact, there’s lots of flute on this album come to think of it!
The palette is very colourful and varied, and the music always rides a careful balance between being safely melodic and progressively adventurous. Inevitably, this is going to be one of those “growers”,  an album to warm to as its subtleties are revealed.

Alan Freeman, AUDION No.36 19696, England




THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES

Although the Swedish constellation 'In the labyrinth' can be considered as a new group, nothing could be further from reality since its musiPart of sleeve graphicscians are able to boast a long musical career, both together and separately.
'The garden of mysteries', which was recorded between 1993 and 1996 in the Gimle recording studio, was very much an effort by multi-instrumentalist, composer and recording engineer Peter Lindahl. The group, on this record, was composed of Ulf Hansson (darbouka and Egyptian tabla), Karin Langhard-Gejel (flute, djembe, congas, background vocals), Mikael Gejel (flute tenor, Spanish guitar, piano, bass, tamboura, percussion, darbouka, synthesizers, samplers and jojk) and the aforementioned Peter Lindahl (mellotron, Fender Stratocaster, saz, zither (citra), Spanish guitar, acoustic six and twelve string guitars, melodeon, viola da gamba, baroque flute, soprano and alto recorder, daf, darbouka, tamboura, percussion, synthesizers, samplers, sound effects, choirs, vocals, recitation and programming,  but also as being responsible for sound engineering and PRODUCTION). On the album Stefan Ottman (recitation) also appears as well as Helena Jacobssen (background vocals and vocal improvisation) and Helena Selander (angelic voice).
Considering the unusual instruments in use, this is in no way a production limited to the standard progressive vein. More so, it boasts a blend of medieval and renaissance music but also traditional Andalusian and Scandinavian traditions. Throughout the album, acoustic instruments blend with traditional and electric instruments in an astonishingly natural way. To listen to this music with its clear ethnic influences mixed with mellotron and a wide array of instruments, also including synthesizers, is a unique experience. Although the album is sung in various parts (excellent voices, of course), it's mainly the instrumental passages that show off an extraordinary virtuosity. We do not have to listen to long instrumental solos, simply because there aren't any; since all instruments contribute to the context, each one filling their function within the overall sound. No extravagance what so ever but simply displaying a musical level well above average.
In short, a different type of album that is out of the ordinary and for my particular taste a true masterpiece! Undoubtedly, one of the best albums of this year!

Antonio Escalante, EL MELLOTRON, 1997 (translated from Spanish)




THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES

A Swedish band that often gets mistakened for a prog rock band. The reason for that was this album was released on the now-defunct APM (Ad Perpetuam Memoriam) label. But actually, their music is world music. Their music, for the most part, tended more towards Middle Eastern and Scandinavian styles. They used modern instruments (guitars, synthesizers, drums, and oddly, they even use some Mellotron), as well as lots of exotic instruments (many Middle Eastern and North African, as well as archic instruments from the RThe artistENAISSANCE) such as saz, santoor, rebec, sitar, zither, etc.
"The Garden of Mysteries" was apparently released on cassette only in 1994, but when APM got a hold of it in 1996 for a CD release, they included a bunch of extra cuts. The band did a lot of travelling, especially in Egypt. They were obviously fascinated with the sounds of the area, and were able to pick up many exotic instruments (that reads like it came off the Larks in the Morning catalog). As close to prog they sound, is the occasional time they sound like a mellow version of OZRIC TENTACLES (but don't expect intense, mindblowing guitar excursions, and tons of minblowing spacy synthesizers like you do with the OZRICS). The CD also comes with some nice, Nordic influenced artwork (that looks like it should belong on a Bo HANSSON album). Interesting album, regardless if it's prog or not.
Also of note, was the band was to record a followup to "The Garden of Mysteries" for APM, it was to be entitled "Lord of the Mushrooms", but because the label was under financial strains that caused it to go under, the album was never released (I should know, when APM's website used to exist, they advertised for that album, even if it never saw the light of day), in fact they had to find a new label and get a new album released (with a new title).

Review by Proghead for Progarchives
Proghead, Progarchives




THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES

consists of a carefully prepared and exciting musical concept, focusing folklore and modernism, not only on a musical basis. This CD projects vivid pictures and moods, emanating from of myths and symbols hidden in the titles of the tracks. An important part of the musical style contained in this album has a clear oriental influence, but the compositions are originals delivered by the group members. The set of music instruments chosen, consists of a variety of traditional, eastern percussion, wind and strings – as well as old and contemporary, western instruments. By purpose, the latter mentioned appear to have a supporting function in most of the arrangements – yet without being anonymous. Saz, Darbouka, traverse-flute, viola da gamba, mandolin, for example are carefully matched with Mellotron, synthesizer and guitars.

Possibly due to their ethnic sensitivity, the band seem to have managed avoiding culture clashes. The motto of this recording is obviously: “All for a homogeneous atmosphere”. The true, profiling solo parts are sometimes so well balanced that they – at least in the beginning – tend to disappear. (They simply exist!) But once you discover them they tend to grow. In other words, this CD offers you a joyful listening that may last awhile. Music by and for globetrotters? THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES is a weave of gentle harmonics and beautiful melodies – a record that has succeeded in both being easy to listen to – and mysterious, without losing credibility. A well produced CD, not merely referring to the quality of sound. Gates of Andorra is the opening track with its elegant and gentle melody. It introduces the renaissance predecessor of the cello, viola da gamba, to new ears. The CD includes as many as 22 tracks and the total playing time is 74 minutes. Because of lack of ink and space, not all of them will fit in to this review. But it is hard to disregard the value of titles like Aral, Kekova, Moorish waltz, Desert visions, Andalucy, Meditating Minotauros, The garden of mysteries I and II, Escape from Canaan and Moorish rhapsody. Why? It is up to you to find out, dear listener. Bon voyage!

Håkan Stockhaus, Sweden in 1996




THE GARDEN  OF MYSTERIES

"'The Gardens of Mysteries was put together in the Gimle Recording Studio from 1993 to 1996, initially as a cassette and eventually expanding into a CD-album (with the complement of tracks 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and a couple of tracks excluded)". And album of 24 track between 1:30 to 5 minutes with a total of 74 minutes of music.

"Our ambition was to combine moods and Melodies, instrumentation with comtemplation, energy with tranquility, I has picked up a lot of musTowers 2ical elements from my travels, Mikeal studied Indian music in Gujarat, Ulf learned the Egyptian tabla (a variation of the turkish darbouka)in the oasis of El Bawati in Egypt and Karin was an explorer in the deep jungles of Africa, thus learning to perform on African percussion unto perfection. All the group members have also been into various European musical traditions".

The album start with 'Gates of Andorra', "Dedicated to Monsieur de Sainte Colombe", composer of 'Viola da Gamba', melancholic this song with Flute and nice acoustic guitar, I think, that it really got a style that fit with the mountain, not so far of the Andies music also. 'Karakoram Pass', is a more a mystical song, with an easy piano line and with some African beat as percussion. 'Escape From Canaan' "reflects the cross-cultural conglomerate and turmoil of the Middle-East", the basic of the song is practically the same Arabic rift that PINK FLOYD used on 'More'(Will find the title song soon). Then follow 'Hiram Abiff', named of a king of Tyr, he help Solomon's for the contruction of his Temple, he was also lover of the Queen of Sheeba, a bit western, and what a nice Arabian arrangement in here, flute especially. 'Kekova', is a "Sunken Lycian city" in the Turkish southern west coast. It really take the sound from the place. 'Ali Hasan', "the man", it's another Turkish oriented song, "an homage to the psychedelic Turkish music from the 60's and to Turkish Arabesque". 'Aslan' mean lion in Turkish, so a third Turkish oriented song that seam a bit more folk to me.

The next one 'Meditating Minotauros', I think the title is clear. Follow 'The Garden of Mysteries II', where you can ear birds in the beginning, "It's the garden of your imagination", say Peter, the song is link to 'Monsoon' that "Takes you to the old Siam (Thailand), the mystical Jungle Island of Chan, that is where the inspiration comes from". Great songs these ones ! Then return to the Turkish area with 'Andalucy' (Andalusen in Swedish)which "is the predecessor of 'Ali Hasan' and used to be a 'standart' when the group was named ALADDIN'S LAMPA (Lantern). Look at the end a fuzzy sithar sound which continu til the end of the second song which is link to it, 'Journey to Hell, this time "inspired by the Medieval Scandinavian folk Ballad and Describes an initiation into the 'Sejd', the Nordic Shamanic Tradition. Include here is an instrumental version". "Moorish Waltz" is more an European song with nice guitar and mellotron, and the rock 60's influence that Peter likes. The following song 'Trans Turkish Express' "is the backpacker's freeway, initially a tag to 'Moorish Rapsody'.

The next song 'Aral', named of the Russian dead lake, an environnemental disaster create by the hands of the human race, because of the money, the Russian Capitalism, where "derelict fishing boats sail the dunes for eternity". You heard here wind and desolation, feeling like if you are alone, without life, really appropriate music for this unhappy incident among lot of other, with some Ambient orientation trend. The next one 'Moorish Waltz', "partly the same as track 2. It was inspired both by the music of the Andies and Bo Hansson (The Lord of the Ring). It features various Flutes, Mellotron and String instruments. 'Desert Visons' is "the firts track to be recorded for the album", Turkish I think, the song is link to the next one 'Ya Qader', a song for African percussion and link with 'The Garden of Mysteries I' in which feature the Turkish Saz instrument. 'La Dame inconnue', a song for Piano and Flute, with strings in the background. 'Almeria' "owes a lot to the contemporary composer Ennio Morricone.
Sorry I don't have the next song 'Palm-Cat', then two bonus track follow:  'Sagarmatha', who was a contribution to a spychedelic compilation called 'Floralia Vol. 3' released by Wot 4 records in 1999. The recording was made togheter with Håkan Almkvist who play the sitar, Helena Selanders on vocals and Stefan Ottman. The title mean "Mt Everest in Nepalese" and finally the last song 'Return to Andorra' "a reply to the track one" on 'Garden', 'Gates of Andorak', but in fact released 2 years before on casette and called 'Mysteriernas Trädgård' (Garden of Mystery in Swedish). "Inspiration come from French Renaissance and from seeing the Motion Picture 'Tous les Matin du Monde, where Marain Marais and Monsieur Sainte Colombe are portrayed.

'Garden' is first and album with lot of world influences and where the inspiration is caming from diverse country, an album also played with a notable amount of instruments as you can ear & see in the credits. M. Gejel help here in the composing of six songs, and helped in four other ones. It is probably the more interesting album for the progressive fans, but somewhere 'Dryad' is stronger than it. Very good moment in here, I recommand this music.

Denis Taillefer, Proglands



THE GARDEN  OF MYSTERIES

 In the Labyrinth's story dates back in 1980, when multi-instrumentalist Peter Lindahl along with Mikael Gejel and Ulf Hansson formed a project entitled ''Aladdin's Lantern'', performing some sort of Middle Eastern-influenced Folk music, containing both original tracks and covers of traditional pieces.Their shows included even belly dancers, but Aladdin's Lantern was mainly a part time band.In early 90's they decided to promote the project to a full-time band, initially changing their name to Labyrinth and eventually to In The Labyrinth.They released the cassette ''The Garden of Mysteries'' in 1994, which saw a CD re-issue two years later on the obscure Swedish label Ad Perpetuam Memoriam with two bonus tracks.

Their style has not changed much regarding their early years, it is some sort of Psychedelic Folk Rock with emphasis on the folky than the rocking side of things.The musicianship is almost entirely based on the traditional instruments/keyboards combination with sporadic vocals.I can hear a variety of different influences, the majority of the tracks have evident Middle Eastern influences (easily recognizable also through the title tracks) and instrumentation but I can detect also strong hints of Latin and Byzantine music throughout.The wide variety of acoustic instruments, string arrangements and wind instrumental jams deliver trippy psychedelic soundscapes in a contemporary way and all tracks are guided by the ethnic fundamentals with the the piano, synthesizers and effects having a back-up role, adding some sort of grandiose atmosphere to the compositions.A few cuts contain also some electric guitars in a second role and leading keyboards to offer a richer and more demanding sound.The real problem of the album is the similarity between the soundscapes with all tracks attending simultaneously to offer a steady soundscape, but ending up to be too much of the same.If the album was cut to half it would be definitely more interesting, ''The Garden of Mysteries'' tends to be rather boring on the way with 74 minutes of largely instrumental folk music being too much to handle.

Certainly a great addition to a die-hard fan of ethnic soundscapes, trippy Folk music and traditional instruments, but a bit too light and monotonous for the rest.Approach after listening to some samples first.More recently the album has been released by Transubstans Records...2.5 stars.

Psarros



THE GARDEN OF MYSTERIES

Bereits mit ihrem Erstling "The garden of mysteries" gingen In The Labyrinth auf die Reise in ferne Länder, vor allem die Welt zwischen Orient und Indien hatte es den zwei Schweden musikalisch angetan. Während Håkan Almqvist (Ensemble Nimbus) bei seinem später in diesem Heft noch folgenden Projekt Orient Squeezers völlig in den indischen Subkontinent versunken ist, reist er zusammen mit Peter Lindahl nicht immer ganz so weit, es darf auch mal nur in Orient bzw. mittlerer Osten sein. "Walking on clouds" verbindet Elemente aus dem Mittelalter mit Musik aus dem mittleren Osten, skandinavischen Folk mit sinfonischen Rock, Psychedelic mit Ambient, Indische Raga mit durchkomponierten Arrangements. Neben einer Vielfalt von Instrumenten (z.B. Sitar, Mandoline, Zither, Violine, diverse Flöten, aber auch Mellotron, E-Gitarre) lebt das Album vor allem von seiner vielschichtigen Atmosphäre der einfließenden Stile. Daneben mach die federleichten Melodien die Reise in eine fremde Welt zu einem Genuss: einfach träumen, die Augen schließen und sich davon tragen lassen. Vielleicht wurde an manchen Stellen der Schmalz doch etwas zu arg übertreiben bzw. die Musiker erwecken den Eindruck, als dass sie zu sehr in ihren Klangkosmos versunken sind. Ein überaus interessantes Hörbeispiel für fremde Kulturen, Rhythmen und Instrumentierungen ist dem schwedischen Duo allemal gelungen.

Kristian Selm
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