IO PAGES (Netherlands) no. 36 (February 2002), 20

Multi-instrumentalist Ed Macan is the brains behind this American group, which have, with En Route, delivered their third disc.  This completely instrumental CD was preceded by Ed Macan’s Hermetic Science  (1997) and Prophesies (1999).  En Route is based on a cycle of books by J. K. Huysmans and contains a suite in seven parts of 45 minutes.  The opening track belongs not to the suite, but is a reworking of the classic “Mars, the Bringer of War,” the opening movement of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets.  This adornment falls somewhere between the work of synthesizer player Ed Starink and the reworking of Jeff Wayne in Beyond the Planets.  In En Route, Macan makes use of a number of interesting keyboard instruments.  Alongside acoustic and (Rhodes) electric piano are Hammond, ARP string ensemble, Micromoog, electronic harpsichord, and a digital pipe organ.  The last-named instrument is heard in the fine, three-part “La-Bas,” in conjunction with the string ensemble, piano, and Hammond.  In “Raga Hermeticum,” 10-string lyre is used in combination with sitar, evoking a sixties vibe.  Strikingly, there are only two tracks in which an electric guitar is used.  The combination of progressive, jazz, classical, and sixties music results in a varied, singular style with the emphasis on keyboards, particularly on piano and string ensemble.  By way of comparison, I am reminded of the Dutch progressive bands of the early eighties.                     Leo Hoekstra