PAPERLATE (Italy) no. 47 (Summer 2002), p. 51

 

Not all within the so-called “prog circuit” are able to take the liberty of showing themselves in a two-fold capacity; there’s obviously not the so-called “conflict of interest,” but, much more simply, Ed Macan, musician and leader of Hermetic Science, is also recognized as “essayist” of the celebrated volume Rocking the Classics, historical/sociological/musical analysis of progressive rock.  Musician and musical journalist at the same time:  but it’s not about this that we are wishing to speak (his preceding discographic and book output have already been reviewed in Paperlate), but rather the new album, En Route (the inspiration is drawn from the late nineteenth century novels of J. K. Huysmans), where the multi-instrumentalist, with predilection for keyboards and vibraphone, puts himself to the test of opening with a piece by composer Gustav Holst, “Mars, the Bringer of War,” re-propounded here in a keyboard/bass/percussion arrangement.

 

Obviously the main course of the album is the long suite “En Route,” forty-five minutes of multi-faceted orchestration that ranges from the symphonically-oriented rock of ELP (by the way, Macan is writing their biography, in the soon-to-be published The Endless Enigma) to semi-acoustic experimentation, always in a classical mode.  The concept is certainly not lacking, aside perhaps from a certain coolness of expression at its foundation; the best part of the suite is certainly the closing movement, where Ed Macan offers us a delicious performance on acoustic piano, an instrument on which he shows himself to be an excellent executor.    Ezio Candrini