Dusted Reviews

Secret Oyster - Sea Son

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Secret Oyster

Album: Sea Son

Label: Laser’s Edge

Review date: May. 21, 2006

The Sea Son reissue has been my introduction to this 1970s Danish band, and what an intro it is! I’ll admit to some initial reticence, due primarily to the comparatively mellow sound generated by these fusioneers. Having cut my teeth on Mahavishnu, Return to Forever and namelessly copious amounts of prog, Secret Oyster’s transparently orchestrated and superficially simplistic approach deceived me.

About 50 seconds into the first track, my thinking began to change; as “Oyster Jungle” kicks into a modal vamp around A-major to an outburst of beautifully controlled distortion, I began to perceive the many layers underpinning these pithy tracks. The rest of the track is replete with swirling synths, fantastic wah-wah guitar work, a solidly funky groove and some well-executed string work of the classical variety. Particular props should be made of saxman Karsten Vogel’s work here, as it’s smooth, catchy and fun with that slight edge underneath – basically characteristic of the whole record.

Perhaps the best comparison might be made with Ian Carr’s Nucleus, especially as they evolved through the ’70s. Their gentle embracing of all types of music, even as they maintained rock allegiance, mirrors Secret Oyster’s approach; yet, I’d be hard pressed to think of a Nucleus track that stretches out in the way that “Mind Movie” does, not to mention Klaus Bohling’s stunning guitar work on that track. As the energy level is slowly ramped up, his sound pallet broadens; definitely one of the disc’s finest moments.

The string quartet makes a welcome and beautiful reappearance later in the album, and it only demonstrates how inclusive, if subtle, Secret Oyster’s take on “jazz” really was. Many thanks to Laser’s Edge for bringing this catalog back into circulation.

By Marc Medwin

Read More

View all articles by Marc Medwin

Find out more about Laser’s Edge

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.