Following the release of ''3 O''Clock Sky'' (also available at https://www.tradebit.com) the Liverpool (UK) based band The Neil Campbell Collective started to radically develop their sound and began work on their second album ‘Particle Theory’ (2008) with a much more experimental approach.
Around a year in the making, ‘Particle Theory’, whilst remaining eminently melodic and filled with sumptuous rhythmic, textural and harmonic arrangements, has almost completely abandoned any vestige of conventional song forms. Across the length of the album a small handful of themes are presented, layered and hyper-arranged in an array of wildly diverging contexts, demonstrating an amalgam of styles and references from progressive, post-minimal and ambient music.
These stylistic variations allow the musicians to demonstrate their incredible flexibility and skill as performers. A diverse and often virtuosic instrumentation consisting of layered cellos and textured ethereal vocals, EMS analogue synthesizer, classical, electric and acoustic guitars, celtic harp, wurlitzer and grand piano, operatic soprano and theremin is supported by a detailed and often propulsive rhythm section.
Composer, classical guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Neil Campbell, has invited some of the best musicians Liverpool (European Capital of Culture 2008) has to offer, to contribute and make special guest appearances on the album.
Here''s what some of the critics are saying:
"...The Liverpool band prove that three-minute pop ditties is not all that comes out of the 2008 European Capital of Culture. Cleverly layered sounds and atmospheres collide to keep the listeners attention as the Camelesque meets Cantebury scene head on. This album leaves the musician''s to put themselves in a unique rock shop window and you just know the guys do this for the love because it is just too damn clever for the mainstream", Classic Rock Society
"Musically, this stuff is all over the map and right from the start, I was impressed here. ....This is some very interesting and inventive music that is derivative of practically nothing at all. Excellent production effects and a unique approach to the overall delivery of the music make this a truly progressive release. Neil Campbell is a remarkable composer and arranger and hopefully has enough of what it takes to make a name for himself in the music business......" ffroyd, https://www.tradebit.com
''This is definitely progressive rock, but it''s very fresh and very uncontrived and unconventional sounding. The classical-style guitar and cello are especially prominent and define the over-all sound. Some really great, moody melodies are explored. I was VERY impressed. You will be too.'', Steve Feigenbaum, Wayside Music
''...a dense and complex suite of music that constantly challenges your perception of how music should be. With imaginative arrangements and some imaginative use of instrumentation (aided by Nicole Collarbone on cello, Mark Brocklesby on drums and percussion, Dan Owens and Liam Carey on bass, Stan Ambrose on Celtic Harp and Alex Welford on horns), Mr Campbell has certainly created a constantly challenging musical experience.'' Stuart Hamilton, https://www.tradebit.com
"...a very high level of creativity in the music. Add to that excellent performances, very good production and you get an album you will want to listen to quite often. When Particle Theory''s last track ended, my reaction was "What... already over?". It did not take me long to put it back on again because Particle Theory merits numerous listenings. This very much unexpected gem gets my highest recommendation indeed." https://www.tradebit.com
""Particle Theory" recalls both the symphonic folk music of Mike Oldfield and the large ensemble work of Ian Carr but also has obvious ties to the ''prog'' scene with hints at Camel and King Crimson in a few places. Having done the necessary name-dropping I must say that this disc does a remarkably good job of not sounding like anyone in particular. The comparisons are really only valid in relation to the overall organization and structure of the music and not the sonic textures. Mr. Campbell has come up with a fairly original sound with arrangements that are well thought-out and imaginative even though the music is very tonal and ''pretty''...The music is fresh, original and highly enjoyable! "Particle Theory" gets my highest recommendation!!" ZNR Records (https://www.tradebit.com)
"If you''re looking for a "progressive" album, in the finest sense of the word, go straight to Particle Theory....Neil Campbell and colleagues give life to a carefully thought out and deep progressive style which impresses straight away and continues to impress the more you listen to it.", (Translated by Paul Vaughan from the French) - https://www.tradebit.com
"This music is like a film, sounds flow into your head like pictures, captivating, and then reveal an abyss in all, mostly instrumental songs, in which to lose yourself. ..An exiting album, full of surprises and intelligently set arrangements. Not Prog, but Progressive Rock” , (translated from the German by Michael Beiert) - https://www.tradebit.com
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