Paul Chain: “Unreleased Volume Two” CD
It was reported in #1 that following his artistic death Paul Chain would not be releasing any further albums under this alias and thus, “Unreleased Volume Two” heralds the end of a very special era. Disappointing as the news surely was, it seems wholly fitting that the creative genius should disappear with a bang and in a puff of smoke because this collection is nothing short of magic. As per tradition, he has recruited a range of musicians for the ride. Many of them may appear lesser known, if, that is, the listener is not already familiar with past collaborations, although there is perhaps one notable exception that will be discussed in due course. Anyway, opening cut, “Traffic Lights” is a mammoth testimony to his songwriting craft. Few guitarists would have the audacity, let alone the imagination, to pull off a whopping twenty-minute composition with only bass and drums to follow his lead. All the same, this is vintage, engrossing and hypnotic Paul Chain, wide, loose and free. The shorter “Wrong Woman” and “So Low Far Again” are then bound by a generally slower pace and the return of those inspired phonetic vocals. Coming next, “Guitar Voices” is just that, as the eccentric unleashes a classic energetic solo come song. On the rousing “Bloodwing” Wino assumes the vocal reigns with his characteristic drawl, which, in turn, goes hand in glove with the powerful lead break at the heart of the song. It gently glides into the brooding “Nibiru Dawn” in which Wino takes up the axe alongside Paul Chain. The lucid duo roll off each other like second nature, over the haunting organ canvas, while Wino sings and Paul Chain narrates before tailing off into that characteristically unsettling laughter. “Full Moon Improvisation” neatly rounds the album with another inspired musical journey that rises and falls, twists and turns with his enchanting seal. The visionary will be missed. My advice is to source this album and whatever else is still available while you can. Quasar Records has already folded and his fan club has disappeared. His music is only going to become scarcer than it already is.