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Yaan-Zek, Phi


Solar Flare

Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Geomagnetic
Genre: [Guitar-oriented Instrumental Rock/Jazz/Fusion/Ethnic/Experimental]
Overall Rating: 8.5
Music: 8.5
Production: 8.5

Phi Yaan-Zek (formerly known as Philippe Ansari) is an artist to be aware of. Musicians with a creative style and imaginative compositions aren't that generic sights in the music industry. However, Phi Yaan-Zek favourably impresses me with his diverse (mostly instrumental) album "Solar Flare". Due to his influence-rich style, Yaan-Zek can't be directly compared to any other guitarist. Nonetheless, such names as Frank Zappa, Mike Keneally and Steve Vai among others come to mind.

On this album Mr. Yaan-Zek is joined by world-renowned drummer Marco Minnemann and bassist Fabio Trentini. Guest performances include keyboard virtuoso Lale Larson (E250, Timeline), Bumblefoot, Peter Stacey and Brian Gulland (ex-Gryphon) to name a few. Although all the material didn't wholeheartedly take my fancy, this album is, for the most part, rather fortuitous piece of art. Especially ballads such as "So Far Away" and "Passion Reborn" along with few other songs make this release really appealing (they're easier on the ear than some of the more experimental pieces). Regardless, even the experimental tunes keep the listener intrigued without wearing out his/hers interest.

Production-wise "Solar Flare" is rather good. The clarity of the mix is somewhat laudable, and the overall impression of this release remains positive in every way. Particularly the brief info bits regarding each track on the booklet deserve my compliments. Definitely recommended to every listener of instrumental music, who prefers more adventurous approach to songwriting.

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (September 4th, 2005)


Yaan-Zek, Phi: All Guitars, Keyboards, Additional Percussion,
Voice, Mandolin, Sliding Bass, Hand Claps
Trentini, Fabio: Bass
Minnemann, Marco: Drums and Percussion
Larson, Lale: Piano and Additional Keyboard, Parlophone Solo
on Tracks 1, 6, 7 & 11
Stacey, Peter: Flute, Tenor and Soprano Saxophones on Tracks 1,
4, 7 & 11
Tomkins, Maggie: Accordion on Tracks 1 & 7
Gulland, Brian: Glockenspiel, Bassoon on Tracks 1 & 11
Missy: Vocals on "High"
Selih, Ilhaam: Intro Voice on "Out in the Boonies"
Banks, Andy: Frame Drum on "So Far Away"
Bumblefoot: Fretless Electric Guitars Solos on "Psychometamorph"
Haipney, Zak: Trumpet and Hand Claps "Psychometamorph"
Oakenshield, Oliver: Phone Message "Little Space Creatures"
MacIntosh, Anarion: Didjeridoo on "Grasshopper Medicine"
McKenna, Kerry: Background Vocals on "Solar Reprise"
Producer: Yaan-Zek, Phi
Mixing by: Yaan-Zek, Phi
Mastering by: Unavailable
Yaan-Zek, Phi - Solar Flare  CD  Cover Image
01. Solar Flare
02. Hyperspatial
03. High
04. Out in the Boonies
05. So Far Away
06. I Phi
07. Psychometamorph
08. Little Space Creatures
09. Grasshopper Medicine
10. Passion Reborn
11. Solar Reprise

Length: 66:54
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