Mahavishnu Orchestra–Visions of the Emerald Beyond, Live Skull–Positraction: Two Underrated Records By Great Bands

visions-of-the-emerald-beyondpositractionMahavishnu Orchestra–Visions of the Emerald Beyond and Live Skull–Positraction: these are both late  period records by these two bands, and I have typically preferred their harsher, rawer, earlier records.  However, I just realized that not only are these records very good, they’re sort of masterpieces in their own rights–they’re both very, very good.  Just a bit different from their earlier stuff.

Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Visions of the Emerald Beyond is very much looser, and larger in scope than earlier Mahavishnu–it’s quite an atmospheric and expansive record, not all heavy prog/math rock like their earlier stuff.  There’s crazy stuff going on, but on such a large and expansive scale that you might not notice it/realize it at first.

Similarly with Live Skull’s Positraction.  Positraction is very atmospheric and sophisticated, though the complexity is not so initially as obvious as with their earlier records which had more obviously walloping rhytms and harshness.  Positraction is still very complex and interesting but the complexity is drenched more in mood and atmosphere.  Maybe 10, 20 years ago Positraction didn’t make as much sense when heavy math-rock riffs and noise were more in style, but atmospheric music has come more into vogue in the last few years/last decade or so with music like Godspeed You Black Emperor, indie folk, some Radiohead, etc.  Great records, both.

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2 Responses

  1. I still put that album in Mahavishnu’s classic period – I always thought prog/fusion peaked in 1973 and after 1976 kind of faltered. I guess all those bands got kind of computerized/digital (synthesizers, etc…) and discoesque. Of course check out Camel for some late 70’s awesomeness. Yeah after 1976 things got “polished”.

  2. yep. kommt hin.

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