Pitts Minnemann Project | The Psychic Planetarium
Label: TwistTone Records / MALS
Release Year: 2016
Genre: Progressive Rock/Psychedelic Fusion
Jimmy Pitts – Keyboards, Theremin
Tom ‘Fountainhead’ Geldschläger – Guitars
Jerry Twyford -Bass
Marco Minnemann – Drums
Sir Issac Newton, Albert Einstein, Artimesus, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Plato. All these names have one thing in common, they were all the Geniuses and Scientists of there time. All came up with scientific theories that were proven facts and even Universal Laws with some of them. In their respective times many considered them ‘Mad Scientists’ that were out of their minds until their hypothesis’ were all proven as bona fide facts.
When I listen to Pitts Minnemann Project The Psychic Planetarium I notice a vibe that runs in common with those legends I mentioned above. Pitts Minnemann Project are 4 very different musicians that are all world class intellectual’s and musical geniuses of their time. Pitts Minnemann Project are made up of Jimmy Pitts – Keyboards, Theremin ,Tom ‘Fountainhead’ Geldschläger – Guitars , Jerry Twyford –Bass , Marco Minnemann – Drums who have brought their world class intellect and musicianship and created one of the very best instrumental progressive rock/metal psychedelic fusion albums I have heard over the last 15 years in The Psychic Planetarium.
The band members of this album have all seemed to bring years of musical theories and detail on the project. Pitts Minnemann Project comes in the tradition of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, meets Liquid Tension Experiment, Gordion Knot and Derek Sherinian’s Black Utopia and PlanetX projects with The Psychic Planetarium hooks you the listener right away out of the gate starting with the rhythm injected Conquistador.
Conquistador starts out with a progression of deep heavy rhythm between bass and keyboards before taking a steady metamorphosis with the drums and and rhythm section. From there it hooks the listener up a steady progression of sound with various really odd time signatures that really fuse together to give the listener a immediate mind altering listening experience. Conquistador is a very appropriate title for the first track. It commands attention with the time signatures, hooks and melodies.
Imaginary Numbers as this track opens, and on careful examination is like a stringed orchestra with, cello’s, violins, stand up basses, viola’s , etc .. pumped exquisitely through the filter of a fusion programmed keyboard. In doing so on the open passage the band gel’s very well. About the :55 mark it takes a incredible jazz direction sounding much like a horned section to a orchestra yet pumped through the filter of the keyboards. The bass/drum/ rhythm guitar play into these filters with great time signatures and passages. Imaginary Numbers is one of the heavier, darker tracks on the album. The bass really closes this one in a very bleak manner.
The Guide opens up with a baby grand piano style passage perhaps filtered to give the listener the image that the passage is being played in a open atmosphere like a empty warehouse. The Guide is at the vintage crossroads between Bach & Mozart with current elements of fusion.
Peacekeeper starts with a sonic fury of rhythmic section proportions. The bass and drums are clearly the driving point of the track in the intro before the keyboards add another layer to it. Marco Minnemann adds some nice bells and chimes in a very intricate uncanny manner. Tom ‘Fountainhead’ Geldschläger – Guitars adds a beautiful shred fest in and out in various places throughout the progression of Peacekeeper. This is definitely a work of sheer genius in a mad scientist form.
Of Colours Spontaneous is a beautiful almost 4 minutes of classical piano passages. It is arranged in such a way where you can digest, reflect and take in what you have just heard with the rest of the album before going on the epic journey that is the 24+ minute title track to the album The Psychic Planetarium.
The Psychic Planetarium explodes on impact from the first minute bombarding the listeners full audio senses. It builds upon the bass/drum rhythm section alongside a really heavy blistering rhythm guitar and infused glossed keyboards. This track takes some very nice breaks in the way of the arrangement isolating each instrument allowing the listener to digest the sum of the album’s various parts. Whether it was intentional or not The Psychic Planetarium has the appearance of what a psychedelic jam band like Umpherey’s McGee or even Oresund Space Collective put forward.
At about the 6:00 mark Jimmy Pitts produces some female chant style vocals through the filter of the keyboard. From that point the track takes a turn as if the listener is on a voyage through interstellar space. Between the heavy rhythm sections and various time progressions the keyboard has a fine backing atmosphere with various guitar shredding passages going in and out in layers. Where one time signature drops it is immediately replaced with another layer in a very unpredictable fashion. The Psychic Planetarium keeps the listener on the edge of there ears or seat and commands their attention for its almost 24 + minute duration.
The Beautiful Faint Glow begins with a beautiful bass oriented rhythmic melody. The keyboard starts to build layer upon layer. The guitar and bass on this one is are done in a vocal style manner as if they are both in one melodic harmony. Once again there is a heavily orchestral induced violin style element. It kind of reminds me of Steve Vai meets Kansas Dust in the Wind. The Beautiful Faint Glow has a profound sense of orchestral elements clashing wonderfully with fusion elements giving this piece colour and grace.
Pitts Minnemann’s The Psychic Planetarium is one serious mind-fuck. It is very cleverly written, recorded and produced. As far as ‘Pure’ instrumental bands are concerned, Jimmy Pitts and Marco Minnemann along with Fountainhead & Jerry Twyford have created a ‘Masterpiece for the 2010’s’. They have also introduced new exotic ideas and theories to the world of progressive rock/metal fusion. This gets a 5/5 and has potential to be ‘Instrumental Album Of 2016’.