Ian Carr was working on this project even before the birth of Nucleus, as this was some kind of musical grant from England's Art council and under the patronage of Keith Winter (who incidentally will toy away with a VCS3 on these recordings). But as Carr was composing on a piano, it became clear to him that only Nucleus musicians could play what he was writing. If Ian Carr had only written 5 of 18 tracks over the two first Nucleus albums, he writes all of the material here
The project was to have two totally different themes, toy/expand them and then fused them altogether in the final track. However ambitious this was (especially for the times), this is only partially successful (IMHO) but also produces some great moments. The two themes are presented in the first tracks as Elements I & II, than the first one becomes very funky jazz rock in the second track and in the fifth track and the other element is developed in track 3 (with a great bowed double bass to start of and very subtle eastern music influences to follow) and 4 (Spirit Level is close to Free Jazz but fear not, nothing as Harsh as in KC's Moonchild or Providence, as it stays relatively wise).
But both elements are to be fused into Snakehips' Dream to last for the 15 min+ with an eerie ending on the afore-mentioned VCS3. There are some lengths in the developments and some repetitions, but overall this is yet another great Nucleus recording.
Studio Album, released in 1971
1. Elements I & II (2:12) 2. Changing Times (4:44) 3. Bedrock Deadlock (6:52) 4. Spirit Level (9:20) 5. Torso (6:12) 6. Snakehips Dream (15:16)
Total Time: 44:36
- Ian Carr / trumpet, flugelhorn - Karl Jenkins / oboe, Baritone Saxophone, E-piano, piano - Brian Smith / Tenor Saxophone, Soprano saxophone, flute - Chris Spedding / guitar - Jeff Clyne / bass, contrabass - John Marshall / drums, percussion
Guest musicians: - Kenny Wheeler / trumpet, flugelhorn - Harry Beckett / trumpet, flugelhorn - Tony Roberts / Tenor saxophone, bass clarinet - Ron Matthewson / bass - Chris Karan / percussion - Keith Winter / synthesizer