Sjef Oellers 19-April-2001 Stranger in Mystery/Migration of the Snails (Moon Phase Compendium)

Both Stranger In Mystery and Migration of the Snails, respectively from 1979 and 1980, contain original psychedelic progressive music with some ethnic, spacey, and electronic elements. The band uses rather "Gong-ish" equipment such as "Gas and steam" bass and "hydro-electric" guitar, and bubble synths are featured to create unique spacey trip music with an experimental edge. Less common instruments such as several types of flutes, theremin, tablas, and glockenspiel among others, provide additional musical coloration. In addition, the album features beautiful female vocals. There are more experimental or electronic parts that remind me of the Residents, Cluster, and even the more recent Japanese band Trembling Strain. Considering the strong decline that most progressive music and progressive bands were undergoing at that time, I find it amazing that these two unconventional and surprising albums were made around 1980. Both albums are very good to excellent. The two albums Stranger in Mystery and Migration of the Snails are compiled on one CD called "Moon Phase Compendium."

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