Beppe Crovella’s hallmark of ingenuity becomes prominent during this prismatic endeavor, where he covers the works of influential Soft Machine keyboardist Mike Ratledge. Decades have passed, yet Soft Machine’s legacy is irrefutably impressive amid various personnel changes and resurgent bands such as Soft Machine Legacy, to complement a consortium of vital reissues. Here, Crovella personalizes his approach while imparting a semi-retrospective spin, mainly due to his choice of ancient, yet beloved analog keys such as, Farfisa organ, mellotron and the Wurlitzer electric piano. The artist also emulates Ratledge’s signature, fuzzed-out Lowrey organ sound and integrates the acoustic component as well. Crovella does not use analog or digital synths on the album, which seems rather remarkable, due to the polytonal frameworks he conjures up throughout the program
Abetted by a pristine and resonating audio sound, the keyboardist abides by no rules, which he clearly defines within the album notes. Crovella instills a hearty mix, consisting of layered backdrops that fiendishly align with haunting chord movements and Ratledge’s evocative melody lines. The Canterbury scene factor is also present during the overall scope, although Crovella fuses a modern, ambient-electronic outlook into the grand mix. And he doesn’t dwell upon one or two modes, by pronouncing internal conversations among keys, with multidirectional contrasts and treatments. Crovella also tosses in a countrified hoedown motif on "The Man Who Waved At Trains," and augments many of these pieces with poignant acoustic piano lines.
Other than gravelly-toned dreamscapes, jazzy interludes and whimsical melodies, the artist paints an expansive and largely, colorific panorama. His personal vision of Ratledge’s music equates to a nouveau statement that looms as a hybrid series of metrics, where two stylists converge on some sort of fictional vortex. No doubt, it’s a standout pick for 2009, regardless of genre or blanketed categorizations.