Mackay, Duncan - Chimera (expanded)

SKU 18-FRESH 164
The first time ever on official CD release by this well known English musician who moved to South Africa and recorded this album in 1974, and ever since, it's been hugely sought after by keyboard freaks and progressive rock fans everywhere. Hugely influenced by ELP and The Nice, this is mostly instrumental and quite good and it's amazing with all the reissues out there that this was never properly reissued until now. Includes a never-heard bonus track!

"It was the early 70's. Progressive rock in the form of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, King Crimson, Yes and countless others, was on the rise in those dim and distant lands. The closest we got to seeing our heroes was in the pages of Melody Maker or New Musical Express.Seeing the likes of Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Vincent Crane, Brian Auger, Rod Argent, and Jon Lord in action was merely a pipedream for us, here in isolated South Africa. For those of us into the more progressive side of music, these were gods, the untouchables, almost forbidden fruit, if you will, never to be seen in the flesh. We were condemned to drown in a sea of musical mediocrity, forever to believe that the likes of "Tie A Yellow Ribbon" and "Mammy Blue" were the be-all and end-all of the music scene in South Africa. Fortunately, all was not lost. We had Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, Suck and Hawk and a host of others. And we had Duncan Mackay....Moving to Johannesburg in 1971, Duncan and drummer Mike Gray were working the hotel cabaret circuit but were getting restless. They wanted to spread their wings and play music that stretched their talents...The banks of keyboards, the monster double bass drum kit, the endlessly revolving Leslie's and the air fan blowing in the face of one of the finest keyboard players I had ever heard. His musical skills and the energy he put into his performances ensured that the punters, like myself, kept coming back. I looked on in awe as he effortlessly moved from keyboard to keyboard, his feet playing the bass pedals, never failing to blow me away, and I was forever grateful to my future brother-in-law for taking me to this place. Duncan and Mike practiced day in day out, honing their skills, playing Peddlers, Nice and ELP material, as well as Duncan's own compositions. Everybody, from record company execs, to musos, to members of the media, used to flock to this fantastic new music venue to hear the seriously talented band that played there every night. The band, now known as Tricycle, with the addition of Duncan's brother, Gordon, on violin and keyboards, was the talk of the town..."Chimera" was recorded virtually “live” at Gallo Studios, Johannesburg in April 1974. A week of hauling his B3, Leslie's and ARP synths back and forward between the club and the studio. Putting down what was to become a milestone in keyboard-orientated progressive rock in South Africa. Originally released on the Vertigo "Spaceship" Record label, the album was produced by Duncan and re-mixed at Pye Studios in London. It featured the near twenty minute long epic "Song For Witches", a track drenched with some of the most intricate keyboard work you'll hear anywhere from the awesomely talented Duncan, who used as many as 14 keyboards on stage! He was superbly supported by Mike Gray and Gordon. The other two tracks, "Morpheus" and "12 Tone Nostalgia", a personal Branch Office favourite, put the seal on a phenomenal piece of work that has, until now, been tragically omitted from the compact disc format."-Leon Economides

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  • LabelFresh
Your Price $15.00

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

This is totally insane keyboard driven prog rock! Some of you will recognize Duncan Mackay as a session musician, playing for the likes of the Alan Parsons Project, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Camel, 10cc, Kate Bush, Budgie, and so much more. This 1974 release, Chimera was originally released on Vertigo, and trust me, the original LP is difficult to come by, so go for the CD reissue. This was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, with him on vocals, Hammond B3, pianos and ARP (too bad no Mellotron, but I can't imagine any Mellotrons made it to South Africa), with his brother Gordon Mackay on electric piano and piano, and Mike Gray on drums. Totally killer keyboard-dominated prog that's very much in your alley if you like ELP, Wakeman, Trace, Greenslade, Triumvirat. etc. I am completely blown away by this album! There are three lengthy cuts, and comparing this to say, a much better known album he played on like I Robot from the Alan Parsons Project, you'll notice how drastically different this is! Duncan Mackay released other solo albums (which were recorded in England, and easier to get a hold of, that is, if you collect LPs), but I can't say how they're like since I don't have them. But for those who can't get enough of that bombastic keyboard-driven prog style, Chimera is a complete must have!
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