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Pepe Deluxé - Queen of the Wave: astonishing concept album

H. P. L.

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It easily passed under my radar until yesterday, but has anyone heard this phantasmagoric concept album? It's something of a psychedelic pastiche, all over the place, with weird sounds, a lot of vocalists, a deep love for B-movies and a concept about Atlantis.

It will probably go down in history as one of the great lost concept albums, since it has nothing to do with the "modern" notion of prog as shaped by PT or Anathema. Pepe Deluxé sound more like the Gong or the Incredible String Band of the 21st century.

This is more like The Pretty Things than Yes or KC. Still, worth investigating.



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After repeated listenings, the closest thing I can compare this one with is Ayreon, stripped of the metal elements. Really, it's like Ayreon on acid. Even the theme reminds me a lot of 100110whatever.


The last song is a retelling of the Noah Ark story. Lyric sample: All the fauna with two horns, he forgot the Unicorns.


If this won't get you to give it a listen, nothing will. :LOL: :lol: :LOL: :lol:

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Bump because this album's great.



Check out the instruments that were used on this album!

With the help of maker guru Joni Vesanen, this album captures the sounds of a Mellotron, waterphone, chromatic gusli, pneumatic percussion machine, Tesla Coil synthesizer, Model 80 wire recorder, a mechanical amplifier approved by the Postmaster General, a magnetic amplifier used to steer V-2 rockets in WWII, an electromagnetic differential microphone used by cosmonauts, an aether modulator based on the Thomas Edison inspired ghost box, an audio saturator influenced by radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s crystal radio receiver, microphone pre-amps used by producer legends Kearney Barton and Joe Meek, and the Czech Film Orchestra. All those and more were used alongside, and to manipulate, traditional instruments like the harp, harmonium, harpsichord, tuba, trumpet, flute, French horn, and clavinet, as well as over a dozen dynamic vocalists, three world-class drummers, a ton of vintage pedals and guitars, and every organ on the planet (Hammond, transistor, farfisa, all of them).


Pepe was forced to delay the album’s release by two years in order for the world’s largest instrument to be renovated, so that Malmström could play the first original composition written for it. This instrument is the Great Stalacpipe Organ: built across 3.5 acres of Virginia’s Luray Caverns by Pentagon physicist Leland W. Sprinkle in the early ‘50s. They went to all that trouble just to record what would amount to a two-minute interlude at the end of the opera’s second act, yet it makes all the difference. There is nothing ordinary or preset about any part of this album, a remarkable fact in this age of Pro Tools, Auto-Tune, and cracked software. Queen of the Wavecontains 100% pan-o-ramic full spectrum sound captured in living stereo. It’s all very maker, steam punk, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, timeless but ever present.


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