Disclaimer: not a real experimental therapy, just a funny play on words.
Straight from the doctor’s office and into our prescribed medicine bottle is “Rixile Elixir”, the latest experimental rock record by Dr. John Kline. Yeah he’s apparently a real doctor – a psychological one from Montana but now based in Alabama, who previously developed what he dubbed as The Music Therapy Experiment, a collection of improvisational music projects which act as his own personal sanctuary and creative outlet for his troubles or celebrations. Today we’re pleased to review the latest to come from his mind’s collection.
Listen to the album on Spotify or Apple Music.
The album is composed of 10 instrumental tracks and is a solo effort, described by Kline as eclectic “comprovisations” rather than improvised compositions.
Much like the universe that brought it to us, it begins with a bang with the lead track “Neurogenesis”, gently thudding drums to embrace us as we enter our first session of Kline’s music therapy before we’re introduced to cosmically entwining guitar riffs that seems to dance into spirals around the moons of my own orbit; I am transcended immediately into this wonderful world of melody, each one introduced with an excited spring-like step. It would almost seem fitting for this enthralling piece to end the album given how tantalizing and soothing it is for its nearly 5-minute duration, but it certainly serves as a unique introduction to Kline’s practice.
We settle in for our series of next sessions which seem to embrace Kline’s Montana roots, with the lightest air of country twang woven intricately between delicate piano arrangements on “Made It Home” and bubbly synthesizer’s that carry with them the casual strides of an afternoon by a riverbed in “Happy Little Echoes”. If these sessions carried on with this gorgeously crafted comforting character, we might find ourselves lulled into a guided meditative state, but just as we catch our bodies falling into the Earth, we’re awakened again, our brain chemistry altered by the attractive qualities of Kline’s guitar work with the albums title track “Rixile Elixir”, reminiscent of similar work by legendary players like Steve Vai. It’s difficult not to want to pay attention to every note here, each one as enchanting as the one that follows it. This takes us into the start of a relaxing weekend with “Friday Song” and the relief it ushers is palpable.
By “Agent of Change” we’ve reached a point of our own self-discovery, having learned so much about ourselves over the first half of the album, where we begin to feel the same peace within ourselves that we hear evoked from Kline’s intricate arrangements. “Agent of Change” shows us a more aggressive side of Kline, with darker bass tones and more whimsical guitars that seem purposefully driven to bring out just a singe of anxiety that the record had otherwise hushed and subdued. Our own therapy, it would appear, is far from over as we allow the music to take us out of our serenity and into a nearly bewildered state. What this means for us, even Kline cannot say, but we’re willing to trust the process.
The road out is long as we jump into “Drive to Mobile” but the journey proves to be full of exciting sights and sounds. With “Water Song” we’re treated to more stylish guitars carried over an orchestrated bed of strings which while competing with each other for the spotlight, compliment each others unique contemporary dance style; there is not too much going on, but you’ll want to roll the tape back to make sure you see and hear every last bit of this show stopping number.
And with that we are brought tenderly “To the Sky”, an almost wedding-like composition fit for the finest ballrooms; this surely is our celebratory ceremony that doesn’t quite celebrate the end of our therapy, but the beginning of our new lives.
Culminating the record is Illusion (Life’s Dance) which again seems to weave in that alternative country that we heard just a smattering of earlier in the album and helps bring us back to the ground after the intergalactic sonic adventure we envisioned within our own minds throughout. As our breathing returns to normal and we open our eyes to see before us our study, with all of its books and appears and pens strewn just as we’d left them, we’re filled with a sense of balmy harmony.
The albums title, as it turns out, translates to the phrase “Sunrise Good Morning,” which is terribly fitting because as the last notes fades out and we put away the album to begin our day, it sure does feel like it’s going to be a good one.
Keep up with John Kline’s projects on his website and social media channels.
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