MARGIN - REVIEWS
Psychedelic Teatime (2014)
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Behind the name MARGIN hides the Berlin musician Lutz Meinert, a musician who has released two CD's with the band FOR YOUR PLEASURE, namely Scattered Pages (1993) and Timeless (2000). From 2012 he focused himself on MARGIN and released Psychedelic Teatime in 2014.
On this album Lutz is the person who did almost everything by himself. He only got help from backing singer Carola Meinert who sang on Psychedelic Underground - The Long Trip and Landscapes On The Sky. The other musician that can be heard on this release is Arne Spekat. He played the acoustic guitar on A Mysterious Cup Of Tea and Landscapes On The Sky. Right from the start you can hear what kind of music influenced Lutz to make music himself. It's most of all the psychedelic rock and progressive rock of PINK FLOYD that shines through on Psychedelic Teatime. The electric guitar and keyboards are the instruments that dictate the music on his self written compositions. Compositions which sound rather strong. Most of all the opening piece A Mysterious Cup Of Tea is of a very high level. During the almost twenty four minutes of music you go through a musical trip which takes you from the psychedelic rock of PINK FLOYD to the krautrock of GROBSCHNITT. The albums Rockpommel's Land (1977) and Solar Music (1978) from the last mentioned band came to mind several times, mainly by the use of the Mellotron and the strong bass parts. Unfortunately the second track is of a lower level. The vocals are mainly to blame because I did find them a bit too catchy on Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip. The next track Landscapes On The Sky is a beautiful melodic ballad with again references to early PINK FLOYD. The level of fantastic progressive rock music increases on Last Exit To Pluto. Again PINK FLOYD comes to the surface thanks to the Rick Wright kind of organ parts, Roger Waters kind of bass parts and the Nick Mason kind of drum parts. Thanks to the copious use of Mellotron and the strong bass parts a link with the German krautrock band GROBSCHNITT can be made once again. Moreover this ten minutes long composition can be described as a mix of progressive rock, psychedelic and space rock. The final track Psychedelic Underground - The Long Trip is a kind of copy of the Short Trip version. The same kind of catchy vocals can be heard. During the opening, the middle section and last part of this ten minutes long version are some extra instrumental parts added which did not really bring the song to a higher level. Therefore you might ask the question if these extra ten minutes of music were needed.
With or without the last track added on Psychedelic Teatime it's not difficult to conclude that this release is an album worth listening to. Most of all if you are a fan of PINK FLOYD or like GROBSCHNITT you will certainly hear things you are going to enjoy. I am convinced that this album does not disappear in my CD collection. Hopefully it will find a place in your collection too!
Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde) (4/2015)
Babyblaue Seiten (Germany)
»Margins "Psychedelic Teatime" is a debut work of a Berlin project led by the singer/multi-instrumentalist Lutz Meinert, which he - more precisely - operates mainly on his own, only supported by two musical guests. And it spoils nothing to say in advance, that some, but definitely not all of the parts of "Psychedelic Teatime" were inspired by Pink Floyd. Interestingly and contrary to other projects influenced by Pink Floyd, this time it is not the guitar sound of Gilmour, which you would notice right away, but rather Rick Wright's keyboard work, which shines through in some places of "Psychedelic Teatime".
Actually Lutz Meinert, as already indicated, does most of it himself: he composes, designs the cover, arranges, produces, plays most of the instruments and sings. Carola Meinert contributes the background vocals and Arne Spekat plays the acoustic guitar in some places, notably in the folky "Landscapes on the Sky."
Lutz Meinert not only does nearly everything single-handedly, he also does it properly. Not even the drumming skills of the multi-instrumentalist attract negative attention and also as a keyboardist, guitarist, and sometimes even as a creative bass guitarist, he cuts a fine figure. Therefore, I consider "Psychedelic Teatime" as another successful experiment to create a one-man band.
But Lutz Meinert doesn't leave it at just imitating Pink Floyd. He also potters around to develop his own profile with a remarkable outcome. As a result he therefore forms a nice-sounding synthesis of psychedelic artpop / rock, symphonic retroprog, space rock and Floyd-ish music. In "Last Exit to Pluto" some parts are reminiscent to ambient type electronic Krautrock, "Landscapes ..." sounds very folky and the multi-faceted "A mysterious Cup of Tea - Part 3" briefly touches genres such as Prog á la Genesis and jazz-rock fusion.
First and foremost, with his English lyrics the musician would like to invite us to relax and enjoy, which is made easy by the harmonious and as well interesting music. The music rarely ripples in a relaxing way only, it rather surprises by several vivacious highlights and entertaining moments. [...]
Therefore, we can recommend the CD to all the friends of psychedelic, slightly „Krautrock“ colored symphonic prog, who do not necessarily need quirky and avant-garde accents to be delighted in an album.«
Siggy Zielinski (7/2014)
»With his Psychedelic Teatime, Lutz Meinert almost single-handedly recorded a mostly quiet, but also nicely playful album, which not only fans of PINK FLOYD might like. Listening to the perfectly produced album, you won't notice that Lutz was supported only by Carola Meinert (background vocals) and Arne Spekat (acoustic guitar). The tracks sound so round and full and harmonious that you won't miss anything. Besides many kinds of „psychedelified“ organ, synth and guitar sounds first of all the well accentuated and powerful way Lutz plays the bass attracts attention.
The first half of the album, the multi-part longtrack „A mysterious Cup of Tea“, is dominated by influences of PINK FLOYD's More (1969) to Animals (1977), virtually the „golden era“ of the band. The mostly quiet and harmonious, but sometimes also grooving parts have been joined together skillfully to form a result that sounds more progressive than what you could hear from PINK FLOYD at that time. In addition, some slightly jazzy moments flow in. The overall atmosphere generated this way and Lutz' soft, slightly rough vocals fit together perfectly.
The second half of the album introduces the driving psychedelic pop track Psychedelic Underground, which is reminiscent of the early FLOYD with Syd Barrett as well as of the STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK („Incense and Peppermints“) acting at the same time. Also the DUKES OF STRATOSPHERE drew from this delicious source at that time. And because the trip to good old Underground is so pleasant, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time in the form of a „Long Trip“ at the end.
But before that it gets more placid again with the smooth, folky, slightly prancing Landscapes on the Sky, enjoying the listener with a dreamy children's melody accompanied by an acoustic guitar and psychedelic organ and chimes at their best which make clouds in the sky and lambs jumping around on the meadow come to mind. Finally, the instrumental Last Exit to Pluto comes up with appropriately more "sinister", mysterious and spacy sounds. Again, MARGIN free themselves from obvious examples.
With Psychedelic Teatime MARGIN have created a masterpiece of solemn Psychedelic, which also retro- and neoproggies might like.«
Christian Rode (9/2014)
Classic Rock (Germany)
»Wait and have a cup of tea.
Obviously there is someone who is madly in love with the Pink Floyd of the late Barrett, early Gilmour phase. That someone's name is Lutz Meinert, who invites you to PSYCHEDELIC TEATIME that he as a host has arranged almost single-handedly, only partially supported by a backing singer and an acoustic guitarist.
The name of the mutual project is "Margin", which starts the party in befitting with the 23.5 minutes five-act piece "A Mysterious Cup of Tea". Although Meinert leads a drug-free life, there's no question that there's an ingredient in this tea that makes Justitia wave with the Narcotics Act, and if the matching cookies will be served, you should not drive a car any longer.
Margins's teatime dance is spheric-fascinating and progressive, the descending vocal melody in the opener is pure early Floyd. In between there are virtuoso to meditative acts. After that it comes to the point somehow more heartily with "Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip", but still pretty spacey and non-aggressive. By adding the corresponding "Long Trip" and "Landscapes on the Sky" and "Last Exit to Pluto", the whole package is completed: Almost 57 minutes, which would have suited Pink Floyd much better than the too thickly applied ATOM HEART MOTHER. 1970? 2014? It doesn't matter. People always will drink tea.«
Uwe Schleifenbaum (7/2014)
Compact Disk Services (Scotland/UK)
»2014 PSYCH/PROG MASTERPIECE
In the true traditions of our skills in the art of finding new bands that play music in the styles of the real class acts of the past, we can now present you with a great piece of Psychedelic Progressive Rock from the new German band MARGIN, and it’s available exclusively in the UK for now from CDS Towers!
Is there life after PINK FLOYD? It's a long-pondered question, but one that to some extent could be answered by ‘Psychedelic Teatime’, the debut album by Berlin based Psychedelic Prog project MARGIN!
Certainly the spirit of (early) PINK FLOYD blows though many parts of this album, but not only that, because the breeze of time has also picked up the sounds of early Canterbury Psychedelic Prog legends and CDS favourites CARAVAN along the way. For this I cite the band’s classic 2nd and 3rd albums, namely: ‘If I Could Do It Again… I’d Do It All Over You’, and the outstanding: ‘In The Land Of Grey & Pink’ as being influential on: ‘Psychedelic Teatime’, mainly due to the organ arrangements and some of the vocals. The same innocent charm that exists on CARAVAN’s ‘Grey & Pink’ LP is evident here in the tuneful instrumental work[...].
75% of ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ is instrumental, and it’s from tightly executed guitar, keyboards, bass and drums in the main, with some additional acoustic instrumentation used in places. Where there are vocal parts, these songs are good too, with strong, memorable choruses that hook you in right from the word go! The music never gets overly heavy, with the emphasis being on relaxed melody and high quality playing!
Special mention has to be given to the archive Mellotron sounds used on the album – they have a “raw” authentic feel that gives the impression that there is an older model of the instrument in use, with slightly worn tapes and motors in need of a service, but that only adds to the enjoyment of MARGIN’s music and helps give it that late 60’s/early 70’s period feel that it so clearly emanates. However, despite all the comparisons and the significant genre influences, MARGIN keeps his autonomy by moulding Psychedelic Rock with Progressive Rock into a homogenous and unique sound.
Having listened to ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ several times, it really is hard to believe that the core instruments on the album are all handled by just one man, with additional assistance from two other members, so here is the complete MARGIN line-up: Arne Spekat (acoustic guitar), Carola Meinert (background Vocals) and Lutz Meinert (lead & background vocals / Mellotron / organ / synthesizers / guitars / bass / drums / percussion and all other instruments).
Here’s our track-by-track rundown…
The five-part twenty-minute+ suite that is: ‘Mysterious Cup Of Tea’ opens the album to the sounds of drifting kaleidoscopic guitar patterns set over a bed of soft keyboard textures, then as plodding drums are added to the mix, a melodic echoed guitar sings out a melodic tune. An equally melodious organ passage follows and the whole feel becomes very much like a languid PINK FLOYD classic that is relaxed, yet exciting at the same time. After a spacey exit, ‘Part 1’ cross-fades and takes us drifting into the 2nd Part where another equally languid FLOYDIAN-like acoustic guitar introduces the first of several vocal parts on the album, and it’s played out in an attractive, lightweight, relaxed style with “trippy” harmony vocals, organ and acoustic guitar providing the backdrop. They even drop in the line “a saucer full of secrets sounds” as if to reinforce the already clearly evident PINK FLOYD influence. Added vibraphone sounds, flute and electric guitar bring extra tonal coloration to the hazy picture and then a lone plodding drum sound moves the track through to ‘Part 3’ where electric piano and deep, resonant bass transports us into a new place where it felt like I’d landed right in the middle of an instrumental passage where CARAVAN & FLOYD were jamming together in relaxed psychedelic bliss. Then, as the sound of fretless bass comes in, an old friend arrives on the scene – the MELLOTRON – in flute form at first, then after an electric guitar solo and the first appearance of a high-ish register synthesizer solo, it morphs into its familiar string sound where more fretless bass runs and electric guitar top everything off in real style, sending shivers down the listener’s spine as it goes. Electric piano runs then re-appear, this time in a slightly jazzy formation, and the track has now built-up a much more powerful sound as the electric guitars sing at their loudest and prepare to crossover into ‘Part 4’, where the guitar and synths continue with a hazy melodic score for the next vocal passage to return, but still in very relaxed mood. Another cross-fade brings in ‘Part 5’ where a new high register melodic guitar/synth combination solo backed with waves of symphonic keyboards and Mellotron string textures takes over, then draws to a close to the sound of distant VCS3 cosmic ripples.
‘Psychedelic Underground – The Short Trip’ opens at pace with guitar and synth motifs flying beside the sounds of driving bass and drums. This melodic track sounds a bit like ELOY with lyrics that are quirky and a chorus that is catchy in the extreme, and some great stretches of pure Mellotron strings giving a time period feel to the song. If there were to be a “single” lift from the album, this would be it!
‘Landscapes On The Sky’ opens with a short, simple vibraphone/electric piano tune (a bit like - I think - the intro to a track from FLOYD’s ‘Animals’ album). When the song gets going, the vocal has a real sense of sixties innocence to it and again there is an attractive chorus to enjoy. It’s not long before you notice the organ lead, which sounds very like early CARAVAN, coupled with accompanying Mellotron strings. Strummed acoustic guitars lead into the track’s central instrumental passage with the organ taking the lead over the colourful sounds of oscillating electronic tones and thin layers of Mellotron and other keyboards textures, and ends with what sounds like a Balalaika playing over Mellotron strings – all very “trippy” and beautiful man!
‘Last Exit To Pluto’ clocks in at just under eleven minutes and comes in on a long fade-in, and, as per the hint is in the title, we are in a kind of outer space scene man J. A bass line intros the main theme, which is a very simple yet haunting one. A vibes melody line joins the bass, and then the drums slowly enter the mix, gradually building the main theme, layer upon layer. At just past the two-and-a half-minute mark a threshing electric guitar comes in for a few lines, quickly followed by a sombre Mellotron passage and there is an overwhelming sense of mystery and intrigue surrounding this gradually growing piece. The electric guitar chords re-emerge from a cloud of synth strings hovering high overhead with a combo of organ and percussion and a myriad of other special effects flying through the airspace. CARAVAN-esque organ comes in and improvises with the melody line for a while before Mellotron choral voices bring a new texture, then a choppy electric guitar theme set over Tron strings takes over and leads the track on towards its final moments with rolling drums and bass keeping thing tight all the way through.
‘Psychedelic Underground – The Long Trip’ enters with a fade-in of striding bass and drums and after it settles in to a flow, the echoed ELOY-ish vocal arrangement of the earlier 1st part starts up. Spiralling and swooping synthesizer effects start to fly around in the background amid washes of sweet string synths as well as the wailing Mellotron variety.
As the halfway mark approaches, a high-register electric guitar comes sailing in over extended Mellotron strings and improvises over the steady driving beat of the bass and drum rhythm section. As layers of raw sounding Mellotron choral chords come and go in the mix, the final vocal refrain is delivered, then the sound becomes an instrumental psychedelic soup of electric guitar and keyboards that eventually closes on an audio high, leaving just a few seconds spare at the end for the bass line that started it all to flutter around and fade.
The trip is now over!
In conclusion, MARGIN’s ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ has captured the sound and feel of late 60’s / early 70’s Psychedelic Pop and Progressive Rock perfectly, and by melding the essence of the quoted influential genres and artists, they have given us a highly enjoyable glimpse into the past from their unique sound perspective of the present day.
If the summery quirkiness of CARAVAN’s ‘In The Land Land Of Grey & Pink’ and the laid-back Psychedelic feel of PINK FLOYD’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ did it for you, then ‘Psychedelic Teatime’ might just be your ideal audio companion for the hazy, lazy hot days in the summer of 2014!«
Dave Shoesmith (7/2014)
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (Netherlands)
»MARGIN, out of Berlin, is the brainchild of Lutz Meinert who not only writes all the music and lyrics, plays all the instruments, records, mixes and produces the album but also paints the album artwork. No doubt if you order a CD from the band he will also address the envelope and walk to the post office to get it to sent out to you! However, it is not exactly a one man operation as Meinert is joined by Carola Meinert who sings backing vocals on two songs and Arne Spekat who provides acoustic guitar, also on two songs. As one of those songs is the 23.5 minute A Mysterious Cup Of Tea his role is not as minimal as it might seem.
OK, let's face the elephant in the room, there is no getting away from it, Margin obviously have a great fondness for the early years of PINK FLOYD, particularly the era between 1968 and 1971. This most evident from the keyboard sounds used which are straight from the palette of the greatly missed Rick Wright who, let's face it, was the defining sound of the FLOYD in the early days. However, this is no pastiche, no pseudo-tribute band work out, but strong original material. The FLOYD similarities are most evident in the instrumental parts of Landscapes On The Sky, the only track to feature all three of the contributing musicians, and parts of Last Exit To Pluto. But in both cases, particularly the latter (some of the organ work on 'Landscapes' is perhaps more of a direct 'borrowing'), the material has its own identity. Most of the album is actually instrumental, with vocals only present on two parts of A Mysterious Cup Of Tea, both the long and short trips of Psychedelic Underground and Landscapes On The Sky. The vocals, which have perfect English diction and sound surprisingly like PAUL ROLAND, another psychedelic troubadour, are pleasant and gentle giving the tracks a quite laid back atmosphere.
Indeed, the whole album is quite understated, this is more cerebral psychedelic music as opposed to wild, in-your-face freakouts, although there are moments that get the adrenalin flowing. And what is more, it is truly excellent stuff. The A Mysterious Cup Of Tea suite is well put together and flows along nicely with different moods and atmosphere in each section with vocals not appearing until Part 2 with the giveaway lyrics Look at this cup of tea, it's turning to a cup of sea with some islands. A saucerful of secrets sounds deep from an unknown ground, up to the highlands it resounds. Part 3 has some lovely fretless bass and some nice fluid guitar work leading into a spate of keyboard solos, including a dash of Mellotron here and there, gradually building before relaxing into the vocal reappearing on Part 4 and ending on a freakout, albeit a relatively restrained one, on part 5. An overall great song!
Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip is essentially the first part of the 'Long Trip' that closes the album, in days gone by it would no doubt have been labelled as 'the single edit' and, in all honesty, it would have made a decent single with a catchy chorus and melody with a lively air that could get more than the odd foot tapping. The lyrics once again refer to 'saucerful of secrets' as well as that trippiest of children's books Alice in Wonderland. The Long Trip version expands on the vocal section adding plenty of Mellotron effects but keeping a strong bassline groove that drives the music along. The arrangement, as on all the tracks, is exceptionally good and Meinert has achieved the effect of a band jamming around together, leaving each other plenty of space to add in their contributions. As well as being a sucker for vintage keyboard sounds I am also a fan of good drumming, and Meinert provides plenty of both, indeed his drumming is frequently more exciting than what many established drummers provide.
As previously mentioned, Landscapes On The Sky does feature a lot of Wright-style keyboards but this is not the main reason why I find this song the most appealing on the album. The acoustic opening is as good as song as Paul Roland, whom I also greatly admire, could come up with. The whole song has a veil of mysterious innocence about it, Spekart shines throughout and the harmonised chorus with both Meinerts' voices is a delight; a perfect summer song. Finally, Last Exit To Pluto takes us, much as the title suggests, into the realm of space rock, although no comparisons with the likes of HAWKWIND should be drawn! A long, quizzical intro sets the scene largely dominated by an insistent bass riff. Gradually more instruments are introduced (including some lovely crisp drum beats) whilst maintaining a languid dreamy atmosphere. As we move further into the track a harder, more aggressive edge is adopted and plays out nicely through the end of the tune.
With flourishes harking back 45 years to the end of the 1960s but incorporated into a more modern setting, this debut album by Margin offers a lot to the listener. Of course, most immediately it will be fans of early FLOYD who will latch onto it (at least those that don't take umbrage at anyone daring to try replicate the music of their heroes, irrespective of intent) but there is plenty on offer.«
Mark Hughes (10/2014)
»Congeneric: Pink Floyd, Camel, Anthony Phillips
[...] The studio project of singer/multi-instrumentalist Lutz Meinert (band-member of FOR YOUR PLEASURE and others) offers a stylish tribute to the spheric-progressive music of the 70s, as it is celebrated by the above-mentioned acts. Organ sounds reminiscent of early Eloy can be heard in the first track, sounding a bit like the opener of David Gilmour's first solo album in the further course. The piece is one of the five parts of 23-minute "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea", which features dreamy guitar arpeggios à la Anthony Phillips and reminiscences of the early Pink Floyd.
"Psychedelic Underground" (long and short version) approach the Psych in a winking way. The exciting arrangements of the multi-layered instrumentals "Last Exit To Pluto" makes you listen repeatedly. Cool. The strongest piece is the atmospheric-psychedelic "Landscapes On The Sky" with its fine (acoustic) sounds and its refreshing amusement. Those who like progressive music with some psychedelic splashes of color, this album is worth getting without any worries.«
Joe Asmodo (7/2014)
»With the sprawling, five-part A Mysterious Cup of Tea that opens the disc, clocking in just shy of 24 minutes, it becomes pretty clear that MARGIN’s biggest influence is post-Barrett, pre-DSOTM FLOYD, in a big way. This sidelong cut nicks the sound palette of the back side of Atom Heart Mother or Meddle without any shame, even recalling Roger Waters’ vocals to a degree, adding some additional stylistic variation in the guitar solos and bass riffage that might remind of same period CARAVAN.
So who is MARGIN, anyway? From the album credits, it almost seems like the Berlin based project is pretty much the work of one Lutz Meinert, responsible for all the compositions, arrangements, and production, with a little help from Carola Meinert (backing vocals on two tracks) and Arne Spekat (acoustic guitar on two cuts); everything else on the album, plus the lead vocals is Lutz.
Things shift gears a bit after that lengthy opener, and Psychedelic Underground (presented here twice, once in a succinct 3:36 version, and again as a nearly 11 minute version as the album closer) provides a bit of a lift into a more upbeat space-rock realm, and Landscapes on the Sky is probably the high point of the entire disc, launching with a muted vibraphone sound, following up with an interesting acoustic guitar rhythm and excellent vocal harmonies, all with a main melody that will surely find a place in the listener’s memory. The remaining track, Last Exit to Pluto, is a very lengthy and spacy instrumental that fits somewhere between all the rest of what’s here: a little More FLOYD, a little bit early TANGERINE DREAM, with some rock outbursts to add color and power to the proceedings.
All taken though, with MARGIN we are definitely caught in that late-sixties / early-seventies proto space rock place. Enjoy!«
Peter Thelen (10/2014)
»From the opening strains of this disc you could almost swear swear that Psychedelic Teatime is a newly discovered PINK FLOYD artifact from the past. But this German trio Margin has produced a new pre-DSOTM PINK FLOYD album without being PINK FLOYD. Make no mistake, this is not a cover band, nor is Psychedelic Teatime a tribute album.
The 24 minute opening track A Mysterious Cup of Tea, in five parts, is a mixture of instrumentals and vocals much in the style of Meddle. The intro immediately made me think of Echoes and the music is a perfect aural interpretation of the cover art. There are even some jazzy influences along the lines of San Tropez. In Part 2 there is the lyric phrase “a saucerful of secrets” that lends a new meaning to the words. Eerie Richard Wright style Hammond organ phrases appear from time to time, and the great guitar work is similar, but not the same as Dave Gilmour.
After this long piece, the music abruptly changes to an upbeat, non-Floydian pop-psych song Psychedelic Underground– The Short Trip. A much longer, stronger, and progressive reworking of the song closes the disc. In between is the outstanding Landscapes on the Sky that begins with a vibraphone and acoustic guitar and builds to a beautiful and trippy psych jam paying homage to A Saucerful of Secrets. The other track is Last Exit to Pluto that starts slow and ethereal, much like something you would hear in a David Lynch movie. Over its 11 minutes it builds to an aggressive Floydian climax.
This is an excellent release and I hope to hear much more from Margin in the future.«
Henry Schneider (10/2014)
»Just wait and have some psychedelic tea! That's what MARGIN delivers the ingredients and the soundtrack for. The quite impressive solo project debut does not only half of the job: "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea" (what could have been in there?), which opens the tea ceremony, invites with gentle acoustic guitars and vocals as well, but escalates on a shimmering spinet and lyrics like "A Saucerful of secrets deep sound from on unknown ground" up to a very well made contemporary adaption of the sound of the early PINK FLOYD or even ELOY.
Band and label boss Lutz Meinert not only played all instruments including stunning fretless bass, authentic sounding analog keyboards and voluptuous singing lead guitar (except the acoustic guitar on two of the tracks, which was contributed by Arne Spekat). He also is responsible for all lead vocals, with the assistance of Carola Meinert's background vocals in two pieces. Ah yes, also the album artwork was done by Lutz.
Our recommendation: "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea, Part 3" or "Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip", which has some allusions to "Alice In Wonderland" (for example, by listening to the the first or fourth [Spotify] Surf recommendation).
Who can let himself in for the solemn narrative style of this almost 57 minutes lasting tea hour, may find himself changed in the end - relaxed, refreshed, strengthened.«
Klaus Reckert (9/2014)
GoodTimes Magazin (Germany)
»This band comes from Berlin, and the title of their debut album leaves no doubt about the genre their music belongs to. The pivotal element of MARGIN is Lutz Meinert, who provides both for the vocals and almost all of the instrumental realization.
Psychedelic Teatime straightaway starts with a 23-minute psychedelic prog-rock trip called A Mysterious Cup of Tea, which is divided into five sections presenting the whole range of MARGIN's spectrum. From playful pop the music wanders through nested prog to spheric soundscapes, they merge melodies and by combining New Age elements, hard guitar riffs and Floydish structures they create their very own special sound.
They give their longtracks enough time. Apart from the five sections of the first track there is only one other track that is shorter than eight minutes.
It is also important to listen to this album as a whole and in a concentrated manner. Those who listen only to portions or misuse the music as an ambient soundtrack, won't discover the magic of this disc.«
Ulrich Schwartz (9/2014)
Highlands Magazine (France)
»MARGIN is the project from the player of many instruments, Lutz Meinert, featuring two guests, one of which being his wife from an otherwise quite discrete choir, the other being Arne SPEKAT on acoustic guitar, who is more obvious. The most significant work coming from Lutz, the lead singer, playing all the instruments, also responsible for the cover art, the production and the arrangements. Lutz has played in numerous groups from Berlin, from jazz rock to progressive rock, like CAMEMBERT, KEEX etc, all of which have come to an end.
Over time, the super-talented artist has put aside unfinished songs, of which the lengthy "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea", divided up into five parts, with an approximate duration of 24 minutes. His main influence is PINK FLOYD, adding to that, KING CRIMSON, CARAVAN and JETHRO TULL. The flagship title brings us back to PINK FLOYD, but Lutz is not looking to imitate Dave Gilmours's guitar sound, PINK FLOYD being more represented through keyboards, really showing off Rick Wright's skills. Lutz is also not looking to imitate Gilmour's voice, his vocal style matching the rather mind-blowing music very well, of which Mellotron is an integral part. The cup of tea is poured by way of leaving straight away, we hear a Rick Wright piano, then a truly mind-blowing guitar sound is added together with the keyboards, which only heighten the emotional force of it all for the 1st instrumental section. The acoustic guitar then makes its entrance, mixed with Lutz's completely delicate voice, over a sound of hazy keyboards, the music recalling CARAVAN, because of the use of the organ, blended with a JETHRO TULL influence.
The 3rd section draws very close to "Atom Heart Mother". The Mellotron resonates, joined by a very contemporary electric guitar sound, before an acoustic interlude, while Lutz unveils his vocal stamp, rather alluding to the style of Roger Waters. The 5th movement revisits the elements of the 4th, again with a great electric guitar backdrop, then we exit feeling satisfied as it all ends. It all alternates and balances between two musical trends, both taking it in turns to be astounding and dreamy and then melancholy.
"Landscape on the Sky" is driven by the bass and the Mellotron, with the return of the CARAVAN-esque lunar organ for a divine moment, still a piece very well assisted by Lutz's drumming, while a balalaika intercedes. "Last Exit to Pluto" moves closer to Krautrock, also nearing the PORCUPINE TREE circle of influence. "Psychedelic Underground" is available in 2 versions, a rather short acoustic version, played using vibes, the second being more lifted with very beautiful vocals, the Mellotron which gives authenticity, this piece unveiling an undeniable pop side, and particularly sacred, catchy rhythmics.
Lutz is a remarkable musician, and MARGIN does not present itself as a PINK FLOYD copy, but rather as a real hope for the international prog rock scene, for that matter, I raise a cup to it. A revelation which comes along just at the right time, with the release of an album of unreleased PINK FLOYD songs expected for October, with Rick Wright's participation.«
Jean-Pierre Schricke (10/2014)
Jerry Lucky (Canada)
If you know anything about me, you know next to Prog I’m a huge fan of Psychedelic Music. So when I got an email from Madvedge Records about the band MARGIN I had to check it out. Turns out the band is a studio project created in 2012 by Madvedge label boss Lutz Meinert. Having played in the progressive music scene in Berlin since 1979, Psychedelic Teatime is their debut recording – and what a fine disc it is. The nine compositions offer up just under an hours’ worth of music that hearkens back to mid-period PINK FLOYD but then offers up so much more. This is music that straddles the psych-prog transition years and in many ways spotlights both genre’s exquisitely.
The more I listen, the more I hear how lovingly crafted these compositions are; from the thin reedy organ sounds, the Mellotron sounds, the melancholy acoustic guitar strumming and of course the dreamy vocals. It’s magic! The album opens with the five-part A Mysterious Cup of Tea [23:32] and it’s a brilliant example of just how accomplished this music is. Lutz handles the drums, keyboards and lead vocals, while guitars are provided by Arne Spekat and background vocals are by Carola Meinert. That’s it, just the three of them and yet the music created is grand and majestic in so many ways, shifting time and tempo, structure and arrangements ever so smoothly creating some amazing musical moments, building to breathtaking crescendos interspersed with the obligatory haunting spacey transitions. It’s fantastic stuff that successfully blends the spacey experimental music of the psychedelic era and mixes it with the more structured and symphonic approach of the early progressive rock era.
I know it was released in 2014, I only hope they’re working on new music because MARGIN has become one of my favorites. Highly recommended to fans of that mid-period PINK FLOYD sound.
Jerry Lucky (3/2016)
Mały Leksykon Wielkich Zespołów (MLWZ = "A Small Lexicon of Great Bands") (Poland)
»We have a really nice surprise from Berlin. A psychedelic surprise! The album "Psychodelic Teatime" does go into rock, or even art-rock with strong elements of psychedelics and space rock. These styles don't dominate, however, to the extent they do on the albums of groups like HAWKIND, CARAVAN or GONG. It is more like the style of music you'd hear on PINK FLOYD's earlier albums, for example up to "Atom Heart Mother". This cult album is probably the best stylistic indicator of the type of music you can hear on this record.
It includes a 23 minute track entitled "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea" made up of five parts which are smoothly linked together. This is followed by four shorter tracks. One of these shorter tracks - "Psychodelic Underground (The Short Trip)" - is just three and a half minutes long. It returns, however, in the album finale in a much longer version (over 10 minutes long) which is suitably entitled: "Psychodelic Underground (The Long Trip)". Between them there is also an acoustic track called "Landscapes On The Sky", which is based on the sounds of a 12-strong guitar and Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett themselves would have been proud of, as well as an instrumental version entitled "Last Exit To Pluto". It's mysterious, dark and dense with the cascade of sounds, heavy from the psychedelic atmosphere permeating all around. And it's the multi-layer track we've already mentioned that links all the elements of MARGIN's sound: psychedelics, space rock, acoustic art rock and atmospheric progressive rock.
MARGIN is actually a one-person project. That person is Lutz Meinert, who composed, arranged, recorded and mixed all the material (57 minutes) which makes up "Psychodelic Teatime". His only help came from Arne Spekat, who plays acoustic guitar and the singer Carol Meinert (his wife? sister?) who helped Lutz occasionally with the vocals. On the album you can clearly hear the musical spirit of the late 60s and early 70s. Meinert has managed to perfectly recreate the atmosphere of the flower power era. In his music you can clearly hear his fascination with the sound of PINK FLOYD, there are mellotrons, Hammonds, interesting vocal harmonies, great melodies and a captivating atmosphere. And all of this was created by just one person! Respect, Lutz!
ELOY, GONG, OZRIC TENTACLES, GENESIS, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, PHIDEAUX, and of course PINK FLOYD… these are the artists I think about whenever I hear "Psychedelic Teatime". Oh those old sounds fully of great references to modernity! ... Was it really 1970? Or 2014? People will always drink tea. But only a few will feel its psychedelic flavour. Listen and try for yourself. It's worth it!«
Artur Chachlowski (10/2014)
»The debut release from Berlin based psychedelic prog project MARGIN titled Psychedelic Teatime covers much ground between old and new progressive and psychedelic rock. Flowing together, developing melodies with sounds and noises that are wonderfully fuse together, the spirit of 70’s prog shines through with a unique modern flare.
I first heard this release on progstreaming.com, a site dedicated to featuring full length progressive rock albums. While I primarily focus on high-resolution releases, I was intrigued by the quality of their recording, even when listening at the low 128 bit-rate, and got a copy for review. Naturally the compact disc version offers a drastic improvement, but still comes along with the constraints of the format. As is common with compact discs, the top end is edgy, but less so than many other releases I have heard.
The overall mix is very clear, each instrument stands out very well within the mix. The bass guitar is compressed and punchy while complementing the remaining instruments very well. Drums are very tight with close mic placement producing little room ambience allowing for studio effects to add mass and depth to their tone. Keyboards and guitars draw from both the 60’s and Neo-prog textures, each laying their energetic trip throughout the album. Much has certainly been learned since the days of psychedelia, especially when it comes to limiting the abuse of plate and spring reverbs that drowned some releases in that era. With radical improvements in technology, artists like MARGIN have been able to express themselves much better with an arsenal of tools that don’t detract from the music.
Missing however is some of the bizarreness of the writing loved by fans of psychedelic rock. Instead, MARGIN has taken a more direct and accessible path that surely has found a larger fan base. The album gently brings the listener in with the opening track A Mysterious Cup of Tea, which is the first section of a five part piece with epic prog written all over it. Soaring and occasional searing guitars are played a top a steady rhythm that peaks and twains with thunderous tom tom hits. An acoustic guitar follows as the second part begins, evoking the classical and folk sides to progressive rock. The keyboard sounds hark back to the 70’s, and the vocals crisply fall over the music. Clearly the members of MARGIN are fans of prog rock legends PINK FLOYD, which becomes very evident as the third part continues. The classic heartbeat bass and kick drum are overlaid with synths and scorching guitars which extend into a jazzy segment before settling back to the pieces melody and vocals in part four. Closing out the five part piece in good form, dynamics are kicked up a few levels nearly leading to head banger volumes, only to slowly fall off quietly ending with slowing drums and synth pads.
The remaining four songs take a more direct path that leans heavily towards rock, sing the words Psychedlic Underground several times on Psychedlic Underground - the Short Trip. The tempo has picked up hastening the listener through the song, followed by a more complentiative piece. Neo-Prog fans will find delight on the eighth track Last Exit to Pluto. With its modern rhythms and choice of synth patches, along with good dynamics and excellent use of digital reverb, this is the exit you’ll want to take. Psychedelic Teatime closes with a reprise of Psychedelic Underground - the Long Trip, which justly wraps up a fantastic debut release from MARGIN.
I really would love hearing a high-resolution version of this release, since the recording quality is very good. I found no distortion, other than what was purposely added, plus this is a very well balanced disc. The compact disc is housed in a tri-fold gatefold cardboard sleeve with notes and great cover art. Sure you can get an MP3 version, but believe me, the CD is worth it! Strongly recommended for progressive rock fans and lovers of psychedelic music.«
Wesley Derbyshire (11/2014)
Metal Temple (international)
»MARGIN is a psychedelic progressive rock studio project of Berlinian multi-instrumentalist Lutz Meinert - founded on 2012. Lutz Meinert has been throughout the late seventies up to the early two thousands in several Berlinian Progressive rock bands - notable is progressive rock project FOR YOUR PLEASURE - with Georgios Zikidis - with releases like Scattered Pages and Timeless. Outside of music - Lutz is also known by his other occupations - among them are Visual Arts - specifically are his galleries of Abstract Paintings made digitally. Huh, finally I can make my knowledge of my high-school art studies into use.
Starting this album and sitting back - I could swear that I found a PINK FLOYD record that was hidden from everybody’s ears for fourty years. But yet - Lutz Meinert was able to create a new pre-The Dark Side of the Moon-esque album without being it being too much PINK FLOYD. A Mysterious Cup of Tea fronts the album - being just shy of 24 minutes - it is divided to five parts. Its gives a good imprint of its Meddle influenced vibe with some taste of jazz in the stew. Tracks Psychedelic Underground - the Short Trip and Psychedelic Underground - the Long Trip remind me of the old, comforting vibe of British Prog-Rock - being light, happy, bouncy, atmospheric - even poppy. Landscapes on the Sky is a definite homage to A Saucerful of Secrets - Builds up from its intro with the vibraphone and the acoustic guitar to a big and beautiful psychedelic trip. Last Exit to Pluto start like an eerie soundtrack to a noir film that build up slowly throughout its length to a more aggressive yet fusionistic jazz ending.
Throughout the album you can hear that this album has its focus on Lutz’s main tools of his profession - the drums and the keyboards - Even though the guitars and bass have plenty of moments to shine, they serve only a role of support to the overall theme.
In conclusion - the quality of Lutz’s musicality and production compliment the record and make it a very fun and pleasant album to listen to. Maybe it doesn’t cover any new grounds, but I don’t think it was the purpose either - this album aims a certain direction and it successfully strikes it’s goals. If you want a psychedelic record to take you off your feet on a nostalgic journey - be sure to pick up Psychedelic Teatime.«
Gil Lecht (1/2015)
Music in Belgium (Belgium)
»We are in the world of the sorely missed Syd Barrett with this German group, who revitalise the great tradition of psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. Lutz Meinert, Carola Meinert and Arne Spekat, today are artists from this new plunge into the past, and this great period's very own ambience, synonymous with excessive drug-taking, great musical inventiveness without limit, with the intention to create psychedelic rock. A trend which kicked the norms into touch, and which gave birth to groups, such as Pink Floyd, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, THE GRATEFUL DEAD or THE DOORS. These groups, with lots of smoking going on, and with an abundance of flowers, developed this musical wave, which today still influences many musicians.
It's Lutz Meinert who is positioned here as a thinker, writer and player of many instruments, to handle this project, geared towards paying homage to this great period, and to all these magnificent artists. An ambitious project, which brings together psychedelic rock and experimental music, for a journey to the heart of the sixties and fantasy. In the same way as the album from the Argentinian GARDEN MUSIC PROJECT, this album MARGIN, perfectly transposes us to the great psychedelic period, thanks to very beautiful work using synthesisers and guitars. The singing and the choirs soothes our minds, and brings us peace and richness. Let our mind wander through this joyous flight, which closely rubs shoulders with the time of ambience.
Only speaking about one musical wave would be totally limiting, and therefore progressive rock and alternative rock also have the right to sit within a sometimes varied, strange, captivating, but perfectly mastered group! Here, Lutz Meinert creates a fabulous composition piece, all while respecting the spirit of the period. More experimental, more elevated, and also more current, the Margin album is my personal favourite of the two releases. Perhaps because the shadow of the great band GENESIS is felt many times, and because the musical result appears more delicate to me. An album to own however it comes, it's down to you to make your choice!«
Musiker Magazin (Deutschland)
»A pot of psycho-active tea is what MARGIN offer to us. Their opus named Psychedelic Teatime is roaming around the fields of psychedelic Prog. The founder of the studio project, singer, keyboard player and drummer Lutz Meinert, is experienced and well-known in the Berlin prog-rock and fusion scene.
Arne Spekat, who also has been a member of FOR YOUR PLEASURE, provided his contribution to the opus on the acoustic guitar, while Carola Meinert added her voice to the background of Psychedelic Underground and Landscapes On The Sky.
A five-part psychedelic trip in the form of the first track A Mysterious Cup of Tea awaits the listener. Varying, filigreedly produced, not cluttered. An electric guitar, a dominant bass, organs rush trough changing themes and recover themselves within quieter pictures. Considering all the ingredients of this tasty, although quite spherical album, the early PINK FLOYD don't seem to be far. The extraterrestrial 10+ minutes song Last Exit To Pluto shows where the journey can go when you rise high. The uptempo Psychedelic Underground carries some more wieldy and catchy inspiration. This project leaves no doubt: the pot won't be empty for a long time.«
Christian Schöning (10/2014)
»MARGIN is the work of Lutz Meinert, the German singer and multi-instrumentalist. Well-known in the Berlin Landernau musical (sic), he is accompanied for this, and on certain songs, by Arne Spekat, his bandmate in the group, FOR YOUR PLEASURE - with whom he has recorded two albums, Scattered Pages (1993) and Timeless (2000), also on the Madvedge Records label - together with Carola Meinert, his wife who adds her beautiful wispy voice...
He does everything in this work: composition, arrangements, playing, production, artwork (the splendid painting, on which the cup of tea appears positioned on the inlay, this is still Lutz)...
I didn't know Meinert's work, and it is thanks to Progstreaming (let's pay homage to the quality of this site, which allows you to make great discoveries), that I've been able to hear this MARGIN album, of which the title and inlay have attracted my adventurous eye! And my word, we are truly in the most successful prog psyche that we can hear at the moment. Fans of PINK FLOYD (from the Syd Barret period until Atom Heart Mother), CARAVAN (the In the Land of Grey and Pink album), ELOY, GONG, HAWKWIND, even PORCUPINE TREE's early albums and so on, Krautrock connoisseurs, you are going to be overjoyed by listening to this zesty platter of music.
It gives a nod right now to PINK FLOYD, when today we hear the latest album from the group... And so, to say this bluntly, with this Psychedelic Teatime, we behold what is done best in the genre: the inspiration from the end of the sixties / beginning of the seventies, without being a carbon copy, nor exacerbated nostalgia. MARGIN, it's retro-modern, it has one foot in the MARGIN (a glance towards being up to its eyeballs in it), and the other, well and truly in its copy, it's block-structured, it's inventive and classic, it's a prototype and neo!
And this begins with a cup of tea that is served to you on a Yessian background to the Relayer, before a FLOYD-like softness comes to titillate your ears: Mysterious Cup of Tea. Part 1 is a sweet instrumental which links onto - logically - to a Part 2 in order to thrill. Close your eyes over the acoustic guitar and the initial coupled lines of singing, does it remind you of something? Yes, we have found PINK FLOYD, they who made experimental and psychedelic music before becoming a monster, swollen by their success. Even the wording makes reference to them, quoting Saucerful of Secrets! The music, like the wording, carries out off far, far away: it's truly well-infused, this mysterious cup of tea...
A return to the instrumental for Part 3 and there, it is completely the bass of Waters and the keyboards of Wright that we thought we were hearing. All parts played by Meinert are perfect, and he isn't bad at the drums either, this bloke. The piece, very soft-prog rolls out calmly with the intervention of a sublime fretless bass which itself floats in solo mode. The various constructions and interventions follow each other, without going on for too long, it's full of small subtle things, instant clichés. We realise that this single part of Meinert musical culture is impressive. We travel between genres, between references (CARAVAN also appears here).
Part 4 makes a coda to the second part with the return of the singing section. By no means being an exceptional vocalist, Lutz wholeheartedly gives his all. Everything is positioned, worked, without excess, letting emotional fragility of the words and a gentleman to be expressed. This fragility is exacerbated by Part 5, a short instrumental which is a bit annoying, the organ and the Wright-esque keyboards take things in hand and finish by taking us into our psychedelic appreciation.
A change in register with Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip. This time, it's rather pointing towards GONG, not the jazz-rock variant, not the zany and spatial side. The voices are perfect, and the construction of the lines which are sung, all like the quality of the lyrics are at the very height of musical prowess. Meinert really has a touch, it's mind-blowing... all while seeming so simple! The piece is concluded by one: "Oooh, what a trip!" - hilarious, surprising and the best effect.
Landscapes on the Sky sees the return of Arne Spekat's acoustic guitar and Carola Meinert's singing. A CRIMSON mellotron is brought to the party, and the poetic wording ends by making you float over a lovely chorus, backed by Spekat's beautiful guitar and Lutz Meinert's keyboards. A truly splendid piece.
With Last Exit to Pluto, we are given an instrumental which exceeds ten minutes, and which will keep you stuck to your seat if you are not already. We leave for Pluto, through music, on board a space rocket, piloted by a bass, which recalls Waters once more. But, we leave straight away towards a strange construction, worrying sounds, an almost post-art-rock experiment, without an unnecessary boasting, all retained and varied. And it's the ghost of PORCUPINE TREE which comes to soar over the piece, the KING CRIMSON mellotron also. Meinert excels in varying atmospheres and instruments, everything with a flawless balance. The arrangements, the mixing and the production are perfect, the piece takes flight softly, and we take off from our seat without needing any added extra, man-made or natural, legal or illegal. With minor details - just like psychedelic FLOYD - Meinert is releasing a superb piece to us.
And to conclude, there you go, he drops to us the prolonged return of Psychedelic Underground - The Long Trip this time! This returns in the most beautiful way with his reminders of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Saucerful of Secrets, and space adventures, like with GONG or HAWKWIND. Meinert frees horses and ends by convincing us through a final perfect fall into BEATLES-esque territory, from the proto-prog period... Damn, my teapot is empty!
This MARGIN album is a lovely discovery. In the clutter of CDs being released, being more or less expected - and in part, finally, relatively deceptive - Psychedelic Teatime merits its place, one of the best, and in its discrete but effective approach, could forge ahead with a beautiful retro-pschye, which is absolutely modern.
In any case, I, I'm going back to the kitchen to get myself a new cup of this divine beverage, and if only the contents of this soft Old Toby remain for me now, its steam is giving off the most gentle of scents...«
Togo Chubb (10/2014)
»The very first observation is the pristine sound, something Berlin has always been rather famous for within and beyond the prog universe, it hits you right from the very first relaxed notes of the 5 part suite "A Mysterious Cup of Tea", a sweeping epic example of psychedelic space rock of the highest order.
The opening Part 1 is all instrumental luxury and showcases one-man band Lutz Meinert's talents on all matter of instruments, especially the liquid guitar parts, the flamboyant acoustic versions as well, utilizing various keys with delectable delight, the languishing organ sweeping forward nicely and particularly crisp piano parts that give the sound a sublime sheen. It must be noted that the bass work all along is absolutely first rate, as well as the terrific drumming throughout. Hints at Swedish proggers Grand Stand come to mind, though in more space rock vein.
Part 2 introduces Meinert's playful voice, actually closer to Xavier Phideaux, Gong's Daevid Allen or even Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds. But it's all in the details, as the melody is enticingly soporific as the words 'A saucerful of secrets' are uttered with little guile, delicate vibraphone over ornate acoustic guitar and pastoral flute, this is world class stuff. Floydian organ (sounding like a Farfisa) seeps through the haze leading into the marvellous nearly 7 minute Part 3, where the electric piano, a punchy bass and jazzy hyper electric guitar meet in harmony, almost like a spacy version of Stealy Dan, held together by some stunning drum fills, hey, man, this guy can play! Moody expanse for an enchanting and LONG fretless bass solo that will knock your Pastorius head off. This is one of many highlight moments that I needed to re- listen often as I just could not believe my ears. My kind of space rock, all in all luxuriant, defiant and inspirational, conducive to the loftiest dream cycles possible. Again, the instrumental playing is technically superb and emotionally spot on.
Part 4 is a brief vocal reprise of Part 2 and as such, plays well into the epic formula of returning themes and melodies. Hey, there is nothing wrong with his voice, slightly accented perhaps. Ja, und? Part 5 introduce a rifling organ and potent drum rolls that resonate lovingly, slashed by a Hackett-ish guitar and a colossal symphonic bombast. An entirely convincing piece, once again underpinned by some rock-solid bass playing. Medicating, lush and adventurous, this is definitely a voluptuous ride into the cosmos.
Things really point towards the Gong pot head pixies with the short version of the "Psychedelic Underground", a remarkably catchy hook that you swear you have heard before, propelled by a reptilian bass, snake guitar phrasings and a charming voice, slightly accented that has that Pet Shop Boys tone, no doubt as well as that Ian Broudie-like candied trippyness. "OOOOH, what a trip!" is how this lil ditty ends. The longer version will seal the fate of this album later.
But next up is the more complex bardic tale of "Landscapes on the Sky" which really revive the Allen-Smyth vocal duet of Gong fame, fueled by a trilling organ, utterly pastoral trappings and thus oh so charming, visions of coming and going kingdoms in some celestial expanse. The elongated theme is melodically supreme, effortless and atmospheric, taking its sweet time for maximum effect. This is psychedelia after all, no time for editing and taking shortcuts. The mushroom mellotron clouds and seductive mandolin finale is simply spectacular and vivid.
The highly evocative stud bass guitar grabs the leather leash, pulling a sorceress piano along, a perfect example of simple doom and gloom in the most minimalist fashion, morphing into a heavier torrent, guitars slashing and the basso profundo bullying forward, this time the mellotron in tow. Sorry, guys, this is killer stuff, so full of self-possessed power and haunting imagery. The 10 minute+ "Last Exit to Pluto" is a space prog classic, lovingly crucifying any Ozric Tentacles or Gong fan, armed with a chirping organ solo spot that again hints at jazz-rock tendencies. But it's that devilish 4 string monster that gets my blood boiling and perspiration on the upper lip area. A deliberate guitar solo screeches and moans, fluttering from one emotion to the next, early King Crimson-like mellotron cascading in and out of the cadence (pun?). Ga ga ga!
You liked the short version, well here is the longer one! A 10 minute+ version of "Psychedelic Underground" is given a quasi Hawkwind treatment, a lively 'good vibrations' cosmic voyage where the bass shuffles, the drums attack and has a red rooster guitar pecking away at the mad hatter. This is toxically addictive, humming this as the dominating bass just goes cuckoo and the drum shudders insanely amid the mellotron washes. Damn fine music, this! It is a rare event in prog when a 10 minute tune can be so accessible and memorable, seared on your brain all day as you hum "Psychedelic Underground", big smile on your face.
Funny this as the instrumental parts are definitely Space and the vocal ones clearly Neo-prog, but who the hell cares when music is this accomplished and pleasurable, the labels can all vanish in the blink of an eye. A big surprise that really rocked my world. But when the fetish bass entices, teases and satisfies, I will always be a slave to your pleasure. Really excellent!«
Thomas Szirmay (8/2014)
Progressive Newsletter (Germany)
»The title of the debut album of the Berlin trio MARGIN doesn't promise to much: "Psychedelic Teatime" starts with the faint sound of pouring a tea, after which the psychedelic colored music fluently and slowly starts gathering way. The five parts structured, 23-minute opener "A Mysterious Cup of Tea" takes its time and space for a gradual build of atmosphere, while instrumental parts and vocal passages pursue the psychedelic spirit of the late 60s and early 70s, extending it melodically by symphonic and retro elements.
As a creative mind behind Margin, in the first line there is multi-instrumentalist Lutz Meinert, who not only composed, arranged and produced all titles, but also contributed the extremely congenial album and cover design. He is accompanied by Carola Meinert (background vocals) and Arne Spekat (acoustic Guitar).
Primarily the music lives from its slowly increasing and evolving atmosphere as well as from some long instrumental journeys that sometimes have a little jazz rock or blues coloration, but also start for progressive areas or stop by space rock. Thus, although the album is labeled „psychedelic“ outside, you don't find only "psychedelic" inside, and also the name PINK FLOYD mentioned for advertising purposes, only describes a certain mood and content orientation.
You can hear Margins own inspiration, which relies on pleasant harmonies and polyphonic atmosphere, especially in the more lively, sprawling passages with increasing rhythmic drive, as well as in the wonderful interaction of soft, elegiac keyboard and shimmering guitar sounds gaining format – the latter not necessarily based on David Gilmour. As to that, let me quote the last words of the song "Psychedelic Underground - The short trip": "Oh, what a trip!"«
Kristian Selm (9/2014)
»Genre: Early PINK FLOYD, CAMEL and CARAVAN.
Margin is a solo project of musician Lutz Meinert, who is supported here by Carola Meinert and Arne Spekat. The music is reminiscent to the early phase of PINK FLOYD, especially to the album "Atom Heart Mother". However, I can discern also quotes from CAMEL and CARAVAN, which the whole album benefits from very well.
That is fine prog sound, which revives the music of the early 70's using new recording techniques and providing a great sound. Syd Barrett could have acted as godfather of "Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip".
On the whole, this is an exciting album for the friends of interesting music. Those who have missed the atmosphere of the early 70's are served well here and it once again brings to my mind how interesting music has been at the heyday of prog.
I personally would like to hear more of this kind, simply well-made prog.«
Werner Weiler (7/2014)
Rock-Station Over-Blog (France)
»MARGIN is the work of one single man, as it happens, this is Lutz Meinert, singer and multi-instrumentalist. For his first concept album, he is nonetheless surrounded by two quality musicians. Carola Meinert, who lends her beautiful voice to Psychedelic Underground and Landscapes on The Sky and Arne Spekat on the acoustic guitar on A Mysterious Cup of Tea and Landscapes on the Sky.
Lutz could be a member, in his own right, of the David Gilmour-era PINK FLOYD, as his music is close to that of the British giants, putting aside the highly Psychedelic Underground - the Long Trip. I only needed two listens to be fully seduced by this ambitious album.
Best titles: A Mysterious Cup of Tea, Landscapes on The Sky, Psychedelic Underground - the Long Trip«
»Basically, the Berlin Psychedelic project MARGIN founded three years ago is the only child of Lutz Meinert, who previously could attract attention with some progressive/fusion bands such as FOR YOUR PLEASURE. "Psychedelic/Progressive Rock of the early seventies" is announced, which „could be interesting not only for fans of PINK FLOYD“.
But, dear Lutz Meinert, why should you hide behind FLOYD? Of course "Psychedelic Teatime" in its wide arches and with the progressive reminiscences to Messrs Gilmour and Wright quotes the British prog legends, but offers much more than just another FLOYD clone: namely a colourful journey through musical landscapes from the late sixties to the early eighties.
However, friends of the 'pure' Psychedelic Rock doctrine should know, that Margin - the multiple use of the text line "a saucerful of secrets "is treasonous – recalls the psychedelic pop of the Crazy Diamond. In the lively three-quarter time of "Landscapes On The Sky" sometimes even clearly folky elements may shine through.
In both versions of the "Psychedelic Underground" the merrily purling scenery even recalls the „wavy“, slightly psychedelic-inspired synth-pop of THE BUGGLES and, later on, other projects of Geoff Downes. Lutz Meinert, who was responsible for composition and production as well and who played nearly all instruments himself, serves plenty of pastry for „Teatime“.
The highlight is of course the five part "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea", which - supported by Arne Spekat – delivers finest Progressive Rock well over twenty minutes. Here we find the mentioned Gilmour and Wright quotes, which are all played by Lutz Meinert, especially beautiful in „Part 3“. He's even got Roger Water's typical growling bass at his fingertips. The vocals remind me of the Berlin multi-instrumentalist Roine Stolt – not the worst reference at all... However, I would like to Carola Meinerts' vocals to appear more clearly (e. g. in multiple voice arrangements), because they add a pleasant warmth to all vocal parts she is involved.
Whether this is a 'Progressive Teatime' or rather a 'Psychedelic' one, each listener may decide for himself – this one-hour tea party was a most pleasant surprise in either case. However, it might be some kind of a challenge to bring Margin on stage - at least in this formation - but maybe this isn't their intention anyway...«
Steve Brown (8/2014)
Sea Of Tranquility (USA)
»MARGIN is a one man psychedelic/space rock project from Berlin, Germany. The project is led by multi-instrumentalist Lutz Meinert who plays all the instruments except for a couple of guest spots where his wife Carola Meinert adds background vocals and Arne Spekat plays acoustic guitar on a couple of tracks.
When I first read the album title I thought of that species of mushroom that can alter reality. I know you know what I'm talking about. So, just how 'psychedelic' is this album? Well, if you enjoy late '60s and early to mid '70s FLOYD you should love this release. When I delved into the music another thought crossed my mind – just how impressive it is that essentially one musician created this album. There are so many layers of sound here and as a listener I really enjoyed immersing myself in the music. Meinert uses a myriad of synth, keyboard and Mellotron drenched soundscapes to create his psychedelic backdrops and to top it off adds exceptional guitar work throughout as well. Whether it's a delicate arpeggio or strum of an acoustic guitar or soaring Gilmouresque leads, his axe slinging ability cannot go unnoticed. More than half of the album is instrumental but when the vocals do show up they really work well. Meinert has a pleasing, laid back singing style and overall quite catchy. At times his voice reminded me of Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon.
The jewel of the album has to be the five part epic A Mysterious Cup Of Tea that begins this cosmic joyride. Beautiful builds, soaring lead guitar (ala Dark Side Of The Moon), lovely organ fills, plaintive acoustic guitar, pastoral flute passages, well, you get the picture. The mix of gentler passages and motifs and heavier psychedelic bits is just about perfect. The rest of the album is shrouded with the same psychedelic haze whether it's the mellow Landscapes on the Sky led by orchestral swells of Mellotron strings or the spacey Last Exit to Pluto with its gradual build of sonic delights.
Psychedelic Teatime is another wonderful discovery in what is turning out to be another strong year in progressive rock. MARGIN is certainly high on my list and will be a project to watch out for in the years ahead«
Jon Neudorf (11/2014)
»The album of this Berlin band was already published last June, but for mysterious reasons has only landed on my desk now. MARGIN comprises the fusion musician Lutz Meinert, who has also invited his wife Carola and Arne Spekat, his old band mate from FOR YOUR PLEASURE times, to his psychedelic teatime. Fundamentally one is at home in progressive rock/old-style art rock, thus: the psychedelic list is, true to the title, not insignificant. The hour-long musical "booze cruise" essentially can be divided into two parts: the 24-minute title track and the rest.
A Mysterious Cup Of Tea - again split into five parts, from the beginning is undoubtedly reminiscent of PINK FLOYD in the late seventies and early eighties. Lutz Meinert's voice sounds somewhere between Roger Waters, Syd Barrett and Paul Roland; unobtrusive, yet at times quirky and mystical - even the Saucerful Of Secrets is cited at some point and the lyrics are evocative of Alice in Wonderland, and not at all by chance. Instead of simply copying PINK FLOYD, ALAN PARSONS PROJECT or SOFT MACHINE, MARGIN creates a unique long track with a definite idiosyncratic charm, which is jazzy in parts 3 and 4 and evokes the rock phase of PAT METHENY.
The second part of the album firstly comprises the song Psychedelic Underground, which emerges in two versions: The densely atmospheric Long Trip is naturally preferable to the Short Trip in its single length, even though both versions are completely justified alone with their lightheartedly flaky refrain and the driving groovy rhythm. In Landscapes On The Sky the Canterbury vibe kind of shimmers through, sometimes so much that the song almost sounds British. Acoustic guitars, strings, Hammond vibrato and wonderful duets from Mr and Mrs Meinart refine this rather minimalist, free-floating track. And... did I even hear a mandolin? In the instrumental Last Exit To Pluto in its experimental, open editing, one has the feeling that KING CRIMSON would create an ambient effect, unfortunately without achieving the latent madness. For eleven minutes the listener glides serenely and relaxed towards the outer solar system, and it is not without reason that one sometimes also calls that "Space Rock", in this case however increasingly "Krautrock".
MARGIN are making headway with this record as a refreshingly unpretentious piece of music, which is initially quite modestly placed in the background among all the technophile "Frickel-Helden" and the smash hit making mega sellers, but ultimately scores points with some fresh ideas (or rather: fresh implementations of old ideas). Besides, Lutz Meinert is not just a multi-instrumentalist who played everything himself apart from the guitars, vocally he could pass as a Berlin version of PAUL ROLAND. A secret tip, that hopefully no one will keep, and refreshingly colourful soundtracks not just for progressive listeners!«
Mike Seidinger (3/2015)
This is the debut album from this German band. A trio with two men and one woman, no less. But the music sounds a lot bigger than that.
I have heard rumours about this album for a while. That it was a something special, something great from Germany. So I bought it.
It is not easy to label this album. It got tonnes of influences from neo-prog, Canterbury prog and psychedelic rock. The basis is PINK FLOYD though and they expands from there into the three above mentioned genres. There are several very catchy and jazzy Canterbury rock parts here. The album starts of as a neo-prog album though before it really branches off into Canterbury and psychedelic rock. Take CARAVAN and PINK FLOYD. The music is also really laid back with Mellotrons, guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. The use of both female and male vocals here is really great.
The sound and ambience here is really great too. So is the tracks which is really great. They got this mix of elegance and naive innocence which I find really attractive. A big plus to the Mellotron sound too which I find refreshing.
Psychedelic Teatime is one hour of great music and I cannot recommend it highly enough.«
Torodd Fuglesteg (11/2014)