rock formation from the city of Gouda who started as Light Formation.
They were Joop Slootjes (bass guitar), Adrie Vergeer
(keyboards), Sjaco van der Speld (drums) and Gerard
Steenbergen (guitar). Under the name Light and with the addition of
Hans de Bruin (saxophone, flute) they recorded one album in 1972,
The story of Moses. On this album they were assisted by
guitarist Hans Hollestelle (who later played in the fusion
formation Spin) and bass player Guus Willemse of
Solution. They were given the opportunity to record an album, by winning a contest organised by french label Barclay.
The music was composed by Vergeer and the concept and lyrics were made by a friend of the band: Henk van Rookhuyzen.
During the recordings Slootjes left and his duties were taken by Willemse. As a permanent replacement John van der Helm was recruited.
Drummer Sjako van der Speld would later produce the album by Avalanche.
The story of Moses
Hans Hollestelle: Electric guitar
Guus Willemse: Bass guitar
Marian Schatteleyn: Voice
Robbie Dale: Voice
Produced by Bert Schouten
Recorded at Phonogram studios, Hilversum
LP Barclay 748003 (1972)
LP Brain Metronome 1013 (1972)
CD Estrella Rockera 42129 (2006)
Long before there was a term like Christian Prog Rock, Dutch Formation Light recorded and released this album with it's biblical background. As a matter of fact it is a concept album, doing exactly what the title suggests: It tells the story of Moses, who is said to have led the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land, Canaan.
The story is told from the moment when little Moses is found floating in his basket on a river by a daughter of the Pharaoh, thus the album starts with some watery sounds, leading to the intro of 'The water' with an organ that sounds very much like a real church instrument. This gives way to a very melodic piece where Adri Vergeer makes his mellotron, keyboards and organ sound like a whole orchestra, all in all giving the theme for the first parts of the album. There is even a bit of quite heavy drumming by Sjaco van der Speld.
On the way to the second title we hear Vergeers organ and Gerard Steenbergen on acoustic guitar, the music sounding a bit Moody Blues-ian. The voice of Marian Schatteleyn gives us the first vocal impression, when she's telling where Moses got his name from. Quite heavy dutch accent, she has, while the singer - I think Vergeer - doesn't give away his country of origin so easily as his vocals in english don't give a hint. He tells the first part of the story in song.
Then a bluesy guitar intro opens 'The Blackberry Bushes'. During this song there's sort of a Santana-esque part with all sorts of percussion, Hans Hollestelles electric guitar and Vergeers organ, getting jazzy soon when Hans de Bruin kicks in with his saxophone, the band reminding of Colloseum. This leads into another vocal part with Robbie Dale telling about the burning bushes. The rest of side one of the album is dominated by Greenslade-ian keyboards.
Side 2 opens with 'White turns into black', there's a lot more of Vergeers organ, the bass leading the band into a piece that could stem from fellow countrymen 'Ekseption' or 'The Nice' accompanied by flute. This leads to 'The nuisances' with - I'm quite sure - Robbie Dale telling about the plagues God sent (rain, hailstorms, frogs etc.) and the band giving a short acoustic impression of the nuisances. 'The desert' and 'The red sea' follow and have an arabian touch (or maybe it's just what a european thinks of as arabian) with de Bruins saxophone defining the mood.
Unfortunately the vocal performance is a bit weaker on side two. Also the ending is a bit abrupt and leaves you with the feeling, that there's something missing like a closing piece.
I sometimes think that 'Light' were just a bit too early or too continental european for bigger success, which they certainly deserved. Although I've mentioned some other bands they are not plagiarising anybody, my mentioning them was just for comparing. I personally would have loved to hear more from the band Light.
'The Story Of Moses' may not be a masterpiece, but I consider it well worth for Prog-afficinados.
(Joerg Aberger, Progarchives)
Their concept album dealt with Moses and other subjects from
the Old Testament. The spoken and sung parts are directiy
connected to the scripture. Musically this is in the tradition
of Focus and Emerson, Lake & Palmer with high-flown instrumental
passages (highlighting the organ of main composer Adri Vergeer)
derived from classical music and (to a lesser extent) jazz-rock.
This works most purposefully in the opening overture but is at
odds with the surprisingly shallow pop attitude of the vocal
parts. For this reason the album doesn't hang together in its
entirety, even if certain instrumental parts are enjoyable. The
album was recorded in Holland but only released in Germany on the
legendary Brain label.
(D. E. Asbjørnsen, Scented Gardens Of The Mind)
This album sprouts directly from the treasure trove of Dutch prog rock, although it took a Spanish label to finally release it on CD. The music is inspired by the great classic composer Bach, but in contrast with bands like Ekseption (for example) they don’t copy a famous piece of work but instead create their own compositions. Light not only plays classical, they do rock. A whole bunch of instruments are being used besides an impressive array of keyboards, acoustic guitar, bass, sax, flute and drums that make up their complex sound. Extensive improvisation on guitar and organ in “The Blackberry Bushes” kicks this band into action. They can also do a totally unexpected switch from classical to jazz. Nothing spectacular, but more a thoroughly well made and played, very enjoyable lyrical prog
rock. The master tape must have been lost or the Spanish
couldn’t get their hands on it, because this is a transfer from
a good sounding LP. A welcome re-release.
(Roel Steverink, Expose)
Originally released in France as a single sleeve. Shortly thereafter it was licensed to Brain / Metronome in Germany and issued as a gatefold. Printed on the label itself (my copy is on Barclay), and in the liner notes which contains the band's history, the group is actually known as Light Formation. Musically this is a grand scale attempt at interpreting the Biblical story of Moses. The vocal / narration segments recall the similarly minded Salamander of "Ten Commandments" fame. Fortunately most of the album is instrumental, with most of the musical sections handed over to the organist who does a splendid job of melodic soloing. Concerning the instrumental sections, same era Earth & Fire comes to mind. Plenty of flute, guitar, bells, etc... to augment the keyboards. A fine album, and the gatefold Brain version of the cover would make for a wonderful Japanese mini-LP.