Dutch band Downriver Dead Men Go plays introspective melancholic music that is deeply influenced by post rock bands. Downriver Dead Men Go is on the atmospheric side of post rock. Although I wouldn’t call them a full blown progressive rock band, they do have elements that recall Pink Floyd.
Tide features dark songs and instrumentals. I find the sorrowful songs a little repetitive after a while. Meanwhile, the instrumentals are more captivating with well-crafted progressions and mesmerizing ambient electronic work. Highlights include “Walking Away”, “The Ghost of Caitlin”, “Undertow” and the atmospheric work in “Stone in My Heart.”
The lineup includes Andy de Zeeuw on drums, Gerrit Koekebakker on guitars and vocals, Fernandez Burton on bass, and Gijs van Rijn (then came the flood) was brought in on keyboards and soundscapes.
The complete lineup for the 2016 progressive rock festival Progressive Circus in 2016 is now available. The Swedish event will feature iconic British band IQ along with one of the finest Scandinavian bands, Anekdoten. The rest of the program includes Atlas, Me and my kites and Soniq Circus. The festival takes place April 9, starting at 15:00 at the Slagthuset in Malmö.
IQ will be celebrating 35 years as a band with their first headliner visit to Scandinavia. The group will present material from its critically acclaimed 2014 album “Road of Bones“.
English progressive rock band Renaissance rose was founded by vocalist Annie Haslam and principal songwriter and guitarist Michael Dunford joining at the beginning of the 1970s to define their work with folk rock and classical fusions.
After extensively touring and popularity in the UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, France, Belgium, Portugal and Israel, the most influential progressive rock stations in the US picked up on the band’s unique musical sound and introduced them to fans in the United States of America.
The band has played on the world’s most distinguished stages, from Carnegie Hall in New York City with The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to the Royal Albert Hall in London with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Over the band’s lengthy career they have recorded fifteen albums. Despite explorations into solo careers and changes in the line-up Haslam and Dunford remain the creative core of Renaissance.
In 2009 Renaissance embarked on a special 40th Anniversary Fall Concert Tour in 2009 to re-introduce to new generations the lush, orchestral favorites that made them a staple of 1970’s progressive rock radio. Joining Haslam and Dunford in Renaissance were keyboardist Rave Tesar and bassist/vocalist David J. Keyes, both of whom were previous members of Renaissance and the Annie Haslam Band.
Renaissance released Grandine il Vento in 2013, reissued in 2014 as Symphony of Light with bonus tracks. The album became a tribute to Michael Dunford who passed away in 2012.
With a new lineup, Renaissance performed many of its classic at The Union Chapel in London UK on April 16, 2015. The concert was filmed by Paul Green Productions, with lighting by Russell ‘Tigger’ Matthews. The concert was released in 2016 on a DVD titled Renaissance, “Live at The Union Chapel. The lineup in 2016 included Annie Haslam on lead vocals, Rave Tesar on keyboards, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on acoustic guitars, Leo Traversa on bass, and Frank Pagano on drums.
* Prologue (Sovereign/EMI (UK); Sovereign/Capitol (USA), 1972)
* Ashes Are Burning (Sovereign/EMI (UK); Sovereign/Capitol (USA), 1973)
* Turn Of The Cards (BTM (UK); Sire (USA), 1974)
* Scheherazade And Other Stories (BTM (UK); Sire (USA), 1975)
* Live At Carnegie Hall (BTM (UK); Sire (USA), 1976)
* Novella (Warner Bros. (UK); Sire (USA), 1977)
* A Song For All Seasons (Warner Bros. (UK); Sire (USA), 1978)
* In The Beginning (EMI (UK); Capitol (USA), 1978)
* Azure D’Or (Warner Bros. (UK); Sire (USA), 1979)
* Camera Camera (Illegal (UK); IRS (USA), 1981)
* Time-Line (IRS (UK); IRS (USA), 1983)
* Tales Of 1001 Nights – Parts 1 & 2 (Warner Bros (UK); Sire (USA), 1990) Da Capo Repertoire (Germany), 1995)
* ‘Live’ At The Royal Albert Hall – Parts 1 & 2 (King Biscuit/BMG (USA), 1997)
* Songs From Renaissance Days (HTD (UK); King Biscuit/BMG (USA), 1997)
* BBC Sessions (Wounded Bird (USA), 1999)
* Day Of The Dreamer (Mooncrest (UK), 2000)
* Unplugged ‘Live’ At The Academy Of Music (Mooncrest (UK), 2000)
* Tuscany (Toshiba EMI (Japan); GEP (UK & Europe); Friday Music (USA), (2000)
* In the Land of the Rising Sun ‘Live’ in Tokyo (Toshiba EMI (Japan); GEP (UK & Europe) Friday Music (USA), 2002)
* http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F9WIAU?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001F9WIAU | Dreams And Omens ‘Live’ at the Tower Theatre (Friday Music (USA), 2009)
* Scheherazade And Other Stories • plus DVD (Friday Music (USA), 2010)
* The Mystic and The Muse • EP (Hybrid Recordings (USA), 2010)
* Special Limited Edition Live CD/DVD (2011)
* Grandine il Vento (Symphonic Rock Recordings, 2013)
* Symphony of Light (Red River Entertaint, 2014), reissue of Grandine il Vento with new tracks
* Academy of Music 1974 (Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra Records, 2015)
* DeLane Lea Studios 1973 (Purple Pyramid Records, 2015)
Swedish jazz-rock band Oddjob has recreated traditional folk songs related to herding and transformed them into contemporary jazz pieces. There are barely any visible folk music elements aside from the brief field recordings of herding calls.
The music resolves around the outstanding fiery interplay between the trumpet, saxophone and piano supported by creative drumming and bass lines. There are also exquisite laid back occasions like tracks 3 and 7, titled simply “Folk #3” and “Folk #7”.
The lineup includes Peter Forss on acoustic bass, Per “Ruskträsk” Johansson on saxophones, bass clarinet and alto flute; Goran Kajfes on trumpet and modular synthesizer; Daniel Karlsson on grand piano and Crumar organ; and Janne Robertsson on drums.
Oddjob delivers beautifully crafted jazz pieces inspired by traditional folk music.
In 1970, the brothers Shulman founded progressive rock band Gentle Giant. Derek was the lead vocalist and played alto sax and bass, Ray sang and played bass and violin, and Phil handled the saxophone and added vocals. The rest of the band included Kerry Minnear on keyboards, who came straight from the Royal Academy of Music. Gary Green, a musician with a blues background, became the guitarist. Martin Smith was on drums.
Malcolm Mortimore replaced Martin Smith in late 1971 and was Gentle Giant’s drummer for the “Three Friends” album. John Weathers joined the band in 1972 and was the drummer featured in the “Octopus” album. The European edition of “Octopus” featured artwork by Roger Dean while the USA edition showed an octopus in a jar design created by Charles White.
Gentle Giant’s use of complex classical chord and time patterns, together with rock, blues, jazz and Early Music melodies and themes, set them apart from other progressive rock groups of their time.
Playing the Fool, the band’s official live album, was the last progressive rock-era album. Like other progressive rock acts, Gentle Giant switched to a pop direction in subsequent albums.
Live At The Bicentennial , released in 2014 contains live recordings made at Calderone Theatre and Hempstead, New York in 1976.
British musician and producer Steven Wilson remixed Gentle Giant’s “The Power & The Glory” in 2014 and “Octopus” in 2015. The Steven Wilson remix of Octopus entered the BBC Rock charts at 34 in November 2015. “Everyone in the band is delighted to hear that the music that we created in 1972 seems to be even more popular in 2015,” said Derek Shulman, former lead vocalist and North American chairman of Frontiers Records. “To see Octopus in the top 40 is such a pleasant surprise. Steven Wilson remixed the music in 5.1 with his usual respect and care. All the Gentle Giant team especially want to thank the old and new fans for keeping the music we created years ago still vital today.”
The Whiskey Mountain Sessions contains a series of lengthy jams by Hillmen, a band that features two members of progressive rock band Djam Karet. These recordings made in a studio, but they were recorded live, without any overdubs. Although the band calls their still free improvisation, don’t think about hard to digest free jazz. Instead, Hillmen advance the music using blues, jazz-rock, psychedelia and progressive rock elements.
Hillmen use a mix of vintage and modern music instruments to develop their jams. The lineup on The Whiskey Mountain Sessions includes Pete Hillmen on drums, Gayle Ellett (Djam Karet) on organ and electric piano, Mike Murray (Djam Karet) on guitars, and Ralph Rivers on bass. Two guests appear on a handful of tracks: Steve Re on bass and Brian Carter on acoustic piano.
The Whiskey Mountain Sessions is a captivating demonstration of the progressive side of jam rock.
Dawn Treader by Chronotope Project is one of the best electronic music releases of 2015. Progressive Rock Central talks to multi-instrumentalist and composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen, the artist behind the project.
Why did you name your current endeavor Chronotope Project?
The term “chronotope” was coined by the Russian philologist Mikhail Bakhtin, from the Greek words for time (chronos) and space (topos), and refers to their confluence in works of art and literature. It felt like an ideal descriptor for the music I compose, which has strong reference points to spiritual, literary and mythological/ archetypal memes. There is an additional sense of the transcendence of space and time, an endeavor to discover and express the universal which lies behind particulars.
What drew you to music?
I’ve been a musician all of my life, starting at the age of eight, when I began cello studies with my grandfather. When I was young, there was always music playing in my family home, mostly classical. I longed to know where it came from, what it was, how I could be a part of it. I cannot remember a time when my head was not filled with melodies, rhythms, and musical gestures. Although I am also dedicated to language, philosophy and literature, music begins where words fail, emotionally moving, intellectually stimulating, connecting directly with the body. Music is my lifetime lover, an unfailingly inspiring muse, the water in which I swim.
What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
My style, while still falling roughly into the ambient or space music genre, might more accurately be described as “contemplative art music.” Form figures more prominently in my work than in the generally more diffuse, stream-of-consciousness pieces of my fellow ambient composers (not a criticism–I love much of this type of music as a listener). You can find many classical forms present in my work: theme and variation, passacaglia, rondo, sonata. Increasingly, I have been tightening up on form and relying less on pure texture or ambience.
In my current phase of creative work, I am making pieces with relatively complex, almost orchestral textures. As to elements, there is frequently an underlying sequenced ostinato figure, an element of “fire,” scintillation or almost molecular quickening. This lends some suggestion of the Berlin School style to the work.
The “earth” element (besides its selective appearance in acoustic and sampled percussion) is established with a foundation in the bass, presented either with a layered drone or a bass line suggesting the underlying harmonic progression. This may be felt as a slowly undulating shift or oscillation between stable and unstable tones of the tonic.
Harmonic sonorities floating over these bass tones, painted with various layered pads, are frequently colored with suspended fourth or unresolved seventh and ninth chords. These kinds of harmonies evoke mystery, and a feeling of searching or longing in the composition.
My melodic lines commonly develop in very long, slow phrases, with substantial “breathing” between them. A second or third line often plays in counterpoint, weaving common melodic motifs in dialogue with the central melodic voice. These constitute, together, what I think of as the “water” or emotional element to the piece.
The element of air or ether appears with the atmospheric textures that surround and permeate all of these other layers. These textures vary from natural soundscapes, such as wind and water, to more abstract synthetic ambient sounds that identify the work in the ambient electronic genre.
Who can you cite as your main musical influences?
Individual composers who have been deeply influential include Erik Satie, Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Maurice Ravel, Arvo Pärt, Ralph Towner, and J.S. Bach. Various world music traditions have also informed much of my music making, including Indian raga, traditional Japanese music, West African rhythms, and Balinese gamelan, to name a few. Over the years, I have made a fairly considerable study of musical scales and modes as they appear both in Western and non-Western musics, and these inform a good deal of my compositions.
Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.
An early acoustic /electronic album was “Vanish into Blue” (1992). This eclectic album bridged new acoustic, world and space music styles, and featured acoustic cello, sax, tabla, and silver flute as well as an array of electronic instruments. It was featured several times on Hearts of Space and received very favorable reviews. I composed for, arranged and recorded two albums with the acoustic ensemble Confluence, “Sanctuary: Romances for Guitar and Cello,” and “Amber Moon.”
While these albums also involved a certain amount of synthesizer sweetening, they were primarily acoustic. I played cello, recorders and keyboards on these albums. I also gained some facility with production techniques and mixing, as I was the primary recording engineer on these projects.
An acoustic / electronic CD of music I composed for the mask drama The Descent of Inanna appeared in 1998. This was an exploration into mythological / archetypal imagery that has become a persistent theme throughout my later work.
As Chronotope Project, I released four albums prior to signing with Spotted Peccary Music: “Solar Winds,” “Chrysalis,” “Event Horizon” and “Dharma Rain.” All of these recordings are available through CD Baby and Bandcamp, and continue to receive periodic airplay.
These albums have traced a progression from more traditional space music to the more eclectic and classically inspired style of the present, involving increasingly subtle use of texture, more counterpoint and other classical forms and procedures, and a more unified personal style.
Do you ever take your music to the stage or is Chronotope Project a studio concept?
At this point in time, Chronotope Project is strictly a studio-oriented proposition. Given the number of simultaneous tracks involved, I would be hard-pressed to recreate any of my compositions on stage. I won’t discount the possibility of another incarnation of my work that more readily permits of live performance, but for the moment, no real-time presentations are being offered.
You play acoustic and electronic music instruments. What instruments do you play and which do you like best?
Cello is my primary instrument, and will always be my first love in music. Ironically, it has played–thus far–a fairly limited role in Chronotope Project. I have a beautiful 1917 Steinway grand piano, which I love to play, and study regularly with a teacher. I also have a nice collection of flutes, recorders and Irish whistles, which do figure prominently in recent recorded works, as well as a Japanese thirteen string koto, the long zither which appears on one track (“Basho’s Journey”) on “Dawn Treader.”
I play a variety of hand percussion instruments, including djembe, frame drum, dumbek and the very versatile hybrid acoustic / electronic Korg Wavedrum.
Bells,Tibetan bowls, zils and chimes are also an important part of my acoustic toolkit, as I prize their crystalline tone and quality. I have been making increased use of the 24-stringed harpejji, an instrument akin to the lap steel guitar, played primarily by tapping on its frets. That instrument figures prominently in several releases to come.
What type of keyboards did you use at the beginning of your career?
My first electronic keyboards, acquired in the early 80s, were a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak, an Arp 2600 analog synthesizer, and a little later, a Korg T1 workstation (the only one of these vintage instruments I retain). I learned something from each of them, including elementary sound design, and each afforded me many hours of exploration and discovery. The Arp, in particular, required me to learn the basics of analog synthesis, as sounds are built up by connecting various modules with patch cords and adjusting knobs and sliders.
When digital synthesizers supplanted analog synths, something was gained and something lost, and the current renaissance in modular analog synthesis reflects a recognition of the remarkable versatility of these instruments.
When I have more cash on hand, I plan to put together my own modular rig. It’s tremendous fun, and appeals to my nerdy side, but the primarily, it’s the rich palette of analog sound that appeals to me now.
What keyboards are you currently using? Do you still have some of your earlier keyboards?
My flagship synthesizer is the Haken Continuum Fingerboard, which features a soft neoprene continuous-pitch playing surface and lends the possibility of much expressiveness to synthesizer performances. It is prominently featured on all of my recordings as Chronotope Project. But these days, most of my “keyboards” are virtual instruments, of which I have a great many. I do keep the Korg T1 mostly for its lovely weighted action, as well as a Yamaha S90ES, which also has a good feel, and many useful sounds as well. A Roland JV-1010 sound module provides a large variety of sounds and samples, and until just recently, I used an Oberheim Matrix-1000 for analog fattening.
And what type of effects or other electronic devices do you use?
All of my effects, too numerous to mention, are virtual now–no outboard reverbs, delays or compressors are in my rig. I do enjoy using a Korg “Kaosilator Pro” as a midi controller for various purposes, and employ a number of iPad apps as well.
How do you see the progressive electronic music scene in the United States?
It’s a mixed bag–both in terms of quality of work and diversity of style–and with the wide availability of outstanding production platforms and instruments, the various genres involved (IDM, ambient, electronic art music, etc.) are likely to diverge to the point at which the only thing they share is some of the means of production. It’s very hard to get perspective on something that is changing so rapidly, but it is an exciting time to be involved in electronic music.
Commercial radio and the mainstream music press ignore most electronic music except for electronic pop. How do you seek exposure for your music?
There are a number of outstanding radio programs and podcasts (such as Hearts of Space, Echoes, Star’s End, StillStream, Ultima Thule, and Galactic Travels) that feature ambient and electronic art music, several of which are widely syndicated and have large numbers of dedicated listeners. Exposure on these programs has widened my audience considerably.
Spotted Peccary Music, to which I have signed for at least six records, has a dedicated promotional team that makes and maintains contacts with radio producers, distributors and media, and does an excellent job of launching new projects and placing CDs in distribution.
At my end, the promotional work is more focused on social media and keeping my listeners informed through newsletters, and in many cases, personal letters.
Promoting this kind of music is not always easy or straightforward, but the listeners of this genre are highly motivated and do much on their own accord to stay informed. I communicate directly and personally with many individual listeners, and while this is more time-consuming than a “mass-media” approach, I value this correspondence very highly, and consider many of my listeners to be friends, not just faceless “fans.”
I would rather that my music connect very deeply with a few listeners than to have a huge fan base of casual listeners. Fortunately, this type of music cultivates very intelligent, immersive listening, and I have been richly rewarded for the time I have taken to address single listeners.
If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with whom would that be?
Brian Eno to produce. Robert Rich as a collaborative composer. Steve Roach for sound design and analog sweetening. Ralph Towner to teach me his harmonic language. The ghost of Erik Satie for spiritual advisor and drinking buddy.
Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?
My next album with Spotted Peccary Music is entitled “Passages.” This one is ready for mastering, and will be released sometime this year.
Other forthcoming titles with SPM are “Ovum,” “The Gateless Gate” and “The Cloud of Unknowning.” Substantial work has been done on all of these projects, to be released in roughly that order.
I am also planning a piano-based album, based on the musical language of Erik Satie, that will also feature cello and some electronic sweetening. This recording will be acoustic-oriented, and possibly appear on another label, depending on how well it may or may not fit into the Spotted Peccary array of genres.
This is the first two CD set released by ambient electronic music artist Dan Pound. This collection features remastered early works by Pound, made between 2004 and 2006, including considered a remastered edition of “Door Beyond Time.”
Dan Pound delivers a mesmerizing set of electronic soundscapes that combine ambient music atmospheres, shamanic tribal beats and world music elements.
“Return to other Worlds” is a fabulous collection of captivating atmospheric electronic music works by one of the finest musicians in the current scene.
Progressive rock legend, Steve Hackett is set to perform Genesis Classics (1970-1977) on Tuesday, April 19 at the Carolina Theatre of Durham. The set includes memorable songs like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Cinema show & more.
After a highly successful two years of touring worldwide with the Genesis Revisited and Extended shows, former Genesis guitarist and composer Steve Hackett is returning to North America to perform with his band.
In celebration of his new album Wolflight released in April 2015, and the 40th anniversary of the release of his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte, Steve Hackett will present a unique show of both Hackett solo and Genesis classics.
Along with pieces such as ‘Ace of Wands’ and ‘Spectral Mornings’ and a selection from Wolflight, Steve Hackett will conclude his two and a half hour show with more Genesis material that was not part of his previous Genesis Classics shows of 2013 and 2014. Epic songs like “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, “The Cinema Show”, “Can-Utility”, “Hairless Heart” and “The Musical Box” will be part of this spectacular tour.
Steve Hackett has released more than 30 solo albums in addition to the seven progressive rock classics he did with Genesis.
The tour lineup includes Roger King on keyboards; Gary O’Toole on drums & percussion; Rob Townsend on saxophones and flutes, Roine Stolt on bass & guitars; and Nad Sylvan on vocals.
Singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist Greg Lake is re-releasing his two solo albums “Greg Lake” (1981) and “Manoeuvres” (1983) as a 2-CD set.
The set includes four bonus tracks that have never been included on any re-issue of the albums, only on separate rarities albums.
The first album and its three bonus tracks include all of the members of rock band Toto with the exception of Bobby Kimball as Lake handles all lead vocals. Both albums also feature appearances by Gary Moore on guitar. The album’s booklet includes extensive liner notes.
Greg Lake is the co-founder of iconic progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson Lake And Palmer (ELP), and wrote the hit “Lucky Man” and co-wrote “I Believe In Father Christmas.”