All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero has been writing about progressive music and world music for many years. Publications include Eurock (USA), Marquee (Japan), and Nuevas Músicas (Spain). He founded the websites progressiverockcentral.com and worldmusiccentral.org. Angel also produced Musica NA, a music show for TVE (Spain) featuring fusion, avant-garde, world music, new age and electronic artists.

PFM Releases Marconi Bakery Boxed Set

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) has a new boxed compilation titled Marconi Bakery
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) has a new boxed compilation titled Marconi Bakery

Acclaimed Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) has a new boxed compilation titled Marconi Bakery (SonyBmg). The 3-CD set includes digital remastered versions of the original LPs Photos of Ghosts, L’isola di niente and The world became the world with 7 bonus tracks. The package includes a 60-page book.

The set will also be available in a 4-LP vinyl format.

Track listing:

Disc 1
1 River of Life
2 Celebration
3 Photos of Ghosts
4 Old Rain
5 Il Banchetto
6 Mr 9 ‘Till 5
7 Promenade the Puzzle
8 21st Century Schizoid Man (Live)
9 La Carrozza Di Hans (Live At Reading Festival)
10 Mr 9 Till 5 (Live)

Disc 2
1 L’isola Di Niente
2 Is My Face On Straight
3 La Luna Nuova
4 Dolcissima Maria
5 Via Lumiere
6 Is My Face On Straight (Live)
7 Cleveland Keyboard Jam (Live)

Disc 3

1 The Mountain
2 Just Look Away
3 The World Became the World
4 Four Holes In the Ground
5 Is My Face On Straight
6 Have Your Cake and Beat It
7 Four Holes In the Ground (Live)
8 La Carrozza Di Hans (Live)

Buy Marconi Bakery

Progressive Music Guitarist Markus Reuter Announces USA Tour

Markus Reuter will be on tour in the USA this Fall, after finishing two weeks tour with Stick Men in Europe (between October 11-23). Reuter will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his own project Centrozoon.

The American tour is a combination of live concerts, live radio shows and radio interviews.

Reuter’s most recent recording is Prog Noir with Stickmen.

Stick Men - Prog Noir
Stick Men – Prog Noir

Tour dates:

November 3 – WDIY/Bethlehem, PA
Radio appearance at Galactic Travels (with host Bill Fox) – 11:00 p.m.

November 4 – WPRB/Princeton, NJ
Radio appearance at Music with Space (with host Mike Hunter) – 12 midnight

November 5 – Mt. Laurel, NJ
Private show: Living Room Concert Series – time TBA

November 6 – WXPN/Philadelphia, PA
Radio appearance at Star’s End Radio (with host Chuck van Zyl) – 2:00 a.m.

November 8 – WLFR/Pomona, NJ
Radio appearance at Digital Dreams Radio (with host Mark Dickson) – 10:00 p.m.

November 9 – Charlottesville, VA
Live at IX Art Park – 8:00 p.m.

November 10 – Asheville, NC
Live at Living Room Concert / Streamside Concerts – 8:00 p.m.

November 11 – Charleston, WV
Live at Kanawha United Presbyterian Church – 8:00 p.m.

November 12 – Baltimore, MD
Live at (venue TBA, time TBA)

November 13 – Beacon, NY
Live at Quinn’s – 8:00 p.m.

November 15 – Philadelphia, PA
Live at The Rotunda – 8:00 p.m.
Event Horizons Concert Series
with special guests: Chuck van Zyl, Nocturne Blue

November 17 – Farmington, CT
Live at Edge Media Space / Farmington H.S. (Rm. 809) – 7:00 p.m.

November 18 – Bordentown, NJ
Live at The Cosmic Crossings
with Centrozoon and Nocturne Blue

November 19 – New York, NY
Live at Spectrum – 8:30:00 p.m.
with special guest Nocturne Blue

November 20 – WVKR/Poughkeepsie, NY
Radio appearance at Secret Music (with host Scott Raymond) – 11am

November 20 – Branchburg, NJ
Private show: Living Room Concert Series – time TBA

February 4, 2017 – Dallas, TX
Live at I Came for the Light and Stayed for the Shadows (time TBA)
With Nocturne Blue

Splendid Renaissance at Union Chapel

Renaissance – Live at The Union Chapel (Symphonic Rock Records, 2016)

What a beautiful concert! Pioneering symphonic progressive rock band Renaissance videotaped this concert at the stunning Union Chapel in London in 2015. The group is still led by founder Annie Haslam. Her longtime collaborator Michael Dunford passed away in 2012 so Annie Haslam, who has been living in the United States for the past years, has put together a band of outstanding American jazz and session musicians.

Annie Haslam’s five octave vocals still sound particularly beautiful. She has one of the finest voices in progressive rock history. Her live band delivers an exquisite performance. The band features two extremely gifted keyboardists, Rave Tesar on piano and keyboards and Tom Brislin on symphonic keyboards, synths and samplers. Bassist Leo Traversa gets several opportunities to showcase his talent, offering stirring jazz-infused grooves. The band also features Mark Lambert on delightful acoustic guitars and backing vocals; and the creative drumming of Frank Pagano.

This concert features a mix of classic Renaissance fan-favorites along with newer material. It’s truly memorable musicianship. On the final piece, “Ashes Are Burning” the musicians perform a series of solos and improvisations including a knockout synth solo by Tom Brislin.

The DVD is available in NTSC all-region and compatible with PAL DVD players and televisions.

Live at The Union Chapel is a remarkable performance by one of the great masters of symphonic progressive rock. Annie Haslam has found a formidable band and I look forward to more recordings by this talented set of artists.

Buy Live at The Union Chapel

VIII Strada’s Babylon

VIII Strada - Babylon
VIII Strada – Babylon

VIII Strada – Babylon (Fading Records, 2015)

Italian band VIII Strada seems to have two personalities, a fabulous progressive rock band with memorable moments and a hard rock band that has nothing new to say.their latest album, Babylon, features great symphonic progressive rock keyboards and vocals combined with hard rock and heavy metal guitars.

Unquestionably, the best work throughout the album are the keyboard solos and arrangements of Silvano Negrinelli along with Tito Vizzuso’s lead vocals.

The lineup includes Tito Vizzuso on vocals; Daniele Zigliani on guitars and backing vocals; Silvano Negrinelli on piano, keyboards, and backing vocals; Sergio Merlino on bass and backing vocals; and Riccardo Preda on drums and backing vocals. Guest: Andrea Negrinelli on backing vocals.

Buy Babylon

Maestros and Innovators of the Electric Sticks

Stick Men – Prog Noir (Stick Men SMN1611, 2016)

Three extraordinarily talented musicians have put together one of the finest progressive music albums of 2016. Stick Men is a trio that includes three of the brightest minds in the current progressive rock scene. Prog Noir is their new album, scheduled for release in October 2016.

Two of the band members specialize in advanced versions of guitars and basses. Tony Levin plays the versatile Stick, an instruments that serves as a powerful bass, a tapped and looped instrument, and also a captivating soloing instrument. His colleague, German musician Markus Reuter plays the ergonomic touch guitars that he developed together with luthier Ed Reynolds.

Stylistically, Prog Noir navigates through various musical forms, including technically impressive new generation King Crimson-inspired progressive rock, indie rock, lyrics with good humor, mesmerizing cinematic soundscapes, creative drumming, and electronic ambience.

The lineup includes Tony Levin (King Crimson) on Stick and vocals; Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) on acoustic and electronic drums and percussion; and Markus Reuter on U8 and AU8 Touch Guitars.

The new album comes in various packages and formats, ranging from digital, vinyl and single CD to a deluxe CD with bonus tracks and a deluxe boxed set with vinyl LPs, CDs and T-shirt.

Prog Noir is a remarkable example of forward-thinking progressive rock, featuring memorable performances, strong song compositions, impressive interplay and innovative sound design.

Buy Prog Noir in the Americas

Buy Prog Noir in Europe

Rock in Opposition 2016 Program Revealed

The 2016 Rock in Opposition (R.I.O.) Festival will take place September 16-18 in France. This three-day festival is dedicated to artistically-uncompromising rock music. The festival specializes in the avant-garde forms of progressive rock as well as Zeuhl.

The 2016 lineup includes:

Apollonius Abraham Schwarz (Switzerland)
Cicala-Mvta (Japan)
Half the Sky (Japan)
Jump for Joy (England, Germany, Netherlands)
Magma (France)
Nippon Eldorado Kabarett (Italy, Japan)
No Noise No Reduction (France)
Pixvae (France)
Richard Pinhas & Arthur Narcy (France)
Upsilon Acrux (USA)
Uz Jsme Doma (Czech Republic)

More at www.rocktime.org/rio

Van Der Graaf Generator to Release “Do Not Disturb”

Van Der Graaf Generator - Do Not Disturb
Van Der Graaf Generator – Do Not Disturb

Acclaimed progressive rock band Van Der Graaf Generator is set to release a new album titled “Do Not Disturb” (Esoteric Antenna /Cherry Red) on September 30, 2016.

“Do Not Disturb” is Van Der Graaf Generator’s 13th studio album and was recorded at the end of 2015 and the Spring of 2016. The lineup includes Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans.

Essential Emerson Lake & Palmer Debut Album Remastered

Emerson Lake & Palmer – Emerson Lake & Palmer (BMG, 2016)

The 2016 re-edition of the fabulous classic progressive rock album Emerson Lake & Palmer, the debut album by Emerson Lake & Palmer, is a 2-CD set.

I’ve already reviewed another re-edition of this album in the past so I won’t repeat what we published earlier. Nevertheless, I need to re-emphasize that this album is a true classic. It’s the debut album by three musicians who created one of the first rock super bands. Emerson Lake & Palmer is a true classic by three trailblazers who revolutionized modern music in the early 1970s.

Disc 1 includes the 2012 remaster of the original album that was released in 1970. Disc 2 features Steven Wilson’s expertly-crafted stereo mix. Aside from the improved sound, this disc also offers an extended version of the musical piece “Knife Edge.”

Disc 2 also has 4 alternate versions of several songs. Even though I prefer the final versions the band came up with, it’s really interesting to listen to alternate takes of “Take a Pebble”, “Knife Edge” and “Lucky Man.”

The price of the physical version of this album is a great deal. You get two discs and a nicely packaged digipack with early band photos, a biography with quotes from the musicians and credits.

Emerson Lake & Palmer is an essential groundbreaking album by one of the great masters of progressive rock music.

Buy Emerson Lake & Palmer in the Americas

Buy Emerson Lake & Palmer in Europe

Avant-Garde Music Developed in Various Directions

Joseph Lamm & Music Hypnotica - Andean's Ascent
Joseph Lamm & Music Hypnotica – Andean’s Ascent

Joseph Lamm & Music Hypnotica – Andean’s Ascent (Jefferson House Communique, 2016)

Experimental album by a trio that combines sound collages, industrial rock, minimalism, trance and world music elements. It could work perfectly for an avant-garde installation although in this case, it’s the companion to the book Andean’s Ascent.

The lineup includes Elliott Lamm on acoustic, electric and slide guitars, piano, bass, soundscapes; David Price on keyboards, loops, bass, elixir and rhythm; and Joseph Lamm on vocals, percussion, and electromagnetic throat.

Buy Andean’s Ascent

Justin Hayward to Release “Live In Concert at the Capitol Theatre” DVD

Justin Hayward - Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre
Justin Hayward – Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre

Justin Hayward is set to release a DVD titled “Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre” on September 23rd, 2016. The intimate live performance features the legendary Moody Blues vocalist, guitarist, and composer.

The concert captured on video took place on October 20, 2014 in Clearwater, Florida. It was videotaped by award-winning filmmaker and composer David Minasian.
The DVD includes the bonus music video The Wind of Heaven

Buy Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre