Category Archives: Film and Video Reviews

Rick Wakeman DVD Live in Lugano Available Again

Rick Wakeman Live in Lugano
Rick Wakeman Live in Lugano
Rick Wakeman Live in Lugano DVD was originally released in 2009 for a short lived label. The live performance is available once more as a reissue on Esoteric Records.

The venue was the perfect setting for Wakeman’s classically inspired compositions to be performed, including “The King Arthur Suite”, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “Catherine Howard”. The concert features an orchestra conducted and arranged by Guy Protheroe. The DVD is NTSC region free (good for any territory).

Buy Rick Wakeman Live in Lugano in North America

Buy Rick Wakeman: Classical Wakeman- Live In Lugano in Europe

Analog Overdose – The Road Movie

Fanger & Schönwälder - Analog Overdose - The Road Movie
Fanger & Schönwälder – Analog Overdose – The Road Movie
Fanger & Schönwälder

Analog Overdose – The Road Movie (Manikin Records MRCD7097, 2012)

German musicians Thomas Fanger and Mario Schonwalder have been making some of the best Berlin-school electronic music for years. They are not a studio invention and have taken their mesmerizing music live to devoted electronic music fans in various parts of Europe and North America. This new DVD, Analog Overdose – The Road Movie follows the duo on the road during 2007-2008.

The video production combines live footage with lively images of the cities visited, including airports, train stations, and highways. During their concerts, Fanger & Schönwälder also use vivid kaleidoscopic optical fantasies and images of psychedelic lava lamp-style liquid globular substances.

Analog Overdose – The Road Movie includes five lengthy pieces where Fanger & Schönwälder use an impressive array of keyboards, samplers, sequencers and other devices to create dreamy soundscapes, hypnotic sequences, ethereal voices and synthesized flute melodies. This is the good stuff, electronic music that allows your mind to drift into a fascinating dreamy state.

The Frankfurt concert (track 4) includes a guest appearance by another legendary German musician, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock on Memotron.

Track listing:

1 – Eindhoven 25:45. Recorded at TU-Mensa in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) during E-Live Festival on October 11th, 2008
2 – Liphook 12:15. Recorded at Millenium Hall in Liphook (UK) during Hampshire Jam 6 Festival on October 20th, 2007
3 – Los Angeles 14:45. Recorded at Analogue Haven in Los Angeles/Pomona (California, United States of America) on September 8th, 2007
4 – Frankfurt 10:27. Recorded at Atelier, Frankfurt (Germany) on March 30th,
5 – Berlin 50:58Recorded at Stadtbad Steglitz, Berlin (Germany) on August 8th, 2008

Analog Overdose – The Road Movie is a spellbinding DVD that shows how two musicians can create a rich and hypnotic electronic music tapestry in intimate live settings.

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Unitopians Live

Unitopia – One Night In Europe – Live at the Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands

One Night In Europe – Live at the Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands (2011)

I had heard very good things about Australian band Unitopia. This double live DVD set confirms all the good references. The sound and delivery of the band on stage is outstanding, allowing the viewer to enjoy the vocals and instrumentation up close.

The sound of Unitopia is deeply grounded in progressive rock. Vocalist Mark Trueack, who is also one of the main composers, has the charisma of a great progressive rock singer, with a poetic voice that is influenced (and sounds like) Peter Gabriel. The band features skilled instrumentalists who create mesmerizing atmospheres, epic progressions and superb solos. Another feature of the band is that they include some pop hooks and memorable lyrics that engage the audience.

Although rooted in progressive rock, Unitopia adds other elements to the mix, including world music, classical music, and jazz. Although the publicity materials mention heavy rock, the heavy rock is thankfully minimal. The band is able to create powerful drama without having to resort to tired progressive metal gimmicks.

One Night In Europe contains material from various Unitopia albums. It’s essentially a best of and the Dutch audience was familiar with some of the material, singing along happily with the band.

On the lyrics side, Unitopia is a breath of fresh air. Although I like the darker side of music, too many of the current progressive rock bands seem to practice a brooding form of prog. Unitopia has an uplifting feel, even though they convey messages of environmental awareness, the near future and describe political and social turmoil and the frenzied speed of life and human relationships.

Unitopia’s lineup includes Mark Trueack on lead vocals, Sean Timms (the other composer) on keyboards and backing vocals, Matt Williams on guitars and backing vocals, David Hopgood on drums, Tim Irrgang on percussion and vibraphone, Craig Kelly on bass, and guest Ian Ritchie on saxophone, flute, and tin whistle.

Disc 1 contains two hours of fine music: Suffocation (1:54), Artificial World (5:29), Nothing Lasts Forever (5:15), Not Human Anymore (5:09), Tesla (15:34), Gone In The Blink Of An Eye, The Great Reward, Angeliqua (9:37), More Than A Dream (7:36), Justify (13:40), The Garden (24:58), One Day (3:11), Inside The Power (5:02). Although all the material is superb, highlights are Tesla, The Garden and One Day.

Disc 2 is a bonus DVD with behind the scenes footage, a short documentary and more live performances in Europe and on TV.

Unitopia is based in Adelaide, in South Australia. The band released its debut album More Than a Dream in 2007 on the Canadian Label Unicorn Digital. In 2008, Unitopia signed a three album deal with InsideOut Music, Germany, one of the leading progressive rock record companies in the world. Unitopia is the only Australian band to have signed with this label to this day.

In November 18th, 2008, InsideOut Music released Unitopia’s 2nd CD, The Garden. The 15 track double CD decisively established Unitopia as one of the leading progressive rock acts in the world.

In May 4th, 2010, Unitopia released their third album, Artificial worldwide through InsideOut Music. It is based on the topics of artificial intelligence.

The band had a very successful European tour in October 2010. The tour brought them to the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. During the tour, they filmed one of their performances in The Netherlands, which became the One Night In Europe DVD.

Unitopia supports various socially conscious non-profits. The band has allowed the use of their song “Still Here” for the Songs for Haiti double CD and “There’s a Place” for the compilation Stomp out Cancer. Unitopia also donated part of the proceeds from ticket sales of their concert in Adelaide to the Childhood Cancer Foundation. In addition, the band is involved with the project Bee Aware Now, providing a promotional song and video for the cause.

One of Unitopia’s songs, “321”, is a moving tribute to the bravery, suffering and eventual rescue of the Beaconsfield miners. The track gained nationwide exposure in Australia including a segment on 60 minutes. In May of 2007, with support and funding from the West Tamar Council, the band launched the single “321” at the one year anniversary memorial in Beaconsfield, Tasmania to an audience of nearly 3,000 people.

It is a delight to find such an excellent progressive rock group with charismatic vocals, excellent musicianship, meaningful lyrics, and worthy causes. Highly recommended.

Buy the One Night In Europe – Live at the Boerderij, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands DVD

or the CD version One Night In Europe