Progressive rock band Yes will be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame. Yes is a highly influential band that pioneered progressive in the early 1970s, along with other British progressive rock bands like King Crimson, Genesis, ELP and Gentle Giant.
Gong – “Rejoice! I’m Dead!” (Madfish, 2016)
Psychedelic rock collective Gong has released its first album since the death of its founder Daevid Allen. It’s hard to know who’s a member of gong at any given time, as the lineup changes frequently. This time, Gong has added guitarist and vocalist Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld), a multi-faceted musician who is involved in many different progressive music-related projects in the UK.
This version of Gong begins the album with three songs that seem to me like late 60s psychedelia. What I liked about Gong in the 1970s was its progressive rock spirit and the first three cuts on this album deliver a more rudimentary rock form with psychedelic outbursts here and there.
Things get much more interesting on track 4, “Model Village,” where the band adds trippy electronics, exotic flutes, laid back dreamy vocals and sound effects. It’s certainly a more progressive sound. This track also features an important Gong pioneer, French wind instrument master Didier Malherbe, who plays Armenian duduk.
The exploratory psychedelia continues on “Beatrix” with some jazz leanings.
On “Visions” the band takes into space music with mesmerizing gliss guitar and ebow intertwined with soprano sax.
Next comes ”The Unspeakable Stands Revealed” where the band goes into progressive psychedelic jam rock mode, delivering notable gliss guitar, regular electric guitar and soprano sax interplay.
Track 8, “Through Restless Seas I Come” slows down the space and takes you into the dreamtime zone with the mix of electronic, vocals and evocative duduk.
On the last track, “Insert Yr Own Prophecy” the band kicks up the rock side of things and develops into a great jam-like piece.
The lineup on ‘Rejoice! I’m Dead!’ includes Kavus Toravi on vocals and guitar; Fabio Golfetti on guitar and vocals; Dave Sturt on bass and vocals; Ian East on sax and flute; and Cheb Nettles on drums and vocals. There are also guest appearance by former Gong musicians Steve Hillage on guitar; Didier Malherbe on duduk; and Graham Clark on violin.
“Rejoice! I’m Dead!” is available on CD, a double LP and as a limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition featuring 44-page book, CD, DVD-AV & Bonus CD; and digitally as well.
Buy Rejoice! I’m Dead! in the Americas
Buy Rejoice! I’m Dead in Europe
Carlos Plaza, leader and main composer of acclaimed European progressive symphonic roc band Kotebel has launched “Phaedrus Music Journal,” a digital magazine dedicated to Art Music in general and progressive rock in particular.
Phaedrus is much more than a digital magazine. It will offer its subscribers original music that will only be available through the journal. The music will not be available for sale anywhere else and subscribers will be able to download it in several formats, including lossless.
Phaedrus will also release a CD compilation – in carefully designed digipack – called “Phaedrus Music”, with a collection of the original works published in the previous six issues. On average, Phaedrus will release 2 albums a year, only for its subscribers, at no additional cost, not even shipping.
“I want to take advantage of the fact that technology now allows the creation of very specialized niches, with enough critical mass to make projects economically viable,” says Carlos Plaza. “I want to offer high quality content, for exclusive and demanding fans that appreciate the kind of music that I have been writing for the past 16 years.”
In addition to original music, the journal will have sections such as:
- “Analysis of the Classic of the Month” – detailed analysis of progressive rock master works. Issue # 1 starts with a detailed analysis of “Close to the Edge”.
- “Kotebel Corner” with rarities, unreleased material, access to live video streaming of rehearsals, etc.
“Article of the Month,” covering a wide range of topics
- “Recommendation of the Month,” based on a very simple principle: if you like the music of the artists featured in Phaedrus, you will probably like the music that they like.
Subscription starts as low as 2.83 € a month for a semester subscription.
You can learn all about Phaedrus at www.phaedrus.es
Legendary progressive rock band King Crimson sold out one month in advance all tickets for its Madrid concerts on November 21 and 22. The trailblazing act will perform at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos. The only option left for Spanish fans is to head to Barcelona, where tickets are still available for the November 24 and 25 concerts at Auditorio del Forum.
The curent lioneup incluces Gavin Harrison on drums; Jeremy Stacey on drums; Pat Mastelotto on drums; Tony Levin on bass and vocals; Mel Collins on saxophone and flute; Jakko Jakszyk on guitar and vocals; and Robert Fripp on guitar.
Progressive rock multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Franck Carducci announced that he will release a live DVD by the end of 2016, shot during his band’s 2015 European tour. His most recent recordings are: Torn Apart and Oddity.
Carducci is running a crowdfunding campaign with pre-order and other goodies: https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/en/projects/franck-carducci-band-live-dvd
Italian progressive rock band Pandora has announced the name of its new vocalist. Emoni Viruet, who collaborated with the band in the past, has now become an official member of Pandora.
Pandora recently announced its upcoming new album titled “Ten Years Like in a Magic Dram…” scheduled for release on November 30, 2016. Previous recordings include Dramma di un Poeta Ubriaco (2008), Sempre E Ovungue Oltre Il Signo (2011) and Alibi Filosofico (2013).
“It’s always exciting to work with Pandora! I have been collaborating with them since 2010, and since then it has been a beautiful experience, creating and listening to the melodies that I would then translate with colors,” says Emoni Viruet. “On this album I was given the great responsibility to sing in important compositions and with great artists. I am extremely happy to be welcomed to be part of this family. ‘Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream…’ required a lot of energy and passion, and I believe that the final result is astounding! Hearing is believing!”
In a press release signed by Max Read, Jason Ducker, Dominic Tofield, Zach Bullock and the Enid household, British progressive rock band The Enid announced that vocalist Joe Payne and The Enid have gone their separate ways.
The Enid added that “it is time for something darker, heavier, more extreme and relevant to an impending tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, The Enid indicated that they are extending the popular “In the Region of the Summer Stars” this fall.
Pink Floyd Records has announced the reintroduction ‘Atom Heart Mother’, ‘Meddle’ and ‘Obscured By Clouds’ on vinyl. The three albums have been remastered from the original analog master tapes and will be released on September 23rd, 2016. ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Division Bell’ are also back in stock on vinyl from August 26th.
Pink Floyd followed their 1960s albums with their fifth studio album, 1970’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ featuring the classic lineup of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason plus an orchestra. The LP went on to become the band’s first UK No.1 record.
In a short break from touring ‘Atom Heart Mother’, in 1971, Pink Floyd released the progressive psychedelic album, ‘Meddle’. The album included the epic 23-minute track Echoesthat occupied the entirety of the B-side of the record.
Pink Floyd’s seventh album ‘Obscured By Clouds’ was originally recorded as the soundtrack to the French film ‘La Vallée’ but it was eventually released as a standalone album in 1972.
ProgDay 2016 has announced the names of the two bands that will perform at the Preshow at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro on Friday, September 2nd.
Abacab – The Music of Genesis
Formed in July 2015 by five skilled musicians in the Charlotte North Carolina metro area, Abacab includes vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Pete Lents, bassist and rhythm guitarist Cliff Stankiewicz, keyboardist Patrick Raymaker, lead guitarist andbassist Ryan Richard and drummer Jefferson Nunnery. Abacab pays tribute to Genesis.
Eclipse – The Pink Floyd Experience
Eclipse – The Pink Floyd Experience is a band presenting the music and visual atmosphere of Pink Floyd spanning the band’s most successful and iconic material. Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, members include Ryan Richard on guitar and vocals; Barry Hannibal on drums, percussion, electronic percussion and odd electronic sounds; Jeff Stone on bass and vocals; and Robert Geiger on keyboards, organ, piano, synthesizers.
ProgDay 2016 will take place on Saturday, September 3rd, and Sunday, September 4th, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The lineup this year includes Deus Ex Machina, Discipline, Bent Knee, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Eye, Luz De Riada, Ad Astra and In The Presence Of Wolves.
For more information go to www.progday.net.
Roye Albrighton, lead singer and guitarist of progressive rock band Nektar died July 27, 2016 in Dorset, England.
The passing was confirmed in the band’s official Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, comrade, rock legend and father, Roye Albrighton, who passed away peacefully last night. May his six fingered chords and the warmth of his smile last eternal.”
Albrighton had just finished the text for a full-length book (co-written by Dave Thompson) about Nektar, the group he founded. The book follows the rise of Nektar from its creation in Hamburg, Germany in 1970 up to its early albums that concluded in the iconic Remember The Future album (1973).
Roye Albrighton left Nektar in the mid-1970s. The group disbanded after the release of its 1980 album Man in the Moon. Nektar re-formed in 2002 with original members Albrighton and Howden.
Albrighton participated Cleopatra Records’ projects such as Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors and Songs Of The Century: An All-Star Tribute To Supertramp.
In 2012, Albrighton and founding Nektar drummer Ron Howden released A Spoonful Of Time, the first ever covers album from Nektar, that included guest performances by members of Yes, King Crimson, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Tangerine Dream and others.
Nektar’s studio album Time Machine was released in June of 2013. This was the band’s final album.