Spanish Prog Band Absente H Releases Vagalume

Absente H - Vagalume
Vagalume (Musea Parallèle) is the title of the new album by Madrid-based progressive rock band Absente H. Absente H plays original symphonic progressive rock, inspired by bands such as Genesis, Yes, Camel, Pink Floyd, The Flower Kings and Porcupine Tree.

Absente H produced and recorded the album on its own and licensed it to Musea for worldwide distribution. Band members include David Pérez on vocals, Juan Pedro Miralles on keyboards, Jesús González on drums, Alfonso Pazos on bass, María José Izquierdo on flute & backing vocals, María Sánchez on violin & backing vocals, and Víctor García on guitars.

The lyrics include topics such as environmental issues, nostalgic poems, mythology and exploration of the time and space domain.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Remastered

Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Pink Floyd

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Capitol/EMI, 2011)

The first album by legendary progressive rock band Pink Floyd
, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, is now available digitally remastered. The album can be purchased individually or as part of a box set.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was originally released in 1967 and shows Pink Floyd in its pre-progressive rock period. Pink Floyd’s members at the time were Syd Barrett, who was the main songwriter, on guitar and vocals; Roger Waters on bass; Rick Wright on keyboards; and Nick Mason on drums.

In 1967, Pink Floyd was fully immersed in psychedelia. Barrett’s unconventional lyrics sent the listener to a world of fantasy, childlike rhymes and surreal creations. Barrett’s songs were the product of a musician experimenting with music and mind altering drugs.

Barrett also experimented with his electric guitar, using a series of effects that made Pink Floyd’s sound much more exploratory than other British bands of the time.

The album’s title, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, came from the seventh chapter of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio 3 and produced by EMI resident producer, Norman Smith, while the Beatles were in the studio next door working on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Piper at The Gates Of Dawn is an album by a novice Pink Floyd with dreamlike lyrics and music experimentation by one of the leading songwriters in the rock underground of the late 1960s.

Circa Goes AOR

Circa - And So On
Circa

And So On (2011)

Rock band Circa was expected to be one of the great new progressive rock bands in recent years. With two former Yes members, Tony Kaye on keyboards and Billy Sherwood on guitars and vocals, there is definitely a strong Yes connection. The band has a formidable rhythm section formed by Ronnie Ciago on drums and an excellent bassist that does not appear in the credits. Guitarist Johnny Bruhns is the fourth member of the band.

I used the term rock band because there is little progressive rock in And So On. The album begins with a strong piece, with rich instrumentation that will remind the listener of early Yes. However, the vocals are weak (literally) and the songs are better described as 1980s-style AOR and hard rock. The best instrumental work on the album is provided by the lead guitar and bass.

‘And So On’ is the 4th release by Circa. “Although the album was not written as a concept record, the songs are somehow tied together and are all symbiotic,” Billy Sherwood explains, “it’s really just an evolution of Circa: music. This is our 3rd Studio release.”

The album is available for circahq.com/CircaStore/index.php

Emerson Lake & Palmer Release Live At the Mar y Sol Festival ’72

Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
Live at the Mar y Sol Festival ’72 (2011) is another archival release of live music by legendary progressive rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP). This is the first-ever official release of this Emerson Lake & Palmer legendary concert. The Mar y Sol Festival was a Woodstock-like rock music festival that took place in Manatí, Puerto Rico, on April 1–3, 1972.

The album features the classic ELP line-up with Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass and vocals and Carl Palmer on drums.

Tracks

1 – Hoedown
2 – Tarkus
3 – Take A Pebble
4 – Lucky Man
5 – Piano Improvisation
6 – Pictures At An Exhibition
7 – Rondo

Space Music for Apollo

Synth.nl - Apollo
Synth.nl

Apollo (2011)

The new album by Dutch artist Synth.nl is an electronic music tribute to the Apollo Moon project. The musician behind Synth.nl is Michel van Osenbruggen. His music has the melodic sensibility of Vangelis and the spacey atmospheric environments of Tangerine Dream.

Synth.nl illustrates the Apollo Moon missions with a rich palette of dramatic, melodic and ambient synthesizers and electronic beats. He also uses NASA audio archives with voices from mission control, the astronauts and the people behind the project.

Michel van Osenbruggen provides information about each piece and details about the various Apollo missions. “For this album, I was inspired by the Apollo Moon missions, undertaken by NASA during the 60’s and 70’s of the previous century,” says van Osenbruggen. “Since I was born in 1969, the same year that Neil Amstrong set foot on the Moon, I have always felt a very strong connection to this event. Listening to this album will take you on a voyage from the Earth to the Moon and back again.”

Michel van Osenbruggen was born in The Netherlands on the 23th of April 1969. He started collecting synthesizers in 1990 because of his fascination with electronics. “Even though I produced a lot of sounds back then, I first started producing my own music in 2005 when I was at home with a burn-out from work.”

Synth.nl has released four solo albums so far: ‘AeroDynamics’ in 2007, ‘AtmoSphere’ in 2008, ‘OceanoGraphy’ in 2009 and ‘Apollo’ in 2011. In 2010, he released a collaboration album called ‘Refuge en Verre’, together with his good friend Ron Boots. Ron also runs the Groove Unlimited label that releases all of Synth.nl ‘s music.

Apollo is a skillful blend of space music and melodic electronic music by one of the finest acts in the current European electronic music scene.

Import CD (North America)

Digital download

Synthesist Robert Rich Announces Australian Tour

Robert Rich
Robert Rich will be bringing his ambient and global electronica sounds Australia in January-February 2012.

Robert Rich, one of the leading musicians in the electronic music scene, has a new CD titled Medicine Box.

A California native, Rich began experimenting with electronics at a young age. By the early 1980s he was recording and performing his own sustained sound environments and improvised music.

Tour dates

Friday January 27-30 – Rainbow Serpent Festival (Melbourne)

Wednesday February 1 – Lecture at SAE Melbourne

Friday February 3 – Harmonic Spaces Exhibition – Byron Bay
Venue: Byron Bay Community Centre.
Time Slot: 6-8pm

Saturday-Sunday February 4-5 – available
Tuesday February 7 – Lecture at SAE Byron Bay
Wednesday February 8 – Lecture at SAE Sydney

Friday February 10 – Sydney – Independent Theatre
Ultima Thule 23rd Anniversary Concert
Tickets: theindependent.org.au/whats-on/
$49.95/ $29.95
Venue: Independent Theatre 269 Miller St, N. Sydney NSW
Starts at 8:00 PM

Saturday February 11 – Melbourne
Venue: Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High St Northcote 3070
Information: chalice.org.au/
Times: Artist talk 4pm,
Evening performance, doors open 7.30pm, RR slot 9.30pm

Wednesday February 15 – Lecture at SAE Brisbane

Saturday February 18 – Earth Frequency Festival – Brisbane
Sunday February 19 – Earth Frequency Festival – Brisbane
Monday February 20 – Earth Frequency Festival – Brisbane
Time Slot: Saturday 18th Feb 4-5pm, chill stage late night

Allan Holdsworth Announces 2012 Tour Dates

Allan Holdsworth
Jazz fusion legend Allan Holdsworth will be touring with Jimmy Haslip and Virgil Donati. The muscular jazz-rock fusion power trio is set to perform some older material from the Holdsworth’s classic repertoire as well as new tunes of his own and a few pieces of Virgil Donati.

Marbin will open the concerts in the East Coast of the United States. The band is led by Dani Rabin (guitar) and Danny Markovich (sax). They’ll be touring with Ian Stewart on bass and Justyn Lawrence on drums. Their critically acclaimed album “Breaking The Cycle” includes two legendary musicians that worked with Pat Metheny, Steve Rodby on bass and Paul Wertico on drums.

Donati/Holdsworth Band
With Virgil Donati drums, Allan Holdsworth guitar, Dennis Hamm keyboards, Jimmy Haslip bass

January 20 – Anaheim, CA (Sheraton Park Hotel)
SABIAN Night at The NAMM Show
www.sabian.com

January 22 – Studio City, Los Angeles, CA (Baked Potato)
www.thebakedpotato.com

Allan Is Back – USA Tour One Dates 2012
Allan Holdsworth with Jimmy Haslip bass and Virgil Donati drums

January 13 – San Diego, CA (Brick By Brick)
www.brickbybrick.com

January 14 – Whittier, CA (Community Theater Whittier)
www.calprog.com
Opening band: MoeTar

January 16 – Phoenix, AZ (Rhythm Room)
www.rhythmroom.com

*March 11 – Sellersville, PA** (Sellersville Theater)
www.st94.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 12 – Annapolis, MD (Ram’s Head Tavern)
www.ramsheadtavern.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 14 – Newton, NJ (The Newton Theater)
www.TheNewtonTheatre.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 15 – New York, NY (The Iridium)
www.theiridium.com

March 16 – New York, NY (The Iridium)
www.theiridium.com

March 17 – New York, NY (The Iridium)
www.theiridium.com

March 20 – Teaneck, NJ (Mexicali Live)
www.mexicalilive.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 21 – Northampton, MA (The Iron Horse)
www.iheg.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 22 – Boston, MA (Johnny D’s)
www.johnnyds.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 23 – Norfolk, CT (The Infinity Hall)
www.infinityhall.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 24 – Schenectady, NY (The Van Dyck)
www.vandycklounge.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 27 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Cosmo Music)
www.cosmomusic.ca
Opening band: Marbin

March 28 – Buffalo, NY (The Tralf Music Hall)
www.tralfmusichall.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 30 – Dayton, OH (Gilly’s Jazz)
www.gillysjazz.com
Opening band: Marbin

March 31 – Detroit, MI (The Jazz Cafe)
www.jazzcafedetroit.com
Opening band: Marbin

April 1 – Chicago, IL (Martyr’s)
www.martyrslive.com
Opening band: Marbin

April 3 – Milwaukee, WI (The Shank Hall)
www.shankhall.com
Opening band: Marbin

April 8 – San Juan Capistrano, CA (The Coach House)
www.thecoachhouse.com

European Tour 2012 – Chapter One
(opening act: Jeff Aug)

May 15 – Kassel, Germany (Schlachthof)
www.schlachthof-kassel.de

May 16 – Amstelveen, Nethrlands (P60)
www.p60.nl

May 17 – Leverkusen, Germany (Scala)
www.scala-leverkusen.de

May 18 – Tilburg, Netherland (Paradox)
www.paradoxtilburg.nl

May 19 – Paris, France (Sunset SunsideJazz Club)
www.sunset-sunside.com

May 21 – Karlsruhe, Germany (Tollhaus)
www.tollhaus.de

May 23 – Milano, Italy (La Salumeria della Musica)
www.lasalumeriadellamusica.com

May 24 – Basel, Switzerland (Grand Casino)
www.grandcasinobasel.com

May 25 – Zurich, Switzerland (Jazz Klub Moods)
www.moods.ch

Progressive Rock Multi-instrumentalist Ben Craven Video Highlights and Nomination for Album of the Year

Ben Craven
Australian progressive rock sensation Ben Craven has released a video with his personal highlights from the Great & Terrible Potions album launch. “No Specific Harm was great fun to play,” says Craven. “The longer songs really give a performer the chance to get lost in the moment. Plus there’s a good old-fashioned guitar solo at the end.”

Craven recently released his second album, Great & Terrible Potions. The album blurs the boundaries between conventional songs and orchestral soundtracks. The cover was designed by legendary graphic artist Roger Dean, who made the renowned covers for Yes, Uriah Heep, Greenslade and Asia.

Great & Terrible Potions has been nominated for Album of the Year by Paperlate Rock Radio in The Netherlands.

CD (North America)

Digital Download (North America)

CD (Europe)

Electronica Artist Synth.nl releases Video About Synthesizer Making

Michel van Osenbruggen at his studio
Dutch electronic music artist Synth.nl has released a video that shows the process of making a synthesizer.

This year I built a Wilba SammichFM DIY synthesizer kit,” says Michel van Osenbruggen, the space music artist behind Synth.nl. “It is based on the famous Yamaha OPL3 sound chip that was also used on the famous Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 and SoundBlaster 16 ASP sound cards. It is a 4 voice FM synthesizer that sounds a lot like the famous Yamaha DX series.”

Michel van Osenbruggen filmed the construction of the whole process. “This movie is an excerpt of the 4 hours total build time,” says van Osenbruggen. “I made the 3D animations myself in Cinema 4D. The music you hear in the background is the track ‘Thermosphere’ from my 2008 ‘AtmoSphere‘ album.”

Synth.nl has a new album titled Apollo which is available as a CD or MP3 download.

Epic Cor Cordium

Glass Hammer - Cor Cordium
Glass Hammer

Cor Cordium (Arion Records, 2011)

The latest offering by progressive rock band Glass Hammer contains all the ingredients that make this musical genre so special: superb musicianship and captivating artwork. Cor Cordium begins with a suite loaded with state of the art keyboard work that includes glorious mellotron, organ and synthesizers.

Cor Cordium is Glass Hammer’s fourteenth studio album. It’s a follow-up to last year’s much-admired album titled If. It’s a delight to see a band that continues to develop long-form symphonic pieces of epic nature. Cor Cordium contains four suites, all of which are over ten minutes long, and two shorter pieces. If you like a mix of vocal parts with state of the art keyboard and guitar work, then you’ll really enjoy this latest offering by Glass Hammer.

Stylistically, the band is clearly influenced by the British masters of the early 1970s. Yes appears as a strong influence, especially in the vocals, guitars and some of the keyboard work. However, keyboardist Fred Schendel also displays influences from Keith Emerson and the band goes into Gentle Giant and fusion territory on track 3, ‘Salvation Station’ and folk rock in a section of ‘Dear Daddy’.

The line-up on this album includes Fred Schendel on keyboards, steel guitar, backing vocals; Steve Babb on bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals; Jon Davison on lead vocals, acoustic guitars; and Alan Shikoh on electric and acoustic guitars and sitar. They are joined by Randall Williams on drums, Jeffrey Sick on violin on ‘Dear Daddy’ and Ed Davis on viola on ‘Dear Daddy.’

We never set out to make If Volume 2,” says Babb. “But we are definitely heading in the same direction musically. Fans that loved IF are going to be equally excited about Cor Cordium.”

The CD version comes with captivating fantasy artwork and a 16 page full-color layout by artist Tom Kuhn and audiophile mastering by Bob Katz of Digital Domain.

Cor Cordium is a lovely and beautifully crafted progressive rock album by one of the finest bands in the genre.

Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond