Earth Frequency 2012 Music Lineup Announced

Australian music festival Earth Frequency returns in 2012 with a wide spectrum of music styles, including reggae, dubstep, techno, progressive, world music, psytrance, folk, funk and down-tempo/chill. All genres will sit alongside each other harmoniously in a 4 day mix of music for all tastes.

The diverse line-up of electronic music artists includes Robert Rich, Tipper, Talpa, ill.Gates, Audio Injection, Electrypnose, Janover, Opiuo, Spoonhead, Protonica, Spoonbill, Tetrameth, Kalya Scintilla, Circuit Bent, Suncontrolspecies, Sun:Monx, Sensient, Dysphemic & Miss Eliza Feat MC Heinz, OneTastyMorsel, Sun In Aquarius, Meat Axe, Jigsaw, Mote, Lubdub, Merkaba, Blunt Instrument, bumble, Closer Apart, Goosebumpz, Interval, ShifteQ, Blatwax (Live), Xenoscape, Dusty Fungus, Instrumental Asylum.

The live band line-up includes well established and upcoming acts from the South East Queensland and New South Wales regions: Dubmarine, Kingfisha, Kooii, Wild Marmalade feat Si Fixion, Darky Roots, The Upsteppers, Temple Step Project, Fyah Walk, The Mank, Youngtree, Ali Baba, Mystic Beats, One Dragon Two Dragon, Euphonix, CC the Cat, Lore Crew, Imandan, Lady Abundance Project, Beatrice, Jekks And The Priests of Heka, Pagan Love Cult and Channelfree.

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Psychedelia of Distant Lands

In the Labyrinth - One Trail To Heaven
In the Labyrinth

One Trail To Heaven (Trail Records , 2011)

In the Labyrinth is the project of Swedish multi-instrumentalist Peter Lindahl. One Trail To Heaven is a genre-defying compilation of some of his best work along with some previously unreleased recordings and alternate renderings of songs from Peter’s exclusive personal archive.

It’s hard to categorize In the Labyrinth. Although the group is frequently featured in progressive rock publications because of its psychedelic and progressive rock sounds, the band frequently ventures into world music territory, incorporating Indian, Middle Eastern and Celtic music influences and instrumentation.

There are basically three types of pieces on the album. One set contains progressive rock with enchanting mellotron and Floydian electric guitars. There are also songs that are deeply inspired by folk rock and the psychedelic sounds of 1960s British bands. Lastly, there are tracks where Lindahl and his colleague explore distant lands through the use of sitar, saz and many other traditional instruments.

Peter Lindahl provides vocals and plays mellotron, guitars, bass, saz, zither, mandolin, flute, synthesizer, piano, melodeon, viola da gamba, darbuka, daf, percussion, recorders, effects, programming; Håkan Almkvist plays sitar, e-bow guitar, electric bass, table. Guest musicians include Helena Selander on background vocals, Mikael Gejel on sampler and flute, Robert Eklund on archlute, Helena Jacobssen on background vocals, Stefan Andersson on electric bass, guitar & slide guitar; Kristina Fuentes on background vocals, Karin Langhard-Gejel on background vocals, Ulf Hansson on darbuka, and Marcos Chagallo on violin.

One Trail To Heaven is a wonderful record that skillfully brings together classic progressive rock, psychedelic music and the traditional sounds of the world.

Digital download version

Progressive rock Legends Pink Floyd to Release Immersion and Experience Editions of The Wall

EMI Records announced today that they will release Immersion and Experience editions of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the masterpiece by bassist Roger Waters. This is the final episode of the recent ‘Why Pink Floyd?‘ reissues and extended releases. The Wall remains Pink Floyd’s biggest-selling album after 1973’s celebrated The Dark Side Of The Moon.

The Wall ‘Immersion‘ 7-disc set features a DVD with a film clip from the 1980 tour and a ‘Behind The Wall’ documentary, plus, for the first time, CDs of excerpts from Roger Waters’ original demos and work-in-progress versions of songs on the final album. Additionally, among these previously unheard versions are David Gilmour’s original demos of “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell.” The Immersion box set also includes The Wall Live, compiled from the 1980-1981 original tour.

Both ‘The Wall’ Immersion box set and Experience edition include a rare recording of “Another Brick In The Wall Part 1.” A highlight for fans, this demo showcases the evolution of the final track. Additionally, “The Doctor” explores the origins of the landmark track “Comfortably Numb,” giving further insight into Pink Floyd’s early demo recordings.

About The Wall

In 1978, after finishing Pink Floyd’s Animals stadium tour, Roger Waters devised the concept for the album ‘The Wall.’ The album is a partly autobiographical story about a fictional rock star named Pink looking back at his early life and reflecting on the nature of fame and success.

Waters presented his band mates David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason with an extensive demo of songs. Pink Floyd recorded their eleventh album ‘The Wall’ throughout 1979 in France, New York and Los Angeles, assisted by co-producer, Bob Ezrin and engineer, James Guthrie.

An adjunct to the sessions was the famous addition of a group of students from London’s Islington Green School, who recorded their backing vocals (“We don’t need no education…”) on “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” at Pink Floyd’s own Britannia Row Studios in London. This became the world’s introduction to the album with the release of its first single, an instant success, accompanied by a promotional film which included several of the groundbreaking images from the story, including Gerald Scarfe’s brilliantly realized marching hammers.

The Wall was originally released in November 1979. It topped the album charts in the US, France, Germany, Sweden and Australia. “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” – Pink Floyd’s first UK single since 1968 – became a Number 1 hit, selling more than one million copies within weeks of its release.
Between 1980 and 1981, Pink Floyd gave 31 performances of The Wall in the US, UK and Germany. It was an impressive show that included a 40-foot wall, constructed, brick by brick, across the front of the stage during the performance.

In 2010 and 2011 Roger Waters toured a new production of The Wall to huge international acclaim. He was joined onstage in May 2011 at London’s 02 Arena by guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason. He continues to tour in the Southern Hemisphere and North America in 2012.

Pink Floyd: ‘The Wall’ Immersion box set, Experience edition and Collectors 180g 2LP Vinyl edition will be released February 28, 2012 through EMI. The 2CD remastered Discovery edition is out now.

Progressive Rock Festival OhioProg 2012 Canceled

In a press release distributed today, organizers of progressive rock festival OhioProg 2012 announced the cancellation of the event.

OhioProg 2012 turned to crowd funding platform to make tickets available for the 3-day progressive rock festival in an attempt to ensure enough people would attend to cover the costs and expenses of holding such a grand event,” said the press release.

The deadline for the Kickstarter campaign was January 2, 2012. Only 60 tickets pledged. Organizers needed aproximately 400-450 tickets pledged at the various levels to reach the funding goal.

The festival adopted Kickstarter’s project criteria which is all-or-nothing funding. Since the goal was not reached, OhioProg 2012 has been canceled. In addition, since funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing, all pledges have been automatically canceled.

We thank the many that did pledge and committed to attending the festival,” said the organizers. “The support meant a lot. We’d also like to thank those at the Canton Palace Theatre and those in the Canton area who have been very gracious to our staff and efforts. And of course all of the bands who were invited to perform at OhioProg 2012, we thank you for believing in our event.”

To join the OhioProg mailing list to be notified of future related events visit the OhioProg website at

Enchanting Potions

Ben Craven - Great & Terrible Potions
Ben Craven

Great & Terrible Potions (Desert Comb music DC1006, 2011)

With his second album, Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Craven enters the progressive rock arena in grand style. His new album titled Great & Terrible Potions immediately catches your attention. The artwork is by the great album designer Roger Dean, the artist that designed the legendary covers for Yes, Uriah Heep and Greenslade. In this case, Dean’s fantasy artwork incorporates an Australian feel.

Great & Terrible Potions is an ambitious album and Craven clearly pulls it off. He has that rare ability of being a great instrumentalist and composer at the same time. And Craven also plays all the musical instruments featured in the album.

Great & Terrible Potions begins with a beautiful yet ominous piano and keyboards track titled “Diabolique”. The instrumental piece grows more dramatic with the incorporation of powerful bass, drums and Keith Emerson-style organ.

“Nobody Dies Forever Part 1” is a fine rock song with a guitar solo at the end. It segues into ambient synths, distant sounds and a choir that morph into an excellent bluesy Pink Floydian-guitar that builds into an epic piece.

On “Ready to Lose”, Craven brings out the acoustic guitar. The folk style guitar and vocals transforms into a synth and electric guitar-driven neoprog rocker with more captivating guitar solo work.

“The Conjurer” brings back the acoustic piano in an anthemic piece that blends piano with delightful slide guitar evoking the sounds of David Gilmour. It builds into another superb guitar solo.

Ben Craven - Photo by Michelle Aziz
The next cut is “No specific Harm,” the great epic in the album. Craven combines majestic keyboards with Arabic sounding soaring electric guitar. The suite is set in ancient Egypt and Craven’s music takes the listener to this ancient world with his skillful cinematic compositions. Craven also shows here that he’s a respectable arranger, making transitions that flow naturally.

“Solace” is the calm after the storm. It’s a beautiful acoustic guitar and keyboards instrumental track that also grows into epic electric guitar.

“Nobody Dies Forever Part 2” is a short reprise of Part 1 that takes you into a simpler world.

“Great & Terrible Potions” begins as a vocals and piano ballad which adds more of the tasty slide guitar. It turns into a full blown symphonic rock fest with several layers of keyboards and electric guitar.

The album includes three bonus tracks. They are single-length edits of three songs, Ready to Lose, Nobody Dies Forever, and No specific Harm, intended for radio airplay.

Another bonus is the CD booklet which unfolds into a stunning mini-poster designed by Roger Dean.

Great & Terrible Potions is an outstanding album by one of the emerging talents in the progressive rock field.

CD (North America)

Digital Download (North America)

CD (Europe)

Video of the Week: Ochimini by Sintesis

This week’s video takes us to Cuba. Sintesis is a legendary progressive rock group that has been around since the 1970s. Síntesis was formed in 1975 as Cuba’s first progressive rock band. Their first incarnation combined influences from British progressive rock classics such as Genesis and Yes with Cuban folk music and nueva trova. Throughout the years, Sintesis changed line-up and evolved into a band that fuses progressive rock and jazz with Afro-Cuban music.

Since the 1980s, Síntesis is led by singer,bassist and composer Carlos Alfonso, a former member of the legendary Cuban fusion jazz band Irakere. The current version of the band features Carlos Alfonso on bass, guitar and vocals; his wife Ele Valdés, the original singer and keyboardist from the 1970s version of Síntesis; Madonna Alfonso on vocals; composer Esteban Puebla on keyboards and guitar; Michael Olivera Garcia on Cuban percussion; and Andrei Martinez on guitars.

On the Ochimini video, Sintesis is joined by the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional of Cuba (Cuban National Folk Ensemble).

Ochimini appears on the album Trilogía Ancestros Vol. III and also on Yoruba Celebration.

As an added bonus, watch the live version of the song Itewere which features (brief) superb keyboard work by Esteban Puebla.


Digital version

Electronic Brewing in the Ardennes

Ron Boots & - Refuge en verre
Ron Boots &

Refuge en Verre (Groove Unlimited, 2010)

Refuge en Verre is collaboration between two of the leading synthesists in The Netherlands: Michel van Osenbruggen (a.k.a. and Ron Boots. Refuge en Verre combines exquisite melodic and downtempo atmospheric electronic music with trance-like pulsating loops generated by sequencers.

This is the first album the two musicians made together. “We first met at a Synthesizer Meeting organized by the Dutch ‘Synth Forum’ in 2006 where we started talking about synthesizers and synthesizer music and found out that we shared the same fascinations,” says Ron Boots.

Michel van Osenbruggen and Ron Boots became good friends and so did their wives and children. Refuge en Verre was conceived in Belgium while on vacation. “In 2010 our wives decided to rent a house together in the Belgian Ardennes for a weekend,” says Boots. “We both brought a synthesizer and a laptop and tried to make music together for the first time and that went very well actually. We recorded quite some tracks there. After the weekend we decided that we should release this music on CD. So we started on finishing the music together when we got back in our own studios.”

The title of the album, Refuge en Verre, comes from the name of the house the two families rented in the French-speaking part of Belgium. “We got the inspiration for the music we played from the beautiful nature in the Belgian Ardennes and the nice time we had with our families over there,” adds Boots. “Most of the tracks were played live as improvisations in the temporary studio that we created in the rented house.”

Refuge en Verre is an inspiringly detailed electronic music work that showcases some of the best talent in the European space music scene.


Digital version

Fusion for Tony Williams

Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman - Blues for Tony
Holdsworth, Pasqua, Haslip, Wackerman

Blues for Tony
(Moonjune Records MJR029, 2009)

This 2-CD set brings together four of fusion music’s heavy weights: guitarist Allan Holdsworth, keyboardist Alan Pasqua, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Chad Wackerman. Blues for Tony was recorded during a 2007 tour which celebrated the work of legendary 1970s fusion band the New Tony Williams Lifetime. Holdsworth, and Pasqua were members of the the New Tony Williams Lifetime in the 1970s. for this project they recruited Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip and reputable jazz and rock drummer Chad Wackerman.

Throughout the two discs, the four musicians exhibit their technical virtuosity and improvisational ability as they navigate the waters of electric jazz, rock, blues and funk.

Disc 1 contains ‘Blues for Tony’ which is led by Pasqua’s signature keyboard work. The second track is ‘The Fifth.’ This is the only piece composed by drummer Chad Wackerman and he adds swing to the mix. ‘It Must Be Jazz’ was co-written by the 4 musicians, who contribute multiple variations and unexpected turns. The rest of disc 1 contains pieces by Allan Holdsworth: his classic ‘Fred’ from the New Tony Williams Lifetime’s 1975 album Believe It, the guitar solo on ‘Guitar Intro’ and another classic titled ‘Pud Wud’ from the solo album Sand.

Disc 2 begins with more focus on the electric guitar by way of the Allan Holdsworth composition titled ‘Looking Glass’, from his 1985 album Atavachron. The next three pieces turn the attention to Pasqua’s outstanding keyboard work. He penned the solo piano piece ‘To Jaki, George and Thad’, the Mahavishnu-influenced ‘San Michele’ where Pasqua and Holdsworth provide fascinating interplay, and ‘Protocosmos.’ The album ends with ‘Red Alert,’ a funk fusion piece composed by Tony Williams Lifetime bassist Tony Newman which appeared in the 1975 album Believe It.

Drummer Tony Williams was one of the pioneers of jazz rock fusion. He played with Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, and many other great musicians. His bands The Tony Williams Lifetime and The New Tony Williams Lifetime were musical nurseries for many musicians who later became well respected soloists and sessions musicians.

Blues for Tony is an outstanding set of virtuosic live performances by Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip, and Chad Wackerman, four of the finest fusion musicians in the current music scene.

Progressive Rock Musicians Who Left Us in 2011

Gary Moore
Obituaries of progressive rock, fusion and electronic music artists who left us in 2011.

Renowned British guitarist Gary Moore died Sunday, February 6th, 2011 while on vacation in Spain. He was 58. Gary Moore was a member of progressive fusion band Colosseum II, which was formed in 1975 by the former Colosseum drummer and leader, Jon Hiseman. With Colosseum II, Moore recorded the albums Strange New Flesh (1976), Electric Savage (1977), and War Dance (1977). He was also a member of Thin Lizzy and recorded a series of successful blues albums.

Welsh guitarist and singer Micky Jones died Wednesday, March 10th, 2011. He was 63. Jones was one of the founders of Welsh psychedelic and progressive rock band, Man. Man combined psychedelia, progressive rock, blues jams and country-rock.

Rita Guerrero
Mexican vocalist Rita Guerrero died March 11th, 2011 of breast cancer. She was 47. Rita Guerrero was the lead singer and one of the founders of iconic Mexican progressive band Santa Sabina. The group played music described as a mix of Gothic rock, jazz, progressive rock and experimental. Santa Sabina released 7 albums: Santa Sabina, produced by Adrian Belew (1992), Símbolos (1994), Concierto Acústico (1994), Babel (1995), MTV Unplugged (1997), Mar Adentro en la Sangre (2000), Espiral (2003), and XV Aniversario En Vivo (2005).

Argentine bass player Lalo de los Santos died March 25th, 2011. He was the bass player for Pablo el Enterrador, one of Argentina’s best known progressive rock bands. Lalo de los Santos played with Pablo el Enterrador from 1973 through 1980. The band recorded its debut album, Pablo el Enterrador, in 1979, but it was not released until 1983.

Italian keyboardist Alberto Bonomi died Sunday, June 26th, in an automobile accident. He was 48. Bonomi was the keyboardist for the well-known Italian progressive fusion band, D.F.A.( Duty Free Area). The group released Lavori in Corso (“Work in Progress”) (Scolopedra, 1997), Duty Free Area (Mellow Records, 1998), Kaleidoscope (Moonjune Records, 2000), Work in Progress – Live (Moonjune Records, 2001), 4th (MoonJune Records, 2008).

French composer and keyboardist Francois Cahen died July 13, 2011. He was a leading figure in French avant-garde music and was Magma’s first piano player. With Magma he recorded on Magma (1970) and 1001° Centigrades (1971). Cahen and former Magma saxophonist Yochko Seffer formed the legendary band Zao. With Zao he recorded Z=7L (1973), Osiris (1975), Shekina (1975), Kawana (1976), Live! (1976), Typhareth (1977), Akhenaton (1994). Cahen later worked with Ethnic Duo & Ethnic Trio.

Ron Van Eck
Dutch bass player Ron Van Eck died July 20th, 2011. He was one of the founders of legendary Dutch progressive fusion band Supersister. The group’s debut album, Present From Nancy, came out in 1970. Next came To the Highest Bidder (1971) Pudding en Gisteren (1972). The next album, Iskander (1973), was more jazz-rock oriented. It was a concept album based upon the life of Alexander the Great.

Paolo Raciti, masterful keyboardist of Italian symphonic-progressive rock band Eris Pluvia died August 3rd, 2011. He was 46. Eris Pluvia was one of the finest Italian progressive rock bands of the 1990s. The Genoa-based band released Rings of Earthly Light in 1991. The most recent album was Third Eye Light (2000).

German electronic music pioneer Conrad Schnitzler died August 4th, 2011. He was an experimentalist and was also a member of two seminal German electronic music bands: Kluster and Tangerine Dream. Schnitzler studied under Stockhausen and composed more than 90 albums of solo recordings. He completed his final work, “00/830,” just four days before his death.

Betty Thatcher died August 15, 2011. She was an English singer-songwriter, who wrote most of the lyrics for the UK progressive rock band Renaissance. Some of her most memorable pieces include “Prologue”, “A song for all seasons” and “Novella.”

David Bedford
Classical music composer and multi-instrumentalist David Vickerman Bedford died October 1st, 2011. David Bedford worked with Mike Oldfield during the 1970s. He orchestrated the symphonic version of Tubular Bells for the album titled The Orchestral Tubular Bells, released in 1975. He also composed various classical/progressive rock concept albums, including Star’s End (1975) with Mike Oldfield and Chris Cutler, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1975) with Mike Oldfield and The Odyssey (1976) with Mike Oldfield and Andy Summers.

American keyboardist Moogy Klingman died in New York City, November 15th, 2011.. Klingman was the original keyboardist for Todd Rundgren and his progressive rock band Utopia. He played on 10 Todd Rundgren albums, as well as several Utopia albums. Klingman was 61.

French Prog Band Eye 2 Eye Releases Concept Album The Wish

Eye 2 Eye - The Wish
One of the finest progressive rock acts in France, Eye 2 Eye, has a new album titled The Wish on the Musea label. The Wish is the group’s third title and their first concept-album, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray”.

Eye 2 Eye was formed in 2003 by former ADN musicians, Philippe Benabes and Didier Pegues. Their first album was One In Every Crowd (2006) and After All… (2009). Their style was initially influenced by 1980s Neoprog and Pink Floyd.

The current line-up includes Djam Zaidi (Transperception), Amirouche Ali Benali on guitars, Philippe Benabes on keyboards, Elise Bruckert on violin, Aymeric Delteil on bass and Didier Pegues on drums & keyboards.

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