Deadlock of the Spirit

RPWL - Beyond Man and Time

Beyond Man and Time (Gentle Art of Music, 2012)

The new album by German prog band RPWL was eagerly awaited by fans. Although described as art rock, RPWL is characterized by a mix of melodic pop-rock and state of the art symphonic progressive rock.

Beyond Man and Time is a concept album based on a musical journey through the world outside of Plato’s (the Greek philosopher) cave. It begins with outstanding keyboard work, especially synthesizer solos on track 2, ‘We Are What We Are (the Keeper)’. Track 3, ‘Beyond Man and Time (Time Blind)’ is an excellent anthemic piece with epic electric guitar and delicate catchy vocals.

The next set of pieces goes into pop and hard rock direction. Progressive rock returns with a bang on track 10, which is the lengthy suite ‘The Fisherman (I. High as A Mountain Part 1 & 2 – II. the Abyss)’. This is symphonic rock at its best with sitar-like guitars, masterful mellotron passages, soaring electric guitar that would make Steve Hackett proud, hypnotic vocals and an epic grand finale.

The last piece is a beautiful song called ‘The Moon (the Eternal Moment of Return)’ with a great guitar solo.

Beyond Man and Time ’s central character is on a journey and meets various individuals, partly adapted from Zarathustra, as means towards new awareness. The basic understanding is a so-called “revaluation of values” in terms of a new approach of thinking. In this world “beyond man and time” there are already creatures of higher wisdom that the protagonist meets symbolically along his way: the keeper of the cave, the willingly blind, the scientist, the ugliest human, the creator, the shadow, the wise man in the desert, and the fisherman.

In addition to the regular version of the album there is also a bonus edition limited of 2,000 copies. This special edition includes an supplementary audio book that unites the music even more closely to the philosophical approach, plus a topographic map of the new world that is to be explored.

The goal is to open eyes, look further, see more, and see differently,” says vocalist Yogi Lang. “Words that everybody approves of are not going to lead to progress. We call that: “deadlock of the spirit”. Too many approaches of our time disappear in the void of the equal – the conformist.”

The line-up includes Yogi Lang on vocals and keyboards; Kalle Wallner on guitars; Markus Jehle on Keyboards; Werner Taus on bass; and Marc Turiaux on drums.

Beyond Man and Time contains excellent symphonic progressive rock pieces and demonstrates that RPWL has an enviable talent for making memorable songs, with ear catching melodic hooks.

Prog Band The Watch Plays Genesis

Italian progressive rock band The Watch will be touring Europe Marc-May. Their latest project is called The Watch Plays Genesis, with an early 1970s setup, focusing on the classic progressive rock-era Genesis line-up.

The Watch is a 5 piece band from Milan. Their music is inspired by classic style progressive rock of the 1970s and in particular by the music of Genesis. The band’s first album was released in 2001, titled Ghost.

Vacuum came out in 2004, followed by Primitive in 2007. Two years later, the Watch released its first live album, The Watch Live.

The lineup of the band has changed several times through the years. Simone Rossetti, founder and main composer is the singer of the band since the very first time. Simone Stucchi has produced all The Watch records and he’s still there, following the band on stage as sound engineer.

Since the end of 2008, the band has the best line up ever, according to Rossetti.

The current line-up includes Giorgio Gabriel on electric guitars, 12 strings acoustic guitar, classical guitar; Guglielmo Mariotti on bass, bass pedals, 12 strings electric and acoustic guitars, vocals; Valerio De Vittorio on pianos, Hammond L122 organ, mellotron, arp and moog synths, vocals; Simone Rossetti on vocals, flute, tambourine, mellotron and moogs (studio); Marco Fabbri on drums, percussions, vocals.

The Watch plays Nursery Crime and more old fashioned Genesis:

March 3

The Musician

March 3

The Ferry

March 9
Le Triton – Paris ,

March 10

On Air Studio Mons, Be Support by Franck Carducci Special guest: John Hackett

March 16

Steinbruch Café
Duisburg D

March 17

Reichenbach D

March 18

Goppingen D

April 20

De Boerderij
Zoetermeer NL

April 21

Bunde De

April 22

Spirit of 66
Verviers Be

April 28

The Flowerpot
Derby UK

April 29

The Robin
Wolverhampton UK

May 11

Afschaffenburg DE

May 12

Ulft NL + Marathon!

May 18

Schaafs City Theater
Leeuwarden NL

May 20

Vevey CH

more gigs at their website

German Prog Band RPWL on Tour to Promote New album

RPWL, one of the leading progressive rock bands in continental Europe, will be on tour in April, promoting its new concept album titled Beyond Man and Time. Tour dates include concerts in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

The line-up includes Yogi Lang on vocals and keyboards; Kalle Wallner on guitars; Markus Jehle on Keyboards; Werner Taus on bass; and Marc Turiaux on drums.

April Tour

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Progdreams with RPWL, The Enid, Airbag & Quantum Fantay at De Boerderij Zoetermeer

April 15
Verviers (Spirit Of 66)

April 19
Rüsselsheim (Das Rind)

April 21
Oberhausen (Zentrum Altenberg)

April 22
Uden (De Pul)
The Netherlands

April 25
Reichenbach (Bergkeller)

More dates at

Classic Rock Drummer Joe Crabtree Develops Ground-breaking Drum and Music Software

Joe Crabtree - Photo by Paul Fellows
British drummer Joe Crabtree, best known for his drumming with UK classic rock bandWishbone Ash, has developed new software for the drummer and musician. Crabtree, who has been creating music software for a number of years, has introduced the RhythMachine, OctopuSequencer, Pyramid and PolyNome.

RhythMachine is a tool for generating rhythms and melodies and orchestrating them on the drum kit or pitched instruments. It can be used for ear training, creating vamps to solo over or generating grooves and fills.

I began work on my first piece of software, the RhythMachine, back in 2008,” Joe explains. “It was inspired by some lessons I took in New York with Robby Ameen. In my lesson with Robby we were playing double drums – both playing a songo groove with a left foot clave. We’d play 3 bars of groove, then Robby would keep the clave going and play a 1 bar melodic fill on the toms. We’d go around the 4 bars again and my challenge was to mimic what he had played. It was challenging and I wanted to develop some software that would replicate that scenario. I wrote RhythMachine to do exactly this.”

OctopuSequencer is a tool for creating multi-layered grooves consisting of overlapping time signatures. Its core feature set allows the user to easily program and manipulate grooves in order to discover new ones.

To play the songo groove in RhythMachine I had to build a step sequencer,” says Joe. “I built in the ability to choose any subdivision rate between 1 and 32, and to loop at any point in the sequence. Once I’d written the step sequencer I realized that I could stack them, and that having four independent step sequencers would allow me to program some of the kind of grooves that Virgil Donato, Marco Minnemann and Mike Mangini were playing – grooves which are essentially combinations of different time signatures layered over each other. That concept evolved into the OctopuSequencer.”

Pyramid is an advanced metronome which allows the user to easily program polyrhythms and the rhythmic scale. It includes features which make it easy to learn how unfamiliar rates and polyrhythms sound.

Someone who’d bought OctopuSequencer asked me how they would use it to program in the rhythmic scale where you work your way up through all the subdivisions between 1 and 16,” Joe explains. “OctopuSequencer wasn’t designed to do this, so I spent a few weeks working with that idea and developed The Pyramid. It’s much simpler than OctopuSequencer but is an invaluable tool for all musicians (not just drummers) who want to become more familiar with unconventional subdivisions.”

PolyNome is the ultimate metronome for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. “Soon after writing Pyramid I met Lucas Ives, a New York-based drummer who used to work for Pixar,” says Joe. “He had experience coding for the iPhone so we worked together to develop PolyNome, which is basically the metronome that I wanted to own. It has all the functionality of Pyramid and more. We built in the option to program clicks with bars of rest so you can use it to improve your internal clock which is proving to be a very popular feature among all musicians. So far we’ve had great feedback from Dave Weckl, Jon Riley, Peter Erskine, Will Lee and others. In the words of Dennis Chambers – it’s the shit!!!

Joe Crabtree has been teaching drums for 16 years. He has recorded and toured with UK progressive rock ensembles Pendragon and the David Cross Band and has been a member of legendary UK classic rock band Wishbone Ash for the past 5 years. Joe’s website features many free lessons and software for drummers. “Joe is a drummer who has it all, he has an unbelievable ability to learn complex songs fast with an accuracy and power that makes it feel as though he has been in the band for years,” says Nick Barrett of Pendragon. “He has an astonishing flair for playing odd time signatures and straight fours with easy flowing technique,” adds David Cross, formerly of King Crimson.

Along with the marketing of his new software, Joe is preparing for a world tour with Wishbone Ash on the heels of their critically acclaimed new CD release ‘Elegant Stealth‘. Joe also has a regular column in Drumhead Magazine in the US.

Finally Joe has this to impart to drummers around the world: “Never forget why you started playing drums in the first place. I’ve seen so many drummers get caught up in the business side of things and end up hating the instrument. I’ve always said that if it gets to the stage where I’m not enjoying it I’ll get a regular job and keep drumming for fun.”

For more information on RhythMachine, OctopuSequencer, Pyramid and PolyNome visit

Prog Rock Weekend in Canterbury with Caravan

A progressive rock weekend will be held 3 – 4 March 2012 at Augustine Hall in Canterbury Christ Church University in Canterbury (Kent, UK). The program, produced by Canterbury Christ Church University & Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, is dedicated to Canterbury Sound/Canterbury Scene, featuring legendary band Caravan.

The weekend will include workshops and master classes throughout the day for performers and composers, an open rehearsal, and a ‘Battle of the Bands’ for young, talented local bands, adjudicated by Caravan. This will be followed by an evening concert with Caravan and the winning band playing alongside them.

Caravan is an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan. It rose to success over a period of several years from 1968 onwards into the 1970s as part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock and jazz to create a distinctive sound like their contemporaries Soft Machine.

Caravan still remains active as a live band in the 21st century.


10am – 4pm: workshops with Caravan

8pm: Battle of the Bands (adjudicated by Caravan)


11am: open rehearsal.

2pm: Winning band rehearses with Caravan

8pm: Caravan concert (including winning band for one number)

Prices: £10/£5 (students) for weekend concerts. Workshops and rehearsals free.
Tickets at Marlowe Theatre. Also by phone: 01227 787787 (9am-6pm, Mon-Sat)

More at

Andalusian Prog Band Mantra Album Sees the Light in 2012

Mantra - Mantra
Mantra, one of the great Andalusian progressive rock bands of the late 1970s finally has an album out, three decades later.

Based in Cadiz province, in southern Spain, Mantra was formed in 1977 from the ashes of a rock covers band led by Tato Macias Lamas. The line-up featured Juan Ahumada Caputto (from Sanlúcar de Barrameda) on guitar; Kiko Fernández on bass (from Los Barrios) and Tato Macias (from Puerto Real) on drums. This trio started composing the first pieces although they only played one concert before the band experienced its first changes.

José Antonio Ramírez Harana (from Sanlúcar de Barrameda), a friend of Juan Ahumada, joined the band as bassist, replacing Kiko.

At the time, Tato Macias was also a member of the rock trio Sombras. They had a gig in Puerto Real and their regular bassist couldn’t make it so they used Iñaki Egaña, Imán’s reputable bass player. Guitarist Tito Alcedo Gil was in the audience. He was a musician from Barbate (a fishing town in the Cadiz coast) who played in a dance band called Orquesta Trafalgar. He later met Tato in Sanlúcar and that’s how Mantra took form. The band started in 1978 as a quartet without keyboards, with Juan Ahumada, José Antonio Ramírez, Tito Alcedo and Tato Macias.

Mantra played its first concert in Puerto Real at a portable bullfighting ring. The bill also included Keops and prog band Cai. A few months later, Mantra performed at the former Cine Alameda in San Fernando together with Madrid-based prog band Azahar. After the concert, José Manuel Portela Ghessi (from Cádiz) approached the band and offered his service as a keyboardist. Portela was a former member of a band called Sur. He was just what Mantra needed so he was welcomed into the band. The quintet became the classic Mantra line-up.

The band rehearsed at a place in Puerto Real, but at the beginning of 1979 they moved to a country house owned by José Antonio’s aunt. They lived there together, composing and rehearsing feverishly. They had good times, living as a musical family with amazing results. Most of Mantra’s repertory was conceived during this stage.

Mantra played numerous concerts throughout the Cádiz area. They were restless musicians and wanted to do something very professional. That’s why they decided to record a demo. They contacted Cai, who had a house called “El Mosquito” in Pinar de los Franceses, in Chiclana. Cai offered its rehearsal space and equipment. A recording was made there, in a 4-track recorder, that was transferred to cassette. Unfortunately, the original reel was lost.

The five musicians traveled to Madrid in a Seat 850 (Spain’s equivalent to the Fiat 850) with the license plate SA-9997, owned by José Antonio. In Madrid, they made visits to various record labels, including Philips and EMI. They also met with producers such as Javier García Pelayo and the legendary Mariscal Romero, who interviewed them for Radio Madrid, playing a few cuts. Despite that, the musician’s returned empty handed from Spain’s capital and that led to a lack of motivation. The band was put on hold. Mantra disbanded in 1980.

In 1980, Tato Macias and Tito Alcedo continued to work together in a trio, joined by Cadiz bassist Alfonso Gamaza “el moderno.”

Tito Alcedo has had a brilliant musical career as a soloist. He was also the main guitarist for renowned Spanish singer-songwriter Javier Ruibal.

Tato Macías has worked with well-known Spanish acts, such as Lole y Manuel, Kiko Veneno, Navajita Plateá, Raimundo Amador and many more.

José Antonio Ramírez resurfaced recently as part of the Pink Floyd tribute Project called Eclipsed.

Mantra’s experience didn’t last very long, but it was intense and fruitful. Their music is an impeccable mix of Andalusian rock with Arabic and Indian sounds.

Get the album from

Shamanistic Petroglyphs

Ole Lukkoye - Petroglyphs
Ole Lukkoye

Petroglyphs (Trail Records TR 08, 2010)

Petroglyphs is a compilation of material amassed by Russian band Ole Lukkoye during 20 years. St. Petersburg-based Ole Lukkoye is one of those acts that is hard to describe and categorize. At times they sound like a world music band, fusing tribal, shamanistic and global electronica with acoustic instruments. At other occasions they venture into psychedelic progressive rock and trance adventures.

Whatever the category, Ole Lukkoye play music that is captivating and exotic, incorporating hybrid sounds from Russia, Siberia and East Asia. Aside from the Russian vocals, the band uses mesmerizing shamanistic and Siberian vocal styles.

One of the foundations of Ole Lukkoye is the effective rhythm section consisting of electronic loops and sequences mixed with live instruments such as the West African jembe, the Middle Eastern darbuka and the shaman drum.

Ole Lukkoye musicians include composer and lyricist Boris Bardash on keyboards, vocals, guitars, percussion, music, lyrics; Andrey Lavrinenko on bass, jembe; Alexander Frolov (aka Frol) on bassoon, flute, ocarina, horn, trumpet; and Tatyana Kalmykova on vocals. Guests featured: Georgy Starikov on guitars; Petr Akimov on cello; Vladimir Konovalov on bass; Oleg Shar on jembe, congas, vibraslap, percussion; Igor Kaim on banjo; Ekaterina Sidorova on percussion; and Yuri Lukyanchik on jembe, darbuka

Petroglyphs is a totally addictive album by Ole Lukkoye, a phenomenal world trance band from Russia.

Buy CD from

Listen to samples and buy digital version

Anglagard Added to Summers End Prog Festival in UK

The first ever UK appearance of legendary Swedish symphonic progressive rock band Anglagard with take place at Summers End Festival at Lydney Town Hall in Lydney, (Gloucestershire) on September 28-30, 2012.

Anglagard was a pioneer of the 1990s progressive rock revival, with a sound drenched in the 70s, and released two excellent albums, Hybris and Epilog. Their live shows are legendary, with three festival appearances in the USA particularly well remembered. After reuniting briefly in 2003, 2012 will mark the long awaited release of album three and a return to live activity. This may be the only opportunity to see the band live in the UK.

Summers End also announced the performance of Knifeworld. Led by guitarist and vocalist Kavus Torabi (The Cardiacs, North Sea Radio Orchestra, Guapo) the band mixes superb pop hooks with dense arrangements which blend progressive rock and psychedelia into an unique recipe.

Other announced artists include Manning (UK), K2 (USA) and Sunchild (Ukraine)

More at

Unidos Por Ritchald Tribute Concert to Feature Leading Peruvian Prog Bands

On February 16th, a large concert will be held in Lima (Peru). Titled “Unidos Por Ritchald,” the festival will feature Peruvian progressive rock legends Frágil and one of the best prog bands of the new generation, Kharmina Buranna. Other acts scheduled include Jingo, La Negra, Fever Disco Band, Jorge Pardo, and Peluka Núñez.

Ritchald Rodrich is an essential figure in Peruvian rock. He managed some of the most important rock bands in the South American nation. Now that he is having health problems, musicians got together to give him a worthy tribute.

Venue: Tres Joyas
Address: Av. Arnaldo Márquez, 1600 (intersection with Húsares de Junín) – Jesús María, Lima (Peru)
Time: 8.00 PM
Tockets: S/. 25 (as a donation)

Mysterium Magnum

Cannata - Mysterium Magnum

Mysterium Magnum (Oxford Circus, 2006)

Cannata’s album Mysterium Magnum, released in 2006, came to me because Jeff Cannata’s connection to progressive rock. He was a member of an American progressive rock band called Jasper Wrath in the 1970s. Cannata produces his own recordings at the Oxford Circus Studios in Connecticut.

Despite the promising and attractive artwork, Mysterium Magnum is not a progressive rock album. 90% of the music is a mix of finely executed AOR and melodic hard rock, influenced by bands like Kansas. Music intended for commercial FM radio. The only piece that brings back the progressive rock flame is the longest track on the album: ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sun.’ Here is where Jeff Cannata shows his talent as a musician and composer. ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sun’ has exquisite flute sections and dazzling keyboards.

Mysterium Magnum will appeal to fans of late 1970s Album Oriented Rock (AOR). If you are looking for progressive rock, download ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sun.’


Somewhere Beyond The Sun

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