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.

Australian Experimental Rock Band Releases In The Balance Music Video

Pirate
Pirate, a Sydney-based experimental rock band, has released a fascinating new video for their track ‘In The Balance’, taken from their debut album ‘Left Of Mind.’

Directed by Paul Cook of POP Films, it was filmed at Sydney’s Troy Horse studio, with an array of visual effects and lighting. Reflecting the minimimalist nature of the track, the video is suitably stripped-back.

Pirate have toured their fiercely experimental avante-garde rock since the release of Left Of Mind, including supports for FloatingMe, sleepmakeswaves and Sydonia, as well as featuring on both Sydney and Melbourne Progfest events and headlining their own club shows.

They will cap off the year on the Bird’s Robe label showcase tour, taking in the Annandale Hotel in Sydney on Dec 22nd and Curtin Bandroom in Melbourne on Dec 23rd, alongside sleepmakeswaves, Meniscus and Toehider.

CD (North America):

Digital download (North America):

Europe:

Electric Infinity

My Brother The Wind - I Wash My Soul In The Stream Of Infinity
My Brother The Wind

I Wash My Soul In The Stream Of Infinity (Transsubstans TRANS090, 2011)

Swedish band My Brother The Wind continues the fine tradition of progressive psychedelic rock. Their new album is I Wash My Soul In The Stream Of Infinity and it is a mesmerizing series of dreamy instrumental pieces.

The band was formed by members from other well-known Swedish progressive rock acts: Nicklas Barker (Anekdoten) on guitar and mellotron; Mathias Danielsson (Makajodama, Gösta Berlings Saga) on guitar and tenor recorder; Ronny Eriksson (Magnolia) on bass; and Tomas Eriksson on drums.

The dual electric guitars are heavily processed, creating hypnotic effects. The mellotron adds an exciting vintage electronic sound to the mix. You can find influences from Echoes-era Pink Floyd and Ozric Tentacles.
I Wash My Soul In The Stream Of Infinity is a beautifully crafted atmospheric mix of rock, electronica, and psychedelia.

The album is available on CD, LP and digital download.

CD:

Digital

Europe:

Prog Band Circa to Perform New Year’s Eve Internet Concert December 31st 2011

Circa
Circa, a band founded in 2007 by former Yes members Billy Sherwood & Tony Kaye with Johnny Bruhns & Scott Connor will be in concert, live, interactive, in real time and via their new UStream channel “Circa: HQ” on December 31, 2011 (6:00 PM PST / 9:00 PM EST).

The band will be performing songs from the newly released Circa: ‘And So On’ CD as well as selected cuts from their previous studio CDs ‘circa: 2007’ and ‘circa: HQ’, and other tracks from their collective musical pasts.

HD cameras and pro audio combined will put viewers right in the center of the action. There will be a host taking questions for the band from the audience between songs making it a totally interactive experience and the first ever of its kind for Circa.

December 31st– tickets can be ordered directly from Circa: HQ UStream channel using paypal at www.ustream.tv/channel/circa-hq. Anyone who misses the show in real time can at any point purchase a ticket and watch it at their own convenience from the UStream archives.

Preview 3 excerpts “Life’s Offering”, “Till We Get There” and “And So On” from the new CIRCA: CD ‘And So On’

Albums available at www.circahq.com

Progressive Rock Video of the Week: Fanfare for the Common Man by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
This week’s progressive rock video takes us to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, performing a spectacular live version of Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man.’ The concert took place at Tollwood Festival in Munich (Germany) in 1997.

On this piece, Keith Emerson demonstrates why he is regarded as one of the leading keyboardists of his generation. He pioneered the use of synthesizers in modern music, combining the sounds of the traditional piano, electric organ and various generations of synthesizers.

The new arrangement of ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ was original included in Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s double album titled Works 1, released in 1977.

Progressive Rock Legend Renaissance Releases Special Limited Edition Live CD and DVD Set

Renaissance Limited Edition DVD/2CD
One of the pioneering bands of symphonic progressive rock, Renaissance, has released a limited edition live CD/DVD set. The collection was filmed and recorded during Renaissance’s recent United States tour. With the exception of someone using a black and white camera at the back of a theater in the 1970s, this is the first time Renaissance has ever been filmed and professionally recorded in concert.

The love and energy bestowed upon us by those of you that were able to attend, reflects in our performance,” say band leaders Annie Haslam Michael Dunford. “It is especially exciting for us to have fans all around the world able to see and hear our wonderful new band. We now have five strong vocalists within the band, two keyboard players, an orchestral drummer/percussionist and phenomenal bass player who capture all the lush and richness of our orchestrations.”

The live recording was made at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside (Pennsylvania, USA) on September 23 2011. It contains over two hours of Renaissance live performance, including two classic albums performed live in their entirety: Turn of the Cards and Scheherazade and Other Stories.

This DVD/2CD set is not available in retail stores or elsewhere online. It is available exclusively on Renaissance’s web site at http://RenaissanceTouring.com/DVD.

Poetic Deep Space

Janet Robbins - Song of the Gypsy Tree
Janet Robbins

Song of the Gypsy Tree‘ (Star 7 Records, 2010)

I’ve always been interested in dark folk and deep space ambient music. Janet Robbins is an impressive discovery in this field. Her new album titled ‘Song of the Gypsy Tree’
introduces a magical and mesmerizing collection of poetry combined with remarkable overdubbed vocals, ambient music, whispering voices, electronic beats, beautiful distant vocals and choruses, global music samples and acoustic instruments such as the piano and frame drums.

I’m singing on this album – there’s more compositional structure for the lyric, although there are formless passages of lyric as well,” explains Janet. “Sonically I still draw from a source of tone and musicality, that seems to reside in middle earth and deep space. I do feel the quality of journey and travel still exists within the music.”

Janet Robbins introspective lyrics are richly poetic with themes of love, the environment, nature, science fiction, dreams and mystery. She composed, wrote and performed most of the music. Robbins is an accomplished piano player and also uses a wide variety of electronic keyboard sounds. Two percussionists, Chris Armstrong and River Guerguerian participated in the album.

For me, the album is about relationship of all kinds,” says Janet, “the struggles we create when we ignore our relatedness to one another, the animal kingdom, and to the environment, and the offerings of the natural and spirit world and the surrender that’s needed.”

I think we have the gift of almost unlimited creation and a responsibility for what/the world we create,” adds Janet. “So cook a great meal and share it with friends! Sing a little tune to someone on the street, turn a moment into a radical departure from social dictates, use your voice and break the numbing acquiescence of a collective sleep. But enjoy life.”

Song of the Gypsy Tree‘ conjures a futuristic, mysterious world with an impressive range of layered vocal talent and hypnotic deep space ambient sounds. An extraordinary album by new dark ambience talent Janet Robbins.

Deluxe Edition of Progressive Rock Classic In The Land Of Grey And Pink

Caravan - In the Land of Grey & Pink
In The Land of Grey and Pink by Caravan, one of the essential albums of the Canterbury-style of progressive rock is now available in a Deluxe Edition. The 3-CD 40th Anniversary collection includes extra tracks and a DVD.

The tracks on the album were remastered by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and disc three presents the album in surround sound.

In the Land Of Grey And Pink came out in 1971. Caravan at that time was Richard Sinclair on vocals, bass and guitar; Pye Hastings on guitar, vocals; David Sinclair on keyboards, backing vocals; and Richard Coughlan on drums. Guest musicians on the album were Jimmy Hastings, Paul Beecham and David Grinstead.
Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. Golf Girl
2. Winter Wine
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)
4. In The Land Of Grey & Pink
5. Nine Feet Underground
6. Frozen Rose (I Don’t Know It’s Name Alias The Word)
7. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)
8. Nine Feet Underground (Alternate Stereo Mix)

Disc: 2

1. Aristocracy
2. It Doesn’t Take A Lot
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)
4. It’s Likely to Have a Name Next Week (Winter Wine Instrumental)
5. Nigel Blows A Tune
6. Group Girl (Golf Girl first version)
7. Love Song Without Flute
8. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
9. Love To Love You
10. Nine Feet Underground
11. Feelin’, Reelin’, Squealin’

Disc: 3

1. Golf Girl
2. Winter Wine
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)
4. In The Land Of Grey & Pink
5. Nine Feet Underground – Medley
6. Frozen Rose (I Don’t Know It’s Name Alias The Word)
7. Golf Girl
8. Winter Wine

Tribute Album Celebrates the Work of the Legendary Jazz Bassist Jaco Pastorius

Gospel For J.F.P. III - Tribute To Jaco Pastorious
Jaco Pastorius would have turned 60 on December 1st. The album Gospel For J.F.P. III – Tribute To Jaco Pastorious celebrates the work of the legendary bassist, who died on September 21, 1987. The tribute includes performances by over 60 of the finest jazz and fusion musicians.

Gospel For J.F.P. III – Tribute To Jaco Pastorious is a modernized viewpoint consisting of bop-induced piano jazz; thrusting, bass-heavy funk; jazz fusion, spiced up with a taste of the Caribbean and South America; and much more.

The album features band mates and colleagues of the legendary electric bass virtuoso and innovator. Among this this list of luminaries are: Alex Acuña, Carles Benavent, Charles Blenzig, Delmar Brown, Hiram Bullock, Kenwood Dennard, Hugo Fattoruso, Michael Gerber, Gil Goldstein, Danny Gottlieb, Billy Hart, Toninho Horta, Bireli Lagrene, Armando Marçal, Marcus Miller, Bob Mintzer, Othello Molineaux, Jorge Pardo, Felix Pastorius (Jaco’s son), John Patitucci, Mike Stern, and many more.

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