The Knells II on the Leading-Edge of Progressive Music

The Knells – Knells II (Still Sound Records, 2017)

The Knells, the groundbreaking progressive rock ensemble from Brooklyn, New York is releasing The Knells II in November 2017. The Knells dazzled the progressive music community with its self-titled debut album and the talented musicians do it again with their second recording.

The Knells II moves forward with the unique mix of polyphonic vocal traditions drawing from western classical and Early Music and cutting edge progressive rock and psychedelia.

Composer and guitarist Andrew McKenna wrote all the music and lyrics. The Knells’ sound revolves around the interaction between the female vocalists and the fascinating multifaceted sounds of the guitars that deliver gliding and experimental sounds along with epic progressions.

In addition to drums, bass and keyboards, McKenna brought in an additional guitarist on slide guitar and lead guitar. The slide guitar provides a mesmerizing new element to the band’s sound.

The personnel on The Knells II includes many y familiar faces: Nina Berman, soprano; Charlotte Mundy, mezzo-soprano; Blythe Gaissert, contralto; Paul Orbell on slide and lead guitar; Andrew McKenna Lee on guitar; Jude Traxler on percussion, Rhodes, electronics; Jeff Gretz, drums; and Joseph Higgins on bass.

 

 

The album is available on CD, vinyl and digital from theknells.bandcamp.com

Progressive Rock Guitarist Phil Miller Dies

Phil Miller

British progressive rock and jazz fusion guitarist Phil Miller died October 18, 2017.

Philip Paul Miller was born on January 22, 1949 in Barnet, Hertfordshire. He was a member of various British bands, including Delivery and the highly influential Canterbury progressive rock bands Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health. He later formed Short Wave and released various solo projects.

In 2005 and 2006, Miller toured with the re-united Hatfield and the North.

Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock Dies at 66

Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock

 

German progressive rock and electronic music guitarist, keyboardist and composer Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock died October 14th, 2017 of kidney failure.

Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock was born January 30, 1951 in Duisburg, Germany. In 1971 he formed a psychedelic rock band called Impuls. During the 1970s, Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock experimented with electronic keyboards and built his own studio.

In the early 1980s, Hoffmann-Hoock co-founded the band Cosmic Hoffmann. In 1982, Hoffmann-Hoock traveled to India. His music started to incorporate Asian influences from India and Bali.

 

 

In 1986, Hoffmann-Hoock founded Mind Over Matter, an iconic band that mixed electronica with music of the Far East. Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock played electric guitar and keyboards, as well Indian sitar.

Mind Over Matter released 12 recordings with various lineups.

 

Cuneiform Records to Release First Art Zoyd Boxed Set

Cuneiform Records has announced the release of the first ever Art Zoyd box set. The collection titled Art Zoyd, 44 ½ years of music will be available November 24th, 2017.

Art Zoyd is a highly influential French progressive rock band. They are part of a subgenre known as RIO (Rock In Opposition), a set of artists that play avant-garde rock influenced by progressive rock experimentalists such as Magma as well as contemporary classical music composers.

The boxed set contains 8 CDs of live recordings covering the years 1972-2004 and four CDs of studio recordings, sketches and outtakes from 1980-2005. There are also two DVDs, one is comprised of historical television appearances from the late 1970s into the end of the 1980s and the other DVD disc includes the entire performance of Art Zoyd’s celebration at the RIO Festival.

The box and all elements were designed by British graphic artist Max Franosch.

Buy Art Zoyd, 44 ½ years of music in Europe

buy Art Zoyd, 44 ½ years of music in the rest of the world

Masterful Mixes of Early Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant – Three Piece Suite (Alucard, 2017)

Three Piece Suite gives new life to tracks carefully selected from Gentle Giant’s first three albums: Gentle Giant, Acquiring the Taste, and Three Friends.

The two-disc set includes a CD with new mixes of the tracks expertly crafted by musician and composer Steven Wilson, who has been doing a remarkable job with his remixes of classic and influential progressive rock albums.

It’s pure delight to listen to all the new details and nuances that Gentle Giant treats the listen to with full clarity. Gentle Giant was one of the groundbreaking prog rock bands and listeners can now enjoy the band’s earlier material with much improved sound.

There is also an unreleased song titled Freedom’s Child, from Gentle Giant’s first recording sessions with producer Tony Visconti.

The Blu-ray contains quite a few treats: animated videos made for the Steven Wilson mixes, instrumental mixes of all tracks, and flat transfers of all three complete albums in their original mixes.
The booklet contains an essay by journalist Anil Prasad that includes quotes from Gentle Giant’s members about the beginning of the band and their early recordings.

This set is highly recommended for longtime fans and newcomers to the magical world of progressive rock.

 

 

Buy Three Piece Suite in Europe

Buy Three Piece Suite in the rest of the world

Guilty of Innocence

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius – Guilty of Innocence

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius – Guilty of Innocence (Melodic Revolution Records, 2017)

Guilty of Innocence is the fifth studio album from Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius. Deninzon is known for his fiery violin solos and delivers quite a few great ones.

While in the past, Deninzon has recorded progressive rock and fusion-leanings compositions, Guilty of Innocence heads into a more commercial direction, with short songs infused with hard rock, AOR and pop hooks. Sure, there are brief spectacular violin solos and notable bass lines, but it’s mainly non-progressive material.

The highlights of the album are track 9, “Dream Day Cadenza,” where Deninzon showcases the marvels he can do with solo violin and effects; and track 10, “Soul Food.” This last song begins as yet another AOR piece, but when you get passed minute 4, it’s transformed into a wild instrumental prog rock ride with electric violin and guitar wizardry as well as splendid mandolin and piano.

Personnel: Joe Deninzon on electric violin, lead vocals, mandolin, and guitar; Aurelien Budynek on guitar, vocals; Jamie Bishop on bass, vocals; Lucianna Padmore on drums.

Guests include Renaissance’s Rave Tesar on keyboards; guitar maestro Alex Skolnick on guitar; Randy McStine on guitar, background vocals; Melanie Mitrano on vocals; Eddie Venegas on violin; Earl Maneein on viola; Leo Grinhauz on cello; Patrice Jackson on cello; and Benny Koonyevsky on drums.

Buy the digital download version of Guilty of Innocence. The CD is available from store.cdbaby.com

Absorbing Psychedelic Shapes

Quantum Fantay – Tessellation of Euclidean Space (Progressive Promotion Records PPRCD 051, 2017)

Belgian band Quantum Fantay continues to charm with its captivating mix of progressive rock, psychedelic music, electronica and reggae beats. Influences range from Ozric Tentacles to Pink Floyd.

The lineup includes Pete Mush on synthesizers and bubbles (effects); Jaro on bass; Gino Bartonili on drums; Jorinde on flute; Tom Tee on guitars; and Nette Willox on saxophone.

Tessellation of Euclidean Space is masterfully-crafted album by one of the leading progressive psychedelic rock bands of our time.

Buy Tessellation of Euclidean Space in Europe

Buy Tessellation of Euclidean Space in the rest of the world

YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman to Perform in Miami

Progressive rock band YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman is set to perform on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

YES was co-founded by Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire in 1968 and went on to sell millions of albums with classic prog rock releases such as Fragile, Close to The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, and Going For The One and the commercial radio friendly pop-rock recording 90125, as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.

The touring band line-up is completed by two remarkable musicians – Lee Pomeroy on bass and Louis Molino III on drums.

The trio will be recording new material throughout the summer for a projected album release in early 2018.

Time for Pink Floyd in Montreal

Time for Pink Floyd, a tribute band featuring members of Canadian progressive rock band Hamadryad, is set to perform on October 21st, 2017 at the Rialto Theater in Montreal. With 7 musicians on stage, Time for Pink Floyd will play the best classics of the prog rock legend.

The Rialto Theater
5723 Av du Parc, Montreal, QC H2V 4G9
$ 44 Show only – $ 123 Dinner-show (taxes included)
Box Office: http://theatrerialto.ca/en/event/spectacle-hommage-time-for-pink-floyd/?instance_id=206
Info and/or reservation (514) 770-7773

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