The Extraordinary Indonesian Progressive Jazz of Dwiki Dharmawan

Dwiki Dharmawan – Rumah Batu (Moonjune, 2018)

A group of superb musicians from the jazz fusion and world music scenes got together in La Casa Murada studio in northeastern Spain in 2017. What they recorded is Rumah Batu, an extraordinary genre defying album that combines progressive jazz, Indonesian music, flamenco and other influences.

Indonesian pianist, composer and producer Dwiki Dharmawan is an acclaimed maestro, known for his eclectic music work and openness. In La Casa Murada, he was joined by a stellar group of musical colleagues: Vietnamese-French electric guitar wizard and note-bending innovator Nguyên Lê; famed Spanish flamenco fretless bass player Carles Benavent (Paco de Lucia’s bass player); and the formidable rhythm section of UK-based bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Asaf Sirkis.

Although most of the album was recorded in Spain, additional musicians were recorded in Indonesia, adding a strong Southeast Asian essence to the album: Indonesian suling flute virtuoso Sa’at Syah; Ade Rudiana on kendang percussion; Dewi Gita on lead vocals; Teuku Hariansya & Indra Maulana Keubitbit on Rapa’I Acehnese percussions; Nyoman Windha’s Gamelan Jass Jegog Balinese gamelan and percussion; and Smit on vocals and LaLove traditional Sulawesi flute.

Although the majority of the album is instrumental, track three features the mesmerizing and evocative vocals of Dewi Gita.

 

 

Rumah Batu is an exceptionally expressive and imaginative album featuring an impeccable kaleidoscope of jazz and Indonesian sounds.

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Stick Men Announces Latin American Tour

Progressive rock musicians Tony Levin, Markus Reuter, Pat Mastelotto plus David Cross will be touring Latin America in 2018. The celebrated progressive music artists will perform in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala. For David Cross, these will be his first live concerts ever in Latin America outside of Brazil, where he recently played with local progressive group Dialeto.

David Cross is the well-known violinist from King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. Stick Men features virtuoso touch-style guitarist Markus Reuter, drummer Pat Mastelotto and Chapman Stickist Tony Levin.

Stick Men – Prog Noir

Stick Men’s most recent album is Prog Noir. David Cross’s most recent collection is Being Cross and the double album Midori where David and Stick Men first collaborated.

Tour Dates

Aug 24, Fri – São Paulo, SP, Brazil (Club Carioca)
Aug 25, Sat – Niteroi, Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil (Teatro Municipal) 2 shows
Aug 28, Tue – San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina (Teatro Alberdi)
Aug 30, Thu – Mar Del Plata, Argentina (Teatriz)
Aug 31, Fri – Buenos Aires, Argentina (ND Teatro)
Sept 1, Sat – Rosario, Argentina (Vorterix)
Sept 3, Mon – Montevideo, Uruguay (Las Trastienda Club)
Sept 5, Wed – Cordoba, Argentina (Teatro del Libertador San Martín)
Sept 6, Thu – Santiago, Chile (Teatro Nescafé de las Artes)
Sept 8, Sat – Lima, Peru (Teatro Municipal)
Sept 13, Thu – Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (Teatro Centro Boliviano Americano)
Sept 14, Fri – La Paz, Bolivia (Teatro 16 de Julio)
Sept 18, Tue – Guatemala City, Guatemala (Teatro Lux)
Sept 19, Wed – San Salvador, El Salvador (venue TBA)
Sept 20, Thu – Escazú, San José, Costa Rica (Jazz Café)
Sept 23, Sun – Mexico City, Mexico (Centro Cultural Robert Cantoral)
Sept 24, Mon – Monterrey, Mexico (Escena Monterrey)

Brainticket’s Live Spontaneous Electronic Music

Brainticket – Zürich / Lausanne

Brainticket – Zürich / Lausanne (Purple Pyramid, 2018)

Brainticket was one of the great Swiss progressive music acts of the 1970s. The double album Zürich / Lausanne features a set of live experimental performances where electronic music meets jazz improvisation and avant-garde sound experimentation.

This set of recordings were made in the 1980s and feature Joel Vandroogenbroeck on synths and electronics; Bruno Spoerri on lyricon and electronics; and Markus Fürst on percussion.

This was the year when the MIDi was introduced and the concert was part performance, part exhibition of the capacity of new technology. The final result is a fine example of live improvised electronic music from the mid-1980s.

Buy Zürich / Lausanne

Soyuz Inspiration

Gazpacho – Soyuz

Gazpacho – Soyuz (KScope, 2018)

Norwegian band Gazpacho is described as a progressive rock band, although their style is closer to minimalist post rock, with a strong melancholic and gloomy feel.

Soyuz’s better moments are the electronic beats, ambient soundscapes and trance-like guitars.

The lineup includes Jan Henrik Ohme on vocals; Jon-Arne Vilbo on guitars; Thomas Andersen on keyboards; Mikael Krømer on violin and mandolin; Kristian Torp on bass; and Lars Erik Asp on drums.

Buy Soyuz

Juno Reactor Releases Dancing-Robot Futurism Video “Let’s Turn On”

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) masters Juno Reactor have released a music video of the song “Let’s Turn On” that appears in its new album titled The Mutant Theatre.

The video features illuminated bodies in motion, suits of LEDs and lasers and reflective surfaces, in perfect sync with the wave of trance beats and bass synth growls.

The performers are the members of the Mutant Theatre, a collective of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists who have been dazing audiences with Juno Reactor since 2016.

InsideOutMusic Announces Spock’s Beard and Roine Stolt’s The Flower King’s Winter 2018 Tour

The InsideOutMusic label that has released some of the best-selling progressive rock acts in recent years, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a tour by two of its best-known artists, Spock’s Beard and Roine Stolt’s The Flower King’s.

Spock’s Beard said: “It will be a co-bill with Roine Stolt’s The Flower King’s revisited band, so each show promises to be a great evening of music. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about who will be playing drums on this tour, so at this time let me introduce our new touring drummer, Mr. Mike Thorne, from Saga! We are really excited to have him on board and are looking forward to seeing you on tour.”

Roine Stolt adds: “Asked to put together a band to go on the road, celebrate our label InsideOut’s 25 year anniversary; I was thinking of the ‘treasure’ that is the music I wrote for The Flower Kings during that same period. I felt compelled to bring out this music for yet another round and in the process bring in some old friends and some new.

The music is universal; some songs timeless and by November I hope to have an exciting set-list to not only celebrate my 1st album and the origin of all things “The Flower King” but to cover the rest of TFK’s history and eventually a new tune and a few new faces. Tune up the engine. Time to prog!”

InsideOut released a boxed with first set of The Flower Kings albums titled ‘Kingdom Of Colours (1995-2002)’ and has just released the second boxed set with the more recent albums: Kingdom Of Colours II (2004-2013).

Tour dates in 2018:

30th November – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway
1st December – Kulturhuset Studion, Stockholm, Sweden
2nd December – KB, Malmo, Sweden
4th December – Zeche, Bochum, Germany
5th December – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
6th December – La Machine, Paris, France
7th December – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
8th December – Hedon, Zwolle, Netherlands
9th December – Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
10th December – Academy Club, Manchester, UK

Colosseum Drummer Jon Hiseman Dies at 73

British musician and producer Jon Hiseman who founded seminal British progressive rock and jazz-rock bands Colosseum, Tempest and Colosseum II died June 12, 2018.

Philip John “Jon” Hiseman was born June 21, 1944 in Manchester, England. He studied piano and violin as a child. However, he became passionately interested in percussion during his early teens.
From 1969 to 1978 he led three groundbreaking jazz-rock groups: Colosseum, Tempest and Colosseum II.

He later recorded several albums with his wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson.

Jon Hiseman released a solo album titled ‘A Night In The Sun’ with a band led by Márcio Montarroyos, made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982.

In 1994 Colosseum got together again. The reformed group released a live reunion album and a new studio recording, ‘Bread and Circuses’ in 1997, followed ‘Tomorrows Blues’ (2003) and ‘Time On Our Side’ (2014).

Martyn Hansen wrote about about Hiseman titled ‘Playing The Band – the musical life of Jon Hiseman’, published in 2011.

Yuka & Chronoship on a Wondrous Sea Voyage

Yuka & Chronoship – Ship (King Records/Cherry Red Records, 2018)

Ship is the fourth album by Yuka & Chronoship, one of the finest bands in the current Japanese progressive rock scene. The album revolves around the ship theme and opens with a 7-track composition titled The Argo Suite, inspired by Greek mythology.

The album starts with “Argo – Tears of Figurehead,” a charming short song featuring Yuka Funakoshi on piano and harmony vocals and the lead vocals of Sonja Kristina, the iconic singer of pioneering progressive rock band Curved Air along with sound effects of a wooden ship sailing.

Track 2, “Argo – Ship Argos” is a high energy instrumental with powerful synths and a lot of hard rock guitar, probably too much. Yuka adds moments of calm before the hard rocking returns.

“Argo – Landing” continues with the overpowering guitar in a duel with Yuka’s electric organ. Thankfully, Takashi Miyazawa drops the hard and heavy riffs and provides a skilled solo, showcasing his talent.

Track 4 “Argo – Golden Fleece” begins with a retro feel, featuring progressive blues rock with ELP-inspired electric organ. It builds very nicely into an epic symphonic rock conclusion with outstanding keyboard and guitar interaction.

“Argo – A Dragon that Never Sleeps” begins with a potent bass and keyboard introduction, where the band crisscrosses between progressive rock and jazz-rock fusion. This is another satisfying epic that grows in intensity.

“Track 6 Argo – Islands in the Stream” features some of Yuka’s finest keyboard work and Takashi Miyazawa’s guitar is truly impressive. It’s followed by, “Argo – Return,” the magnificent conclusion to the suite with more epic keyboards, guitars, bass and drums.

On “Air Ship of Jean Giraud,” we hear the familiar rich keyboard layers and vocal harmonies of Yuka along with masterful guitar playing by Takashi Miyazawa.

Track 9, “Visible Light” features lead vocals by Yuka, accompanied by rich symphonic keyboards and looped guitars that transition into a fabulous interchange between the synths and guitar.

“Old Ship on the Grass” is a happy sing along song that features acoustic folk guitar, electric organ, wordless vocals and a very catchy beat.

The final track is the symphonic rock treat “Did You Find a Star?” It was originally going to feature vocals by John Wetton, but unfortunately he passed away. The band invited Hiroyuki Izuta to provide the vocals. Yuka performs mesmerizing piano and keyboard work and Takashi Miyazawa adds more of his exceptional guitar lines.

The line-up on Ship includes Yuka Funakoshi on vocals, keyboards and piano; Takashi Miyazawa on guitars; Shun Taguchi on bass and chorus; and Ikko Tanaka on drums. Guests: Sonja Kristina and Hiroyuki Izuda on vocals.

Buy Ship

The Diverse Influences of The Sea Within

The Sea Within – “The Sea Within” (InsideOut Music, 2018)

The word supergroup gets thrown around a lot, although in the case of new and The Sea Within it’s real. The Sea Within brings together a multinational cast of musicians who have performed with high profile progressive rock acts: guitarist and vocalist Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic); bassist Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings; keyboardist and vocalist Tom Brislin (Renaissance); drummer and vocalist Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats); and vocalist and guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation).

The five musicians have put together an excellent recording featuring charismatic and nuanced vocals and top of the line instrumental musicianship. Although the album contains plenty of state of the art progressive rock, featuring memorable guitar and keyboard solos, outstanding vocals and a formidable rhythm section, there is also classic and hard rock and even pop. The dreaded word metal has been thrown around in some of the press releases but, thankfully, it’s barely perceptible.

The album features well-structured songs and some jams, where the band members and their guests get to showcase their talent.

The lineup includes Marco Minneman on drums, percussion, vocal, and guitar; Jonas Reingold on bass; Tom Brislin on keyboards, vocals; Roine Stolt on guitars, vocals, and additional keyboards; Daniel Gildenlow on vocals & additional guitar; and Casey McPherson on vocals.

Guests include Jon Anderson on vocals on Broken Cord; Jordan Rudess on Grand Piano on The Hiding of Truth; and Rob Townsend on soprano saxophone on The Ashes of Dawn.

The album was recorded in London to facilitate travel for all musicians. Jonas lives in Austria, Daniel and Roine are in Sweden, Tom is based in the East Coast of the United States of America, whereas Marco is on the West Coast of the U.S.

The Sea Within will make its stage debut at ‘Night of the Prog’ in Loreley, Germany, July 13-15, 2018 and will feature special guests.

The album is available in CD (with a bonus CD), vinyl and digital formats.

The Sea Within presents impeccable examples of progressive rock craftsmanship.

Buy The Sea Within

Ben Craven Presents The Singles

Ben Craven – The Single Edits (Desert Comb Music, 2018)

This CD of remixed singles by excellent Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer Ben Craven was originally released in digital format last year. The CD edition is beautifully designed and includes lyrics.

The material from Craven’s The Single Edits comes from two superb progressive rock albums Last Chance to Hear (2016) and Great & Terrible Potions (2011). The songs and instrumentals have been cut down to radio single length, 2-5 minutes long. It’s a great way to become acquainted with Craven’s music and ideal for radio airplay as well. The album includes a couple of straight pop ballads that were not featured in the previous albums.

Buy The Single Edits

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