The Spacious Mind – The Drifter (Trail Records TR-020, 2018)
Trail Records never fails to deliver the good stuff. The Drifter is a collection of tracks by the fabulous psychedelic progressive rock band The Spacious Mind, from Sweden.
The Spacious Mind recreates the enchanting atmosphere of progressive psychedelia generated by Echoes-era Pink Floyd, with a boatload of acid guitars, vintage keyboards, spellbinding effects and modern electronic sounds.
The material on The Drifter includes tracks from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s. Great stuff indeed.
Psychedelic progressive band After Nations has announced the release of a new album titled Consteleid, scheduled for release on August 1st.
Guitarist Andrew Elliott said about the new recording: “This is definitely our most ambitious work to date. I’ve really focused the past few years trying to develop as both a song-writer and guitarist, and in working with Travis and Zack to create something that feels like it represents where we are musically. I think the ideas and themes all feel more developed, more mature, more focused – and the album feels more expansive in the sonic ground it covers. I hope people will experience and feel that when they hear it.”
The band will be presenting the new album across the US Midwest, southwest, and West Coast later this summer. This time they’ll be joined by an additional guitarist, David Sandoval (Eat the Sun, Chaff, Kenaima).
“In the past, I’ve written guitar parts for albums that I have to condense down for live performances,” says Andrew Elliott. “I couldn’t play everything that’s there, it’s just not possible, so I’d focus on critical parts and cut other things. With this album, I just didn’t feel we could do that. The writing is all interdependent; everything has a place, every part is serving the music. It just doesn’t have the same energy, feeling, or texture without all of it being played live. So I reached out to Dave – an incredible musician and friend from past tours – and asked him if he’d want to join us. He was down, and here we are.”
8/17 Lawrence, KS at Replay Lounge
8/18 Colorado Springs, CO at Triple Nickel
8/19 Denver, CO at 7th Circle
8/21 Salt Lake City, UT at The Underground
8/22 Boise, ID at The Olympic
8/23 Salem, OR at The Space
8/24 Portland, OR at Kenton Club
8/25 Seattle, WA at The Central
8/29 Oakland, CA at Elbo Room
8/30 Las Vegas, NV at TBA
8/31 Phoenix, AZ at Rogue
9/1 Albuquerque, NM at TBA
Superfjord – All Will Be Golden (Svart Records, 2018)
All Will Be Golden is the second album by Finnish psychedelic rock band Superfjord, scheduled for release September 21, 2018. The band plays a superb mix of Pink Floyd-inspired space rock, progressive jam rock, trance music and mantra chants
The band includes Jussi Ristikaarto on guitars, electronics, vocals; Mikko Kapanen on guitar, vocals, percussion; Ilari Kivelä on drums, percussion; Teemu Soininen on bass; Juho Ojala on keyboards; and Jussi Peevo on drums, percussion.
All Will Be Golden is a mesmerizing album by a rising talent in the field of progressive psychedelic rock.
Belgian keyboardist Dominique Vantomme has released a fabulous genre-defying album where progressive jazz meets psychedelic rock.
Vegir has a cutting edge sound where analog keyboards (including distorted electric piano) meet the spellbinding psychedelic guitar and effects of Michel Delville, Tony Levin’s remarkable bass and Chapman stick sounds, and the powerful, creative drumming of Maxime Lenssen.
Vegir is an exceptionally good album featuring engaging and instinctive progressive jams that highlight the beauty of electronic keyboards.
Static is an indie progressive rock project by keyboardist Dave Kerzner. It’s a concept album about the disruptions and disorder in ordinary life and about passing through this “static interference” in our minds towards the goal of lucidity and joy.
The majority of the album contains beautifully-crafted progressive rock with vocal and guitar echoes of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Steven Wilson and prog rock classic acts plus forward-thinking arrangements that bring together space rock, sound effects and electronics.
As indicated, the majority of the album is highly enjoyable state-of-the-art progressive rock. I would skip tracks 5 and 6, which stray away from the progressive rock vibe and head towards catchy pop. The remainder of the album includes all there is to like about progressive rock: majestic mellotron, memorable synth and guitar solos, exquisite cello, long epics and grand finales.
But there is more, Static features the great Steve Hackett, a musician that deserves an award for his talent and generosity, appearing as guest on numerous progressive rock albums. And Kerzner also used the rising star of prog rock artwork, Ed Unitsky.
The lineup on Static includes Dave Kerzner on vocals, keyboards and guitar; Fernando Perdomo on guitar, bass and drums; Randy McStine on guitar, effects and backing vocals; Derek Cintron on drums; Durga and Lorelei McBroom on backing vocals.
Guests: Steve Hackett on guitar; Matt Dorsey on bass and backing vocals; Nick Mason on drums; Colin Edwin on bass; Ewa Karolina Lewowska on backing vocals; Chris Johnson on guitar; Stuart Fletcher on bass; Alex Cromarty on drums; Ruti Celi on cello; and Nick D’Virgilio on drums.
Philadelphia-based band iNFiNiEN has released Light at the Endless Tunnel, one of the most exciting progressive music albums in recent months. Their remarkable mix of progressive rock, fusion and world music attracted our attention so here is more about the band.
How and when was iNFiNiEN formed?
In the fall of 2004, we were roommates and we jammed, which led to us writing songs. Our first gig was at a benefit concert at the World Café live in December 2004. We played our only two songs we had at the time.
What does the band name iNFiNiEN mean?
iNFiNiEN is a made up term from the book “An American Mystic” by Michael Gurian. The full-term was “Homo Infinien” which, in the context of the book, is representative the next evolutionary step of humans.
What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
Polyrhythms, jazz harmony, progressive song structures, thoughtful and socially-conscious lyrics, driving bass grooves, exotic tonalities
Who can you cite as your main musical influences?
Farmers Market, Secret Chiefs 3, Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, John Coltrane, Meshuggah, Sun Ra, Ali Farka Toure, John McLaughlin, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Jaco Pastorius, and many, many more (too many to name)
How long has the band been around?
Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.
We discovered our own sound by jamming together. We recorded our jams and arranged our favorite parts into songs. As we went along, we were aiming to evoke visual impressions in the listeners. Our intention was to go beyond genre. There was also a psychedelic influence, without question. ; )
Your sound has elements of progressive rock, world music, jazz and beyond. How do audiences react to your music?
We’ve been very pleasantly surprised that the majority of our live audiences have viewed it as a breath of fresh air. People have given us a lot of positive support. Some find it “too complicated”, but for the most part, audiences really appreciate our approach.
Despite all the media outlets available, most of the music that is played currently by mass media is pop or hip hop. How do you get your music out there?
When playing live, we try to associate with bands who are similar (sometimes hard to find). Online we try and reach out to the progressive and indie music communities or anyone who we think would appreciate it. Since it’s only the four of us trying to get PR for the band, our total reach is pretty limited.
What musical instruments do you use?
Our live set up is drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard. On recordings, we’ve used oud, saz, sitar, bulbul tarang, tabla, organ, exotic percussion sounds, and some Moog.
And what effects do you use?
Guitar: whammy, ambient delays, and reverb
Bass: volume swell, chorus pedal, octaver
Keyboard: sounds including clav, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, some pads, etc.
How’s the current progressive music scene in your area?
The Tri-state area’s progressive scene is pretty vital. And we’ve been lucky to play with such bands as Consider the Source, Kayodot, Reign of Kindo, Tea Club, Out of the Beard Space, and many others.
If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?
We don’t have a good answer for this question. On a related note our guitarist Matt Hollenberg has actually been playing music for John Zorn, one of his heroes and main influences, for the last two years in the organ trio Simulacrum with John Medeski and Kenny Grohowski.
Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?
Needlepoint is yet another superb progressive music band from Norway. The Oslo-based group plays a mix of progressive psychedelic rock and jazz-rock with Canterbury influences.
Some of the songs have a well-structured form, featuring charming folk-rock-style lead and harmony vocals, memorable electric organ work and remarkable bluesy/psychedelic guitar solos. Other times, the band goes into jazz-rock territory with exquisite Canterbury leanings and some jam moments.
The lineup on Aimless Mary includes Bjørn Klakegg on guitar, vocals and additional bass; David Wallumrød on clavinet, organ, Prophet 5, percussion and background vocals; Nikolai Hoengsle Eilertsen on bass, additional guitars, background vocals and percussion; and Olaf Olsen on drums.
Needlepoint was formed in 2010 as a trio. Earlier albums include The Woods Are Not What They Seem (BJK Music, 2010) and Outside The Screen (BJK Music, 2012).
When you listen to this compilation, it is clear that some of the best psychedelic progressive rock is being made in Russia. Tripwave 2: Collection of Modern Russian Psychedelic Music features 9 fabulous acts. Three of the artists have had international exposure, including Ole Lukkoye, Rada & Blackthorns and Polska Radio One. The rest are young bands from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
If you like the progressive side of psychedelia, you’ll love this album. It’s got spacey guitars, hypnotic vocals and spellbinding progressions. On Track 2, “Ethno Song” by Rada & Blackthorn you’ll find soaring guitars along with wailing female vocals and fascinating Tuvan throat singing.
There is not a weak track on this album. However, there are some highlights. In addition to “Ethno Song”, there is a truly captivating song titled “Canyon” by Sonora, with a “tripped out” female vocalist that brings up an image of Grace Slick jamming with Pink Floyd.
Other favorites are ethno-psychedelic band Ole Lukkoye that plays trance-like shamanic music mixing psychedelic guitars with ethnic vocals and percussion; and Kamni’s dreamy psychedelia with David Gilmore-style guitars.
The Roadmap in Your Head is a space rock fest featuring the Spirits Burning collective and progressive electronic music pioneer Clearlight. The overall result is a fabulous mix of electronic music, rock, psychedelia, jazz and even world music influences. At times, the musicians venture into intense space and electronic music. On other parts of the album, the musicians gradually drift towards jazz, trance-like progressive rock and global sounds.
Clearlight is keyboardist and composer Cyrille Verdeaux, who released iconic albums in the 1970s. Spirits Burning is an impressive gathering of musicians who have played with the leading progressive psychedelic and space rock bands: Gong and Hawkwind, as well as other acclaimed space rock outfits.
The lineup is extensive and looks like a dream team wishlist: Cyrille “Clearlight” Verdeaux; the late Daevid Allen; Steve Hillage; Mike Howlett; Didier Malherbe; Ian East; Fabio Golfetti; Dave Sturt; Kavus Torabi; Don Falcone; Paul Booth; Theo Travis; Judy Dyble; Jonathan Segel; Steve Bemand; Nik Turner; Bridget Wishart; Albert Bouchard and many more.
“The Roadmap In Your Head” was mastered by renowned ambient electronic music keyboardist Robert Rich.