Tag Archives: psychedelic rock

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

Interview with Progressive Music Band iNFiNiEN

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.

 

iNFiNiEN – Light at the Endless Tunnel

 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.

iNFiNiEN – Photo by Adam Hribar

 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?

12.5 years

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.

iNFiNiEN – Photo by Adam Hribar

 

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.

 

iNFiNiEN – Photo by Adam Hribar

 

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

We have some things in the works. Stay tuned.

 

 

Discography:

How To Accept (2006)
iNFiNiEN (2009)
Light at the Endless Tunnel

Aimless Mary

Needlepoint – Aimless Mary (BJK Music, 2015)

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).

buy Aimless Mary

More Transfixing Psychedelia from Russia

Various Artists – Tripwave 2: Collection of Modern Russian Psychedelic Music (Trail Records 018, 2016)

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.

Buy Tripwave 2: Collection of Modern Russian Psychedelic Music

The Roadmap in Your Head

Spirits Burning & Clearlight – “The Roadmap in Your Head” (Gonzo Multimedia, 2016)

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.

Buy The Roadmap in Your Head

Reconstituted Gong Alive and Well

Gong – “Rejoice! I’m Dead!” (Madfish, 2016)

Psychedelic rock collective Gong has released its first album since the death of its founder Daevid Allen. It’s hard to know who’s a member of gong at any given time, as the lineup changes frequently. This time, Gong has added guitarist and vocalist Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld), a multi-faceted musician who is involved in many different progressive music-related projects in the UK.

This version of Gong begins the album with three songs that seem to me like late 60s psychedelia. What I liked about Gong in the 1970s was its progressive rock spirit and the first three cuts on this album deliver a more rudimentary rock form with psychedelic outbursts here and there.

Things get much more interesting on track 4, “Model Village,” where the band adds trippy electronics, exotic flutes, laid back dreamy vocals and sound effects. It’s certainly a more progressive sound. This track also features an important Gong pioneer, French wind instrument master Didier Malherbe, who plays Armenian duduk.

The exploratory psychedelia continues on “Beatrix” with some jazz leanings.

On “Visions” the band takes into space music with mesmerizing gliss guitar and ebow intertwined with soprano sax.

Next comes ”The Unspeakable Stands Revealed” where the band goes into progressive psychedelic jam rock mode, delivering notable gliss guitar, regular electric guitar and soprano sax interplay.

Track 8, “Through Restless Seas I Come” slows down the space and takes you into the dreamtime zone with the mix of electronic, vocals and evocative duduk.

On the last track, “Insert Yr Own Prophecy” the band kicks up the rock side of things and develops into a great jam-like piece.

The lineup on ‘Rejoice! I’m Dead!’ includes Kavus Toravi on vocals and guitar; Fabio Golfetti on guitar and vocals; Dave Sturt on bass and vocals; Ian East on sax and flute; and Cheb Nettles on drums and vocals. There are also guest appearance by former Gong musicians Steve Hillage on guitar; Didier Malherbe on duduk; and Graham Clark on violin.

“Rejoice! I’m Dead!” is available on CD, a double LP and as a limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition featuring 44-page book, CD, DVD-AV & Bonus CD; and digitally as well.

Buy Rejoice! I’m Dead! in the Americas

Buy Rejoice! I’m Dead in Europe

Pink Floyd Records to Reintroduce More Vinyl Reissues

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother

Pink Floyd Records has announced the reintroduction ‘Atom Heart Mother’, ‘Meddle’ and ‘Obscured By Clouds’ on vinyl. The three albums have been remastered from the original analog master tapes and will be released on September 23rd, 2016. ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Division Bell’ are also back in stock on vinyl from August 26th.

Pink Floyd followed their 1960s albums with their fifth studio album, 1970’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ featuring the classic lineup of Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason plus an orchestra. The LP went on to become the band’s first UK No.1 record.

In a short break from touring ‘Atom Heart Mother’, in 1971, Pink Floyd released the progressive psychedelic album, ‘Meddle’. The album included the epic 23-minute track Echoesthat occupied the entirety of the B-side of the record.

Pink Floyd’s seventh album ‘Obscured By Clouds’ was originally recorded as the soundtrack to the French film ‘La Vallée’ but it was eventually released as a standalone album in 1972.

Interview with Italian progressive Rock Artist Marco Ragni

Italian multi-instrumentalist Marco Ragni recently released a superb new album titled “Land of Blue Echoes.” Ragni is deeply inspired by psychedelic and progressive rock. He talks to Progressive Rock Central about his music and career.

Angel Romero – What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

Marco Ragni – The main element of my music is emotion. I always try to write and play what is in my heart… Then I love so much to create a landscape as a painter while describes your imagination in a painting. I’m an impressionist! I love to melting acoustic and electric elements. My music is passionate as me.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

My main musical influences are: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, PFM, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Steven Wilson, Motorpsycho, David Crosby, The Beatles, Gentle Giant, Ozric Tentacles and all the progressive and psychedelic scene of sixties and seventies.. I listen to this music since I was a child.

Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.

My first recordings was funny and totally experimental!! I used a four analogical tracks with cassette… I’ve composed a lot of psychedelic songs. My evolution was both from the point of view of the recordings and the composition. I studied a lot, especially, how to compose a song, how to record a song and how to mixing a song. I tried to use my knowledge to get what I was trying musically. Sometimes I will have succeeded!

Marco Ragni - Land of Blue Echoes
Marco Ragni – Land of Blue Echoes

Unlike other Italian ­artists, you sing in English. Why English and not Italian?

Because I wanted to be international and ’cause I always loved English as the language used in music. Sometimes I write in my language for example as “Canto d’amore” of my last album “Land of Blue Echoes” but usually I love English. Maybe one day I’ll record an entire album in Italian language.. What do you think about it?…

From my point of view, Italy has one of the finest and most original progressive rock scenes in the world. Why do you think Italy produces so many first-class artists?

I don’t know really, but I think Italians have a great taste that comes from our “culture of beauty” and from the Opera. We have many great Conservatories (Schools of music) and people are very creative and crazy! I think it’s because we need to express in music all that is beautiful around us, but there’s also a magical way that I can’t understand…

Marco Ragni
Marco Ragni

What instruments do you use?

Mainly I use guitars (especially acoustic 6 and 12 strings) and keyboards. I love so much mellotron and bass and sometimes I play bouzouki (a typical Greek or Irish instrument, I use Greek), lap steel guitar and ukulele (baritone). Rarely play the flute..

What effects do you use?

I’m a slave of delays, reverbs and phasers! All from Boss. I love so much to use a “backward delay”, a must for all the lovers of psychedelic music of 60s. It sounds like the Beatles’ Tomorrow never knows” or Hendrix’s “1983” or “Axis bold as love” for example . I use this delay to create a backward guitar, especially when I play lead. It’s funny!

If you could gather any musicians or music­al groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

I would like to have David Gilmour, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson or Jonathan Wilson… But I think would be cool to have any musician of the psychedelic period.. It’s a dream, my dream. I’m trying to have one in my next album.. By the way, an EP called “California” is coming out (early October) and I’m also working on a new album. A concept prog rock Opera with a single 50-minute suite.. See ya soon folks!!

Discography:

In My Eyes (Crow Records, 2010), this first studio album was remastered with bonus tracks.

Live at the house of thunder, with the Velvet Cactus Band (Crow Records, 2011)

1969 (Crow Records, 2011)

Lilac Days (Crow Records, 2012)

Psychedelicious (Crow Records, 2013)

On Air – Live Unplugged (Crow Records, 2013)

Mother from the sun (Melodic Revolution Records, 2014)

Hidden Sun (Melodic Revolution Records, 2015), contains alternate takes and demo versions taken from the “Mother from the sun” recording sessions

The trip goes on – live 2015 (Melodic Revolution Records, 2015)

The unconventional and unusual journey through the 21st schizophrenic century and beyond, EP (Melodic Revolution Records, 2016)

Land of Blue Echoes (Melodic Revolution Records, 2016)

Official website: www.marcoragni.com

Marco Ragni Emphasizes All the Beauty That Surrounds Him via Prog Rock

Marco Ragni – Land of Blue Echoes (Melodic Revolution Records, 2016)

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist Marco Ragni has put together a masterful recording that revolves around psychedelic progressive rock. What makes Land of Blue Echoes especially attractive is the combination of Pink Floyd-inspired progressive rock, folk-rock, fusion, Renaissance music, world music elements, ambient electronics, blues and more.

Although there is one charming song in Italian, most of the lyrics are in English and Marco Ragni does a great job delivering the vocals along with Durga McBroom, the captivating American singer that provided the familiar backing vocals for Pink Floyd.

Throughout Land of Blue Echoes, Marco Ragni and his colleagues perform a series of high energy segments and delightful slow tempo sections. Ragni does an outstanding job, mixing electric progressive rock with fascinating acoustic sounds.

Marco Ragni signifies the true spirit of progressive rock, taking the music beyond the regular parameters, adding dreamy constructions, mesmerizing ambience, harp-like sounds, and so much more. And, of course, in addition to shorter gems he delivers two lengthy suites, including the grand 22-minute serpentine composition that combines psychedelic and symphonic prog rock with marvelous electronic ambience.

Marco Ragni appears on vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, piano keyboards & Greek bouzouki. He’s joined by special guests Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd) on vocals; Peter Matuchniak (Gekko Project) on lead guitar; Jeff Mack (Scarlet Hollow) on bass; Jacopo Ghirardini (Stalag 17) on drums; Fernando Perdomo (Dave Kerzner Band ) plays lead guitar on “Money Doesn’t Think”; Colin Tench (Corvus Stone) plays lead guitar on “Between Moon And Earth”; Vance Gloster (Gekko Project) on keyboards and Hammond organ; and Hamlet (Transport Aerian) plays bass and keyboards.

Land of Blue Echoes demonstrates the talent of progressive rock multi-instrumentalist Marco Ragni.

Buy Land of Blue Echoes

Absorbing Turkish Space Rock

Siddhartha – Trip to Innerself (Trail Records, 2012)

This edition of Siddhartha’s Trip to Innerself is a remastered version of the album originally released in 1999. Siddhartha was an excellent Turkish psychedelic progressive rock band deeply inspired by Echoes-era Pink Floyd, German space rock band Eloy and Middle Eastern melodies.

On Trip to Innerself you’ll find structured epic pieces along with absorbing space rock jams and acoustic ballads featuring classical-style guitars. In addition to the original material, Trip to Innerself includes a bonus track.

The lineup included Özgür Kurcan on vocals, guitars; Ege Madra on guitars; Ulas Akin on bass; Volkan Yildirim on keyboards; Orkun Öker on keyboards; and Kaan Sezgin on drums.

Guests featured: Nil Karaibrahimgil on vocals; Kerem Özyegen on vocals; Neslihan Engin on keyboards; Berke Özcan on percussion; and Serkan Yilmaz on percussion.

This re-edition is dedicated to band member Özgür Kurcan who passed away in 2011.

Siddhartha was worth re-discovering. It’s fabulous album that will appeal to fans of the progressive rock side of psychedelia.

Buy Trip to Innerself