Rubycon is part of the reissue set of classic Tangerine Dream electronic music albums. Rubycon was Tangerine Dream’s 6th album, first released in 1975.
The original album includes two tracks, Rubycon Parts 1 and 2. The album begins with layers of synths and mellotrons and mysterious sounds that seem like haunting whale chants. Slowly and gradually, the sequencers drift in, creating an ecstatic, trancelike atmosphere accompanied by bubbling sounds and distant melodies.
This new remastered version includes a bonus track, an extended introduction of Rubycon mixed by progressive music artist Steven Wilson.
The lineup during Rubycon was the same as one ther iconic Phaedra album: Edgar Froese on mellotron, guitar, gong, VCS 3 synthesizer, organ; Chris Franke on double moog synthesizer, Synthi A, organ, modified Elka organ, prepared piano; and Peter Baumann on organ, EMS Synthi A, electric piano, ARP 2600 and prepared piano.
Rubycon refined the trailblazing sound of Tangerine Dream, one of the group’s finest recordings.
Fine Soft Day was formed on the
back steps of a house in Rusholme, Manchester, UK, in the summer of 1996. Three
friends, Jeff Gascoyne, on bass, violin, guitar, and vocals;
Martin Hanbury, on guitars and vocals; and Mark Sweeney, on keyboards and
vocals; took their drinks into the warm
evening air and begin a conversation, sitting on some old stone steps. The
conversation was about music, about the bands they were in, and the band they
would like to be in. From this casual conversation, we were fortunate to have
the birth of Fine Soft Day.
Fine Soft Day is
the kind of band Genesis began as; a folk, progressive band with soft melodies
and deep emotional stories of reflections on life, in general. Fine Soft Day,
is a wonderful drift back to the past, when we had more time to appreciate
music, for the sake of music. Time to appreciate the rhythms, the melodies, the
instrumental aspects and all of the lyrics., We were not in a hurry. We wanted
to listen to the music and all of its intricacies. You Are Here, is
all about enjoying what you have in the here and now. This is not an album to
take in the car. It is an album, to sit and listen to and appreciate in the
comfort of an easy chair.
Through You Are Here, Fine Soft Day create a concept album, “surrounding hope, humanity and the
weaving of time and space”. You
Are Here is the sophomore album for Fine Soft Day; with their debut album, Fine
Soft Day released during 1998.
“River”, opens the album and is its best song. The
opening is full of grand, deep piano, like a Bruce Hornsby welcome. Then lead
singer, Martin Hanbury sings the first lines of the album, “Within time and
space, the river flowing through this place. Joins the highlands to the sea.
Weaves what was, but what will be. Before this place was ever made”. Hanbury’s
lead vocals sound like a young Phil Collins, and you cannot help get lost in
the quiet, relaxing melody and rhythm of the music supporting. A wonderful
opening with deep electric guitar solos reminding you of the great Steve
Hackett. It is very easy to get lost and absorbed into the world created by
this song. Excellent!
“Reason”, brings to sound, another element of the band’s
Sweeney, singing lead on this track. He has
the ability of sounding like a young Roger Waters. This track is all
about,,,well reason. Where the last song had been about relaxing and just the
pleasure of enjoying all that is around you, this song is about reasoning and
understanding why what is around you is important and how it affects you. A
good example, “We are the stones on the cold river bed. Our edges made round by
the dreams in our head”. The warm synthesizers and keyboards surround, while
soft electric guitar sparkles like light on the swirling, cascading river
described. Fine Soft Day really proves their ability to capture powerful visual
impressions with these two tracks.
“Journey to Hear”, has a more rocking beat, with more
instruments added to the mix. Drums, deep bass, and cymbals are added to the
frolicking keys and lead electric guitar riffs. A fine instrumental interlude
with some great organ keyboard work and a bouncy rhythm.
“Five Songs”, opens quietly with strings, then that
elegant piano returns, just like a Hornsby classic. Mark Sweeney
returns as lead singer on this album. Though there also seems to be some duel
vocal harmony. This song would have found a rightful place on either Wind
and Wuthering or just after “Ripples”, or “Entangled”, on Trick of the
Tail. The keyboards play sounds of classic Tony Banks. More wonderful
memories flow as the river of sound carries them along.
“Time Flows By”, has a harder, more powerful beat and
rhythm to it. The guitars, both bass and lead, make their presence known
throughout the track. There is still innovative keys and synthesizer moments,
but this is a great guitar and drums rocker. Martin Hanbury returns to sing the
“Roll Up the World Part 1”, is part one of a two-part
epic on this album. It is stunning in its clarity of voice and visually
stunning guitarwork and keyboards; piano, synths and organ. Parts of the song
take you to that familiar “Ripples”/”Entangled”, sound from Trick of the
Tail, and these moments rise to the top. It is a wonderful time to just
close your eyes and let the music take you back. A wonderful epic.
“Grandfather”, is a classic guitar piece of work that
Steve Hackett would be proud to have authored. It is probably the second-best
song on the album. Then, the singing begins with continued accompaniment from
the acoustic guitar. The organ, drums and bass join in to create a wonderful
picture made with music.
“Dance of the Little Lights from Nowhere”, opens with
soft woodland pipe or flute. Then, cymbals, piano, pounding bass, and finally
electric guitar. The gallop begins and a Deep Purple like run continues with
the organ playing a lead role.
“Rhyme”, opens with quiet piano and soft acoustic guitar.
Like something out of the early Phil Collins Genesis era.
“Time is Running Out”, is more of a rocker with deeper
bass, drumming, and softer lead electric guitar. More of that mid – 70s Genesis
sound to enjoy.
“Roll Up the World – Part 2”, is the closing refrain of
the epic first part. This time with deep piano and more of that Roger Waters
vocal. Then, back to that Ripples theme. Please just let the keys and
piano go on forever.
With 11 tracks it seems that this
band was determined to both make a statement and insure some of their favorite
rhythms, beats, riffs and melodies made it to a record. Having been in other
bands, how long these ideas had been waiting to be recorded, now that they were
free to make the music they wanted to make. After years of building families
and living life they came back for the music. The music which had inspired them
and which they loved from the beginning. Take a trip back with them. Bring this
album home and return to the past for a while. The journey will be well worth
one way to close this review…
many days journey we came to a peak. Where the beast gazed abroad and cried
out. We followed his gaze and we thought that maybe we saw. A spire
of gold…Hello friend, welcome home”.
Snarky Puppy, the finest funk jazz band in the current scene is back with a superb album titled Immigrance. Band leader Michael League clarifies the title of the album: “The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we’re all in a constant state of immigration. Obviously the album’s title is not without political undertones.”
The opening track, “Chonks” couldn’t be more spectacular; it starts with fabulous funk keyboards and progresses into outstanding jazz-rock fusion topped by Mark Lettieri’s brilliant guitar solo.
Michael League brings in some of the best young keyboardists
to Snarky Puppy’s sessions and that’s what makes the band such a delight.
Instead of the tired saxophone solos that other bands utilize, Snarky Puppy has
a much modern, edgy sound with the use of electronic keyboards, guitars and a
solid brass section.
“Bigly Strictness” is a seductive composition with a wonderful, creative global percussion section, smoky trumpet solo , Shaun Martin’s and Justin Stanton’s fantastic synths solos and mesmerizing gliding guitars. Pure beauty.
“Coven” begins laid back with intricate bass lines, brass
arrangements and forward-thinking trip hop feel. Shaun Martin delivers another
masterful synth solo that leads into Chris Queen’s electric guitar solo.
Progressive fusion at its best.
The trip hop returns on “Blig Blingi,” a bass-heavy funk piece, where chilled, futuristic keyboards and funk synth solos, dubbed drums, and brass, and complex, but accessible drum beats continue to impress.
Track 5, “Xavi,” the longest piece on the album is more jazz-fusion oriented, featuring a breathtaking electric violin solo by Zach Brock; and an equally good Minimoog solo by Bobby Sparks. Percussionist Keita Ogawa also gets an opportunity to showcase his talent with an ocean drum solo. The track concludes with a great piano solo by Bill Laurance.
“While We’re Young” features steady funk drum beat, funk
synth solo, majestic mellotron and reverb-rich brass.
“Bad Kids to the Back” is perhaps the least striking piece,
featuring funk beats and predictable saxophone solo.
The final track, “Even Us” takes the music in a totally different direction, into the realm of contemporary world music, with Michael League picking up the ud. There are references to modern tango, Middle Eastern modes and western chamber music. It’s beautifully-orchestrated and deeply satisfying.
Eddie Jobson was born April 28, 1955 in Billingham, United Kingdom.
Eddie Jobson was well known as a teenage ‘rock prodigy’ with the early Roxy Music, and as Frank Zappa’s right-hand-man on both keyboards and electric violin – replacing both Jean Luc Ponty and George Duke at the age of 21.
A keyboardist and electric violinist, he was the co-founder, producer, and principal writer of the legendary progressive rock group UK (band). He formed it together with drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson), singer/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson), and then-unknown guitar phenom Allan Holdsworth.
After appearing on over 60 albums with many of the rock/fusion genre’s top musicians, Jobson retired from both studio and live performance for more than 20 years until an unannounced appearance in Russia with King Crimson.
Eddie Jobson formed two new projects based on his original ‘UK’ concept: ‘UKZ’ – a five-piece contemporary rock band and ‘U-Z Project’ – an instrumental band of extraordinary virtuosos from around the world, including Michael Jackson’s former guitarist Greg Howe; stick player Michael Bernier (Stick Men); and two world renowned drummers, German drumming sensation Marco Minnemann (UKZ), and British drum legend Simon Phillips (Peter Gabriel, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Toto).
Air Cut, with Curved Air ( Warner Bros. Records, 1973) Stranded, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1973) Country Life, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1974) Siren, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1975) Viva!, with Roxy Music (Island Records, 1976) Yesterday Boulevard b/w On a Still Night (1976) Zappa in New York, with Frank Zappa (Reprise, 978) UK, with U.K. (Polydor, 1978) Danger Money, with U.K. (Polydor, 1979) Night After Night, with U.K. (Polydor, 1979) A, with Jethro Tull (1980) The Green Album (Capitol Records, 1983) Theme of Secrets (Private Music, 1985) Lovechild, with Curved Air (1990) Concert Classics, Vol. 4, with U.K. (1999) Voices of Life, with The Bulgarian Women’s Choir—Angelite (2000) Radiation, with UKZ (2009) Philly ’76, with Frank Zappa (2009) Ultimate Zero Tour – Live (Seven Seas, 2010) Reunion – Live in Tokyo, with U.K. (2013) Curtain Call, with U.K. (Ward Records, 2015) Four Decades (2015) 1971-1979 The Band Years (Ward Records, 2018)
Djam Karet was founded in 1984 by guitarists Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson, bassist Henry J. Osborne, and drummer Chuck Oken, Jr. They chose as the band’s name an Indonesian word (pronounced ‘jam care-RAY) that translates loosely as “elastic time”.
Early Djam Karet was a sort of “jam band” whose live, totally improvised performances on the southern California/Los Angeles area college circuit featured a free-form mixture of guitar-dominated instrumental rock and textural Eastern drone music, as on their 1985 release No Commercial Potential.
Djam Karet’s mode of working and repertoire gradually expanded beyond improvisation to include compositional elements, field recordings, and studio work. In 1987 the band released The Ritual Continues. Two years later, they released Reflections From The Firepool.
In 1991, Djam Karet released two separate CDs at the same time: Burning The Hard City and Suspension & Displacement. Three years later in 1994, Djam Karet released the CD Collaborator, with guests musicians: Jeff Greinke, Kit Watkins, Marc Anderson, Steve Roach, Carl Weingarten, and many others.
As the 20th Century drew to a close, Djam Karet signed with Cuneiform Records, and entered a period of unprecedented creative productivity that only accelerated as the 21st century dawned. It began working on new releases for Cuneiform, initiated a program to repackage and reissue its back catalog on Cuneiform, and began playing live on the festival circuit. Live shows were performed at Day Zero for 1999’s ProgDay (San Francisco); at NEARfest 2001, progressive rock’s premier US showcase; ProgWest 2001 (Claremont) and at 2002’s ProgDay (North Carolina). Throughout the years they have also contributed music to 10 compilation releases, both in the United States and in Europe. Many of those pieces are available nowhere else.
Cuneiform’s first Djam Karet CD came out in 1997, titled The Devouring. In 1998, Djam Karet performed on the West and East Coasts, recordings a live album for Cuneiform titled Live At Orion, released in 1999.
The band began to do more work in the studio, resulting in the 2001 release of New Dark Age (Cuneiform) and also the Limited Edition CD release Ascension.
Around the same time as New Dark Age’s release, and complementary to its work with Cuneiform, Djam Karet launched a series of self-released CD-Rs, reissues and limited edition CDs for its fans. Within two years, the band had self-released numerous CD projects, including recordings made at New York City’s The Knitting Factory, an on-air performance recorded at KCRW-FM, and other archival performances. Out of this creative resurgence arose A Night For Baku, which featured new band member Aaron Kenyon on bass. The title derives from Japanese folklore: the Baku are mythical inhabitants of the dream world, valiant warriors who devour nightmares as the spoils of battle. The CD features Djam Karet using more keyboards and electronics, and collaborating on one track with electronic musician Steve Roach, who worked previously with the band on Collaborator.
This new line up as a quintet created Recollection Harvest, two albums on one CD, divided into two chapters. The first-half is filled with their most melodic and jazzy music released so far, with a strong focus on composition and tight arrangements, mellotrons and soulful guitar melodies. The second-half, titled Indian Summer, features a collection of compositions colored with beautiful acoustic guitars and analog synths, and showcases their more atmospheric side.
In 2009 the band was flown to the Bordeaux area of France to headline the annual Crescendo Festival. To achieve a fuller and more massive live sound, the group acquired new member Mike Murray on guitar, allowing Gayle Ellett to focus more exclusively on keyboards. When they returned to the United States they decided to record The Heavy Soul Sessions in 2010, to better document their current live sound. All of the music was performed live-in-studio without any overdubs and no compressors or limiters were used during the recording process.
In 2011 they formed a new record label called Firepool Records, which has released various albums; Herd Of Instinct (self-titled), Hillmen – The Whiskey Mountain Sessions, and Henderson/Oken – Dream Theory In The IE.
Happy Cancer: McMusic for the McMasses (1982) No Commercial Potential (1985) The Ritual Continues (1987) Kafka’s Breakfast (1988) Reflections from the Firepool (1989) Burning The Hard City (1991 ) Suspension & Displacement (1991) Collaborator (1994) The Devouring (1997) Still no Commercial Potential (Limited Edition) (1998) Live At Orion (1999) New Dark Age (2001) Ascension New Dark Age Vol. 2 (2001) Afghan (Live At The Knitting Factory) (2002) A Night for Baku (2003) Live At NEARfest 2001 (2004) …And Still Getting The Ladies (2004) Recollection Harvest (2005) 25th Anniversary Beginner’s Guide (2009) The Heavy Soul Sessions (2010) Ukab Maerd: The Waiting Room (2010) The Trip (HC Productions, 2013) Regenerator 3017 (2014) Swamp Of Dreams (HC Productions, 2015) Sonic Celluloid (HC Productions, 2017) The Crows Of Dust Fall At Night (HC Productions, 2019) Beyond The Long Twilight (HC Productions, 2019) A Sky Full Of Stars For A Roof (HC Productions, 2019)
Related articles: Interview with Gayle Ellett of Djam Karet
The 25th edition of progressive rock festival ProgDay has announced the main stage performances by Zappaesque guitarist Mike Keneally with Andy West (The Dixie Dregs), rising California progressive rock band Farmhouse Odyssey, and a Thursday night preshow by Israeli fusion band Marbin.
Other previously announced acts include Us, Today, a band that combines jazz, post-rock and electronic music; acclaimed Italian band Accordo Dei Contrari; the American masters of progressive symphonic rock IZZ; and Mörglbl.
ProgDay has partnered with Adele Schmidt and José Zegarra Holder of Zeitgeist Media Production to present a free screening of the feature film documentary, Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 1). Part 1 covers the music and history of Can, Faust, Harmonia, NEU!, Cluster, Damo Suzuki’s Network, and more. The screening will take place on Saturday, August 31, 9:00 pm at Hotel Comfort Inn University Durham.
Progday will take place Saturday, August 31st, and Sunday, September 1st, 2019.at Storybook Farm, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Extraordinary British drummer Bill Bruford, known for his progressive rock and jazz-rock projects has released ‘Earthworks Complete,’ a spectacular 20CD/4DVD boxed set of the entire back catalog across Earthworks’ 20-year career. It includes previously unreleased and little known material.
The box includes 15 titles on 20 CDs and 4 DVDs. Musicians featured include Bill Bruford with Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Patrick Clahar, Laurence Cottle, Tim Garland, Steve Hamilton, Tim Harries, Mark Hodgson, Mick Hutton, Gwilym Simcock.
The collection was compiled and curated by Bill Bruford.
All Heaven Broke Loose
Stamping Ground- Live
A Part, and Yet Apart
The Sound of Surprise
Footloose and Fancy Free (2CD)
Random Acts of Happiness
Footloose in NYC (2CD & 1DVD set)
A Video Anthology Volume 1: 2000s (2CD & 1DVD set)
A Video Anthology Volume 2: 1990s (2CD & 1DVD set)
Virtuoso guitarist guitarist Richard Henshall, well-known for his work as a founding member of prog metal band Haken, as well as Nova Collective, Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress, and as a Strandberg Guitars associate artist, is set to release his debut solo album, ‘The Cocoon’. The album will be available on August 9th, 2019. Henshall has released a new video for the track “Limbo.”
“Limbo focuses on the atmospheric side of my sound and draws influence from the likes of Sigur Ros and Volcano Choir,” says Richard Henshall. “The lyrics touch upon the idea of being stuck between two worlds whilst being bound by a fate that you have no control of. Miles Skarin from Crystal Spotlight put together this beautiful video with his own footage of the dramatic, barren landscape of Iceland, which ties in perfectly with soundscapes within the music.”
Philadelphia-based duo Rise Twain has released a single titled “Golden“. The group is set to launch its self-titled album Rise Twain on September 6th, 2019. The duo includes Brett William Kull (member of Echolyn, Grey Eye Glances, and Francis Dunnery’s New Progressives) and J.D. Beck (The Scenic Route, Beck-Fields).
The band says: “We sometimes watch lovers, friends, or family destroy themselves and those around; what was once idealized as golden, pure, beautiful, now lost in esoteric motivations. The chaos, tragedy, and permanence of these experiences become part of our lives… and they are woven into the notes, sounds, and performance of this new dynamic single by Rise Twain – Turn it up.”
Are all of the great
new bands from Italy these days? It seems that way. The Forty days is one of my
latest finds on CDBaby.com. The Forty Days are from Pisa, Italy, yeah, the city
with the leaning tower; and although they can play excellent progressive rock,
they can also play solid psychedelic rock as well.
The Forty Days got started in August 2014, as a 70’s rock cover band.
Band members have also played in Pink Floyd tribute bands, and the influence
can be heard throughout their debut album, The
Colour of Change.
The band is made up ofGiancarlo Padula, on lead vocals and keyboards; Dario Vignale, on guitars and backing vocals; Massimo Valloni, on bass; and Giorgio Morreale, on drums.
The album opens with, “Looking for Change”, and the Pink Floyd similarities I mentioned before fill the soundscape. This one opens like a great mix of “Wishing You Were Here” and “Welcome to the Machine”, with some “Dogs of War”, added for good measure. Then screams from Giancarlo Padula, on lead vocals, adding to the wonderful keyboards he played from the start. The deep bass and lead guitar from Massimo Valloni and Dario Vignale fill the empty spaces well. Then those deep Floydian machine guitar grinds we remember from so many plays of Animals and others.
Giancarlo Padula, has a
voice that reminds me a little of Simone Rossetti of Italy’s famous, The Watch. A little
Gabrielesque, and that is wonderful to here with all this PF Animals
sound, rocking around you. Peter Gabriel sitting in with Animals, WYWH,
era Pink Floyd. Yes, that makes you want to hear more right? Me too.
“Uneasy Dream” is a wonderful
Tony banks keyboard inspired instrumental. Again, those wonderful PF lead and
bass guitar sounds makes this another classic mix of two great sounds you wish
had mixed back in the 70s. Yes, Genesis meets Pink Floyd. That’s nice.
“The Garden”, opens
with beautiful soft guitar, like LZ’s “Going to California”, before Giancarlo
Padula softly describes his perfect version of the Garden of Eden. Wonderful
guitar running through soft keys, with excellent rhythm from the drums. Not the
epic storyline from “The Garden” of Unitopia fame, but rather a relaxing stroll
through the same wild cultivated place that only really can be envisioned in dreams.
The lead guitar solos from Dario Vignale would make David Gilmour smile, like I
“Homeless”, opens with
soft acoustic guitars, befitting the subject matter. Powerful drums from Giorgio
Morreale. Some of his best on the album. More great lead electric soloing from Dario
Vignale. Padula’s singing and keyboards really make their mark felt on this
track. The keys towards the middle take you right back to A Trick of Tail.
“John’s Pool”, opens
with those wonderful keys you remember from Tony Banks’ past with Genesis, then
a wonderful PF – like lead guitar from Dario Vignale. More Trick of the Tail
like keys as Padula lays out the story, “I’m driving in my car, on my way to…”
The power guitar playing takes you right back to some of the Led Zeppelin you
remember so well.
“Restart”, opens with quiet
singing from Padula, before he takes off on a Banks’ inspired Lamb –
like keyboard assault. Listen closely and you might hear memories of side two
of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, in Padula’s keyboards. The acoustic
guitar work from Vignale is extraordinary. The band keeps everything so
interesting and varied that you never hear too much of a good thing…even if, at
times you want that guitar or keyboard solo to last all day.
“Four Years in a While”,
is an excellent long closer track full of innovative keyboards and more
creative guitar licks than we really ever expected. Padula’s vocals demonstrate
his ability to reach out and force you to remember each song and make them a
part of your memory.
This is an album I cannot urge you
enough to try. This band is primed after years of working the trenches to sell
out venues. The music is overwhelmingly ready for prime time. I cannot believe
this band is not playing more festivals than they have already. Maybe if enough
people hear this album they will. Must listening. Please get in on the ground
floor before everyone else knows The Forty Days.
Change – 5:45
Dream – 3:32
in a While – 8:21
The Forty Days – The Colour of Change, was
released on Lizard
Records, back in October
28, 2017, but better late, than never.
The Colour of Change –
The Forty Days – Teaser #1
The Colour of Change –
The Forty Days – Teaser #2
The Forty Days – “The Garden”
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond