Tag Archives: Progressive rock

King Crimson Announces 5 Disc Set “Audio Diary 2014 – 2018”

The current King Crimson line-up is releasing a 5-disc boxed set titled “Audio Diary 2014 – 2018.” It is a comprehensive summary of 5 years’ worth of concerts, one year per CD.  The collection includes performances selected from a first concert in Albany, New York in 2014, to the band’s 2018 concert in Tokyo.

King Crimson – Audio Diary 2014 – 2018

“Audio Diary 2014 – 2018” contains material from the debut album “In the Court of the Crimson King” (including ‘Moonchild’ which was never performed in 1969) through to works from “Lizard” which, likewise, was never performed at the time.

Also featured, King Crimson classics from “Islands”, “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic”, “Red” & other studio albums, up to compositions from Fripp’s solo album “Exposure” (‘Breathless’), reinterpretations of 1980s material (‘Neurotica’, ‘Indiscipline’), and newly written pieces for this line-up, (‘Meltdown’, ‘Radical Action’).

Available for pre-order at Schizoidshop

Richard Henshall Ventures into More Progressive Territory

Richard Henshall – The Cocoon (The Burning Shed, 2019)

Richard Henshall is one of the best known guitarists in the prog metal field. He is a member of Haken and has also worked with Nov​a Collective and Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress. On The Cocoon, Henshall plays his characteristic guitar and also appears as a lead vocalist.  

Richard Henshall – The Cocoon

The first track takes the listener into prog metal territory, which is not my cup of tea. Thankfully, the intro is short and Henshall’s music gets considerably more interesting, multifaceted and progressive on “Cocoon,” a piece where Henshall constructs a complex musical structure with unexpected tempo changes, progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, modified vocals and excellent guitar soloing. There is some metal riffing, but it’s not overwhelming.

The intricate, masterfully-crafted material continues on “Silken Chains,” where Henshall combines skillful guitar configurations and altered vocals with electronics and creative bass.

On “Limbo,” Henshall adds mesmerizing guitar loops, ambience and transformed vocals along with heavy pounding drums.

The rapping vocals on “Lunar Room” are annoying. This is what is known as the pandering song targeting the hip hop fans.

“Twisted Shadows” is typical prog metal, with heavy metal dominating the entire track. The highlight is Jordan Rudess’ keyboard solo.

The album ends with the climactic “Afterglow.”

Personnel: Richard Henshall on guitars, keyboards and vocals; Conner Green (Haken) on bass; and Matthew Lynch (Cynic and Nova Collective) on drums.

Guests:  Ross Jennings on vocals; Jordan Rudess on keyboards; Ben Levin on vocals; Jessica Kion on vocals; Marco Sfogli on guitar; David Maxim Micic on guitar; Chris Baum n strings; and  Adam Carrillo on saxophone.

Buy The Cocoon

A Finely-crafted Contemporary Celebration of Early Progressive Music

Maurizio Brunod, Giorgio Li Calzi, Boris Savoldelli – Nostalgia Progressiva (distributed by MoonJune Records, 2019)

Three forward-thinking Italian musicians celebrate the progressive music of the late 1960s and the early 1970s on Nostalgia Progressiva.

Maurizio Brunod, Giorgio Li Calzi, Boris Savoldelli – Nostalgia Progressiv

The album opens with “Formentera Lady,” a song that appeared on King Crimson’s Islands in 1971. The song is reconstructed with glitchy electronics, jazz trumpet, ambient electronics, soaring electric guitar and soft vocals.

Trsack 2 is the lovely “Mate Kudasai” from King Crimson’s album Discipline (1981), metamorphosed into a delightful bluesy version.

Although not a progressive music song, the trio reconstructs “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles (Revolver, 1966), transforming it successfully with mesmerizing loops, processed vocals, and guitars.

“Shipbuilding” is a song with lyrics by Elvis Costello that was written during the Malvines/Falklands War of 1982. In its new incarnation, it becomes a laid back song with vocals, guitar and spellbinding, gorgeous electronic ambience.

Next is Radio Activity, a song by German electronic music and techno pioneers Kraftwerk, included inn the album Radio-Activity (1975). Here, it reappears as a dub rock song.

The memorable song “I Talk to the Wind” from King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) begins as an acoustic folk song that evolves into a trip hop wonder, featuring electronically-manipulated trumpet, similar to Jon Hassell’s work.

Another progressive rock classic, “Starless,” by King Crimson (Red album, 1974) in transformed into a futuristic piece with acoustic guitar, lead melody on trumpet and looped vocals.

“Taranaki” is the most jazz-oriented piece. This re-reading contains electronic beats, wordless vocals and soft trumpet.

Yet another gem from King Crimson appears on this recording, “Moonchild” (In the Court of the Crimson King, 1969). This version features exquisite acoustic guitar, vocals and trumpet.

The last track is “Gioco di bimba,” originally released by the fabulous Italian progressive rock group Le Orme (Uomo di pezza, 1972). It reappears with electronic beats and ambiance plus vocals.

Lineup: Maurizio Brunod on electric and acoustic guitar, samples; Giorgio Li Calzi on trumpet, fluegelhorn, keyboards, electronics; and Boris Savoldelli on vocals, electronics, and vocal synth 3D prototype.

Buy Nostalgia Progressiv

Two Sides of Brighteye Brison

Brighteye Brison – V

Brighteye Brison – V (Bad Elephant Music, 2019)

This Scandinavian act is marketed as a progressive rock band. However, when you listen to the first two tracks, what you get are pop beats and catchy vocal hooks that recall Supertramp, Queen and AOR groups. Not exactly progressive rock.

It is only on track 3, the longest piece, clocking over 30 minutes that you come upon progressive rock with an outstanding instrumental introduction driven by Chris Squire-style bass, majestic keyboards and great synth solos. There are masterfully crafted sections that are inspired by Gentle Giant’s skilled time signature changes. The vocals are still based on harmonies inspired by Queen, but the pop beats are thankfully gone.

The lineup includes Linus Kåse on piano, synthesizers, saxophone, vocals; Per Hallman on organ, mellotron, synthesizers, vocals; Kristofer Eng Radjabi on bass, taurus, theremin, vocals; Johan Öijen on guitars; and Erik Hammarström on drums.

Gong to Release 13-Disc Boxed Set Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75

Pioneering psychedelic progressive rock band Gong will be releasing a 13-disc boxed set titled “Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75.” The collection is curated by Steve Hillage and released with the full involvement of original members.

Gong – Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75

Released to coincide with Gong’s 50th Anniversary, the anthology includes the band’s classic years in a remarkable package that includes: their essential first four Virgin studio albums plus bonus tracks; previously unreleased, multi-tracked full gigs, the complete John Peel Sessions from 1973 and 1974; previously unreleased quad Pye and Westlake mixes of ‘You’ re-formatted to 5.1 surround-sound, and artwork including rare and previously unseen work by the late Daevid Allen.

Artist Profiles: Gong

Gong in 1974

Gong was a psychedelic rock band formed in the late 1960s when Australian musician Daevid Allen was refused entry back into Great Britain following European tour dates with Soft Machine. He decided to stay in Paris, where he began working together with Gilli Smyth and various musicians on what would eventually be recognizable as Gong.

The first recordings from the band were Magick Brother, Mystic Sister in 1970. Followed by albums such as Camembert Electrique, Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You. These last three albums followed the fortunes of Zero The Hero and told the tale of the pothead pixies and was told over the course of the three albums and became the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy.

Following the release of You in 1974, Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth left Gong and Steve Hillage became the band leader. He also left in 1975 to pursue a solo career. Gong continued in a jazz fusion-oriented direction under Pierre Moerlen, which was very different from the original musical concept of the band.

Gong returned years later and recorded several albums until the death of Daevid Allen. The band continued with a post-Daevid Allen lineup.

Discography:

Magick Brother (1970)
Camembert Electrique (1971)
Continental Circus (1972)
Flying Teapot (1973)
Angel’s Egg (1973)
You (1974)
Shamal (1976)
Shapeshifter (1992)
Zero to Infinity (2000)
Acid Motherhood (2004)
2032 (2009)
I See You (2014)
Rejoice! I’m Dead! (2016)
The Universe Also Collapses (Kscope, 2019)
Love From The Planet Gong: The Virgin Years 1973-75 (Universal, 2019)

A Drop of Light, a Masterpiece from Anglagard Founder Johan Brand

All Traps on Earth – A Drop of Light (AMS Records, 2018)

All Traps on Earth is remarkable progressive rock band led by Anglagard bassist and composer Johan Brand. He invited fellow Anglagard colleagues Thomas Johnson (keyboards) and Erik Hammarström (drums and percussion) plus various guests, including Brand’s daughter on vocals.

A Drop of Light is a highly complex album where symphonic progressive rock meets jazz-rock and contemporary classical musical forms. Imagine Anglagard jamming with French band Magma plus bits of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator.

All Traps on Earth delivers deeply intense segments with frequent time signature changes and fabulous bass, guitar and keyboard work plus soaring trumpet, wild saxophone and operatic vocals, along with meditative passages full of exquisite mellotron, flute and synths.

All Traps on Earth – A Drop of Light

For mellotron fans, this album is a precious gem. Anglagard mastered the use of the mellotron and brought it back to the top. All Traps on Earth continues this tradition, delivering some of the finest mellotron performances in recent years.

The album includes three masterful lengthy tracks with deep Anglagard influences, a fabulous tribute to Magma titled “Magmatic Warning” plus a very brief meditative keyboard piece.

The musicians A Drop of Light are all outstanding. Fans of instrumental progressive rock are in for real treat.

The lineup includes Johan Brand on Mellotron M400 and M4000D, Moog Voyager, Moog Minitaur, organs, Fender Rhodes, clavinet. Rickenbacker 4001 and 4001S basses, Fender Jazz Deluxe bass, Revelation Jazzmaster VI bass, Moog Taurus 1. Epiphone Gibson Les Paul guitar, Green Gibson Les Paul guitar, percussion and vocals; Thomas Johnson on grand pianos, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzers, pianets, clavinet, organs, Mellotron M4000D, and Moog Voyager; Erik Hammarström on drums, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, crotales, timpani, gran cassa, wood blocks, tam-tam, and tubular bells; Miranda Brand on vocals.

Guest: Fredrik Lindborg on bass clarinet, baritone, tenor, alto and soprano sax; Karl Olandersson on trumpet, flugelhorn; Magnus Båge on concert flute; Matthias Bååth on bass and concert flute, tenor and alto recorder; Phil Mercy on organic guitars.

A Drop of Light is an extraordinary master work, undoubtedly one of the finest progressive rock releases of 2018.

Buy A Drop of Light

Artist Profiles: Eddie Jobson

Eddie Jobson

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).

Discography:

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)

Artist Profiles: Djam Karet

Djam Karet in 1985

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.

Discography:

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


Progday Adds Mike Keneally with Andy West, Farmhouse Odyssey and Marbin to 2019 Lineup

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.

Farmhouse Odyssey

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.

headline photo: Mike Keneally by Tom Porta

More about Progday: www.progday.net