Monday, July 31, 2017

BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO - 40 ANNI (Debut Album 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, 2012, 2 CD, Italy)



Disc 1 - Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (1972 album, remastered)
1. In Volo (2:13)
2. R.I.P. (Requiescant In Pace) (6:33)
3. Passaggio (1:17)
4. Metamorfosi (10:48)
5. Il Giardino Del Mago (18:18)
  - a. ... Passo Dopo Passo ...
  - b. ... Chi Ride E Chi Geme ...
  - c. ... Coi Capelli Sciolti Al Vento ...
  - d. Compenetrazione
6. Traccia (2:15)


Disc 2 - New and Live (2012)

1. Poilifonia* (5:27)
2. Tentazione* (6:59)
3. Padre nostro* (7:33)
Live - Rome, 28.04.2012:
4. R.I.P (8:40)
5. Metamorfosi (12:27)
6. Traccia (2:59)
*Inedit

Line-up / Musicians
Disc 1
- Francesco Di Giacomo / lead vocals
Gianni Nocenzi / piano, keyboards, recorder, vocals 
Vittorio Nocenzi / organ, harpsichord, recorder, vocals
Marcello Todaro / guitars
Renato D'Angelo / bass
Pier Luigi Calderoni / drums

Disc 2
Tracks 1 - 3:
Vittorio Nocenzi / piano, orchestrations (1, 2)
Carlo Micheli / contralto sax (1, 2), Akai EVI (3)
Tom Sinatra / acoustic guitar (1, 2)
Tiziano Ricci / cello (1)
Tracks 4 - 6:
Francesco Di Giacomo / lead vocals
Vittorio Nocenzi / piano, keyboards, vocals
Rodolfo Maltese / guitar
Filippo Marcheggiani / guitar, vocals
Alessandro Papotto / sax, clarinet
Tiziano Ricci / bass
Maurizio Masi / drums

Note: il remaster di 'Banco Del Mutuo soccorso', inspiegabilmente da vinile fatto dalla Sony è da schiaffi, ma la sola presenza dei tre inediti 'Polifonia', 'Tentazione' e 'Padre Nostro' rende l'acquisto obbligatorio.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

OPUS AVANTRA: OMEGA - Lyrics [1992] Ritagli D'Anima [1988], Ballet Collection [1994], Live Concerts Excerpts [inedit] (2003, 4CD BOX-SET, ITALY)

Opus Avantra were one of a kind in the Italian musical panorama; their unique sound joined elements of avant-garde with classical music (Avan tra = Avant-garde + Tradition). Pianist Alfredo Tisocco alternated between concerts and his own compositions and artistic direction of the ensemble Opus Avantra, with whom he recorded 5 critically acclaimed albums that won them international renown (particularly in Japan). On his own, Tisocco recorded 12 LPs, each of considerable significance. This collectors box set includes two of Tisocco's solo efforts (Ritagli d'anima and Ballet Collection), along with two as Opus Avantra, "Lyrics" and the previously unreleased "Live Concert Excerpts", which features the ensemble in concert at various dates from 1978-1990. Extensive liner notes complete the box, along with previously unreleased photos of the musicians.

Opus Avantra - Lyrics (1992)
  
Songs:
1. Viaggio Immaginario
Parte I (2:39)
Parte II (2:08)
Parte III (4:24)
2. Mysterious Japanese Suite
Parte I (5:30)
Parte II (2:39)
Parte III (2:35)
Parte IV (5:08)
3. Ballata (2:57)
4. Lirica Metafisica (5:21)
5. Danza Africana (4:39)
6. Meditazione (4:55)

Only their fourth release in 22 years, yet it is surprising to see how this band has stuck to their guns, combining classical, folk, and avant-garde elements, and not given into the temptation to conform and commercialize. That doesn't mean they haven't mellowed with age. In fact for anyone who might have been put off by vocalist Donella del Monaco on the early albums Introspezzioneand Lord Cromwell, this may be a good point to give them another try. Many of the old names are still here: bandleader and keyboardist Alfredo Tisocco, and violinists Piergidio Spiller and Enrico Professione have been members from day one, while cellist Alberto Brendolin, oboist Angelo Lora and percussionist Saverio Tasca survive from the last recorded incarnation in the late 80s. As usual, one can expect absolutely anything: "Ballata" is a folk tune with the unique avant-twist, while "Lirica Metafisica" is a more subtle neo-classical abstraction for string section. The three-part opener "Viaggio Immaginario" has somewhat of a 'bolero' feel with Del Monaco's voice and Lora's oboe floating over the rhythmic structures set up between the string section and percussion. And of course there had to be at least one noisy and bizzare vocal piece – "Danza Arcana" is a sure bet to clear your next party, but perhaps the album's most interesting piece is the four-part "Misterious Japanese Suite," driven by Tisocco's Synclavier experimentation. In all, this is another fine offering from this sadly overlooked ensemble.
The other releases included on this Box-Set are the three Alfredo Tisocco works. His solo career apart from Opus Avantra, began in 1975 with the release of Kátharsis (available on Opus Magnum Box-set), a lengthy piece for modern dance, generally more in the avant-garde realm than the work he has done with Opus Avantra, although certain connections between them are obvious. There is more use of electronics and synths, but not to the exclusion of other instruments, which are played by Tisocco and various other musicians – many borrowed from the then-current lineup of Opus Avantra: flutes, string-harp, violin, cello, saxes, guitar, and several vocalists, along with some recitation. As one might expect, keyboards – and especially piano – dominate many of the pieces. The music covers a lot of ground, there is probably something here for everyone, even some 'rock,' yet like the early Opus Avantra albums, the better part of this is fairly challenging and may appeal only to the open minded. Regrettably, the CD reissue was mastered from a vinyl source, with some light clicks and pops occasionally surfacing in the quieter passages.
Two more recent albums have been released, Ritagli d'Anima (originally Artis ARCD 001) from 1989, and most recently Ballet Collection (Artis ARCD 022), the latter which consists of thirteen pieces of music written for various modern ballet works throughout the late 70s and early 80s, including many for the choreographer Franco dalla Libera. Here, the instrumentation is more basic, utilizing piano, flute, synths, and the occasional saxes, violins and guitar. Several of the pieces are purely electronic. Again, these showcase a more serious and purposeful side of Tisocco's output, often stark and very avant-garde.



Alfredo Tisocco Ritagli D'anima (1988)
Songs:
1. Femminili creature (1:45)
2. Ritagli d'anima (2:11)
3. Giorni come sbarre (3 04)
4. Fuga dal carnevale (1:50)
5. Nella nostra stanza (2:37)
6. Incontro (5:56)
7. Altro da me (2:48)
8 Un paese in Calabria (2:53)
9. Ritagli d’anima (4:32) 2a Parte
“STUDI PER CONCERTO DA…CAMERAVUOTA № 12”
10. Occasioni di Settembre (9:15)
11. Studio № 1 (10:18)
12. Studio № 2 (3:50)
13. Studio № 3 (6:44)
 
Alfredo Tisocco Ballet Collection (1994)
 Songs:
1. L’aurora (3:26)
2. Coincidenze (2:44)
3. Danza delle frequenze (2:45)
4. La caduta…del tempo (12.24)
5. Labirinti (5:33)
6. Plastico elettronico (10:46)
7. Tics percussion (11:32)
8. Rock alfa (4:26)
9. Tics (5:23)
10. Tics percussion II (1:23)
11 Giocando Duchamp Vinci Leonardo (5:19)
12. Toccata 3a finale (5:58)
13. Sogno inglese (4:13)

Opus Avantra - Live Concerts Excerpts (2003)
Fiuggi, 12 Luglio 1989:
1. Canto alia notte (3:48)
2. Danza degli oggetti liberati (3:14)
3. Vertigine (4:26)
4. Canto prima dell'alba (3:04)
3. Canto a un Dio nascosto (3:34)
Venezia, 16 Dicembre 1989 (Scuola Grande S. Giovanni Evangelista):
6. Presentazione di Alfredo Tisocco, Donella Del Monaco
e Opus Avantra da parte di Carlo Massarini (0:42)
7. Femminili creature (da Ritagli d’anima) suite per pianoforte (1:24)
8. Canto incompiuto (4:l4)
9. Tics (3:46)
Verona, 2 Febbraio 1991 (Arena):
10. A Duchamp (5:08)
Thiene - Vicenza, 3 Giugno 1977 (Teatro Communale):
11. Fase dello specchio (2:52)
12. Ritmo Alfa (0:58)
13. Venezia nella Nebbia (4:18)
14. Finale (3:30)
Milano - Cologno Monzese, 28 Marzo 1990 Festival New Age E Altri Suoni (Teatro S. Marco):
15. Ritagli d’Anima - Suite Per Pianoforte (10:18)

OPUS AVANTRA: OPUS MAGNUM - Introspezione (1974) Lord Cromwell Plays Suite For Seven Vices (1975) Strata (1989) Kátharsis (1975) (2002, 4xCD Box-Set, Italy)

Unclassifiable Italian rock, jazz, classical, avant-garde hybrid ensemble. Opus Avantra was the brainchild of Alfredo Tisocco, and featured classically trained singer Donella Del Monaco. They were chiefly active during the 1970's, but have sporadically reformed issuing further albums. Both Alfredo and Donella also work solo and in other projects.


Gruppo unico nel suo genere, Opus Avantra hanno unito insieme musica classica contemporanea con avanguardia e leggere influenze di rock progressivo, con un risultato originale che qualche volta può risultare difficile per chi ama il prog più tradizionale. Il loro nome è tratto dai loro interessi principali, opera, avanguardia e musica tradizionale.
Formati in Veneto nel 1973 da un nucleo composto dalla soprano Donella Del Monaco (nipote del celebre tenore Mario Del Monaco), dal pianista-compositore Alfredo Tisocco, dal filosofo Giorgio Bisotto e dal produttore Renato Marengo, e con la collaborazione negli anni di tanti musicisti esterni, pubblicarono il primo album nel 1974, Opus Avantra - Donella Del Monaco (spesso chiamato Introspezione, dal titolo del primo brano) per la famosa etichetta Trident.
Considerato generalmente il loro lavoro più accessibile, l'album si basa su temi di ispirazione classica con arrangiamenti elaborati ed è dominato dalla bella voce da soprano della Del Monaco e con un buon uso del flauto, con un solo brano strumentale, Rituale. Il gruppo fece anche diversi concerti per promuovere l'album, nel Veneto e a Roma.
Donella Del Monaco è assente sul secondo album, Lord Cromwell (plays suite for seven vices), che prosegue nello stesso genere del primo, ed è sostituita da un coro di cantanti americani. L'ex batterista della Nuova Idea Paolo Siani suona in questo album, che come il primo contiene alcuni passaggi interessanti per chi ama una musica fuori dagli schemi convenzionali del rock.
Sia Alfredo Tisocco (insieme al Gruppo Italiano di Danza Libera in Katharsis del 1975) che Donella Del Monaco (con 12 canzoni da battello nel 1977, Schoenberg Kabarett nel 1978, Il carnevale di Venezia del 1985) hanno pubblicato anche album individuali nello stesso stile, e il duo si è riunito con il nome Opus Avantra per un terzo album nel 1989, Strata, e un quarto nel 1995 uscito solo in CD, Lyrics.
Il 2008 ha visto la riunificazione degli Opus Avantra, con Donella Del Monaco, Alfredo Tisocco e Giorgio Bisotto, per dei concerti in Romania ed in Giappone, con una riproposizione di materiale da tutti i loro album. La formazione comprende anche Valerio Galla (batteria e percussioni), Mauro Martello (flauto traverso), Anca Elena Botezatu (violino), Ioana Ionescu (violino), Alexandra Butnaru (viola), Violeta Loredana Dumitru (violoncello), e lo spettacolo è direttamente prodotto dalla rinata Cramps, che ha curato con Alan Walter Bedin le luci e la scenografia. Il concerto di Tokyo è stato utilizzato per il DVD Viaggio immaginario/Live in Tokyo 2008. Italianprog


Introspezione (1974)

Songs:
1. Introspezione (2:04)
2. Les Plaisirs Sont Deux (3:36)
3. La Marmellata (2:33)
4. L'altalena (5:35)
5. Monologo (2:37)
6. Il Pavone (4:52)
7. Ah, Douleur! (4:15)
8. Deliee (5:00)
9. Oro (3:30)
10. Rituale (5:45)
Bonus Track: 11. Introspezione (Integrale) (6:12)

Lord Cromwell Plays Suite For Seven Vices (1975)  
Songs:
1. Flowers On Pride (5:25)
2. Avarice (5:22)
3. Lust (3:50)
4. My Vice (1:53)
5. Ira (7:47)
6. Gluttony (2:59)
7. Envy (5:40)
8. Sloth (4:29)
Bonus Track:
9. Allemanda (3:02)


Strata (1989)
 
Songs:
1. Canto Alla Notte (3:55)
2. Quiete E Tumulto (2:12)
3. Danza Degli Oggetti Liberati (4:43)
4. Canto Incompiuto (4:09)
5. Vertigine (3:25)
6. Fase Dello Specchio (Duello) (3:47)
7. Canto Prima Dell'Alba (3:10)
8. Tics (Palude) (3:01)
9. Ritmo Alfa (Libirinto) - Live (7:27)
10. Canto A Un Dio Nascosto (3:37)
Bonus Track:
11. R.E.M. (11:26)

Alfredo Tisocco, Gruppo Italiano Di Danza Libera ‎- Kátharsis (1975) 
  
Songs:
1. Kátharsis (1:10)
2. Galassie (5:56)
3. Tensione (3:29)
4. Il Tempo (3:13)
5. Ira (2:10)
6. Richiamo (5:03)
7. Ah Ben Si (3:48)
8. Kátharsis (Voce Recitante: "Il Principio") (1:37)
9. Cristalli (2:26)
10. Impressioni (Voce Recitante: "Impressioni") (3:10)
11. Flying In The Wind (Voce Recitante: "L'Albero") (3:22)
12. Spiritual (4:35)
13. Caduta (2:38)
14. Kátharsis (Voce Recitante: "Se") (2:57)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

ART ZOYD – Musique Hors Classe (1981, Live, France)

Recorded in London in 1981 as part of a series of european Rock in Opposition concerts, this marks the experimental French group at their zenith. A challenging live set mixing electronics, avant-garde jazz & baroque classical. Recommended for Magma, Univers Zero and Henry Cow fans, and those who like music that sits outside any form of convention. (Exclusive to Sandpiper Records).

UNIVERS ZERO - London in Opposition (1981, Live, Belgium)

Recorded live in London in 1981. The second part of the Rock In Opposition concerts (the first part was performed by Art Zoyd, which is also available on this site). A fascinating blend of neo-chamber music, avant-garde jazz and thumping Magma-inspired beats. Truly unique. (Exclusive to Sandpiper Records).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HOMUNCULUS RES - Come si diventa ciò che si era (2015, CD, Italy)

Another wonderful band on the ever-growing excellent AltRock label, HOMUNCULUS RES is a Sicilian band centered around songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist Dario D'Alessandro. Other members currently include keyboardists David Di Giovanni and Federico Cardaci, bassist Domenico Salamone, flutist Dario Lo Cicero, and drummer Daniele Di Giovanni. A featured guest on the band's debut is YUGEN keyboardist Paolo Ske Botta.

The primary inspiration for the band is PICCHIO DAL POZZO, the best Canterbury-influenced Italian band from the 1970s. They seem likewise, as did PICCHIO DAL POZZO, to derive inspiration from other Canterbury bands, particularly CARAVAN and SOFT MACHINE. But HOMONCULUS RES is far from being a simple clone--they have taken the light, breezy, humorous Canterbury feel and mixed it with the early material from PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI and even LE ORME. They have combined these influences, spinning the whole in their wonderful melodic sensibilities, in the process creating one of the more unique and memorable entries into the crowded field of modern excellent Rock Progressivo Italiano.
The 2013 debut album Limiti All'eguaglianza della Parte con il Tutto demands to be heard and enjoyed and portends of wonderful things to come from this delightful ensemble.

Guests Musicians: David Newhouse (The Muffins), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo),Steven Kretzmer (Rascal Reporters) and Paolo Botta (Yugen, Ske, Not a Good Sign).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

KEITH EMERSON & GOBLIN ‎– La Chiesa (1989, LP, Italy)

“La Chiesa” (The Church) is a 1989 film, directed by Michele Soavi and produced by the master of Italian horror Dario Argento; the tracks here selected for its soundtrack have been composed and performed by Keith Emerson and Goblin, which is, in this case, the pseudonym for the sole Fabio Pignatelli.
The result is stylistically homogeneous: classical, rock and electronic sounds are skillfully blended. Emerson, in particular, makes extensive use of a church organ, mindful of his work for Dario Argento’s film “Inferno” of a few years earlier (1980), while Pignatelli clearly shows his ‘goblinian’ soul, just updated by about a decade.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

JABLKON ‎– Baba Aga (1992, CD, Czech Republic)

Briljant masters of a highly original acoustic blend of atypical Czech folk jazz with a classical streak. Either name them classically well trained musicians or real entertainers, but they're not a rock band (unlike their countrymen Uz Jsme Doma). "Baba Aga"is probably their most striking (and mystical) effort. During the nineties I saw them a couple of times at very small venues and during small open air festivals. Live they were an intriguing band to see collaborating and connecting with the audience. As many people did: try and enjoy!

BARABBA - Canti dal Vangelo Secondo Barabba (1977, LP, Italy)

While early RPI bands loved their British heroes, particularly the dark, difficult, and heavy textures of VDGG and Deep Purple in my opinion, they took the influences of those bands and created highly diverse and original material throughout the following years. As the site genre definition notes there's a unique sound stamp, musical depth, and independence to the RPI bench which becomes apparent after you listen to the hundreds of lesser known albums...get past believing that PFM alone represent RPI. The genre is very far from wannabe British clone. Here is another of so many cases in point. Barabba is an obscure Turin-based project spearheaded by Circus 2000 guitarist Marcello "Spooky" Quartarone and features musicians from Arti & Mestieri, Living Life, and Venegoni & Co. Quartarone's music was married to lyrics written by students in an attempt to create a conceptual album based on Gospel themes. Little other information is out there concerning the project, though be sure to review Todd's bio for what he dug up. Finnforest

ALCO FRISBASS ‎– Alco Frisbass (2015, France)

A new rousing episode of pure Canterbury-sound on Fading Records! Alco Frisbass from France advances a spectacular combination of elegant melodies and melting riffs revisiting the best Canterbury’s scenes with the support of: Jacob Holm Lupo (White Willow), Paolo “Ske” Botta (Not A Good Sign, Ske, Yugen), Thierry Payssan (Minimum Vital), Archimede De Martini (Stormy Six).
Mastering by Udi Koomran.

Friday, July 21, 2017

CATALONIA - S/T (1981, LP, Spain)

Obscure Spanish fusion-progressive band from Barcelona founded in 1978 by musicians previously in Gotic, Musica Urbana and Pegasus: Rafael Escoté (bass), Ángel Pereira (drums, percussion), Lluís Vidal (piano) and Antonio Peral (sax).

Side A
A1 Mistela 4:30
A2 Lorelai 6:30
A3 Una Mica De Res 6:09
Side B
B1 Bolero 5:21
B2 En Un Reco Del Cor 5:06
B3 Un Sueco En America 8:22

Band:
Bass – Rafael Escoté
Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone – Angel Pereira
Piano – Lluis Vidal
Saxophone – Antonio Peral

DANIEL VEGA ‎– La Noche Que Precede A La Batalla (1976, CD, Spain)

This is one of the big surprises that the Spanish progressive scene has yet to give to all worldwide prog fans. Daniel Vega (not to be confused with the other Vega who released the well- known Andaluza album), was an excellent musician from Asturias, in the north of Spain. This is his sole album, and it's an outstanding progressive folk record with Daniel writing and singing all tracks except two instrumentals.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

GERARDO BATIZ ‎– Arlequín (1982, LP, Mexico)

Very nice, mellow, electric progressive rock album. The wordless female vocals, approaching Zeuhl at times, defines this mature work. Piano and bass drive the music forward, and the contents are highly melodic. At times I'm reminded of some of the "lite Zeuhl" bands coming out of France in the 1980s like Foehn or Musique Noise. I even hear some Joe Jackson, and that's meant as a compliment. For me, it's better than all the aforementioned bands, and comes recommended. cdrwl

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LA MUJER BARBUDA - Agridulce (2016, Argentina)

La MUJER BARBUDA have got started as an Argentine RIO quartet, founded by Martin Pantyrer (saxophones, clarinets), Sergio Álvarez (electric guitar), Franco Fontanarossa (bass), and Lulo Isod (drums, percussion). They've opened their monstrously innovative curtain with their debut album "Musica Para Cuando Aparece El Monstruo" in 2008, followed by their second reptilian shot "Lagartos Terribles" in 2011, released via an independent label S-Music.

MIRIODOR - Signal 9 (2017, Canada)

Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Venin (4:32) 
2. Peinturé Dans Le Coin (4:32) 
3. Transit De Nuit À Jakarta (1:58) 
4. Portrait-robot (8:47) 
5. Déboires À Munich (1:18) 
6. Chapelle Lunaire (6:49) 
7. Cryogénie (1:35) 
8. Passage Secret (9:56) 
9. Gallinule D'Amérique (1:38) 
10. Douze Petites Asperges (2:37) 
11. Le Ventriloque Et Le Perroquet (8:13) 
Total time 51:55

Line-up / Musicians 
- Bernard Falaise / guitar, keyboards, turntables, production & mixing
- Pascal Globensky / keyboards, synths, piano
- Nicolas Lessard / bass, double bass, keyboards
- Rémi Leclerc / drums, percussion, electronics


CHEER-ACCIDENT - Putting Off Death (2017, Usa)

Tracklist:
01. Language Is 11:24
02. Immanence 04:12
03. Wishful Breathing 03:45
04. Falling World 03:40
05. More And Less 03:00
06. Lifetime Guarantee 06:59
07. Hymn 05:11

Line-up / Musicians:
Jeff Libersher / guitar, trumpet, vocals, keyboards
Dante Kester / bass, keyboards
Thymme Jones / drums, vocals, piano, trumpet, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, moog, noise
Carmen Armillas / vocals
With:
Mike Hagedorn / trombone
Teria Gartelos / vocals
Sacha Mullin / vocals
Cory Bengtsen / baritone sax
Beth Yates / flute
Julie Pomerleau / violin
Joan Morrone / French horn
Ross Feller / tenor sax
Rob Pleshar / tuba
Todd Fackler / tuba

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI - Violato Intatto (2017, ITALY)

"Violated Intact" is the fourth Accordo dei Contrari album, one of the most authoritative and admired Italian progressive jazz formations in the world. Born in Bologna in 2001, Between 2007 and 2014, the band has released three albums and has played in numerous Italian and foreign festivals: thanks to the work in studio and live activity, Accordo dei Contrari has gained significant international consensus.
After joining the Crescendo Festival of Saint Palais sur Mer in France and the Time In Jazz by Paolo Fresu in Berchidda, Contrary of Contrari began working on the fourth album in instrumental trio without electric bass: with the arrival of saxophonist Stefano Radaelli And the involvement of guests like Alessandro Bonetti of Deus Ex Machina, has achieved the ambitious " Violato Intatto".
Accordo dei Contrari, inspired by a renewed commitment, the desire to explore new territories and to deepen the elements of the instrumental formula, three years away from the previous "AdC" album, expands its sound to rock, jazz and music: The result is " Violato Intatto", a album consisting of eleven long and adventurous tracks. Recorded live in studio with minimized overdubs and mastered by the great Udi Koomran (already with Ahvak, Present, 5uu's etc.), "Violato Intatto" raises the mastery and uniqueness of the Accordo dei Contrari: a continuous and evolved dialogue between Diversity for one of the most fascinating and original formations of the European landscape. Btf

BUBBLEMATH - Edit Peptide (2017, USA)

Right from the start, it is clear to me that Edit Peptide, the new album by American band Bubblemath, represents some sort of an hommage to Gentle Giant. In fact, fans of the great an influential British band, but also of Echolyn and early Spock's Beard, should certainly be very enthusiastic about their new album Edit Peptide.
The album starts with a bang! with ‘’Routine Maintenance'', perhaps the most GG influenced piece of the album. It mixes great vocal harmonies with very dynamic music.
The next two tracks keep the momentum going with some excellent lead guitar soloing, emotional vocals, complex harmonies and very dynamic keyboards. In fact Bubblemath comes closer to what Echolyn used to do on Suffocating The Bloom.
The next track, ‘’A Void That I Can Depart To'' is, in my opinion the jewel of the album. It starts with a beautiful opening section that naturally evolves to melodic and intense parts (i.e. Echolyn's ''Shades'' and Spock’s Beard ‘’The Door’’) and finally ends in a very moving and peaceful way. This piece offers great instrumentation and vocals (like the rest of the album btw).
‘’Get a Lawn’’ is near to being a ballad but still gives us some quirky and intense vocals with some complex instrumentation. The ‘’Making Light of Traffic’s’’ calm and retro sounding first part almost actually feels like a real Gentle Giant song but quickly the band returns to intense instrumentation and dynamic harmonies. It’s a song that nearly has an ''On Reflection'' moment and features killer saxophone and keyboard solos.
The last two songs continue in the same vein and end this very good album in great fashion
Those that like their melodic Prog to be busy and intense (somewhat of a paradox?), something that bands like Spock's Beard and Echolyn (even more so) have been giving us for nearly thirty years, should really get their hands on Edit Peptide by Bubblemath. Prognosis

MUMPBEAK – Tooth (2017)

In their followup to their formidable self-titled debut on RareNoise Records in 2013, Mumpbeak again conjures up memories of vintage King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant and other prog-rock pioneers on Tooth. Led by the innovative keyboardist-composer and Oslo-based UK expatriate Roy Powell, whose other RareNoise output includes releases by Interstatic and Naked Truth, and featuring bassist and longtime collaborator Lorenzo Feliciati (Powell’s bandmate and project leader in Naked Truth who has also released the solo albums Frequent Flyer and KOI on RareNoise), this new edition of the prog-rock-jazz power trio showcases the remarkable Norwegian drummer Torstein Lofthus, who is also a member of the avant garde group Shining and the psychedelic prog-rock-jazz trio Elephant 9.

CORIMA – Amaterasu (2016, CD, Usa)

Texas, US band playing rock-fusion in the Zeuhl vein. Their frenetic version of the genre also showcases the wide ethnic backgrounds of the musicians, sometimes sounding like a Japanese Magma.

KOTEBEL - Cosmology (2017, CD, Spain)

This album features the “Cosmology Suite”. An ambitious work based on the musical representation of four conceptions of the Cosmos:
- The Geocentric Universe (Earth as center of the universe and God as an anthropomorphic entity)
- The Mechanical Universe (the cosmos is a complex machine where parts interact with each other based on physical laws. God does not exist)
- The Entangled Universe (rather than isolated entities, we are actually all “connected”)
- Oneness (rather than “connected” we are really one. Like waves in the sea…)
In addition to Cesar G. Forero’s “Mishima’s Dream”, the album includes a remastered version of the piece “Canto XXVIII”. A piece that Cesar wrote for Dante’s Paradiso (issued in 2010 as part of Colossus’ Divine Comedy project).

PETER GORDON ‎– Leningrad Xpress (1990, CD, Usa)

Music from dance and theatre productions in a musical language equally informed by world music, tough New York City rock, pattern music, Albert Ayler jazz, and electronic music...Gordon makes it all work in these highly original tone poems from the almost Weill-ian "Leningrad Express" and "Warsaw," to the disco-Italian folk music of "Toscana," to the electronic and dissonant "In The Fields," "Trinity Site" and "Inside The Nuclear Power Plant" (text-Kathy Acker), the sublime "atonal" chamber music of"Inside Marie," the Chopinesque-Tibetan "Woyzeck's Dream," the 1920's Berlin-style "Der Kindertotentanz," and the unabashedly pretty "Pastis" acoustic guitar solo.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SENNI ESKELINEN & STRINGPUREE BAND - Senni Eskelinen Stringpurée Band/ Fedja (2008/ 2010, CD, Finland)

STRINGPURÉE BAND is a new and innovative trio from the Northern Savo region in Finland, and who sports a sound that combines modern arrangements and studio technology with more traditional instrumentation and mood. The band's primary 'engine' is the electric version of a Finnish string instrument known as a kantele, played by Senni Eskelinen.
The band's music is all instrumental ranging from neo-folk to free-form, and reflecting the strong tradition of introspective and progressive tendencies found in much of Scandinavian music.
While still in their early stages, STRINGPURÉE BAND has the makings of a long-lasting and vibrant act with the capacity to produce interesting and innovative sounds for years to come. Progarchive

SENNI ESKELINEN STRINGPURÉE BAND - Senni Eskelinen Stringpurée Band (2008)

Tracklist::
Embers 5:18
Pikkukala 5:28
Kärsivä omenapuu 5:35
Pikapuuagentti 6:27
Kuolleen miehen tanssi 8:25
Riivattu mies 4:27
Eepos 5:56
Painajainen 6:25
Kaksi dinoa 7:08

Musicians:
Senni Eskelinen - kantele
Kalle Ylitalo - basso
Niko Votkin - rummut

STRINGPURÉE BAND - Fedja (2010)
 
Tracklist:
Control
Far East Western
Kaahattu
Aino
Autus
Kevottu
Last Yellow
Kirkonkellot

Musicians:
Senni Eskelinen- kantele
Kalle Ylitalo - basso
Niko Votkin - rummut
Stringpurée Band plays 100% raw progressive kantele -music. The trio, hailing from the backwoods of the Northern Savo region in Finland, is here to win over audiences of all kinds with their innovative instrumental sound. The band has already, in its few years of existence, managed to develop a sound which is highly personal. Partial credit for this of course also goes to Stringpurée Band’s unique line up, which consists of electric kantele, bass and drums. The original music composed by the three members echoes the roots of Finnish progressive and psychedelic musical tradition. So go ahead, have some Stringpurée. http://texicalligallery.com/portfolio/stringpuree-band/

Sunday, July 9, 2017

BREZNEV FUN CLUB ‎– L'Onda Vertebrata (2010, CD, Italy)

BREZNEV FUN CLUB hails from the province of Matera, in Basilicata and began life in the mid eighties on the initiative of guitarist Rocco Lomonaco, drummer Mario Ventrelli and keyboardist Francesco Gallipoli. Their sources of inspiration range from classical music to avant-garde, from Rock In Opposition to Canterbury and more. During their live performances they've always showcased a strong theatrical attitude introducing cabaret elements and recitative parts thanks to their front-man Franco Sciscio who joined the band in 1990.
During the years the band went through many troubles and line up changes and it wasn't until 2010 that they managed to release a real debut album on the independent label Btf/AMS, “L'onda vertebrata: Lost + Found Vol. 1”, with pieces composed from 1990 to 1997 re-arranged and properly re-recorded in studio in 2009 by a line up featuring Rocco Lomonaco (guitars, banjo, mandolin, quatro, harmonica), Franco Sciscio (vocals), Giuliana Di Mitrio (vocals), Maria Mianulli (flute), Francesco Manfredi (clarinet), Michele Motola (sax), Gianfranco Menzella (sax), Francesco Panico (trumpet), Francesco Tritto (trombone), Tommaso De Vito Francesco (bass, oboe), Michele Fracchiolla (drums, percussion, vibraphone, marimba), Pino Manfredi (piano, keyboards), Duilio Maci (violin) and Angela Schiralli (cello). In my opinion, the final result of their efforts is excellent! The sonic experiments of the band are never too extreme or self-indulgent and the well balanced arrangements avoid the wild territories of “musique concrète”. The music flows away without weak moments and I'm sure that even those who are not in love with avant-garde will find this challenging work rewarding.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

101 CRUSTACEANS ‎– Songs Of Resignation (1989, CD, Usa)

This is Fang Records first release and was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky who was at one time responsibile for producing many British Invasion bands.
Most notable to prog fans is the appearance of Bernard Paganotti (Magma) on this recording. While his influence may escape the ears, Paganotti has on a number of Zeuhl and related recordings.

GATTI GIUSTI FORTI & C ‎– La Valle Della Luna (1981, LP, Italy)

B&B ‎– LP 0710
60年代から活躍するジャズコンポーザー/ピアノ奏者Angel Pocho Gattiが、70年代の末に打楽器奏者Giampiero Giustiら新進気鋭の若手と結成したGatti Giusti Forti & C。フリージャズを空間的モードへと磨き上げた81年の傑作。白眉はな~んと云ってもタイトルトラック『La Valle Della Luna』。予感に満ちたイマジネイティヴなインプロヴィゼイションから怒涛のクライマックスへとずんずん昂まっていく圧巻の10分。その他も空間的音響を駆使した月面旅情まんてんのスピリチュアルフュージョン全4曲収録。ジャケもいい感じ!大推薦盤!

Side A
A1 La Valle Della Luna
A2 Hard Conviction
Side B
B1 New Feelings
B2 Miscellanous

Musicians:
Bass – Maurizio Bozzi
Drums – Giampiero Giusti
Electric Guitar – Maurizio Forti
Percussion – Massimo Pacciani
Piano – Angel Pocho Gatti