Monday, 28 February 2011

Earth And Fire - Song Of The Marching Children (1971)

EARTH & FIRE's "Song Of The Marching Children" falls somewhere within the song-oriented prog category. The album consists of short tracks on side A, and a larger epic on side B (my CD also came with a bonus track, but there is another CD that features SOTMC, and Atlantis). All of the tracks on Side A feature some of the best qualities found in more adventurous progressive rock, and they end up sounding like miniature epics. The side- long track sounds like 5 songs pieced together. Overall, the music from this band has a strong European symphonic sound, meaning that Baroque, classical, and even circus influences are all over the place.

The band likes to weave in and out of major/minor chords and scales, so the music alternates between happy and sad moods. I also hear a noticeable early KING CRIMSON sound (heavy on the orchestral mellotron sound). EARTH & FIRE had a female lead-singer with one of the warmest, and charismatic, voice that I've heard in prog. She is usually mentioned first when people talk about the band. Some of her lyrics are silly in a surreal, counterculture, sort of way, but her beautiful voice quickly makes you forgive the naive lyrics. This is a majestic album that will please fans of early KING CRIMSON, PFM's "Per Un Amico", and FANTASY. EARTH AND FIRE Song of the Marching Children music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

This album is generally pointed out by progheads as E&F's peak and I agree somewhat with them but as you can see by my rating , this is hardly the Everest , more like a foothill in Progressive Rock Mountains Range. E&F is one of those many Dutch band that obviously listened to a lot of classical music before starting a rock band (Focus , Ekseption , Trace etc..). The problem with that is that I see a great lack of originality/personality in those bands (Focus excepted) and prefer groups such as Supersister , Finch or Golden Earring . Since Holland is where I live during the week , I feel particularly con cerned to give a proper review and explain well why I appreciate a band or not.

E&F has one beautiful female vocalist that sings in accent-less English (as is often the case with the Dutch) sometimes brilliantly but at times also very annoyingly/irritatingly. The main thing about this album I would suggest here is that too much mellotron kills the mellotrons effects and here this is a lot more of an orgy ....... more like an indigestion. Use and abuse , where does one draw the line?!?! Well , it is not clearly drawn out but IMHO we are over the line by a few miles... If I was a music instrument dealer , I would use this album to clients as a sales brochure for the full spectrum of the capabilities of the instrument. But too much is toooooo much....

Side 1 is full of reworking the classical music and is rather tedious and sometimes sound like a third rate Focus or a second rate Ekseption, filled with mellotrons layers. Side 2 holds the side-long suite that gives its name to the album and is relatively pleasant with interesting KB lines (other than mellotrons that is) even though there are lenghts (the long March as pointed out heavily by the drumming) and the facts that there are borropwed themes (heard elsewhere). I just find it very much over-rated as much so thant the other side-long suite of the following album Atlantis. EARTH AND FIRE Song of the Marching Children music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Carnival of the animals (2:42)
2. Ebbtide (3:06)
3. Storm and thunder (6:25)
4. In the mountains (3:00)
5. Song of the marching children (18:20)
...a) Theme of the marching children - 2:20
...b) Opening the seal - 1:10
...c) Childhood - 3:10
...d) Affliction - 1:30
...e) Damnation - 2:53
...f) Purification - 4:17
...g) The march - 3:02
Bonus tracks on Polydor cd release:
6. Lost forever (2:48)
7. Invitation (3:50)
8. Song for the marching children (single version) (4:08)

Total Time: 44:28
Line-up / Musicians
- Jerney Kaagman / lead vocals
- Ton van de Kleij / drums, percussion
- Chris Koerts / guitar, backing vocals
- Gerard Koerts / organ, piano, Mellotron, backing vocals
- Hans Ziech / bass

Earth and Fire - 05 - Song of the Marching Children [1 of 2]

Earth & Fire - Lost Forever

Earth and Fire - Storm and Thunder (better quality)

Manuel Gottsching - Live At Mt. Fuji (2007)

Manuel Gottsching hasn't released as many albums in recent decades as he did earlier in his career but when he does release something new, it's always something special. Manuel's latest release was recorded live in Feburary 2006 during an excellent solo concert near Japan's Mount Fuji. Manuel performed the entire concert alone accompanied by stunning computer visuals by a Japanese graphic artist and he also dug into his back catalog coming up with new arrangements of classic material. The album opens with "Sunrain" which was originally from the 1976 classic "New Age of Earth". The familiar hypnotic sequencer pattern is already in place however on this new version, Manuel takes it in a slightly different direction and extends the piece to nearly 15-minutes. "Saint and Sinner" is a more recent piece which was originally heard on the 2004 release "Concert For Murnau". This laid back piece is taken a step up from its studio counterpart as Manuel adds a bluesy Clapton-esque guitar lead that wasn't there before. "Trunky Groove" is a brand new piece composed for this concert and is a showcase for the psychedelic music style that was the norm for Manuel back in his very early days in Ash Ra Tempel. A techno-style rhythm is accompanied by a long drone and intense orchestrations before giving way to an effects-drenched guitar solo. "Die Mulde" is a 20-minute excerpt from Manuel's long-form 1997 piece of the same name. It begins with the "Die Spiegel" section of the piece and shifts into the closing "Zerfluss" movement. As with "Saint and Sinner", Manuel adds a guitar lead which wasn't in the original version. Finally, to close the album, we have yet another arrangement of the classic "Shuttlecock" which originally is from the 1978 masterwork "Blackouts". The arrangement is similar to the 1976 live version that appeared on the 1996 CD set "The Private Tapes" but definitely has a modern twist. Manuel's guitar playing is up front and center here and is stellar - almost like taking a trip back to the mid 70s. "Live at Mt.Fuji" is yet another great CD release from the legendary Manuel Gottsching. There is some amazing music on this disc and every piece has some stellar shining moments. Manuel has definitely not lost any of his musical strengths in fact, he is playing better than ever now as he was then. This is definitely another solid addition to one's Gottsching and Ash Ra Tempel collection and is another classic gem from this pioneer. MANUEL GÖTTSCHING Live At Mt. Fuji music review by Louie

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Sunrain (14:48)
2. Saint & Sinner (9:51)
3. Trunky Groove (14:42)
4. Die Mulde/Zerfluss (19:50)
5. Shuttlecock (13:14)

Total Time: 72:25

Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Gottsching / guitar, electronics
Download  Live at Mount Fuji


Manuel Göttsching - Shuttlecock

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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Earth And Fire (1970 )

I remembered back as a kid when my dad bought "To the World of the Future", thinking there'd be no way in hell in ever finding out anything more about EARTH & FIRE, one of the great Dutch prog rock bands. My dad bought "To the World of the Future" not really knowing what he was buying (he wasn't exactly the most musically informed person out there), and since none of my family ever been to Holland, he bought that album either mistaking them for EARTH, WIND & FIRE, or simply liked the '70s futuristic cover artwork. This was back in the 1980s, and so I just thought getting info on this band was worthless. There was no Internet, and running in to people who collect this sort of stuff was rather rare. I never mentioned anyone them for the obvious reason of bewilderment or mistaking them with EW&F. Just to let everyone know, by the time they released "To the World of the Future", they were starting to explore disco, but hadn't yet abandoned prog.

In the 1990s, I met someone else who owned a few EARTH & FIRE albums and ever so glad they had many more albums, and I very much treasure "Song of the Marching Children" and "Atlantis" greatly (since I originally had cassette copies of these courtesy of that guy who owned EARTH & FIRE albums, and then me acquiring the original Dutch Polydor gatefold LP copies of those albums).

This self-entitled album was their debut LP, but they already released a couple singles prior, "Seasons" b/w "Hazy Paradise" (1969) and "Ruby is the One" b/w "Mechanical Lover" (1970), both A-sides ending up on this album. So this album ended up having two songs with original drummer Cees Kalis, and the rest with new drummer Ton van der Kleij. This here is the original LP, released on Polydor/Medium with the matchbox cover, in which the cover folds open to reveal matches, and of the song contents. In 1971, this album received a UK release on the Nepentha label, which features the Roger Dean cover (that's been used on the German Repertoire CD reissue as well as the Japanese reissue). The Nepentha LP is even harder to acquire than the Polydor/Medium matchbox cover, so I went for the matchbox cover (the Nepentha LP regularly goes for $200-400). This album is less polished than the albums to follow ("Song of the Marching Children", "Atlantis"), the Mellotron hadn't even yet appeared (although I suspected a little synthesizers was used near the end of "Twilight Dreamer"), and there's more of a late '60s psych feel.

The album opens up with "Wild and Exciting", which became a hit for them in their home country. "Vivid Shady Land" features some aggressive guitar from Chris Koerts, plus male vocals, and of course female vocals of Jerney Kaagman. "Seasons" was the very first song they ever recorded, as mentioned, previously released as a single. This song wasn't written by either of the Koerts brothers or any other EARTH & FIRE members, but George Kooysman of GOLDEN EARRING (who supported EARTH & FIRE and helped sign them to Polydor, the label Golden Earring was recording for). "Love Quiver" bears more than a striking resemblance to JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, right down to the vocal harmonies, although Jerney Kaagman's voice doesn't sound much like Grace Slick (more like STEELEYE SPAN's "Maddy Prior", but with a Dutch accent, or perhaps Mariska Veres of SHOCKING BLUE). But very unlike something from the AIRPLANE, you get a lengthy organ solo (rather than an extended Jorma Kaukonen guitar solo like on the "Volunteers" album). "21st Century Show" is much like the rest of the album, but features a nice flute solo. "What's Your Name" is a laid-back acoustic piece with flute. It sounds like Jerney Kaagman isn't doing any of the vocal duties here, not even backing vocals, the vocal duties seem to be from the Koerts twins, this song gives you a clue what EARTH & FIRE might have sounded like if they didn't feature a female vocalist. It's obvious that these guys need to brush on their English, but regardless, it's a pleasant piece, especially after the aggressiveness of "Love Quiver" (which preceeded it). It's understood that "Song of the Marching Children" and "Atlantis" shows the band at their best (I can't argue with that), this debut album is still excellent with promise of more great things to come. EARTH AND FIRE Earth and Fire music reviews and MP3

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Wild and exciting (4:27)
2. Twilight dreamer (4:16)
3. Ruby is the one (3:26)
4. You know the way (3:46)
5. Vivid shady lady (4:11)
6. 21st century show (4:14)
7. Seasons (4:08)
8. Love quiver (7:36)
9. What's your name (3:36)

Total Time: 39:40
Bonus tracks on Repertoire release:
10. Mechanical lover
11. Hazy paradise
12. Memories
13. Invitation
14. From the end till the beginning
15. Lost forever
16. Song of the marching children
17. Thanks for the love
18. What difference does it make
19. Wild and exciting
Bonus tracks on Rotation/U release:
10. Memories
11. Invitation
12. Wild and exciting (edit)
13. Greenpark station
14. Seasons
15. Song of the marching children
16. Ebb tide
17. Storm and thunder (single)
Bonus tracks on Rotation release:
10. Hazy paradise (3:46)
11. Mechanical lover (4:12)
12. Invitation (3:50)
13. Song of the marching children (single) (4:08)
14. Storm and thunder (4:50)
15. Lost forever (2:48)
16. Memories (3:20)

Total time: 66:10
Line-up / Musicians
- Jerney Kaagman / lead vocals
- Ton van de Kleij / drums
- Chris Koerts / guitar
- Gerard Koerts / guitar, keyboards
- Hans Ziech / bass

Earth and fire-Memories


MightyEcho Playlist

Guapo - Elixirs (2008)

After two amazing albums "Five Suns" and "Black Oni", both of them virtually impossible to beat or equal, Guapo kept evolving and creating great avant-prog music, which ultimately was delivered in their 2008's album "Elixirs". With a permanent guitar player and a new bassist on board, Guapo now reveals itself as an ensemble decided to explore predominantly subtle atmospheres and deceitfully relaxed. The post-rock element had been a nuance in "Black Oni", but in "Elixirs" it has become a relevant presence in the band's refurbished sound. This is still genuinely zheul, but clearly with a more elaborate work of grayish textures, not only based on a bigger influence from the post-rock standard, but also Arabic/North African-inspired exotic sonorities. This less explosive approach to Guapo's archetypical exploration of neurotic, dark, disturbing sonic displays helps the band to focus on the mysterious side of their music with an enhanced fruition. This is pretty obvious from the opening track 'Jeweled Turtle', whose initial languid mood feels powerfully focused on the drumming's ritualistic cadence, making it sound like a procession of lost ghosts. The guest violin and viola gradually take center stage until things become patently dramatic, especially during the second half - the additional Arabic undertones reinforce the black magic aura instilled in the track's nucleus. Track 2 'Arthur, Elsie and France' is more vital, set on a jazz-rock scheme for a Magma-meets-Present excursion in which organic tension and cacophony alternate fluidly. The keyboard and bass inputs remind us closely to Guapo's previous albums, but Smith's drumming bears enough versatility and subtlety as to keep things reasonably constrained (yet still explosive). Tracks 3 and 4 are parts of a concept titled 'Twisted Stems', both being sung tracks: 'The Heliotrope' has a slow, relaxing acid-jazz mood that evokes a modernized Robert Wyatt, while 'The Selenotrope' is slightly more oppressive, with a bit of sensuality (something like Portishead-meets-Sigur Rós). 'The Planks' is the briefest and most upbeat piece in the album: with its very ethnic main motif, the band manages to bring an optimistic, catchy vibe without giving up on their penchant for mysterious atmospheres and experimental ideas. The last 15 minutes are occupied by 'King Lindrom', which gets started with a psychedelic deconstruction of Far East moods (I am inclined to notice the legacy of "Ummagumma"-era Pink Floyd and early Amon Duul on this one). Once the electric piano sets the initial cadences for the center section, it won't be long before the whole band displays yet another example of zheul/post-rock tension. Right before minute 8, a new motif arrives to increase and release a sonic power that until now had remained partially latent. The rhythm duo's jazz-inspired labor and the creepy guitar lead deserve special mentions. At minute 11 ½, things return to calmer moods in order to set the pace for the coda (a reprise of the introductory section). While not equaling the electrifying fire of "Five Suns" or the special witchcraft of "Black Oni", "Elixirs" still represents the excellence of Guapo's musical vision - this is likely to become a very featured album in prog circles for the year 2008.GUAPO Elixirs music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Jeweled Turtle (13:09)
2. Arthur, Elsie And Frances (10:53)
3. Twisted Stems: The Heliotrope (7:32)
4. Twisted Stems: The Selenotrope (7:45)
5. The Planks (3:11)
6. King Lindorm (15:40)

Total Time 58:10

Line-up / Musicians
- Daniel O'Sullivan / Fender Rhodes, piano, bass, guitars, harmonium, modular synthesisers, autoharp, voice, electronics
- David J.Smith / drum kit, percussion

Guest musicians:
- Sarah Hubrich / Violin, Viola (The Jewelled Turtle)
- Alexander Tucker / Voices (The Heliotrope)
- Jarboe / Voices (The Selenetrope)

GUAPO "Arthur, Elsie and Frances"

Guapo - Jeweled Turtle

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Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen (1972)

A bit different from their debut because of the presence of vocals. Also Klaus Schulze left, in pursuit of his famous solo career. New drummer Wolfgang Müller is in, along with, of course, guitarist Manuel Göttsching and bassist Hartmut Enke. And for a vocalist, they chose a guy by the name of John L., previously of AGITATION FREE (who got booted out of that band for being too deranged, apparently ASH RA TEMPEL felt the same was as he was given the boot after this album). Talk about an acquired taste, John L.'s voice tends to be harsh and he always sounded out of tune (he reminded me of CAN's "Malcolm Mooney", so you get sort of an idea what you'll be facing here).

The album starts off with the rather bluesy "Look at Your Sun", complete with John L.'s off-key singing. The next song, "Flowers Must Die" is basically John L. simply screaming under an intense rhythm of guitar and drums, plus the presence of sax gives it a bit of a jazzy feel. Definately party-clearing music, to say the least. The second half of the album consists of "Suche" and "Liebe". "Suche" is a rather sinister spacy piece consisting of mostly vibraphone and organ. "Liebe" is more guitar and voice (this time by Göttsching), and sounds like a cross between PINK FLOYD and ASH RA TEMPEL's debut. Amazing album, if you can get used to the vocals. ASH RA TEMPEL Schwingungen music reviews and MP3 (Review from )

Songs / Tracks Listing Light And Darkness
1. Light: Look at your Sun (6:34)
2. Darkness: Flowers must die (12:22)

3. Suche & Liebe (19:23)

Total Time: 38:19

Line-up / Musicians
- Manuel Göttsching / Guitar, organ, electronics
- Hartmut Enke / Guitar, bass, electronics
- Wolfgang Mueller / Drums, vibes

- Guests:
- John L / Vocals
- Jew Harp / Percusssion
- Matthias Wehler / Alto Sax
- Uli Popp / Bongos

Ash Ra Tempel - Light And Darkness: Darkness - Flowers Must Die

Ash Ra Tempel: Suche And Liebe

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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Alain Eckert Quartet - Alain Eckert Quartet (981)

In 1981, parallel to his work with Art Zoyd; Alain Eckert formed his own group with Patricia Dallio, Alain Lecointe on bass and Serge Bringolf on drums. The result was a sound like a mini-orchestra, with vibraphone, violin and a separate wind section (trumpet, sax, trombone and flute). The violinist was Michael Nick and the sax player was Philippe Gisselmann who had both previously been Yochk'o Seffer's sidemen. In fact, 'Strave' the first double album by Serge Bringolf, and the 'Main Eckert Quartet' album show similar influences in their tendency towards the fusion of jazz and Central European music, a fine example of which is the music of Yochk'o Seffer. Here, without the usual failings of jazz-rock, they show an intelligent style of playing which is a pleasure to listen to. The delicate, original and passionate style of Patricia Dallio was first found on the 'Alain Eckert Quartet' album which opens with 'First' which is similar to Art Zoyd's writing at the turn of the decade. The remainder of side one teeters on the edge of jazz-guitar fusion, only just redeeming itself with the intricate backing. There are perpetual similarities to the vamps that Zappa used to back his solos, which fool you in that their initially overt simplicity conceals a wealth of fine detail. Alain Eckert uses this to good effect, except that generally his guitar sounds a lot more like Larry Coryell or Philippe Catherine than Uncle Frank. Particularly noteworthy are the second side of Eckert's album with 'La Danse des Abouts' and 'Duo' and the fourth side of 'Strave', which exhibit a certain subtlety in their arrangements and the compositional and instrumental qualities. But is the Alain Eckert Quartet album as good as any Art Zoyd release? Sadly, no ... it has all the indications of meticulous attention to detail, yet not enough vibrancy or power to stir the listener.

'Strave' is a more exciting album for the Zeuhl / Magma devotee. The first side is a long piece with luxuriant brass, mock-Kobaïan vocals and unusually for this genre, Milt Jackson-like vibes. For me it lacks a certain edge that electric guitar could have provided. The second and third sides are predominantly composed for bass (the lead instrument) and drums, with flourishes such as the violin solos. The brass section and the choir work in tandem, endlessly contributing wordless themes that are strongly reminiscent of Magma (71-80, it bugs me but I can't pin-point exactly what they are quoting from) or Zao (their first two albums). Serge Bringolf's second album 'Vision' represents a further step towards pure Zeuhl music with a nine piece formation performing what is commonly referred to as jazz-fusion, but with strong guitar riffs from Alain Eckert, thick brass and energetic vocals in the same scat-style that Vander has used extensively since the early eighties. Many "Magma School" collectors cherish this album. Bringolf's next release was a collaboration with Siegfried Kessler (a long time associate of the Kobaïan fraternity). 'Agboville' is principally a piano / drums work-out with a few vocals which displays flashes of Vander's opus 'Wurdah Ïtah', but (since Kessler is a more conventional jazz pianist than Vander) perhaps the feel is more accurately comparable to Faton Cahen's first solo album; 'Piano concerts'. 'Agboville' is also a succinct example of the Zeuhl sound that many other Magma inspired groups have produced, yet as with 'Wurdah Ïtah' the approach has been compressed to the bare essentials. Strave 'Live' is a reasonable endeavour, but not as successful as the studio albums. Alain Eckert plays on this one too, but perhaps the Funkiness of the first side detracts from the splendour that Strave produced in their earlier works. Alain Eckert Quartet "First" 1981Alain Eckert and Serge Bringolf

Electric Orange - Abgelaufen ( 2001 )

This was released in 2001, but was based on sessions recorded July 1999-August 2000,and was mastered by Eroc at The Ranch. This is very much a hit and miss affair for me. Maybe i was spoiled by starting with their "Morbus" release which is simply amazing. This one is trippy,repetitive and fairly laid back overall,it just doesn't have those outstanding moments that "Morbus" does. "Off" opens with hammond organ as a beat comes in.Then a different,more uptempo beat takes over.The organ is back ripping it up, and it takes turn with the guitar the rest of the way.Great start. They slow things down on "Dym".A relexed beat leads the way until a complete change after 3 minutes.Then we get spoken words as the beat has stopped.The rhythm returns after 4 1/2 minutes with organ.More spoken words 6 minutes in.Mellotron before 7 minutes.Nice. "Zwiestuck" has this catchy beat as vocals come in reminding me a lot of Damo Suzuki.This sounds so much like CAN! "Bandeins Swingklar" is experimental early with different sounds coming and going.Farfisa organ 5 1/2 minutes in and some mellotron.This is a dark soundscape. "Golden Lake" opens with percussion and a dark mood.The tempo picks up with hammond, then vocals join in.The organ becomes prominant after 2 1/2 minutes.Guitar before 4 minutes.It settles 4 1/2 minutes in for a couple of minues then the organ and vocals lead the way once again. "Gruff" features a mid-paced dark rhythm with faint vocals for 11 minutes. "Hydrat" is more upbeat and faster paced than the previous song.An infectious beat to this one. "Ganus Abgelaufen" is the 15 minute closer.This is slow moving and dark throughout.There are these faint spoken words and some organ. Lots to like about this record,but they will improve upon this with "Morbus". ELECTRIC ORANGE Abgelaufen! music reviews and MP3(Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. Off (5:03)
2. Dym (9:55)
3. Zwieback (6:35)
4. Bandeins Swingklar (9:20)
5. Golden Lake (8:17)
6. Gruff (11:10)
7. Hydrat (6:30)
8. Ganus Abgelaufen (15:11)

Total Time: 72:01

Line-up / Musicians - Dirk Bittner / vocals, voices, guitar, drums, samples, Leslie, bass, vocoder, Rhodes, synthesizer
- Dirk Jan Müller / hammond, farfisa, Rhodes, synths, samples, Leslie, tapes, loops, Mellotron, beatbox
- Tom Rückwald / bass
- Eric Karow / drums, trash percussion

electric orange - hydrat live 2005

Zip Tang - Pank (2008)

The band's second effort 'Pank' is a really entertaining album filled with a cornucopia of impressions. Automatically searching for something comparable more or less Umphrey's McGee come into my mind when listening. First of all because of the fact that most of the songs are provided with a touch of jamming too. Deitrich Crashed My Enzo is a good example here. Basically a catchy song coupled with melody and rhythm variations - on top of it provided with a grooving jam section showing references to southern rock bands like The Allman Brothers Band as well as psychedelic patches. An exciting compilation of styles so to say.

The song title is weird though - probably they mean this sports car named Enzo Ferrari. And who is 'Deitrich'? In Germany we have a forename 'Dietrich'. A pun or lapse? Something which temporarily engaged me. Anyhow - they obviously operate with some kind of humour - best to point out with You Call This Art which starts (and ends) with laughing people. And the closing song Goodbye is their individual way to say farewell to the listener provided with marching drums and a pop styled mood reminiscent to The Beatles I would say.

However - jazzy portions are coming through all over, for example to recognize on Footprints - the drums and piano especially here. Marcus Padgett has a large share with his saxophone. He opens and closes the melancholic ballad One Last Beautiful Motion with a cool substantial contribution, an harmonic song with polyphonic vocals and floydy guitars. It's In My Head is an unusual blend of fusion and heavy psych and takes getting used to.

A punching bass line sends Katy to a heavy rocking and blues direction - but not that simple - a little bit avantgarde tinged which comes from some interesting saxophone dues once more. In a similar manner the album's title song is Zappa influenced. Cicada Jam irritates spiked with electronical experiments where the drums are perfectly imitating a train ride as for my impression. And finally I want to mention The Years dominated by duelling saxophone and guitar.

Some may come to the conclusion that this album is full of quite different music portions merged together by accident - quasi missing the 'golden thread'. Okay, if it is in that way - it's well done anyhow. ZIP TANG succeed to produce a varied output in any case and excellent musicianship is beyond dispute. Prog fans who like to listen to an eclectic mix of styles should take care of this - and won't regret. ZIP TANG Pank music reviews and MP3

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Footprints (4:22)
2. It's In My Head (8:25)
3. Katy (8:19)
4. Leaving Nothing (4:45)
5. Cicada Jam (3:27)
6. One Last Beautiful Motion (7:14)
7. Pank (3:48)
8. Deitrich Crashed My Enzo (7:25)
9. The Years (4:50)
10. You Call This Art (4:41)
11. Goodbye (6:28)

Total Time 63:42
Line-up / Musicians - Fred Faller / drums
- Perry Merritt / guitars, vocals
- Marcus Padgett / saxophone, keyboards, vocals
- Rick Wolfe / bass, vocals

Zip Tang - FootprintsPank

Zip Tang - "Goodbye" - at House Of Blues

Circus - Movin' On ( 1977)

Movin' On
Circus has a reputation for having one of the more uncommon line-up of the genre - no KB and no electric guitars. Not so for the guitar for there are bits of it although staying discreet, some sounds I cannot see done other by a guitars through effects. This absolute masterpiece ( I strongly insist on this) gradually builds up to a superb climax progressing from one track to the other. Hauser is a real top-notch percussionist and puts in an impressive performace using all sorts of instruments and makes some of the loveliest vibraphone lines since Greenslade in Colosseum. Bassist Cerletti is the only non-Alemanic Swiss but is certainly a impressive bassist and an acomplished guitar player. Grieder and Frei are simply an amazing duo on wind instruments and and together with Cerletti make a superb vocal section. The music is rather unique in some points making you think of VDGG (mostly the saxes but also in one superb section of singing much better than Hammill himself because more melodious) , but also Maneige during the classical influenced moments , Crimson but IMO not much like Tull although this album is loaded with orgasmic flutes.

Bandsmen is a nice tune poppish but intentionally simple , only the unusual line-up intriguing us enough to go on further. Laughter Lane is quite a gem and a solid progression from the opening track but stays in the song format and one knows that much better is to come but this would be a real gem for any other band. With their third track Loveless Time still in song format , we now move in serious business and we are aware that this will be a real interesting Oeuvre that is to come. Movin' On (get the album title?) with Dawn is entirely instrumental (8 min long) and is one of the better example ever of what descriptive music is , and ranks up with some of the masterpieces of impressionist classical composers of early 20th century. In between some realy gloomy athmospheres at the end of the night to the soothing birds calls and wind breezes to the first rays of the sun, this is simply astounding.

And now comes the "piece de resistance". They could've easily made a suite of this 22 min+ number but chose to let it express itself as an entity of its own. This pieces starts of with the most genial rythms sprinkled with sax and flutes lines and 6 min into the number comes in some scatting (no jazz feeling though) with suddendly one of the three vocalist breaking into another scheme making this grandiose. Bass and flutes take over only for Roland Frei to break into this Hamillian-singing worthy of Pawn Heart. We are now just barely half-way through and are now lying on the floor ready for the final blow , the ultimate nail into our coffin. The music flutters by, twiddles , twirls around you and circles , swirls not giving you an instant to recuperate and now comes the blow. The finals verses are shared in the most beautyful call-and-respond manner so well delivered that if have not shot your intellectual wad by now, you must be frigid or impotent. The number closes of with fabulous music unfortunately (the only slight mistake) sticking to close to my fave number from Crimson , Starless.

Wow! Repeated listening in the last four years still have not calmed me down as I shot my intellectual wad just writing this review not even listening to it. I don't know how this album is almost never cited in a desert island list, because this belogs on everyone's . Hurry up at Greg Walker , he still has a few copy of this one and their debut also well worth it. SIMPLY ASTOUNDING. CIRCUS Movin' On music reviews and MP3 ( Review from )

One of the most brilliant progressive rock albums ever which certainly deserves a much wider audience for this sadly obscure release.
The only album i've heard from this Swiss band but what a corker. The first side has several songs ( with very finet vocals)  which are all excellent in there own right.

The second side is just one long mostly instrumental piece and is  a real showcase of this bands awesome musicianship. One could draw comparisons i suppose with "King Crimson" or "Menaige" but there are no keyboards or electric guitars and amazingly it doesnt need them or leaves one feeling they are missing. The bass, flute/ winds and percussion are amazingly well put together with beautifull progressive movements before reaching an astounding climax in a similar way to "King Crimsons" "Starless". A real masterpiece if ever i heard one and is way up there with my all time favourites such as "Bubu'. UTTERLY INCREDIBLE!

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. The bandsman (4:25)
2. Laughter lane (4:11)
3. Loveless time (5:32)
4. Dawn (7:51)
5. Movin' on (22:23)

Total Time: 44:20

Line-up / Musicians - Marco Cerletti / bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Roland Frei / lead vocals, acoustic guitar, Tenor saxophone
- Andreas Grieder / flutes, alto saxophone, backing vocals, tambourine
- Fritz Hauser / drums, percussion, vibes

Circus - 05 - Movin' On [1 of 3]

Weidorje - weidorje ( 1978 )

Weidorje's self-titled and only EP (now consisting of two live tracks, on the Musea CD reissue), released in 1978, is certainly a treat for Magma fans. Especially those who like Bernard Paganotti's bass playing and the Üdü Wüdü" (Jannick Top & Paganotti on bass) sound. Unlike many listeners and fans of Zeuhl music, I came across Weirdorje before Magma. However, I believe this album is much easier on the ears than some Magma albums, so it was indeed a good choice for me to begin my Zeuhl journey. The music is mostly instrumental and the voices that are present (supplied by Bernard Paganotti and Yvon Guillard) is mainly scat, so it leaves my ears free to listen to the wonderful music being played. The really exciting factor about Zeuhl is the fuzz-bass. Bernard Paganotti is a master of the style (along with Jannick Top and non-Zeuhl musician Hugh Hopper), so naturally when I first heard this album, I was immediately struck by the thumping bass. Of course, there is more to Weidorje than just the fuzz-bass, because another former Magma personality is present on this album in the name of Patrick Gauthier. He and Jean-Philippe Goude (both on keyboards) add some very dark and gloomy polyrhythmic sounds which add superb atmosphere and rhythm, as does Michel Ettori on guitar who plays along with Paganotti's bass lines in many places.

The opening track, Elohim's Voyage starts off, as one would suspect, with a crunching bass sound but soon Gauthier's keyboard adds a chilling touch. The main rhythmic charge then begins, with the aforementioned scat vocals, the slowly increasing heavier drumming and then the guitar. This assault continues on throughout the 16 minutes but with added surprises, such as Alain Guillard's avant-garde saxophone. Approaching the halfway mark, the band are in full flow and then everything slows down once more yet the track keeps together solidly. With four minutes to go, the tune reprises with trumpet and saxophone accompaniment. This reflects classic Magma but feels darker and more disturbing, and is a strong track to start precedings. Vilna is the strongest track of the album, beginning with a catchy keyboard riff that leads on until Paganotti's bass. Vilna is not as heavy as Elohim's Voyage, yet is just as catchy (if not more so), continuing on in true Zeuhl-style with a relentlessness of rhythmic sound. This is another difficult track to describe, so I shall leave it for the listener. Originally, the album would have finished with Booldemug, a softer track that reminds sometimes of Third era Soft Machine (though Hugh Hopper's bass never got this fuzzy!). This is jazzier than the previous tracks - bordering on jazz rock/fusion - featuring much more saxophone and guitar and is a welcome break from what has gone before, making the band sound more diverse than one would initially expect. It is also here that you realise how much the keyboards dominate Weidorje's sound without overwhelming the rest. Ettori also unleashes his guitar skills here, so listen out, as his playing is exceptional. As previously stated, French label Musea released Weidorje in 1992 with bonus tracks. Unfortunately the cuts here are aurally inferior to the studio ones heard previously. Thankfully, the music is just as great and proves they could perform live as well. Rondeau sounds ethnic and medieval in places, dominated by the keyboards. Due to the sound quality, the bass is not so strong in the mix but doesn't lessen the charm of this cut. Expect the same kind of catchiness as previous tracks just more sedated and laid-back, and listen out halfway through as there is some rather nice jazzy moments thanks to the trumpet and guitar. A studio version of this selection would have sounded marvelous, so it is a shame they never released another album. Kolinda mostly consists of an astounding bass solo by Bernard Paganotti. The track starts off with yet more memorable rhythms and when the solo begins, it often reminds quite a bit of the late Berry Oakley, Jr.'s (Allman Brothers' Band) playing style which when I first heard it, came as a very pleasant surprise.

Despite their use of catchy rhythms, Weidorje never get dull or boring, continuously and subtly changing things. The changes are often so subtle, you do not notice them. I have listened to the album many times and I always forget there is a trumpet and saxophone used as they are used scarcely, yet without them, the tracks would sound completely different. I have given this album a 5/5 (4.8) rating, even with the poorly recorded bonus tracks, because an album of this quality does not come about very often. This is a gem of a record and is still an essential release for those who have discovered Magma, or who want to discover Magma in the future and a great introductory level album if not always the easiest of listens. WEIDORJE Weidorje music reviews and MP3 (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Elohim's Voyage (16:31)
2. Vilna (12:19)
3. Booldemug (7:10)
Bonus tracks:
4. Rondeau (live) (8:48)
5. Kolinda (live) (12:27)

Total Time: 57:15
Line-up / Musicians
- Bernard Paganotti / bass, vocals
- Patrick Gauthier / keyboards
- Michel Ettori / guitar
- Kirt Rust / drums
- Alain Guillard / saxophone
- Yvon Guillard / trumpet, vocals
- Jean-Phillipe Goude / keyboards

Weidorje - Vilna



WEIDORJE - Chorus Antenne 2 - 1979

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Friday, 25 February 2011

Kraan - Wiederhoren (1977)

KRAAN's first three albums are all classics in my opinion,and they hold a special place in my collection. Their fourth release "Let It Out" is a 4 star record but it's not as good as the first three. "Wiederhoren" was released in 1977 and it does seem more polished and lighter,it has some great moments though,but for me the magic is gone. "Just One Way" opens with percussion and congas before guitar,bass,drums then vocals take over.A fairly light opening track. "Vollgas Ahoi" is my favourite song on here,it's heavier and more intense.The bass is really prominant from Hattler.Check out the guitar after 3 minutes. "Silky Way" is just like the title implies.They slow it down for this smooth track.Lots of excellent bass though. "Rendezvous In Blue" is a light,catchy tune with lots of keys. "Let's Take A Ride" is my second favourite tune on here.We get some vocals for the first time since the opening song.Some cool intricate sounds 2 minutes in,while the keys shine a minute later. "Rund Um Die Uhr" opens with some guitar that reminds me of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.Some fuzz a minute in followed by more great guitar.This is a top three for me.An impressive instrumental. "Yaqui Yagua" has an eastern flavour early before a catchy melody takes over.Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in with some great bass a minute later.That catchy melody from earlier returns to end it. "Wiederhoren" builds to an uptempo melody.Some scorching guitar in this one.The drumming 4 1/2 minutes in is pretty intense. Good jazzy album from a band that has made some amazing albums prior to this.3.5 stars. KRAAN Wiederhören music reviews and MP3

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Just One Way (4:00)
2. Vollgas Ahoi
3. Silky Way (3:58)
4. Rendezvous in Blue (5:56)
Let's take a Ride (5:19)
6. Rund um die Uhr (3:45)
7. Yaqui
Yagua (5:19)
8. Wiederhören (7:13)

Total Time: 41:37

Line-up / Musicians
- Ingo Bischof / keyboards
- Jan Fride
/ drums
- Helmut Hattler / bass
- Peter Wolbrandt / guitar,
+ Tommy Goldschmidt / congas, percussion

Kraan: Borgward

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Birth Control - Plastic People (1975)

If I had to make a decision on the Desert Island list, I might select BIRTH CONTROL's "Plastic People" to join the lot!. "Plastic People" was the 6th release for this German progressive outfit and in my opinion marks a real highlight in progressive rock music. "Plastic People" offers a highly refined and professional sound, with some absolutely scrumptious musicianship. Electric and complex progressive rock which does really not sound all that underground as so many German 70's acts did. I would slot this album somewhere in the PINK FLOYD, CAMEL, NEKTAR school of progressive rock. BIRTH CONTROL are joined here by the 2 lads from HOELDERLIN ( Christoph Noppeney & Jochen von Grumbkow) who add some sweet cello and viola along the way. Songs are nice and complex and well constructed offering some nice tempo changes and departures into the land of the "Plastic People". Instrumentation is clearly a stand out here and I love the keyboard sounds throughout which do not always dominate but instead nicely compliment the rest of the instruments. For those who love nice complex drumming with great musical excursions then this will wet your palate. "Plastic People" is a very complete album and I would highly recommend this album to all progressive rock fans. BIRTH CONTROL Plastic People music reviews and MP3 

For me this is Birth Controls finest album which fuses there blend of Krautrock and progressive rock perfectly, like no other album of there's

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Plastic people (10:54)
2. Tiny flashlights (7:33)
3. My mind (6:49)
4. Rockin' rollin' roller (5:43)
5. Trial trip (6:43)
6. This song is just for you (7:28)

Total Time: 45:10
Line-up / Musicians
- Peter Föller / bass, vocals, vibes (3
- Bruno Frenzel / guitars, backing vocals
- Zeus B. Held / keyboards, backing vocals, Tenor sax (2-4), trumpet(4)
- Bernd Noske / drums, percussion, f/x, lead vocals
+ Friedmann Leinert / flute (6)
- Christoph Noppeney / viola (3-6)
- Jochen von Grumbkow / cello (3-6)
- Ulla, Hanne & Brigitte / chorus (6)
- Robby (saxophone), Otto (trombone) & Harry (trumpet), horns (6)

Birth Control - Plastic People

Birth Control - "Trial Trip" (1975)

Peter Frohmader - Nekropolis 2 (1982)

Peter Frohmader is bound to his "Nekropolis" visions, by being both the ultimate artist, even when rich names and artists help around with composition ideas and groans or settle or diverse the mood of those vision, and the first in line to be absorbed by "Nekropolis"'s brand of imagination, impulse and histrionic character, launching and spiraling around the project for a lot of his rich and contentious desire and impact of music. The sense of "Nekropolis", coming from the physical choice and adventure of the bare project, helped him and disguised him as the artist very marked by avant-garde and experimental music, doing also a bit of jazz and hard rock, plus taking the progressive steps of complex music movingly literal - but, essentially, once he settled in electronic "mashterings" (the 80s's sunrise, most lately), it gives him the mask of a soundoholic artist, with lots of hard and hypnotic, technical and disturbed spirit in the genre. It is even an alluded thought that, among some clear and unmovable essential albums, the Nekropolis projects reflects a dynamic, endless and astounding part of Frohmader's artistic concentration and abscond psych-vision, throughout full sessions that may, at most, seem too undifferentiated (and without a complaisant feeling in them), nevertheless obtain a powerful music in a dark lock of genuine or dissimilar orientation.

Nekropolis 2 is the first-rated and best to recommended from the early Nekropolis project and emphasis, one that included a first volume in 1981, plus four mini-sessions Frohmader made even before his classic debut. If the size of the Nekropolis project ambition becomes needless to describe, each album, and Nekropolis 2 most precisely, has an independent layer and focus - even if the tendency is to called Frohmader the dark sage or the sound-rash visceral artist in most of everything that makes sense in his music.

The part extravagant part aleatory indite of Nekropolis 2 makes it an album of "soundtracks" and sound-forms, produced under a collaboration and a visual-motivation with H.R. Giger, who paintings celebrate (or must celebrate) the same dark affinity and rhetorical art as Frohmader's engines of electronic and improvised music. Similar to the whole idea of electronic nekro-vision and codification, we can relate how the grave artist Lustmord will combine the visual with the soundscape, the brutal flesh of a particular idea with the difficult sound of that idea's interpreted essence. Robert Rich and other ambientists try something in this particular movement too, but not so amazingly. As music, what I can't link is the classic scorches of artists like Kluster or Amon Duul, because it is simply of a different quality and a new homegrown effort. At least not by Nekropolis 2's chaotic and phantasmal installment.

Nine pieces are squeezed in two sides of an LP (I don't know for sure how limited has this album become, but a second year of release, 2001, made a benefical treat), all nine treating, psychologically and exasperatingly, sound experiments, screeches of impulses and blind movements, independent tastes and difficult to compel umbers and embers of electronic poly-morphic expressions. This album becomes strong, even terrifying, to much of the valorous impressions, even considering those that experience the clash of kraut rock and noise amphitheatric constructions. The style oscillates madly between electronic, dark ambient, rock and even goth-impelled music personality, since a lot of instrument power is used, Frohmader adopting a multi-instrumental implosion: from Rhodes to guitars, from waves to machinist impulses, from vibrations to an actually absent but credited vocal-infliction. It's a sort of humongous contracting and contrasting work-load, creating the 'simple' arrangements of experimental and avant-demonic electronic moves.

You can hardly associate the drastic music with anything but Frohmader's own neoplastic explosion of atonality and micro-experimentalism, under the heavy preach of electronic use and abuse. A few moments try some rhythm or some dubbed ambiance, but such thoughts are quickly forgotten, and the style returns to the blend of musical dark forces and electronic technical virtues. The best sounds are obtained not by finding the simplest experimental mix, but by actually building up a sinister monolith of musical flux and interference. The dark and impossible shrieks become a side of evil art Frohmader mostly resumes as electronic stability. Beyond the sugestive names (Hardcorps,Neutronen Symphonie), there is a continuous avalanche of rough and systematically incinerating sound systems, forcing the deepest mind to gasp an exclamation - or to collapse under the pressure.

Nekropolis 2 is not one of the most essential and perfect Frohmader compositions, but it tends to dangerously play with the biggest details of his grandest styles, in a way that it actually is simply one project of dark-experimental electronic impeach from many others. Tonic and technically valorous, this, much like anything by the artist, goes for those lovers of unconventional and harsh art. It is, however,a good example of the electronic 80s not being flask, but having their own kind of absurdity and gloat-impressionable art.
Peter Frohmader's Nekropolis - (review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Neutronen-Symphonie für 8-saitigen Bass (9:24)
2. Innereien (3:29)
3. Geistertanz (4:03)
4. Rock Arrangement für Guitarre und 8-saitigen Bass (5:10)
5. Klassiker (4:17)
6. Hardcorps (3:33)
7. Sirenenmusik (8:42)
8. Influenza (5:25)
9. ... (4:09)
10. ... (5:05)

Total Time: 53:17
Line-up / Musicians
- Peter Frohmader / guitar, bass [eight-string], electric piano [Rhodes], electronics [rhythm machine, shortwaves], vibraphone, percussion [gongs], percussion, voice

Peter Frohmader - Nekropolis

Peter Frohmader's Nekropolis 23 - Apokalyptische Tempelmusik

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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Out Of Focus - Not Too Late (1999)

Actually this disc must be considered as OOF's fourth full-blown album, although it was never released until 1999, but was recorded in 74. It is their last known recording session (except for one track in 78), I believe that the band only existed in a sporadic manner from 74 onwards and this might explain why this was not released at the time. Graced with a weird artwork (a painting from the guitarist's wife), this aptly titled album was released on the specialist label Cosmic Egg, a subsidiary of Ultima Thule in the late 90's. By 74, the band had now admitted saxman Ingo Schmid-Neuhaus and guitarist Gohringer into the band as full-fledged members. The disappearance of Hennes Herring, (heading towards Sahara, another excellent German band) and the added second guitarist (making the group now a sextet), however changed the sound slightly but the album stays within the "OOF guidelines" (if such thing ever existed), and the spirit remained progressive since the group's drive to an ever-more jazzy sound was again respected.

Only five tracks (and two of two apparently nameless) again taking a progressive step upwards into OOF's constant march towards jazz-rock, NTL is the first album that can really be called a full blown jazz-rock album, as opposed to jazzy prog/psych rock and brass rock previously. The badly named That's Very Easy is a constantly changing tempoed track where Moran's voice seems to have lost whatever capacities it had to irate some listeners. Less up to front,one must be reminded that the previous double album FLMA was almost instrumental compared to the group's first two albums, but he concentrates on his flute here. X is probably the weakest link on the album, sporting a drum solo towards its end, but other wise it is still a full-out fiery 100 MPH track. The short The Way I Know her is an acoustic guitar track, but unlike their previous songs in OOF and FLMA, here it sounds less folky. Drechsler's other track, Y, starts on a lengthy intro of guitar arpeggios that you could almost imagine on an early Genesis album if they weren't over a sax instead of a flute, before Moran and Ingo take the debate to much higher grounds before Drechsler's goes into a wild searing & soaring solo, and the "brass section" answering it in a Colosseum fashion. The closing Spanish Lines is the album's apex starting out again of a Heckstall-Smith fashion, before the track veers through a succession of superb impressions, everytime stepping up the ladder, bringing the excitement and tension to an unbearable level, then closing it up much the same way they had started it: Kolosseum-al!!!

Just as worthy as their other three historical albums (even if this one is not really as historic for obvious posthumous reasons), NTL is yet another wild escape into the Munich-based group's realm. For some strange reasons, the group will only record one more small session in 77, before folding the next year, some five years after releasing their last album (NTL not counting), but OOF was definitely an awesome group and there are very few grouthat released four such perfect albums, that none of them without so much as a weak tracks throughout their entire works. OUT OF FOCUS Not Too Late music reviews and MP3ps (review from

Songs / Tracks Listing

 1. That's Very Easy (9:04)
2. X (10:57)
3. The Way I Know Her (3:36)
4. Y (7:51)
5. Spanish Lines (9:11)

Total Time: 41:39

Line-up / Musicians
- Moran Neumüller / vocals, Tenor & Soprano saxes, flute
- Remigius Drechsler / guitars, choir
- Klaus Spöri / drums
- Stephan Wischeu / bass
- Wolfgang Göhringer / guitars, choir
- Ingo Schmid-Neuhaus / Baritone & Alto saxes

Peter Frohmader - Fossil Culture (1999)

What can be expected in the meeting of such giants as Peter Frohmader and Richard Pinhas, especially knowing that they've been around for over 20 years at the time of release of this album? The attempt was definitely risqué, but it was worth a shot and the recording happened over two years. And to top it all of, the album was released on the excellent Cuneiform label, even if the general packaging/artwork (from Frohmader himself) is not the best they've done.
In some ways, this album could almost serve as a techno album, if there was not some almost-unnoticeable progression in some tracks, but it is all but too slow to capture the imagination or even tickle the listener's curiosity. Whether the album is closer to Frohmader or Pinhas is difficult to say, since I am not too familiar with both musician's late 90's careers, but you can see/hear some Heldon AND some Nekropolis. The seven pieces of Fossil Culture (just numbered differently) range from the lugubrious (the fourth part) to the sinister/gloomy (the fifth part) to the almost happy. This writer's best moment is the third movement with the recurring percussions.
Had these two geniuses met in the late 70's, I'm sure this meeting would've given something memorable, but unfortunately Fossil Culture might just go down as an all-too- prophetically-titled album, the fossils being those of two dinosaurs that might have retired a few years before. Not too bad an album, but certainly disappointing, partly due to the expectations one can have of such a meeting. (Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Fossil Culture 1 (11:57)
2. Fossil
Culture 2 (5:53)
3. Fossil Culture 3 (10:33)
4. Fossil Culture 4
5. Fossil Culture 5 (8:55)
6. Fossil Culture 6 (9:47)
Fossil Culture 7 (16:58)

Total Time: 72:17

Line-up / Musicians
Peter Frohmader / synthesizers, E-MU
samplers, 5-string bass
- Richard Pinhas / guitars, Arboretum
Hyperprism process

                                                                        Fossil Culture 1

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Porcupine Tree - Warszawa (2004)

As previously expressed in my Magenta -Another Time Another Place review, prog albums in a live setting are rarely monumental achievements because of the heavy production tendency associated with our beloved musical genre. Proggers like to lay it on thick in the studio , ever since Alan Parsons multi tracks fiddled with Dark side of The Moon. PTree's 1997 live release "Coma Divine" is considered by many fans to the point of unanimity, one of the all-time great prog albums ,period-live or studio. Listening to that concert set regularly ever since, it's hard to dispute! After a series of killer studio albums ( the elegant "Stupid Dream", the quirky "Lightbulb Sun" and the devastating fury of "In Absentia") , Steve Wilson and his companions Barbieri, Edwin and Maitland endeavour to prove that they are on course to claiming the Prog crown, by releasing this 2001 concert in Warszaw, for the Polish Radio 3 , an event staged in the past for Colin Bass' magical "Live Polskie Radio" 2 CD set. PTree is most appreciated in a live setting as they not only cook but sizzle in front of an audience. This set simmers, swirls, bounces, burps, wails and screams through a blistering rendition of their newer tunes (In Absentia excepted), with the avid propulsion of a small but very enthusiastic Polish audience heard throughout. Chris and Colin are their usual well lubricated rythm machine, setting torrid grooves on the longer classic pieces such as "Even Less", "Hatesong" , the amazing "Russia On Ice" and the cinematographic "Voyage34" written with the help of VDGG and Dead Can Dance members, the crowning achievement on this CD , shoving it into the realm of the absolute. This is a much harder-edge affair than " Coma Divine" reflecting the new tougher tone demonstrated with such success on "In Absentia". Beyond Richard Barbieri's creative keyboard genius and his ultra modern intervention, it's Steve Wilson's guitar that truly drops the jaw! At times, its unbelievable, the way he tortures the strings, caressing the frets, pushing all the right buttons without any hint of technical arrogance! Damn, is he ever good! Steve is definitely on a mission , with so many past monuments both with PTree, Blackfield and No-Man, as well as his musician-producer contributions with Opeth, Paatos, Fish and many others, proving over and over again the consistency of his vision and the confirmation of his immense talent. The imminent new album "Deadwing" should be another step in the keeping him on top of the ProgWorld. We will find out soon! 4 Wilson volleyballs PORCUPINE TREE Warszawa music reviews and MP3
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Even Less (7:36)
2. Slave Called Shiver (5:08)
3. Shesmovedon (5:21)
4. Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth... (5:01)
5. Lightbulb Sun (5:59)
6. Russia On Ice (12:26)
7. Where We Would Be (3:40)
8. Hatesong (8:36)
9. Stop Swimming (7:08)
10. Voyage 34 (12:37)
11. Signify (5:40)

Total Time: 79:12
Line-up / Musicians - Steven Wilson / guitar, vocals
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards
- Colin Edwin / bass
- Chris Maitland / dru

Porcupine Tree - Lightbulb Sun (Live in Warszawa)

Porcupine Tree, Signify, May 1999, San Francisco.

Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (2002)

Wow!.Now this album is a real stonker. I have loved PORCUPINE TREE for a long long time now and have pretty well everything they have released but I must keep saying that these guys get better album by album. "In Absentia" is a step on the harder side with some real "crunchy" guitar and mid section work. For those who follow PT then you will know that this album features their new drummer "Gavin Harrison" who delivers some real awesome chops throughout. As you would expect this album is still full of that PORC TREE- psychy mise-en-scene but just this time around takes a more guitar centric approach.
Stylistically "In Absentia" still embodies the mystical-psych aspects layered over crisp percussion, bass and spacey keyboard work. On "Lightbulb Sun" I really noticed the vocal harmonies and this has continued with this album with the awesome voice of Steve Wilson. "In Absentia" takes the harder edges of "Signify" and "Stupid Dream" and layers ontop of songs not unfamilar from the "Lightbulb Sun" era. I can only hope the world opens their ears to this masterpiece which embodies all the goodness one could ever ask for in a band! This is really an amazing album. PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia music reviews and MP3 ( Review from

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blackest Eyes (4:23)
2. Trains (5:56)
3. Lips of Ashes (4:39)
4. The Sound of Muzak (4:59)
5. Gravity Eyelids (7:56)
6. Wedding Nails (6:33)
7. Prodigal (5:32)
8. .3 (5:25)
9. The Creator Has a Mastertape (5:21)
10. Heartattack in a Layby (4:15)
11. Strip the Soul (7:21)
12. Collapse the Light Into Earth (5:52)

Total Time: 68:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / guitars and vocals
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards
- Colin Edwin / bass
- Gavin Harrison / drums

guest musicians:
- John Wesley / backing vocals (1,4,7), guitar (1)
- Aviv Geffen / backing vocals (4,7)
- Dave Gregory / string arrangements (8,12)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Porcupine Tree - Atlanta (2010)

Yes, It is essential to all that love great music and charity. All of the proceeds of this wonderful US performance will go to helping Mick Karn (Japan, no-man) pay for his cancer treatment, That a band like PT decided to do this, with music that was already mixed and ready for an actual CD release, is truly astonishing in this world. All we ever hear about are the self-centered musical dimwits trying to climb to the top over everyone they can. True artists and humanitarians like PT should be applauded for this!

Now to the music: Brilliant! Another phenomenal performance, this time from the states. This is a wonderful companion piece to Anesthetize DVD/Bluray with a varied set list in comparison. Yes, you still get all of the FOABP tracks, but there are plenty of other gems in here, including Smart Kid, Dark Matter, Even Less, and a beautiful re-working of Half-Light (miles ahead of the DW bonus version). All expertly played by a band at the top of their game. You get it all for $10us and can download it from the PT store at their website. It also comes with printable artwork. A brgain that will make your ears and heart sing with joy.   PORCUPINE TREE Atlanta music review by pagan97
Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fear of a Blank Planet (9:31)
2. What Happens Now? (8:04)
3. Sound of Muzak (5:16)
4. Sentimental (5:37)
5. Drown With Me (5:51)
6. Anesthetize (17:30)
7. Open Car (4:45)
8. Dark Matter (8:51)
9. Cheating the Polygraph (8:38)
10. A Smart Kid (5:31)
11. Blackest Eyes (4:58)
12. Half-Light (5:59)
13 .Way Out of Here (7:42)
14 .Sleep Together (8:46)
15. Even Less (6:11)
16. Halo (7:24)

Line-up / Musicians

- Steven Wilson / vocals, guitar, piano
- Richard Barbieri / keyboards, synthesizer
- Colin Edwin / bass guitar
- Gavin Harrison / drums

John Wesley / vocals, guitar

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