Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Two Full Length Unreleased Live Recordings From Krautrock Pioneer Joel Vandroogenbroeck & Brainticket Finally See The Light Of Day!

Los Angeles, CA - In 1980, Belgian-born multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Joel Vandroogenbroeck revived his early ‘70s avant-garde electronic act Brainticket alongside longtime member Willy Seefeldt, jazz musician Hans Deyssenroth, and Swiss jazz & electronic aficionado Bruno Spoerri. Three years later the quartet would perform their very first show in a landmark performance at the “Computer und Musik” symposium in Zürich, Switzerland. Though long a part of Brainticket lore, this concert has never before been released on a commercial format, that is, until now! Purple Pyramid records is proud to release this incredible live performance, matched with an equally historic performance in 1984 at the Théatre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland of Vandroogenbroek and Spoerri plus Peter Fürst. Both of these full-length concert recordings contain improvisations and compositions not found anywhere else! Zürich/Lausanne is available as both a 2CD set as well as on all digital retailers…

Instrumental New Age Review: Dan Kennedy-Mountains Made of Shadow Anthems Made of Light

Release Date: March 2, 2018 Label: Mt. Pollux Music Website
The forthcoming Dan Kennedy album carries with it a very descriptive title. That is one of the many factors that attracts me to this kind of music. A thought provoking title is a good way to start things off.

Mountains Made of ShadowAnthems Made of Light is very reflective title for a recording. It is Dan’s fourth proper album. And it is a solo album, you get nothing but the artist and his piano. 

Simplicity rules the day on any occasion for my ears. I don’t have to be in a certain mood to enjoy this music, it always soothes me and comforts me regardless of when I am listening.

Speaking of simplicity, just look at the album cover. It does not get more explanatory than what you see here. The title is in sync with the colors and picturesque mountain range and orange skyline. Dan’s piano helps to paint that picture in your mind’s eye and perhaps a bit more. That of course is all dependent on each individual listener, and that my music…

Scholar and Drum Legend Bill Bruford Authors New Book, "Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer"

Pre-order in hardback, softback or e-book
Scholar and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Bruford, best known for his work with Yes, King Crimson, Genesis and his prolific solo career, has authored a new book, to be Published by the University of Michigan Press on January 28th.  Pre-orders are now being taken.

What’s it about?

The book is an exploration of the creativity involved in the way drummers make things work, make things matter, and make sense of both. It draws on interviews with nine top drummers and Bruford’s own experience to improve understanding in collaborative popular music performance. What do expert drummers do? Why do they do it? Is there anything creative about it? If so, how might that creativity inform their practice and that of others in related artistic spheres? Applying ideas from cultural psychology to findings from original research into the creative behaviors of a specific subset of popular music instrumentalists, Bruford demonstrates the ways in which…

Gong Expresso's New Album "Decadence" Available For Pre-Order!

Featuring Gong Alumni Francois Causse, Benoit Moerlen and Hansford Rowe!
Montreal - Gong Expesso featuring Gong alumni Francois Causse, Benoit Moerlen and Hansford Rowe with guitarist Julien Sandiford's new album titled “Decadence” is now available for pre-order!

Says Hansford, “ 'Decadence' is the title tune on the new Gong Expresso album. Here the word means 'falling away.' I hope this tune and all the music on the album somehow addresses this in an unadorned, direct way. When I play with these 3 musicians I am convinced there is something special happening, a coming together. Benoit Moerlen (vibes, marimba) and Francois Causse (drums, perc) and I began playing together in early 1977 in PM's Gong and our rapport is of the kind only long term relationships can provide. On the other hand Julien who is 25 has been alive less time than I have been playing with the others. Yet our musical relationship feels infinitely long. We are recording in two cities, Paris an…

Instrumental New Age Review: Kathryn Kaye-Songs of Changing Light (A Compilation of Piano Solos)

Genre: Instrumental New Age Release Date: January 1, 2018 Label: Independent Website
Kathryn Kaye is one of those artists in the New Age genre that is instantly recognizable. If you have any familiarity at all with this type of music you will understand where I am coming from. I have covered several of her releases and I always anticipate a wonderful listening experience. Over the years she has obliged.
With Songs of Changing Light (A Compilation of Piano Solos) she selects fourteen of her favorite tracks covering the time span from 2011 to 2017.
The natural world that surrounds her gives her divine inspiration to create beautiful music. With this compilation she has stripped away any additional instruments that were on the tracks originally.  This will give each individual listener the opportunity to hear the stand-alone beauty of the ivory keys in all their glory. With the silky touch of Kathryn, you get some of the best examples of her artistry on this CD.
When I hear this music, it sound…

Southern Rockers OTIS To Tour Europe & US In Support Of New Album "Eyes Of The Sun"

“Stunning!” - Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top
From the American South, Kentucky, comes southern blues rock champions, OTIS, who released their critically acclaimed second album “Eyes Of The Sun” on Purple Pyramid Records in September 2017. The album was Executive Produced by Grammy winning Blues/Rock guitar great Paul Nelson (Johnny Winter, PNB). Now in support of the release OTIS is hitting the road in Spring 2018!

Says OTIS, “We’re excited to hit the road again to share our music with our fans all across the world by looking to the example set by fellow home town friends ‪Black Stone Cherry‬ and ‪The Kentucky HeadHunters.‬ Their guidance and support over the years has been very humbling for us and has helped us develop into the band we are today.  We are thankful and blessed to be able to be ourselves whenever we get to play live onstage and that’s all that any artist could every really hope for. Can’t wait to see all of our Otis family on the road in Europe and the US in 2018!”

OTIS Europe …

Instrumental New Age/Ambient Review: Michael Whalen-Kiss The Quiet

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Spout Website
Kiss The Quietis one of the best titles I have ever seen for an instrumental new age album. The title most certainly lives up to its name as well.

Michael Whalen is the architect of this recording. He uses ambient piano, synthesizers and electronics for a superb blend of atmospheric qualities and moods.

Kiss The Quiet softly encourages you to listen and when you do it is all over, you are hooked. This is great music for meditation, focusing or just relaxing and emptying your mind. It is rhythmic and soulful, and not soulful in a musical sense but coming from deep down in the soul of the artist. This music emerges to touch you in many ways.

I think people that have the gift and talent to create music like this are blessed. They are willing to share their blessing with us, the listeners, so we can heal, realign the chakras and feel whole once again. That is how I honestly feel about this music.

It kisses your soul, with a touch of heaven adde…

Magma Concert 1971 Brussels DBL CD Remastered

Recorded at Theater 140 in Brussels on November 12, 1971, this double CD is an exceptional document in that it represents the only record of live MAGMA of that time. Featuring the musicians on the album MAGMA 2, the training interprets topics borrowed from KOBAIA and 1001° CENTIGRADES, the first two releases by the group. The album also presents - and this is the most interesting aspect of this recording - two titles then in the making: “SOWILOI,” where Teddy LASRY demonstrates his great talent as a flutist, and “MEKANIK KOMMANDOH,” played for the first time in public, in a version much more developed than that engraved, three months earlier, on the compilation POWER 13 + 2.

Featuring
Klaus BLASQUIZ - singing, percussion
Louis TOESCA - trumpet
Teddy LASRY - soprano sax, flute
Jeff SEFFER - tenor sax
François CAHEN - piano
Francis MOZE - bass
Christian VANDER - drums, various voices

Tracks
1 - STOAH
2 - KOBAIA
3 - AINA
4 - RIAH SAHILTAAHK
5 - “ISS” LANSEI DOIA
6 - KI IAHL O LIAHK
7 - SO…

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Ambient Instrumental Review: Nathan Speir-Romantic Electrons

Release Date: January 11, 2018 Label: Neptic Music Website
If you have not heard of Nathan Speir by now it is time to listen. The creative wizard just released his 10th solo release titled Romantic Electrons.

As advertised on the artist website, Romantic Electrons is filled with some ambient, chill and downbeat sounds. These tracks are interesting and entertaining at the same time. It does require a lot of creativity for one person to put together music like this and I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into it. The fact that I have always been intrigued by synthesizers and computer-generated sounds and those textures and vibes did not hurt my attitude giving this disc a spin. It opened the door to my mind and feelings. I could not ask for more.

On the inner sleeve of the CD cover Speir asks the question “Why do metaphors exist?”

met·a·phor 

Synonyms: figure of speech · image · trope · analogy · comparison · symbol · word painting/picture

Definition: A thing regarded as representati…

Rick Wakeman's The Real Lisztomania Limited Edition Box Set Now Available For Pre-Order!

The Real Lisztomania to be released as Rick Wakeman always wanted - available CD/DVD & Deluxe Box Set!
London – Keyboard legend Rick Wakeman's The Real Lisztomania Limited Edition Box Set is now available for pre-order! This is an extremely rare find as the master tapes were long since considered destroyed. Back in 1975 Rick was asked to oversee and compose a lot of the music for the film Lisztomania, which was directed by Ken Russell. Rick was also given a part in the film in which he played the god Thor.

A soundtrack album was later produced by Rick, which was subsequently turned down by A&M Records, much to Rick's disgust. There were huge disputes going on at the time and they basically hated everything he produced even though he was selling albums for them in multi-millions. It is not commonly known that they actually turned down Journey To The Centre Of The Earth initially and it was only by forcing the contract that Rick had signed with them, that it was ever rel…

Melodic Rock Band Odin's Court Releases Sixth Studio Album Turtles All The Way Down: Vol II

Progressive Rock and Metal for fans of Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Porcupine Tree, HIM, Iron Maiden, Journey, and Queen
Baltimore, MD, USA based progressive rock and metal band Odin’s Court are excited to announce Turtles All the Way Down: Vol. II is available as of 2018 January 5 through Melodic Revolution Records!

Turtles All the Way Down: Vol II is a continuation of Odin’s Court’s 2013 concept album Turtles All the Way DownTurtles All the Way Down explores deep issues about mankind’s understanding of the universe, the individual, and how each new discovery may challenge what we think we understand about our surroundings.

Brookins comments on the latest release: “This album takes it up a notch from where Dimetrius, Rick, and I left off with the previous album. I think Turtles II has our best material and production yet. I know artists often say these types of things when talking about a new release, but I think Gary Raub’s drum style adds a nice vibe to the sound we …

Contemporary Instrumental/Classical Review: Vicente Avella-Rising

Release Date: April 4, 2018 Label: Pandora’s Boombox Records Website
There are two facts about music that I am absolutely sure about. Without classical music there would be no other genres and all rock music is blues based (good music). 
So, for several years now I have been listening to all sorts of instrumental music with a new age and classical flavor. This exposure has given me a much stronger appreciation of classical music. I have always enjoyed new age back to the days when Will Ackerman’s Windham Hill label was breaking new artists.
So far, this year has been amazing. I have heard several brilliant releases already and those that are very emotionally moving and cinematic. That is where the upcoming Vicente Avella release Rising falls.
Piano is the main instrument that everything builds on. Vicente is very focused and precise with his presentation. The piano leads beautifully in every track. The tracks that have a real impact are several however I believe the title track and “Relentl…

Prog Ensemble Tautologic Releases Re:Psychle An Album of Songs About Chicago

Chicago, IL - Tautologic will release Re:Psychle, a CD of songs inspired by real-life Chicagoans. Beginning in early 2018, Re:Psychle will be available through the band's own label - Turtle Down Music (http://www.turtledown.com) - and at Tautologic's live performances. The album will also be available as a download from Bandcamp, CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.

Based in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Tautologic bandleader Ethan Sellers is an alumni of the University of Chicago. Written within blocks of the University and the Obama mansion, Sellers' songs for Re:Psychle document people he has met around the Chicago area.

Addiction and mental illness color many of their stories, and the lyrics open up windows on a host of topics - veterans' issues, tension between religious belief and a secular society, addiction, conspiracy theories, materialism, mental health, celebrity culture, and the need for re-connection with nature.

Says Ethan, “Re:Psychle is a multi-layered…

Classic Rock/Progressive Rock Review: Styx-Pieces of Eight-SACD Ltd. Numbered Ed.

Release Date: September 29, 2017 Label: Audio Fidelity Website
Styx has always been one of my favorite bands, they still are and always will be. So, what is it like to be a lifetime fan of a band and you are still listening to their music? It holds some meaning for folks like myself. The music never sounds old or outdated and you are not expecting anything different…well sometimes it does happen. 

Consider this point, what is like for a music fan to hear the music they have been listening to for the last 30 to 40 years and suddenly it all sounds crisper, brighter, and clearer than ever before? Well, I can tell you it can be a revelatory experience to hear this music in the SACD format. 

The SACD release by Audio Fidelity last September of Pieces of Eight rocks and I heard things I have never heard before. This is what this format is intended to accomplish. I am here to tell you the job was well done (again) by Audio Fidelity. I am little late to the party but nevertheless I am reporting in…