Showing posts from August, 2012

Tohpati Bertiga - Riot

Since discovering the quite wonderful guitar playing of Tohpati Ario Hutomo early last year via his Indonesian ethno-jazz fusion combo simakDialog, I've kept a close watch for new product, so I was more than eager when MoonJune announced the release of this album.

In contrast to simakDialog this is a much heavier record where Tohpati lets rip in all manner of styles, fusing the influences of Holdsworth, McLaughlin, Beck and a host of other stellar names to create his own inimitable and peerless sound.

Riot is rightly described in the press release as "a power-trio session with his group Bertiga" and ably assisting the main man are bassist Indro Hardjodikoro and drummer Aditya Wibowo (unsurprisingly aka "Bowie"). Trading punches like three twinkle-toed lightweights on speed the three of them bounce off the walls on opener Upload, and there is no looking back. Careering along at a fair old lick, the odd time signature of this tune leaves me breathless and dizzy.…

Änglagård - Viljans Öga

To cut a long story very short, I have always been into complicated music as I'm sure you know, but back in the late 70s prog had become a bloated and excessive beast that was elitist in the extreme and about as far removed from its fanbase as modern day football is from the terraces of old. It had to die, or at at least suffer a severe pruning, and here in Blightly along came punk to do the culling.

My musical tastes took a sharp left turn at around the same time, mostly due to the much missed John Peel. I still listened to the prog classics, but the era of keyboard players consuming takeaway curries on stage while the rest of the band indulged in an endless faux-Buddhist percussion clattering was well and truly over.

Prog continued gamely on well under the radar, although the second wave prog bands of the 80s were far removed from anything that might be termed "progressive", preferring to hark back to the glory days for their servings of pale imitation, and were ignor…

The best review of anything, ever?

I know not, nor care who Chris Brown is, but I can hear his awful rubbish in my head just by reading this. Although the name Chris Havercroft appears on the top of the review, it was actually penned by Chloe Papas. Here's the link to her original review at X-Press Magazine, based in Perth, Western Australia:

This wild piece of punk-shredding makes me wish for an album of "catastrophic clusterfuck" to land on my doormat just to see if I can reach Chloe's higher level of righteous venom. Go, Girl!

Soft Machine Legacy - PizzaExpress Jazz Café, Soho, London, 7th August 2012

A bit of serendipity by Phil W led to this wonderful gig. Taking a coffee at a café in Shoesville with his good lady the previous Friday Phil noticed an advert for this gig in a newspaper someone had left on their table. As this is a band that Phil & I had been wanting to see for years, but doubting if we would ever get the chance, this was a must and diaries simply had to be hastily rearranged. Telephoning the venue not unreasonably expecting to be told that the gig was sold out, Phil was surprised and delighted to be told that there were indeed tickets available, which were duly snapped up. It seems tales on the news of London entertainment venues suffering during the Olympics were correct, luckily for us! The gig was part of a week long John Etheridge residency at the club, the respected guitarist showcasing his wide range of fretboard abilities, playing as part of an acoustic combo, as leader of the Zappatistas, and as part of duos with singer/pianist Liane Carroll and pianist…