Showing posts from October, 2012

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues In Aspic

The latest in the King Crimson 40th anniversary remixes from Professor Steven Wilson's laboratory is their 1973 opus Larks' Tongues In Aspic, which marked the debut on vinyl of the core Bruford/Fripp/Wetton line up, that, in my opinion was the most adventurous of all the line ups of the band and with this album, 1974's Starless And Bible Black and Red they gave us three albums unsurpassed in musical adventure and envelope pushing. These three albums are the first wave of prog's pinnacle, and only Van Der Graaf Generator were as consistent in actually doing what the genre label implied; progressing.

Those KC fans with fat wallets and too much time on their hands can indulge themselves in the 15(!) disc box set that includes various polished live bootlegs and Robert Fripp's laundry list, Bill Bruford's drum sticks and Jamie Muir's empty blood capsules...or something similar I've no doubt.

Me, I've made do with the CD/DVD package, and boy does that co…

Interview with Dennis Rea

You may well have not heard of Dennis Rea, so let me introduce you to a guitarist who should be up there with all the usual stellar names if there was any justice in this curious world. In a 40-year musical career on the fringes, both geographically and musically, including a time living in China, Dennis has played with many fine musicians and made some quite remarkable music.

It is my duty to spread the word, so put your feet up, hit Play ^ and read on.

Roger: Do you come from a musical family?
Dennis: Neither my parents nor my siblings played an instrument, and most of my family had only a cursory interest in music. The one exception was my (much) older brother Woody, who had an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz (and one of the largest record collections I've ever seen). He began indoctrinating me into jazz and quality rock music at an early age and was the most important early influence on my developing musical sensibilities. (His son Michael, guitarist for Queensryche, certai…

Gazpacho - Night

The excuse I have for reviewing this 5-year old album now is that it has just been reissued by kscope with slightly tinkered sound and a bonus CD of live tracks. A pretty lame excuse, but this record needs to be given as much publicity as possible, as it is simply too good to be ignored.

Night is ostensibly a 53-minute long five-song suite in G linked by a simple violin refrain, but in reality it is much much more than that.

Musing on the real and imagined memories of a character or characters as they flit in and out of a dream-like state, viewing the world from many perspectives may sound like an ultimate prog concept, and it probably is; assuming of course I've nailed the subject matter correctly!

Shutting themselves away from the outside world, the guitarist, keyboardist, and violinist and the singer emerged blinking into the almost-daylight with a beguiling song cycle that has stood the test of time...well 5 years at any rate...and is now my favourite album by the band, displ…

The Tea Club - Quickly Quickly Quickly

Formed around the core of brothers Patrick and Dan McGowan, New Jersey's The Tea Club have recently completed their third album Quickly Quickly Quickly, out on 15th November.

If first album General Winter's Secret Museum was progressive pop, and sophomore effort Rabbitis neo-progressive; both if you will serving an apprenticeship, then Quickly Quickly Quickly is a full-blown progressive rock spectacular, complete with obligatory epic songwriting, myriad time signature shifts and complex instrumentation.

The band's musical ambition is easily traceable by the ever-lengthening song times from those on General Winter... onwards through to the 18 minute Firebears that opens this album. By necessity the increasing duration of the compositions make this album less instant that the previous two, and the increased complexity of the music requires more patience from the listener. Having given the album time to sink in, it may be the case that in certain aspects the band have let t…

Dissonati - Reductio Ad Absurdum

Coming out of Seattle, USA, Dissonati came together about 6 years ago when three veterans of the Seattle progressive music scene joined forces.

With two multi-instrumentalists in the band it is not surprising that the music they have produced is vast and intricate, a heady mix that while showing the influence of classic prog acts like VDGG, King Crimson and Yes also draws on a post-punk sensibility. I can hear UK cult indie outfits The Chameleons and Magazine in here, those two particular bands being "prog" in all but name, not that they would have ever admitted to such a heinous crime. This strange brew produces something that is highly individualistic, wilful, modernistic, and in places quite strange indeed.

Any album that is book-ended by two mini-epics tempts me to look for prog cliché and I am equally surprised and relieved to find it subsumed by the band's collective spirit, and if there is cliché here, I simply don't care. Singer and guitarist Ron Rutherford h…