Showing posts from June, 2013

"It's Krautrock, Florian, but not as we know it"

While his contemporaries over the border in West Germany were tripping out and creating all kinds of wonderful weirdness in the 70s, Martin Zeichnete, an East German runner, was using the motorik rhythms of Krautrock as a training aid. He also created his own version in East Berlin, to be used as a training aid by the East German Olympic Team, with the blessing of state security.The first and last tracks are three-minute warm up and warm down routines, and the middle pieces can be used to set a tempo on training runs.Or, you could just put your feet up and chill out to it; I know which method of listening I prefer! An odd tale, and some nice hitherto undiscovered East-Krautrock! Thanks to MOJO mag for alerting me to it. Volume One by Kosmischer Läufer

Little Atlas - Automatic Day

Miami new art rockers Little Atlas return after a gap of six years since 2007's Hollow with an album that is nothing if not ambitious.

Blending the influences of classic progressive rock of both the British but more so the American variety, the vast cinematic scope of the compositions that comprise Automatic Day fill nearly every available second of a single CD.

As a result, this is not a work that can be readily absorbed in one, two, or three sittings. Personally, I find that the ideal length for a CD album is around the hour mark. Any less than that and the listener can sometimes feel short changed. Any more and it can become hard work maintaining a level of interest, and unless the compositions are consistently gripping, or offer enough twists and turns to justify what can be an excessive length, I find my attention wandering.

It is just as well then that there is more than enough going on here to tempt me back several times, although it might have been a good idea to be a lit…

Progstravaganza I - IX

Over the last few years, those fine people at Prog Shpere have been releasing "name your price" progressive music samplers, featuring all known and some newly forged types of the prog rock beast.

Well, here they all are, in one place, a massive beast of a 79 track sampler, covering music you will love, hate, and go "meh" at. In other words there is something here for everyone.

Progstravaganza I-IX by Prog Sphere Promotions

...and it's free, so what have you to lose!

The Wrong Object - After The Exhibition

Every once in a blue Moon in June, an album comes along that even on first hearing knocks you sideways with its consummate brilliance, and for me After The Exhibition by Belgian jazz-prog-fusion collective The Wrong Object is that album.

There have been records recently with a similar initial impact but you can tell on listening to this that unlike most of the others After The Exhibition is that rare thing; an album to love at first hearing that you just know will only get better and better with the passing of time.

The group started out as a Zappa covers band in 2002, and went on to make two albums with jazz big hitters Elton Dean (The Unbelievable Truth) and Annie Whitehead (Platform One) before having the confidence to strike out on their own back in 2008 with Stories From The Shed. They have also made a couple of live albums, one as part of Zappanale 2008 with Stanley Jason Zappa.

Led by guitarist extraordinaire Michel Delville, who is also involved in many other projects, this t…

The Wrong Object - New album out now!

"Belgian prog heavyweights, The Wrong Object, make a spectacular return to center stage, with a studio album of brilliant original compositions -- and epic proportions"

If this isn't the best album of a truly progressive nature I've heard this year, then Rafa Benitez is the best football manager the world has ever seen.

Expect me to wibble on about it incessantly when I get my hands on the CD!

After The Exhibition by The Wrong Object

Ulrich Schnauss - A Long Way To Fall

Bringing glacial Teutonic soundscapes into the world of UK shoegaze, Ulrich Schnauss is something of a celebrity down that particular musical side road.

To a greater or lesser extent his previous solo albums have all fused the dreamy nature of the original UK shoegaze movement with the caress of synthetic polished melody, mostly to good effect.

Ulrich has also had a hand in numerous collaborations and is (was?) also a member of UK post-prog band Engineers. A Long Way To Fall is his fourth solo album proper, and takes his sonic template to a slightly different place from before, a place where the skies are darker. The melodies slowly reveal themselves to you after several listens rather than the more instant appeal of some of his other work, and that's just how I prefer it.

Enigmatic and engaging in equal measure, right down to the high quality and subtly humorous art prints in the digipak, which features several glossy photos of run-down sheds, A Long Way To Fall is a highly enjo…

The Enid - The Institute, Birmingham, 30th May 2013

Situated in a part of England’s second city you wouldn’t want to visit unless absolutely necessary, Birmingham’s The Institute, now without the HMV prefix, was originally a Methodist Chapel. Standing on Digbeth's insalubrious High Street and spread over three floors, tonight’s gig is on the smallest and top floor; with a capacity of around 300 the venue is around two thirds full by the time The Enid appear.

The support act were Enochian Theory, a band I was aware of but had never actually heard before the gig. Unfortunately I am still none the wiser as their set was bedevilled by the worst sound mix I’ve heard in years. The bass guitar was completely inaudible, which was a shame as Shaun Rayment looked like he knew his chops, but he may as well have been miming. The guitar and vocals of Ben Harris-Heyes were just about audible, but drowning everything out were the drums. ESPECIALLY THE BASS DRUM, which the “sound engineer”, and I use the term advisedly, saw fit to turn up to such l…