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Showing posts from December, 2022

Flying Circus - 2010 - Back & Forth. The Flying Circus 20th Anniversary Box Set

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(131:33 ; Flying Circus) Prolusion. German band Flying Circus celebrated 20 years as an active band back in 2009. A part of that celebration was to record an album with re-recorded versions of older songs written in the band's formative years. At the same time they also recorded a new studio album, their fourth studio production. These albums are named "Back" and "Forth" respectively, and while available as separate albums they were also made available as the box set "Back & Forth". Both the albums as separate entities and collected in the box set were self released by the band in 2010, and all of them are still in print. CD 1: Back. The Rest of Flying Circus (71:50; Flying Circus) Track list: 1. The Mover 6:07 2. Free 5:24 3. Long Gone By 6:39 4. Southbound 4:53 5. Just a Few Hours 6:26 6. Walk Away 5:57 7. Magic Land 5:49 8. I’ll Go My Own Way 6:11 9. Trip to Heaven 4:33 10. Till the End of Time 5:40 11. The Heat Is On 5:55 12. Roll the Dice 4:06

Klangwelt - 2022 - Here and Why

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(77:43; Spheric Music) Track list: 1. Propaganda 6:31 2. Cold War Child 8:04 3. Corium 6:26 4. Futurist 6:00 5. Noir 6:25 6. Information 5:34 7. Escape 6:06 8. Attic 9:00 9. Wake Pp. Sleep. Repeat. 4:44 10. Muse 6:33 11. Ago 5:03 12. An Explanation of Life 7:17 Line-up: Gerald Arend - all instruments Prolusion. German project Klangwelt is the creative vehicle of composer and audio technician Gerald Arend, and for the better part of twenty years he has created and released his journeys into his chosen musical landscapes. "Here and Why" is the name of his latest production, which was released through the label Spheric Music in the fall of 2022. Analysis. Electronic progressive music is what we get on the Klangwelt albums, and by the artist description these are creations that come with many references to artists well known and loved in this particular field. With Vangelis and Tangerine Dream two of many names cited. This is also a case where the self description does deliver, a

Flying Circus - 2022 - A Live History

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(76:54; Flying Circus) Track list: 1. The World Is Mine 8:35 2. Fire (I Wanna Go) 5:42 3. More Than One 6:32 4. Seasons 8:13 5. Carpe Noctem 5:35 6. Derry 3:12 7. Living A Lie 4:33 8. Memphis 6:10 9. The Hopes We Had (In 1968) 7:22 10. Berlin 6:40 11. The Jewel City 6:37 12. Your Liege Forever 7:43 Line-up: Rudiger Blömer - keyboards, violin Andre Roderigo - drums, vocals Michael Dorp - vocals Roger Weitz - bass, vocals Michael Rick - guitars, vocals Prolusion. German band Flying Circus has been flowing under the radar of way too many people over the years, but it would seem they have had a gradual rise in interest toward them and their material in the last couple of years, something I think is rather well deserved for a band that has been active for as long as these guys have been at it. The live album "A Live History" was released by the band earlier this year, and as far as I can tell it is only available directly from the band, and then only as a free CD where you only ha

Sot - 2022 - Monster Master

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(42:50; Sotanic Sounds) Track list: 1. Draugner 3:33 2. Saga Siglar 1:36 3. Monster Master 13:30 4. Tilstander 2:25 5. Mann Med Yacht 4:05 6. Sunship 4:22 7. Rolig Örken 5:13 8. Barals Grav 8:06 Line-up: Skjalg Reithaug - guitars, synthesizers, keyboards, effects Lars Andreas Haug - tuba, wind instruments, voice, keyboards Arild Nyborg - drums, percussion, shrutibox, didgeridoo, voice, keyboards, effects with: Oscar Andreas Haug - trumpet Camilla Susann Haug - vocals Elin Reithaug - dulcimer Prolusion. Norwegian band Sot is a venture with the roots going all the way back to the 1990's, but with the actual band formation taking place at a later stage. They took the first steps out from total obscurity with their debut album "Kind of Saltz" back in 2011. and have released new material every few years since then. The name of their fourth and most recent studio production is "Monster Master", which was released through their own label Sotanic Sounds towards the end

Ovus - 2022 - Lucid

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(17:11; Ovus) There are times when one cannot help but wonder why a band is not better known (or more active), and that is the case for Ovus. Noticing a quote about them in the press release from Ambient Light I sought out the full review to discover that it was about a gig they played in Auckland in 2018 supporting one of their inspirations, Intervals. During that set the band actually played two of the three songs from this EP – nothing strange in that you might say, except this is a brand-new release and the gig was from four years ago. They also have the same line-up in Adam Sive (guitar), Jig Jasmat (drums), Joe Murphy (guitar) and Josh Murray (big guitar), so lack of stability is also probably not why it has taken them so long to follow up, but apparently, they are planning a nationwide tour next year so hopefully I will catch them again. There are very few bands who manage to really capture the imagination as an instrumental act, as many listeners are there for the singer, often

Crooked Royals - 2022 - Quarter Life Daydream

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(30:40; 3 Dot Recordings) The concept behind this band came into being when Christian Carstensen (clean vocals) and Lee Mackley (heavy vocals) met at a battle of the bands competition fronting their respective outfits and decided it would make sense for them to work together. With the line-up completed by Jake Andrews (guitar), Keane Gilles (drums), and Conor Lawson (bass), Crooked Royals have created quite a reputation for themselves within the progressive metalcore scene for the complexity and intricacy of their music with two singers who are very different indeed yet combine to provide laser focus. Since their formation they have created a huge name for themselves on the circuit for their over-the-top live shows, and here we have the debut album which has seen them signed to American prog metal legends Periphery’s own label (a quick look at the site sees their photo dominating the homepage). So, just why has an American outfit reached all the way down to Auckland to sign a local ban

Postcards From New Zealand - 2022 - Pfnz VII: Liminal Space

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(44:13; Postcards From New Zealand) There are some bands who feel the right way to go about music is to make it as difficult as possible to find out anything about them, and that is very much the case with PFNZ. Even though they are listed as being from NZ on their Bandcamp page, I could not tracks them down so sent them an email asking them if they were from NZ and the response was simply “nope, we’re not”. However, the date in the responding email was in Italian, so perhaps they are from Italy? I also have no idea who is in the band, or what they play, and they themselves describe this album as alternative, death metal, electronic, post-metal, progressive, psychedelic, New Zealand. It is the third in the 'betwixt and between' trilogy, and they describe the album as being about “liminality in its various forms, affecting living creatures as well as space and time. its goal is to go beyond any discrimination or prejudice and return to giving differences their value.” It is cert

Ghost Rhythms - 2021 - Spectral Music

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(73:56; Cuneiform Records) Here we have the sixth studio album by French collective Ghost Rhythms, and the third of theirs which I have reviewed. It is their second release for Cuneiform, following on from the excellent ‘Live at Yoshiwara’, and the third studio release since 2015’s ‘Madeleine’. Band leaders, drummer Xavier Gélard and pianist Camille Petit have again taken control of much of the writing, although there are also contributions by other members. Due to lockdowns, they found themselves in a similar position to 2020 ‘Imaginary Mountains’ with everyone recording their parts at home, with the exception of the drums, piano and Wurlitzer tracks which were laid down in a proper studio. Given that the collective were used to rehearsing in person weekly, this was quite a change to their normal way of doing things, but the 11 musicians (and three guests) pull it together so that it never sounds as if it is anything but people playing together. There is clear direction with each of t

Andrew Roussak - 2021 - Crossing the Line

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(55:05; Melodic Revolution Records) I first came across multi-instrumentalist Andrew when he was keyboard player with Dorian Opera, and recall reviewing his solo debut album all the way back in 2008. This is his third since then and although I did miss 2010’s ‘Blue Intermezzo’ I did hear 2019’s ‘Storm Warning’, but while that had some guests, we are now back to Andrew doing everything himself. 13 years is a long time in anyone’s life, and when one is an active musician many changes can take place, and I am amazed at just how far Andrew has moved since the debut. There are seven pieces, two of which are instrumental (one of which is an adaption of a classical piece, which is something he had done previously), and as before he has been influenced by two keyboard players, namely Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. It is in the lighter keyboard sections and piano usage where he comes across as the former, and the more bombastic where he comes across as the latter, but what also puts this ahead

Beledo - 2021 - Seriously Deep

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(60:51; Moonjune Records) Moonjune Records is one of the very few labels in the world where I know that every release is going to be substantial and special, and the same is true of the sight of Tony Levin as when one of the most in-demand bassists sits in for a whole album then one knows it is going to be special. Here we have Uruguayan multi-instrumentalist Beledo working with Levin and drummer Kenny Grohowski (Brand X, John Zorn, John Medeski etc), as well as Jorge Camiruaga  (vibraphone) on two tracks and singer Kearoma Rantao providing vocals on one track and Boris Savoldelli on another. Somewhat unusually for a multi-instrumentalist, Beledo is truly at home on two very different instruments so each track features both his wonderfully fluid piano and dynamic guitar, with Levin and Grohowski slotting into the groove. Apparently, they recorded this facing each other (vocals added later) and I am guessing Beledo played piano first on some, guitar on others, although it is hard to tel