Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 2016 Roundup

And we arrive in late November. We'll jump quickly to the personal situation, and then wrap-up. Fortunately I did secure a position at the beginning of the month, as indicated last month. It's a global director role, which requires extensive travel - not only internationally but also to Baltimore, where the company is based. It's a huge responsibility that I've taken on, which is exactly what I strove for. As such, I need to "put the toys away" for awhile. Free time now comes at a premium. I was fortunate to start near the Thanksgiving holiday, which is allowing me to close out a few things in the interim. We also have the Christmas season around the corner, and that should allow me a bit more time to play around. But otherwise, I'll need to go silent for a bit. None of this stops me from collecting and listening (much abbreviated perhaps), but the more "time consuming" projects will need to be put on ice for now. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a note to the Purple Peak Records d-list delaying the sale into early next year. The sale is completely built and ready to go. I just need a free non-holiday weekend to host it.

A few quick updates, minus hyperlinks, and off I go. I plan on being back in December with a similar quick update.

I also hope to get a few more postings up on here during the weekends, as well as on UMR.

----New albums of interest to be released soon

3rd Ear Experience - Stones of a Feather (USA). Nov 21. UTR A-List band. Excellent space rock band that I've yet to feature.

Accordo dei Contrari - Violato Intatto (Italy). UTR A-List band.

Dungen - Haxan (Sweden). Nov 25. UTR A-List band.

Gosta Berlings Saga - Sersophane (Sweden). Dec 16. UTR A-List band.

Pocket Size (Stockholm) - Vemood (Sweden). Dec 1 (LP only). UTR A-List band.

Shaman Elephant - Crystals (Norway). Dec 9. Don't know this band but the description reads very well, so I'll probably buy it sound unheard.

Universal Totem Orchestra - Mathematical Mother (Italy). Dec 17. UTR A-List band.

----UTR A-List band albums that are here (or on the way) but haven't heard yet

Corima - Amaterasu (USA) I'm very excited about this one!

Corsair - One Eyed Horse (USA) A really cool proggy hard rock band from Virginia. I haven't featured them yet, but hope to eventually. Another one of those great Shadow Kingdom bands that are flying way too far under the radar. I'm way behind myself.

Elephant9 - Silver Mountain (Norway)

Eye - Vision and Ageless Light (USA)

Goat - Requiem (Sweden)

Humus - Whispering Galleries (Mexico) This is from 1999, and was released on LP only (in Italy), but I finally secured one. I have a rip on CD-R, so I guess technically I've heard it.

Iron Maiden - Book of Souls (England) Haha - well, I never got around to buying it until now.

Patchwork Cacophony - Fire of Cups (England) Ben Bell's latest work promises to be great!

Purson - Desire's Magic Theatre (England)

Sammal - s/t (Finland) This is the debut album. We've already featured the second.

Sun Dial - Mind Control (England) First released on LP in 2012, now on CD via Sireena of Austria.

Syd Arthur - Apricity (England) The reviews have been middling to great, but I have hope.

Vespero - Lique Mekwas (Russia) I have a large posting ready to go for this incredibly great band. But I've been waiting to hear this new one... forever it seems.

Wolf People - Ruins (England) Another one I'm very excited about based on the early reviews.

various artists - Trip Wave 2 (Russia) From Trail Records. The first comp was awesome. Cannot wait to hear what else they came up with.

----Hopeful UTR A-List band albums that are here (or on the way) but haven't heard yet

These are bands I've never heard before, but the descriptions read most promising.

Avatarium - The Girl With the Raven Mask (Sweden) I'm a big Candlemass fan, and this seems to point to our progressive world mixed in. Hoping for great things here.

Bocca Della Verita - Avenoth (Italy)

Experimental Q2 - Reflux (Romania) 2014 album from the superb 70s band once known as Experimental Quintet. I've been completely negligent in reviewing this one.

Cary Grace - Tygerland (England) One of the primary reasons why I stopped taking promos. I discovered this in a pile a year after she sent it. I'm very sorry Cary! I owe you big time.

Messenger - Illusory Blues (England)

Promenade - Noi Al Dir Di Noi (Italy) 

Zhaoze - Intoxicatingly Lost (China) Well, I called it didn't I? China is the next big thing in progressive rock. Another promo that I've been entirely negligent about. Sorry Alex!

----UTR A-List band albums that I've heard recently but with no notes to speak of

Fates Warning - Theories of Flight (USA) Fantastic new album from the band that pretty much invented prog metal, before the term became bastardized.

Legend - The Dark Place (England) This album was released in 2013, but wanted to call it out anyway. They really snuck this one in didn't they? This is the Legend from Jersey, perhaps the greatest of the original NWOBHM bands. And this new one is just as great. Don't miss it.

Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse (USA) One of my all-time favorite metal bands. Love that epic style. I first bought Crystal Logic in 1983 (still have that LP copy) and every album since and before. Mark Shelton continues on wonderfully with his unique vision. I really need to get a page up for them.

Synaptik - The Mechanisms of Consequence (England) Incredible tech thrash formed from the ashes of the equally great and obscure Inner Sanctum. Alan Tecchio (Watchtower) guests on vocals.

Tusmorke - Fort Bak Lyset (Norway). 3rd album and a nice return to form. And I like that they exploited their "Norwegianness" this time. I hope to update their entry here eventually.

----UTR albums that I still need to purchase as if I actually have time to hear them...

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. This could be very special.

Cherry Five - Il Pozzo Dei Giganti (Italy)

Delirium - L'Era della Menzogna (Italy) One of my favorites of all the 70's Italian bands

Electric Orange - Misophonia (Germany) New one. Auto-buy

Fatal Fusion - 3 albums (Norway) Haven't heard but they come recommended

Il Fauno di Marmo - Canti, racconti e battaglie (Italy) Been out for awhile, just haven't picked it up yet

Flor de Loto - Árbol De La Vida (Peru) Hopefully they're dropping the metal (not their forte I'm afraid) and going back to the psychedelic. Wait and see.

Ingranaggi della Valle - Warm Spaced Blue (Italy) Auto-buy

Kaipa DaCapo - Dårskapens Monotoni (Sweden) I definitely want this

Korai Orom - 2013 (Hungary) I fell asleep on this band. Always reliable.

Mad Fellaz - II (Italy) I really enjoyed the debut. Need to get a page up

Marchesi Scamorza - Hypnophonia (Italy) Another band whose debut is excellent

Merry Go Round - s/t (Italy) I'm a sucker for hard rocking prog bands

Moogg - Italian Luxury Style (Italy) Auto-buy

Sun Dial - Made in the Machine (England) Just came out

Supay - Senales (Peru) Another quality A-list band I feel asleep on. This is already 3 years old!

The Winstons - s/t (Italy) Haven't heard but comes recommended

Witchwood - both albums (Italy) Haven't heard but they come recommended

Wucan - Sow the Wind (Germany) Haven't heard but comes recommended

Zanov - Open Worlds (France)

And there's way more than this that I've just tabled for now.

---

All of the above is in addition to all the great reissues, archival releases, and originals from the classic LP era that I feature on UMR. Too much stuff....

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Locomotive, Canada

Locomotive - s/t. 1993 Ambiances Magnétiques (CD)

Well done avant prog from Montreal, with a psychedelic edge, which is somewhat unusual for the era and genre. While avant-prog can often be bogged down by a weighty academic disposition, Locomotive aren't afraid to rock out on occasion, and will even throw in some funk bits. I was most reminded of France's Philharmonie, though a bit less stilted.

A little bit of discography cleanup here. The band is clearly noted in the liner notes, disc, and packaging as Locomotive, not as a solo title by guitarist Andre Duchesne. The only time his name is separated out is on the front right corner, where they splash Duchesne, perhaps as an advertisement to those in-the-know. In addition, the disc is copyrighted 1992, though the liner notes mention that recordings concluded in January 1993. So 1993 seems to be a reasonable date, and certainly not 1991 as noted on RYM (nor 1992 on Discogs, which I'm going to fix right now).

The Great Imperial Yo-Yo, England

Classic Under the Radar band right here. Hopefully someone will reissue the Blink! cassette as well. I have it on CD-R and it's just as good as Chicken Island.

The Great Imperial Yo-Yo - Blink! 1993 Positive Head Adjustment (Cassette)
The Great Imperial Yo-Yo - Chicken Island. 1996 Bongheads (CD)

----Chicken Island

With a name like The Great Imperial Yo Yo, an album titled Chicken Island, a label named Bongheads, and a booklet filled with cartoons that look like Dilbert on acid, one can be forgiven in presuming this album will sound like part of Gong's Flying Teapot trilogy. And in some ways it does, except mercifully without so much of that Pothead Pixie silliness. What you do get is coherence where it is most needed, and that's with the instrumental component. This is more Hillage's Gong than Allen's, that is to say. And while the icons of the UK Festival movement - that of the Ozric Tentacles - are definitely in the same ballpark, Great Imperial Yo Yo's sound is tilted towards the 70s, with more jazz rock influences than most of their peers.

Chicken Island came along very late in the game for the primary round of the UK Festival Psych scene, and few noticed its existence initially. Bongheads is the cultural magazine Crohinga Well's (Belgium) own label. It took me some years to finally secure my own copy for a decent price, so don't miss out if you happen to run across it.

Eclat, France



Facebook

Eclat appear to still be together, but do not appear to be active.

Eclat de Vers - s/t. 1991 MSI (CD)
Eclat - Volume 2. 1992 Musea (CD); 2005 MALS (Russia CD)
Eclat - Volume 1 & Volume 2. 1996 Kezako (CD) The above two albums combined.
Eclat - Volume 3. 1997 Kezako (CD)
Eclat - En Concert (Marseille Tokyo). 1999 Musea (CD)
Eclat - Le Cri de la Terre. 2002 Musea (CD)
Eclat - Live au Roucas. 2010 Musea (CD)
Eclat - L'Esprit du Cercle. 2012 Musea (CD)

----Volume 3

Eclat, from Marseilles, were one of many French progressive rock bands to have emerged in the 90s, only to be completely forgotten in modern times. Eclat reminds me most of Minimum Vital, especially in regards to the energetic electric guitar and Medieval themed undertone. The album is primarily instrumental, and the only vocal track 'La Madeleine', is also the album's only clear misstep. A fine album worthy of investigation. Eclat appears to still be active, though I haven't heard anything past their 2002 album, which seems to be the case globally. Exposure time.

----Le Cri de la Terre

On this album, it seems the band has moved away from their Minimum Vital-ish roots, which is to say there is less of the Medieval here. But in its place is a more aggressive kick-ass style guitar rock, with some nice keyboards (though not recommended for digital-phobes). Taken this further, I'd admit that the short electronic pieces are definite minuses here. On the plus side, guitarist Alain Chiarazzo can play with the best of them, his style is very much in the French school, and the Paysson (Minimum Vital) comparison continues on.

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 2016 Roundup

Still hanging onto these updates. Trying to keep up despite personal events swirling around me. Leaving me at times completely buried and others with nothing to do but play around with my music hobby. Crazy.


----Monthly updates on existing band pages

Managed to get a few more updates this time.

Added notes for Radio Massacre International - Solid States
Added notes for Level Pi - Electronic Sheep
Rebuilt the Jettison Slinky page with new notes throughout.


----Under the Radar bands with new albums on the way

Here are some new announcements since last month:

Dungen - Häxan. Mexican Summer. November 25. Yet another one of the more "mainstream" bands with a new release. Wow - they all came out at once!

Flor de Loto - Árbol De La Vida. Azafran Media. Looks like this was released on August 16th. I've fallen behind a bit on this band as they started down the prog metal path. I need to update the page to the new format and get some new links up there. For another day.

Moogg - Italian Luxury Style. Mellow. Finally released on CD (October 8th) after being download only for some months. Very excited about this one as I loved the debut! I need to update the page for this as well.

Patchwork Cacophony - Five of  Cups. November 7. This is Ben Bell's new band, named after his first solo album. I have this one on the way. Very excited about it!

Sun Dial - Made in the Machine. Sulatron. Released October 20. Oh my goodness, yet another more mainstream act with an album. It's a conspiracy I tell ya! I need to get a page up for these guys.

There's also a new Metallica album coming in November which I thought was interesting anyway...


----The below were announced previously. Updates are in italics and underlined. All released albums will be removed from next month's posting.

Goat - Requiem. October 7.  Released.

Nuova Era - Return to the Castle. Late October.  Released.

Syd Arthur - Apricity. October 21. Released

Unreal City - not yet titled. Spring 2017According to their Facebook page, the new date has been set for September 10, 2017 - and will be on both LP and CD.

Wolf People - Ruins. November 11.

Accordo dei Contrari - Violato Intatto. Date to be announced.

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero. On Black Widow. New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. This could be very special. Theoretically released Oct. 20. Haven't seen it myself yet.

Corima - Amaterasu. Soleil Zeuhl.  Released / November 2nd.

Eye - Vision And The Ageless Light. Laser's Edge. November 18.

Gosta Berlings Saga - Sersophane. Not sure of label. Guessing Cuneiform. Looks like the label is Icosahedron Music. Release date is set for December 16th according to sources.

Universal Totem Orchestra - Mathematical Mother. Black Widow Records. We're now hearing of a December release.


----The A-List

(See August 2016 Roundup for full explanation of this section)

Haven't had a chance to focus on this lately, though I did add Spettri to the list.


----Personal Situation

Much shorter update. Just started the 7th week of the job search. I had one firm turn me down 2 weeks ago after being fast tracked through the process. I do have an offer (confirmed) from another firm coming tomorrow after 6 weeks of intense interviewing, and most likely a second one from another company a bit later than that - also after 6 weeks of intense interviews. So the ordeal appears to be coming to a close. If all works out, this has been a total blessing. These are big jobs, so it's going to be a very interesting next/last phase of my career.

As for Purple Peak Records, I'm still awaiting my path forward before launching the sale. It's all ready to go. I just need to ensure there's a clean weekend to have it. Still hoping for sometime this year.