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Arbatel, Mexico

News: There doesn't appear to be any internet presence for Arbatel, which is really too bad. They really had something going on. Hopefully they will reemerge, and we'll be here when they do!

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Ramp / ['ramp], Germany

News: We have news straight from Stephen Parsick (see comments). I will just paste it in here with embedded links. Thanks for kindly mentioning ['ramp]'s work here -- I'd like to point out, though, that ['ramp] celebrated the 20th anniversary of their very first live concert last year by releasing "synchronize or die" on CD "SoD" will be followed by a release on 2x12 in February 2018 (check Adasonia Records).['ramp]'s latest release "no sleep 'til wilmersdorf" is due for release in May 2018. Both albums are firmly rooted in Berlin School territory (or Bielefeld School, as I like to call it). (ed: LOL)

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Location: Bielefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen

Overview: Ramp started out as pure play Berlin School electronic band, and one of the best at that. They later moved to a style they referred to as "doombient" (which apparently they have trademarked). I haven't heard these myself, but as you see in the comments,…

Kenso, Japan

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No new updates from Kenso since 2015.

Kenso - s/t. 1980 Pam (LP); 1995 Arcangelo (CD)
Kenso - II. 1982 Pam (LP); 1993 King (CD); 2002 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - s/t (aka III). 1985 Nexus (LP; CD); 2011 King (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Sparta. 1989 Crime (CD); 2009 Pathograph as Sparta Naked (CD)
Kenso - Yume No Oka. 1991 King; 2011 Pathograph (CD papersleeve)
Kenso - Esoptron. 1999 King (CD); 1999 Musea (France CD)
Kenso - Ken-Son-Gu-Su. 2000 Pathograph (CD)
Kenso - Fabulis Mirabilibus De Bombycosi Scriptis. 2002 Nexus (CD); 2002 Vinyl Magic (Italy CD)
Kenso - Utsuroi Yuku Mono. 2006 King (CD)
Kenso - Uchi Naru Koe Ni Kaikiseyo. 2014 King (CD)

There are many other live and archival releases from the band, though I only own Ken-Son-Gu-Su. All the other entries above represent their studio albums. There's also a 14 CD box set on King that contains all their studio albums through 2012, as well as a handful of live recordings.

For a band with so many recordings, an…

Dungen, Sweden

News: Dungen's next release is a collaboration with NYC based Woods, and is titled Myths 003. Release date is set for March 16, 2018. I'm not familiar with Woods, who have been around for ~15 years, but it appears they operate in the indie pop, folk, lo-fi areas. Doesn't sound like my thing on paper, but the Dungen effect could alter the outcome. We'll see.

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Location: Stockholm

Overview: Dungen are certainly the most popular of the European late 60s and early 70s psychedelic revivalists. Lead by Gustav Ejstes, himself a child of the 80s and 90s and a fan of hip hop and popular culture, perhaps he was better suited to relate to the upcoming hipster generation. His ability to tap into the very best of his parent's generation has lead to great success - even internationally, as Dungen's albums have sold quite well even in the USA, despite singing in his native tongue. All of the albums are highly melodic, often times based on Swedish folk them…

Taipuva Luotisuora, Finland

News: Taipuva Luotisuora have returned in 2017, after a two year break, playing live concerts well into the summer. No word yet on a new album.

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Location: Turku

Overview: Taipuva Luotisuora started as an Ozric like band before incorporating post rock and space rock elements in their sound.

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Scherzoo, France

News: According to a September post on Facebook: "Scherzoo was in the studio in August to record the eight titles of their 4th album, and everything went great! The album is currently in the mix."  I never did hear the 3rd album, being somewhat spooked by the second one. Certainly a band I continue to follow however and welcome any chance I can to hear them.

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Location:  Lyon

Overview: Scherzoo's sound is somewhere between avant prog and Zeuhl, whereas Thollot's solo works scratch the avant angle and add in some Heldon like electronic rock.

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Malady, Finland

News: Malady have announced their second album will be released February 2! It's titled Toinen Toista and will be released on Svart as was the debut. I'm most excited about this one, as their debut is excellent.
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Location: Helsinki

Overview: If you like the music of Finland circa 1973, you'll love Malady. They've captured the essence of another era perfectly.

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Homunculus Res, Italy

News: New album out February 15th! Titled Della Stessa Sostanza dei Sogna.

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Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res are a tremendous new Canterbury styled band from Italy that have perfectly captured the spirit of another era. Brilliantly mixing melody and complexity, with a jazzy undertone.

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Elephant9, Norway

News: Elephant9 are set to release their 5th album (on Feb 16) entitled Greatest Show on Earth (who remembers that fine early 70s UK band?). Label says: "On this, their fifth studio album, they are back to the core trio of their two first albums, with Ståle Storløkken (keyboards), Nikolai Hængsle (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums). "The Greatest Show On Earth" displays some truly astonishing playing and is a more dynamic, structured and focused album with all tracks clocking in between five and seven minutes." Hmmm, not liking that guitarist Fiske is not around anymore, but OK, let's see what they come up with.

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Location: Oslo

Overview: If you like overdriven Hammond organ and Rhodes piano - completely fuzzed out to the maximum - all immersed within interesting instrumental compositions, then Elephant9 are for you. Their last 2 albums feature former Landberk / current Dungen's guitarist Reine Fiske, and have started to move into a 1970 era …

Free System Projekt, Netherlands

News: As noted on this site in April, Free System Projekt's first album in many years did indeed come out (entitled Five Suns).

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Location: Huizen (east of Amsterdam)

Overview: Of all the current bands playing in the retro Berlin School of sequencer based electronic music, Dutch ensemble Free System Projekt may be the closest in imitating the original pioneers. Especially the Tangerine Dream variant from 1974 to 1977.

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Sammal, Finland

News: We have just received word that Sammal will release their 3rd album, titled Suuliekki, on March 9th. This must be "Finnish retro prog 2018 winter", as this follows Malady's own announcement for February. The more the merrier of course....

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Location: Turku

Overview: Sammal are a modern band playing in the "retro prog"style, and who have a done great job to date of recreating the 1972 Finnish landscape.

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