A blog highlighting the myriad of superb contemporary Progressive rock bands that should be more well known
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News: Tusmorke is coming in with their second new album for 2017. Entitled Bydyra, the album apparently is aimed at both children and adults (see below). This is in addition to the 4th album Hinsides that was released on May 12. Two new titles I need to check out soon apparently. The Karisma label says this about Bydyra "The folks at Karisma Records have surprised everyone by, almost literally, pulling a rabbit out of their hat with the upcoming release from their new signing, Prog Folk Rockers TUSMØRKE, whose new album is very different indeed in both concept and guest artists. Titled “Bydyra”, which translated means “Urban Wildlife”, this will be the fifth full-length album from the Norwegians. What is surprising about it is that this is the first album that TUSMØRKE have written specifically for, and performed with, children.
Coming in with a whopping 15 tracks, “Bydyra” is composed of two original mini musicals that were written specifically for a local children’s school in Oslo. It is a unique work that explores the relatively “grown up” subjects of urban wildlife, the skyrocketing prices of housing in Oslo, the financial crisis, social issues, global warming, and good and bad magic.
With “Bydyra”, TUSMØRKE have succeeded in blending their unique take on Prog Rock with a substantial dose of humour to create an album that will be enjoyed equally by both children, who will be enchanted by the characters and their adventures, and by adults, who will succumb to the psychedelic prog folk overtones. It is a journey filled with magical creatures that serve to charm and educate at the same time."
News: According to the band's website from October 8th: "The band has gone into songwriting mode after several concerts in North America (which happened to include full renditions of "Hybris"). In related news, Jonas, Johan and Erik have apparently started a side project with Thomas Johnson playing some sort of progressive jazz music. In terms of website news, the recent DVD releases have finally been added to the discography." Great - add a distraction there. These guys are hilarious. Probably by 2024 we can expect a new album then...
Overview: Quaterna Réquiem were one of the first bands of the late 1980s/early 90s progressive rock renaissance to review the works of the Mediterranean bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and Gotic, rather than the standard English "Big 3" of Genesis, Yes, and ELP.
News: Lumerians are very active playing live and touring. There's talk of a new album, but nothing since Transmissions From Telos Vol III from 2014 (which came after IV...) - an album I haven't heard yet myself. SamplesFacebook
Location: Oakland, California
Overview: Lumerians' rhythms are pure Krautrock motorik, straight from the Can and Neu! school. The dreamy vocals recall Barrett era Floyd, or perhaps more to the point, the early 90s neo psych of Sun Dial
News: The Cosmic Dead are a very active band, playing live shows throughout 2016 and 2017. They also have numerous albums, their latest being Psych Is Dead from April of this year. I've only heard The Exalted King (2013) to date.
Overview: Hidria Spacefolk are one of the very few bands to take the Ozric Tentacles space rock via Hillage formula, and actually take it further by adding more instrumentation, putting together more complex compositions and rocking harder than Ed Wynne and crew (that’s no small feat right there).
News: El Circulo de Willis are active and playing live shows in their native Spain. No word on a new album. I've only heard the latest from 2015 called Retales, but I was mightily impressed with the music and will certainly explore their back catalog as opportunity affords.
Overview: El Circulo de Willis play an exciting instrumental progressive music driven by flute and guitar, with some sax, synthesizer, and metal touches. Like a blend of Ozric Tentacles, Naikaku, and Dream Machine with a bit of Kong thrown in.
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.
News: Flor de Loto is a very active group in Peru. I've lost touch with them after Imperio de Cristal, but they've released 2 more studio and 1 live album since that time. It appears I have some catching up to do.
Overview: Flor de Loto are very much a modern band, but one with two feet in the past. One foot goes to the heady days of the early 1970s that produced the progressive rock scene. The other "feet" goes way back to the indigenous tribes, and their musical traditions and folklore. Recently (2017) I was in Lima for business, and Flor de Loto are a known group by folks I met at a craft beer tavern! In addition to that, the wall art is very similar to their album covers. I'm not sure if it's the same artist, or they follow a similar local style.