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: 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.
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 …
News: Secret Saucer have just released their 7th album The Reset. It appears to be LP only at the current time (and released in Germany). I've lost track of Secret Saucer, as I haven't heard anything from them since Tri-Angle Waves in 2009.
Location: The band usually just state that are from Ohio, but if I recall right they are from near Cleveland in the northeast part.
Overview: Secret Saucer could best be described as a space rock jam band. Similar to Oresund Space Collective and others of its ilk.
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.
Overview: Wobbler are a retro prog band from Norway who initially followed in the footsteps of Anglagard and Sinkadus, and have since moved onto the sounds of early Yes. Wobbler are as good as it gets for the style. Superb band.
News: Architectural Metaphor have released their 5th official CD called Galactus Interruptum in late 2016, without any fanfare at all (not even on their Facebook page, which is really a memoir page). I see it's available from CD Baby and on Discogs.
Overview: Along with Djam Karet, Architectural Metapohor are one of the pioneers of the modern space rock movement in the United States, and have been continuously operating since 1984. They had long breaks between releases, and I've only heard their first two, though I hope to do something about that soon.
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.
Overview: Flowers Must Die are good old fashioned space rock. Probably the closest comparison would be to My Brother the Wind on their debut, or some of the less edited Oresund Space Collective albums.
Arabs in Aspic - Progeria (EP). 2003 Borse Music
Arabs in Aspic - Far Out in Aradabia. 2004 Borse Music
Arabs in Aspic - Strange Frame of Mind. 2010 Pancromatic LP. 2011 Black Widow (Italy) CD
Arabs in Aspic - Pictures in a Dream. 2013 Black Widow (Italy) CD + LP
Robert Fripp has stated that "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" means: "Something precious which is stuck, but visible. Something precious which is encased in form." So with that heady bit of insight, it's obvious to me that Arabs in Aspic means... yea, I have no idea either. [shrug]
what is "in aspic" is the band's ability to recreate the sounds of the
1970s. Specifically the American FM sound of 1975 and '76. Despite being
from Norway, Arabs in Aspic are yet another band that would fit well in
my USA Midwest / Ontario Progressive Rock (1970's/early 80s) list. Sounds odd doesn't it? Well... it's not as strange as it may first appear.