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Present, Belgium

News: Not much is being heard from Present these days. And they have no internet presence whatsoever. I never did hear their last album from 2009.


Location: Brussels

Overview: Formed out of Univers Zero, Present perform a darker more angst-ridden rock version of the parent group.

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Free System Projekt, Netherlands

News: Slipping completely (ahem) under the radar, Free System Projekt made a collaboration album with Norway's WintherStormer namesake. Thanks to Bas for the heads up!

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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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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,…

Obskuria, Germany-Peru-USA

News: Their facebook page hasn't been updated since 2012, so it appears this side project is on ice for now. 
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Location: Mannheim

Overview: An international collective that is a fine example of instrumental Krautrock, with Hammond organ starring in a major role, and some fine acidic guitar leads with tribal drumming.

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Homunculus Res, Italy

News: New album out February 15th (was slightly delayed and is now available as of March 8). Title is 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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Kenso, Japan

Website
Facebook

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…

Oresund Space Collective, Denmark-Sweden

News: Oresund Space Collective will release their 23rd proper album Chatoyant Breath. Release date is set for May 10.

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Location: Copenhagen / Malmo

Overview: Oresund Space Collective are what I'd call a "professional space rock band". They are probably the most accomplished space rock band going today. They certainly are the most prolific, with nearly two dozen albums, and tons more downloadable material. If you're looking to follow a band with a lot of product, then Oresund Space Collective are your band!  One of the keys to OSC's success is the size of the group, which allows for many more ideas and possibilities. I also like that OSC is fond of editing and distilling long jams. While I can see a desire to release "whatever we record" (and they do just that for their downloads, which is an excellent compromise), I think it's best to focus on the parts that work. This is exactly what the 70s bands were forced to do in the LP er…

Forgas Band Phenomena, France

News: According to the latest Wayside flyer, Forgas Band Phenomena's 6th album will be coming soon. No other info has emerged.

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Astrolabio, Italy

News: Astrolabio are still quite active on Facebook anyway, and touting their 2nd album from 2016. I still haven't heard it, but did finally manage to get a few notes out on their debut.

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Location: Verona

Overview: Astrolabia was formed from the ashes of a band called Elettrosmog who released a couple of demos in the mid 2000s. They are yet another fantastic band playing the Italian retro prog style. Their first album L'isolamento dei Numeri Pari received high marks from me, though unfortunately I didn't get a chance to pen any notes down. Next time. But it left a strong enough impression for me to add them to the A-List,and I look forward to the new album.

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Quaterna Requiem, Brazil

News: Quaterna Réquiem are very active on the live front in their home country of Brazil. No word on a new album though.

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Location: Rio de Janeiro

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.

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Il Bacio della Medusa, Italy

News: Il Bacio della Medusa have a new album, their 4th, called Seme*,and has just been released om AMS, who picked the band up in 2015 and reissued their back catalog. Label says: "Contrary to what often happens in the vast progressive rock panorama, crowded by many prolific artists, Il Bacio della Medusa has always taken their right time to release a new album: this time six years have in fact passed from the previous “Deus Lo Vult”. Nothing to complain, however, when the wait is rewarded by the high quality of the result.“Seme*” is no exception in this sense and, if the wind instruments played by Eva Morelli and Simone Cecchini’s voice represent elements of continuity with the past, everything else has been completely revolutionized. We are in fact facing the band’s most immediate and at the same time more varied record, a blend of hard, folk, jazz and classic rock, typical songwriter’s moments and even country and electronic music! If it’s true that ‘prog’ means also evolutio…