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 o…
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.
News: Universal Totem Orchestra are celebrating their latest album release Mathematical Mother, and playing the odd festival. The album itself is brilliant IMO, and is at, or near, the top of my favorite releases from 2016 - and of all the 2010 decade! Don't miss it.
Location: Rovereto (north of Verona in the mountains near Trento)
Overview: Universal Totem Orchestra are an offshoot group of Runaway Totem, and features a larger scaled group and a trained soprano vocalist. Their music is heavily influenced by Mekanik era Magma, with a dose of heavy instrumental prog fusion. All 3 of their albums to date are fantastic.
News: It would appear are no longer around, with no internet presence whatsoever. That's too bad as they were really quite accomplished.
Overview: Though from Peru, Kharmina Buranna remind me quite a bit of the 1970s Argentine progressive rock scene. They squarely fit the "retro prog" category and play a direct mix of early 70s styled blues rock mixed with classic era Yes, and a dose of 70s Italian progressive rock.
Overview: Gerard are a long running symphonic progressive rock band lead by keyboardist Toshio Egawa. I presume they are still a functioning unit, though the last activity I could find is 2015. Not sure if they have a Facebook page, but I couldn't find one if they do. Their Fan Page recently shut down. My history with the band goes back to their very beginning, and I once owned their first two albums on LP. I sold them years ago. In addition, I have heard Irony of Fate and Pandora's Box, but never owned them. I currently only possess The Ruins of a Glass Fortress and Live in Marseille. No matter if I ever buy more Gerard, or not, for certain this album will be a keeper deep into my lifespan.
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.
Il Bacio della Medusa - s/t. 2004 private; 2006 Black Widow (CD; LP); 2015 AMS/BTF (mini-LP)
Il Bacio della Medusa - Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante. 2008 Black Widow (CD; LP); 2015 AMS/BTF (mini-LP)
Il Bacio della Medusa - Deus Lo Vult. 2012 private (hard bound book CD); 2015 AMS/BTF (mini-LP)
In the wake of discussing all of these fantastic new Italian progressive rock bands from 2013, I think this would be a good opportunity to address one of the groups who's been operating in this field for almost a decade now. Il Bacio della Medusa sort of slipped in without notice until their second album arrived, and even then few paid much heed. This is about the period I was introduced to them, but wasn't able to give the albums the attention they deserved. Last year I rectified that by buying all 3 albums on CD and absorbing them properly. So it's about high time I get a band page going here.