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September 2016 Roundup

OK, as promised, I'm back with a monthly roundup. And yes, career events did occur that caused an immediate shutdown of most music hobby activities. More on that in the Personal Situation section (hopefully not a recurring feature - believe me!).

----Monthly updates on existing band pages

Not much here naturally enough. However, soon after publishing my band page for Deus Ex Machina, it was announced that all of the "Kaliphonia" era CDs will be re-released shortly.

----Under the Radar bands with new albums on the way

Here are some new announcements since last month:

Goat - Requiem. October 7. One of the more mainstream acts for UTR, but one very worthy of checking out. Eventually I will get a band page up for them as well. Great band as far as I'm concerned!

Nuova Era - Return to the Castle. Late October. One of our favorite Italian prog bands from the late 1980s and early 90s returns with their first entirely new album in 21 years (there was a semi-archival release recently). Hopefully the title doesn't indicate a move to English vocals. In any case, we'll definitely get a band page up here if the early reviews sound promising.

Syd Arthur - Apricity. October 21. Another one of the more "mainstream" acts that I'm quite fond of.

Unreal City - not yet titled. Spring 2017. And here's one of our favorite bands of the last few years! Great to see a new album in the works. Looks like I never updated this post for the great second album either. Looks like we'll have a reason to do that now.

Wolf People - Ruins. November 11. This has been a good month for updates on the more "known" bands  in the psychedelic progressive space. Another great band!

The below were announced previously. Updates are in green.


Accordo dei Contrari - Violato Intatto. We now have a title and the new album is being mixed in October.

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero. On Black Widow. New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. This could be very special.

Corima - Amaterasu. New album on Soleil Zeuhl. For me, one of the most anticipated!

Electric Orange - Misophonia. I do have one review of an Electric Orange album already on UTR, from when I had moved away from "band pages". But I have notes on a few of their releases, and was already working on a post. Just awaiting this release now to finish it. Released July 22. I'll remove next update.

Eye - Vision And The Ageless Light. Laser's Edge. To be released November 18.

Gosta Berlings Saga. - Sersophane. Not sure of label. Guessing Cuneiform.

Ingranaggi della Valle. - Warm Spaced Blue. Black Widow.  Like Corima, I'm most curious about this one! Released on September 28 as announced here last month. Will remove next update.

Kaipa Da Capo - Dårskapens Monotoni. This one came out of nowhere. Kaipa Da Capo is the continuation of Kaipa after the Solo release and will not feature Hans Lundin. With the lyrics all in Swedish, this promises to be a good one. Released September 20. Will remove next update.

Universal Totem Orchestra - Mathematical Mother. Black Widow Records. Big fan of their other two works. This will certainly force a band page! Supposed to be released on September 28th with Ingrannagi della Valle. Not finding evidence of such.


----The A-List

(See August Roundup for full explanation of this section)

I do have updates for this section, but nothing added to the blog this month.

----Personal Situation

Alright, here we go. No surprises, but Fortune 10 company did decide to surplus our entire team. Gross negligence is really what it is (my team is very senior and quite excellent at many things), and many of us could have helped other parts of the business immensely. It's a pity the company doesn't follow their own HR policies for high performers (oddly Fortune 10 company actually agreed with me on this point, which I didn't expect. Rarely does HR go "off script" like that). Whatever the case, I'm not one to be bitter (it was hardly personal), and I'm very grateful for the last 9 years from said company. I've accomplished all my personal goals in that time frame. So it's all gravy now. And they are giving us all a "package" and it's generous. Nothing to complain about honestly. But notice has been served, and it's time to get serious about finding other work. Things happen for a reason, I truly believe that. I'm not one to sit around, and I'm too young to retire (and besides wife and I could use some more scratch for comfort - who doesn't?). I don't want to retire in any case. I'm fit as a fiddle, and it would be a pity to waste all that industry knowledge and experience. Plus I find I enjoy our music hobby more when it's a "get away".

So we received the "notice of notice" mid month (LOL - I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried), with formal notice just yesterday. Mid month notice was my signal, and since then I've been lighting up my network, as well as doing my diligence with online applications. Both "fronts" as it were are working, and much activity has commenced with 7 viable opportunities in the works (interviews have started), and 25 more potential in play. But it's still early, and without a job secured, this dedicated effort will have to remain in place. If I'm fortunate enough to land a similar (or better) position soon, then I'll have to focus entirely on that until I can get that business established. That will likely take a year or more. And there will be considerable business travel almost assuredly, so that's more distractions.

What I've learned about myself in the last few years is I have two entirely different "modes of operation" and they do not mix at all. One is the vacation/weekend/evening music/food/beer mind. You'll know I'm there when I'm actively writing reviews and updating these blogs. It signals that I'm content, and not distracted. Fat and happy as it were, minus the health implication of the phrase. And I've been in that mode for most of the last 7 years, with some notable exceptions. The other me is one that is zoned in completely on business. My brain goes 10x what it would be in contentment mode. Zombie eyed almost. And when I'm there, I find it hard to enjoy my hobby. It becomes all consuming. And with circumstances as they are, it's affecting the evenings, and even the weekends. I'm listening to music in the evenings still, but almost forcing myself to do so. In addition, I've curtailed all buying activities. I'm just super conservative that way. And honestly it's not near as much fun without new product walking in the door. For me at least. I think once I do get settled, at least I'll be able to relax a bit more, and we'll be back in business here on the blogs, but at a reduced rate I would imagine.

For the time being, I'm going to try to update the blogs in batch over the weekends. I still have plenty of content still not published. Especially for Unencumbered Music Reviews, where I have already written notes from 2015 still, much less all of this year.

As for Purple Peak Records, there's still a good chance for a sale this Fall. It really depends on the timing on how things go. I'm not quite done grading and pricing Jeff's LPs, but it's within reach at least. Everything else is done, as I worked on it throughout the summer.


And I did manage to get 98% of my collection into Discogs, and I'm still adding a few more editions to their database. So that's done for the most part.

Stay tuned.... if I go completely silent, you'll know what I'm up to!

Comments

  1. Consorzio Acqua Potabile will be out in 2 weeks.

    UTO is postponed to December.

    All the best,
    TheH

    ReplyDelete

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The ongoing HiPo list

Read about this the purpose and idea of this thread at the bottom of this post. Feel free to opine on any of these albums as you wish.

New additions (moved forward with this post)
Cosmic Triggers (Russia)

Karakorum (Germany)

Kungens Män (Sweden) This band many releases already, and 5 are durable mediums. Looks like a group to check out at least one of.

Professor Tiptop (Norway)
Weserbergland (Norway)


Prior entries that have yet to be purchased or heard
Cherry Five (Italy) Reformation album, so won't consider this against the 1975 album.

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. Considering this HiPo because of the Fella presence

Fatal Fusion (Norway)

Il Fauno di Marmo (Italy)

Hadal Sherpa (Finland)

Jordsjo (Norway) OK - just a quick update that Jordsjo will have a CD out in the fall. Yaay!

Merry Go Round (Italy)

Mythic Sunship (Denmark)

The Winstons (Italy)

Witchwood  (Italy)

Wucan (Germany)

Prior entries that have been hear…

Anglagard, Sweden

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...

Facebook Website Samples
Location: Stockholm

Overview: Probably the foremost contemporary post 1990 band to capture and recreate all that was great about the early 1970s original progressive rock movement.

UMR notes

Omnia Opera, England

News: Omnia Opera are still kicking! They're actively looking for a new keyboard player, so it seems they're ready to get going again. They also have an offshoot band called 7Shades and they recently played with The Oroonies - yet another blast from the past. Both of these bands have old cassettes that are in dire need of reissue.

Website Facebook Samples
Location: Kidderminster (SW of Birmingham)

Overview: Omnia Opera can best be described as a heavier and more in-yer-face variation of the classic UK festival space rock sound. More Hawkwind and less Gong that is to say. About the only band I can think of that rocks harder than Ozric Tentacles in this genre.

UMR notes

Homunculus Res, Italy

News: It appears the new album from Homunculus Res will be coming in November, based on a comment back in August. So great news there. No title or cover as of yet, so I'll leave the second album up.

Facebook Samples
Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res is 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.

UMR notes

Secret Saucer, USA

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.


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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.

UMR notes

October Equus, Spain

News: There's talk of a new album, and in at least one post, it was discussed it might be without a rhythm section - a chamber type work. Nooo.... don't do it! Resist the temptation. :-) Permafrost, from 2013, remains the last album, and I never did get any notes down for it. I'm sure I will eventually.

Facebook Samples
Location: Madrid

Overview: October Equus'first album was almost like a psychedelic Present (Belgium), a very interesting combination that I found highly appealing. With each subsequent release, October Equus ups the ante on complexity, while toning down the more jamming aspect of their sound.

UMR notes

Nuova Era, Italy

News: Return to the Castle was released late last year, and has received mixed reviews. It would appear their controversial decision to move to English has divided the fan base.

Facebook
Location: Firenze/Florence

Overview: Probably more than any other band, Nuova Era can be credited with bringing back the classic early 70s Italian progressive rock sound... kicking and screaming into the 90s. The band has reformed in the 2010 decade, though strangely they've moved to English vocals, something that goes against the very core of the style. I haven't heard them yet, so can't say how successful the reformation has been.

UMR notes

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.

UMR notes

Lumerians, USA

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.
Samples Facebook
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

UMR notes

Astrakan, England

News: In 2016, Astrakan released their 3rd album Hidden Agenda. I haven't heard it to date. Otherwise not much to report here.

Website Samples Facebook
Location: London

Overview: Astrakan are a fine band operating between Canterbury and jazzier forms of rock. Comets and Monsters adds an avant prog edge.

UMR notes