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December 2016 roundup

I fear these updates are going to be less and less informative as we go. I've listened to a whopping 17 albums since November 26. Some old, some new. This is my new life, and it comes as absolutely no surprise. Next year will only be worse when it comes to free time (And hello to Brazil, Peru, and Chile!). I'll try to update with new album announcements or anything else of interest. I also have a few band pages to put up. I'll just keep plugging along, even if I do end up going silent for long stretches of time.

The Christmas and New Year season is upon us. I'm taking half-day today, which is my first chance to breathe since the Thanksgiving weekend. I've also insisted on taking Saturday's off (haha, yes it's down to that). Next week promises to be quiet, so this will be my chance to catch up here and on UMR. After that, maybe I see you on Saturday and an occasional Sunday? I hope so anyway. Still planning on a Purple Peak Records sale as well sometime in late winter.

The only significant announcement since last month is there will be a new Aquaserge album entitled Laisse ça être. Release date is scheduled for February 2017.

As far as listening goes, I really enjoyed the new Goat Requiem album. I'll probably get a band page up, though for some reason I can never seem to write much about them. My sparse notes for Requiem state: Mid 1970s Embryo, Archimedes Badkar, and Kebnekaise all mashed up and distilled for the modern age. I dig it. Immensely so.

Sammal's debut proved to be excellent as well, just as good as the one we reported on. I'll be updating that page soon with my new notes.

Messenger's Illusory Blues is good, and I really enjoyed the instrumental bits. The vocal style however is way too close to the alternative/indie standard which rubs me the wrong way. Not sure where I stand with these guys yet. Might try their followup anyway.

The new Eye album is excellent. No surprise there, and the band are really improving their songwriting skills to go with their already strong improvisational abilities.

I also picked up the Agusa live album. I rarely go for live albums, but this promised to be improvisational in nature, and that proved to be true. It's basically an all new album, like they used to do it in the early 70s. Really a splendid release, and the CD from Greece (Sound Effects) truly did fly under the radar. Don't miss this one if you like that vintage 1972 jam style.

Moogg's new album Italian Luxury Style was also quite welcome. Still very much in the Canterbury vein with some twists. Maybe not as good  as the debut, but close. I need to get another solid listen and put some decent notes to add to the existing band page.

Ingranaggi della Valle's new one is also very good, though a step down from the awesome debut. The English vocals are not a good addition, and their execution veers too close to what Messenger above is doing. They need to ditch this idea quick. I find it hard to believe for a band whose stock in trade is classic Italian progressive rock, a necessity to sing in English and in a manner not fit for the style. Anyway, I'm talking about a very good album here, and the vocals are fortunately sparse. In any case, this is another album I need to get quality notes down for to add to the existing band page.

And well, that's it for UTR this month. See what I mean? With any luck at all, I'll get some band pages up this week as well.


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Elephant9, Norway

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Hills, Sweden


Originally published on July 17, 2011 and updated on February 3, 2012. Moving post forward to highlight their new album Frid.

Hills are among the finest of the neo Krautrock bands one can hear today. They are still active as of August, 2016..

Hills - s/t. 2009 Intergalactic Tactic Records (LP); 2010 Sulatron (Austria CD)
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Regarding the debut, this is one of those cases where I bought the LP (the pink vinyl edition no less), since I didn't figure it would be issued on CD. I probably would have waited otherwise, but what the hey, the LP is pretty cool looking. But owning it on CD with the bonus tracks was necessary too. I may one day part with the vinyl, but not in a hur…

El Circulo de Willis, Spain

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Location: Madrid

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Homunculus Res, Italy

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Necronomicon, Germany

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Space Debris, Germany

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Tusmorke, Norway

News: And yet another new album from Tusmorke! Quite prolific I'd say.

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The Cosmic Dead, Scotland

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The Worm Ouroboros, Belarus

Website This site is similar to Facebook, but most of the posts for the band are in Cyrillic
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The Worm Ouroboros - Of Things That Never Were. 2013 Fading (Italy)

The Worm Ouroboros is a new band from Belarus, a country that up until now has yet to make an appearance into my collection. No doubt they came as a reference from Rational Diet, a popular Belarusian chamber rock group, also settled in the AltRock canon.

The Worm Ouroboros are clearly informed by the classic Canterbury scene, and it's most apparent with regards to the fuzzy keyboard tones, copious use of flute, complex meters, kinetic electric guitar, and a melodic disposition.  All of which automatically elevates the album to top tier status in UTR's world. Certainly other classic early 70s progressive influences come to the fore where one can easily spot Steve Hackett, Pink Floyd, Camel, Genesis, Jethro Tull, and even Magma! Some of the acoustic guitar and flute duo's …

Wobbler, Norway

News: Wobbler have announced their latest album From Silence to Somewhere which is due out by Oct 20th.

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