This news story was originally published here:

It is worth revisiting the history of Shineback when considering this extended player.

Shineback is a Simon Godfrey (ex-TinyFish) project, the first album under the name – Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed – launching the now rather successful independent label Bad Elephant Music back in 2013.

Shineback established that the recipe would utilise a number of approaches in the making of their music pie. Blending electronic and not-electronic music (which is a genre – look it up) would be a thing. No other thing seemed taboo and using musicians from a variety of bands and having words written by Simon’s long-term collaborator Robert Ramsay (also ex-TinyFish) was also in the RUFRD tart.

Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed demonstrated that Shineback were certainly not an exponent of the less-is-more philosophy. They were very in-your-face, a little bit wall-of-sound and a somewhat mental, reflecting the subject matter.

Minotaur, although a definite return to whatever it is makes Shineback, er, Shineback, is a more restrained and cohesive release that reveals more of what I thought I sensed in Mr Godfrey’s Black Bag releases.

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As far as possible in a little over twenty minutes, Shineback is still stylistically mixing it up. I got hints of many others styles though nothing overtly derivative. OK, from two and a half minutes into Safe As Houses, Simon manages to sound like Simon LeBon but if you don’t like Duran Duran then forget I said that and read this bit instead:

From two and a half minutes into Safe As Houses, Simon manages to sound completely unlike Simon LeBon in every way.

The four tracks on this EP feel very much evolved from the original Shineback songs and from experiments with soundscapes, synthesizers and sequencers. Mr Ramsay’s voice, as stern as the strictest teacher, and just slightly more disturbing, delivers his words in a manner starkly contrasting with the multi-layered harmonies of Mr Godfrey’s charmonies (charmonies is a word – it means charming harmony – look it up). Safe as Houses is the most Shinebacky song here.

In the title track there are some lovely chord sequences with unexpected twists that are just different enough to throw you off-guard without losing musicality. Guitars are not obvious, blending with Fender-Rhodes-like piano here and little sequences there to add subtle texture to the tunes. The end product seems more important than the way it was played. As it should be. There are also some proper standing-in-a-crowd-fist-pumpy bits that are more Paul Oakenfold than “prog”.

Would I buy it?

Yes. I did. Not only is it a good way to spend twenty-odd minutes but if you get in there before the end of September 2017 the uncharacteristically-not-that-Bad Elephants will donate all revenue generated by this release to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

01. Safe As Houses (05:24)
02. Tomorrow’s World (3:31)
03. Theseus (5:30)
04. Minotaur (9:14)

Total Time – 23:39

Written, Performed and Produced by Simon Godfrey
~ With:
Robert Ramsay – Spoken word on Theseus

Record Label: Bad Elephant Music
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 4th August 2017

Shineback – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

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Edition 97 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.


Thousand Needles In Red – Fire in the Sky
The Butterfly Effect – Worlds on Fire
Stargazer – Skinwalker
Alcest – Oiseaux de proie
Dante – Birds of Passage (Caught in a Dream)

Epic at 11: Haken – Celestial Elixir

Retrospective – It’s Time To Grow Up

Album of the Week: Dali’s Dilemma – Manifesto For Futurism
Living in Fear
Ashen Days
Within a Stare

Sons Of Apollo – Signs of the Time

Northern Star   17th August 2017

Northern Star  Pallas Theme

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This news story was originally published here:

Caligula’s Horse, a band at the forefront of Australia’s progressive rock scene, recently debuted the track ‘Will’s Song (Let the Colours Run)’, the first track taken from the forthcoming new album ‘In Contact’ out 15th September 2017. Now they are premiering the music video for the track, directed by the band’s guitarist Adrian Goleby.

Vocalist Jim Grey explains: “The story of ‘Will’s Song’ is centred around pride and ambition, the human tendency toward self-destruction, the last demand of a proud old man that time is not decay and he is ‘that young man still’.” Goleby has mirrored this in the clouded performances, obscured figures either silhouetted in smoke and colourful light or dissolving into nothing, and the frenetic visuals truly capture the kinetic energy of the song.

Watch it now here:

The clip was filmed in Northgate, Brisbane as well as the heritage listed (built in 1888) Princess Theatre in Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

Drummer Josh Griffin had this to say:

“With this video being mine and Adrian’s first clip with Caligula’s Horse, it’s great to finally have the new line up out there!”

Guitarist Sam Vallen adds:

“Will’s Song might take some fans by surprise, its heavy and technical, certainly more than anything we’ve created in the past. Adrian has done an incredible job conveying that frenetic power in the clip; it captures the energy we aspire to in concert, but also, through its languid and constantly shifting imagery, reinforces the dark atmosphere hidden below the punctuation of the drums and guitars. Speaking of which, check out the drums and guitar! It’s great to show the new guys off to the world at last.”

The band also recently sat down at the offices of InsideOutMusic in London to chat about the new album, and you can find the first of those interviews here:

Digital pre-orders of ‘In Contact’ through iTunes & Amazon receive ‘Will’s Song (Let The Colours Run) immediately, and the track is available on streaming services now. The album is also available to pre-order on CD & 2LP + CD (including exclusive coloured versions) here:

As with the band’s acclaimed album ‘Bloom’ before it, ‘In Contact’ sees vocalist Jim Grey and lead guitarist Sam Vallen collaborating closely on the music and lyrics. Vallen comments: “In our creative process every idea is scrutinized, deconstructed, and rebuilt in a way that one of us, alone, could never achieve. We’re one another’s harshest critic, but fortunately we’ve done this for long enough now that our inspiration draws us in a similar direction – we can finish each other’s musical sentences, so to speak. And we’re lucky that’s the case, since In Contact proved to be a much more ambitious undertaking than anything we’d conceived of in the past.”

Vocalist Jim Grey adds: “In Contact has been an enormous proposition – the stories told in this album feel deeply personal, and we’ve never been more excited to share a new work with the world. The sounds on this album are dark and adventurous – but without losing the bittersweet and joyful sounds we developed in writing Bloom.”

As with the band’s second album ‘The Tide, the Thief & River’s End’, the band decided to hang a concept around the entire record, taking it in a direction that would end up being the opposite of its predecessor. “We decided to create a concept album, but one that came from a more personal place: one that would facilitate our creative needs wherever the journey took us” Vallen continues. “The broader concept is based around the nature of art – of what it is that sparks creativity and inspiration, a celebration of what connects us as human beings, the shared space across our many differences.”

Taking in four separate chapters, each one is dedicated to an individual and their own personal journey and how they express themselves through art. “Each of these artists are reaching for something more in their lives, and while disconnected entirely from one another, they are united by that reach: for a better life, but also for something intangible.”

Written between late 2016 and May 2017, the album went through a rapid production/mixing/mastering process encompassing five weeks between May and June. The music felt fresh and the ideas were captured at the peak of their vitality. The music on ‘In Contact’ stretched all of the bands abilities, from the frantic speed and complexity of ‘Will’s Song (Let the Colours Run)’ to the immense scope and variety of the 16-minute album closer, ‘Graves’. This is Caligula’s Horse at their most ambitious and progressive.

The full track-listing is as follows:
1. Dream the Dead
2. Will’s Song (Let the Colours Run)
3. The Hands are the Hardest
4. Love Conquers All
5. Songs for No One
6. Capulet
7. Fill My Heart
8. Inertia and the Weapon of the Wall
9. The Cannon’s Mouth
10. Graves

The band recently completed a short European run, including a sold-out show in London, plus dates with the likes of Opeth, Anathema & Pain of Salvation. To coincide with that, InsideOutMusic reissued the band’s first two albums ‘Moments From Ephemeral City’ & ‘The Tide, the Thief & River’s End’ and you can get those below:
‘Moments From Ephemeral City’:
‘The Tide, the Thief & River’s End’ :

Caligula’s Horse will head out on a headline tour of Australia in support of the new album and you can find those dates below:

Thursday September 28 – Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Perth
Friday September 29 – Fowler’s Live, Adelaide
Saturday September 30 – Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Wednesday October 4 – The Basement, Canberra
Thursday October 5 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday October 6 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Saturday October 7 – The Triffid, Brisbane

The band’s last album ‘Bloom’ was released in 2015 and enjoyed much praise for its multi-faceted dynamic and masterful production. It mines influences from heavy rock to jazz and beyond, making it a uniquely enticing sonic entity, and a powerful addition to the high quality canon of progressive alternative rock. It is a unique thrill to watch a band’s momentum build so steadily and confidently.

Caligula’s Horse are:
Jim Grey – lead vocals
Sam Vallen – lead guitar
Adrian Goleby – guitar
Dave Couper – bass & vocals
Josh Griffin – drums



Free InsideOut Music digital sampler:

This news story was originally published here:

Talinka is a band project by Israeli born vocalist, songwriter and actress Tali Atzmon, married to noted jazz instrumentalist and composer Gilad Atzmon who is also part of this quartet. The remaining places are taken up by Jenny Bliss Bennett and Yaron Stavi, each member is distinguished within their own field, making it a sort of ‘dream team’ if you like.

They describe their music as, “…a music loving adventure. For us, the love of music extends beyond style and genre. We blend folk, early music, jazz, tango and free improvisation”. That statement is a perfect description as it is clear from the first listen that this is an album created by people with a love for what they do. It would be difficult to categorise their sound and would be unfair to do so, they have created a wonderful fusion of the above mentioned styles with added touches of Middle Eastern elements.

Tali is an amazingly soulful jazz singer, whose voice captivates while the music weaves a magical spell on the listener, drawing you in; almost warm, gentle and at times haunting. They have used an excellent collection of instruments to enhance their sound, from viola de gamba, violin, bass clarinet to soprano saxophone, along with some great piano and double bass work. Each instrument provides lovely textures, just when needed, to enhance the songs. The album is full of delicate touches, wonderful melodies and interesting changes, which always hold your attention.

There are ten tracks; seven original compositions with three cover versions, two of which are the jazz standards You Don’t Know What Love Is and Don’t Explain, previously covered by both Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The band adds their own feel to both of these tracks to produce excellent renditions.

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Things start off with the title track, a gentle stroll with some lovely jazz piano accompanied by Tali’s voice being used as an instrument, creating some great improv sounds. The double bass provides a subtle rhythm; there is also some lovely sax and clarinet work here. Losing Vision was written by Tali in response to the Syrian refuge crisis; a beautiful song, achingly heartfelt which packs an emotional punch (no matter on your personal views on this subject). Here Jenny’s contribution on the bowed violin de gamba stands out, with fine bass clarinet contributions too, Tali singing the lines, “People dream of leaving and people dream of loving”, creating a small message of hope in what could have come over as a solely melancholic song.

Invitation, penned by Polish composer Bronisław Kaper, begins with an incessant double bass groove, as the piece is given a Middle Eastern flavour at times, before the accordion comes in to change the focus to more of a Tango feel. All this is weaving around the basic bass groove, Tali’s vocals here are different having, and the best way I can describe it, a Jazzy Zappa style of delivery, and it works. Four 2 Tango does what it says, the accordion very prominent giving a real Tango feel, but it is on this track that the band get to stretch themselves, lending the song a great improv feel. Tali’s voice is again used like an instrument, matching the violin in a near duel, and towards the end Jenny puts in some very deep, forceful sounds with the viola de gamba before it is over all too soon.

The last couple of tracks are beautifully paced, When You’re Gone has a melancholic feel with the accordion giving those Tango touches again. Jenny and Yaron combine so well, having a great connection which lifts the song to another level. The closing Every Now and Then is full of melody with a subtle Middle Eastern influence.

This will undoubtedly be classed as a jazz album, but there is so much more here, wonderfully blending these different styles. This, I believe, could be an album that might convince people who find that Jazz does not sit well with them to give it a try. You may find it has more to offer, pushing boundaries to create new and interesting sounds.

Talinka was recorded by Ben Lamdin at The Fish Factory Studio London in November 2016, produced and mixed by Gilad Atzmon in London January 2017, and finally mastered by Andrew Tulloch at The Blue Studio. The album is available on CD and download, go listen and hopefully buy it, I don’t think you will be disappointed; I have enjoyed every minute of it.

01. Talinka (4:27)
02. Losing Vision (5:15)
03. Baroque Bottom (2:45)
04. Don’t Explain (5:52)
05. Invitation (6:02)
06. Four 2 Tango (6:02)
07. Heimat (1:40)
08. You Don’t Know What Love Is (7:04)
09. When You’re Gone (5:56)
10. Every Now and Then (3:51)

Total Time – 48:54

Tali Atzmon – Vocals
Jenny Bliss Bennett – Viola da Gamba, Violin, Flute, Vocals
Gilad Atzmon – Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Accordion
Yaron Stavi – Double Bass
~ Guests:
Frank Harrison – Piano
Enzo Zirelli – Percussion

Record Label: Moon June Records/Fanfare Records
Catalogue#: Fanfare-FJ1701
Date of Release: 23rd June 2017

Talinka – Website | Facebook


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Last weekend’s 101 Dimensions program is available as a podcast at!

101 Dimensions: Electronic Music

I’m at the helm again for this week’s show and I have an interesting voyage charted! For those who might want to follow our progress, here’s a map:

1. Hawkwind – LSD; and Blue Shift (from the album 25 Years On, 1994)
2. Art Of Noise – Il Pleure (At The Turn Of The Century); Close (To The Edit); and Metaforce (from the album Electronic Collection, 2001)
3. Larry Fast’s Synergy – S-Scape; Chateau; and Cybersports (from the album Sequencer, 1976)
4. Har – The Low Road (2017)
5. Kraftwerk – Kometenmelodie 1 & 2; and Mitternacht (from the album Autobahn, 1974)
6. David Arkenstone – New Day; Sunset Highway; Places In The Heart; Full Sail; and Pacific Rain (from the album Sketches From An American Journey, 2002)
7. Karda Estra – Preliminary Steps; and The Curtain Falls (from the album Equilibrium, 2002)

It should be an interesting ride, with ups, downs, and all arounds! Until next time…bon voyage…and Prog On!


The Progressive Tracks Show #224 (Total Solar Eclipse), originally broadcast on Friday, August 18, 2017, is now available to download or listen to anytime you desire.

It’s been a long time since a total solar eclipse has happened in the United States.  To put it in perspective, U.K. (Jobson/Wetton/Bozzio) were just about to release its “Danger Money” album when the last eclipse occurred on February 26th, 1979.  Now THAT’s a looong time ago!

And believe me when I say, there’s plenty of great Prog on the subject of eclipses. So it’s no wonder I felt compelled to do a special 2-hour show (yes, you read that right) marking the total solar eclipse that occurred on Monday, August 21, 2017.


  • Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius – “Hysteria” from Guilty Of Innocence on Independent
  • Amenophis – “Suntower” from Amenophis on Musea
  • Michael Hoenig – “Sun and Moon” from Departure from the Northern Wasteland on Kuckuck Schallplatten
  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Solar Fire” from Solar Fire on Cohesion
  • Man – “Call Down the Moon” from Call Down the Moon on Esoteric Recordings
  • Astra – “The Rising of the Black Sun” from The Weirding on Rise Above Records
  • Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – “Total Eclipse” from Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express on Fuel
  • The Alan Parsons Project – “Total Eclipse” from I Robot on Arista
  • The Alan Parsons Project – “Genesis Ch.1 V.32” from I Robot on Arista
  • Kenny Mitchell – “Solar Eclipse, Part 1” from The Lark At Heaven’s Gate on Independent
  • Kenny Mitchell – “Solar Eclipse, Part 2 – Second Shadow” from The Lark At Heaven’s Gate on Independent
  • Toxic Smile – “Rayless Sun” from 7 on Progressive Promotions Records
  • Eat The Sun – “Prefeastthree” from The Djerassi Sessions on Independent
  • Green Meteor – “Consumed By A Dying Sun” from Consumed By A Dying Sun Robot on Independent
  • Pallas – “Shadow Of The Sun” from Wearewhoweare on Independent
  • Argos – “Sun And Moon” from Circles on Musea
  • Drifting Sun – “Eternal Cycle” from Eternal Cycle EP on Independent
  • Pink Floyd – “Brain Damage”” from Dark Side Of The Moon on EMI
  • Pink Floyd – “Eclipse” from Dark Side Of The Moon on EMI

If you have comments (always welcome), or suggestions for show topics/music, feel free to contact me anytime via email:

But first… enjoy the show!

Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack