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All posts for the month November, 2017

 

At Progzilla Radio we realise the the silly season needs some
silliness so as custodian of the Xmas Turkey Project it has returned with a request for you to request
a turkey for xmas.
click on the link and choose a track and artist and a reason you think it is a turkey.
I would prefer some prog or rock but pop is acceptable.
It could be you are sick of the damn thing being played or you find it annoying.
It could be hyped to the point of screaming “enough already!”
last year we had Yes Roundabout (said person was sick of it being the encore and the only track certain stations played)
Kenneth McKellar – Ol hoose because hi Nan played it to torture him as a child..
So pick a suitably silly pseudonym and the better the story the more chance it will be played.
Consign the annoying, the dreary, the unimaginative or the just plain eccentric to the vaults of history.
The show will be broadcast on the 28th December at 8.00pm and will go on for three hours.
We want fun frivolity and humour in gay abandon.

Proving that prog isn't just for dinosaurs!
I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for edition 221 of Live From Progzilla Towers is now available.

In this edition we heard the following music:

  1. Joe Satriani – Raspberry Jam
  2. Lee Abraham – The Mirror Falls
  3. Simon Phillips – Upside In Downside Up
  4. Tiger Moth Tales – Family Snapshot
  5. Led Zeppelin – Trampled Underfoot
  6. Quantum Fantay – Tesselate
  7. Everon – Fantsma
  8. Tom Slatter – A Scattering
  9. Caravan – Nine Feet Underground
  10. Vermillion Sands – Ashes Of The Time
  11. Galadriel – Summit
  12. Snarky Puppy – I Asked
  13. Steve Rothery – Old Man Of The Sea
  14. Drifting Sun – Remain
  15. When Mary – Soulless Soulmates
  16. When Mary – Out Of Spaces
  17. Yes – Machine Messiah

iTunes/iPod users*: Just search for ‘Progzilla’ or subscribe to: http://podcasts.progzilla.com/cliff/podcast.xml

Enjoy!

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/30/clouds-can-leave/

Progressive pop is making something of a welcome revival. Alan Parsons prefers it as being a ‘better’ description of his music, pointing to the ways in which progressive rock integrates modern trends and influences whilst combining it with an ‘epic’ sound and orchestral layers. Steven Wilson likewise claims that his musical vision aims to create a ‘modern equivalent’ of the progressive pop of his youth, music which is approachable and accessible on the surface but which can engage people on deeper levels with intelligent lyrics, good production values and high levels of musicianship.

It is also the description quite deliberately used by Thomas Thielen and Dominik Hüttermann for their ‘progressive pop project’ Clouds Can. Following on from Moon (1995), Per Aspera (1998) and a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Leave sees the pair come together again to create a third studio album which marks a ‘new and bolder’ chapter in the direction of their music.

Bold it certainly is. The startling and dramatic opening track This Dream of Me is a grand and sweeping symphony of ’80s-esque sounds and resonances, deep, rich, reverberating yet still finding time to reference popular culture and literature by way of Lewis Carroll oriented lyrics: “Go down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass”. What we find there is the stuff of Mad Hatter philosophical contemplation, musings about who I am, who I used to be, who I may become, all topped off with a cheeky little nod to Doris Day: “dream a [little] dream of me”.

The layers become even more engaging with the sultry On The Day You Leave (track 4). On the surface a gently rippling piano and beautifully emotional vocal laments the breakup of a relationship: “On the day you leave I’ll be fine, I’ll be at ease, I’ll be strong, I’ll stand tall, not think of you at all”. But venture down the rabbit hole once more: all is not what it seems.

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“And I won’t walk by your house except by chance and only once or twice a day every day now, no I won’t miss you at all and no I don’t expect your call, though the line will be free”. Exquisite layers of bitter irony mix with faux defiance and mock courage to produce a tender but comical effect. And all the while a surreptitious bassline has been kicking in, supplanted by a crescendo drumming riff that lifts a cascading vocal full of pain to an explosion of angst and protest before dying back to a simple piano and vocal once more.

Leave is an album of fascinating transitions and contrasts. The distant whispers which begin the quietly enchanting Life Is Strange segue to a raised echoing guitar calling in the distance before bursting into a delicious choral passage of competing voices before whispering once more, itself a prelude to a wall of sound before tapering out to the soft notes of a piano.

Insomnia, on the other hand, is a full on frenzied outpouring of discordant and even jarring dissonance which nestles almost introspective moments of quiet solitude and tranquil harmonic interludes. Forceful, pounding drumming frames a screaming guitar, squealing sax and yet nurtures a delicate, wistful vocal and calming pastoral acoustic passages. The gentle and sedate opening of Always Forever paves the way for an intense climax of superbly arranged orchestral layers which harbour disconcerting lyrics, unspoken thoughts and a sense of casual foreboding.

The music is thrilling, daring and adventurous. The production values are excellent and the soundstage, which somehow copes with such dramatic contrasts and shifting levels, is absolutely remarkable. In terms of progressive pop it is, perhaps, a little too polite and refined but it does enable the undoubted creativity and artistry of the pair to receive the clarity and focus it deserves and merits.

I have often applauded Thielen’s solo work (aka, T) in terms of demanding our time and our attention and this release is certainly no different. But where Leave shines is in rewarding that attention with music which is welcoming, accessible, pleasing and engaging, all in equal measure. It is an album which meets people where they are and leaves it up to them how far they wish to go with it. And should they choose, like Alice, to allow their curiosity to get the better of them and scamper down the musical rabbit hole, the lyrics ensure the door is always open for any adventure the listener may care to undertake.

TRACK LISTING
01. This Dream of Me (5:28)
02. All We Are I Am Not (6:35)
03. Life Is Strange (7:14)
04. On The Day You Leave (6:31)
05. Like Any Angel (6:16)
06. A Change Of Heart (5:21)
07. Insomnia (6:48)
08. Almost Forever (7:13)

Total Time –

MUSICIANS
Dominik Hüttermann & Thomas Thielen – All Instruments

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Progressive Promotion Records
Country of Origin: Germany
Date of Release: 4th December 2017

LINKS
Clouds Can – Website | Facebook

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Edition 122 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

IT – Power (from We’re All In This Together)
Von Hertzen Brothers – Wanderlust (from War Is Over)
Lunatic Soul – Crumbling Teeth and the Owl Eyes (from Fractured)
VUUR – Freedom – Rio (from In This Moment We Are Free – Cities)
The D/A Method – Dream Sequence (from The Desert Road

Connect 4:
Mike Oldfield – In High Places (from Crises)
Jon & Vangelis – Back to School (from The Friends Of Mr. Cairo)
Wishbone Ash – Loaded (from Number the Brave)
Uriah Heep – Devil’s Daughter (from Return to Fantasy)

Landmarq – Ta’ Jiang (from Infinity Parade)

Jurassic Prog:
King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (part 2) (from Larks’ Tongues In Aspic)
Fruupp – Misty Morning Way (from Modern Masquerades)

Blackfield – Scars (from Blackfield)
Anathema – Electricity (from A Natural Disaster)
Nine Stones Close – Janus (from One Eye On The Sunrise)
kokomo – Jüngling Mit Apfel (from Monochrome Noise Love)
Fish – Scattering Crows (from Field of Crows)
Tristan Park – It Could Have Been Today (from At The End Of The Day)

Monsters of Progzilla:


Aaron Watson – Thank’s A Lot (live)
Big Country – Look Away (live)
Thunder – Backstreet Symphony (live)
Electric Light Orchestra – Telephone Line (live)
AC/DC – Let There Be Rock (live)
Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name (live)

Pervy Perkin – The End of the Beginning (from Ink)

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/tesseract-recording-new-album/
TESSERACT Working on New (Concept) Album

Tesseract have confirmed that their fourth full-length studio album – the follow-up to 2015′s Polaris – is being recorded at the 4D Sounds in Milton Keynes.

The studio is run by the band’s own guitarist Alec “Acle” Kahney, not much additional info has been revealed.

Back in April, guitarist James Monteith said the band has grown tired of aggressive vocals, telling C24:

One thing we always try to do is not to repeat ourselves and do something that we find interesting and different.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to reduce the amount of screaming and aggressive vocals, but it was something we found to be a bit overly done, and we weren’t feeling it when we tried it.

Never say never to aggressive vocals. On the last record there was a little bit used, more as a texture rather than a lead vocal part, and I’m sure there will be more of that. If a part calls for it, and it works, then maybe there will be a very heavy screaming part.

Ultimately we just want to make music that sounds good, and if it doesn’t excite it then we won’t use it.

And I guess the majority of us are kind of sick of that sound. Sick might be a bit of a strong word. It just doesn’t do that much for any of us anymore.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/tesseract-recording-new-album/
TESSERACT Working on New (Concept) Album

Tesseract have confirmed that their fourth full-length studio album – the follow-up to 2015′s Polaris – is being recorded at the 4D Sounds in Milton Keynes.

The studio is run by the band’s own guitarist Alec “Acle” Kahney, not much additional info has been revealed.

Back in April, guitarist James Monteith said the band has grown tired of aggressive vocals, telling C24:

One thing we always try to do is not to repeat ourselves and do something that we find interesting and different.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to reduce the amount of screaming and aggressive vocals, but it was something we found to be a bit overly done, and we weren’t feeling it when we tried it.

Never say never to aggressive vocals. On the last record there was a little bit used, more as a texture rather than a lead vocal part, and I’m sure there will be more of that. If a part calls for it, and it works, then maybe there will be a very heavy screaming part.

Ultimately we just want to make music that sounds good, and if it doesn’t excite it then we won’t use it.

And I guess the majority of us are kind of sick of that sound. Sick might be a bit of a strong word. It just doesn’t do that much for any of us anymore.

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/29/unitopia-more-than-a-dream-the-dream-complete/

Unitopia are one of the finest bands to come out of Australia, formed by Mark Trueack and Sean Timms in the late Nineties, they surrounded themselves with like minded musicians, releasing their debut More Than a Dream in 2005. This was self released in Australia and later appeared on Canadian label Unicorn Digital in 2007. This was followed by The Garden in 2008 and the highly acclaimed Artificial in 2010. They also released an album of covers of songs which had inspired them, called Covered Mirror Vol.1, before the band broke up.

This release is a remaster of their debut album with bonus tracks, accompanied by two further discs, one containing remixes and reworkings of the album and the other a collection of extras. Over all it’s a nice package in a fold out cardboard case which includes a 24 page booklet full of track notes, instrument lists and a selection of photographs. This album demonstrates clearly the foundations of the band’s sound, upon which they built for their next two albums.

I have been a follower of Unitopia since their successful appearance at the Summer’s End festival in 2010, with their brand of symphonic styling coupled with great melody and catchy rhythms, the band often use thought provoking topics for their songs: environmental issues, political and social upheaval. So it came as a surprise to me that there was a further album out there released before the two I was familiar with. I am unable to compare this remaster with the original version as I don’t have that, but suffice to say the sound quality is excellent; the balance between all of the instruments and Mark’s voice is very good, everything sounds sharp and precise.

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The album itself is supported by two bonus tracks. With more of a pop feel to it, Unitopia was recorded for the album but did not make the final cut. There is a Place has a Gabriel/Bush feel to the delivery, written by Sean in 1999 as a commission by Flinders University Research Centre it also failed to make the album, but is an interesting inclusion here. The album starts on the bright and positive notes of Common Goal, the stall set out with lush arrangements, Mark’s voice clear and on good form. The longest track, at twelve minutes, is Justify, with a great catchy guitar riff there’s an excellent ebb and flow, and towards the end some lovely cello with Mark’s daughter Holly providing a beautifully haunting child soprano. On Take Good Care the band used the Adelaide Art Orchestra to perform the opening prelude, things then shift to an almost tribal feel before Mark’s vocals join in; a beautiful and well presented song. This was the first song that Mark and Sean wrote together, originally with a different chorus in a version which is presented on disc 2. Personally I prefer this version but it is interesting to see how it developed.

Disc Two contains the remixes and reworkings of the original album, Sean and guitarist Matt Weaver providing these takes. The most noticeable thing is that the first three tracks have a harder edge, but again I do prefer the originals. This is an interesting collection of songs, offering a different perspective on the album, there is much to like but personally I think it is hard to improve on the originals and I would probably return to the album versions before this disc nearly every time.

Now Disc Three offers a more interesting selection of extras, the dance mixes of There’s a Place, Common Goal and Fate aside, which for me offer nothing of interest. The first two tracks are taken from Collosus Project albums which Unitopia contributed tracks to. The Outsider was originally released on The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft in 2013 while Decameron, Day 6, Tale 9, from Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas, Pt 2 is an epic at twenty minute. It start with an early Genesis feel before settling down into what we recognise as the Unitopia sound. The previously unreleased track Haunted Storm is my favourite here, a track that deserved to be on an album somewhere so I am glad it has finally appeared. Also included are two unreleased demos from 1996 of This Life and Time For Change. To complete the set, Unitopia have written a new song, The Dream Complete which is a fitting swan song for the band to close this part of their musical journey.

This is a well put together package, including a mix of extra stuff which should provide interest to the fans. The main album is an excellent debut, and is probably going to be an essential purchase for those familiar with the band. For those new to Unitopia, you start here and are in for a treat as the following two albums keep getting better.

TRACK LISTING
Disc One – More Than A Dream

01. Common Goal (4:37)
02. Fate (4:57)
03. Justify (12:53)
04. Take Good Care (8:36)
05. Ride (3:44)
06. More Than a Dream (5:43)
07. Slow Down (8:10)
08. Lives Go ‘Round (6:31)
09. Still Here (6:36)
10. Unitopia (bonus track) (4:22)
11. There’s a Place (bonus track) (5:01)

Time – 71:10

Disc two – Remixes and Re-workings
01. Common Goal (Matt re-work) (3:40)
02. Fate (Matt’s re-work) (5:10)
03. Justify (Matt’s re-work) (11:15)
04. Take Good Care (original demo with Alternate chorus) (6:20)
05. Ride (Sean’s re-work) (7:30)
06. Ride (extended 321 mix) (4:58)
07. More Than a Dream (Sean’s re-work) (4:55)
08. Slow Down (Sean’s remix) (8:10)
09. Lives Go ‘Round (Sean’s remix) (6:30)
10. Still Here (Matt’s re-work) (5:34)
11. Still Here (Sean’s re-work) (9:38)

Time – 73:40

Disc three – Extras
01. The Outsider (originally released on The Stories of H.P. Lovecraft) (11:50)
02. Decameron Day 6 Tale 9 (originally released on Decameron: Ten Days in 100 Novellas, Pt.2) (20:08)
03. Haunted Storm (previously unreleased) (6:40)
04. Ride (Dance mix) (5:52)
05. There’s a Place (Dance mix) (5:38)
06. Common Goal (Dance mix) (3:54)
07. Fate (Dance mix) (6:30)
08. This Life (1996 unreleased demo) (4:00)
09. Time For a Change (1996 unreleased demo) (4:27)
10. The Dream Complete (New song written especially for this release) (5:13)

Time – 74:12

Total Time – 3:39:02

MUSICIANS
Sean Timms – Keyboards, Programming, Prophet 5, Hammond, Piano, Minimoog, Mandolin, Banjo, Percussion
Mark Trueack – Lead & Backing Vocals
Matt Weaver – Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals (track 2)
~ With:
Paul Fisher – Guitar (track 1)
Steve Portolesi – Bass (tracks 1 & 10)
Kevin Sugars – Drums (track 1)
Robbie Chenoweth – Trumpet (tracks 1 & 10)
Mike Stewart – Soprano & Tenor Saxophone (tracks 9,10 & 11)
Nick Mulder – Trombone (tracks 1 & 10)
Pat Schirripa – Guitar (tracks 2,3,4,5,6,7,9 & 10)
Con Delo – Bass (tracks 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 9)
Brad Polain – Drums (tracks 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 & 10)
Ian “Polly” Politis – Backing vocals
Neusa Georgiou – Backing Vocals
Paul Fisher – Guitar (track 10)
Craig James – Guitar (track 4)
Rod Enis – Trumpet, French Horn (tracks 6,7,9 & 10)
Kris Guglielmucci – Acoustic & Electric Guitar (tracks 8 & 10)
Steve Todd – Percussion (track 9)
Jacqui Walkden – Cello (track 3)
Holly Trueack – Child Soprano (track 3)
Adelaide Art Orchestra conducted by Timothy Sexton (track 4)

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Giant Electric Pea
Catalogue#: GEPCD1057
Country of Origin: Australia
Date of Release: 23rd October 2017

LINKS
Unitopia – Website | Facebook | Twitter

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