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All posts for the month December, 2017

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/dillinger-escape-plan-perform-with-mike-patton/
The Dillinger Escape Plan live

The Dillinger Escape Plan played the first of their three farewell shows at the Terminal 5, NYC on December 27.

As a special guest, Faith No More frontman Mike Patton joined the band to perform the tracks from their collaborative EP, 2002′s Irony Is a Dead Scene.

You can check it all out below.

The Dillinger Escape Plan setlist, NYC, December 27:

The Dillinger Escape Plan ft. Mike Patton:

1. Hollywood Squares
2. When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
3. Pig Latin (feat. Brian Benoit)
4. Come to Daddy (Aphex Twin cover) (feat. Brian Benoit)
5. Malpractice (Faith No More cover) (feat. Brian Benoit)

The Dillinger Escape Plan:

6. Panasonic Youth
7. Destro’s Secret
8. Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
9. Surrogate
10. Sugar Coated Sour
11. Weekend Sex Change
12. Hero of the Soviet Union
13. Dead as History
14. Fix Your Face
15. Farewell, Mona Lisa
16. When I Lost My Bet

Encore:

17. Limerent Death
18 Sunshine the Werewolf (feat. Brian Benoit)

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/dillinger-escape-plan-perform-with-mike-patton/
The Dillinger Escape Plan live

The Dillinger Escape Plan played the first of their three farewell shows at the Terminal 5, NYC on December 27.

As a special guest, Faith No More frontman Mike Patton joined the band to perform the tracks from their collaborative EP, 2002′s Irony Is a Dead Scene.

You can check it all out below.

The Dillinger Escape Plan setlist, NYC, December 27:

The Dillinger Escape Plan ft. Mike Patton:

1. Hollywood Squares
2. When Good Dogs Do Bad Things
3. Pig Latin (feat. Brian Benoit)
4. Come to Daddy (Aphex Twin cover) (feat. Brian Benoit)
5. Malpractice (Faith No More cover) (feat. Brian Benoit)

The Dillinger Escape Plan:

6. Panasonic Youth
7. Destro’s Secret
8. Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
9. Surrogate
10. Sugar Coated Sour
11. Weekend Sex Change
12. Hero of the Soviet Union
13. Dead as History
14. Fix Your Face
15. Farewell, Mona Lisa
16. When I Lost My Bet

Encore:

17. Limerent Death
18 Sunshine the Werewolf (feat. Brian Benoit)

[embedded content]

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/12/28/a-different-aspect-13-christmas-special-2017-pt-3/

In this update we feature:-


Jenny Darren and the Ladykillers – Ladykiller
Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius – Guilty of Innocence
Pingvinorkestern – Look, no hands!
Hiromi & Edmar Castañeda – Live In Montreal
Next To None – Phases
Flowers Must Die – Kompost

With the Christmas turkey most likely almost gone, although still weighing heavily, here’s some more listening pleasures that you might have missed – as we almost did! Relax in your comfy chair, remove any remaining paper headgear and join us for another look under the tree to see what else might be lurking in the musical backwaters, in our third Christmas Special ADA (TPA’s occasional ‘A Different Aspect’ series) for 2017. This is where we sweep up some of the worthwhile releases that might have disappeared down the cracks of the main reviews section. Have a listen via the links provided and hopefully you’ll find some new sounds to investigate further during the rest of the Holiday Season and beyond.

Many of these albums are deserving of full reviews, but time and the relentless tide of new releases waits for no man, woman, or aardvark, so instead here’s a Festive Season round-up. there are some real gems in here, so keep digging!

Cheers!


Jenny Darren and the Ladykillers – Ladykiller
by Bob Mulvey

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Jenny Darren is a formidable vocalist, which she ably demonstrates here on Ladykiller, ripping through a series of blues tinged, classic rock tracks, bringing to mind Ann Wilson, Joan Jett, Janis Joplin and Pat Benatar, the latter being quite pertinent as this release, which features the hit single Heartbreaker, tells us that the track was specifically written for Jenny, but delays in its release saw Pat Benatar chart first.

Ladykiller is fairly removed from prog in any shape or form and firmly steeped in the classic rock mould, so why include it? Well Jenny Darren has a long association within the proggy field performing with England’s keyboardist Robert Webb, The Samurai of Prog as well as Finland’s excellent Paidarion.

Who says ladies can’t sing rock? Jenny Darren is living proof they can and she has no plans in stopping any time soon.


Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius – Guilty of Innocence
by Jez Rowden

[embedded content]

This is a strange one, the fifth album from singer and violinist Deninzon and the three piece Stratospheerius.

It’s mainly in a straight rock vein, of a high quality with the violin adding nice textures here and there, on occasion ripping things up lead guitar style or injecting a kind of Gentle Giant groove in Face and a sassy funk for Affluenza. There’s a bravura cover of Muse’s Hysteria with much fiddle, but eventually it goes off at a major tangent with the last two pieces, Dream Diary Cadenza, a solo extravaganza taken from Joe’s electric violin concerto, and 12-minute slab of prog that is Soul Food.

It’s an upbeat, good natured and fun album with playing of a very high order, nothing wrong with that at all and it’s bound to be a blast played live. All of the tracks come in easy to digest bite-size pieces, except for Soul Food which is the one that really make the difference for me.


Pingvinorkestern – Look, no hands!
by Roger Trenwith

Thoroughly charming and highly entertaining follow up to 2014’s mighty fine Push finds Malmo’s Penguins emerging from the Café having further developed their slightly psychedelic chamber-rock-pop-orchestral vibe to produce an all-round highly enjoyable experience.

Running the gamut from the noisy shoutalong Happy to the woozy If You’re A Dreamer, Come In to the comedic Likörcigarren, and all points in between, this is one of those albums you have to listen to all the way through just to see what comes next.


Hiromi & Edmar Castañeda – Live In Montreal
by Kevan Furbank

[embedded content]

It seems like an odd pairing – a Japanese piano virtuoso, whose fingers move faster than particles in the Large Hadron Collider, and a Colombian harpist – but by golly it works.

It helps that most of the compositions are fast, furious and immensely entertaining. That’s meat and drink to Hiromi but Castañeda keeps up every step of the way – mostly by making his harp sound like anything other than a harp.

On A Harp In New York, for example, it’s a cross between a koto and a banjo; on For Jaco it’s a fretless bass; on Cantina Band it’s a set of steel drums.

As usual, Hiromi is astonishing, as anyone who saw her on Jools Holland can attest, and it’s her energy that makes this recording special. Somehow her infectious love of the music shines through even without video footage of her impish grin. But Castañeda makes a valuable contribution and, as I said, the result is a pleasant surprise.

Now I’ll stop harping on about it…


Next To None – Phases
by Dave Baird

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According to their website, Next to None’s debut – A Light in the Dark – “received rave reviews worldwide”. Well not from me, I disliked the album so much that I thought it better to keep quiet than eviscerate the dreary affair. Now there’s a phrase that just sprang to mind which describes the album in two words: Dreary Theater. Hardly surprising as it’s the project of Max Portnoy, son of Mike, who has, no-doubt, heard more of his father’s ex-band than most other people.

Despite my justified trepidation, this second release is much better, in fact it’s superb. Broadly eschewing the really bad aping of Dream Theater from the first album, they’ve drifted towards the heavier end of the Periodic Table and come up with a total bone-cruncher of an album, neatly described as “progressive metalcore”. This isn’t to say that it’s not without some DT mimicry, but it’s much diminished, Alone being the worst example sounding awfully like Space-Dye Vest during the quieter passages.

But it’s the noisy, nasty, in-your-face stuff that hits the spot, the more brutal the better. Blast-beats and djent guitars dominate the mix, and singer Thomas Cuce is far more effective when screaming death-metal, cookie-monster vocals as opposed to copying James Labrie. The closest I could describe the music is as Prog-Pantera, on acid, it’s really nuts and I’m not ashamed to say that I hated it on first listen, but it nevertheless called me back. I think the energy has a lot to do with that, it’s really quite infectious, and the standard of the musicianship from these young lads is absolutely stellar.

No doubt a lot of people will not get on at all with this album, but I personally found it a breath of fresh air and it has been one of my most played albums of 2017. Go and take a listen, I dare you, try the tracks Alone, Kek and Pause.


Flowers Must Die – Kompost
by Roger Trenwith

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Any band that names itself after an early song from those pioneers and masters of ur-rock Ash Ra Tempel are setting their sights high. It’s little problem to these Swedes though, as they lurch along in fine style, taking influence from the burgeoning early ’70s underground free rock scene of their motherland, and also grab grooves from Amon Düül II and Can along the way, they tick a good few of my inner freak boxes.

They groove too! I defy you not to get all loose to the skunk-infused Hit. Yes, Kompost is another criminal omission from my end of year review.

Sorry guys!


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Edition 126 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

Toehider – All I Want For Christmas is You (feat. Phoebe Pinnock) (from All I Want For Christmas is You)
Frost* – British Wintertime (from Falling Satellites)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – A Mad Russian’s Christmas (from Christmas Eve & Other Stories)
Jethro Tull – Another Christmas Song (from Rock Island)
Jordan Rudess – White Christmas (from Christmas Sky)
Blackmore’s Night – Good King Wenceslas (from Winter Carols)
Kula Shaker – Winters Call (from Pilgrim’s Progress)
Atomic Rooster – Winter (from Atomic Rooster)
Procol Harum – A Christmas Camel (from Procol Harum)
Argent – Christmas for the Free (from In Deep)
Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas (from I Believe In Father Christmas)
The Reasoning – It’s Christmas (Sing out Loud) (from It’s Christmas (Sing out Loud))
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – There’s No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother, They’re Burning Big Louie Tonight (Live / Paris Theatre, London / 1972) (from Live at the BBC)
Mystery – Beneath The Veil Of Winter’s Face (from Beneath The Veil Of Winter’s Face)
sleepmakeswaves – it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s winter (from in today already walks tomorrow EP)
Big Big Train – For Winter (from Bard)
Marillion – Gabriel’s Message (from Christmas 1999: marillion.christmas)
Heather Findlay Quartet – Gaudete (from Horse Feathers)
Steve Thorne – English Christmas (from Island Of The Imbeciles)
Panzerballett – White Christmas (from X-Mas Death Jazz)
Ólafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter (feat. Arnor Dan) (from For Now I Am Winter)
Green Carnation – Lullaby in Winter (from A Blessing in Disguise)
Bjørn Riis – Winter (from Forever Comes to an End)
Mogwai – Christmas Song (from EP)
Blueneck – Blue Christmas (from Christmas)
Slade – Merry Xmas Everbody (from Merry Xmas Everybody)

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/john-petrucci-about-writing-music-on-tour/
JOHN PETRUCCI Started Playing Guitar Because He Wanted to "Stay Up Late"

Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci recently visited the Raleigh Music Academy for an interview with Paul Warren about songwriting, musicality and more. You can now watch the discussion below.

Speaking about finding inspiration on the road and trying to write music while on tour, Petrucci said: “There’s a couple of different things. As far as playing the show and performing, whether the show is the same or changing slightly, I never lose the excitement of that experience — I’m always so looking forward to that moment; it’s the best part of the day. And the challenge of being able to try to play better than you did the night before and looking out and seeing new people — they’re there for the first time and it’s a new experience for them, so you wanna make it special. So that feeling of performing never gets old — it’s always inspiring.

But as far as being creative while travelling, while being on the road, a couple of different things happen,” he continued. “Oftentimes at soundchecks, we will just start jamming on an idea — maybe somebody had something that they wanted to share — ‘Hey, guys, check this out’ — or something happens organically and we just start to play, and we always have it recorded; we’re always recoding and we archive that stuff. And then we’ll go back when we go in to write a record, we’ll look at that library of ideas and say, ‘Remember, we were jamming on this in Seoul, Korea. What was that idea?’ and we’ll look back [and say], ‘That’s really cool.’ So we’ll have these ideas that we collect. That’s as a group, we do that. As far as writing individually, it depends on when it hits you. A lot of times I’ll be backstage warming up and I’ll start to play something, and [I’ll think], ‘Hey, that’s a pretty cool idea,’ and immediately, I have my iPhone there and I just put it down right away. So I have my own collection of ideas.

Petrucci added: “I’ve done this out of necessity where I had to get some sort of project done and I’m in my hotel room on days off with headphones and a computer and trying to get something demoed, but it’s less of that and more of just capturing these little snippets, little moments of inspiration. Like, ‘That was a really cool riff. That’ll be awesome.’ You don’t wanna forget it. And a lot of that stuff ends up being the inspiration for a song or a part, and so that’s how a lot of the creativity happens. So it’s less recording actual usable tracks and more of just getting ideas down. I find the travel and the daily schedules a little bit too hectic. I know there are guys that are really comfortable doing that and have their laptop and an interface and they can do a whole solo album [on the road]. I wish I was one of those guys. [Laughs] But, yeah, it’s more just like laying down little seeds.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/john-petrucci-about-writing-music-on-tour/
JOHN PETRUCCI Started Playing Guitar Because He Wanted to "Stay Up Late"

Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci recently visited the Raleigh Music Academy for an interview with Paul Warren about songwriting, musicality and more. You can now watch the discussion below.

Speaking about finding inspiration on the road and trying to write music while on tour, Petrucci said: “There’s a couple of different things. As far as playing the show and performing, whether the show is the same or changing slightly, I never lose the excitement of that experience — I’m always so looking forward to that moment; it’s the best part of the day. And the challenge of being able to try to play better than you did the night before and looking out and seeing new people — they’re there for the first time and it’s a new experience for them, so you wanna make it special. So that feeling of performing never gets old — it’s always inspiring.

But as far as being creative while travelling, while being on the road, a couple of different things happen,” he continued. “Oftentimes at soundchecks, we will just start jamming on an idea — maybe somebody had something that they wanted to share — ‘Hey, guys, check this out’ — or something happens organically and we just start to play, and we always have it recorded; we’re always recoding and we archive that stuff. And then we’ll go back when we go in to write a record, we’ll look at that library of ideas and say, ‘Remember, we were jamming on this in Seoul, Korea. What was that idea?’ and we’ll look back [and say], ‘That’s really cool.’ So we’ll have these ideas that we collect. That’s as a group, we do that. As far as writing individually, it depends on when it hits you. A lot of times I’ll be backstage warming up and I’ll start to play something, and [I’ll think], ‘Hey, that’s a pretty cool idea,’ and immediately, I have my iPhone there and I just put it down right away. So I have my own collection of ideas.

Petrucci added: “I’ve done this out of necessity where I had to get some sort of project done and I’m in my hotel room on days off with headphones and a computer and trying to get something demoed, but it’s less of that and more of just capturing these little snippets, little moments of inspiration. Like, ‘That was a really cool riff. That’ll be awesome.’ You don’t wanna forget it. And a lot of that stuff ends up being the inspiration for a song or a part, and so that’s how a lot of the creativity happens. So it’s less recording actual usable tracks and more of just getting ideas down. I find the travel and the daily schedules a little bit too hectic. I know there are guys that are really comfortable doing that and have their laptop and an interface and they can do a whole solo album [on the road]. I wish I was one of those guys. [Laughs] But, yeah, it’s more just like laying down little seeds.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/the-image-you-claim-interview/
The Image You Claim

Ventura County, California based progressive metalcore act The Image You Claim has put out their debut EP ‘Painted Visions‘ back in October, and in a new interview for Prog Sphere singer Justin Olsen tells us about the creative process, influences, and more.

Define the mission of The Image You Claim.

We set out to pursue our passion for music, expanding our horizons and hopefully sharing our music with as many people as possible to inspire, or even just invoke a feeling. Moving forward, all of us will grow musically and just as people as we make connections with fans and strengthen creative ties in the band.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut album Painted Visions and the themes it captures.

A lot of the music we wrote was pretty off the cuff as far as lyrics go. Chris had a whole library of instrumentals he had been working on, so Julian and I would constantly be just listening, waiting for that right moment that sparked an idea. We would then send the lyrics, peer edit and review, then we would record a shitty little demo, and see what was missing: whether it was the music itself, or the lyrics we did quite a bit of editing before heading into the studio.

What is the message you are trying to give with Painted Visions?

This album was very angry as Julian would say. I agree. It’s a lot of songs about lost love, betrayal, and going insane. We didn’t go for an overarching theme but we did hit some of the same themes and we actually have some connections between songs. Most of them were written about events as they happened so we kinda see different facets of the same time span or event. In this album we just tell a lot of stories and hope the listener can relate.

The Image You Claim - Painted Visions

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Mostly in untitled ableton projects and crumpled up notebook paper. [laughs] But in all seriousness the amount of drafting and revising we did definitely accounted for some of the long creation time. We probably each have at least four or five renditions of the same song in different stages of completeness. As far as to the public, we kept them (relatively) up to date with all the exciting stuff via social media, but in hindsight we would have liked to have done some kind of studio log.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Not carefully, but we also didn’t just throw them together in whatever order, we did a lot of careful listening and rearranging as the days went on. “Rose Interlude” was Julian’s idea to dial it back for the emotional finale that is “Transmute.”

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Our guitarist, Chris Banuelos, recorded all the instrumentals by himself, we went into the studio for vocals only, we got them processed and we mixed them down into the track ourselves while making changes to guitar and drum tone, re-tracking some stuff, and making structural edits too. I think we are going to keep to that model, and use everything that we learned to make our next project so much better.

How long Painted Visions was in the making?

From start to release… I want to say it was something like two years? It wasn’t all album related work of course. We planned to come out swinging with a tight live show, lyric videos, merch, the whole nine yards, so that took quite a bit of time. It seemed like even longer because we didn’t have a lot going on in the public eye, but we were running around like mad men behind the scenes, making sure everything was just right.

[embedded content]

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Periphery was a huge one, Misha Mansoor in particular. The riff structure was kinda informed by that kind of writing, however I find it hard to say that we “sound” like anyone else. We took a lot of care to develop our own spot in the prog camp, and I have to say we did a good job. Both tonally and structurally our songs are kinda their own thing, and I think that’s what made everyone so excited to work on it. From the beginning we saw the potential, and we knew that these songs were unlike anything else we really heard before.

What is your view on technology in music?

Personally, I think technology is almost 100% a positive thing. With ableton, an interface and a few instruments (physical or otherwise) one can reach far beyond what they might have had access to before such software existed. It’s an amazing tool that just makes music more accessible giving more people the ability to tap their creative potential. Tech in live sound is incredible as well, giving us amp sims and automations. I’m not against analogue stuff, and I’ll agree that in some cases, it serves the sound to be colored by old circuitry or hot tubes.

With live sound, it’s finicky though because your whole sound comes down to a little laptop sitting onstage. If something goes wrong there, it’s hard to fix in the heat of the moment.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yes. It’s still surreal to me that people listen to our music and it makes them happy. People I don’t even know or people that wouldn’t even be into our kind of stuff. For me, just the connections you make with people and the feeling they get when they listen is awesome. I hope it inspires others after us to do the same. Julian is super passionate about making a difference to people. We all looked up to bands when we were young and going though our hardships and music is still there for us today. He hopes he can pay it forward by doing the same.

What are your plans for the future?

We are currently in the process of planning and shooting a music video (which is a whole endeavor in of itself) and we are writing all new music as well. This time our talented sextet is working together to make an even better record. All of our updates on shows and new material will be posted on Instagram.

Painted Visions is out now; order it from Bandcamp. Follow The Image You Claim on Facebook.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/the-image-you-claim-interview/
The Image You Claim

Ventura County, California based progressive metalcore act The Image You Claim has put out their debut EP ‘Painted Visions‘ back in October, and in a new interview for Prog Sphere singer Justin Olsen tells us about the creative process, influences, and more.

Define the mission of The Image You Claim.

We set out to pursue our passion for music, expanding our horizons and hopefully sharing our music with as many people as possible to inspire, or even just invoke a feeling. Moving forward, all of us will grow musically and just as people as we make connections with fans and strengthen creative ties in the band.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut album Painted Visions and the themes it captures.

A lot of the music we wrote was pretty off the cuff as far as lyrics go. Chris had a whole library of instrumentals he had been working on, so Julian and I would constantly be just listening, waiting for that right moment that sparked an idea. We would then send the lyrics, peer edit and review, then we would record a shitty little demo, and see what was missing: whether it was the music itself, or the lyrics we did quite a bit of editing before heading into the studio.

What is the message you are trying to give with Painted Visions?

This album was very angry as Julian would say. I agree. It’s a lot of songs about lost love, betrayal, and going insane. We didn’t go for an overarching theme but we did hit some of the same themes and we actually have some connections between songs. Most of them were written about events as they happened so we kinda see different facets of the same time span or event. In this album we just tell a lot of stories and hope the listener can relate.

The Image You Claim - Painted Visions

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Mostly in untitled ableton projects and crumpled up notebook paper. [laughs] But in all seriousness the amount of drafting and revising we did definitely accounted for some of the long creation time. We probably each have at least four or five renditions of the same song in different stages of completeness. As far as to the public, we kept them (relatively) up to date with all the exciting stuff via social media, but in hindsight we would have liked to have done some kind of studio log.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Not carefully, but we also didn’t just throw them together in whatever order, we did a lot of careful listening and rearranging as the days went on. “Rose Interlude” was Julian’s idea to dial it back for the emotional finale that is “Transmute.”

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Our guitarist, Chris Banuelos, recorded all the instrumentals by himself, we went into the studio for vocals only, we got them processed and we mixed them down into the track ourselves while making changes to guitar and drum tone, re-tracking some stuff, and making structural edits too. I think we are going to keep to that model, and use everything that we learned to make our next project so much better.

How long Painted Visions was in the making?

From start to release… I want to say it was something like two years? It wasn’t all album related work of course. We planned to come out swinging with a tight live show, lyric videos, merch, the whole nine yards, so that took quite a bit of time. It seemed like even longer because we didn’t have a lot going on in the public eye, but we were running around like mad men behind the scenes, making sure everything was just right.

[embedded content]

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Periphery was a huge one, Misha Mansoor in particular. The riff structure was kinda informed by that kind of writing, however I find it hard to say that we “sound” like anyone else. We took a lot of care to develop our own spot in the prog camp, and I have to say we did a good job. Both tonally and structurally our songs are kinda their own thing, and I think that’s what made everyone so excited to work on it. From the beginning we saw the potential, and we knew that these songs were unlike anything else we really heard before.

What is your view on technology in music?

Personally, I think technology is almost 100% a positive thing. With ableton, an interface and a few instruments (physical or otherwise) one can reach far beyond what they might have had access to before such software existed. It’s an amazing tool that just makes music more accessible giving more people the ability to tap their creative potential. Tech in live sound is incredible as well, giving us amp sims and automations. I’m not against analogue stuff, and I’ll agree that in some cases, it serves the sound to be colored by old circuitry or hot tubes.

With live sound, it’s finicky though because your whole sound comes down to a little laptop sitting onstage. If something goes wrong there, it’s hard to fix in the heat of the moment.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yes. It’s still surreal to me that people listen to our music and it makes them happy. People I don’t even know or people that wouldn’t even be into our kind of stuff. For me, just the connections you make with people and the feeling they get when they listen is awesome. I hope it inspires others after us to do the same. Julian is super passionate about making a difference to people. We all looked up to bands when we were young and going though our hardships and music is still there for us today. He hopes he can pay it forward by doing the same.

What are your plans for the future?

We are currently in the process of planning and shooting a music video (which is a whole endeavor in of itself) and we are writing all new music as well. This time our talented sextet is working together to make an even better record. All of our updates on shows and new material will be posted on Instagram.

Painted Visions is out now; order it from Bandcamp. Follow The Image You Claim on Facebook.

Edition 115 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

Opeth – Bleak
Kyrbgrinder – Don’t Be So Cold
Stratovarius – Winter Skies
Psychotic Waltz – Cold
Amorphis – Winter’s Sleep

Live at 11: Kamelot, Rockefeller Musichall, Oslo on 11th February 2006
Soul Society (live)
The Haunting (live)
When The Lights Are Down (live)

Mastodon – Cold Dark Place
Xandria – Winterhearted
Communic Official – Frozen Asleep In The Park
Gojira – Born in Winter
Derek Sherinian – Frozen by Fire

Album of the Week: Savatage – Dead Winter Dead
Dead Winter Dead
Not What You See
Doesn’t Matter Anyway

Leo Moracchioli – Last Christmas

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/12/27/a-different-aspect-12-christmas-special-2017-pt-2-esoteric-recordings/

In this update we feature:-


Jody Grind – One Step On
Jody Grind – Far Canal
Carolanne Pegg – Carolanne
Gilli Smyth – Mother
Chris Thompson – Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection

Since 2007 when Mark Powell started Esoteric Recordings, the label has been unearthing lost gems from an era when there were just two types of music, pop, and underground, and Mark and his team have been mining a well buried rich seam for ten years now, uncovering all kinds of lost treasure. Here, we offer some short appraisals of albums on the label that have not had the benefit of the full review treatment on our site.

Ladies and Gents, we give you the primary custodians of Rock’s Rich Tapestry, Esoteric Recordings!


Jody Grind – One Step On
by Roger Trenwith

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Jody Grind were led by underrated keyboard virtuoso Tim Hinkley and were one of hundreds of UK bands who morphed from pop and R&B beginnings in the ’60s into what might be described as proto-prog. Their debut album One Step On came out in 1969. It is dominated by the LP side-long opening title track which is a feast of jamming by players who knew their way around their instruments, so it never gets prosaic or plodding.

Guitarist Ivan Zagni shares the spotlight with Hinkley, and there’s a horn section for good measure. A highlight is Little Message, the second track, and “Side Two” opener, which belts along furiously, and elsewhere they venture into a more laid back jazzy feel. One Step On is certainly of its time, but enjoyable nonetheless. I could have done without album closer Rock’n’Roll Man, which is actually Johnny B Goode done to death in the rather grating “I play stupidly fast because I can” style of Alvin Lee. They all sound drunk to me, it’s all over the shop!


Jody Grind – Far Canal
by Roger Trenwith

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Like most of the hundreds of bands in this era that had dodgy contracts flung at them by labels desperate to find the next Beatles or Led Zeppelin, Jody Grind only got two bites at the recording cherry before disintegrating due to lack of reward for their efforts, usually down to the £1 5s 2d spent on promotion by the label, who by the time a record was released had moved on to their next unwitting victims. The second and final Jody Grind album Far Canal was recorded with a different drummer and guitarist to the debut, and is a slightly less raw affair than One Step On, with less jamming and more songs. New guitarist Bernie Holland is equal to the departed Ivan Zagni and contributes some good solos.

This album includes one live track, the charmingly monikered Plastic Shit, a song of environmental concerns, that turns into an overlong jam. Taken from a gig at the Roundhouse, it probably made sense if you were tripping, but sober it is frankly as mundane as its title. Warts and all, Far Canal is another decent period curio.


Carolanne Pegg – Carolanne
by Bob Mulvey

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You may well be forgiven if singer and multi-instrumentalist Carolanne Pegg doesn’t ring any bells. She first appeared on the music scene during the late ’60s, along with her husband Bob, forming a folk duo, Mr Fox. They would release two albums at the beginning of the ’70s, however the band was short lived and folded in 1972. Carolanne’s one and only solo album was released the following year.

Carolanne really qualifies as a lost gem, furrowing a folk-rock channel with country swagger. The opening song, a Judy Collins’ cover, immediately sets the tone, with an impressive backing band that includes guitar legend Albert Lee. Throughout Pegg weaves her versatile voice through a number rocky and more traditional folk styles, as well as demonstrating her abilities as a mean fiddle player.

Carolanne Pegg didn’t follow a professional musical path, but pursued a career in academia, however on the strength of the material here, I suggest had she continued, she would have stood tall amongst her contemporaries.


Gilli Smyth – Mother
by Roger Trenwith

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If chemically altered mindstates had an odour, you’d be able to smell this record about three blocks before you could hear it. Gong Space Whisperer Gilli Smyth released her first solo album in 1978, and the music here is partly taken from material recorded in the Camembert era, plus a collage made from Gong’s live side of the second Greasy Truckers album, which as the booklet is at pains to point out was the Hillage-Moerlin line up of 1973, not “Live in 1972” as advertised on the original record. Shame that research never made it to the track list, which states “…from Gong circa 1972”.

Ho-hum…anyway, much space tripping for Pothead Pixies to enjoy here, although it’s pretty but lightweight fare, if truth be told, focusing on Gilli’s feminist perspective. There are only two pieces that might be described as tunes here, the first being opener I Am A Fool which is an almost copy of The Bonzos’ I’m The Urban Spaceman melody-wise, which made me smile. However, the spoken word Taiesin is quite charming.


Chris Thompson – Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection
by Bob Mulvey

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For me THE voice of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (MMEB) and what this career spanning 2CD anthology amply demonstrates is what a damn fine vocalist Chris Thompson is. With the word-count of these ADAs limited I will merely comment that MMEB are well represented on this compilation, although it should be noted that due to licensing issues the versions are either live or alternate versions. Those MMEB tracks do miss Manfred, not a criticism of the musicians on those tracks, just an observation. They do in general however benefit from the slightly pushed tempos.

Come All Without… Come All Within…

I don’t really do compilations, but this one works and certainly an excellent introduction to one of rock’s most underrated vocalist and a fine songwriter to boot. Jukebox has been out for a while now. Choc full of great songs and some stand out arrangements – certainly worth grabbing a copy!


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