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All posts for the month December, 2020

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/12/28/daniel-tompkins-ruins/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=daniel-tompkins-ruins

Ruins, the new album from Daniel Tompkins is new, and yet it isn’t – and that is the greatest problem I have with it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it, but nor does it set my world on fire, and it just feels kind of, well, I’m not really sure, unnecessary, I guess. I am almost certain I would have liked this more if it had been released before Tompkins debut solo release Castles – but then I also think that if this had been released before Castles, there may have never been a Castles. For Ruins is essentially that album given a rock revamp. And, though I hope I’m wrong, it feels somewhat like it may have been made to placate those Tompkins fans who were expecting something more like this the first time around (Fans are fickle things, and for all those who complimented the album, there were a lot who complained). But, with one exception (and that’s the only track that is new for this release), the Castles versions of the songs are superior to those on Ruins. Obviously this is a completely subjective take, and there will no doubt be many who think otherwise, but I can only tell it as I hear it.

I will admit I was surprised when I first heard Castles – but pleasantly so. Given the variety Tompkins has provided via the various bands he has lent his vocal talents to, no one could really have known what his first solo album might sound like, but I’m willing to bet not too many were expecting the experimental electronic treat we received, nor that of the thirteen tracks, six were remixes, and three of those remixes were of just one song. That the remixes were just as important to the album as the originals was obvious by the fact that the two singles that I’m aware were released from it were two of those remixes. And I guess, in a way, Ruins could be looked upon as a further seven remixes – Daniel Tompkins further down the spiral. But they seem so bland in comparison. It’s Daniel Tompkins sounding as you expect him to sound, and I think what I really like is when he sounds like I was not expecting him to.

What makes Castles so special for me is the minimalism, expansiveness and subtlety. Castles has as rich and colourful a palette as its cover art, and is refreshing in its vulnerability. It is sublime, haunting, abstract and emotive. Each track, the remixes included, are gorgeous slices of progressive pop – and I actually prefer the remixes to the original tracks, where the electronic and trip hop vibes are pushed even further. All that is lost on Ruins. Ruins is, well, just that for me: a reminder that something great was once here. It’s beautiful in itself, but it will never hold the grandeur of what stood before it crumbled into ruins. I feel like it might read that I’m being unduly harsh, and actually this is a solid 7/10 album for me. Or, at least I think it is, if I can push out of my head what preceded it. But that’s the biggest problem I have with Ruins, as the shadows of Castles forever loom large in my mind.

In a way, I’m surprised, as I usually really enjoy when an album gets this sort of treatment. As some may have guessed from my “further down the spiral” comment above, I’m a big fan of the Nine Inch Nails remix albums. Closer Than God is pretty much an hour of the one song in different iterations, but it’s amazing! I like it, and Further Down the Spiral, as much as The Downward Spiral itself. But those albums all took the songs forward and onward to new things. Ruins feels more like it’s looking backwards, or at best, sideways. But I’m aware I’m probably in the minority. Fans of the heavier music of Daniel Tompkins will eat up the more technical and aggressive nature of Ruins. The vocals are harsher, the guitars are heavier (there are some amazing solos). It’s all good. I love TesseracT and Skyharbor. I should love this, and it frustrates me a little that I don’t. But, as I have said, I don’t dislike it. I wouldn’t have bothered attempting a full review for this album, if I didn’t think it were worth the effort.

So let’s try and finish up with what I like about the album. For a start, I love that the songs are not just rocked up versions of those on Castles. Pretty much all that remains the same are the lyrics, and some of the vocal melodies. These are effectively different songs, hence why (I presume) they have been given different names. The songs were re-written with Paul Ortiz (aka Chimp Spanner). Both Castles and Ruins are dark albums, but where Castles was dark inwardly, Ruins is outwardly and overtly dark. Just to ram home the differences, the album ends with a new track, The Gift. It’s my favourite track on the album, and I’m not quite sure if it’s just because I have no previous version to compare it with, or if it genuinely is that much more impressive and enjoyable. Regardless, it’s a great way to end the album. I’m just not sure how often I’ll listen to it. For sure, I’ll pull it out every now and then, but Castles will still be my go-to.

TRACK LISTING
01. Wounded Wings (Feat. Plini) (5:53)
02. Ruins (5:29)
03. Tyrant (4:56)
04. Stains of Betrayal (4:52)
05. Empty Vows (3:58)
06. Sweet The Tongue (4:30)
07. A Dark Kind of Angel (4:38)
08. The Gift (Feat. Matthew K Heafy) (3:53)

Total Time – 38:09

MUSICIANS
Daniel Tompkins – Vocals, Co-Producer
~ With:
Eddie Head (Haji’s Kitchen) – Producer
Matt Heafy (Trivium) – Guitar, Vocals (track 8)
Paul Ortiz (Chimpspanner) – Composer, Co-Producer
Plini – Guitar (track 1)

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Kscope
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 11th December 2020

LINKS
Daniel Tompkins – Website | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

Edition 241 of THE PROG MILL for Progzilla Radio (461 in total), first broadcast 27 December 2020, is now also available to listen to anytime or download as a mp3 file. Two hours of superb melodic and symphonic progressive rock.

Also in this week’s show, Leo Trimming of The Progressive Aspect reviews both Tiger Moth Tales releases from 2020, you can test your knowledge of the world of progressive rock in our fun, quick fire quiz ‘How Proggy Are You?!’, and we reveal the winner of last week’s CD Giveaway.

Here’s This Week’s Playlist

1 Moon Safari – Heartland (Lovers End)
2 Habitants – Morgen (Single)
3 Millenium – Sloth (The Sin)
4 Tiger Moth Tales – Still Alive (Still Alive)
5 Marathon –Amelia (Mark Kelly’s Marathon)
6 Mad Crayon – Evening Comes (Drops)
7 Forceland – The Path to Uncertainty (Driven Pace)
8 Tim Hunter – The Hole of Horcum (The North Yorkshire Variations)
9 Tirian Flame – The Adventures of a Lightening Chaser (Tirian Flame)
10 Tiger Moth Tales – Quiet Night (The Whispering of the World)
11 Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate – Callisto Cuddle Sponge (Feeling Great)
12 The Man From Ravcon – This Means War (Single)
13 Happy The Man – On Time As a Helix of Precious Laughs (Happy The Man)

You can hear The Prog Mill on Progzilla Radio at these times every week (www.progzilla.com/listen – via the tune in and other internet radio apps and platforms – or ask your smart speaker to “Play Radio Progzilla on Tune-In”) :

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2200UTC) – main broadcast
Tuesdays 0300-0500 UK (0300UTC) – For North America – Mon 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern
Tuesdays 2300-0100UK (2300 UTC) – 1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1800 UTC) – Family friendly Saturday evening repeat

Plus: A podcast of the show which you can stream anytime or download as a mp3 file is normally online by Monday evening each week, with links here and at progzilla.com/podcasts

Your melodic and symphonic progressive rock music suggestions for the show are very welcome. Just email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

Join me next Sunday for THE PROG MILL LISTENERS ALBUM OF THE YEAR SHOW!

KRAZZ LOFT VINYL SHOW

Broadcast 27th Dec  2020

Show 141

1.      Second Wind Brian Auger
2.      In the Country Chicago
A European Set
3.      A Cold Old Worried Lady Triumvirat
4.      Jet Lag PFM
5.      Clear Up Your Mind Green Desert Tree
6.      Watch Your Step Carlos Santana
7.      Sunshine of Your Love Cream
8.      Iron Butterfly Theme Iron Butterfly
9.      North Star Robert Fripp
10.  Airwave Ray LaMontagne
11.  Winter 6-Pack
12.  Waking the Witch Kate Bush
13.  Winter Rolling Stones
14.  California Dreamin’ Mamas & the Papas
15.  Wintertime Love The Doors
16.  Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow Frank Zappa
17.  Snowblind Black Sabbath
In Tribute, to Leslie West
18.  Dear Prudence The Leslie West Band
19.  Taunta/ Nantucket Sleighride Mountain
20.  Roll Over Beethoven Mountain
21.  Mississippi Queen Mountain
22.  I Go to the Brain Because I like the Band of Horses
23.  The Man’s Too Strong Dire Straits
24.  The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down The Band
25.  You Ain’t Going Nowhere The Byrds
KrazzLoft Interview Series w/Brian Auger
26.  Fanfare For the Common Man Emerson Lake & Palmer
27.  Children of Sanchez Chuck Mangione
28.  Castle Walls Styx
29.  From Now On Supertramp
30.  Madman Across the Water Elton John
A Quick Chilldown in the KrazzLoft
31.  The City of New Orleans Arlo Guthrie
32.  South City Midnight Lady Doobie Brothers
33.  It’s Over Electric Light Orchestra

 

If you want to get in touch with Alan about requests or the show please use

Krazzloft@yahoo.com

The Progressive Rock show track listing for Sunday 27th December 2020

Artist Title Time
Kaipa Ankaret 8:36
Todd Rundgren Initiation 7:02
Tangerine Dream Ricochet Part 1 16:56
Joni Mitchell The Hissing Of Summer Lawns 3:00
Barclay James Harvest Titles 3:47
Peter Hammill Airport 3:04
Greenslade Catalan 5:06
Steve Howe Doors Of Sleep 4:06
Klaus Schulze Wahnfried 1883 28:34
Van Der Graaf Generator The Undercover Man 7:24
Camel Dunkirk 5:19
Supertramp Just A Normal Day 4:00
Jethro Tull Minstrel In The Gallery 8:12

If you would like to contact the show, please email graham@progzilla.com

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/12/27/xavier-reija-trio-dreamscape-room/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=xavier-reija-trio-dreamscape-room

Renowned Catalan drummer Xavi Reija has got together with two notable musicians, pianist José Carra and José Manuel Posada “Pop” on bass to form a trio to explore this collection of songs and melodies. My first connection with Xavi’s work came when I reviewed The Sound of the Earth in 2019. Whereas that excellent album was not so easy to categorise, this release leans more towards a jazz orientation.

With a running time of just over forty minutes, the eight tracks were composed and produced by Xavi, recording completed at La Case Murada during January 2020, assisted by Jesús Rovira, with mixing and mastering in March at Ancaduarda Studios with Eduardo Ruiz Joya.

At first listen you may be mistaken to think it sounds like another cool jazz album, but no, it is so much more, the subtle precision and detail of the playing is just astonishing. The trio have an uncanny ability to play with and around each other, complementing and supporting throughout. Xavi’s sensitive and interpretive playing is wonderfully matched by piano and bass to provide a complete and mesmerising whole.

Xavi’s writing offers an emotional honesty and openness which is reflected in each composition. On this album he has bookended it with two songs in memory of his sadly departed parents. The opening song, Remembrance, is a tribute to his father and his role in shaping Xavi into who he is today, a gentle but simple opening with the piano so effective, supported by drums and bass which adds texture and feeling. No one instrument dominates, it’s just a perfect whole and a fitting tribute in my opinion.

The last but one track is Mom, a piano-led song along with Xavi’s delicate touches and cymbals supported by a lovely subtle bassline, altogether contributing to provide a beautiful and fitting tribute to Xavi’s mother. There is obvious passion and emotional feeling in this song, and they convey this to the listener in the most wonderful way, a track which makes you want to immediately hit replay

There are songs here which drive the tempo along. Two Steps Ahead ups the pace, Xavi the driving force with some great and notable drum patterns. Again elsewhere, on the track Time Warps, the song is driven forward by Xavi’s precise drumming and “Popo”‘s great bass, allowing room for José’s piano to dance along on top of the rhythm, the instruments weaving together in an often mesmerising way.

The album closes with the title track Dreamscape Room, finishing proceedings with a flourish of positivity. The high standard and detail of playing is nothing short of amazing, the main feature of these songs being how these great musician blend together to create a very memorable album.

An album that reflects the players’ love of this music, beautifully crafted and performed throughout. This is how modern jazz should sound and I feel it deserves to be more widely heard.

TRACK LISTING
01. Remembrance (3:57)
02. Two Steps Ahead (4:07)
03. To My Friend (4:08)
04. A lifetime With You (6:06)
05. Time Warps (6:32)
06. Mirror (6:06)
07. Mom (5:11)
08. Dreamscape Room (5:08)

Total Time : 41:15

MUSICIANS
Xavier Reija – Drums
José Carra – Piano
José Manuel Posada – “Popo”, bass

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Spain
Date of Release: 7th May 2020

LINKS
Xavi Reija – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/12/26/a-different-aspecttba/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-different-aspecttba

In this update we feature:

• Jumble Hole Clough – I can name the un-named boy
• Kairon; IRSE! – Polysomn
• Terje Rypdal – Conspiracy
• Anna von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly
• Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
• The Flaming Lips – American Head
• Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension
• Møster! – Dust Breathing


A Different Aspect is usually the place where we put short reviews of albums that for whatever reason did not float our rubber ducks sufficiently to merit the full review treatment. This one is an exception, as I am rounding up a few albums that definitely DID deserve the the respect of a full wibble, but time constraints and other lame excuses notwithstanding, slipped down the back of the sofa.

So, puff up those cushions, pour yourself a pangalactic gargleblaster, and absorb this lot into your bloodstream. Much like a vaccine, it’s for your own good.

Jumble Hole Clough – I can name the un-named boy
Roger Trenwith
Jumble Hole Clough – I can name the un-named boy

369 albums into a career of loose-limbed expectation confounding, Colin Robinson adopts his nom-de-guerre one more time to fire this wobbly missive at us from the other side of the room, from where the wall is crack’d. Several small, strange, and furry audio snapshots escape from cells with padded ceilings, make their way down the wires and emerge blinking and twitching out of the speakers, where they dance around before you sprite-like, with mischievous glints in their eyes.

For your information, the funkiest thang here is Insomniac, which struts like a mutha. Occasionally, dislocated voices off join in, adding to the the meringue of spangliness, unearthly anchors in a shimmerhaze of sounds. One of those voices belongs to Richard Knutson, Colin’s longtime partner in audacity, who is sadly no longer with us. I’m sure he looks down on this many-hued creation with a smile on his face, wherever he is. Hey! Come back here with that antimacassar, it’s not meant as a flying carpet!….

Token serious comment – this is probably Jumble Hole Clough’s finest broadcast yet, and, as with the entire catalogue, it’s Name Your Price on Bandcamp. I’m sure Colin would appreciate the price of cuppa. It is Xmas, after all. Speaking of which, here’s a Christmas song JHC did three years ago…

Kairon; IRSE! – Polysomn
Roger Trenwith
Kairon; IRSE! – Polysomn

I thank my good friend Spike for pointing me at this, and a bloody good job he did, too!

Finnish and righteous, the curiously monikered Kairon; IRISE! landed in my in tray with a brash confidence that belies their intermittent career. Polysomn is only their 4th album, but in the ten years since their debut they have charged through their post-everything world with a massive grin on their collective face, progressing from a charming naivety to their current state of lysergic grace.

Opener Psionic State repeatedly bangs the sonic planets of North Atlantic Oscillation, Sigur Ros, and Sugar into an unimaginably heavy dwarf star until the whole caboodle explodes in a burst of starbright illumination that will frazzle your synapses, o yes! The other side of their permafrozen Euro is the psychdedlic space ballad, which puts its best foot forward via the thoroughly swirling Welcome Blue Valkyrie in all its altered-state glory.

This is a fucking fabulous album that should be in everyone’s 2020 top ten but won’t be.

Terje Rypdal – Conspiracy
Roger Trenwith
Terje Rypdal – Conspiracy

At a mere 73 years young, Norwegian guitar maestro Terje Rypdal makes an album that musicians a third his age would be proud of. His backing band this time round consists of the rhythm section and ubiquitous organist of choice Ståle Storløkken, who has been part of Rypdal’s backing band on and off for some time.

The opening And The Ghost Was… Me! is suitably haunting and melodic, backed by nervous rhythms from drummer Pål Thowsen, reminding us of the turbulence beneath the surface of Terje’s best music from the past. The following What Was I Thinking brings those broiling currents to the surface, recalling the guitarist’s finest work on the likes of Odyssey and Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away.

The title track continues in this vein, and is as energetic as anything released under the Rypdal name. Storløkken gets to turn in a feisty solo, trading with Rypdal as the track builds and builds.

Another “should be listed” album, yus indeedy!

Anna von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly
Roger Trenwith
Anna von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly

Anna von Hausswolff is a 34 year-old Swedish musician and composer, whose instrument of choice is the pipe organ. All Thoughts Fly is her fifth album, and consists solely of her favoured instrument. So far, so prosaic, I thought. Then I listened to the album. A simply astonishing range of sounds are made by Anna, on what apparently is a replica the largest instrument of its kind, located in a church in Gothenburg.

The amount of physical effort that goes into playing this monster, with its layered keyboard, plethora of stops, and the full involvement of the feet on the bass pedals, is reflected in the muscular sound of this enormous Gothic construct of an album.

The music is inspired by Anna’s visit to Sacro Bosco, a formal park in Bomarzo in central Italy designed by 16th century arts patron Pier Francesco Orisini while mourning his recently passed wife. One wonders what kind of relationship they had, as the park contains many stone sculptures invoking Gothic terror! This haunting imagery translates well through the medium of pipe organ, on what is a captivating listen. The title track veers off down a Philip Glass avenue of towering and mesmerising repetition that leaves your head spinning. Marvellous! Highly recommended.

Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
Roger Trenwith
Moses Boyd – Dark Matter

Drummer Moses Boyd is part of the London nu-jazz scene, and his album is, as you might expect, rhythmically intricate and propulsive, and takes the listener down all manner of side streets, where soul and trip hop mix with jazz and dance beats to create a heady urban stew that documents the ceaseless heartbeat of modern life in the capital.

The scene, like any other tight-knit musical happening, is incestuous by necessity, and so we have numerous players from other bands making appearances. One of the core members is tuba player Theon Cross of Sons of Kemmet, who has made his instrument an unlikely focal point of any song it appears in. Another friend is saxophonist Nubia Garcia, whose own album Source would also be in this round up, were it not a separate listing we’re doing under the banner “Best of 2020”.

The Flaming Lips – American Head
Roger Trenwith
The Flaming Lips – American Head

In which Wayne Coyne waxes lyrical on two of his favourite themes; death, and drugs, while his partner-in-altered-states Steven Drodz rekindles some of the Lips’ love of the lost innocence of a perma-zonged Beatles on a never ending Magical Mystery Tour, replete with BIG psychedelic Neil Youngish ballads. In other words, American Heads is the Lips’ best album in 10 years. They seem to have entered another decade with another hefty statement of artistic intent.

It’s only when bands like this stop doing what they do that you miss them. This album needs to be on your shelf, virtual or physical.

Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension
Roger Trenwith
Sufjan Stevens – The Ascension

In which the American musical polymath, still laughably included in the Billboard Folk charts, ditches the acoustic guitars once more, and delivers a double album of downbeat synth pop that goes one step further than its sonic birthplace, 2010’s The Age Of Adz, addressing a crisis of faith, beleaguered hope, misplaced love, and death. Sounds depressing? Well, yes… and no. The deep and often bleak lyrics are countered by a glossy pop sensibility, as Phrophet synths and drum machines go ape.

This is a multi-layered and very personal album by a man who sounds like he’s going through an existential crisis. Never one to shy away from revealing his inner psyche, and while not as revealing as the previous album, the emotionally stark Carrie and Lowell, The Ascension is a work of some merit that reveals more of itself over repeated plays. As with all good art, it is deserving of patience and requires a bit of effort on the part of the listener.

YouTube link:

Møster! – Dust Breathing
Roger Trenwith
Møster! – Dust Breathing

The mighty Norwegian supergroup returns! Led by saxophonist Ketil Møster, the band occupy a place on the jazz-rock scale Heavily (capital H intentional!) towards the rock end of the spectrum! The energy on this record is simply staggering, as the band jam on riffs in a manner that leaves me breathless! Motorpsycho’s Hans Magnus Ryan leads the guitar charge in the speedy scout vessel, as Kaptain Ketil steers the colossal starship from the bridge! Alien beings flee in terror!

As this album only came out on 11th December, I am still absorbing it, so I suggest you listen to the opening track The Bonfire, The Sun at neighbour-rattling volume, and make your own mind up!

YouTube link:


Well, that’s about it… but really it isn’t, but I would be here all day, and I’ve turkey curry to make. There is so much good and individual music coming out right now, it is almost too much! Much as TPA is nominally a prog site, even if just one of you out there in readerland takes a listen to any one of the more outré albums listed above, that’s what it’s all about! Close your eyes and jump into 2021 – HNY!!!

Northern Star 24th Dec 2020.

Twas the night before Marmiteness  !

Theme Pallas – Northern Star

  • Yes – The revealing of the science of god
  • Trans Siberian Orchestra – A Mad Russian’s Christmas
  • Henry Cow – The Tenth Chaffinch
  • The Enid – The one and the many
  • Dundar The Barbarian – Purple and Blue
  • Peter Hammill – Mediaeval
  • Grand Stand – Empty Barrels Rattle the most
  • Spock’s Beard – Walking on the wind
  • Renaissance – Mother Russia
  • Nash The Slash – Swing Shift
  • Pallas – Christmas Spirits
  • Japan – Ghosts
  • Pocketful O’Nowt – Christmas is shite
  • Le Grand Sbam – Nephesh
  • Pete Jones – peas are good
  • Poppy – Don’t Go Outside
  • Butthole Surfers – Moving to Florida/100 million people dead
  • Malcolm McDowell – Mr Grinch
  • Twelfth Night – The Collector
  • U2 – I believe In Father Christmas
  • John Cooper Clarke – Twat
  • Styx – Rockin The Paradise
  • Captain Beefheart & The Magic band – There ain’t No Santa Claus on the evening stage
  • Animals as leaders – Inner assassins
  • Frank Zappa – Waka/Jawaka
  • The Allman Brothers – Whipping Post
  • Mountain – Theme from an imaginary western
  • Supertramp – Aries
  • Tribe of names – merry Xmas everybody

 

Closing theme Phil Lively What a wonderful world

 –

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#progrockradio #progzillaradio

 

I Am The Manic Whale – Run with the Fox

Lemmy & Friends – Run Rudolph Run

ABWH – Order of the Universe (excerpt)

Marillion – The Carol of the Bells

Alpha Male Tea Party – Year of Winter 

Wobbler – Merry Macabre

Keith Emerson – Captain Starship Christmas

Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas

Tom Slatter – We Look To The Sky

Thijs Van Leer – A Christmas Song

Big Big Train – Wassail (live)

Billy Sherwood & Patrick Moraz – Wonderful Christmas Time

IQ – The Dark Christmas Suite excerpt feat. Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade

And as interstitials, Mr Mackey: The Carol of the Bells and Annie Haslam: The Twelve Days of Christmas 

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/12/24/potters-daughter-casually-containing-rage-ep-singles/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=potters-daughter-casually-containing-rage-ep-singles

I have to admit this review started a couple of months ago, and simply as an ADA review of the band’s most recent release, the Casually Containing Rage EP. For one reason or another, it just didn’t come to fruition, however not all is lost and the interim period has seen me revisit their debut frequently, as well as the two singles released in-between.

So to recap, since the release of their critically acclaimed 2018 debut, The Blind Side, Potter’s Daughter have released a series of singles and EPs. The latest of these is the Casually Containing Rage EP which emerged in mid-September. But before offering some thoughts on the EP, let’s take a quick glance at the two preceding singles.

The summer of ’19 [ there’s a song title in there somewhere 😉 ], saw the release of Blood and Water, which attracted much attention from the prog fraternity as it included one Annie Haslam. The song’s folky blend of progressive rock, combined with a touch of theatre, was an ideal fit for the Renaissance vocalist, who, coupled with Dyanne Potter Voegtlin’s voice, created a match made in heaven – and if this vocal arrangement wasn’t enough, the first version of the single rests on a funky undercurrent embellished by some rich melodic guitar work from Amit Chatterjee. The digital ‘B’ side is a stripped down version of the track, but one that brings a wonderful and commanding piano performance from Dyanne to the fore. The vocals remain the same, but the track itself takes on a whole new existence. Stunning!

Moving forward to November last year for This Winter’s Child, a somewhat seasonal sounding track, which certainly captured the spirit of Christmas with its rather unique blending of styles. Based around Dyanne’s rippling piano and sweet hymnal vocal delivery, the track gradually unfolds with some tasty flourishes on guitar, accompanied by rich layers of vocals. Also stunning!

So finally we arrive at September 2020. With little or no end in sight to the current coronavirus pandemic, it might seem a strange time to release a CD EP, but like so many musicians across the globe there is the need to remain creative and productive, and for many, also the ability to earn and put food on the table.

The EP offers three tracks with contrasting styles, typifying the creative and versatile output of Potter’s Daughter. They certainly have a sound of their own, Dyanne’s voice ensures this, however there isn’t a single pigeonhole to categorise the music.

To My Love is a clever reworking of a track from PD’s debut. Unlike the earlier bluesier version, the re-imagined version is book-ended with a cyclical, reverb-drenched motif and Dyanne’s haunting vocal. The track gradually moves into a compelling, restrained funky groove, courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Jan-Christian Vögtlin, before dissolving back into multi-layers of vocals. A great take on the original.

Another great reworking appears in the cover of Warren Zevon’s Accidentally Like A Martyr. The slower tempo employed works to great effect, allowing Dyanne to breathe new life into this stripped down version.

And finally we have We Could Be, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The poignant repeated chorus line urges the listener, by suggesting “we could be better than this, we could be so much better than this”. Interspersed across the song is actual commentary from radio broadcaster David Greene. All in all it’s a powerful message and one that comes across strongly, and here I would suggest, down to the subtlety of the music. Opening with Rhodes-style piano, the jazzy chords hint at Messrs Becker & Fagan, whilst the modern percussive sounds employed offer a contemporary notion.

While we wait for the sophomore album these two singles and EP amply demonstrate the versatility of the Potter’s Daughter ensemble, and bode well for the next release.

TRACK LISTING
Blood And Water

01. Blood And Water (3:28)
02. Blood And Water [Revisited] (3:25)

Total Time – 6:53

MUSICIANS
Dyanne Potter Voegtlin – Piano, Vocals
Jan-Christian Vögtlin – Guitar, Saxophone
Amit Chatterjee – Lead Guitar
Walter Sitz – Drums
~ with:
Annie Haslam – Vocals

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: MMR Music | Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 8th August 2019

TRACK LISTING
This Winter’s Child

01. This Winter’s Child (4:34)

Total Time – 4:34

MUSICIANS
Dyanne Potter Voegtlin – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
Jan-Christian Vögtlin: Bass, Guitar
Amit Chatterjee – Percussion

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: MMR Music | Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 1st November 2019

TRACK LISTING
Casually Containing Rage

01. To My Love (5:13)
02. Accidentally Like A Martyr (4:06)
03. We Could Be (4:26)

Total Time – 13:45

MUSICIANS
Dyanne Potter Voegtlin – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
Jan-Christian Vögtlin – Bass, Guitar, Drum Programming
Amit Chatterjee – Guitar (track 1)
Patrick Carmichael – Drums (track 1)
Tom Borthwick – Soundscaping (track 1)
David Greene – NPR Radio Broadcast (track 3)

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: MMR Music | Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 15th September 2020

LINKS
Potter’s Daughter – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube | Twitter

I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for edition 372 of Live From Progzilla Towers is now available.

In this Christmas extravaganza edition we heard the following music:

  • Toehider – All I Want For Christmas Is You
  • December People – Angels We Have Heard On High
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon Rock
  • Blind Guardian – Merry Xmas Everybody
  • Tinyfish – Christmas At The Citadel
  • Bill Nelson – Another Day, Another Ray Of Hope
  • Heather Findlay Quartet – Gaudete
  • Sterbhaus – Christmas With The Devil
  • Marillion – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
  • Pallas – Christmas On The Edge Of Time
  • IQ – I Believe In Father Christmas
  • Jethro Tull – Ring Out Solstice Bells
  • Marcelo Paganini – Learn To Love To Wait
  • Frost* – Snowman (Remaster 2020)
  • Nightwish – Walking In The Air
  • Kansas – Jets Overhead
  • Tamarisk – A Christmas Carol
  • Big Big Train – Snowfalls
  • Yanni – Marching Season
  • Hawkestrel – O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Neal Morse – Shred Ride
  • David Lanz – O Holy Night
  • Blueneck – Silent Night
  • Genesis – Snowbound
  • Robert Reed & Les Penning – Sussex Carol
  • XTC – Snowman
  • Gandalf’s Fist – Witchwood
  • Pete Jones – Stop The Dysentery
  • Mediaeval Baebes – The Coventry Carol
  • Enya – Adeste, Fideles
  • Also Eden – In The Bleak Midwinter

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

Enjoy!