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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/23/the-magnetic-south-sea-level/

One problem facing the new swathe of progressive rock bands is how to update the genre and carry it forward. Some bands don’t even attempt an update, and simply mimic the sounds of the ’70s, with varying degrees of success. But a few noble bands stretch out into the unknown, forging a new path. One such band is The Magnetic South, formed in Los Angeles.

Blending heavy riffs, grungy guitars and the choicest of drum samples, their debut album Sea Level is a fascinating compromise between the bleak expanse of post-rock, and the structure and style of modern progressive music. Odd time signatures aren’t on display here, as the band focuses on painting dark ambient landscapes.

The grungy effect was actually heightened the first time I listened to the album. I was a full five minutes into Porcelain Branches when I realised the low-fi quality wasn’t intended: the signal between my Bluetooth speaker and my laptop was terrible. Interestingly, however, the band does employ a low-fi effect on the penultimate track, Faceless. Needless to say, the album is great whatever quality you hear it in, as the strong riffs drive the songs.

As a drummer, I’m normally averse to drum samples in music, believing it’s putting good drummers out of work. That said, the way the samples are used on these tracks is quite ingenious. Faceless, for example, features a biting, mechanical drum sample that peculiarly drops to zero decibels for a split second before repeating. The clinical effect is quite jarring, so obviously manufactured, and yet so obviously built for the purpose. Zombie Death Grip features a drum cycle as well, based on a repeated snare pattern, like a marching drum. In the latter half of this song, the ambient droning sound and the relentless drums roll on for several minutes, quite hypnotically.

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Other songs see different kinds of musical ingenuity. Sunrise and Gravity shows an effective use of the bass guitar, left to undulate solo between blasts on the drums and guitar, and finally grunging by itself before the outro. The anthemic closing title track features a fantastic guitar riff, that plays at odds with the bass and drums, forming a polyrhythm.

But the heart of this album is the chugging heavy riffs that have made bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor so beloved. If you play few solid chords well, with the right timbre and the right accompaniment, you will begin to make some epic-sounding music. It’s a formula that works. Fortunately, The Magnetic South are able to see beyond the formula and are able to add their own touches. This album sounds superb cranked up loud, and that’s why you should check it out today.

TRACK LISTING
01. Porcelain Branches (6:34)
02. Sunrise and Gravity (7:42)
03. Zombie Death Grip (4:48)
04. The Carnival (3:33)
05. My Sun (7:45)
06. Faceless (6:02)
07. Sea Level (8:19)

Total Time – 44:41

MUSICIANS
John Sperger – Vocals, Guitars
Steve Giles – Bass

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 3rd September 2017

LINKS
The Magnetic South – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/22/a-different-aspect-10-november-2017/


BIG|BRAVE – Ardor
Hadouk – Le Cinquième Fruit
KAMP – Clairvoyance
Chris Stark – Juxtaposition
Markus Stauss Art Genossen Companions – Treasures Of Light
House of Rabbits – Songs of Charivari

It’s getting chillier as we head into Car Scraping Season, so here are some warming and spicy items to raise the temparature, lovingly crafted into another ADA (TPA’s occasional ‘A Different Aspect’ series). Again, quite quickly on the heels of the last one, this is in danger of becoming a regular feature! This is where we sweep up some of the worthwhile releases (and one other…) that we might have missed in the main reviews section and which could have got away otherwise. Have a listen via the links provided and hopefully you’ll find some new sounds to investigate further. Enjoy!

BIG|BRAVE are a young trio from Montreal who make a huge racket belying their unassuming appearance. Kevin Shields’ styled guitar howl buried beneath lumbering monster riffs created by downtuned six strings – there is no bass guitar on this record – result in a thunderous bass rumble that together with crashing cymbals establish the Sound. Most surprising is the impassioned yelp of frontwoman Robin Wattie. Where the easy route would have been industry standard indecipherable razor wire gargling from a musclebound, tattooed and no doubt hirsute male “singer”, instead BIG|BRAVE play their ace card, and Robin’s piercing intonations make for a fetching combination.

Lull is just that to begin with, but there is nothing particularly soothing about this as the monster lurks, waiting to pounce, the atmosphere is very dark, brooding, and edgy. Pounce it does, as another lurching riff accompanies the wake from disturbed slumber. Borer invites metaphors concerning giant drill bits with diamond teeth remorselessly eviscerating solid granite, and it comes and goes like a suffocating smog cloud, occasionally cleared by the anguished pleas of Robin.

This is post-rock from the MBV school of intense and feral noise, put through a Sunn O))) filter, and channelled into long form art rock on an atramentous canvas. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking to be found here, but if you are in the mood for some cathartic headbanging of the real or imagined kind, Ardor will not let you down.


Hadouk – Le Cinquième Fruit
by Kevan Furbank

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It has been 20 years since Gong’s sax and flute blower, Didier Malherbe, joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Loy Erhlich to create Hadouk – named after the hajouj African bass and the doudouk Armenian oboe. Now a quartet with percussionist Jean Luc Di Fraya and guitarist Eric Lohrer, Hadouk offer up another slice of gentle, hypnotic multi-ethnic jazz-folk that washes over you like a warm wind carrying scents from the four corners of the world.

If you love the simple yet hypnotic swirl of their music, the sound of a North African bazaar in which all the customers are completely stoned, and the almost childlike humour in Didier’s wistful, expressive playing then Le Cinquième Fruit hits the spot. But it’s not all just music to meditate to – there’s a gentle bass-driven funkiness in Tidzi, Eastern influenced psychedelia in So Gong, while the title track at times sounds like the soundtrack to a gentle 1960s French movie comedy.

If you own any of their previous albums then you know pretty much what to expect, with a few surprises. If your collection is bereft of Hadouk then you need to rectify that pretty smartly, and this is a tasty little offering for starters.


KAMP – Clairvoyance
by Jez Rowden

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The solo project of John Kampouropoulos, ex-lead singer of the Greek alternative rock band Closer, Clairvoyance is his second album under the KAMP name.

John certainly has a rich and impressive voice and the songs on Clairvoyance, guitar led and fairly straight ahead but with interesting textures, are a good showcase for his talents. The ‘indie’ feel is there but shot through with some classic rock and anaologue ’70s textures. Despite the basic guitar/bass/drums instrumentation, the variety is present and John’s voice has the quality to carry the album along. It’s sometimes edgy, at times positive and upbeat, occasionally funky, but all of the songs are well put together, with a more experimental approach than he has tried previously in 14 self-written songs about Galileo, the Greek financial crisis and the problems facing refugees.


Chris Stark – Juxtaposition
by John Wenlock-Smith

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Chris Stark is a guitarist living in Hawaii who is influenced by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, and whilst he can certainly twiddle with the best there is also a melodic sensibility on display here, and actually very little “Fretwank”, which makes this both an unusual and also more pleasurable album to listen to.

Very strong melodies and harmonies are also on display during Surfing The Jetstream, with the effective piano motif and background making it especially memorable. A nice clean tone on Highway One also impresses and proves that it’s not all about how many effects one can employ at any one time.

This is a very good instrumental album and I’d certainly like to hear more of his work as his talent continues to evolve. I really enjoyed this one, and admirers of the aforesaid Satriani or Vai will find much to relish here.


Markus Stauss Art Genossen Companions – Treasures Of Light
by Bob Mulvey

Swiss born saxophonist Markus Stauss occupies a rather unique place within the musical spectrum, impossible to categorise, but one thing is certain – he is never going to form a tranquil backdrop or sit quietly in the background. Throughout his many solo, collaborative and side projects, Markus is a free spirit, left to roam the darkest recesses of free-form experimental jazz.

I am happy to report that Treasures of Light is no exception, so intermingled within the tuneful ensemble passages are sections that would test the patience of Job. If we take it as read that all the musicians here are hugely gifted, then what this, recorded live in the studio, double CD represents is free expression in its truest form.

I love this from Markus’ site where Edgar Varèse begs the question: “But is this Music?” Later offering the term “organised sound”. Yeah, I can go for that! Crazy, wonderful, exasperating, brilliant – Fortune favours the brave…


House of Rabbits – Songs of Charivari
by Tony Colvill

Discordant, lacking melody and direction, described as hardcore vaudeville art-rock, it is a mess, to my ears unlistenable.

I hate being negative but I cannot find any positives. I am sure there are some somewhere, possibly in a room with soft walls, and there is some people who may enjoy this, but not I.

Given the proclivities of Leporidae creatures, please, please, don’t let them breed. A definite no from me. Any redeeming features you may ask? It’s over.


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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/22/king-crimson-announce-european-tour-2018/
Featured

Published on 22nd November 2017

Although we live in uncertain times King Crimson will be out on the road in Europe during 2018.

In addition to the regular tickets the band will be offering two packages – The Royal Package (as before) and a new Courtiers Package to try and prevent mass scalping of the best tickets. These will be available from DGMLive on the Tour page of the website and via the promoters in the UK and Germany.

As on previous occasions the touring is split into two sections.

European Summer Dates
13/06/18: Earth Hall, Poznan, Poland
14/06/18: Earth Hall, Poznan, Poland
16/06/18: ICE Congress Hall, Krakow, Poland
17/06/18: ICE Congress Hall, Krakow, Poland
18/06/18: ICE Congress Hall, Krakow, Poland
20/06/18: Lichtburg, Essen, Germany
23/06/18: Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria
24/06/18: Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria
26/06/18: Forum Karlin, Prague, Czech Republic
27/06/18: Forum Karlin, Prague, Czech Republic
01/07/18: Admiralspalast, Berlin, Germany
05/07/18: Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
06/07/18: Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
08/07/18: Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
09/07/18: Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
10/07/18: Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway
13/07/18: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
16/07/18: Philharmonie, Munich Germany
19/07/18: Teatro Grande, Pompeii, Greece
20/07/18: Teatro Grande, Pompeii, Greece
22/07/18: Auditorium Cavea, Rome, Italy
23/07/18: Auditorium Cavea, Rome, Italy
25/07/18: Piazza Napoleone, Luccai, Italy
27/07/18: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy
28/07/18: Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy

UK & European Autumn Dates
29/10/18: Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth, UK
31/10/18: St David’s Hall, Cardiff, UK
02/11/18: Palladium Theatre, London, UK
06/11/18: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK
09/11/18: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK
12/11/18: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, UK
15/11/18: L’Olympia, Paris, France
16/11/18: L’Olympia, Paris, France

SOURCE: DGMLive



This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/21/jeff-waynes-war-of-the-worlds-40th-anniversary-tour-dates/
Featured

Published on 21st November 2017

War Of The Worlds celebrates it’s 40th anniversary in 2018 and to mark the occasion Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds – Alive on Stage announce a series of UK arena shows starting in November 2018.

“Conducted by Jeff Wayne, with the 9-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings, the most ambitious production yet will ‘break through the fourth wall’ to bring the action closer to the audience for a most captivating and immersive experience.”

40th Anniversary Arena Tour, UK – 2018
30/11/18: SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow
01/12/18: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
02/12/18: Arena [MCR], Manchester
04/12/18: First Direct Arena [LDA], Leeds
05/12/18: Echo Arena, Liverpool
07/12/18: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
08/12/18: Genting Arena, Birmingham
09/12/18: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
10/12/18: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
12/12/18: International Centre [BIC], Bournemouth
13/12/18: International Centre [BIC], Bournemouth
15/12/18: The O2 Arena, London (Matinee)
15/12/18: The O2 Arena, London
16/12/18: The Brighton Centre, Brighton
17/12/18: The Brighton Centre, Brighton
*More dates to be added…

Visit the TPA Gig Guide for these UK dates and more from across the prog spectrum.

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/21/deluge-grander-oceanarium/

Much celebrated mastermind Dan Britton has big plans for the future. The brain behind Cerebus Effect, Birds and Buildings and Deluge Grander has conceptualised a three-level, seven-album series, which was initiated with the 2014 release Heliotians. Oceanarium is the second instalment in this chronology and will most likely be immediately followed by Lunarians in 2018. The three albums are interlinked by thematic transformation, though unlike its predecessor and successor, Oceanarium remains purely instrumental. And rightfully so, considering the range of instrumentation at hand: cello, trumpet, bass clarinet, flute, saxophone, banjo, mandolin, to name only a few, join forces with a typical rock outfit to form a truly symphonic progressive rock orchestra.

Following the tracks of a “rat-man” explorer, Oceanarium is constructed as one continuous stream of themes, depicting different stages of the protagonists’ adventure. The compositions rarely take a moment to breathe – themes transitioning seamlessly from one to another in a broadly orchestrated bed of vintage and organic sounds.

The enigmaticallt titled opener, A Numbered Rat, a High Ledge, and a Maze of Horizons, doesn’t defer, but gets the trip started straight away. Much like a classical overture the piece introduces various themes over 12-minutes, the large number of instruments alternating in taking on the duty of the main voice. Mainly up-tempo, with the exception of a dynamic piano driven break halfway through, A Numbered Rat… explores many different moods and demonstrates Britton’s art of establishing complex conversations between guitar and the vast array of keyboard sounds. Acoustic guitar strokes constantly appear in the background, diffusing a cinematic feel throughout the song and the record as a whole, especially when joined by harmonica.

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Drifting Inner Skyline Space sees the orchestra taking a break from franticly blurring lines and concentrates on a more atmospheric mood. The beginning finds a quiet acoustic guitar taking the lead, only to end up in a choir of psychedelic synthesizer layers accompanied by a slide guitar. Again Mr Britton shows off a large palette of keyboard sounds, not giving the listener the time to dwell on any one element as the movement in arrangement and melody is overwhelming. Framed to a close, the acoustic guitar recurs with bossa-nova chops.

Not unlike the opener, The Blunt Sun and the Hardened Moon gets straight to the point. A galloping 9/8 rhythm moves from riff to riff, crossing an 8/8 section on the way to another staggering guitar hook in 7/8. After 2 minutes a dynamic break softens the mood in order to deconstruct and further develop the themes introduced before. The quarter hour piece moves through darker and lighter passages, the darker parts accentuated by deep blowing wind instruments, lighter and more positive themes being left to guitars. Building on this contrasting interplay, moods never seem to settle but are constantly pushed away and replaced by their counterpart. The simulation of a sitar sound on electric guitar calling and returning a short chorus led by saxophone in accompaniment of acoustic guitar strumming makes for a good example of this aspect.

Finding a Valley in a Gray Area on a Map serves as a short intermezzo, following the protagonist’s observations of the various happenings in a small village, the banjo having a strangely strong presence in an otherwise more oriental vibe, before Finding a Shipwreck in a Valley in an Ocean sees ocean soundscapes imitated with many types of percussion. Once again there are not only one or two themes being developed here – the restlessness of ever changing harmonic and melodic progressions continues. A short arpeggiated break by the piano in the middle serves as a fine climax.

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Tropical Detective Squadron is another long track, this time retelling the tales told so far. Fitting to the description found in the booklet (“Meanwhile, back at home, the story of his departure is dramatized but altered beyond recognition.”), this composition slows down toward the middle and stays in a dramatically slow groove, emphasized by Mellotron layers, the story telling then departing into, by now, typical ever-changing progressions.

Marooned and Torn Asunder is the first and only track of the album that doesn’t go everywhere. The guitar introduces the main hook and leads to a dramatic synthesizer progression. Britton is at his least ironic here, and gives space to breathtaking guitar work alternating with melancholic oboe lines – the guitar sound and technique being very reminiscent of Steve Howe.

Heavy piano chords in accompaniment of a full orchestra open the final chapter of this adventure, Water to Glass / The Ultimate Solution. Every instrument gets a final moment to shine in a mix of quieter interplays and more nervous passages. Harpsichord figurations appear throughout, emphasizing the heavy strokes of the other chordophones. The entire orchestra builds to a finale that still echoes long after reaching the end, which is partly due to the final progression ending with an interrupted cadence on the subdominant. No, this doesn’t sound like an end, there is definitely more to come…

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When a regular person goes on an endeavor to discover the world he is already overwhelmed by the vastness of space, culture and topographic phenomena, but how must a ‘rat-man’ feel, his steps being so much smaller and his surrounding environment to him majestically bigger? Soundtracks to the adventures of men have been put to music on plenty of occasions and have known various thematic treatments – the universe to a smaller creature though seems much bigger, which results in the music needing more themes, more sequences and more colors, a la Oceanarium. Consequently, the listener is presented with densely packed musical ideas, which doesn’t make this an easy oeuvre to digest. Themes appear and disappear again in a matter of seconds and reappear in an altered form, framed in a different harmonic and rhythmic context. These musical aspects in combination with the complex and wide instrumentation triggers a certain nervousness and feels overwhelming at times, begging the question whether an exercise in restraint would have helped to achieve a more compact and homogeneous product.

On the other hand, this record just needs time to let it sink in. The wide spectrum of influences is uncanny. The similarities to the likes of King Crimson, as also found on the Birds and Buildings releases, are evident. The more dramatic episodes giving space to prolonged melodies are reminiscent of Yes. But there is also more straight-forward jazz fusion spread over the entire journey. In combination with the orchestral instruments these influences melt to become Britton’s very own signature sound, embedded in a dynamically analog production.

It remains to be seen how Dan Britton is going to further develop the ideas presented here on the successor, and how many new ones he plans on adding – the level of suspense created is surely high!

TRACK LISTING
01. A Numbered Rat, a High Ledge, and a Maze of Horizons (11:32)
02. Drifting Inner Skyline Space (8:28)
03. The Blunt Sun and the Hardened Moon (15:25)
04. Finding a Valley in a Gray Area on a Map (3:24)
05. Finding a Shipwreck in a Valley in an Ocean (6:20)
06. Tropical Detective Squadron (14:10)
07. Marooned and Torn Asunder (8:06)
08. Water to Glass / The Ultimate Solution (12:31)

Total Time – 79:56

MUSICIANS
Dan Britton – Keyboards, Guitars, other instruments (tracks 1-8)
Dave Berggren – Electric & Compositional Contributions (track 6)
Neil Brown – Trumpet (track 8)
Steve Churchill – Oboe (tracks 1 & 7)
Brett d’Anon – Bass & Guitars (tracks 1-8)
Brian Falkowski – Saxophone (track 3), Flute (tracks 4 & 5) & Clarinet (track 8)
Patrick Gaffney – Compositional Contributions (tracks 1 & 6)
Denis Malloy – Bass Clarinet (tracks 1,2,3 & 8)
Corey Sansolo – Trombone (track 1)
Natalie Spehar – Cello (tracks 2,4,5 & 8)
Zack Stachowski – Violin (track 4 & 5)
Christopher West- Compositional Contributions (track 6 & 7)

ADDITIONAL INFO
Label: Emkog Records
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 15th November 2017

LINKS
Deluge Grander – Facebook

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/20/ulver-stian-westerhus/

Islington Assembly Hall, London
Wednesday, 15th November 2017

Islington, long since gentrified by incremental Hipster Creep, is the sort of place where, if so inclined, Tarquin and Jemima could waste their ludicrous salaries from Perfect Curve* in sundry branches of I Saw You Coming* on hand carved salt cellars chiselled exclusively from old Welsh Methodist church pews by ex-miners’ wives, or maybe on sewing thimbles crafted from lacquered Mongolian yak fur, or on sundry other daft fare on offer at stupid prices in the locality.

Highbury & Islington also happens to have perhaps the highest concentration of decent small to mid-sized music venues in a square mile anywhere in the capital, one of which is the splendidly appointed Islington Assembly Hall, so it ain’t all bad. After a pre-gig meet up with a couple of friends in the pub opposite the venue, we eventually trooped over the road and into the hall a few minutes into Stian Westerhus’s set. Just his oddly angelic voice in stark contrast with the howls, barks, and moans he extracted from his guitar, it was certainly left-field but enjoyable. My mate Pete was unconvinced, although he did admit that Stian had a good voice. Me, I knew what to expect having reviewed his Amputation album roughly a year ago.

Stian Westerhus 1 - photo by Dominic Hatton

As the last death gasp of Stian’s guitar faded into electronic ambience provided by Tore Ylwizaker, the rest of Ulver took up their positions on stage, and the wash of sound morphed into Nemoralia, and the Norse longship set off on its Viking raid into the drinking hall of our temporary Valhalla here in N1. Playing the entirety of the new album, the perversely typical dark synth-pop curveball that is The Assassination Of Julius Caesar, but in a different order, with altered sections and lengthy improvised instrumental passages, Ulver turn the place into a laser-lit dance floor for the varied audience present. The venue has a capacity of 890, and I would guess it was almost full. We were certainly at the older end of the age spectrum present, hence our “dancing” was limited to a bit of jigging about and head nodding.

The light show was superb, with highly creative use of lasers and backdrops. Credit is due to whoever designed it. Being backlit, the band cut mysterious shadowy figures in black on the stage. Kristoffer Rygg’s between song audience interaction was limited to the occasional “Thank you”, or sometimes just silence and a humble prayer-bow. Wearing a hoodie, he looked like a monk on the deck of a spacecraft up there on the stage, crammed as it was with all sorts of electronica and exotic audio ephemera.

Ulver 8 - photo by Chris Parkins

Although the sound tonight largely originated from synths and keyboards, the human element supplied by the muscular rhythms of drummer Anders Møller and percussionist Ivar Thormodsæter leant proceedings the necessary organic feel that can so often be lacking in this kind of music. It took me a while to get into the groove, and the band too seemed to warm up as the set progressed. A highlight was the long improvised section in the much extended Coming Home, played over a nailed down back beat that turned the song into an entranced dark beast of great power.

Ulver 6 - photo by Veronika FrydlovaUlver also played the “leftovers” EP Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, and another highlight was the song Bring Out Your Dead, the dance groove weirdly set off by the song title sung in the chorus. As soon as I heard their version of Frankie’s The Power Of Love a few days before the gig, I thought to myself that it had “encore” written all over it. I was not disappointed. A collective smile was raised when Krystoffer introduced it with “And now, we will play a proper song”. The gig promptly over at the 10:30pm curfew, the audience leave, tired and elated.

Ulver are a band that never repeats itself, and no two albums are the same. Their younger audience seems far more receptive to constant change and, dare I say it, progression, than the older crowd attracted to the endless recycling of well-worn tropes from the ’70s offered by other bands that ally themselves with the “P” word. Despite their longevity, Ulver are at the vanguard of true progressive music making and some of their contemporaries could do worse than take a lesson or two from their ever questing muse.

[*Non-UK readers, these are Brit TV references – Google them and you will understand!]

[With photos by Dominic Hatton, Veronika Frydlova, Chris Parkins and Roger Trenwith, all used with kind permission.]

SETLIST
Nemoralia
Southern Gothic
1969
So Falls the World
Rolling Stone
Transverberation
Angelus Novus
Coming Home
Echo Chamber (Room of Tears)
Bring Out Your Dead
~ Encore:
The Power of Love

MUSICIANS
Kristoffer Rygg – Vocals, Drum Pads, Programming
Jørn H. Sværen – Programming, Electronica
Tore Ylwizaker – Keyboards, Programming, Electronica
~ With:
Stian Westerhus – Guitar
Anders Møller – Percussion
Ivar Thormodsæter – Drums

LINKS
Ulver – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp
Stian Westerhus – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2017/11/20/mike-porcel-echoes/

CDBaby.com is a real treasure trove to find great contemporary music and while searching one day recently I discovered Cuban born American musician Mike Porcel and his latest album, Echoes.

Echoes is a musical expression of a life journey and Porcel uses progressive rhythms and instrumentation, accentuated with classic orchestrations to highlight this adventure; from departure, through the voyage to reaching the ultimate destination of life. Along the way, he provides several wonderful original compositions of musical prowess, which underscore his deep experience and diverse composition and performance background.

Porcel is the co-founder and musical director of the Cuban progressive-rock band Síntesis, in addition he has successfully performed, scored, and composed some of the best music of the 1960s and ’70s Cuban theatre scene. Porcel began learning guitar at the age of three and he has continued to pursue his dream of composing music to the present day. He started his work as a band member with one of Cuba’s most famous and innovative bands in the 1960s, Los Dada, and he indeed has a rich past that should be explored in more depth, but this present Echoes production is a rich culmination of all his experience and cultural knowledge.

Echoes is an epic exploration of life’s richness, set to music. Piano, flutes, drums, guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, trumpets and orchestration all help to re-create the many mysteries of life’s experience. This is a wonderful trek through time, with spacey passages, overwhelming epochs and chasms of music. The woodwind, choral and orchestral passages are extravagant and lively with surrounding sound.

This is complex music which will take you away from life’s everyday nature and transport you willingly to a place of adventure for the mind. Every twist and turn in the journey is full of wonderful musical surprises, of instruments you may not have heard in a long time.

Get this album, put on some headphones, close your eyes and the rest will unfold harmoniously within your mind. Enjoy!

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TRACK LISTINGS
01. Echoes, Act 1: The Departure (17:17)
02. Echoes, Act 2: The Voyage (14:58)
03. Echoes, Act 1: The Arrival (13:56)

Total Time – 46:11

MUSICIANS
Mike Porcel
[Other musicians appear but details are unavailable]

ADDITIONAL INFO
Label: Independent
Catalogue#: n/a
Date of Release: 24th August 2017

LINKS
Mike Porcel – Website | Facebook | Soundcloud

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