Agitation Free — 2nd
(Garden of Delights CD 071, 1973/2002, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2016-12-29
Early 70s Germany provided the environment for a massive number of inventive and experimental albums, but the closest of these to what was going on in the San Francisco bay area had to be Agitation Free. In many ways Agitation Free was the German Grateful Dead, basing a lot of their music in longform, guitar-led improvisations that were also influenced by travelling abroad and absorbing the music of other cultures. This impact was strongest on their first album Malesch, by their 2nd they had moved a bit closer to a more unadulterated space rock with the world influences acting more as coloring. What really lifts Agitation Free is their powerful sense of melody, with a lot of their improvisations starting as atmospheres and evolving into ecstatic peaks, very close to the methods the Dead were using at the time with "Dark Star." Agitation Free also melded the Bay Area and Kosmische approaches, including the heavy use of synthesizer effects and Mellotron, but where so much of this music often tended towards the abstract and textural, Agitation Free also grounded the exploration in songs or song fragments. The results were deeply emotional and brazenly psychedelic with a balance that really has never been quite matched. Perhaps only the quieter moments of the early Ash Ra Tempel albums touched on similar territory.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more