Asia — Archiva 1
(Resurgence LV104-CD, 1996, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 1997-02-01
Probably the best question to ask at this point is: What relevance does Asia have within the context of a progressive rock journal? By now the question is largely rhetorical because the answer is "none" and has been so for at least the past ten years. At first I was prepared to engage in some kind of pseudo-scholarly dissertation of the relative merits of Asia's latest offering, the sort regularly found within Exposé's pages. But instead, I have decided that it would only be a waste of precious paper and page space more befitting artists who deserve it. I'm sure that for those who enjoy pop-rock of the most pedestrian and mediocre sort, this 2CD set of unreleased material from '87 through '96 will have great merit. And for Geoff Downes and John Payne, lackluster and tired rock anthems splashed over with the tritest of trite lyrics are certainly something for which they deserve great praise. So if you want to find out why nobody has cared a rats ass for Asia for the past fifteen or so years, check out Archiva. You'll become a believer.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more