Autumn Electric — Flowers for Ambrosia
(Bandcamp no#, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-04-21
I was quite pleased when I discovered Autumn Electric's previous CD, but I knew their live performances were already including some excellent new material. Flowers for Ambrosia more than exceeds my expectations. It may be divided into ten tracks, but if you listen without watching the track number display, you'd probably think there were a lot less — the first several tracks run together into what sounds like a continuous suite. The lyrics don't necessarily tie together, but the smooth transitions give the impression of new chapters in a continuing story. Not that the tracks sound alike — far from it — but there's an unmistakable flow to the mood. If you're anything like me, by the time you hear the first few bars of "Riding the Rogo," you will be totally hooked. It's got a quick tempo and a catchy melody, and changes meter more times than you can count, all while sounding so natural you'd think all music was like this. Moving along, we find a little oddity called "The Ballad of Magnum P.I." — a nice homage to the number one private detective located in Hawaii in the 80s. But if you've been paying attention to the readout on your CD player, you noticed that track 10 clocks in over 22 minutes in length. As prog epics go, it's of the "Supper's Ready" variety, being a suite of sections that flow from one to the next, some vocal, some instrumental, and occasionally revisit themes from earlier sections. Just to throw out some highlights... Max Steiner is responsible for some really great guitar work, from screaming wah-wah solos to freaky sound effects; Johnny Unicorn adds some nice touches on sax; and Naomi Adele Smith, in addition to providing a female vocal foil to Michael Trew's leads, plays some really good keyboard parts. But it's really the combination of all these elements and more that makes this one of my favorite releases of the year so far (and unlikely to be surpassed in the coming months).
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more