D'accorD — Helike
(Karisma KAR063, 2011, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01Hot on the heels of their acclaimed 2009 debut, this album finds Norwegian outfit D'AccorD taking their retro-prog formula one step further. How better to prove that you've spent hours listening to albums by bands like Jethro Tull and Focus than to make one with your own 20+ minute long epic on it. The good news is that this is a worthy effort I can easily recommend, especially to those who have an itch for the style of prog frequently heard circa 1971–1973. What makes it all work isn't a reliance on Mellotrons or vocals-through-Leslie cabinets, though vintage instruments do appear here. What these guys – and an increasing number of others interested in capturing this era – have learned is that the essence (or to borrow a phrase from winemaking, the terroir) of those old albums had more to do with elements like jazzy drumming, funky grooves and musicians whose record collections included as much Cream and John Coltrane as Genesis and King Crimson. This explains how the two suites can navigate their many twists and turns while still hanging together through riff-heavy passages, distortion-laden guitar solos, pastoral flute and piano interludes and bombastic, rock operatics. Front man Daniel Maage chews sonic scenery throughout, reminding me of both Daniel Gildenlöw and Arthur Brown. He's ably supported by a band that includes dual keyboards to ensure that the epics have muscle and orchestral textures to spare. Keep D'AccorD on your "watch closely" list, and catch them live if you can.
Related artist(s): D'accorD
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
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