Fish — Sunsets on Empire
(Dick Bros DDICK25, 1997, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1997-10-01
Fish’s fourth studio solo album is out (as an import, domestically available sometime in July along with the new Marillion as well) and this is the one he has promised his fans for a long time now. The key to the success of this album, though, is not a rekindled flame in Mr. Dick’s heart, but rather the leadership of Porcupine Tree’s wizard Steve Wilson, who produced and arranged the album. Wilson also wrote more than half of the ten tunes, as well as playing guitars and keyboards on all of them. That’s a serious contribution. The result? Well, after about 30 seconds of the opener “The Perception of Johnny Punter,” you’ll soon find this album has more balls than anything Fish has released to date. Other guitarists Frank Usher and Robin Boult are back as well. There is very little keyboard actually, this is guitar-driven stuff. Fish’s voice has not deteriorated a single bit; he sounds great. Lyrically, he’s a little more direct and less flowery than before, but that’s been the trend on all his solo stuff. Sure, there are more than a handful of duff tracks, but that’s always been the case. Recommended to long-time fans for sure, and for those who have written Fish off, well, write a thank-you letter to Steve Wilson.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more