Haco + Sakamoto Hiromichi — Ash in the Rainbow
(ReR Megacorp HACO3, 2002, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2005-03-01Haco was the singer for After Dinner, while Sakamoto Hiromichi has played in a Pascal Comelade cover group and Lars Hollmer’s SOLA. On Ash in the Rainbow, they combine her voice, sometimes multi-tracked, his cello, and many effects to create experimental art pop. Some of the material is rather melancholy and pretty, while other tracks are more typical of the ReR catalog and would be best described as quirky. Most tracks are with the duo, but percussionist Era Mari also plays on several tracks. The sparse arrangements avoid sounding thin due to the sampled sounds and studio work. Highlights include the shoegazing title track, and the somber and fragile “Zero Hills.” At its best the music is pretty and infectious. The ones with English lyrics, in the minority, can be dadaist and nonsensical. The odd cut like “Hot Road” combines both rather well. In all though I don’t really connect with the material emotionally. I like it better than Haco’s work with After Dinner, but it seems like a work easier to admire like a crystal, than it is to relate to as a listener, something innately alien. For some this will be perfect listening.
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
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more