Jade Warrior — Now
(Repertoire REPUK1129, 2010, CD)
Jade Warrior is one of those musical enigmas that has been nearly impossible to pigeonhole. Founder members Jon Field and vocalist Glyn Havard resurrected the band in 2007 meeting up after a long musical drought. This guest-star-heavy disc of ten tracks expertly meshes the best elements of nearly all the band's previous work, from pastel serene themes to 70s hard rock and New Age backdrops. Possibly the most outstanding feature is the impressive recording and mix by bassist Dave Sturt and Noel Watson. The band's extreme dynamics from quiet enigmatic passages (represented by the opening cut, "Fool and the Bride") transition easily to fragile interludes and smothering synth washes to brash Japanese choir samples. Field's strong compositional focus makes the effort a cohesive one indicated by careful theme development and transition. The group's cinematic approach can be easily compared to that of a Samurai's sword swooping down upon the hesitant listener, cutting through butter. Guitarist Tim Stone does not so much fill the vacant shoes of the late Tony Duhig, but instead provides fitting fretwork and burning riffs when called upon. Blowout pieces such as "Jam Meltdown" and "Screaming Dream" feature Havard's distinctive singing, which is a direct link back to early roots present in the heavier psychedelic-edged albums Released and Last Autumn's Dream. Overall the recording runs the gamut of the band's best attributes and confirms that seasoned veterans have plenty of seasoned wine left in the bottle.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more