Kurt Rongey — With Form It Threatens Silence
(Long Dark Music LDCD05, 2006, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Quite a few years ago — I think it was after I first heard Echolyn — I devised a new sub-genre of progressive rock, part of my own eccentric system of categorizing music. I called this sub-genre "bright" prog, because the overall tone of the music seemed so bright, relying on keyboards with trebly tones, high-pitched vocals, and a somewhat understated low end. After a little thought, I realized that you could probably work backward and throw Starcastle into the same category. All of which serves to introduce a new entry into the roster of Bright Prog. As with many of Kurt Rongey's projects (see The Underground Railroad), this album was a long time in the works, with the backing tracks done on a Kurtzweil keyboard back in 1993, tweaked a bit in 1995, and not finished (basically just adding the vocals) until 2005. So this is both a new release and a time capsule, with some attendant dated aspects. Certainly if you object to programmed drums, you'll want to stay away, but for my ears, the quality of the composition trumps the artificial rhythms — and it seems that a kind of mechanical sound was part of the intended aesthetic (the three-part "Mechmech" suite is an obvious clue). So if you're up for some imaginative meditations on technology done in a prog-meets-electronic style, this should suit you fine. In keeping with the technological attitude, he's made it available for download (complete with artwork) at his website rather than on physical media.
Related artist(s): Kurt Rongey
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more