Marble Sheep — Stone Marby
(Captain Trip CTCD-300, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01
This album sees Marble Sheep back together in the studio for the first time since about 1993, and a finer example of heavy Japanese psychedelic music I could not name. There are bits of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, anime sci-fi, and who knows what else tossed into the Cuisinart with much enthusiasm and some humor, blended on high for long enough to purée thoroughly, and splattered on the walls like a metaphor gotten out of hand. Most of the songs feature riffs played hard on electric guitar, backed by insistent drumming, and topped with Ken Matsutani’s mumbly singing. There are some catchy melodies here, like the simple hook to the rock ‘n’ roll strutter “UFO” and the anthemic theme of “Horizon.” The quieter moments are pretty short-lived, and it’s not long before a distorted guitar joins any acoustic strumming, as on “Mirror Game.” Keyboard touches from Mellotron and synth provide a little respite from the aggressive guitars. Several of the tracks take a riff and drive it Hawkwind-fashion into the ground, but others feature more elaborate chord progressions. On the whole, the music is a bit too repetitious for extended listening, but there are certainly some good moments if you give it a chance.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more