Peter Frohmader — Stringed Works
(Multimood Mrc 006, 1994, CD)
Nekropolis — Live
(Ohrwaschl OW 033, 1983/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-11-01
For those of you disillusioned with the lack of early Frohmader / Nekropolis reissues on CD (whatever happened to the plans on the Sensorium label?), here's the reissues of Nekropolis' live album and the Winter Music EP plus.
Nekropolis Live was Frohmader's third album (I think) and probably the most rock structured of all his releases. Basically guitar-bass-vocals-drums (plus guests,) this is very much in the mid-period King Crimson vein with a lot of angular Frippian guitar. Overall, this is a lot darker than the Crimson comparison would imply (and nowhere near as good), and there are shades of the first two Nekropolis LPs with some gloomy Lovecraft / Giger inspired soundscapes and Jannik Top like bass. While the music is dense and complex, the consistent use of dissonance makes this an initially difficult listen and for those who like a more melodic structure it probably wouldn't sit right. With over 20 minutes of bonus tracks (two long ones) this is a good purchase for the adventurous.
Frohmader's Stringed Works is far more interesting a release being the reissue of the excellent Winter Music EP and two 20 minute plus symphonies for bass (or guitar and bass). The music here is typically experimental with lots of room given to Frohmader's bass tones. He gets an incredible amount of different tones from his basses and the results are quite scintillating. Again, pointers here are the early Nekropolis albums, yet only on the Winter Music selections does the sound become overtly electronic. All the music here is fascinating and rather unclassifiable, any further explanation would be redundant. I'm still looking forward to more reissues by Frohmader (takers on Jules Verne Cycle?) He remains an enigmatic and daring musician.
Related artist(s): Peter Frohmader / Nekropolis
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