Nektar — Remember the Future
(Dream Nebula DNECD-1204, 1973/2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01
For me, Remember the Future has always been the Nektar album. It was the first one I heard, and the others have seemed like variations on its format (disregarding the later albums, which don’t seem like Nektar at all, just some band with a singer that sounds like Roye Albrighton). I know that Nektar has a mixed reputation among prog fans, many of whom feel they aren’t really progressive at all. So be it – I see where they’re coming from. Nektar never loses sight of the “rock” in “progressive rock,” and serve up some great riffs with more blues than Brahms in them. When it comes to long tracks in rock-based music, there are two basic approaches: extended single compositions along the lines of “Awaken” by Yes (which could be seen to take as a model European classic forms) or Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” which stretches with lengthy improvisation; or suites of shorter “songs” run together, like Tull’s “Thick as a Brick,” which follows on the Beatles’ tradition from side two of Abbey Road. This album is squarely in the second camp, with two LP-side-long tracks made up of distinct “songs” bridged by instrumental variations or even brief pauses. As such, it achieves length without being overly complex. It reminds me a bit of Tommy meets Moonmadness with a little Wish You Were Here thrown in. For bonus tracks, three shorter excerpts from the main pieces prove the suite nature of the music, standing nicely on their own.
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Wendy Carlos - Digital Moonscapes & Beauty in the Beast – One of the shortcomings of electronic music is that no matter how sophisticated the hardware and software have become, it can’t approach natural instrumentation for the wealth of detail in sound and... (2001) » Read more