Nektar — Unidentified Flying Abstract
(Bellaphon 9724525, 1974/2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01
Nektar occupies a somewhat awkward place in the history of progressive rock. They don't fit in with the symphonic style of Yes or Genesis, and they're not as elaborate as King Crimson or Gentle Giant or artsy and uncompromising as Henry Cow and friends. Like Camel and Caravan, their music grows out of the psychedelic rock of the 60s, with occasional big concepts, multipart suites, and a bit of room for improvisation, but with a definite rock and roll feel almost always present. This live in studio recording dates from a single night in 1974, when they were at the creative peak of their 70s work. Remember the Future and Down to Earth (recorded but not yet released) were immediately behind them, and Recycled just ahead, but instead of a set from the Down to Earth tour (as documented on Sunday Night at the London Roundhouse), this presents almost all new material (“Desolation Valley” from A Tab in the Ocean being the only pre-existing song). In spite of the fact that none of the five new tunes here never got another studio recording, the material is not really inferior, only unrehearsed and a bit underdeveloped. There's a bit of jamming, especially on “We Must Have Been Smashed,” but the playing is good enough to hold a listener's interest. This is not an essential piece of rock history, but it is a great addition to Nektar's discography, and surely of interest to any fan of the band.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more