Paga Group — Gnosis
(BLCD 013, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01Paga today is: Bernard Paganotti, former monster-zeuhl bassist with Magma and Weidorje, Klaus Blasquiz, former Magma lead vocalist on all their best albums, Bertrand Lajudie on keyboards, and new members Francois Laizeau on drums, who played with Magma, Offering and Yochk'o Seffer in the 80s, and Eric Seva on soprano and tenor saxes and EWI. So one would expect a lineup with such a pedigree to be pumping out intense, throbbing zeuhl-fusion, right? Like the two previous Paga albums, right? Wrong. In fact it may disappoint some who are expecting some continuity from previous albums, but in fact this album is very different - and even took me by surprise, having heard some live tapes from less than a year before this release. The band has deliberately taken a big step in a jazzier direction. That said, and notwithstanding a more commercial lite-version of their classic "Urantia" that opens the album, the music here is quite good, and in fact may be the best Paga yet; overall the sound is more subtle, yet on close listen one can detect all the fire of Paga past, Paganotti's ever riffing bass, Laizeau's crafty touch on the drums. The keyboards are toned down a bit to make room for the saxes, and due to the jazzier feel of the music, Klaus' voice sounds quite a bit softer than I've heard it before, which tends to translate into more accessible on the vocal tracks (of which there are three). Yet under the smooth surface, all the power and energy are still there, waiting to be heard. Most notable are the tracks "Caravan," "Zigzag," and the eleven-minute Lajudie penned "Jazzobizz." This is an album that takes a few listens to be understood and appreciated; unlike Haunted, it won't jump out of the speakers and grab you by the jugular, but it does make for some compelling listening... after ten-plus times through I'm still discovering new things I haven't heard before.
Related artist(s): Bernard Paganotti
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
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more