Robert Rich — Ylang
(Soundscape SP021, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
It seems that every new project that Robert Rich immerses himself in — be it solo or collaborative — adds another level of enlightenment to whatever comes after it, carried forward to his next release in a cumulative way. Ylang is his first solo outing in around three years, a nine part opus set in motion by combining elements of South Indian Karnatic music, trance ambient, jazz, and minimalist groove into a conceptual assemblage much greater than its parts. While synthesizers still play a large role in achieving his results, Ylang seems to benefit from an evergrowing presence of acoustic instrumentation, which includes piano, lap steel guitar, flute, and percussion, and via the contribution of numerous guest players (track depending), cello, violin, upright bass, mrdungam (a two-headed Indian hand drum), guitar, drums, and bansuri flutes. Add to this the superb vocalizing by Emily Bezar on several of the tracks and you have a robust mix of organic components augmenting the overall sound, which benefits from plenty of studio processing as well. The end result is breathtaking in its depth and shimmering beauty. One can absorb this on a number of different levels — it is after all very melodic and overtly rhythmic, but also somewhat trance inducing, and thus suitable for spiritual contemplation or meditation, or even winding downward on the spiral into slumber. A superb release, and one not to be missed.
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