Sanguine Hum — Now We Have Light
(Esoteric Recordings EANTCD 20142, 2015, 2CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-07-26
In the years since its genesis (ahem!) in the 80s, the term “neo-prog” has taken on a meaning that’s pretty highly codified, with a style adapting some of the qualities of previous progressive rock for the somewhat simpler tastes of the 80s – basically adapting the more pop-friendly elements of prog within a framework developed by New Wave. Of course, Neo-Prog has nearly as many detractors as it has fans, and has since its beginnings, and (to be fair) many of the bands that started out as derivative Neo-Prog went on to develop more original styles of their own. By the early part of the 21st Century, there’s even a new generation of bands inspired as much by 80s Neo-Prog as they are by 70s Classic Prog. Sanguine Hum does not sound like one of those bands. From the get-go their sound seems of a stream apart. Listening to the music, it’s clearly got progressive flavors, with complex compositions, instrumental parts that go far beyond playing chords to back up a vocal part, and lots of vintage keyboard sounds. But there’s also not much in the way of references to Yes or Genesis. It’s interesting how even the use of a Mellotron, as on “End of the Line,” doesn’t make them sound symphonic in any conventional way. Another notable factor is that, unlike most current progressive bands, there’s not even a whiff of metal influence. Some comparable artists that come to mind are Happy the Man, Mike Keneally’s Beer for Dolphins, Modest Midget, and Echolyn. In addition to being a welcome change from today’s crop of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater sound-alikes, Sanguine Hum is just downright fun to listen to. Definitely something to check out if you’re not listening to them already.
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more