Spaced Out — Evolution
(Unicorn Digital UNCR-5057, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01
After numerous releases sticking pretty close to a singular style, this appropriately titled latest studio release by the band shows them trying out some new directions, while still maintaining close ties with their instrumental rock-fusion roots. The complexity factor is ratcheted up on many of the album’s nine cuts, and there are some edgy passages that might find the band approaching an avant-garde funky metal sound. That said there is still enough of the electrified jazz-rock fusion sound to tie in nicely with their previous work. Guitarist Mark Trembly and various guest keyboardists cover the upper reaches, while leader/composer/bassist Antoine Fafard and drummer Martin Maheux maintain the busy bottom end. This writer was able to see the material here previewed in their live set at FMPM 2008 in Montreal last September, and it was certainly impressive, although perhaps custom made for music geeks who trip on impressively complex compositions and brilliantly flashy playing. One could see some of the more ‘song oriented’ folks in the audience getting bored with all this high intensity musicianship; with that observation it should be evident that this is probably not for everyone, but those who thought “YYZ” was the best cut on Moving Pictures and are ready to absorb nearly an hour of all instrumental material of that caliber – stuff that demands the listener’s attention to every note and measure, then Spaced Out’s latest will indeed be manna from heaven.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more