Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart — Make Believe It Real
(Gonzo Multimedia HST205CD, 2014, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-26With every Spirits Burning release, what is most noteworthy is the inclusive method of long-distance production and the vast number of musicians that are involved, whether one is into this type of space-rock or not. Every musician that plays on each track writes their own parts around a skeleton that acts as a seed for the piece, and thus becomes a collaborator in the composition. The parts are recorded in home studios all over the world, and then in the end game, all the various parts are sorted and sifted by master of ceremonies and production wizard Don Falcone. Falcone (synths, keyboards, accordion, bass, effects, electronic percussion) and singer, space whisperer and EWI player Bridget Wishart have a hand in every cut on this two disc set, while other players may feature on one or more or many pieces. Members and former members of Hawkwind / Hawklords are well represented (Alan Davey, Harvey Bainbridge, Dave Anderson, Richard Chadwick, Paul Hayles, Simon House, Dan Thompson, and others), Daevid Allen from Gong, Nigel Mazlyn Jones, Keith The Bass from Here and Now, violinist Craig Fry from cartoon/PFS, Twink, guitarist Jay Tausig, guitarist Doug Erickson, and that only covers about half – there are 37 collaborators total on this leg of the Spirits Burning journey. Eleven pieces of varying length make up the first disc, while a second, shorter disc of six cuts is labeled “bonus tracks,” including an excellent version of Roger Waters’ “Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk” from the first Floyd album. The fourteen minute, seven part “Reflections” that closes disc one is all over the map, but very unlike the rest, which pretty much stick to a space-rock vision that should be no surprise considering the resumes of many of the collaborators. As always with SB, there’s a smorgasbord of great stuff here, even more with two discs of material, but it takes a few listens to set the controls and get familiar with it all.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more