Squackett — A Life within a Day
(Esoteric Antenna EANTCD 1002, 2012, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-10-25Here is one of the most anticipated releases of 2012, bringing together prog titans Steve Hackett of Genesis and Chris Squire of Yes (in case the groan-worthy moniker didn’t tip you off). The album was an outgrowth of collaborations begun with Hackett’s last two releases, and if you liked those songs then you should enjoy this collection as well. The lead-off title track establishes the pattern for what is to come, setting Hackett’s vocal against bombastic orchestrations that are balanced by bass and guitar pyrotechnics. The songwriting leans more toward Hackett than Squire, though the big guy never fails to make his presence known, whether on backing vocal harmonies or with his signature bass sound and playing. Long time Hackett partner Roger King is the critical third leg in the arrangement with his sophisticated orchestrations, keyboards and production mastery cementing everything together. Hackett fans are well acquainted with his work but it’s great to hear Squire in such a rich tableau. The few relatively lightweight songs (“Divided Self,” “Aliens”) may not win many fans among hardcore progheads, but that’s not what this collaboration was about to begin with, since what bonded Squire and Hackett was their mutual love for melodic vocal acts like The Hollies and CSN. This shows up in gems like “The Summer Backwards” or “Can’t Stop the Rain” (which also features some uncharacteristically jazzy guitar from Hackett). Squire’s excellent “Perfect Love Song” finishes things off in style, leaving me hoping for more. Recommended.
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more