Steve Roach / Erik Wøllo — Stream of Thought
(Projekt 224, 2009, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01Roach should be well known to Exposé readers, and in fact Wøllo should as well – he’s a Norwegian guitarist who, at least these days almost always relies on elusive techniques that make his guitar sound like anything but a guitar. This long-distance collaboration is not as unlikely as it first seems, given both artists’ propensity for creating lush atmospherics by whatever means. And atmospheric this is: Stream of Thought is actually 19 tracks that run together nearly seamlessly creating over an hour of continuous sound, often drifting into deep space and areas beyond consciousness, but punctuated with regularity by sequenced passages – not rigid sequenced expanses like Schulze or Pinhas, but more subtle adventures blended with the nuances of deep-space drones and cloudy imagery floating within and behind the sequenced activity. The effect is like walking (or drifting) through a long corridor with side passages that take the listener in different directions for a while, but eventually return. There are even some brief splendid moments with “real” guitar (that is, unprocessed, un-synthesized), but it doesn’t come until later in the overall program. This – unlike many of the titles I have previously reviewed by Steve Roach alone and with various collaborators, is more of an “active listening” experience, though still quite relaxing and mentally soothing. Because of its varied approaches it seems a bit less suited for slumber. All taken, this is an excellent collaboration that might surprise the listener.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more