Tusmørke — Bydyra
(Karisma KAR132, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-04-10
In the spectrum of Scandinavian progressive rock, Tusmørke skews generally towards the folksy, pastoral side rather than the heavy, dramatic side. And while members of the band are also involved with White Willow, Wobbler, and other groups, Tusmørke has a distinctive identity of its own, at least on Bydyra — I haven’t heard any of their others, so can’t speak to them. That distinctive identity involves creating music explicitly aimed at children. Most of the tunes here feature one or more children singing, sometimes a whole bunch of them, and the adult voices are modified in chipmunkish ways. And if this brings to mind the sound of Gong in the pre-fusion days, you’re definitely thinking in the right direction, like the sillier moments of Camembert Electrique or the Planet Gong Trilogy all strung together and sung in Norwegian. And like classic Gong, the frivolous vocal aspects are backed by some seriously good playing. In Norway, this would be the perfect way for adult prog fans to get their kids into the “right” music. Outside of Norway, it may not appeal to kids due to the language barrier, but adults can enjoy the good music. Some tracks sound like traditional children’s songs done up in a proggy way; others sound like solid proggish folk-rock with the kid-oriented vocals added on top. In either case, it is the kind of thing that might turn off some listeners, but I think anyone who is into Gong could appreciate Bydyra. Check your adult cynicism at the door and just enjoy — a little goofy fun is welcome in a world that can seem so serious.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
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