Unit Wail — Pangaea Proxima
(Soleil Zeuhl 32, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01A new vision of darkness with some Zeuhlish touches, Unit Wail is a French five-piece playing the compositions of keyboardist Vincent Sicot Vantalon, twelve pieces in all, but also noteworthy is the membership of guitarist Franck-William Fromy, formerly of Shub Niggurath. Echoes of that band can be heard throughout Pangaea Proxima, that angular tortured guitar sustain that was their trademark crops up with regularity through Fromy's playing. In addition to Vantalon, there is a second keyboardist Emmanuel Pothier, and the rhythm section of Philippe Haxaire and Adrian Luna on drums and bass respectively. The hyper-busy drumming and throbbing growling bass do recall elements of the Zeuhl sound, but this is by no means a 'Magma' style band, there’s just too much else going on here. If there are any similarities with other bands, Present might be a valid reference point. With the exception of some spoken parts, the album is entirely instrumental. There are passages of soaring melodies also ("Outerspace" is a fine example), and given that this is a dual-keyboard band, there are plenty of moments that wander slightly into electronic territory, but never get carried away due to the solid anchoring that the rest of the band provides. There's a lot here for an adventurous listener to like, but it's a journey of many plays to know it well enough to know what’s coming next. After over a dozen plays, I'm still finding new surprises around every corner.
Related artist(s): Unit Wail
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more