Exposé Online banner

Ut Gret — Ancestors' Tale
(AltrOck Productions ALT-041, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-06-19

Ancestors' Tale Cover artThe follow-up to 2011’s Radical Symmetry is a further refinement of Ut Gret’s unique musical vision. Ancestors’ Tale represents the crossroads of many different seemingly incongruent styles, but presented with the masterful hands of this group that seems to be able to make anything work, whether inside or outside the box. The ten tracks here cover about an hour, and brim with invention at every new turn, combining spirited rock with elements of chamber, jazz, world folk, impressionist classical, improvisation, and avant-garde, all based on exceptional compositions mostly by bassist, guitarist and de-facto bandleader Joee Conroy and keyboardist Steve Roberts either alone or together or in combination with other band members. There are vocals, but not a whole lot of them, courtesy of singer Cheyenne Mize who may remind listeners just a smidgen of Thinking Plague during her vocal parts, while at other times she is contributing on violin. But overall, this is for the most part an instrumental effort, with strong arrangements utilizing the band’s powerful woodwind section of Jackie Royce, Steve Good and Greg Acker (the latter doubling on percussion), which includes flute, basoon, contra-bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, bari sax, and even occasional didgeridoo. Roberts’ preferred keyboards include electric piano, piano, Mellotron, and occasional organ, vibes, marimba, and samples. Drummer Gary Pahler connects all the dots and provides the necessary structure, wherever that structure is needed. As one traverses these cuts, reminders of the work of other classic progressive artists may make fleeting appearances: Soft Machine and other prime era Canterbury bands, Univers Zero (with all those woodwinds, how could it not?), and the strong influence of mid-70s King Crimson is in evidence on many of the later tracks. There’s a lot of brilliance and originality herein, and it’s very hard to stop pushing that replay button, as each spin reveals something new or presents something familiar in an entirely new light.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Ut Gret

Latest news

2020-12-09
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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
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

2020-10-06
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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Born Again Floozies - Street Music – This Indiana based quintet led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Joey Welch caught this writer's ear a few years ago with their debut EP Novelties, Addenda and Ephemera, five songs that...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues