Various Artists — EurNoVision
(Soft Bodies, 2015, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-10-24
Compilations are a great way for getting exposed to new bands and a wider variety of music. EurNoVision is a compilation presenting 20 tracks by 20 underground bands from 20 different European countries and disputed territories like Scotland and Catalonia. EurNoVision is intended to be the inaugural release of an annual compilation on a variety of formats. The majority of the bands presented here recorded music specifically for this compilation. However, a couple of artists like Felix Kubin & Matthias Brosch (Germany) provided “Cassandra Calling” that they recorded in 1985, and Kompleksi’s (Finland) unreleased track “(e)motions.” The music on this disc spans a variety of genres from electro disco – techno – post punk – pop psych; there is a little bit of something for everyone. As with most compilations, listening to it is like riding a roller coaster. There are some incredible highs and some lows not worth mentioning. The high points for me include Austria’s Just Friends and Lovers’ energetic post punk “Isaac,” Hungary’s Morningdeer’s “This Time,” a dark brooding song akin to Lydia Lunch that eventually turns interesting and experimental with some odd sounds, “Cassandra Call” sounding a bit like Der Plan and Pyrolator, Dion and the Magic Chords’ (Netherlands) sequencer-driven “Synchroniziztät” sounding like Eno-era Cluster, Catalonia’s Motor Combo’s “Magnetic Message” sounding like man-machine Kraftwerk, Clockwork Orchestra’s “Don’t Listen to the Ghosts” with its cheesy organ riffs reminding me of Young Marble Giants, Echo Beatty’s (Belgium) “Knots” with its gothic-psych vibe, England’s Cleaners from Venus’ “The Rose of the Lanes” 60s Brit pysch-pop sounding like a combo of the Bee Gees and the Hollies, Kodagain’s (Serbia) inventively titled “Berlusconi Stole My Teenage Girfriend” that is far too short, and the best song on the disc, “B Parigi” by Italy’s Spaguetta Orghasmmond. “B Parigi” is an amalgamation of electro, pop, horror, and Italian progressive. The tune is very catchy and there is even someone whistling. So, if you are in the mood for exploring strange new musics, be sure to check out EurNoVision.
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