Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Progression in Balance Vol. 1
(Unicorn Digital UNCR-3010, 2004, CD)

Various Artists — Progression in Balance Vol. 2
(Unicorn Digital UNCR-5024, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Progression in Balance Vol. 1 Cover artProgression in Balance Vol. 2 Cover art

Quebec’s Unicorn Records, founded in 1996, has been serving primarily as an outlet for Canadian prog-rock bands, though the roster has grown to include groups such as America’s Parallel Mind, Ukraine’s Karfagen and Norway’s Retroheads. The label has become a force within the progressive scene and to better market their burgeoning stable of bands they’ve begun producing compilation disks, these being their first two (not counting the 2004 promotional-only CD Prog-Résiste). Both are good, though Volume 1 is the stronger of the two, stringing together 14 exceptional tracks that understandably spend the most time with the brightest stars in the Unicorn universe, sympho-prog heavyweights Hamadryad and Spaced Out (featuring bass god Antoine Fafard), who each get three slots on the disk. Lesser known groups like Heon, Talisma, and the Martin Maheux Circle also prove themselves to be formidable talents and worthy of further inspection. In fact, excellent production values and performances inhabit every cut on both CDs, even if some don’t care for more mainstream-sounding offerings from Little King, Kaos Moon or Unicorn founder Michel St-Pere’s own group Mystery. But even the more accessible groups have substance behind their recordings, either in the arrangements or the instrumental work. On the other end of the scale are bands like France’s Nil who flirt with avant compositions and performances but always with a rationale and not so abstract that mainstream progressive listeners would lose patience with them. Given that each of these disks is offered at a discounted price ($10 Canadian) there’s every reason for progheads looking for something new to give them a listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2004 releases, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Hamadryad, Spaced Out, Talisma, Xinema, Mystery, Addison Project, Various Artists, Antoine Fafard

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gathering - Mandylion – I've heard this group mentioned in the same breath as The Third and the Mortal, so I decided to check out one of their releases. Hailing from the Netherlands, The Gathering is Rene Rutten...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues