Various Artists — Riddle of Lumen
(F.M.N. Sound Factory FMC-001, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
From the dark abrasive regions of cement and steel, where rock meets noise in an industrial apocalyptic nightmare, comes the first CD from the Japanese FMN Tape label... I suppose this means that they're not just a tape label anymore! Riddle of Lumen collects material by twelve of their artists, all part of the "Kansai rock scene" in Kyoto, a part of the new underground noise-rock movement. Featured artists include P.O.N. and Yoshide Otomo (both of whom contribute two tracks apiece), and also some lesser known artists like EQ, Drill Man, Romp, Bidziliba, U, Peregrini, Soap-Joh Henshi, O.A.D. and Solmania. Most of the bands here are essentially instrumental, with some occasional shouts / screams / spoken / distorted parts, and like all compilations there's quite a bit of variety. On one end you have bands like P.O.N. who may remind of the NY Downtown sound mixed with some RIO elements, and on the other you have Solmania, whose entry "Sift 84" is basically three and a half minutes of painful grinding distortion and metallic screeching. Most are somewhere in between, occupying a region of the rock spectrum that bands like YBO2 were beginning to define a decade ago. If this sounds interesting to you, then you'll probably like it. Otherwise keep the Excedrin handy.
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