Various Artists — Strange Daze '97
(Pangea Music OM-2012, 1997/1999, 2CD)
by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2000-10-01
The inaugural event which was covered in Exposé issue 14 is captured here on 2 CDs. If you have any aversion to space rock at all, keep away. The Gaia Avatara, Red Giant, and Nucleon tracks will most likely hold no interest for Exposé readers: They're definitely not prog and arguably not space rock. I'm sure it's difficult to pick just one song from many bands, but ST37 and F/i had much more interesting songs than those chosen. As expected though, Architectural Metaphor is totally soaking in a trippy, hazy, space funk. I like how the Bionaut and Freak Element tracks seem to build into Melting Euphoria's "Celestial Hysteria." Too bad it was followed by Born to Go's "Burning Inside": just awful. Quarkspace's "Faerienot Space" is beautiful. The instrumental tones are so clean and crisp and perfectly chosen. So unusual and refreshing to hear space rock keyboards dominated by piano – even the electronic drums I thought I'd abhor so much sound great. Alien Planetscape's "Soft Martian" rounds off the disc with their intensely freaky psychedelic space rock.
On disc 2, Dave Brock mixed various songs (including some duplicates from disc 1) into an aural collage ". . . as a sort of 'Cosmic Trip'" through the weekend, and on that level it succeeds. If you were there, it's a real nice flashback. However, I'm disappointed that the disc wasn't devoted entirely to Hawkwind and especially Nik Turner/Farflung, the latter making up only three short songs. Programming out the duff tracks from the two disc set leaves us about an hour's worth of good to excellent space rock.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more