Various Artists — Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 3
(Musea FGBG 4331.AR, 2000, CD)
Various Artists — Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 1
(Musea FBBG 4287.AR, 1999, CD)
Various Artists — Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 2
(Musea FGBG 4300 AR, 1999, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2000-10-01
Musea is currently on a campaign to make the many artists on their label better known to the prog-buying world via these three budget-priced compilation CDs, each featuring about a dozen different artists. The determining factors for success of collections such as these are: do they offer the consumer a representative sampling of what the label has to offer, are they priced fairly, and what is the overall level of quality. On the first mark, I’d give Musea a so-so score. For a label that handles so many different kinds of acts, these three discs lean curiously on the more traditional and symphonic prog bands. The more adventurous or challenging groups on the label are conspicuously absent. On the second criteria, it appears that Musea is selling these at about a quarter of the normal rate for CDs so they get a good score there. And the quality? As with all compilations, these three have their highs and lows, though overall the music here is very good. Musea is fortunate to have such a wealth of great music on their shelves and the casual prog fan is sure to find something they like on any one of these discs. A rundown of all three collections would be overly verbose so let me point out a few points of interest.
Volume One is divided between international, ‘atmospheric,’ and live selections and there’s not a stinker in the bunch. For me, Blue Shift’s Yes-on-steroids “Rome,” Jean-Pascal Boffo’s “Adios,” and Eclat’s live “Circus” lead the way. With Volume Two, the overall vibe is more contemplative, evidenced by some masterfully elegant work from Kenso (“Hyoto”), the ragged and intense gothic prog of Morte Macabre (“Apoteosi del Mistero”), and the solo heroics from Fonya (“Guadalupe from Sierra Diablo”). Also of note are the super-heroics of Gerard (“Into the Dark”) as well as reissued tracks from Vermillion Sands (“The Love in the Cage”) and Sebastian Hardie (“Rosanna”). Volume Three loses a bit of ground on the other two but still has plenty to offer, particularly from Kenso (“Negaikanaeru”), Anekdoten (“From Within”), XII Alfonso (“Eclipse”), and Motoi Sakuraba (“Narratage”). Musea has long been known for their breadth and depth of progressive rock, as well as for their commitment to delivering high quality to the consumer. These compilations serve only to reaffirm that reputation, especially if your taste veer more towards the middle of the road.
Related artist(s): Anekdoten, Jean Pascal Boffo, Dino Brassea, Cast, Drama, Jean-Luc Payssan, XII Alfonso, Gerard, Kenso, Halloween, Ten Jinn, 4/3 de Trio, Sebastian Hardie, Minimum Vital / Vital Duo, Aelian, Vermilion Sands, Finisterre, Motoi Sakuraba, Quidam, Starless, Various Artists, Jean-Pierre Alarcen, Chris Fournier (Fonya), Arne Schäfer (Apogee), Galadriel, Tiemko, Alfonso Vidales, Mario Millo
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