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, Nicklas Barker, 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
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