Various Artists — Un Voyage en Progressif Vol. 5
(Musea FGBG 4374.AR, 2000, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2001-07-01
We all know that one cut off of a sampler can’t possibly give an accurate picture of a band’s full breadth and quality. But if the purpose of a sampler slot is to shine positive light on a group in order to lure the listener into purchasing one a release of their own then this has to be Musea’s best one to date. What’s fueling the strength of this collection is the recent burst of quality and creativity from Japan, namely from veterans Kenso and newcomers KBB. The latter (plus three other Japanese bands) is represented here with an incendiary prog rock instrumental taken from Lost and Found, a disc that every Exposé reader should own. This approach is revisited in Cafeïne’s “Hubble,” Six North’s “Kundabuffer,” and Decadence’s “The Dancing Bells.” Each track serves up exciting and supercharged rock instrumentals featuring fierce soloing (typically from the guitars and keys) with virtuoso backing from the rhythm sections. What’s especially nice about this style is that it achieves what prog metal bands like Shadow Gallery and Dream Theater are after without the adolescent sentimentality and grandiose theatrics. For those wishing for something a bit more calming, tracks from Jean-Pascal Boffo and Germany’s Versus X are both simultaneously dynamic and restrained, demonstrating superior control and precision. On the whole there’s a maturity and intelligence to this collection that could just about restore respect to the prog genre and I heartily recommend it for those wishing to glimpse the best that today’s progressive rock has to offer.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
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