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.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more