Yūgen — Mirrors
(AltrOck Productions ALT030, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01With three outstanding studio albums behind them, last years' RIO festival seemed like an excellent opportunity to capture the band in a live setting. The material here, drawn mostly from the band's previous recordings, is arranged for a leaner, meaner lineup without the benefit of guest musicians. Those yet unfamiliar with Yūgen's sound would do well to start here, where defining elements of the RIO style, if there is such a thing (think late period Henry Cow, Univers Zero, Stormy Six) meet instrumental Zappa and other innovative 20th century composers' work in a beautiful classicism that is at once angular, adventurous, delicate, and romantic. two pieces here in particular, "Catacresi," and "Cloudscape" pull together all the diverse aspects of the band's sound into exemplary summaries, although every piece here, including their rendition of Tim Hodgkinson's "Industry" deserve special note. After all, this was a setting where the band could present their best material to a fully engaged and receptive audience. While most of us couldn't be there, this live recording of the band at their best will certainly suffice.
Related artist(s): Yūgen
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
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