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
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more