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Kenso - Overview of Pre-1996 Releases

Cover art If Japan has the equivalent of a Happy the Man, Kenso is it. Their sound encompasses everything, from polished symphonic prog, to fusion, Canterbury, even touches of Japanese traditional music. The music is (with a couple of exceptions) entirely instrumental, melodically rich, highly spirited, and completely energized. They've been together since the late 70s, off and on, and the lineup has changed over time, but has always centered around guitarist Yoshihisa Shimizu. In addition to guitar, the lineup typically features dual keyboards, bass, and drums — and early on included a flautist as well.  » Read more
(Posted by Peter Thelen 1996-03-01)

Weaving a String of Dreams —
The Hoelderlin Story

Cover art Hoelderlin are not generally mentioned in the same breath as Grobschnitt, SFF, Novalis, Wallenstein, and the other leading lights of German symphonic rock, but they should be. Their brand of progressive music, while distinctly German, was unlike any of their aforementioned peers. Hoelderlin's style is altogether mellower and more pastoral, drawing influence from rock, jazz, folk and the music of the Romantic era. The result is a lyrical, melodic music distinct from anything else happening in Germany. Perhaps this is why the recent reissues have not received the attention they deserved thus far.  » Read more
(Posted by Mike Ohman 1995-07-01)

Music for a Crisis of Survival —
A Profile of Mike Johnson and Thinking Plague 1998

Cover art While speaking with Mike Johnson, co-founder, guitarist, and principal composer of Denver’s Thinking Plague, it was clear to me that this man knows exactly what he’s doing. Confident but never condescending, amiable but with a sizeable chip on his shoulder, Mike Johnson is proud of what he has accomplished as both a composer and as a guitarist. But he holds no delusions that he will ever make a decent living playing music.  » Read more
(Posted by Steve Robey 1999-04-01)

Music for Dark Gods —
A Profile of Shub-Niggurath

Cover art The enigmatic name is, or course, from Lovecraft. The phonetically bizarre world of Lovecraft's mythos has attracted many, many bands to use names of entities and places from its stories and legends. Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, is a dark and terrible alien fertility goddess in the mythos, sometimes depicted as a demonic goat, sometimes as an enormous amorphous mass spawning her "Dark Young" — huge tentacled tree-like hulks with shaggy goats legs and hooves — in an endless orgy of reproduction. The extremity and sinister nature of such imagery suits the music of this band perfectly. If ever there were music for the mythos, this is surely the archetype.  » Read more
(Posted by Phil Kime 1997-02-01)

Lengthy Silence Punctuated By... —
A Profile of French TV 1996

Cover art An unlikely name for a collective of progressive musicians from Louisville, Kentucky, French TV is essentially bassist / bandleader Mike Sary and whoever he happens to be working with at any given point in time. From one album to the next, the high turnover rate in the lineup may, at first lead one to believe that French TV is more of a solo project — yet considering the time elapsed between recording of the band's four releases (nearly eight years in some cases), these are only snapshots of what has been a gradual change.  » Read more
(Posted by Peter Thelen 1996-03-01)

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
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

2017-08-22
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


Previously in Exposé...

Rudy Adrian - Distant Stars – As its title boldly suggests, Rudy Adrian's latest (and his third for Lotuspike) launches the listener into the ambient expanses of deep space, leaving the earth – elements of which provided the...  (2011) » Read more

André Andersen - Changing Skin – Anderson is the keyboardist of Royal Hunt, a progressive metal band from Denmark that released the album Paradox on Magna Carta a couple years ago (and four more on other labels before that). The...  (1999) » Read more

George & Caplin - He Really Got through to Advertising – At first I was tempted to look up one of my previous George and Caplin reviews and just recycle a bit, but in all fairness, this CD actually is different than the others. It’s much more...  (2008) » Read more

Jeff Sherman - Gauguin – Jeff Sherman’s role in the resurgence of Northwest band Glass has been nothing short of surprising. First by bringing the band back together from obscurity (the trio has now released two archive...  (2006) » Read more

Mystery - Destiny? 10th Anniversary Edition – This is a reissue of Mystery’s second disc, Destiny? Originally issued in 1988, it features original singer Gary Savoie along with main song-writer and guitarist Michel St-Père. When it...  (2011) » Read more



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