David Borden/Mother Mallard: We are in the midst of reorganizing our performance tools so that the sounds used can be more varied and controlled more efficiently. Instead of hardware synthesizers, we are using laptops with USB 88-key keyboards attached. We are also adding a fourth member, Conrad Alexander, who teaches percussion at Ithaca College and brings his MalletKat (also attached to a laptop via USB), which is a marimba-like MIDI Controller. The sounds used are sampled from various hardware and software synthesizers and samplers. The live performance software we are using is Reason 3.0, which includes a module called a "Combinator." This enables us to map several different sounds to the keyboards at any one time, and to change to another entirely different setup in a matter of seconds. Also, some of the sounds we are using are native to Reason 3.0. Reason is a software digital audio workstation. The only hardware synthesizer that we use is the Moog Voyager, but that will not be used in this particular concert. This is our first concert with live digital video, something we plan to keep and expand on. The newest piece on the program is called "Third Sunset/The Dawns/Denishawn" and is a tribute to Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn who together pioneered and established modern dance as we know it. This piece employs live mixing of digital still and moving images of these two and members of their company. Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, and Louise Brooks were all Denishawn dancers. "Third Sunset" is an anagram of Ruth St. Denis and "The Dawns" is an anagram of Ted Shawn. The performers will be: Keyboards - Blaise Bryski, David Yearsly and David Borden. MalletKat - Conrad Alexander. Electric Guitar - Gabriel Borden. Live Digital Video - Noni Korf Vidal and Franck Vidal.
The Microscopic Septet: The Microscopic Septet prepares for a second series of gigs in Nov/Dec 2007. The Micros plan to record a new CD during the upcoming tour for late 2008 release.
Phillip Johnston performs his original score for F.W. Murnau's "Faust" in Sydney on Sep 10th, and with the saxophone quartet SNAP at the Jazz Now Festival at the Sydney Opera House. His recent projects include the scores for the machinima feature film, "Stolen Life" and Henry Bean's film "Noise" starring Tim Robbins & William Hurt, due for a Jan 2008 release.
Dave Sewelson's latest project Two Sisters Inc. (two baris, one mind...and a bass), Claire Daly and Sewelson - baritone saxes and David Hofstra-Bass, will be performing at the Blues to Bop Festival http://www.bluestobop.ch/ in Lugano, Switzerland from August 30 thru September 1. Their debut recording "Scaribari" is available from Baritunes. www.twosistersinc.com
Paul Shapiro: On Saturday Sep 29th "Paul Shapiro's Ribs and Brisket" will be playing the Opening of the new S. Steven Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture at Central Library on Grand Army Plaza. 7:00 PM. On Friday Oct 12 "Paul Shapiro's Midnight Minyan" performs at the 92nd Street Y as part of their "Shabbat Salon" Program. 8:00 PM at the Warburg Lounge.
Far Corner: Far Corner performed at the Milwaukee Art Rock Showcase (MARS) on June 9, 2007. The group has also begun recording new material for their third studio release. In addition, a possible live CD is in the works containing all-new material recorded at various performances in 2005 and 2006.
Dan Maske (keyboards) was recently awarded a commission by the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra. Maske will compose a new 10-15 minute work to be premiered by the orchestra in May 2008. Dan is also busy finishing up new compositions for Far Corner's third studio release. In addition, Maske recently joined the music faculty of Cardinal Stritch University, a liberal arts college in Milwaukee, WI, where he teaches music composition.
Angela Schmidt's (cello) instruction book 101 Cello Tips: The Stuff the Pros Know and Use was released in July 2007, published by Hal Leonard. The book is available in music stores around the world as well as all major online retailers. Angela also appears on the recent release of Unicorn Record's recording artist Dimension X.
William Kopecky (bass) played fretless bass on 3 tracks of the debut CD of Swedish singer/songwriter ANJA. The CD, called Leaving the Alley of Dead Trees, also features Par Lindh as co-producer and keyboardist. The record was released August 18, 2007 by the Crimsonic label. William also appeared as a guest on the new Dimension X CD (on the Unicorn Digital label), but not as a bassist; he had a speaking role as a cop who gets poisoned by a psychopath!
Craig Walkner (percussion) has been busy with a mini-college tour with his band Bascom Hill, with dates in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. He is also working on his solo album in his home studio and will be taking it to Studio One in Racine, WI in late September for completion.
Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic: Birdsongs guitarist Michael Bierylo performed in Boston during May & June with Snappy Dance Company in "String Beings." The piece was a cutting edge multimedia production that combined choreography by company founder Martha Mason, music by Berlin-based composer Michael Rodach, and interactive video by Jack Bachrach of MIT's fabled Media Lab. Bierylo performed on guitar onstage along with Boston Symphony Orchestra first violinist Lucia Lin.
Ken Field's original score for the Bridgman/Packer Dance piece Under the Skin was released on Innova Recordings as part of their select "Short Run" series. The dance, with live music by Field, was presented in Budapest, Hungary in April at an historic theatre where Beethoven once performed, and traveled to Jacob's Pillow and the Bates Dance Festival in August. Future performances include Rhode Island College (Nov 30, 2007), the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (Dec 7-8, 2007), the Alabama Dance Festival (Jan 18-20, 2008), and the Flynn Center in Vermont (March 28, 2008). Field will be a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire in November 2007.
Nick Didkovsky/Doctor Nerve: Nick Didkovsky is going to Budapest for the Music in the Global Village conference (Sep 6-9), where he will present a paper on computer-generated composition for Doctor Nerve, and premiere a new piece for improvising guitar quartet (Keith Rowe, Hans Tammen, Erhard Hirt, and ND). His new record "Ice Cream Time", with ARTE Sax Quartet and Thomas Dimuzio, will be released in early October on New World Records. Nick's new suite for octet featuring Kevin Gallagher's Electric Kompany and Ethel String Quartet will premiere at The Monkey, NYC on Oct 27th. The sound will be in glorious 5.1 and will feature Ethel on one side of the room, and EK on the other. Nick's new CD of Beats and Ringtones is enjoying numerous downloads on iTunes Music Store and elsewhere. Not your normal beats, not your normal ringtones. Nick and Sirius String Quartet are going down to the Sonic Circuits Festival in Wash DC on Sept 22 to perform music from the new CD "Tube Mouth Bow String" (Pogus Productions). And Nick will also perform Fred Frith's "Fell" at the Miller Theatre, NYC Sept 27-30 during a four-day festival of dance.
Djam Karet: Southern California's Djam Karet continues to move forward as usual. Now their music can be downloaded on iTunes, and also on Peter Gabriel's new free download site WE7.com. Recently, some of the members have also been involved in exciting new side-projects. Founding members Gayle Ellett and Chuck Oken Jr. have created a new experimental progressive Electronic music group called Ukab Maerd, which features analog and digital synths, signal processors, percussion and altered electric guitar, and have performed recently at a few gigs in the Los Angeles area. Gayle Ellett, along with his friend Todd Montgomery, have formed Fernwood, an all-acoustic instrumental group with a strong World and Soundtrack feel. Frail and haunting, melancholic yet beautiful, this new ensemble is filled with the exotic sounds of bouzoukis, sitar, oud, ruan, cumbus, guitar, mandolin, harmonium, up-right bass and piano. And now on MTV, you can hear Gayle performing traditional Japanese music on his Koto, in the animation Fuggy-Fuggy.
Mats/Morgan Band: New live CD with Mats/Morgan Band titled "Heat Beats Live" to be released by Cuneiform records in Jan/Feb 2008. Included with this live CD is Morgan Agren "drum DVD" that will contain various recordings made during a 15 years span. Featured on the DVD is: Mats/Morgan Band (as a quintet, trio and duo), box music project, Magma tribute, Simon Steensland Kamikaaze United, Kroumata Percussion Ensemble, Fleshquartet, Lader, Drumkit From Hell demo sessions, the recording of Messhuggah lead Guitarist Fredrik Thordendals solo CD Sol Niger Within etc. Also, Mats/Morgan Bands debut CD, Trends & Other Diseases, will also be released by Cuneiform Records Jan/Feb 2008. Remastered with 15 minutes of bonus material!
Chris McGregor/Brotherhood of Breath: Just to tell you I am in South Africa (Johannesburg) for a concert of Chris McGregor's music at the Johannesburg City Hall! It has been commissioned for the opening night of the Arts Alive Festival taking place in this city during the month of September. The bandleader is Ernest Mothle, erstwhile bassist for the Brotherhood of Breath. There will be a 26-piece string orchestra and a 16-piece band (The Miagi Orchestra). Chris McGregor was also voted one of the 10 Pioneering Spirits of Jazz in South Africa in April this year and awarded a certificate. There is also a pavement in Newtown, Johannesburg engraved with the names of the pioneers, entitled The Walk of Fame.
Shawn Persinger/Boud Dean: Shawn Persinger is Prester John (formerly of Boud Deun) has recently returned to the States from a 4-month, 14-country, world tour. Look for a detailed story on this trip in the upcoming November issue of Guitar Player magazine. Inspired by the trip Shawn is currently working on a new solo CD that should be released before the year is out.
Picchio dal Pozzo: Two apparently different stories meet and, as it happens in these cases, random occasions create a new one Picchio dal Pozzo and Yugen both belong to "borderline" music which, due to its own nature, is really hard to label and perhaps therefore, more fascinating. In March 2007 Picchio dal Pozzo and Yugen meet for the first time in Genoa. PdP has a very long history, with four albums and a large experience on its shoulders. Yugen has published his first CD only some months ago and having now the first live approach. Picchio dal Pozzo + Yugen: Certainly the matching is not accidental, because both groups lived directly (PdP) or recover Rock in Opposition's message; and more: each one its own way filters and interprets contemporary music, progressive rock, improvisation, Franks Zappa and goodness knows what.
Thinking Plague: TP has been invited to perform at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Gouveia, Portugal, 19-20 of next April, 2008. We are currently negotiating, but it looks very definite at this point (will be confirmed by the end of September). This will inaugurate a new incarnation of TP as a live performance unit, which will feature the return of the inimitable David Kerman on drums and percussion (with or without Barbies, yet to be determined), and the amazing Stevan Tickmayer, accomplished composer and mastermind behind the Science Group, on piano and electronic keyboards/samples. If, as seems likely, the band does perform at Gouveia, we will attempt to do a very "mini-Euro-tour", including possibly Paris, Wurzburg, Spirit of 66 (Belgium), and/or possibly Rome or Milano. Meanwhile work slowly moves along on the next TP CD, for which the music is mostly written, including a piece being composed for TP by Stevan Tickmayer. We cannot (will not) speculate upon an expected date of release.
Ahleuchatistas: Ahleuchatistas new album, "Even in the Midst" came out on September 18th on Cuneiform Records. They will be doing CD release concerts in Asheville, Greensboro, and Boone, North Carolina, September 14th, 15th, and 16th, respectively. Then, they fly over to Europe for a string of shows, which includes a performance at the Leipzig Jazz Festival in Leipzig, Germany on October 4th. See the Cuneiform Records "tours" page for more details. Meanwhile, Sean is busy getting on his feet and teaching himself to play the piano, Derek is currently building a giant mellotron in his basement and he has just finished a successful stint as a wandering bard at the renaissance festival, and Shane is performing, composing, and looking forward to recording with his three side projects: an acoustic duet with accordionist August Hoerr, the original avant-jazz trio Mind vs. Target!, and the loop-based compositional rock band Doom Ribbons.
Time of Orchids: Our new album, "Namesake Caution," was released on September 18th, 2007 on Cuneiform. Meticulously recorded by Colin Marston (of Dysrhythmia and Behold... The Arctopus), "Namesake Caution" boasts layer upon layer of rich, orchestrated vocals, lavishly spied-out guitar antics and eerie, otherworldly keyboard textures, draped voyeuristically atop a complex, confounding rhythm section. Aside from the new album, we have two music videos in the works and a tour-only remix CD ready for our US tour.
University Of Errors: Daevid Allen's University of Errors has a DVD being released this fall on Voiceprint called Daevid Allen's University of Errors play The Soft Machine (live at the Gong Unconventional Gathering 5 November 2006 in Amsterdam). The DVD features live performances of many of the tracks from our Cuneiform release Jet Propelled Photographs (RUNE 188). Plans are forming somewhere out in the midst of a milky haze for recording our 5th studio album -- these plans are being considered by the Octave Doctors who will eventually in their own time let it be known to us earth bounds.
Yang: Yang is beginning the recording of his second album in October. The release date is not yet planned, but the music should be available during January 2008. The group is currently searching for gigs. Frederic L'Epee is working on a new project with a singer (American), using mainly acoustic guitar as harmonic, melodic and rhythmic device (some electronic sounds should appear here and there).
Richard Pinhas: Richard Pinhas will record with Mister Akira aka Merzbow in Tokyo, October 22-26. A project with Barry Cleveland from San Francisco will start in 2008. New CD from RP just start to be recorded and will be finish before June 2008.
Amy Denio: Tiptons Sax Quartet: We had a very successful European tour in March, playing in 25 cities, and teaching music composition/improvisation workshops in Slovenia, Austria and Germany. After a summer break, we're back in sax-action, and likely coming to a town near you!
Alec K Redfearn & The Eyesores: Alec is currently working on material for his solo project, which will be on tour in Europe during October and November of 2007. There will be a few full band shows this fall.
Rhino Entertainment is excited to announce the release of Led Zeppelin's "Mothership", a two-CD comprehensive collection on November 13, 2007, as well as the release of The Song Remains the Same on DVD and the accompanying soundtrack, on November 20, 2007. Don't forget Led Zeppelin will be reuniting for the first time in 20 years on November 26, 2007 at the O2 Arena in London, England, in honor or Ahmet Ertegun.
Available November 13, Atlantic Records/Rhino Entertainment will honor the Rock & Rock Hall of Fames with the release of Mothership, a 24-track, two-CD comprehensive collection that spans their illustrious career. All eight of the band's classic studio albums are represented here, with the tracks being personally selected by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones. Mothership includes landmark songs such as "Whole Lotta Love," "Immigrant Song," "Kashmir," "Rock And Roll," "Dazed And Confused," and "Stairway To Heaven." The set will also include new liner notes by famed rock writer David Fricke. Originally released in 1976, The Song Remains The Same soundtrack album of the concert film features songs from the band's three-night stint at Madison Square Garden in July 1973. On November 20, The Song Remains The Same soundtrack gets the deluxe reissue treatment, with the band members overseeing the remixing and remastering of the original release. The new version of the soundtrack includes six songs that were not on the original release -- "Black Dog," "Over The Hills And Far Away," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Since I've Been Loving You," "The Ocean," and "Heartbreaker," plus new liner notes by Academy Award-winning director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous). Slated for a simultaneous release, Warner Home Video debuts brand-new DVD editions of The Song Remains The Same, now for the first time with all 14 songs from the original concert. The DVD features newly remixed and remastered sound, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, and boasts more than 40 minutes of added bonus material, including never-before-released performance footage of "Over The Hills And Far Away" and "Celebration Day"; plus performances of "Misty Mountain Hop" and "The Ocean"; a rare 1976 BBC interview with Robert Plant and Peter Grant; vintage TV footage from the Drake Hotel robbery during the New York concert stand; and a Cameron Crowe radio show. One of the most eagerly awaited concerts of the decade will celebrate the life and work of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records and much missed mentor to some of the greatest names in music. Profits from this amazing show will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund which provides students with annual scholarships to universities in the UK, USA and Turkey. In addition, a music scholarship open to all will be established at Ravensbourne College in the UK. The incomparable Led Zeppelin will headline the tribute to the man who founded Atlantic Records in 1947. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones will be joined by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham.
Belgian band 48 Cameras has just released their new CD, "I Swear I Saw Garlic Growing Under My Father's Steps". The musicians are: David Coulter (UK, worked with The Pogues - Marc Ribbot - Peter Hammill - Kronos Quartet - Arthur H - Boy George - Talvin Singh - Pete Townsend - Tom Waits), Jean-Pierre Devresse, Pascal Lacroix, Calogero Marotta, Jean Marie Mathoul, Shri Bernard Petit, Pascale Tempels (guitars - bass - keyboards - percussion - vocals - violin - cello - accordion) plus several session musicians on vocals.
A Chinese Firedrill - "Circles" is a solo project from veteran bassist/producer Joey Vera. Joey has been in the music business since 1981 having been involved in many groups including Armored Saint, Fates Warning (both of which he is still a current member), Anthrax, OSI, Tribe After Tribe, Chroma Key, Seven Witches and Engine to name a few. The CD was written, recorded and performed by Joey from May 2005 to June 2006. Truly a solo project, Joey performs all of the instruments and vocals with the exception of the drum tracks which were performed by a local friend. The music on "Circles" was conceived out of a desire to pull influences from the past and subject the writing process to an experiment in arrangements and instrumentation. To put the necessary label on the type of music on this record, Joey is calling it Prog/Art Rock. The record draws from his early influences such as Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Rush, and from more recent influences such as Tool, Porcupine Tree, Kings X and OSI. "Circles" is the ProgRock Records debut release from A Chinese Firedrill and can be found here.
Rhino Entertainment will release "The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition" on October 2nd. In 40 years, Chicago has done it all - five consecutive #1 albums, 13 platinum albums, 21 Top 10 singles, a Grammy and a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Five years after it began restoring the band's extensive catalogue, Rhino Records salutes one of America's best-selling and longest-running bands with a newly compiled, two-CD set that encompasses the group's entire recording history. The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition will be available for a limited time from Rhino Records at all regular retail outlets October 2nd.
Satellite, one of the best progressive rock bands in Poland, announced their return.
Their new album, "Into The Night" is the final chapter of the trilogy started in 2003 by "A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset" and followed by "Evening Games" in 2005. The CD will be released by Metal Mind Productions on the 19th November 2007 in Europe and on the 8th January 2008 in the USA (via MVD) in two versions: as a standard CD and as a digipack CD edition with additional bonus tracks.
U2's "PopMart Live from Mexico City" will be released on DVD on 18th September 2007. Filmed at the Foro Sol Autodromo in Mexico City on 3rd December 1997, PopMart Live from Mexico City was directed by David Mallet and first released on video the following year; this is the first time it has been released on DVD. Described as a sci-fi disco supermarket, the PopMart Tour opened in its "spiritual home", Las Vegas on 25th April 1997. All trash and kitsch, PopMart introduced a giant mirrorball lemon, a 100ft cocktail stick - complete with olive, and the works of Lichtenstein, Warhol and Haring, to a live rock audience: a production experience never quite seen before. Originally filmed on analogue video, the film has been transferred to a digital format with re-graded and cleaned pictures. Great care has been taken to maintain the original look by simply enhancing it, with an added degree of sharpness and contrast unavailable when originally filmed. The audio has also been re-mastered and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound. PopMart Live from Mexico City will be available in two formats: a Standard 1-disc format containing the concert, and a Special Limited Edition 2-disc format, the 2nd bonus disc containing previously unreleased live audio and video material, including documentaries, a PopMart tour visuals montage, and DVD-ROM extras.
Caamora's new ambitious project "She" will be put on the stage of Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland, on October 31, 2007, and will feature a host of musicians, as well as some eye-catching visuals. The show will be filmed for the future edition as a DVD / 2CD album, with a street release date of January 21, 2008. Spearheaded by Clive Nolan and Agnieszka Swita, this epic production will also feature guest vocalists Alan Reed (Pallas / Neo), Christina Booth (Magenta), Karl Groom (Threshold), John Jowitt (IQ / Neo), Hugh McDowell (ELO), orchestra and choir.
Megadeth and Image Entertainment will release "That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires", a live double CD set on September 4, 2007. The companion to the gold-certified DVD of the same name that was released earlier this year, the CD set contains 22 tracks, including three - "Skin O' My Teeth," "Die Dead Enough" and "Angry Again" - not included on the DVD. This show was filmed live at Obras Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 9, 2005 before a rabid audience of over 25,000 fans. The disc features songs encompassing Megadeth's career, ranging from their 1986 album Peace Sells But Who's Buying through 2004's The System Has Failed.
EMI Records will celebrate Pink Floyd's 40th anniversary by releasing 2 and 3-CD sets of their debut album, "The Piper At the Gates of Dawn" (Special Edition), on September 4th. The 3-CD packaging, designed by longtime Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson, resembles a cloth-covered book with the original Vic Singh photo on the front, and holds 3 CDs, along with an 8-page reproduction of one of Syd Barrett's notebooks. Newly remastered by James Guthrie, Discs 1 and 2 will contain the full 'Piper' album, represented in both stereo and mono versions. Disc 3 includes bonus tracks, including all of Pink Floyd's singles from 1967 ("Arnold Layne," "See Emily Play," and "Apples And Oranges"), plus the B-sides "Candy And A Current Bun" and "Paintbox." Other tracks include an exclusive edit of "Interstellar Overdrive," previously available only on an EP released in France, and the 1967 stereo version of "Apples And Orange," which has never before been officially released. The current single-disc version of The Piper At The Gates of Dawn will be replaced with a new two-disc version that will feature the mono and stereo versions of the album. This package will not include the Syd Barrett booklet or the third disc of extras.
The Piper At the Gates of Dawn (Special Edition) track listing (all songs written by Syd Barrett , except where noted): 1) Astronomy Domine, 2) Lucifer Sam, 3) Matilda Mother, 4) Flaming, 5) Pow R Toc H (Barrett/ Waters/ Wright/ Mason), 6) Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk (Waters), 7) Interstellar Overdrive (Barrett/ Waters/ Wright/ Mason), 8) The Gnome, 9) Chapter 24, 10) The Scarecrow, 11) Bike.
Road To Ruin will release their self-titled debut album on October 26, 2007.
This new Swedish four piece is the brainchild of guitarist Lars Chriss (Lion's Share) and bassist/ keyboard player Sampo Axelsson (Lion's Share, Glenn Hughes). "Road To Ruin" is a musical celebration of the band's influences coming from the classic rock era and carrying trademarks from artists such as Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin plus - especially when it comes to the guitar sound - Black Sabbath. The band is completed by Thomas Broman on drums (Hughes/Turner, John Norum) and Matti Alfonzetti (Skintrade, Jagged Edge) on vocals. Track listing: 1) The Only One, 2) Pale Rider 3) Face Of An Angel, 4) Pleasure & Pain, 5) For Your Soul, 6) Walk The Line, 7) Thorn In My Side, 8) Crawling, 9) Until I See The Sun.
Shadow Circus will perform a special concert at the historical Triad Theater in New York City on October 13th, 2007, at 7 PM. This show is being videotaped, and there will be some entertaining and Halloween-related surprises! Tickets are $10 per person (plus a two-drink minimum), and may be reserved online at the band's website. For more information on the Triad Theater, directions, parking information, etc, visit The Triad's website.
Master keyboardist and prolific Moog synthesizer user Erik Norlander will perform at the prestigious Moogfest, the annual festival commemorating and celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of maverick inventor Robert Moog and his namesake synthesizer. Beginning at 7:30PM on Saturday, September 22nd, the fourth annual Moogfest boasts some of the most renowned keyboardists in the world. Along with Norlander, other performers include Thomas Dolby, Jordan Rudess, Adam Holzman, Spiraling, Don Preston, Gershon Kingsley, Nail, and Herb Deutsch. B.B. King's Blues Club, located at 243 West 42nd Street in New York City, will once again host Moogfest. Moog Music, located in Asheville, NC, designs and manufactures electronic musical instruments including synthesizers, effects modules, and theremins.
Erik Norlander was born in 1967 in Hollywood, California. He grew up in Los Angeles studying both jazz and classical music on several instruments from a young age through his years at the university where he also graduated with a degree in English Literature. While clearly a prog rocker, Erik is surprisingly quite adamant that he prefers melody over flashy playing and strong songwriting over artsy meandering. Erik Norlander has created some of the most enchanting rock music in recent years appearing on over 25 albums since 1993 with his diva spouse Lana Lane, his band Rocket Scientists, his own solo albums and numerous guest appearances. Erik's evocative synthesizer technique is reminiscent of the legendary Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord while still very unique and forward-moving in its own right. Erik takes many of the classic riffs and phrases of his heroes and reinvents them with highly emotional pitch bending, vibrato and authoritative phrasing. This technique combines brilliantly with Erik's mastery of sound and production. Erik has personally led sound design efforts on several major brand synthesizers, and his knowledge of synthesis and audio engineering are second to none. Erik's perpetual live use of vintage instruments such as Hammond organ, Mellotron and Moog synthesizer give his concerts a depth and authenticity of sound seldom seen in modern stage productions.
Erik Norlander has been featured in the September, 2006 issue of Keyboard Magazine and the online version of Electronic Musician; interviewed on numerous radio shows including ProgPositivity and Independent Nation; and continues to receive favorable reviews in numerous publications around the world.
Richard Leo Johnson (USA) - "Who Knew Charlie Shoe?"
Radio Massacre International (UK) - "Rain Falls in Grey"
Time Of Orchids (USA) - "Namesake Caution"
Ahleuchatistas - "Even in the Midst" [Rock / Avant-Punk]
An all-instrumental guitar/bass/drums trio whose music "resides at the meteoric end of the tempo spectrum" [Splendid], Ahleuchatistas is in the front ranks of a youthful musical movement fusing the energy and attitude of punk, the power of metal, and the fractured, angular compositions and irregular, shard-like meters of avant rock to create music perhaps best-described as avant-punk. Favoring a clean, stripped-down sound and a delivery devoid of pretension, and possessing super-human chops, the trio plays short, compressed and complex polyrhythmic compositions with unrelenting speed, unrestrained joy, and near-telepathic precision; what Organ calls "dazzling, stripped-down yet mega-complex sonic acrobatics." The trio's interplay in "controlled chaos" leaves listeners awestruck: "they're astonishingly together even on passages where it seems downright impossible to stay in sync" [Pitchfork]. Critics have described their music as "spiritually overseen by the likes of Robert Fripp, Damon Che and John
Zorn recalling the restless avant-punk zeal of End Hits-era Fugazi and the pulsingly organic hyperactivity of early King Crimson" [Splendid], while comparing it to bands like Ruins, Massacre, Lightening Bolt, Dysrhythmia, Don Caballero, Hella, Sonna, Shellac and Upsilon Acrux. Critics variously define it as math-rock, technical metal, speed-rock, avant-punk or avant-progressive, while invariably recognizing Ahleuchatistas' music as the best of its kind. On Even In the Midst, the band's fourth release and second CD on Cuneiform Records, Ahleuchatistas have further honed its unique version of avant-punk, distilling stylistic extremes into multifaceted sonic mosaics that assume organic form.
Vinny Golia - "Healing Force" [Jazz / Free Jazz]
Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler is a heartfelt and joyous tribute to, and exploration of, the vocally oriented music that saxophonist and free jazz innovator Albert Ayler created in the last three years of his life. Believing that Ayler's late works were ripe with ideas that were not fully realized at the time, nor appreciated up to the present, world-renown improviser Henry Kaiser, a guitarist and producer with a well-documented history of exploring sonic and geographic extremes, put together a special project to revisit and re-explore Ayler's songs. He assembled an all-star septet of players from the art-punk, brutal-prog, free-jazz, improvisational and modern jazz world, in keeping with Ayler's propensity to use, in his late works, larger lineups that included established musicians from both within the jazz world as well as outside (Blues, rock, R&B, soul). The lineup for the Healing Force project included Vinny Golia (reeds), Aurora Josephson (voice), Henry Kaiser (guitar), Mike Keneally (piano, guitar, voice), Joe Morris (guitar, bass), Damon Smith (bass) and Weasel Walter (drums). These seven musicians chose a representative sample of Ayler's late songs: "Universal Indians" from Love Cry; "Message from Albert," "Thank God for Women," "Heart Love," "New Generation" and "New Ghosts" from New Grass; and "Music is the Healing Force of the Universe," "A Man is Like a Tree" and "Oh! Love of Life" from Music is the Healing Force of the Universe. Sharing a desire "to send the people of earth a message of love, peace, and spiritual understanding," Kaiser mentioned that the group held brief "discussions of what we might try to do with each tune" and then "essentially let it [the music] play through us." The result was Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler, released here by Cuneiform. It is hoped that the performances on Healing Force: The Songs of Albert Ayler will encourage new appreciation of this music.
Richard Leo Johnson - "Who Knew Charlie Shoe?" [Rock / Acoustic]
"Legends aren't often freshly minted," said Jazz Times in its review of guitarist Richard Leo Johnson's last release, The Legend of Vernon McAlister, "but Vernon McAlister may be one of them." Indeed, since it emerged from the hollow steel body of Johnson's National Duolian guitar, Johnson's "Legend" has taken on a life of its own. Enchanted by the sounds that emanated from the guitar's rusted hollow, he wove a fictional tale of its owner, sequestered himself in his attic and brought the antique instrument to life, unleashing the sonic wonderland hidden within the instrument, recording a solo album with only the guitar and some old mics. The result was Johnson's 2006 Cuneiform release, The Legend of Vernon McAlister, an astonishing, hauntingly beautiful work of new acoustic Americana, which served as a soundtrack, or "aural" history, to a written "legend" of Vernon McAlister, posted on his website. As the legend continues, when a new fictional character, Charlie Shoe, encounters Vernon's guitar, "it still had the wild animals living in it, and the trains, and the fires, and the angels, and the love, and the trouble." In Who Knew Charlie Shoe?, Johnson expands on the lessons, legend and instrumentation of Vernon, working with percussionist Gregg Bendian to reveal that music and magic reside in the everyday - in commonplace objects and even in trash - and do not reside solely in one very special, mysteriously inscribed, metal guitar. The new CD's liner notes feature the story of Charlie Shoe, Vernon's protege. With Johnson adopting the persona of Charlie Shoe and playing dime-a-dozen acoustic guitars bought off eBay, and Bendian, aka Junk Fish, aka Jaden Barrel, playing percussion on "stuff" ranging from lard cans, brooms, pots, washboards, attic stairs, water and more, the duo expand on Johnson's singular, acoustic Americana hybrid. Together, Johnson and Bendian create music that is simultaneously traditional and experimental, merging past with present and avant-garde found object with folksy "swap-meet" discard.
Radio Massacre International - "Rain Falls in Grey" [Electronic / Space Rock]
Rain Falls in Grey, the newest release by England's prolific electronic wizards, Radio Massacre International (RMI), is dedicated to the late guitarist Syd Barrett, who died in 2006. His death "forced us to consider what an enormous influence he was," says RMI. Barrett made numerous musical innovations that permanently impacted British rock during his intense, brief musical career (1965-72), cut short when he became rock's first "acid casualty". Barrett opened
London's doors to psychedelia and progressive rock as the co-founder, lead guitarist, composer and driving force behind Pink Floyd, England's most popular psychedelic band, which released multiple singles and an album under his watch. His compositions imploded pop's song structure - as did those of his Soft Machine friends, who shared Pink Floyd's stage and recorded on Barrett's 1970 solo albums - in songs like "Interstellar Overdrive," a "wildly unpredictable, chemically-inspired instrumental of indeterminate length" [Mojo] which devolved into lengthy, improvised jams influenced by free jazz. Barrett introduced a 'dark side' into pop music, using edgy lyrics and subject matter, experimenting with new, sometimes unpleasant sonic effects, including noise, distortion, and feedback; and inventing "glissando" guitar effects by "sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the fret-board through an old echo box to create mysterious, otherworldly sounds." He popularized the use of electronic equipment alongside standard rock instrumentation, causing Paul McCartney to praise Pink Floyd's integration of electronic instruments, studio techniques and rock music as the wave of the future. Said RMI, "For those of us engaged in experimental or space rock, the debt is enormous." Engrossed in recording a new album of improvised electronic music at the time of Barrett's death, RMI recorded several tracks as a spontaneous tribute. Later that year, while performing at Amsterdam's Gong Unconvention, RMI asked artist and musician Daevid Allen - the co-founder of Soft Machine and leader of psychedelic Gong, who acquired his own glissando guitar technique from Barrett - to create special art work for the CD. As released here by Cuneiform and featuring Allen's artwork, RMI's new CD is titled Rain Falls in Grey after a quote from Barrett's "Baby Lemonade", a song RMI felt "summed up the elegiac mood when we first reflected on his passing." A collection of space rock that boldly departs from RMI's customary all-electronic space improvisations by expanding the group's sound with more conventional rock instrumentation and guest musicians on reeds and electric violin, Rain Falls in Grey serves as a "celebration of the eternal life and energy that pioneers such as Syd Barrett give through their music and the sadness when they lose their way like he did."
Time Of Orchids - "Namesake Caution" [Rock / Avant-garde]
The visionary, New York City-based avant-rock band Time of Orchids creates songs that are darkly beautiful, pop-drenched sonic maelstroms, steeped in psychedelia and infused with lush vocals. Plundering the ruins of pop culture, the band's music is informed as much by modern rock (metal, industrial, post-rock, avant-progressive, new wave/no wave, pop) as by 1960s Italian film scores and a touch of classical music. The band members cite influences as wide-ranging as John Barry/Ennio Morricone, Mr. Bungle, Cheer-Accident, Nirvana, Thinking Plague, The Magic Band, Cocteau Twins, Yes, Madonna, The Spice Girls, The B-52's, Gorecki, Shostakovich, Shudder to Think, Primus, Police, Olivier Messiaen, Igor Stravinsky, Dystopa, Gorguts, Kayo Dot, Swans, the spirit of Frank Zappa, "tons of adventurous rock," choirs, "stuff with soul and real desperation" and much, much more. While the resulting sound is unique, Time of Orchids share an aesthetic and approach with such other early 21st century genre-defying avant-rock bands as Radiohead, Sleepytime Guerilla Museum, Cheer-Accident, and the Cuneiform band Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores, all of whom defy musical convention by processing multiple subgenres of popular music to create a unique sound. On Namesake Caution, the newest (fifth!) release and first recording for Cuneiform Records, Time of Orchids continue to transcend the limits of genre and form by distilling a unique sonic brew into their most stylistically mature, cohesive, and aesthetically and emotionally potent work to date. A wedding of dark musical imagery, sweeping sonics, angular and intricately staggered composition, and evocative, elliptical poetry, all richly interlaced with dream-pop vocal harmonies that meld the Beach Boys and Yes, Namesake Caution is emotionally breathtaking and aurally intoxicating.
After the acclaimed release of Floating World, it's time for the follow up Dawn On Pyther that continues the story of the first album. 'Dawn on Pyther' is a powerful album, blending intense rock and metal with ambient landscapes, culminating in a progressive and symphonic sound, fronted by strong female and male vocalists. The artwork is very detailed, and describes every song of this album, which creates a powerful combination of music and art. The story for the second album by Project Creation is the following: The new planet named Pyther is now growing. The new beings and the civilization of the Floating World, that created them and colonized the new planet, are now living together: humans, meka dragonflies, new born and a new breed of Flying Thoughts that appear to have been created by a somehow living Cheops pyramid. The Dragonflies now have finally a garden of their own, a real garden like they were hoping to see someday, since these small entities were developed during the long trip (1st album). But there is one Mechanical Dragonfly that wishes to see more, insatiable. Her thoughts are out there. Cheops is standing, looking at the Universe. Pyther, with the 3 species living together, is a symbol of respect. The symbol is awake and well. The Floating World arrived with the rest of the people and is now steady, using a few resources to help stabilize the new homeland, thus stopping for a while its endless voyage. The Dragonfly decides to leave to explore the far corners of the Universe, but maintains the connection with Cheops, which in turn is becoming alive and intelligent. Cheops is sending a message to the Dragonfly, and thus, she dreams of a blue planet everyday, a planet with an incredible Ocean. As you can see, "Dawn on Pyther" is an ambitious work and one that is sure to captivate you. You can hear audio samples and order here.
It is with great sadness that we learned late last night that long time friend and Mystery bass player Patrick Bourque died on September 26 at his home in Canada. Patrick joined Mystery in 1995 and played on the 3 last albums. Patrick Bourque (1977-2007) was also part of the very successful Country Rock band Emerson Drive and has been living in Nashville Tennessee until he left ED and moved back to Canada last summer. Our prayers go to his family and friends.
Accordo Dei Contrari is an instrumental quartet which was formed in 2001 in Bologna, Italy. "Kinesis" is their first album, recorded live in the studio in June 2006. Their music ranges from '70s Symphonic Progressive and Jazz-Rock to contemporary Jazz and Neoclassical music.
Heavy Metal (International) - "The Heavy Metal Box" (compilation)
Rhino Entertainment will release The Heavy Metal Box on October 2nd. Heavy metal is not for the faint of heart. The songs don't want you to dance, shake, spin, or jump. They insist that you bang your head. Forget nuances or subtlety, heavy metal's main concern is kicking your ass. Rhino dives into the mosh pit with a four-disc collection of musical wickedness that packs more fire and brimstone than an Aleister Crowley barbeque. The set will be offered in limited edition packing that resembles an amplifier. In a nod to Spinal Tap-whose song "Big Bottom" is included in the set-the faux-amp box features an authentic, turn-able Marshall knob allowing you to literally turn it up to 11. Arranged chronologically, the compilation gathers 70 choice selections from various record labels tracing the evolution of metal during its first golden age between 1968 and 1991. The Heavy Metal Box presents more than five hours of blistering fury guaranteed to send devil horn salutes in the air. The Heavy Metal Box invokes some of metal's biggest names with Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies"; Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights"; "Highway Star" by "the loudest group in the world," Deep Purple; Iron Maiden's "The Phantom Of The Opera" with singer Paul Di'Anno and "The Number Of The Beast" with singer Bruce Dickinson; Judas Priest's "The Ripper" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"; Metallica's "Whiplash" and uber-doom-ballad "One"; Megadeth's searing political statement "Peace Sells"; Slayer's soul crushing "South of Heaven"; and Pantera's marriage of metal and hardcore on "Cowboys From Hell." The boxed set also includes songs by Ted Nugent, Kiss, W.A.S.P., Diamond Head, Venom, Living Colour, and a pair of tracks featuring leather-lunged Lemmy Kilmister who appears on Hawkwind's "Lost Johnny" and Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."
Amazingly, considering his musical career has spanned four decades, "Things Buried" is Richard Barbieri's debut solo album. This career has taken him from the seminal recordings he made with Japan in the seventies and eighties through to the current worldwide success he is enjoying with Porcupine Tree. Things Buried is an instrumental work that highlights Barbieri's unique approach to sound and mood, ranging from textural atmospherics to dynamic rhythmic passages. The album also features the distinctive styles of Percy Jones (Brand X, Brian Eno) on fretless bass guitar and Andy Gangadeen (The Bays, Massive Attack) on drums. Richard has recently completed a world tour with Porcupine Tree, supporting the release of the top 40 album 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' and continues to regularly guest with the highly-rated improvisational electronic group The Bays. In addition to his recording and live work Richard has also been invited to programme sounds for new software by leading synthesizer and software producers. Recent work includes contributing to the prototype of the new Roland V Synth and Propellerheads' Reason 4 software. Go here to visit the Things Buried mini-site and hear tracks from the album.
Spaced Out (Canada) - "Live at the Crescendo Festival" DVD
Spaced Out has just released their new DVD "Live at the Crescendo Festival". Recorded live in 2006 at the Crescendo Festival in France, the DVD contains their memorable first concert in Europe during the Unstable Matter Tour in 2006. Spaced Out offers a style of music where aspects such as rhythm, harmony and melody have been carefully thought out and composed with the goal of bringing this style to life. Through the well-structured forms, the players are free to express their personality with improvised solos. In their repertoire, polyrhythmic games combined with modal colors form a unique music which is instantly recognizable. Influences from musicians such as Keith Emerson, Jan Hammer, Eddie Jobson, John Mclaughlin, Frank Zappa, Trevor Rabin, Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev, Bela Bartok, Philip Glass and many more have played a big part in the music created and produced by SO.
Amaran's Plight can only be described as a new 'supergroup' and features the talents of DC Cooper (Silent Force, ex-Royal Hunt), Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, ex-Genesis) and Kurt Barabas (Under the Sun). The band's debut album "Voice in the Light was recorded in 2006 at Gary Wehrkamp's New Horizon Studios and described as textbook Symphonic Progressive Metal. It combines the soaring vocals of DC Cooper with the master riffs and melodies of Gary Wehrkamp, backed by the sonic, dynamic and explosive rhythm section of D'Virgilio and Barabas. Gary Wehrkamp and DC Cooper are no strangers to working together. Gary is the keyboardist, guitarist and producer of veteran progressive rock ensemble, Shadow Gallery. DC Cooper appeared on their 1999 conceptual piece Tyranny as a guest vocalist on the epic track "New World Order". Fans of Shadow Gallery have longed for a Wehrkamp/Cooper collaboration ever since. DC Cooper is the voice behind the power prog-metal band, Silent Force. Before joining forces with guitarist Alex Boyrodt to form Silent Force, he was vocalist for veteran proggers, Royal Hunt. Nick D'Virgilio is one of the highest rated drummers in progressive rock today. Besides being the driving force behind Spock's Beard, he has also played with Mike Kennealy, Kevin Gilbert, Tears For Fears and Genesis. Nick takes drumming to the next level on Voice in the Light with an over the top performance that adds emotion, heart and a sonic punch that makes the band's debut album a must hear. Kurt Barbaras is one of the founding members of Los Angeles based Under The Sun, who also have a live CD released on ProgRock Records entitled Schematism - Onstage With Under The Sun. Along with Shadow Gallery, Under The Sun was part of the progressive rock revival spearheaded by Magna Carta records in the early 90's. Kurt's bass playing is often singled out as the driving force of Under The Sun. Amaran's Plight Voice in the Light is an excursion into the heart of progressive rock music. The band's adept individual performing skills and composing talents takes the music to a sophisticated level of listening. Current plans for Amaran's Plight to perform live in support of the new CD release are in the works.
"Viator 1973-2007" is a 20-CD box embracing the entire solo work of Jozef Skrzek, the bandleader of Polish progressive rock trio SBB, and includes several previously unavailable tracks. The box will be released on September 17, 2007, through Metal Mind Productions.
Oresund Space Collective (International) - "The Black Tomato"
Graveyard (Sweden) - "Graveyard"
The Oresund Space Collective was formed in April 2004. The collective is a group of Swedish, Danish and American musicians that get together as often as possible for free form improvised space rock music. The collective records all their jam sessions and makes them available to fans via their website in MP3. There are currently over 35 hours of material on their website for free download. The band's debut CD was released on the Transubstans label in Malmo, Sweden, in January 2006. In October 2006 the band released the massive "It's all about Delay" double CD in a deluxe DVD case. "The Black Tomato" is the 3rd studio CD by OSC. It was recorded in November 2006 over 2 days at the Black Tornado Studios. There are no overdubs in the recording, but this is certainly progressive space rock at its best.