Caamora is currently working on their new release. The double album entitled “Journey’s End: An Acoustic Anthology” will feature over 130 minutes of acoustic live performances from around the world, as well as a selection of never before heard demos, bonus tracks and interview footage. In the build up to the release of “She”, songwriter/ keyboard player/ singer Clive Nolan alongside singer Agnieszka Swita performed around 30 concerts in countries such as England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Canada. “Journey’s End” will feature a collection of moments from these performances. This double album is a great testament to all the musical journeys and experiences that Nolan and Swita enjoyed as they spread the word about “She”. Beyond the live material, there is also a collection of demos that were made over the past few years – interesting to see how the songs developed for their final versions on “She”. The bonus songs include a track that was never used in the end, and the specially written Grunwald featuring cello from Hugh McDowell (ex-ELO). Finally there is a short interview with Nolan and Swita.
Following the release of “Hindsight”, the new semi-acoustic album of classic tracks, Anathema have announced a major European tour in support of the album. The Hindsight tour kicks off in Holland on October 8 and visits Belgium, Germany, Denmark Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, France and the UK. For full dates, check Related Links below.
The self-titled debut from Lunatic Soul, the new project from Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda will be released on K-scope Music on October 13, 2008. The “Lunatic Soul” album has allowed Duda, in collaboration with a host of other respected musicians, to create a collection of atmospheric tracks which he has described as ‘an oriental-trans-psychedelic-verbal-musical journey through the pitch darkness available only to those who have a lunatic soul’.
Dream Theater will release “Chaos in Motion 2007-2008” which documents their Chaos in Motion world tour. “Chaos in Motion” will be available in two configurations: as a
double DVD set and as five disc collector's set which includes two DVDs and three CDs, containing 14 live tracks featured in the DVD set and expanded artwork.
Gordon Haskell made his first record “Circles” as a bassist with the group Les Fleur De Lys in 1966. Produced by Glyn Johns it has become a classic collector's disc valued at ?200 by collectors. In 1969 Haskell recorded an album “Sail in My Boat” and then joined King Crimson recording “Lizard” as bassist and vocalist. He was then signed by Atlantic Records. The producer was the highly acclaimed Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin) and the album was called 'It Is And It Isn't'. It was the first album to focus on green issues and 'no one is more important than the earthworm' drew some attention. It was way ahead of its time lyrically. Misunderstood and overlooked by the majority, it was plagued by corporate decision makers. Haskell walked away calmly to pursue 'the road less traveled'. To earn a living he worked with Alvin Lee, Van Morrison and Cliff Richard. It was now 1981 and the next 18 years put him on the road to “Harry's Bar”. Tired of 'listening to idiots' he worked an average of 6 nights a week, always being booked back, and much loved by audiences. He was independent and began making his own records. There is a spiritual thread running through all the solo projects from 1966 to 2006. The gaps in between, though at times much more successful, were what Haskell regards as his blind moments. After extremely successful “Harry's Bar” Haskell sat down and wrote his autobiography, published in 2006. And today Metal Mind Productions presents a t op performance by one of the best musicians – “The Road to Harry’s Bar – All Hits live”. This double release contains the audio material taken from the "The Road to Harry's Bar" DVD (2005). It includes all the artist's biggest hits – How Wonderful You Are, When The Cookie Jar Is Empty and The Lady Wants to Know and more. The ex-King Crimson vocalist delivers a phenomenally smooth performance with a group of Polish musicians he says he wishes he met a long time ago.
Thieves' Kitchen announce their Autumn 2008 UK and European tour dates in support of their latest CD “The Water Road”. These will be the first live shows for the band since July 2004 and the first to feature new keyboard player Thomas Johnson, formerly of Anglagard:
October 22: Riff's bar, 26 Greatfield, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK
October 24: Village Hall, Chipping Warden, Northants, UK
November 1: Freakparade, Bockshorn Theatre, Wuerzburg, Germany
November 2: Spirit of '66, Place du Martyr 16, Verviers, Belgium
November 3: L'Olympia, Boulevard des Capucines 28, Paris, France
The coming Taylor's Universe album, "Return to Whatever", features the highly acclaimed Danish group with a strong new line-up: Robin Taylor (keyboards, "laser" guitar, percussion), Michael Denner (electric guitar), Carsten Sindvald (saxophones), Flemming Muus Tranberg (bass) and Klaus Thrane (drums), with a few guests added. Guitar hero Michael Denner (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate) made his debut with the Universe on last year's "Soundwall" album. He also took part in Robin Taylor's side project follow-up, Art Cinema, and soon the two innovators will be back with a new Taylor's Universe. Bassist Flemming Muus Tranberg is a top rated session player, and both he and saxophone genius, Carsten Sindvald, were also part of the Art Cinema project. A newcomer is drummer Klaus Thrane, whose all-round skills has made him one of the busiest and most popular drummers in Denmark today. Recordings started in the summer and will be completed this fall. Time of release will approximately be in early 2009.
Beat Circus: This fall Beat Circus are busy recording and mixing their new album “Boy From Black Mountain”.
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: Birdsongs is currently rehearsing a new 5-movement suite by noted African-American composer T. J. Anderson. The piece is entitled BirdSongs, and it was composed for Birdsongs with voice and jazz drums. Keyboardist Carol Namkoong is filling in for Birdsongs synthesist Rick Scott for the premiere performance, which will take place at Tufts University's brand new Distler Performance Hall on October 5 at 3pm as part of a series of concerts celebrating Anderson's 80th birthday. Soprano D'Anna Fortunato will be singing the text. There are also plans for the original line-up, featuring pianist Roger Miller, synthesist Erik Lindgren, and keyboardist Rick Scott (with current Birdsongs guitarist Michael Bierylo filling in for Martin Swope) to do a few select live shows in NYC, Boston, and Washington DC this fall. The group is looking into the possibility of using vintage equipment on those dates and cranking out the Memorymoog, Compu-rhythm CR-78 drum machine, Farfisa organ, etc for a truly analog experience.
Doctor Nerve: Nick Didkovsky continues to write new material for Doctor Nerve, and recently acquired a 1967 Gibson SG which his friends are getting sick of hearing about. Still we cannot help but wonder what effect the guitar which in the hands of Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) was used to create heavy metal will have on the new Nerve tunes.
Gayle Ellett: Djam Karet’s Gayle Ellett has a new side-group called Fernwood. Their debut release “Almeria” has recently been getting rave reviews in the national and international press. Currently, the group is hard at work on a second release due out in early 2009.
Forrest Fang: A new CD side project by Forrest Fang under the project name Sans Serif was released on the Hypnos Secret Sounds label in July 2008. The CD is called "Tones for La Monte" and was inspired by the harmonic drones of La Monte Young. The CD will soon be available through Wayside Music.
Fast ‘N’ Bulbous: In May 2008, Fast ‘N’ Bulbous recorded its second CD, "Waxed Oop", to be released on Cuneiform Records in January of 2009. A strong departure from their first CD, "Waxed Oops" ranges from Gary Lucas’ solo National Steel guitar version of Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do, to a full band arrangement of Don van Vliet’s solo sea chantey, Well. It also includes the first FnB delving into Lick My Deacls off Baby, and features a bonus track with guest vocalist Robyn Hitchcock.
Jesse Krakow: Jesse Krakow (Time Of Orchids, Fast 'N Bulbous) has been playing with Shudder To Think on their recent reunion tour. In addition to completing the new Fast 'N Bulbous record - to be released in January '09 on Cuneiform and followed by a European tour, Jesse has been working on his rock comedy /opera "Rock Bottom", to (hopefully) be completed in the spring of 2009.
The Muffins: The Muffins currently have not one, but 2 new CDS in process now.
Upsilon Acrux: Upsilon Acrux are in the midst of recording their latest for Cuneiform, it's tentatively called "Radian Futura" and will feature a song that's very close to 30 minutes long among other things.
Yang: The band hopes to be able to release (at last) its latest recording, "Machines", before 2009. If not, it will be released for sure in 2009.
ProgRock Records and Unicorn Digital are proud to announce their new strategic partnership where ProgRock Records will distribute Unicorn Digital titles in late 2008 starting with Mystery’s “Beneath the Veil of Winters Face” whose vocalist Benoit David was just tapped to replaced Jon Anderson as the singer in the band Yes.
The number of virtual combos has grown, again. Evolve IV was founded by two seasoned progressive musicians from either side of the Atlantic, Peter Matuchniak from the UK and Michael Eager from the USA. They formed a strong song-writing partnership that provides a fresh take on the modern progressive scene, whilst leaning on their combined experiences with past bands on either side of the pond. Lead guitarist Peter was part of the UK neo-progressive rock scene from the 1980's with bands Mach One and Janysium that attracted attention from press agent Keith Goodwin (Marillion, Yes), with reviews featuring in top British music papers for their tour of London clubs and English Universities. Singer and rhythm guitarist Michael toured extensively across the United States throughout the 1990's with Vitamin Funk, Mind Expansion and HED, bands that he had formed while living in Boston and Seattle respectively. The pair was joined by drummer Paul Sheriff and bassist Jim DeBaun, all of whom met while answering internet ads. The result is their debut release
"Decadent Light" – on Progrock Records.
Takara was originally formed in August of 1987 by guitarist Neal Grusky. In 1990 Takara, with Jeff Scott Soto producing and singing, entered into the studio to record new songs what would become their debut CD. In 1992 Takara added new members, Robert Duda on drums and Gary Schutt on bass, who would become a part of the Takara debut CD. Zero Corporation (Japan) and Now & Then Records (Europe) offered Takara a record deal and "Eternal Faith" was released in December 1993. This CD entered the Burrn Charts at number 16, and European charts at number 8. Things were beginning to happen for this young rock band. After a number of albums that included charting in Japan and various lineup changes, Takara is returning with once again new band members and new attitude. Fans who have stuck by the band through all the changes and years of waiting will be pleased with what’s in store for Takara in 2008. Takara is reemerging in 2008 with several albums coming out at consecutively. For this new release Takara have added Brazilian vocal sensation Gustavo Monsanto to the band, as well as Yngwie Malmsteen drummer and bassist Patrick Johannson and Bjorn Englen, as well as long time Takara keyboardist Brook Hansen and a special return by Jeff Scott Soto on backing vocals. “Invitation to Forever” is Takara’s debut release on Progrock Records.
Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic (USA) – “Down of the Cycads” 2CD
The Microscopic Sextet (USA) – “Lobsters Leaps In”
Isotope (UK) – “Golden Selection”
Richard Pinhas & Merzbow – “Keid Line” (Rock / Electronic / Noise)
When two of the best-known figures in electronic rock music today – France’s Richard Pinhas and Japan’s Merzbow – joined their formidable sonic forces “in a strange studio at the end of the metro Keio Line”, their combined sonic chemistry proved to be magic. With Pinhas on guitar and electronics/ looping, and Merzbow on electronics and noise, the duo spent two days creating recordings that were later mixed under Pinhas’ supervision during “a fabulous month at the end of 2007, in a dreamland space between Tokyo and Paris”. The result of their collaboration is released here, by Cuneiform, as the double-CD Keio Line – the first-ever Pinhas / Merzbow recording. Containing six tracks of ambient soundscapes captured on two discs, Keio Line blurs the lines between electronic and electric, virtual and real, music and noise, and dreams and consciousness. The music is pure sonic alchemy: violent and soothing, hypnotic and noisy, trance-inducing and seductive. Recording “everything fully live, at the extremities of our living forces and pulsations”, and then remixing that embryonic material in France, Pinhas and Merzbow create a technologically sophisticated electronic music infused with organic power, raw energy and human emotion, a 21st century music that melds man and machine.
Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, is considered to be the originator of Japanese noise music, and is probably the single best-known noise artist worldwide. Active in music since 1979, using the name ‘Merzbow’ to align his projects with Dada movement aesthetics, he is described by Musique Machine as “always pushing the limits of noise and music, so the line between the two blurs”. Extremely prolific, he has recorded and released over 250 CDs, including a 50 CD set, Merzbox; an infamous art-piece consisting of a continually-playing Noisembryo CD packaged inside a Mercedes 230 in a “limited edition of 1”; and the soundtrack to a bondage performance. Besides his music, Merzbow is active as a writer and painter. In recent years, he has been active in the Animal Rights movement.
A composer, world-class guitarist and electronics innovator, Richard Pinhas is a key figure in the international development of electronic rock music and remains today one of France’s leading experimental musicians. He is recognized as the father of an entire musical movement in France (analogous to Tangerine Dream’s role in Germany) for his pioneering work in the 1970s with his band Heldon, which fused electronics, “diabolical guitar work” and rock to create a pioneering, aggressive music that was a precursor to the industrial music and techno to come. All of his early recordings have been reissued by Cuneiform in a major Heldon / Pinhas CD reissue project that began in 1991 and continues today. Continually innovative, Pinhas has been experimenting with a system of guitar and electronics processing since the 1990s, releasing a series of new works on Cuneiform that, in the words of one critic, "proves that he is still active, and vital to the future of electronic music."
The Microscopic Sextet – “Lobsters Leaps In” (Jazz)
The Microscopic Septet is most widely known among the American public for its theme song to NPR’s popular interview show “Fresh Air with Terry Gross”, the catchy, film-noir tune is broadcast daily on stations across America since 1990, and may well be “the most-aired jazz work in the world”. During the group’s initial lifetime from 1980-1992, the “Micros” remained an in-house secret among the New York City jazz world, who embraced them as "New York's Most Famous Unknown Band." The group started with a basic reeds-and-rhythm texture (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax, piano, bass and drums) that was sonically similar to the sound of the Swing Era. However, they employed these textures to address a widely eclectic range of styles, from free-form music to R&B, rhumbas and ragtime. The result was a brilliant blend of fresh-sounding orchestration and inspired soloing. Beloved in New York, where they generally drew capacity crowds, "The Micros" were one of the most celebrated of the many cutting-edge units associated with experimental music's best-known venue, the Knitting Factory, during the peak years of the "Downtown" music movement in the late '80s and early '90s.
In 2006, Cuneiform released a major Microscopic Septet retrospective, as two double-CD sets: History of the Micros, Vol. 1 – Seven Men in Neckties, and History of the Micros, Vol. 2 – Surrealistic Swing. The retrospective contained the sole four albums that the Micros recorded in their lifetime. Celebrating these releases, the Micros reunited to play several shows in the
Northeast US. They had such a good time playing together that they decided to make the Micros an 'occasional regular thing'. In 2007, the Micros did a well-received, two week tour of Europe before returning to New York to record their first release in 20 years, “Lobster Leaps In”. Microscopic Septet co-leaders Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester were prolific composers; by the time the Micros disbanded, in 1992, it had a songbook of over 180 tunes. Only 34 of those were recorded and released in the band’s lifetime. This new recording, Lobster Leaps In, features 11 previously unrecorded Micros’ tunes that delighted audiences during the band’s initial dozen year reign on NYC’s club stages.
Isotope – “Golden Selection” (Jazz Rock)
The group Isotope was part of a second generation of British jazz-rock which flourished in the 1970s, taking inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic to forge a transatlantic jazz-rock sound that was distinctly its own. It was formed in 1972 by British guitarist Gary Boyle, who had played with Dusty Springfield, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger and the Trinity, as well as with such Brit-jazzers as Mike Gibbs, Keith Tippett and Mike Westbrook. Isotope signed with a large U.K. management company and the Gull label, owned by British Lion Films, and immediately began playing constantly 4-5 times per week at clubs throughout England and Europe. In May, 1974, bassist and composer Hugh Hopper, formerly of Soft Machine, joined the group and stayed nearly 2 years. The band dissolved in 1976.
Golden Section is the first Isotope release by the American label, Cuneiform, and the first archival Isotope release to feature material dating from the period when Hopper was a member and lent his strongly distinctive style to the group. The lineup on Golden Section includes Gary Boyle - guitar, Hugh Hopper - bass, Nigel Morris - drums, Laurence Scott - keyboards, with Aureo de Souza added on percussion on half of the program. It contains over 65' of previously unreleased, live Isotope recordings from 1974-1975, which come from 3 different dates; more than half are from a Radio Bremen recording made for German broadcast. The Radio Bremen recordings are the only existing recordings of Isotope with percussionist Aureo de Souza, who played with the group for several months during spring /summer 1975, adding a Weather Report-inspired flair to its sound. In addition to the music, Golden Section includes a 12 page booklet featuring liner notes music historian Aymeric Leroy. Containing exclusive interviews of Isotope’s members and previously unpublished historical photographs of the band, the booklet comprehensively documents the period covered by these recordings while providing an historical overview of the band. Early jazz-rock is being rediscovered by a whole new, young audience and Isotope were one of the major British jazz-rock bands of the 1970s, alongside contemporaries such as Brand X, Bruford and Soft Machine. For fans of: Brand X, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, Soft Machine and Weather Report.
Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic – “Down of the Cycads” (Rock / New Music)
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, “the world’s hardest rocking chamber quartet”, began nearly 30 years ago as a more classical/ New Music, keyboard-oriented side project of Boston’s famed post-punk rock band, Mission of Burma. Desiring an outlet for his piano music, in 1980, Burma’s guitarist Roger Miller embarked on a collaboration with keyboardist and studio producer Erik Lindgren, the former composer and keyboardist of Moving Parts, the Boston art-punk band that had spawned Burma. Birdsong's lineup was finalized when Miller invited “tape-manipulator-turned–guitarist” Martin Swope, his co-member in Burma, and keyboardist Rick Scott on board. In 1983, Birdsongs signed with Ace of Hearts, the Boston label to which Burma was signed, and released a self-titled EP. In mid-1983, Miller’s tinnitus led to the demise of high-decibel Mission Of Burma, and Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic became a full time band for all members. Ace of Hearts released Birdsongs' 2nd LP in 1985, called Magnetic Flip, and the following year it released Beat of the Mesozoic. Miller left the band under very friendly terms in 1987 to devote his time to a solo career (and nearly two decades later to eventually resuscitate Mission of Burma). Dawn of the Cycads reissues on CD all of Birdsongs' recordings for Boston’s Ace of Hearts label, in newly remastered sound. Subtitled The Complete Ace of Hearts Recordings (1983-1987), it is the first-ever comprehensive reissue of those recordings in their entirety and in their original order. In addition to the Ace of Hearts music, Dawn of the Cycads also includes more than 45' of previously unreleased bonus material (on two studio and seven live tracks). In addition, it contains an 18 page booklet providing a history of the band’s Ace of Hearts years, in liner notes written by band members Erik Lindgren, Roger Miller and Rick Scott (Lindgren and Scott remain in Birdsong’s lineup today) and former roadie (now Andy Warhol Museum board member) Jay Reeg, and numerous historical photographs and art works. Also included on the second disc are graphic files of various photos and documents which are viewable on any computer. Produced by Ace of Hearts’ owner, Richard W Harte, Dawn of the Cycads is a lovingly assembled and beautifully-designed retrospective of an extremely exciting, 4-year period in Birdsongs of the Mesozoic’s early career.
Deus Ex Machina – “Imparis” (Progressive Rock)
One of the finest avant-progressive rock bands in the world today, Deus Ex Machina has carved out an enviable reputation with its high energy live shows and critically acclaimed albums. Founded in 1985, The Italian band is a sextet of top notch musicians including Alessandro Bonetti (violin), Fabrizio Puglisi (Hammond organ /Fender Rhodes piano /Arp Odyssey synth), Maurino Collina (guitar), Alessandro Porreca (bass), Claudio Trotta (drums), and vocalist Alberto Piras. The band’s music is a unique and unequaled blend of aggressive jazz-rock mixed with complex rhythms, 1970s-style hard-rock guitar and hints of Rock In Opposition-style avant-progressive rock, all topped by the incredible vocals of Alberto Piras, one of the most extraordinary vocalists working in rock today. Imparis is a double-disc release that includes Deus Ex Machina’s 6th studio album and the band's first-ever DVD. Its title is a pun that combines where the release was recorded (in performance at Le Triton “in Paris”, in summer 2006), and their penchant for Latin terminology; in Latin, “imparis” means “asymmetrical”. The CD contains 6 tracks of new material, featuring Piras’ ever-magnificent vocals and the band’s impressive musicianship; the songs’ lyrics are printed in an accompanying booklet, in both their original language and in English. The DVD contains three main groups of material: the 2006 concert at Le Triton (featuring the band live performing two songs each from its albums Equilibrismo Da Insofferenza, Cinque and Imparis), interviews and historical video and film footage of past shows. In addition to the 2006 professional live footage from Le Triton, there are extras, including some fascinating historical footage from the early and mid-1990s. Featured is an interview segment (subtitled in English and with a lot of historical information); a short, fascinating, avant-garde prepared piano performance by Puglisi of one of the album's works; a charmingly dated rock video for a song off of the band's second album; excerpts from their second US appearance; and a completely over-the-top performance that Deus Ex Machina gave on a Italian TV program from 1996. Imparis offers a fascinating, multi-faceted overview of one of the boldest, musically diverse, and truly “progressive” bands in Italy and the international world of modern progressive rock.