ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages

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Obscured By Clouds (USA) - 1999 - "Bleed" (pre-production CD-R) ***+

The debut album of "OBC" is still not released officially. The wonderfully made CD-R (picture disc, of a quality sleeve design) that I got from the guys makes this pre-production material very attracting. As for the music, it's clear from the first chords that this is a cover band of Pink Floyd. Not clone, not imitation, but exactly a cover band, though only hard-die fans of Pink Floyd can tell that these are Floyd tracks, such rarities are featured on the album. Take the Floyd of 1972 but with the current line-up (without Waters) and modern sound appliances and you'll get the picture. The Gilmouresque vocals and the guitar are great, though in terms of complexity close to the same "Obscured by clouds" album. content


Omega (Hungary) - 1977 - "Time Robber" *****

One of the pioneers of the Hungarian progressive rock Omega (now disbanded) played in the middle of the '70s quite sophisticated music. On the whole, their style was the typical for those years Art (symphonic) rock, sometimes with lot of spacey effects and melodic guitar solos. "Time Robber", their best work (IMO), contains a unique sidelong piece, full of brilliant arrangements and very original synth / guitar solo interplays. Laszlo Benko is really a keyboard wizard here, his "modern" synth-flashes added to the overall sound a fantastic atmosphere. Good "planetary" lyrics, excellent clear vocals. As to the language, Hungarian sounds good, but I'd prefer the "accented" English version of the album. The more so, the music remains the same... content


Ominox (UK) - 2004 - "Contemporary Past" ****
(10 tracks, 68 min CD)

Ominox is a contemporary UK project led by keyboardist Matt Williams, which doesn't have a website thus far. Most likely, "Contemporary Past" is their first outing, although all ten of the tracks presented were recorded in the middle of the '90s. The music is full of bright melodies and is almost instantly accessible. This is kind of a modern (I'd even say Neo) Jazz-Fusion, with keyboards taking the lead in most cases, which for the most part relaxes me instead of attracting my attention. Well, there are plenty of solos on the Hammond, the presence of which is probably the main virtue of this recording, and they are masterful. However, most of the basic themes are too straightforward to keep it all really interesting, at least in a progressive sense. content


Oxomaxoma (Mexico) - 2002 - "Espiritus en Rojo y Negro" ****
(50 min, "Luna Negra")

The new Oxomaxoma album, "Espiritus en Rojo y Negro", lasts 50 minutes and features 10 tracks. As a whole, this album presents two styles, both of which are not only in many ways original, but also very different among themselves. Despite the fact that there are a few of the real improvisations on the album in general, all seven of the first tracks on it are clearly of an experimental character. Stylistically, they're about a minimalist music with elements of Avant-garde and lots of noisy effects. Five out of these seven tracks contain the parts of vocal, all of which are of the same unusual, queer, and Avant-garde character. Whereas the arrangements that are featured on all three of the remaining tracks on the album, all of which are real songs, are completely structured and, overall, represent a rather original Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion. However, the album as a whole will probably please only the most adventurous Prog-lovers, especially those into experimental music. content


Ozric Tentacles (UK) - 1993 - "Jurassic Shift" **+

An absolute copy of its predecessor "Strangeitudes": you find just one or two really Prog compositions here. The elements of Progressive are mostly shown by former guitarist Ed Wynne, and an excellent rhythm-section, which gives a good drive for all this mediocrity as usual, making that sort of music more or less tolerable for Prog-lovers. The flutist isn't abound in ideas, with the exception of already beaten one or two humorous howls. A prominent role here as well as on almost all Ozrics' albums is played by endless keyboard samples... The only Ozrics' album I really can recommend to experienced Prog-lovers is their second (offiicial!) "Erpland" (1990), or one of their live albums (see "Strangeitudes" in "S" sectioin of Detailed Reviews), if you, unlike me, can put up with compilations in general, including live. After this psycho-pop album Ozrics joined major "IRS" label, but not for long. Now they are back home in their own "Dovetail" lable. content


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