Monday, December 21, 2009

King Crimson - Red (40th Anniversary Series)

Artist: King Crimson
Album: Red (1974) 40th Anniversary Series.
Released: 2009

With numerous "definitive" editions already out, what can one more kick at the can of progressive rock progenitor King Crimson's discography offer? Plenty. With the entire Crimson catalog being remixed, remastered, and offered as CD/DVD-A sets that include stereo and 5.1 surround remixes in MLP Lossless, PCM Stereo, and DTS 5.1 formats, based on the first two 40th Anniversary Series releases—1975's Red and 1969's seminal In the Court of the Crimson King—they've simply never sounded this good. With added audio and video bonuses, it's safe to say that, even for the most cynical fan, these will truly be the definitive and essential editions...

The Music: Red; Fallen Angel; One More Red Nightmare; Providence; Starless; Red (Trio version); Fallen Angel (Trio version - instrumental); Providence (Full version, taken from The Great Deceiver).
bonus tracks:
i pulled the audio content off the dvd...
(mono audio), originally broadcast on ORTF France, March 22, 1974: Larks Tounge in Aspic: Part II; The Night Watch; Lament; Starless; (+) A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos (taken from The Great Deceiver)...

Personnel: Robert Fripp: guitar, mellotron; John Wetton: bass, voice; William Bruford: percussives; David Cross: violin; Mel Collins: soprano saxophone; Ian McDonald: alto saxophone; Robin Miller: oboe; Marc Charig: cornet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soft Machine BBC Radio 1967-1971 (released 2003)

Disc 1 (66:45)
1. Clarence In Wonderland (2:57)
2. We Know What You Mean (3:11)
3. Certain Kind (3:38)
4. Hope For Happiness (4:37)
5. Strangest Scene Recorded (aka Lullaby Letter) (4:55)
6. Facelift / Mousetrap / Noisette / Backwards / Mousetrap Reprise (11:54)
7. The Moon In June (13:02)
8. Instant Pussy (3:19)
9. Slightly All The Time / Out Bloody Rageous / Eamonn Andrews (19:12)

Disc 2 (60:51)
1. Virtually (9:58)
2. Fletcher's Blemish (12:11)
3. Neo-Caliban Grides (7:34)
4. Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening (2:46)
5. Eamonn Andrews / All White (7:11)
6. Mousetrap / Noisette / Backwards / Mousetrap Reprise / Esther's Nose Job (21:11)

Total Time: 127:36

- Kevin Ayers / bass, guitar, voice (tracks 1-5 CD1)
- Robert Wyatt / drums, voice
- Mike Ratledge / keyboards
- Hugh Hopper / bass (tracks 6-9 CD1, CD2)
- Brian Hopper saxophone, flute (track 6 CD1)
- Elton Dean / axophone (track 9 CD1, CD2)
- Marc Charig / trumpet (track 6 CD2)
- Lyn Dobson / saxophone, flute (track 6 CD2)
- Nick Evans / trombone (track 6 CD2)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polysoft - Tribute To Soft Machine

Collectif Polysons is a French Collective that, as the liner notes to Tribute to Soft Machine Live a Le Triton 2002 describe, "consists of four musicians-soloists-composers, exists as a forum involving various guest artists who assemble for concert events with one common denominator: improvisation." So when Polysons recruited two ex-Soft Machine members, bassist Hugh Hopper and saxophonist Elton Dean, for this tribute to one of Britain's most influential historical jazz/rock outfits, they became Polysoft, performing their tribute first in '98, and then again in '02, when this concert was recorded.

Track listing: Facelift Intro; Facelift; Chloe and the Pirates; Gesolreut; Pig; Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening; As If; Kings & Queens; Slightly All the Time; Noisette 1; Backwards; Noisette 2.

Personnel: Collectif Polysons: Francois Merville (drums, percussion), Serge Adam (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jean-Remy Guedon (tenor sax, flute), Pierre-Olivier Govin (baritone sax, saxello)
With guests: Hugh Hopper (bass guitar), Elton Dean (alto sax, saxello), Emmanuel Bex (Hammond organ).

Monday, December 14, 2009

NeBeLNeST - Nova Express [2001]

Despite some production flaws, NeBeLNeST's self-titled debut made quite an impression in progressive rock circles. The group's complex time signatures, Fripp-ish guitar, and apocalyptic intensity impress from the first listen. The obvious point of reference here is Larks' Tongues in Aspic-era King Crimson — for the spooky atmospheres, Cyril Malderez's angular guitar parts, Gregory Tejedor's picked basslines (very John Wetton, he could be playing the instrument with a pneumatic drill in "Absinthe"), and the group's penchant for improvisation. Of the eight pieces on this album, three are improvised in a free-form style strongly reminiscent of the mighty Crimson circa 1973. All that being said, despite this obvious influence, NeBeLNeST manage to cut their own sound. Some listeners may even be more struck by the somber moods, reminiscent of Scandinavian bands like Anekdoten or Anglagard. Olivier Tejedor's synthesizers and electronics also help steer the group's sound away from the major references of the genre, adding a more experimental touch that suggests the heavier representatives of the avant-prog current, Present in particular. "Solilock" and the two-part "Psykial Trysm" are the album's highlights, as they best balance strong compositional skills and creative playing. "Etude de Shimshot" lacks a bit of soul to drag it off its written score, but that would be the only weak track. Sadly, the production lacks a bit of muscle. The mix makes good use of stereo panning, but has no depth, which tends to flatten the group's intensity. This problem would be solved on the second album, NoVa eXPReSS.



1 Pooks, Pt. 1 Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 3:22
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

2 Psykial Trysm: Shafoo Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 6:49
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

3 Psykial Trysm: Najha Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 6:13
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

4 Etude de Shimshot Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 9:25
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

5 Uncertain Journey Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 5:17
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

6 Solilock Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 4:48
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

7 Absinthe Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 9:21
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

8 Crab Nedula Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 6:20
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

9 Pooks, Pt. 2 Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor ... 7:29
Composed by: Anselmi, Malderez, Tejedor, Tejedor

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lux Nova Umbra Est

A wheezing sound from a dry throat. A swollen joint. A curious tingling on the surface area above a vital organ. Lux Nova Umbra Est's debut EP manifests as a fever with plans to linger, duping its victim with all-too-brief episodes of relief before the punishment resumes. Featuring members of California bands Djam Karet and Controlling Hand, Light Is The New Dark is a hard-hitting half hour of incendiary, fusion-tinged instrumental music that dashes any and all psychedelic leanings for rockier vistas.

Lead guitarist Mike Henderson comes to the fore in a manner heralded on the heaviest DK albums, Burning The Hard City and A Night For Baku; Henderson's razor-sharp chordings and molten riffs scorch and froth amidst a nightmarish bog of seething textures. While Henderson will be the main draw for many, it must be noted that bassist Aaron Kenyon (CH/DKMkII) and drummer Joel Connell are a lethal rhythm section — Connell's playing is equal parts Bruford, Bozzio, and Peart, and Kenyon is a stupendous talent who has only recently found himself dodging the crosshairs of obscurity. Keyboardist [and occasional guitarist] Michael Xenakis sprinkles extraterrestrial Ozric-esque timbres across the proceedings, but does engage in some live action like the jazzy piano leads & solos in the multi-faceted, epic-length "Laughing Babylon." "Wo Ist Das Licht?" is a racy rocker that roars down the tracks like the classic DK cut, "Technology & Industry," and "Dr. Senf" is a merciless slab of heavy, with escapee fills from Connell flying like sparks from a jumping jack firecracker. All things said, an electric guitar tone hasn't sounded quite as riveting as this for some time, and this quartet plays like a feral pack that has gnawed through its tethers.

The first full-length recording will be a treat. Essential listening.


1. Hello 1:34
2. Wo Ist Das Licht? 8:49
3. Wave To Yourself 0:41
4. Dr. Senf 7:35
5. Who Are You? 0:52
6. Laughing Babylon 13:46
7. Thank You 2:33

Total time: 35:46

Friday, December 11, 2009

Amps for Christ - Thorny Path

Electronic primitivist project Amps for Christ was primarily the work of Claremont, CA-based Henry Barnes, formerly of Man Is the Bastard. An outlet for Barnes' interest in polyethnic folk traditions and faux-Celtic mysticism, Amps for Christ proved equally distinctive for its use of custom-built guitars and electronics, recording with a number of occasional collaborators, including vocalist Tara Tikkitavi, percussionist Joel Connell, and someone or something dubbed Enid Snarb. Releases include 1997's Thorny Path, 1999's Circuits, 2000's Electrosphere, 2001's Oak in the Ashes, 2004's People at Large, and 2006's Every Eleven Seconds.

The concept behind Amps for Christ is this: its members play acoustic instruments, woodwinds, and organs, but process them electronically into a strange, highly distorted mid-range murk. This creates a very interesting mess -- The band's work with Two Ambiguous Figures deals with the same concept, but ends up far more listenable.

1 Cock of the Worth
2 A Very Mode-Ultar Song
3 Whisteltron
4 Native Soil
5 Inja
6 Country Core
7 Patriots
8 National War
9 Folkcore
10 Millennium
11 Global Warming
12 Prepared Teac
13 Perpared Conn in D Minor
14 Heathkit
15 Pain of the Fire
16 Carrickfergus
17 Lynn Ann's Flower
18 Rasberry Box
19 Elleven Twelfths
20 Hamtar
21 Old Paint
22 Wolffskill Falls
23 Time Is the Coupler

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ANGELS OF LIFE IN A PSYCHIC WASTELAND - Various Artists Experimental Compilation

Various - Angels Of Life In A Psychic Wasteland


1 Unknown Artist - Eerie Introduction 0:23
2 Gringos (2) - J (Edited Version) 4:27
Lyrics By - Traditional
Written By - J.A. Mas, S. Riera, J. Samon
3 Suonihiuksisto - Halva Lizarre 1:13
Music By - P. Dassum*
4 Kingdom Scum - Abstract...Only To The Point Of Providing...Concrete 4:23
Music By, Words By [Text] - Apuro* , W. Spit
5 Vas Deferens Organization - ? 4:22
Arranged By - M. Castille*
Music By, Words By [Text] - Traditional
6 Farbror Bånges Kapell - Millencolin 0:51
Written-By - O. Hielm*
7 Amps For Christ - Abram Looks Back At UR 1:53
Music By - Barnes*
8 LAS Galore - Nyx Oceano 5:30
Music By, Words By [Text] - A. Sigler*
9 Charming Hostess - I'm Not Hungry 2:21
Music By, Words By [Text] - C. Kihlstedt* , J.Eisenberg* , N. Rolle*
10 Transkaakko - Kulma 4:03
Arranged By - Transkaakko
Music By - J. Isojunno*
Words By [Text] - M. Tiikkainen*
11 Brown Cuts Neighbors - Want Bibs 0:43
Music By, Words By [Text] - J. Martin*
12 Unknown Artist - Eerie Intermission 0:35
13 Violent Onsen Geisha - Like A Bob DYLAAAN 3:09
Music By, Words By [Text] - Violent Onsen Geisha
14 Drain - A Bunch Of Guys About To Turn Blue 3:29
Music By - K. Coffey*
15 Thi-Linh Le - No Regrets 1:17
Music By - B. Laswell* , M. Beinhorn* , N. Skopelitis*
Music By, Words By [Text] - Thi-Linh Le
16 Malacoda - S-Kill D 1:41
Music By - A. Sigler* , R. Guess* , S. Hudgins*
17 Keukhot - Kaksi Neljästä Ulkopuolisesta 2:14
Music By - Kalevi Rainio*
18 Stock, Hausen And Walkman* - Fraud 2:10
Music By - A. Sharpley* , M. Wand*
19 Mieskuoro Huutajat - Herää Suomi 1:16
Music By, Arranged By - P. Sirviö*
Words By [Text] - Jännes*
20 Deep Turtle - La Poiquita 0:52
Music By - Deep Turtle
21 Széki Kurva - Chicken Head 4:40
Words By, Music By - DJ Assassin (3) , Gömöri-Burnska , Matyi , Suzanne (4)
22 Suonihiuksisto - Cyanide In My Kefir 0:48
Music By - P. Dassum*
23 Loris - Flysong 3:56
Words By, Music By - J. Drummey , M. Kasenter
24 Unknown Artist - Eerie Conclusion 0:50
25 Eugene Chadbourne - Dirt 5:14
Words By, Music By - E. Chadbourne*
26 Deep Turtle - Jeriko Jr. 0:43
Music By - Deep Turtle