Browsing All posts tagged under »prog«

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

August 23, 2016

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Finger-picked arpeggios fall with the regularity and impersonal melancholy of rain, offset by a vocal delivery that is hesitant not in its phrasing, but in its timbre. The sound of this four-song EP is intimate, extremely close to the listener’s ear, and it is formed from the kind of performative gestures in which the proximity of the musician is most pronounced: this is sound as embodiment, its aesthetics rooted in an erotic of human frailty. Lyrically and melodically it is concerned with the concrete, with particulars, but it is an idea of the concrete that is as ephemeral as smoke and as fragile as eggshells - Calming River’s voice

Various Artists – Album Roundup

March 1, 2016

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Abject and lonesome mid-fi folk, that drifts across the field of consciousness like a progession of washed-out, dusty photographs, before it becomes quite heavy and ominous towards the end of the album, and finishes with an unlikely cover of ‘Twerk’. One of Uhlich’s Bandcamp tags is ‘devotional’, and there is a sense of outsider ritual about this music, as though a set of the personal habits that make an individual were reified as doctrine: the songs are about something, certainly, but it feels like Uhlich is singing meaning to himself as much as he is singing meanings to us. Songs unfold at a steady pace, with static or slow …

Opposite Day – Space Taste Race, Pt. 2 (progressive rock)

February 4, 2016

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The ‘progressive’ is a quietly contested quality in rock music. There’s a great deal of music that can be accurately described as such, a small subset of which can be categorised stylistically as ‘progressive rock’. A smaller subset of music that is ‘progressive rock’ in style could also be described as progressive in character. There is an annoyingly vocal minority in the progressive-rock community that likes to shout ‘not prog!’ at anything that doesn’t fit their particular shopping list of stylistic markers, but relatively few artists fighting for their right to the adjective, since they have other things on their minds if their work is progressive …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

December 15, 2015

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Richard Wileman seems to be going through a particularly fertile patch of late, putting out releases somewhat faster than I can write about them (and the day he puts out something I don’t write about will be a long time coming). After the vigorous collaborative chops-fest (I simplify unfairly) of Strange Relations comes this short programmatic piece depicting the eventual collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. Wileman predicts a cooler, calmer and altogether more pastoral event than sprang immediately to my thoughts, although the vast and oblique affective compass of his alternately gelid and cosy …

Roland Bühlmann – Aineo (progressive rock)

October 15, 2015

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There is a minimal aesthetic to Aineo, but its compositions are structured hierarchically, not by any remotely Minimalist procedure. It’s an instrumental record, with cool, low-key textures, that, for the most part, can be uncontroversially classified as rock – a few folky moments notwithstanding. Everything about it conforms to established norms that say, roughly, each element in a texture will be active and melodically significant in direct proportion to its pitch. The music is not unremittingly monodic, and its textures are frequently more prominent than melodies that, if present, are sometimes no more than coincidences at …

Ashley Reaks – Before Koresh (avant-rock)

October 8, 2015

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Ashley Reaks speaks from outside. His work is most obviously ‘outsider art’ if you look at his visual work, rather than his music: his collage-based pieces, deliberately ugly as they are (although they are often richly and decoratively patterned), with their disturbing, and frequently sexually explicit iconography, position themselves unequivocally away from the mainstream, far from the clean white gallery wall (metaphorically, at least – I have no idea what his shows look like!). Aside from the fact that he uses his own work as cover art, Reaks does not refuse socially conventional framing devices for his music in …