Browsing All posts tagged under »progressive rock«

Orange The Juice – The Messiah Is Back (avant-rock)

September 16, 2015


The physical presentation of a release is an interesting issue. There are some who would argue that it’s irrelevant, that the only interesting thing is the sound on the recording, that the packaging is an aspect of nasty, dirty, anti-art marketing, or so superficial that authentic music fans shouldn’t care about it. Context is definitely not irrelevant, however, and cover art or packaging are part of a release’s context, I would argue an important part. Without context the sounds on a recording are literally just noise: we might detect some patterning (with an album like The Messiah Is Back we would, certainly), but without a context …

Karda Estra – Strange Relations (avant-rock)

September 8, 2015


The Karda Estra brand has been built on continued invention and creativity: across the preceding eleven albums composer Richard Wileman has consistently and rigorously poked around at the fault-lines of his practice, finding ways to surprise the listener that nevertheless cleave to an established and instantly recognisable aesthetic. Although Karda Estra’s discography features very high standards of musicianship, and some amazing guest musicians (most notably and repeatedly the wonderfully warped avant-rock guitar savant Kavus Torabi), one pretty consistent feature of the work has been that it is more …

Rhys Marsh – Sentiment (progressive rock)

June 9, 2015


The sweet clarity of Rhys Marsh’s voice unifies his album with a luminous, melancholy calm, effortlessly bridging the steepest dynamic gradients in arrangements that can swing rapidly from finger-picked acoustic guitar to weighty chunks of rock. The instrumental textures on Sentiment are dramatic and powerful, but there is never any doubt in which strand’s service the whole thick, complex braid is marshalled. This is rock music in the service of song, or it is the songwriter’s art writ large and bold, in the deep, layered colours of which progressive rock orchestration is capable. It’s not about instrumental

Prescott – One Did (avant-rock)

February 1, 2015


There’s an openness, and a sense of ensemble solidarity, to Prescott, that puts me in mind of jazz as much as it does of the art-rock influences they own up to in their press release; much of the music is clearly arranged in detail, but it feels improvisational, and its musical meanings seem to stem from this group of musicians, making this sound, on this occasion, with that devotion to the present moment so characteristic of the most committed jazz. In stylistic terms there is little to tie this music unequivocally to jazz, rock or anything else. Frank Byng’s drumming is expressive and propulsive …

Review Of The Year 2014: 20 Albums

December 20, 2014


My views on end-of-year roundups in general are quite aggressive, and can be read at greater length in the introduction to last year’s selection, here. Suffice it to say that I think anyone claiming to know which are the best few albums released in any given year is seriously delusional; my selection is simply some of the records I liked the most out of those I happened to come across. These records are all seriously good, but there were over a hundred other albums that could equally well have made it onto my list; my advice is, yes, investigate these records, but more importantly, go hunting for …