AltrOck / Fading
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AltrOck / Fading
Abrete Gandul - Enjambre Sismico
This is the second release by this Chilean instrumental progressive quartet of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums. Their first album was quite good although it passed by sort of un-noticed and it's nice that they are back on a higher-profile label...
Altrock Chamber Quartet - Sonata Islands Goes RIO
This is a chamber quartet of violin, cello, bass clarinet/clarinet and flute/piccolo (a pianist appears on one track) with transcriptions mostly by Giovanni Venosta (of Musci/Venosta) of music by 'classic' rock in opposition figures such as Thinking...
Aparecidos - Palitobombonhelado
Completely charming album that should appeal to folks who love the more acoustic-based 'avant/progressive-yet-tuneful' stylings of L'Ensemble Raye, Feliu i Joan-Albert, 3 Mice, etc. This has definite Italian as well as South American folk influences...
Aranis - RoqueForte
After two excellent albums of chamber rock (with the accent on 'chamber') by this great Belgian septet (2 violinists, accordion, piano, guitar, flute and double bass) and a third album that mixed things up a little bit by adding three vocalists on some...
Autumn Chorus - The Village To The Vale
"The Village to the Vale, by the Brighton-based band Autumn Chorus, is one of the most interesting debut album of 2012. Try to imagine a green and pleasant landscape, really old-Brit, or the magnificent sound of a cathedral, and you’ll get the point of...
Calomito - Cane di Schiena
Excellent second album from this fine Italian avant-progressive ensemble with more than a touch of jazz in them as well. Well played, well paced and everything just fits. Highly recommended!...
Camelias Garden - You Have A Chance
"Camelias Garden are a very young band from Rome born around the singer and poly-instrumentalist Valerio Smordoni. Their music features lyrical atmospheres and particularly elegant vocal arrangements. The sound, between acoustic and vintage, reminds...
Camembert - Schnörgl Attahk
Really superlative first full length from this jazz/rock band. This French group from Strasbourg first came to attention 3 years ago with their self-released EP, which showed great promise. But this new release really ups their game and presents this...
Chance:Risiko - Sleep Talking
This one from the mighty AltrOck label presents something a bit different for them and something outside of their more usual 'avant-progressive' style. This is 11 shorter songs that are between 2' and 6' long and is by a quartet of...
Cucamonga - Alter Huevo
This is the first release by Cucamonga, who are a Argentinian jazz/rock group. They throw in a lot of avant-progressive touches into their stew as well. Electric piano, sax, guitar, bass and drums. The big influences here that I hear are Hermeto Pascoal..
Factor Burzaco - II
Factor Burzaco’s popularity grows day by day in the RIO/Avant-Prog world. Coming from South America, due to their sound and musical style they are also known as the “Argentinian Thinking Plague”. With this new album the group moves forward with their...
Five Storey Ensemble - Not That City
Rational Diet were a chamber rock/RIO-styled band from Belarus, who released 3 very well liked albums on the AltrOck label. They seem to have imploded somewhat nastily, with the result being two bands arising from the ashes: Five-Storey Ensemble and...
Humble Grumble - Flanders Fields
"Humble Grumble is a surprising Belgian band who has built an original sound mixing skilfully and effectively a number of genre – rock, jazz, folk, prog. They follow the great tradition of Belgian alternative bands as X-Legged Sally, Fukkeduk, Think of...
Humble Grumble - Guzzle It Up
Second release from this large Belgian band, who grew out of folk music origins into into something closer to avant/avant-progressive rock, but whose folk roots definitely show through strongly in a number of good ways here. The group consists of...
Inner Ear Brigade - Rainbro
A California group who I had not run into/heard of before, but who appear to have been a group since 2005. Their music is somewhere between jazz and rock, but not 'jazz/rock'. The personnel is
Melody Ferris: Vocals
Ivor Holloway: Tenor and Alto...
Kurai - Kurai
"Kurai is a Japanese word that corresponds to the adjective «dark», without «gothic» or other emotional references. In a certain sense, Kurai is the Yûgen’s «shadow», both because draws on some hints from it (directly from Labirinto d’acqua), and above...
Locanda Delle Fate - The Missing Fireflies
Locanda were one of the greatest of the 'one and done' Italian progressive/symphonic rock bands of the 1970s. They released their one album, Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Pui, in 1977 when the progressive scene there was all but dead. They are...
Mirthkon - (Format) DVD
An impressive DVD release by this rehearsal intensive, Bay-area band who, as I write this, are on tour outside of the Bay-area for the very first time, impressing people everywhere!
"Following the release of their critically acclaimed album...
MiRthkon - Vehicle
This is going to be one of the CDs of 2009 for me personally. This is the first full length by a great California sextet consisting of dual guitars, dual woodwinds, bass and drums with a small amount of vocals and some guests. It mixes comtemporary...
Musica Ficta - A Child & A Well
This Israeli progressive rock band has gathered a bit of a reputation for a bit of a unfortunate reason: despite being well regarded and well received by those who have seen them/heard their demos, they recorded this album in 2005 (with Udi Koomran...
Nerve Institute - Architects of Flesh Density
"Behind the name of Nerve Institute actually hides the genius of Mike Judge alone, composer and multi-instrumentalist (and a writer as well) from Kansas City, creator and collaborator of many projects with a clearly avant and experimental mark....
October Equus - Saturnal
The third release from this Spanish 'modern R.I.O.' styled group and definitely their most assured so far. While most of the characters from their previous releases remain Angel Ontalva (guitar and compositions), Victor Rodriguez (keyboards and...
Picchio dal Pozzo - A_Live
This is 3 of the old PdP members (keyboardist/vocalist Aldo De Scalzi now playing electric bass and keyboards as well as singing. guitarist Paolo Griguolo and drummer Aldo di Marco, who gave up music many years ago for work in computers and who...
Pikapika Teart - Moonberry
Very good chamber-rock from Siberia (!) that uses two guitars, bass, drums, clarinet/bass clarinet, piano and female voice with guests on violin and viola on the majority of the tracks. For some reason, parts of this remind me a bit of Macchina...
Polite Refusal - Geese and Swans
From Moscow, the group's name is actually in Cyrillic and most closely comes out as "Vezhliviy Otkaz". The group is a six piece with vocals, acoustic guitars, grand piano, electric violin, trumpet, double bass and drums. Their songs are mostly...
Polite Refusal - Steel On Stone CD + DVD
One of the profound surprises in the avant-progressive rock world (or at least my world) was the release of the latest album by this Moscow band whose name is actually in Cyrillic and most closely comes out as "Vezhliviy Otkaz". Like Geese and Swans...
Rational Diet - At Work
A RIO/chamber rock-styled band from Belarus. They are a 7 piece of Vitaly Appow-bassoon, Maxim Velvetov-guitars, Cyrill Christya-violin, Olga Podgaiskaja-keyboards, vocals, Anna Ovchinnikova-cello, Dmitry Maslovsky-bass and Nikolay Gumberg-drums...
Rational Diet - On Phenomena and Existences
Third and best release yet from this fine RIO-styled chamber-rock ensemble from Belarus who have really hit their stride here. They are a 7 piece of Vitaly Appow-bassoon, Maxim Velvetov-guitars, Cyrill Christya-violin, Olga Podgaiskaja-keyboards, vocals..
Rational Diet - Rational Diet
A RIO/chamber rock-styled band from Belarus making their debut here, and it is an extremely well done first album. A sextet of Vitaly Appow-bassoon, tenor sax, accordion, Maxim Velvetov-guitars, Cyrill Christya-violin, Eugeny Alexeyev-keyboards...
Sanhedrin - Ever After
A very good instrumental symphonic progressive rock band who feature flute, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass and drums. This was the 2nd release on AltrOck's Fading subsidiary, which aims to release more 'proggy progressive' than what...
Ske - 1000 Autumni
Paolo Botta - who has been nicknamed 'Ske' his entire life - is the keyboardist from Yugen and on his first solo album, 14 additional musicians join in, but the focus is always squarely on Ske's keyboards and also his compositions. The sales sheet...
Stabat Akish - Nebulos
Second excellent release by this great French sextet whose first album was released on Tzadik (and was definitely one of the most 'avant-progressive' things on that label!). This is their second and everything great about the 1st remains here....
Steensland, Simon - Fat Again
I have long enjoyed the work of Simon Steensland, a Swede who has released a number of very good albums over the last 15 years or so. He is a multi-instrumentalist and releases heavy, zeuhl/Univers Zero-flavored heavy and dark progressive albums. This...
Subtilior - Absence Upon A Ground
Subtilior is led by the leader of Areknames, who are one of the very best contemporary Italian progressive rock groups. With Subtilior, he is still working in progressive rock, but he's shifted his focus here strongly towards avant progressive....
Willey, Dave - Immeasurable Currents
Dave Willey is a multi-instrumentalist who is the co-leader and co-composer of the material of the great Hamster Theatre ensemble. He has also been a member of Thinking Plague for about 15 years now.
Immeasurable currents is a moody, somewhat low...
Yugen - Iridule
Third album by this Italian 'difficult music' ensemble, who derive great pleasure in presenting for your ears what Frank Zappa referred to as "The Black Page" (i.e. musical scores so filled with notes that it appears as a sea of black ink)!...
Yugen - Labirinto d'Acqua
The first album by this Italian/international avant-progressive supergroup, which has been eagerly anticipated. Their stated influences should tell you all you need to know: Satie, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Cage, Reich, Zappa, Henry Cow, Gentle Giant...
Yugen - Mirrors
Excellent, studio-quality, live album, recorded at the 2011 RIO festival. While this features music mostly drawn from their 1st (Labirinto d'Acqua) and 3rd (Iridule) albums, this is well worth owning because those albums were studio creations and were...
Yugen - Uova Fatali: Yugen play Leddi
Tommaso Ledi was the violinist/mondolinist and later the keyboardist in Stormy Six. He is also a member of Yugen and major composer in his own right and this, the second Yugen album, takes on his compositions, giving the album a different, more folky...