Monthly Archive: August 2018

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Ben Levin Group – Our Place (2018) review

Herculean composer, guitarist, poet, vocalist, inventor, and great thinker, Ben Levin has a new release called ‘Our Place’ (2018). Trying to describe him as a musician is tough due to his prolific output and ability to join together such a variety of styles (to the range of bands like Motorpsycho) like progressive rock, metal, avant rock, art pop and much more.

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Aum Grand Ensemble – You’ve Never Listened to the Wind (2017) review

An opulant blend of poetry, theatre, classical chamber, gamelan, ambient, sacred and otherworldly glory that I have rarely heard in my lifetime. Such a mix of styles that sometimes surprises the senses, Aum Grand Ensemble, led by Julien Pontvianne (who composes all the music) from France, creates textural works that occasionally reminds me of Popol Vuh’s (Florian Fricke) more sacred soundtrack works such as ‘Sei Still, Wisse Ich Bin’ The group have two previous recordings (‘Jail Poems’ – 2010, unreleased but download is available, and then ‘Silere’ – 2014, which is with the same elements but based on ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau).

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Nathan- Era (2018) – review

This is an Italian progressive rock group who began as a tribute band of music from Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Supertramp. Their 2016 debut `Nebulosa’ featured original songs all sung in Italian, and in the vintage progressive world of Le Orme and similar bands. Now in 2018, their second release is happily in the Aqua Fragile/Genesis sphere, with strong similarities in both the instrumentation and Lanzetti/Gabriel-like lead vocals (thanks to Bruno Lugaro). The sound quality is excellent with balanced solos between keyboards (Piergiorgio Abba) and some Holdsworth/Hackett guitar work (Daniele Ferro). The rest of the band is very strong as well, which includes Fabio Sanfilippo on drums and Mauro Brunzu on bass. Monica Giovannini, who also appeared on their debut, does an amazing job on choirs and backing vocals.

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