Monthly Archive: August 2018

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Garnotte – EP I (2018) review

From Montreal, Quebec, (Canada) Garnotte is a 5 piece French Canadian band using 3 extra vocalists for harmonies on this debut release in the form of a 9 song EP. The surprising mixture of classical, classic rock, blues, pop and progressive (in the same sense that The Sweet era ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’ got classified as progressive rock), takes you on a multi textured, many changes ride. All the songs connect to each other and the track ‘Scutigeres’ is divided into 4 parts. If you took a long list of late 60’s and early to mid 70’s bands like The Guess Who, Rare Earth, early Steve Miller, Iron Butterfly, Santana, Neil Young, Ten Years After, early Deep Purple, Cream, Uriah Heep, and The Kinks, and made them all one package, then this is what Garnotte sound like on this release. Call it prototype progressive but whatever you call it, it is extremely well done.

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Grice – The Grey of Granite Stone (2017) review

Some musicians show the fans a large variety of their talents in styles over the years, but Grice has displayed the mastering of each niche he has covered. His inspiration for this Ep was to get away from the heavy electronic production elements and present another side of his musical persona. With ‘The Grey of Granite Stone’, Grice shows an exceptional skill at creating a mixture of 60’s/70’s psychedelic summer of love classic pop with lush sparkling 1980’s slightly sombre music.

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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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