Category: Reviews

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DLM – Davis Lindley Mullan (2017) review

A warm plentiful collection of songs that bring a solemn face, tears, a smile, a touch of heart, a contact with your soul, and/or an embrace with emotions you may have lost touch with. This is a lovely album that makes you feel at home and comfortable, peaceful, and fully satisfied. The debut release from ex-Stackridge members Andrew Davis (guitar, ukulele, vocals) and Clare Lindley (violin, guitar, ukulele, vocals) and added musician Brian Mullan (cello, vocals), puts  the listener at ease with both original tunes and striking cover tunes.

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Orchestra Exotica – Plays Martin Denny (2017) review

As the title and the band’s name implies, the music within is Orchestra Exotica’s version of the Exotica genre, which was defined by Martin Denny back in the 1957. That music was a fantasy mix of South Pacific and the Orient. Later composers (like Les Baxter) brought in influences from Oceania, Hawaii, The Andes, and even Africa. The music on this Orchestra Exotica is all that but modern day listeners may be more apt to describe it as Caribbean space age jazz with a lounge music quality. The whole idea for the album came from the original children’s play written by Bruno Vansina titled ‘MaiTé, het meisje en de vogel’ (translated ‘Mai’Tie, the girl and the bird’- as the bonus disc of this package). Pierre Vervloesem, the master interpreter he is, took these pieces and did a bit of revamping, but not to the extent of defacing them.

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Louisa John-Krol – Elderbrook (2017) review

Louisa has spent two decades making magical music on independent labels such as Prikosnovenie. She decided to start her own label and control her very innovative musical vision, and ‘Elderbrook’ showcases some compositions spreading across the years 1981 through 2017. With no less than 28 musicians helping out, the Silo String Quartet, and sounds from Australian birds, and various samples, Louisa performs on mandolin, sansula, ocarina, chimes, elephant bells, Tingsha, dragon-scale curtain, rainsticks, lead and backing vocals. A prized list of guest vocalists also appear, including Priscilla Hernandez (who also has some very dreamy solos).

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Taylor’s Universe – Almost Perfected (2017) review

Having heard everything Robin Taylor has released (I personally own all his physical output),  I was curious to what Robin might have done to the songs of yore. I was confused back in 2015 when he released what he called a ‘compilation’ titled ‘Across The Universe’, and I misunderstood what he actually did. He took previous songs he was not totally happy with, and remade them with his new band. This was like a new release, and now he has done the same thing again with even more tunes he wanted to improve. This time it is like an entirely new set of compositions, and an absolute thrill.

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NILE ON WAX – Bell Dogs (2017) review

Nile On Wax is a smart Belgian trio who play a adventurous, atmospheric instrumental music in a somewhat dark, brooding, reflective progressive hybrid of celestial chamber rock and world music. Not far from the more eastern flavored sounds of Dead Can Dance (without the vocals) and a more spacious and esoteric Roleki (without the keyboards).

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Orpheus Nine – Transcendental Circus (2017) review

ATTENTION SAGA FANS! Progressive rock band from New Jersey release very strong debut with no wrinkles, no dull moments, and no filler. The intro is a truly beautiful piano piece, then the excitement begins. The musicianship is excellent and everything from artwork (a superb way above average multi foldout digipak with booklet) to the compositions are professional. Produced and arranged by Jason Kresge (keyboards, lead vocals) with bandmates Matt Ullestad (guitars), Tony Renda (bass, backing vocals), and Mark Gregory (drums, percussion, backing vocals), ‘Transcendental Circus’ has perfection written all over it. The musicians understand the importance of dynamics, textures, and control. The songs are all solid and easy to listen to, rich in production, and very well put together. Some are fantastic.

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The Gary Bamford Trio – God, Love and Other Myths (2017) review

Those who are already fans, or have heard previous Gary Bamford releases are in for a treat on this, his 5th, full recording titled ‘God, Love and Other Myths’. From Swindon, UK, Gary has performed with a very long list of musical greats, and versatile could easily be his middle name. Comfortable with jazz, classical, and alternative styles, he has done soundtracks (check out ‘An Account Of A Savage’ for example), smooth warm classical jazz in the ECM vein (his debut ‘Jadj’, and also a double CD ‘Restrop Wood’, both with Ruth Hammond on sax, etc). Gary’s keyboard talent is apparent and as solid as they come. More styles explored and conquered would be his 2nd release ‘Soundtrack To Breathing’ which is as soothing and beautiful as keyboards can get. Classical, meditative, mostly electronic wonderland much like Ryuichi Sakamoto mixed with John Taylor. It is after listening to his entire output that one can more clearly see all the various inspirations Gary lists on the inside panel of this super nice multiple foldout digipak.

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King Crimson – Live in Chicago: June 28, 2017 (2017) review

The release of this official “bootleg” as it is called, gave some of the most interesting words from Mr Robert Fripp in the booklet, inside of the 2 CD ‘King Crimson Club’ hardbound package, one will ever read. In this interview, Fripp talks about all the different ‘definitive formations’ of Crimson, which is must read content. Rather than rehash all that, I suggest anyone that ever had (or has) even a touch of love for this master progressive band of the earth, do yourself a great service and purchase a physical copy of ‘Live In Chicago : June 28, 2017

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