― john fail (cenotaph), Monday, 10 March 2003 15:40 (10 years ago) Permalink
Yes- Fragile, The Yes Album & Closer to the EdgeKing Crimson - Red, Starless & Bible Black, Larks Tounges & Aspic, and Discipline (Beat & Three of a Perfect Pair are OK, not quite as good as the rest.)
I like The Soft Machine, but after their second record they sound closer to jazz fusion than most of their contemporaries.
― earlnash, Monday, 10 March 2003 16:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
Now, I like Caravan better than Camel, but still, I would say that Camel's pre-Rain Dances albums are very good, and certainly something people should give a shot. I still have heaps of fun listening to the instrumental "The Snow Goose". It's so wimpy and geeky, yet cozy and listenable, and I always feel like I find neat new things in it, despite it not being some "Greetings friends, we're Doctor Nerve, pardon us while we do something that you'll never understand" band ;)
Don Caballero meets ELP? So you're essentially thinking of ELP with a drummer that can keep time? Or do you also want other Don Cabblasdjo elements? Hmm!Miriodor? Hrmm, no, that doesn't quite work either. Sorry, I could throw out lots of progrock albums that I find to be fantastic, but none of them would really fit that description. I guess Yes IS a logical choice. A bit less "modern" harmonies, but Wakeman's still a fun ol' madman, and Bruford is certainly a crazy ol' panda. "Close to the edge" IS the best one.
No. Don't even consider hitting reply to argue with that.
Of course, King Crimson is great too, and have plenty of madman drumming, but they don't have the keyboard heavy thing that I assume you want.
Hell, maybe Tony Williams Lifetime instead? OK, I think we'll all be better off if I hit submit before veering further off track. Sorry.
― Øystein Holm-Olsen (Øystein H-O), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:11 (10 years ago) Permalink
― inhuman, Tuesday, 11 March 2003 01:30 (10 years ago) Permalink
― john fail (cenotaph), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 03:22 (10 years ago) Permalink
Said it before, but I'll say it again: Happy Family.
― dleone (dleone), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 04:31 (10 years ago) Permalink
― bob snoom, Wednesday, 12 March 2003 14:10 (10 years ago) Permalink
― dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 14:20 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 12 March 2003 15:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Douglas (Douglas), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 15:34 (10 years ago) Permalink
Finally Geir says something I can WHOLE-HEARTEDLY agree with.
If you might want some music with the aspects of "prog" (complex melodies and rhythms and creative lyrics and such), but are willing to step out of the actual time-period-defined "genre" most people refer to as "prog", you might just really like Mr. Bungle, a sickenly talented and creative modern group. I'd recommend either California (quite pleasing on the ears) or Disco Volante (quite dissonant and disturbing, but entirely amazing); their first (self-titled, John Zorn produced) album is astounding as well, but I'd recommend their later two albums first.
― nickalicious (nickalicious), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 15:42 (10 years ago) Permalink
what about the two mighty St.'s - Tropez and Joan? some shiveringly beautiful (and complex!) music there. Italy also gave us Picchio dal Pozzo - one of the finest I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Canterbury ensembles ever. or at least this side of Japan's godlike Tipographica.
― summerslastsound (summerslastsound), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 15:47 (10 years ago) Permalink
That would be Stonehenge, originally released in the US as Ruins on Shimmy Disc, and with extra tracks. Great, record, though I'd argue Symphonica is actually their most proggy record (and one that over time has become my fave).
― dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 12 March 2003 15:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Fivvy (Fivvy), Thursday, 13 March 2003 00:51 (10 years ago) Permalink
Not really...nothing that's fresh or exciting on it.
― Joe (Joe), Thursday, 13 March 2003 02:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
Area were/are the best & most original prog rock band from the 70s. Their studio albums which are a must-have (roughly in order of accessibility): Crac!, Arbeit Macht Frei, and Caution: Radiation Area (first one I ever heard from them; fantastic!). Their live album, Are(a)zione , is also a great starter.
Some others worth looking for (though good luck finding them; many were on the Italian prog label Mellow Records, but I don't know if they are still in business):
Arti & Misteri - Tilt Kind of an aggressive but still breezy fusion sound
Apoteosi - ApoteosiLocanda Della Fate - Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano PiuTwo highly regarded 'traditional prog' albums.
Saint Just - La Casa Del LagoTheir second album, they were more of a psych-pop band than a traditional pop band. Lead vocals by Jane/Jenny Sorrenti, who sounded like a very hyper Elizabeth Fraser; spacey vocals, spacey album. Their first album is a lot different, way more restrained, sparse, ornamental folk.Jenny recorded a great pop solo album, Suspiro, after Saint Just disbanded. Terrific singer, I think, though she's not everyone's cup of tea.
― Joe (Joe), Thursday, 13 March 2003 02:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
also good by area are their later, more difficult albums. maledetti has their greatest piece, imho, 'caos' which sounds like a precursor to nurse with wound. event '76 is not really area - it's the guitarist and the singer (demetrio stratos, who has a solo record i've never heard but his voice is amazing so i bet it rules) with STEVE LACY and PAUL LYTTON doing total free improv!!! it's progressive but not really rock. i've never heard the last area album.
also italian that i dig, though a bit later (and "punk"er) is the Confusional Quartet. elica reissued the cd which i think is their discography - it's definitely heavy progressive with lots of keyboards and insane drumming, but it has a definite new wave/punk feel (it's from the early 80's).
a friend has the arti e mesteri album - i will definitely buy it, thanks for the recommendation, joe!
what more obscure prog can we talk about?
― john fail (cenotaph), Thursday, 13 March 2003 03:16 (10 years ago) Permalink
can anyone recommend some good prog blogs? a lot of the good ones i used to check out often seem to have shut down for one reason or another...
― "he said...all things passantino the night" (omar little), Wednesday, 15 July 2009 23:54 (3 years ago) Permalink
this one looks like its still going
― well I'm married to a limping, crescent-shaped abortion (sarahel), Wednesday, 15 July 2009 23:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
prog + a lot more, particularly if you're into NWW list type stuff
― Dominique, Thursday, 16 July 2009 01:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
I bought a vintage Univers Zero LP the other day cuz it look intersting and it cost a buck. It's called Uzed. Allmusic says that it is horrible (which squares with my experience of it), but the Prog Archives people seem to think it's the greatest thing since ever.
I would like to come to understand the perspective of the Prog Archives people that makes it so great, because I'd like to get some use out of that dollar-plus-indefensibly-extortionate-tax-amount that I paid, but also because it seems like something that might be rewarding if I could figure out the part that isn't horrible and weedly and anxiety-inducing. It represents an approach to music that's totally alien to me, but which seems to fascinate a fair number of people.
Is there anyone here who digs this kind of scratchy-sweater prog? Like, I associate it with Fred Frith, Curlew, Ornette Coleman, Shockabilly, etc. Other things that consistently elude me. Would appreciate some feedback on what to like/listen for.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 02:49 (3 years ago) Permalink
I used to like Univers Zero but am no longer much of a fan. However, I would say that if you want to give them a chance, you should probably try 1313 or Heresie, which I think have stronger reputations (or maybe I think this simply because I've actually heard them). One thing I still like about Univers Zero and similar bands is the particular mix of timbres, the chamber music + typical rock instrumentation combination. Rhythmically they are a too locked down for me.
(Incidentally, Fred Frith is pretty varied, and while he has collaborated with RIO people, I wouldn't lump him in too much with Univers Zero. His Gravity, for imnstance, is a lot lighter and looser than typical RIO material.)
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
But I think the novelty of the timbral mix had a lot to do with my initial enthusiasm for stuff that sounds like this. I still sort of like when something similar turns up. I like the way the Brazilian Baden Powell uses chamber instruments at times (like on the updated version of Afro-Sambas--I still haven't heard the original Afro-Sambas, which I'm sure is a loss), but in a very un-European classical context.
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
(I'm afraid I prefer Baden Powell's sense of rhythm to Univers Zero's. Of course, he has the advantage of working out of established Afro-Brazilian traditions. . .)
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
I think I get that. The combination of textures and timbres is certainly novel, in fact there's very little about the sound or its progress that's predictable. It subverts itself and my expectations constantly, and maybe that's part of the difficulty I have with it. The only constants are change, challenge and oddity, to the extent that it becomes hard to hold onto or relate to anything. Maybe I just need more time, and maybe I've just been rendered stupid by a lifetime of dependence of easy hooks & riffs...
Would probably be much better able orient myself if the experimentation were organized around something intuitively/sensually appealing, like Afro-Brazilian rhythms or something.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:48 (3 years ago) Permalink
I actually find UV too repetitious (or anyway repetitious in a way that bugs me), but I don't know Uzed in particular. (Not sure I've even heard it.) I know what you mean about it being anxiety-producing. That's kind of how I feel about tango. (On a technical level, I find the dance very impressive, but I think I'd have a hard time enjoying it because of the music.)
― _Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
The anxiety factor is key. It's itchy music. It feels so tightly wound and almost philosophically opposed to physical pleasure-giving. I can see the joy in cerebration and surprise that might be derived, but not the sensual pleasure.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 04:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
i love prog, and i really dig frith's gravity and speechless, but really don't like the whole henry cow / art bears type of stuff. it's just not for everyone.
― jaxon, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 06:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
I love Univers Zero but I've never heard Uzed. You should probably sell it to me.
Then go buy a copy of Heresie, which is dark, excellent, and has a more classic production/tonal quality than later UZ releases that I've heard.
"The only constants are change, challenge and oddity, to the extent that it becomes hard to hold onto or relate to anything."
Perhaps you've never dropped acid?
This kind of prog is more like something you have to let affect you. Pretend you're plummeting down a waterfall or in a crashing car or swinging from a rope tied to a helicopter. Think of it as the musical equivalent of reading cut-up pieces by Burroughs. You don't grapple with it--you let it have its way with you. That's how you might come to enjoy it (though I'm sure there are plenty other equally valid methods).
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 07:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
I find early Univers Zero stuff (1313, Heresie,Ceux du Dehors)plain great: certainly it is dark, unrelenting and labyrinthine and these guys play like they were forever locked up in their damaged brains, but this is precisely what makes them unique. Jack The Ripper from Heresie sounds like a Magma piece played by an orchestra of Lovecraft monsters and honestly I cannot ask for more.Also, they could've been part of RIO but I tend to associate them to some Zeuhl bands, like Archaia or the mighty Shub-Niggurath (Les morts vont vite!).
― Marco Damiani, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:27 (3 years ago) Permalink
I have Shub Niggurath. What's Archaia like?
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
How does Heresie compare to 1313?
― sarahel, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:46 (3 years ago) Permalink
xpost - Sarahel - If you like any of the first 3 Univers Zero records, you'll like them all.
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
Archaia is awesome. But you've apparently already discovered that, Nate!
― daytime shooter, nighttime shanksta (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:59 (3 years ago) Permalink
Archaia are GREAT: one of my favourite French albums ever, some of their guitar work even reminds me of Helios Creed in places, but maybe its just my Chrome obsession.
to Sarahel: Heresie is just less mathy, more dark, atmospheric and suffocating. Seriously good.
― Marco Damiani, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 09:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
"Found" the Archaia album. Really great, but definitely some of the sloppiest prog I've ever heard. Fantastic!
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 10:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
Sloppy and ameteurish and so so good!
― Marco Damiani, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 11:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
Isn't "sloppy prog" kind of a contradition in terms? ;-)
― anger is an energy (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 11:43 (3 years ago) Permalink
Absolutely! One of the best things about Archaia is the gap between their apocalyptic visions/pretentions and the homemade feel of the album. Its like trying to be Gustave Doré when all you can use is a felt tip pen.
― Marco Damiani, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 14:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
Re earlier: I've dropped more acid than, well, yeah. Acid. And it doesn't seem to help a bit (not with this, anyway). And I really dig Heresie, 1313, Shub-Niggurath's LMVV -- that kind of voluptuous horror-prog stuff. But Uzed has very little in common with that early UZ stuff: less emphasis on acoustic instrumentation, zero patience for atmosphere. It's all herky-jerky, atonal fragmentation. Like math-prog Residents or something.
Fuck, that Archaia thing is awesome! Love the lurching primitivism and the spooky haunted house effects. Soothing + bass throb + incredible/cheapo guitar tone = perfect sound forever.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, I'm listening to that Yootoob right now and I completely see what you mean. It's like prog aspirations as played by someone with garage band abilities. And combining the best of both genres. And somehow ends up being more psychedelic than either.
― The Paisley (shop) Window Pane (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:09 (3 years ago) Permalink
^^ What she said.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:10 (3 years ago) Permalink
...less emphasis on acoustic instrumentation, zero patience for atmosphere. It's all herky-jerky, atonal fragmentation. Like math-prog Residents or something.
yikes! I love heresie, but this sounds like pretty much the greatest thing ever. I must seek it out at once.
― m the g, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, see, I know tons of folks go for that kind of thing. But just to be clear: I'm talking about, like, the Mole-era Residents, not "Sinister Exaggerator" and "The Festival of Death". Math-prog "Hello Skinny" would probably be the greatest thing since Archaia.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:35 (3 years ago) Permalink
Hm, that 3.5/5 AMG review doesn't seem horrible to me per se. Your description does make it sound good!
I'm listening to a great deal of U Totem these days. "One Nail Draws Another" has been one of my favourite things for years.
― Sundar, Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:58 (3 years ago) Permalink
Yer right, I remembered the drop in score from the prior records being more drastic. Scoring does make it look like the beginning of the end, but "terrible" was hyperbole. Still, any review that starts off, "Regarded by some as the least successful recording of Univers Zero's early years..."
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 16:09 (3 years ago) Permalink
Listening to it again (for only the 3rd time), and no surprise, finding it a LOT more accessible & atmospheric this time through. I think my earlier descriptions are misleading to the extent they aren't flat-out wrong, based more on incomprehension & alienation than close listening. Like Ornette Coleman and the Residents = very far from the mark.
The long first track, Présage, is a standout built around some vaguely Middle-Eastern reed jamming and a cyclical "whirling dervish" bassline (reminds me of the 2nd Tarantula Hawk LP and Yeti's "Interstellar Biplane" -- an influence?). 2nd is basically a short interlude, and side 1 concludes with the generally mournful & understated Celesta for Chantal. Spends most of its time on hushed cello, piano and clarinet, but suddenly kicks up some Goblin horrorshow action at the end: grazy drooping/melted guitar solo to fade. Side two starts off with Parade, which combines Presage's bass propulsion with a lighter, more melodious & upbeat feel -- until it gets all Strategies Against Architecture towards the end. Concludes with Emmanations, a 15-minute epic that burns through countless changes without ever really seeming to "go anywhere". Though the sounds are interesting, this is the only track that continues to elude me.
In general, there's a tension between the Heresie-style darkness and a dry, spacious airiness -- an almost sunny feeling of weightless drift in the playing and arrangements. And I don't know why I found this so impenetrable and noise-like on the first couple attempts. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, or wasn't in the right mood.
― from alcoholism to fleshly concerns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 16:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
awesomely sloppy prog imo = Amon Duul II on Dance Of The Lemmings through Wolf City.
― Durian Durian (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 17:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
so, inspired by this thread, I just checked out archaia. need to listen to this a few more times but my general impression is that this is some pretty weird and and far-out prog. heldon comes to mind.
not so sure that they're sloppy so much as woozy and, yeah, psychedelic. the minimal use of percussion really gives this album kind of a droney, ambient vibe.
― ( - _ - ); (Alan N), Thursday, 29 October 2009 21:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
"chronos" is a sick groove!http://music.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=music.singleplaylist&friendid=223031934
― ( - _ - ); (Alan N), Thursday, 29 October 2009 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
Archaia was compared to Magma a bit, mostly because of the bass sound, and early Heldon might be a reference too just for the general psychedelic haziness (and French factor?) But they weren't really as proggy as either of those bands, so I'd first compare to Lard Free, Igor Wakhevitch, Fille Qui Mousse, Birge Gorge Shiroc, Philippe Besombes.
― Dominique, Thursday, 29 October 2009 22:58 (3 years ago) Permalink
never heard of any of those guys besides magma/igor wakhevitch. I can def. hear a bit of magma in there but these guys aren't just magma clones. (though I do love my magma clones.)
now that I think about it, the album sounds a bit like 70s horror movie goblin-type prog crossed with druggy finnish psych.
any particular albums from the like-minded artists you listed that really do it for you, dominique?
― ( - _ - ); (Alan N), Thursday, 29 October 2009 23:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
i think archaia might've sounded more magma-esque with, duh-dahhh, a drummer. but they probably would've stuck to the lighter side of zeuhlishness.
― a 40-foot-long electrified pickle (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 30 October 2009 10:29 (3 years ago) Permalink
Archaia remind me a bit of Metabolist : http://www.myspace.com/metabolistband who I mentioned on a This Heat thread a while back, it's the under-populated area between Zeuhl and krautrock. Heldon I guess is the nearest comparison, but if we're talking Magma then it's Jannick Top's songs that are the influence for these bands (Mekanik Machine, De Futura, Ork Alarm etc). Anyone know of any other bands in this particular sub-sub genre?
― The people of Ork are marching upon us (Matt #2), Friday, 30 October 2009 10:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
ciao Alan,for more French psychedelicized prog (or proggified psych) check Fille Qui Mousse's "Trixie Stapleton" (especially the track called Cantate Disparate), the first Lard Free album (featuring some monster guitar/synth combination on pieces like Acide Framboise) and the (admittedly cheesy) novelty horror "Etrange cas de Monsieur Whinster" by Horrific Child. I sort of like also another band called Flamen Dialis, probably more similar to stuff like Franco Battiato, and a couple of Bernard Szajner projects, like his Dune-inspired Zed lp (Klaus Basquiz from Magma sings in a couple of songs).
― Marco Damiani, Friday, 30 October 2009 11:44 (3 years ago) Permalink
oh yeah, flamen dialis. also, catharsis are sort of a medieval-ish thing that might be up someone's alley. like medieval prog-psych minimalism.
the szajner/dune thing is great.
― a 40-foot-long electrified pickle (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 30 October 2009 13:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
oh man, the zeuhl/synth/psych/prog cross-section is a reeeal sweet spot for me; I will be checking out every single recommendation on this thread. thanks, guys!
and "medieval prog-psych minimalism" sounds pretty great to me! or, maybe... potentially great.
band name is also a little lolsy to me bc the only catharsis I know are the anarchist metalcore band with gybe bits. (hah)
― ( - _ - ); (Alan N), Friday, 30 October 2009 14:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
alright, both of the youtube things i found for catharsis have a more folky, popol vuh type vibe. so maybe my memory's completely faulty, but i'd give the album illuminations a shot first. masq and 32 mars are also good.
― a 40-foot-long electrified pickle (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 30 October 2009 16:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
will def. check out illuminations.
― ( - _ - ); (Alan N), Friday, 30 October 2009 20:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
I'm really intrigued by Archaia would love to get hold of it on cd. So hoping somebody reissues it again.
― Stevolende, Monday, 7 May 2012 21:19 (1 year ago) Permalink