left field prog (roughly)

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just trying to work out the best way of structuring this,and it posibly isn't all going to fall under the rubric of prog.

In the wake of my having spent the last week listening to Matching Mole's Little Red Record I'm looking for other music somewhat similar in its uniqueness.
I was thinking last week that
"Think this might be the kind of weird prog that I was hoping I'd discover after reading in fanzines years ago about left field punk/post-punk artists being into the stuff, rather than the more popular Yes/Genesis."

& what I'm really looking for is music probably mainly from this time period, early 70s that is as immediate while remaining alien sounding.
So whereas prog is negatively viewed as stereotypically about chops and pomp i'm looking for music that is exploratory and more focused on that than trying to show off how many chords the player knows. Could be that a number of relatively unused chords might crop up in the player's playing but not as primary focus.

I'm thinking that this period in the early 70s, and late 60s was a time when people had been triggered to investigate new directions to take primarily electric rock instrument based music in and also getting the chance to be recorded and released or at least have the recordings preserved for archive release.

So can you suggest recordings of this type. I'm really not looking for well known groups like Yes or Genesis & they probably fall outside of this remit anyway, even if i do have a soft spot for Nursery Crime. I don't want to exclude well known names though since I think both VDGG and King Crimson have recorded material that would fit.

Stevolende, Saturday, 31 March 2012 17:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

Probably Gong, but also Van der Graaf Generator (and some solo Peter Hammill)and check out this compilation:

chromecassettes, Saturday, 31 March 2012 17:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

Cosign on VdGG and solo PH, especially the run of albums Chameleon, Silent Corner and In Camera. Personally I've always preferred these solo PH albums to the VdGG albums from the same period.

Also Henry Cow of course.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Saturday, 31 March 2012 18:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Magma, Sensations Fix, SBB maybe (some of their old stuff), unless you're maybe looking more for a distinctly British art-prog kind of sound?

and I'm assuming we're leaving krautrock out of this...

Chris S, Saturday, 31 March 2012 18:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

Whatever you think fits i'm just looking for some new bands I'm not familiar with so left it pretty open. Was thinking SBB's early stuff myself . The early 70s material is pretty great. Not that familiar with later stuff.

Don't know Sensations fix so will look into.

Also been meaning to pick up the rest of the solo PH lps, think I picked up pretty much all of the remastered 70s VDGG (&VDG)

Stevolende, Saturday, 31 March 2012 19:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

Egg - The Polite Force
Gentle Giant - Octopus
Univers Zero - Heresie

could be what you're looking for if you don't know them already, plus a vast number of Italian bands from this period, there's a couple of threads on that very subject on ilx somewhere.

0O0O0O0O0 (Matt #2), Saturday, 31 March 2012 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink


0O0O0O0O0 (Matt #2), Saturday, 31 March 2012 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

Etron Fou Leloublan
Art Zoyd

sleigh tracks (1933-1969) (MaresNest), Saturday, 31 March 2012 21:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

Henry Cow - most prob LegEnd would suit
Hatfield and the North - any

nonightsweats, Saturday, 31 March 2012 22:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

let's talk about the best recent songs that could be defined, loosely, as prog

neo-prog revival genesis-fellating bullshit and indie songs with extended outros can gtfo tho

I'm talking more like this


^^^several leagues beyond prog-as-fuck. more examples please. if you don't get on it, I will, and that's not a threat, it's a promise

imago, Monday, 24 March 2014 21:40 (five years ago) Permalink

the band that plays "prog" that I like the most is called Knower, from LA. It's like prog for people who grew up with Max Tundra -- all over the place production-wise, very fast, quick changes, but firmly rooted in the sonic pallete of techno, dubstep, electro, etc. They also have similarities to a Danish group called Oh No Ono, but they are more straight out prog rock, perhaps with Cardiacs edges

the link above actually reminds me a bit of sleepytime gorilla museum

Dominique, Monday, 24 March 2014 21:56 (five years ago) Permalink

your own 'the return' is also the sorta thing I'm after fwiw. OK, will check Knower out...

imago, Monday, 24 March 2014 22:15 (five years ago) Permalink

Sleepytime Gorilla museum is now Free Salamander Exhibit fyi

sarahell, Monday, 24 March 2014 22:20 (five years ago) Permalink

I love SGM and would be keen to trace their members' subsequent paths (although Book of Knots' last album was imo slightly inconsistent and the best song was a freaking Mike Patton cameo)

imago, Monday, 24 March 2014 22:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Knower are great btw :D

imago, Monday, 24 March 2014 22:23 (five years ago) Permalink

have you given birds and buildings a chance? very magmatic


reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 24 March 2014 23:55 (five years ago) Permalink

▸ 1
Birds Flying Into Buildings 9:13
▸ 2
Terra Fire 3:36
▸ 3
Tunguska 6:33
▸ 4
Caution Congregates and Forms a Storm 10:53
▸ 5
Chronicle of the Invisible River of Stone 9:19
▸ 6
Yucatan 65: The Agitation of the Mass 10:35
▸ 7
Chakra Khan 5:59
▸ 8
Battalion 9:55
▸ 9
Sunken City, Sunny Day 3:19

those are some magnificently palindromic track-times

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:12 (five years ago) Permalink

and yeah, that was much better than I'd expect from a prog revivalist band

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:16 (five years ago) Permalink

in fact, that was kickass

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:18 (five years ago) Permalink

That Birds And Buildings track was really wonderful. I'll be on the lookout for that album sometime.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 01:03 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah that was really something, I'm definitely interested

frogbs, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 13:06 (five years ago) Permalink


reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 25 March 2014 17:44 (five years ago) Permalink

I love SGM and would be keen to trace their members' subsequent paths (although Book of Knots' last album was imo slightly inconsistent and the best song was a freaking Mike Patton cameo)

― imago, Monday, March 24, 2014

search: Carla Kilstedht's solo CD, Idiot Flesh (pre-SGM), and maybe some early Faun Fables if you want to see Nils' take on dark folk.

sleeve, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 21:34 (five years ago) Permalink

Os Mutantes seriously cool. Stump come off as half Julian Cope, half Wire - both good things - but without the intensity of either

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Really looking for new prog or 'prog' songs with this bump - very very happy with Birds And Buildings

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:30 (five years ago) Permalink

(maybe I'll give Stump another go - on inspection their album seems quite promising)

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:32 (five years ago) Permalink

First track on Quirk Out, 'Tupperware Stripper' is something special and has the most unexplainable bass playing I've ever heard, especially in the splattery middle section.


MaresNest, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:38 (five years ago) Permalink

:D ok I can get on board with this

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:43 (five years ago) Permalink

This is what Kev Hopper (bass player) does now, his band Prescott have just put out a new record.


MaresNest, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:47 (five years ago) Permalink

Think I liked track 2 of Stump EP more than opener

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 22:48 (five years ago) Permalink

OK, this EP is awesome :)

imago, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 23:05 (five years ago) Permalink

kev hopper's rubbery basslines rule obv but chris salmon could be the most extreme guitar bender this side of kevin shields. i love the guy, pretty underrated player imo.

cock chirea, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 02:49 (five years ago) Permalink

not sure what to recommend, have you heard gutbucket?


cock chirea, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 02:55 (five years ago) Permalink

over the moon to find out about PRESCOTT.
hopper's bass playing tickles my brain like nowt else.
shame they can't get bill orcutt to join the band.
my prog Empfehlungen today sind (and you'll excuse me if i'm teaching you how to suck eggs):
upsilon acrux / aksak maboul / hermeto pascoal (try "zurich", or "Música Das Nuvens E Do Cháo" for starters) / circus devils / ahleuchatistas / rope cosmetology / tomas fujiwara's "the air is different" / 13th assembly's "station direct"(although i guess these last two are "jazz" in a way) / mats & morgan "trends..." & "thank you..." particularly

massaman gai, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 10:04 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

picked up the Birds and Building disc (the 2008) one and followed that to one of Britton's other bands, Deluge Grander. August in the Urials is about 70 minutes of pure (mostly instrumental) prog rock. I love it!

Maggie killed Quagmire (collest baby ever) (frogbs), Friday, 15 August 2014 21:31 (four years ago) Permalink

I've become somewhat enamoured of these guys recently. Just mad that I only found out about them after they'd stopped being a live band.


Not exactly recent, but I never miss an opportunity to mention Thinking Plague:


And TP's Bob Drake mixed the new album from this lot:


Pheeel, Saturday, 16 August 2014 20:15 (four years ago) Permalink

Moving dangerously into Cardiacsy thread territory there, Pheeel ;)

New Knifeworld is pretty cool & needs another listen. Lapsus Linguae are, at some point, due to release their 'lost' second album, This Is Puberty, and it's clearly going to be one of the greatest things ever. Calum Davidson (aka Penelope Collegefriend) had promised his Faithful And Adoring Public to get it sorted, but not a peep of late. Hey Calum, google your own name, find this and get on with it!

If you've not heard their first album (You Got Me Fraiche) then take it from me that it's staggering

i'm elf-ein lusophonic (imago), Saturday, 16 August 2014 20:18 (four years ago) Permalink

Indeed! I discovered them via the Ghosts EP and subsequently I bought their entire back catalogue from Bandcamp - a small but very impressive body of work. Hope they eventually manage to get the second album finished.

Pheeel, Saturday, 16 August 2014 22:12 (four years ago) Permalink

I love Thinking Plague. Those Digestify and Knifeworld things are pretty cool.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Monday, 18 August 2014 19:19 (four years ago) Permalink

I sorta want to add Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic to this list, also the Thinking Plague offshoot band The Science Group are worth checking out, oh and Bob Drake's solo stuff.


MaresNest, Monday, 18 August 2014 20:21 (four years ago) Permalink

One of my favourite releases from last year (and probably my pick from the questionably-defined "progressive rock" genre) is the self-titled album from The Knells.

Bandcamp link: http://theknells.bandcamp.com/album/the-knells

doug watson, Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:06 (four years ago) Permalink

got the new Knifeworld off iTunes - the material itself is very good, but the production isn't good - the drums sound very compressed. is the CD better?

Maggie killed Quagmire (collest baby ever) (frogbs), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:45 (four years ago) Permalink

I have the CD and I reckon it sounds great, I think Bob Drake certainly knows what he's doing behind a mixing desk

a proclamation of tortoise intent (ultros ultros-ghali), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:38 (four years ago) Permalink

And I'm listening The Knells right now for the first time and it's really striking, excellent stuff

a proclamation of tortoise intent (ultros ultros-ghali), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Bob Drake fucking rules, for some reason The Skull Mailbox is my go-to album when I'm half cut

a proclamation of tortoise intent (ultros ultros-ghali), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:48 (four years ago) Permalink

I love The Shunned Country, especially the way he uses phrases like 'freakishly localised storm' and 'dismal swamp'.

FML Threads (MaresNest), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 18:43 (four years ago) Permalink

I've always refused to listen to him on account of his name being too similar to Bill Drake. I know this is stupid and petty & I shall correct it at some point (when not on holiday)

i'm elf-ein lusophonic (imago), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:00 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Looking for mentions of bands whose releases I've dug this year I find this thread. Maybe this is where I should have been bigging up the Bubblemath.

The recent Prescott record is very enjoyable.


Even better IMO is The Bob Lazar Story - Baritonia. Instrumental (guitar, drums & keys) leftfield prog-miniatures. Densly structured but playful and accessible.


Cosmically inspired prog-fusion with baroque tendencies in the style of a Super Nintendo soundtrack must surely be a leftfield notion. If that doesn't sound completely unbearable to you I recommend this. It's NYP.


Also surely within the thread's remit is Nick Prol & The Proletarians' Loon Attic. Eclectic prog-pop (in opposition), not unlike Bob Drake (who is one of many guest performers).


Noel Emits, Tuesday, 24 October 2017 13:57 (one year ago) Permalink

These look interesting, especially the last two, thanks.

ultros ultros-ghali, Tuesday, 24 October 2017 16:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Regarding that last one, not just Bob Drake, but Thymme Jones, Dave Willey, Rob Crow oh fuck this better rule

ultros ultros-ghali, Tuesday, 24 October 2017 16:38 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Can't remember which thread it was but thanks for the Five Storey Ensemble link.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 1 December 2017 18:07 (one year ago) Permalink

robert have you head the first TROJAN HORSE album? "mr. engels says" is a hell of an opening strut and "disciplining the reserve army" is next level imho

reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 1 December 2017 18:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks that sounds good too.

Shnabubula samples really impressed me, like a jrpg fever dream.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 1 December 2017 18:37 (one year ago) Permalink

It was me that brought up Five Storey Ensemble, you're welcome :D It was probably the prog v. 3.0 thread or whatever it's called.

And I did end up enjoying the latter two of the albums Noel Emits posted up there, especially Shnabubula because I got the similar impression of it being like the soundtrack to an insane psychedelic jrpg. The Nick Prol thing is also good, like a lot of that sort of stuff it threatens to collapse under the weight of it's own wackiness and a couple of tracks are a bit annoying, but it's got enough of a Bob Drake/Cheer-Accident etc thing going on to be enjoyable.

ultros ultros-ghali, Friday, 1 December 2017 19:10 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Bass player recently posted a video from Knower's New Year's Eve gig at Irving Plaza and it brought me to this thread. Need to investigate more.

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 6 January 2019 01:24 (five months ago) Permalink

knower are goddamn classic, louis cole put out a solo record this year that i would've nommed if there weren't also so many other great records to nom!

errang (rushomancy), Sunday, 6 January 2019 01:58 (five months ago) Permalink

lol i never would have expected this to be the thread to hide knower discussion, they're really pretty cool but i've never really thought of them as prog, just synth funk that's very heavy on their jazz chops

ufo, Sunday, 6 January 2019 09:32 (five months ago) Permalink

I'm still interested in good stuff from late 60s/early 70s as mentioned in original post at least as much as the more recent stuff.

Stevolende, Sunday, 6 January 2019 09:56 (five months ago) Permalink

Maybe we should start a KNOWER thread.

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 6 January 2019 17:20 (five months ago) Permalink

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