Sinkane (2007) Color Voice (LP) Embed Records (EU 8022)

Sinkane
Color Voice
2007
Embed EU 8022
Written, produced and mixed by Ahmed Abdullahi Gallab.
Recorded/engineered by Mark Himmel
**** recommended

Gallab likely absorbed the music of many settings, times and places and people, perhaps Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Ginger Baker, Husker Du, various forms of jazz and fusion and music from his Sudan homeland.

He offers an engaging blend of jazz and progressive rock, electronic soundscapes and drums.

Interesting and enjoyable. Recommended listen for fans of electronic music.

— winch (author of

 

 

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ELP

ELP: Another reason punk had to happen.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Atlantic (9040)
1970
Producer: Greg Lake
Rating: ** (Mediocre)
Released November 1970, reached #18 (#4 in UK)


Formed out of progressive-rock pioneers The Nice and King Crimson, this band had no problem finding an audience, especially in their own country.  At this point, the sound comes out of those innovative groups, but unfortunately, this also reeks of what would come, with Lake’s contributions stinking of pomp.  The same can be said of Emerson and his keyboard wizardry.  Still, it’s a worthwhile listen for fans.

— winch

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Tarkus
Atlantic (9900)
1971
Producer: Greg Lake
Rating: *** (Noteworthy)
Released June 1971, reached #9 (#1 in UK)

Apparently the seven-part side-long title track is the story of a battle between the mythical creature Manticore and a tank/armadillo named Tarkus, but side two gets even more absurd when it becomes an excuse for Lake to deliver a heavy-handed sermon.  His lyrics and vocals ruin some of the cuts, but at least this set doesn’t include a Lake-penned ballad, and “Tarkus” has some of this group’s best moments, especially when they hint back to King Crimson and get the thing rolling along like a rock-and-roll song on cuts such as “Manticore.”

While this is another varied set from this outfit, it’s clearly their best.

— winch

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Trilogy
Atlantic (9186)
1972
Producer: Greg Lake
Rating: ** (mediocre)
Fourth album, released July 1972, reached #5 (#2 in UK)


While this patchy set was a considerable improvement over the third album (Pictures at an Exhibition), that’s not really saying much.  ELP: another reason punk had to happen. 

— winch

Deep Purple (1969) S/T (LP) Tetragramme 119

Deep Purple
Deep Purple 
Tetragramme 119 
1969
Rating:*** (noteworthy)
Released July. ’69 (Nov. ’69 in the UK on Harvest Records), reached #162 in U.S.

Produced by Derek Lawrence
Purple’s self-titled third album, the last with the original line up.  Both Simper and Evans would soon leave the band (Evans going to Captain Beyond).  As with the previous two albums, this was released on Bill Cosby’s Tetragramme label, and unfortunately for Purple, the label would fold in July of 1969, the same month this set was released.

On this album, Purple sounds like a composite of many of the heavy bands of this era (Zeppelin, Cream, Floyd, Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, King Crimson…) but the sound ends up being something unique to Purple.  While “April” foreshadows Purple’s next album (the absurd Concerto For Group and Orchestra), other cuts hint toward the semi-progressive hard rock (aka heavy metal) of their early 70s material.

When most people examine how this band influenced rock music, they look to the highly influential Machine Head era, but for better or worse, the strong influence this band had on rock music can certainly be heard at this point, on this album.

— winch

 

Camel (1975) The Snow Goose (LP) Janus 7016

Camel
The Snow Goose
Janus 7016 (USA)
1975
noteworthy ***

UK prog outfit’s third album, an instrumental set based on a children’s book.  It sounded like an awful idea (and of course it’s only for fans of head-rock), but it ended up being Camel’s best album, and other than Bo Hannson’s take on Lord of the Rings, this is probably the most successful example of a progressive-rock outfit taking on a piece of literature.  In fact, this set might have been inspired by Hannson’s work as the two offerings have some things in common.
   
 This Camel album and Bo’s Lord of the Rings are both all instrumental, and both sets effectively capture the elements of a story with low-key instrumentation rather than going over the top for the sake of showing off.  Also, both are clearly English, focusing on a classical/rock sound, and it’s always nice to hear English outfits take a break from playing American R&B, West Indies music or Eastern-flavored junk, and focus on sounds closer to home.  It often comes across sounding less forced and more natural.
At times, the Pink Floyd influence becomes quite clear, specifically Floyd’s more reflective moments of the early 70s (Meddle & Atom Heart Mother).  At one point, they even lift part of “the Albatross,” but ultimately, this is its own bird, essential listening for fans of head rock.
— winch

Robert Fripp: Exposure (LP) 1979

Robert Fripp
Exposure
Polydor 6201
1979
Released April 1979, reached #79 (#71 in UK)
recommended ****

 

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While this clearly has elements of King Crimson’s version of progressive rock, it also shows influences from the mid-70s arty underground of NYC where Fripp had relocated in 1977–the same time he started working on elements of this 1979 release.

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If you’re looking from mainstream straight-forward rock and roll, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something different that doesn’t push into noisy avant garde, this set is at least worth a listen.  When progressive rock was focused on synthesized pomp, Fripp delivered something a bit more interesting and enjoyable.

— Winch

http://www.eight-track.com

Darryl Way’s Wolf: Wolf (LP) 1974

Darryl Way’s Wolf

Wolf
London 644
1974 (Recorded 1973)
noteworthy ***


This USA release collects cuts from the first two albums, Canis Lupus and Saturation Point, both from 1973. Somewhat similar to Way’s work with Curved Air, these recordings continue to showcase Way’s obsession with Vivaldi and other classical composers, guitarist John Etheridge helping bring out jazz influences.

 

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This is a varied set, but fans of progressive rock will likely find enough to justify the time under the headphones.

— Winch

http://www.eight-track.com/progressive_rock_.html

Catharisis: Volume II Les Chevrons (LP) circa 1971

 

Catharisis
Volume II: Les Chevrons
Festival FLD 651
circa 1971  

Recommended ****

 

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Second set by this French progressive-rock outfit, coming out of the early works of Floyd, Purple, and the Nice, horror-movie soundtracks and classical music, Black Sabbath’s more moody material, all instrumental except chants and yelps and such, the heavy focus on the organ (rather than guitars) giving it the feeling of a mass or a soundtrack for a seance, the rock rhythms running through the dimly lit corridors, the bass slightly understated, the percussion quite pronounced, the music rising out of the sludge for a more airy sound, the instrumentations an integral part of the compositions rather than a reason to show off.

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Recommended set for fans of progressive rock.

— Winch

http://www.eight-track.com