Friday, 24 February 2017

Place Called Home (The J Conspiracy, 2015)

New bands are more and more into streaming free distribution and among those I put into my blog a very interesting German act called The J Conspiracy and whose longest track, "Place Called Home", is a fine example of eclectic prog. I like the way these musicians line up different moments and moods to create a diversified and coherent suite divided into six parts. Modern as it can be, this song is also well rooted into the prog history solid ground and offers many interesting soundscapes.

The J Conspiracy: Ralf Brand, Chris Buß, Heiko Löb and Karl Schlesinger.

What's more, the band builds up their songs on strong melodies and very well found themes... not a common feature in a musical world where effects and arrangements take the main role. That said, the instrumental performances are first-rate and so is the visual project accompanying this song and available on the band's offical site (see below). Last but not least, the lyrics provide a poignant overview of the daily struggle between our need of a deep truth and the shallow commotion of modern life. Finally, here you are an excellent way to spend your next twenty minutes, if you ask me.
Enjoy the slide-based presentation for this song:

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Dreaming Light (Anathema, 2010)

Anathema are a very well established band and their musical evolution from metal to atmospheric prog is universally known. I could have chosen more intricated and longer tracks to put here, but I'm fascinated by this plain and dreamy song. It comes from the album titled "We're Here Because We're Here" and features one of the best melodies Anathema found in their career, IMHO.

"We're Here Because We're Here" was th eight CD by Anathema.

Light is an important topic of the entire album, as the cover art proves very well and the video for this song is also based on alternating shadows and lights. Its arrangement highlights are the atmospheric, ethereal keyboards by Les Smith (leaving the band soon after this CD), the dreaming, Gilmour-esque guitar solo (thanks, Mr. Vincent Cavanagh!) and - last but not least - the clear, moving vocals by Lee Douglas. Six minutes of wonder.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Avskjed (Neograss, 2012)

Prog rock is the land of contamination, as we all know, and this Norwegian band is a perfect specimen of such a musical graft. More than this, Neograss promote an unusual and promising blend including prog, of course, and bluegrass, a specially rich and joyous kind of country music. As you can imagine, their Scandinavian origins also provide a bonus atmospheric element.

"Overtru Fra Yttersia" is the fourth studio album by Neograss.

This track, "Avskjed" (meaning "Goodbye"), opens their 2012 album titled "Overtru Fra Yttersia" (that's "Superstition from the Coast") and is a beautiful example of both traditional and modern prog, with all the good old ingredients we love, plus a chamber orchestra and a fresh, lively rythmic addition of folk instruments, especially willow flute and banjo, both played by Emil Bekkevold. Surprising and enthralling, this is real prog, folks!