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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Emkog Sampler CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.69 | 24 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This sampler was a very positive surprise to me, as I have earlier found label compillations slightly unintresting. But here the artistic line is very good and pleasant, different bands doing their studies in realms of art rock tones from a satisfying perspetive. The first impression in printed albums is usually the album covers, and these beautiful paintings give correct assocition about honoring the traditions of past masters, and developing musicians own self-expression within this artistic concept.

Deluge Grander has two songs on the album. First of them "The Solitude of Miranda" sounds quite much like Änglagård, though a bit more pleasant to my ears, having maybe slightly more rock groove in it, and avoiding the most eccentric compositional solutions. Also the fast and precise playing with vivid sonic details and arrangements manage to feel purposeful, not focusing to solitary aim of instrumental virtuosism. There seems to be some kind of Slavic flavour in the guitar melodies, if I manage to compare my observation to correct traditional musical family. The surreal elements also balance the logical complexities of the musical structures. "Aggrandizement" has more stonger presence of classic symphonic music style, beautiful melodies and really professional production quality, sounding slighlty as an intensive film music. Later is presented some twisting rock elements, and these synthesizing a really interesting and long art rock suite is formed.

There are three songs from Birds and Buildings on the record. First track "Birds Flying into Buildings" has King Crimson oriented tone due its fast and neurotic guitar pickings mingling with dramatic mellotron layers. This symbiosis is accompanied with jazzy touches of saxophones and marimbas, and later sequences remind little Finnish Dasputnik which I have been listening lately quite much. Second tune "Yucatan 65: The Agitation of The Mass" goes for hunting classic pastoral moods in style of "Trespass" album by Genesis, and I think the group gets a succesful catch. The folk music aspect is more powerfully in front than symphonic prog elements, which though are also included later, adding emotional punch to the overall sound. Last track "Mircale Pigeon" has more humoristic start, leading then to rapid machine gun treatement of musical ideas, maybe being the most coldest of these three tracks, very professinal however.

All Over Everywhere has two tracks available, and I believe this is the most feasible artists for e from the fine groups on this disc. "Art of The Earth" is a calm, psychedelic and mysterious aural space, created with echoed sounds, web veaving pianos, classical instruments and beatiful sounding lady singer. The distant core of the song contains much compositional information, but it is interestingly softened by the calming treatments, and does not attack very violently to the ears. Long composition "Gratitude" is more symphonic in its nature, ascending solemnly to the elevation of spheres, maybe resembling more ethreal and modern sounding incarnation of classic-era Renaissance. Though I can appreciate many kind of vocals, I have special place for lady singers voice. The vocal sequences in the music of the bands presented are slightly rare. But I think this is a good choice generally in art music, leaving much space for instrumental studies, but still giving human presence to the sound.

Cerebus Effect's track "Nine Agains Ten" is more aggressive rollercoaster ride with jazzy electric piano and heavier guitar dancing with the rhythm section. Professional sounding stuff, but maybe slightly too fast travelling for my own taste, though I liked some of the scenes which fastly passed by. I think this could be described as modern technical symphonic prog or something such. Also song name is descriptive, there is much commotion about when putting this to the stereos.

The final "Big Blob of Demos" has much fine sounding material in it, following the line of other tracks of the samples. Let's see how these will mature in the future. There are long line plans of record releases listed to the album cover, so many interesting records are schedlued for those open to this kind of music. I also liked how fresh sounding music can be built from vintage music elements, stretching enjoyable in territories of symphonic rock, classical music, folk, jazz, psychedelia and also heavier tones. On basis of this sampler I would easily detect all these bands as acts with clear merits suggesting to check them out further. For me the most favourable were All Over Everywhere and also Birds and Buildings.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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