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Damanek - On Track CD (album) cover

ON TRACK

Damanek

Crossover Prog


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kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars

Damanek is a new project from Guy Manning, where he has been joined by Dan Mash (bass), Marek Arnold (sax, clarinet, keyboards) and Sean Timms (keyboards, banjo, backing vocals) and then on top of that there are quite a few guests including Nick Magnus and Phideaux. Guy had disbanded Manning, and was then invited to join a new band called United Progressive Fraternity to which he also then brought in Dan and Marek. After the release of the debut album Guy started writing for the second, only for the band to fold, so he decided to start a new one to use the songs, and asked Dan and Marek to be involved, hence the name (DAn, MANning and MarEK), with Sean joining later.

I have long been a fan of Guy's music, and spent a very pleasant evening with him in his studio some dozen years or so ago, and have enjoyed all albums he has been involved with from PO90 through Manning and The Tangent, so I knew I was going to enjoy this right from the off, and that was indeed immediately the case. Guy has an innate sense of melody, and his songs are always enjoyable on first hearing, with strong arrangements and a feeling that every note is in exactly the right place, played on the right instrument. This is commercial symphonic pop influenced classic crossover progressive rock that oozes class and confidence in equal measures. I can't pick a favourite as all eight songs are simply superb. This may be a debut release, but all the guys involved have been around the scene for some time and it shows. Let's hope it's not long until the next one.

Report this review (#1791098)
Posted Friday, October 6, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was very sorry to hear that Manning had been disbanded. Their last album The Root, the Leaf & the Bone was most enjoyable and Margaret's Children is high up in my favourite albums. So I was very pleased to hear that Guy Manning has returned with a new band Damanek and a new album On Track. On Track is a delightful album of crossover prog. All eight tracks have strong melodies and I love the jazz influence and instrumentation throughout. The lyrics are powerful with important messages, particularly on Believer-Redeemer and Dark Sun. This band and this album deserve greater recognition and I look forward to hearing more in the future.
Report this review (#1817778)
Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars When I put on this album, the first thing I thought was: "hey, this sounds like Unitopia and United Progressive Fraternity".

When I looked at the personel, I saw it's the same guys. I like this kind progressive rock very much. I know Guy Manning from UPF and Marek Arnold and Sean Timms from Unitopia and UFP. I especially like the percussion (also a guy from Unitopia) and the saxophone

The songs are romantic and have a pop/soul kind-of vibe, like Talk Talk, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears and Paul SImon.The music is somewhere between intelligent pop, jazz (even jazzfunk), world, rock and progrock. Because pop isn't what it's used to be, I love that progrock musicians fill the gap with this kind of prog-pop.

I think I will play this record a lot, like I played Unitopia and UFP.

Report this review (#1887275)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars Progressive white for everyone. The new band of the great Guy Manning follows the wake of the beautiful compositions of the author of Leeds. Good production, beautiful lyrics, delicate arrangements .... and tributes to the symphonic and progressive of the 70s, plus a slight touch of jazz. That is, one of the most accessible styles for all lovers of good music. Stresses Marek's saxophone and some original moments. But above all it is a pleasant environmental music. It receives influence from Moody blues, Queen, Camel and Genesis. They emphasize the first subject Nanabohzo And The Rainbow and Madison Blue on the rest, something more repetitive. Much better and more ambitious is his second album: In Flight (2018)
Report this review (#2050438)
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2018 | Review Permalink

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