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CROSSING THE LINE

Asia Minor

Symphonic Prog


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Asia Minor Crossing The Line  album cover
3.52 | 71 ratings | 17 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Preface (4:18)
2. Muhzun Gozler (8:13)
3. Mystic Dance (1:45)
4. Misfortune (4:30)
5. Landscape (3:50)
6. Vision (5:35)
7. Without Stir (1:50)
8. Hayal Dolu Gunler Icin (4:38)
9. Postface (2:00)

Total Time: 35:19

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Eril Tekeli / flute, guitars, bass
- Setrak Bakirel / lead vocals, guitars, bass
- Lionel Beltrami / drums, percussion
- Nick Vicente / keyboards


Releases information

Musea #FGBG 4082.AR / Re-released by Musea in 1993

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Between Flesh And DivineBetween Flesh And Divine
Import
Musea 1981
Audio CD$12.18
$15.35 (used)
Crossing The LineCrossing The Line
Musea 2003
Audio CD$51.02
$14.00 (used)
Between Fresh & Divine (Shm-CD)Between Fresh & Divine (Shm-CD)
Import
Indies Japan/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$42.06
$47.84 (used)
EzgilerEzgiler
Akkiraz Muzik
Audio CD$20.48
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ASIA MINOR Crossing The Line ratings distribution


3.52
(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
56%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (1%)
1%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ASIA MINOR Crossing The Line reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Just as nice as the other record they made . Instrumental interplay and rather short sung lyrics with a beautyful flute very present but not in a Anderson way. Both albums are very worthy and represent the French way of symphonic prog along with Atoll , Carpe Diem and to a lesser extent Pulsar and Shylock.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#18869) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Take Camel's sound, then reburbish it with a harsh attitude in the guitar riffs and solos, and while you're at it, enrich its melodic sensibility with Asian flavours (mostly on flute), and don't forget to add an eerie ambience a-la Pulsar and a great amount of incredibly tight drumming: the result of this set of operations is the debut album by Asia Minor, a solid symphonic ensemble formed by Turksih musicians resident in France. Though I must admit that I prefer their following album, it's also fair to state that 'Crossing the Line' is a real classic of late 70s prog. Tracks 1, 2 and 4 are the ones I consider the most representative of the musical virtues I've pointed out in the first paragraph (specially 'Misfortune', an awesome lesson of how to manage contrasts cleverly with explosive energy), but it's also relevant to mention that the guys of Asia Minor can be soft and subtle, as in the evocative 'Landscape' (such a pity that it's not longer...). I wish I could give it a 4 1/2 star rating (I'm saving the perfect rating for their second offering 'Between Flesh and Divine'), but anyway, suffice it to reiterate that this is one of the best prog recordings to come out of France (or anywhere else, for that matter) in a time when the genre was starting to face a serious decline in terms of commercial attention and artistic relevance.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#18870) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
4 stars With unequivocal reference to the work of CAMEL, ASIA MINOR's debut album is a great album of instrumental and atmospheric beauty (as is their second album). "Crossing The Line" is full of fluid and cascading music with gentle vocals and harmonies. This album is dripping in analog space keyboard vibes, flutes galore, interesting bass and guitar lines and complex drumming. This pastel prog rock album blends Turkish folk and ethnic influences with CAMEL-like progressive rock symphonia. I would offer that this album is a pure bread crossing of the music style of France's "ATOLL" and might I add "CAMEL". Again the lush and nostalgic vocals of Setrak Bakirel (lead vocals, guitars and basses) when used are quite nice and are sung mostly in English (2 tracks sung in native Turkish).

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#18871) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 16, 2004

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The two main players on this album are from Turkey, but they now reside in France which is where the drummer is from.The drummer Lionel Beltrami was only 18 when this album was released. Nice picture of the trio in the back cover.There is a guest keyboardist as well. This was their debut album released in 1979 and to my ears I hear an eighties vibe at times. In a good way though. I like the accented vocals, the atmosphere and flute on this one.There is some aggressive moments as well.

"Preface" opens with a gong before melancholic flute comes in. Guitar and a full sound arrive after a minute.The flute leads the way with prominant drums. Synths before 2 1/2 minutes and vocals come in. Guitar leads the way 4 minutes in. "Mahzun Gozler" might be my favourite track on here. It''s also the longest at over 8 minutes in length.The tempo keeps shifting and I really like the vocals. Something about this song makes me feel so good. It takes me to a good place. Emotional vocals after 7 1/2 minutes. "Mystic Dance" is a gentle guitar / flute piece.

"Misfortune" becomes uptempo with flute and drums leading the way. It settles after 1 1/2 minutes and vocals come in. Kicks back in at 3 minutes. "Landscape" is a little heavier when the drums and raw guitar come in. Vocals and a calm before a minute. Synths join in. Keyboard solo before 2 1/2 minutes but it kicks back in quickly. Nice guitar 3 1/2 minutes in to end it. "Visions" opens with bass as drums and keys join in. Guitar follows and this sounds really good. It settles 1 1/2 minutes in and vocals come in. "Without Stir" is a short mellow tune with reserved vocals. "Hayal Dolu Guler Icin" has a good beat to open. Flute then a calm as vocals and synths come in. The tempo and mood continues to change. "Postface" opens with barely audible organ that builds then flute joins in.

I like this album a lot. Still it''s a low 4 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#94029) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Quite unknown French band that deserves to be recognized as a very creative & interesting one !

It is a quite dark album (in the style of Atoll in their early days). No wonder they called themselves "Asia Minor" since two out of the four members are Turkish (they moved to France in '73).

You can hear this Middle-East influence throughout this album. They had a hard time though in this period of the new wave explosion to get themselves known by the public. All compositions are from the Turkish duo Bakirel/Tekeli.

The opening "Preface" is a patchwork of the rest of the album. Nice flute moments, strange vocals and complex tempo. The short flute number "Mystic Dance" is very "Genesis-esque"; on the contrary, the intro of "Misfortune" sounds like Ian Anderson flute style.

We can also mention Crimson as influences for the remaining numbers and you will get a pretty good idea of what this band was capable to produce. Still the best is to come with their second opus.

Three stars for this first promising work.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#104614) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ASIA MINOR's debut is not as strong as it's follower, but it's the same way beautiful. Again we have sheer brilliance of CAMEL folded with Turkish native rhythms and dark, even to my ears MARILLIONish (equals "great" ;) ) atmosphere. Subtle, intelligent, melodic - try to find a better one! Highly recommended, especially for those who have already experienced "Between Flesh and Divine".

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#115543) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 19, 2007

Review by Kotro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Crossing the line to a straight path

Asia Minor's debut album Crossing the Line is just a notch under its successor, Between Flesh and Devine. Mostly because it is not as focused as the later. The band is still serching. While the sound and music is generally the same, there are certain happier tunes between less happy ones (Between Flesh and Devine had a mostly melancholic sound). They are also searching for a language: songs feature lyrics in English and Turkish. Can't really criticize the Turkish vocals, but the English is a bit far from what they were capable of doing in the next album. All the songs are quite similar, with no real highlight. They are by no means bad songs, with their electric guitar, flute, and keyboard harmonies interwined. They are just... even. It is quite a short album, at just 35 minutes. Yet unlike the bands following album, this seems just right. It is certainly not as memorable as Between Flesh and Devine, but it guarantees some satisfaction when popped up on the record player once in a while. 3,5 stars, rounded to 4.

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Send comments to Kotro (BETA) | Report this review (#121068) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With a name that sounds like a Porn actress and a singer with one of the strangest accents I have ever heard, this could have been a disaster. Even though I think the name is really bad, the music is fortunately good prog rock.

The style that Asia Minor play on this their debut album Crossing the Line is prog rock influenced by late seventies Camel, Genesis and a bit of Jethro Tull as there are quite a lot of flute being played. I think Camel must be the major influence here though. The music is very nice with lush keyboards and the aforementioned flute. Itīs all pretty average though, and I canīt point out which songs are the better as I think they are all good, but not excellent.

I have a bit of a problem with the strange accent from Setrak Bakirel. I know this is a french band and therefore I shouldnīt expect too much when they try to sing in english, but this is pretty hilarious. I actually didnīt know that the lyrics were in english untill I by change caught an english word. Iīm sorry but you really should have kept it in french when the prenounciation wasnīt better. I donīt want to mock Asia Minor with this, just warn the curious listener that this could be a problem.

The music is very nice though and the vocal melodies are also pretty good, so Iīll rate this 3 stars, even though I am having a bit of a problem with the accent.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#160348) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Asia Minor 's debut would have been a breath of fresh air in 1979 if anyone had bothered to listen to it at the time. The blend of dark Crimson-esque angularity and Camel styled flutes and melodies is inviting enough, but add to that the distinctly Arabic roots of this group and you have a real winner. Now there is no excuse for you to ignore this intriguing release and its even better successor.

The group shines best here when the ethnic influences are most apparent, as in the two non English songs, but the vocals are decent even in English, the best of these being "Landscape", the oddly pronounced words only adding to the charm of this deliciously sinister tune. The shorter vocal tracks seems somewhat undeveloped, almost ideas that didn't pan out, but the brief instrumental "Mystic Dance" lives up to its name, showcasing the woodwinds of Eril Tekeli.

In retrospect, this first album provided the training ground for concepts that would flourish on the followup "Between Flesh and Divine". Not to say this is a minor release, just that it does not quite cross the line into the sublime.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#163048) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 02, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Another band that I heard a lot through the years but that only recently I had the opportunity to hear their music. Asia Minor was a band based in France during the 70īs but their name is veryy fitting since their two main songwriters were from Turkey: Setrak Bakirel (lead vocals, guitars, bass) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitars, bass). The bandīs debut album Crossing The Line was released in 1979 and it showed great promise. Unfortunalty the timing was not the best for prog music in general, much less synphonic groups like this, which were considered by the press totally out of fashion and got little, if any, exposure in the media.

It is a pity, since Asia Minor did have a quite distinguished sound from the very start, with middle east folk flavors and rhyrthms added to their nice symphonic soundscape. Some reviewers say the gorup was influenced by Camel, but I hardly see any Camel-like sounds here other than some similar guitar chord progressions (infortunatly the emotional guitar solos that made Camel so influential are nowhere to be found on Crossing The Line). Most of the solos are done by Eril Tekeliīs flute that reminds me of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and, especially, This Van Leer (Focus).

The songwriting was good, and they spoted some fine early Genesis tendencies that I like a lot. Bakirelīs vocals are also very nice. Although the formula was original at the time and the musicians showed great skill, the formula was clearly on its infancy. Some tracks are very well done while others seemed underdeveloped. The band was still trying to find their way. However, judging by the high quality of their musicanship and the tasteful arrangements, they were heading toward the right direction. Production was very good too.

Conclusion: a nice start. Iīm looking forward to listen to their second (sadly their last) efford. if youīre into 70īs synphonic prog rock (with eastern sounds to spice it up) this is surely something worth checking out. 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#282862) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Asia Minor's debut seems to borrow from the more easygoing progressive rock bands, namely Camel, Eloy, and to an extent, Jehtro Tull. The music bounces between spacious atmospheres and disorderly rock. While the former is kinder to the ear, it has a tendency to get dull, as several passages throughout the album sound the same. Using the lead instruments (guitar, flute, and synthesizer) to fill out the music during the mellow, minimalistic verses might have been one solution. As it is, Crossing the Line is a satisfactory album that should please many fans of the aforementioned artists.

"Preface" With a gong, Asia Minor offers a foreboding bit of flute over distant, eerie chords. Heavy drums and guitar embark on some incoherent displays with the flute, both before and after the verse. The disjointed arrangement is very hard to follow- one must grin and bear it until the brief guitar solo ends the piece.

"Muhzun Gozler" That swampy guitar from before returns. Sliding bass notes give way to a decent flute excursion. There is no transition to speak of after this- the band essentially stops and begins playing a series of dark and frantic riffs before the flute comes back for seconds. The vocal section is light symphonic psychedelic music that bears a similarity to Eloy and Camel.

"Mystic Dance" Intriguing guitar and flute make up this terse instrumental.

"Misfortune" This frenzied piece reminds me of Jethro Tull during their most progressive years, with upbeat rhythms, gritty guitar, and plenty of flute to go around. It lacks in terms of composition, but makes up for it in fierceness.

"Landscape" Dark and low-key, "Landscape" relies on distant electric guitar and the mediocre vocals of the lead singer. Midway through, the music shifts to an unaccompanied electric piano before jumping into a erratic rock passage.

"Vision" "Vision" relies on a bass riff in 7/4 time, and has some great interplay between bass and guitar. The airiness and synthetic feel is a return to the sound of Eloy.

"Without Stir" Twelve-string guitar and harmonics weave a magical, concise song.

"Hayal Dolu Gunler Icin" This is very similar to most of the other songs here in terms of having that sparse, Eloy sound. The guitar solo over the breakneck rhythm is the most interesting aspect of it.

"Postface" Barely audible organ rises from the ether. The flute performs a theme from a previous piece before the fade out.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#290429) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This mildly Camel-influenced album finds Asia Minor a little short on originality, but is competently performed with reasonable (though not exceptional) production standards for a low-budget recording from the start of the 1980s. On the whole, I tend to prefer the follow-up album Between Flesh and Divine (which seems to form a conceptual sequel to this album - the two titles form a little sentence), but I suppose if you were really fond of that album and are desperate for more, this won't be too disappointing provided you don't expect a lost classic of the genre. For my part, I will stick to their superior second album.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#559941) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Turkish band formed in Paris around mid-70's as Asia Minor Process by three Turkish emigrants, guitarist/flutist Erik Tekeli, guitarist/singer Setrak Bakirel and drummer Can Kozlu.In 1976 Kozlu was replaced by Lionel Beltrami, the name was shortened to Asia Minor and the band started recording its first tracks, mixing Classic Prog with some Turkish ethnic sounds.In three tracks the band was helped by Grime's keyboardist Nicolas Vicente.With no particular interest in their work by labels, Asia Minor self-released their debut ''Crossing the Line'' during the spring of 1979 on their own Ware of Asia Minor.More recently the album was re-issued in CD and vinyl formats by Musea Records.

A good album indeed, ''Crossing the Line'' is often an exciting mix of melodic Progressive Rock with a CAMEL-esque edge and the darker aspects of the style, somewhat in a KING CRIMSON vein and add some deep ethnic tunes here and there.The sound is led by the guitars and flutes with long instrumental parts and professional interplays between the two instruments in a Symphonic style.The rhythm section (with Bakirel providing the bass lines) is pretty dynamic with often deep bass lines and the great drumming of Beltrami.The keyboards remain unfortunately mostly in the background, having a very thin sound.However the dominant guitar and flute parts will reward you: nice melodic hooks, folky heavy flute drives and a nice amount of breaks and battles offer series of fascinating moments.Vocals are sung in English without signs of an annoying accent but also in Turkish in a couple of tracks, the later being outstanding Progressive Rock pieces.Only a couple of flaws are detected, the one being the aforementioned thin-sounding keyboards, the other being the mediocre production overall, an evident fail regarding many prog albums around late-70's.

''Crossing the Line'' is a pretty strong release of Classic Progressive Rock by a talented band, which failed to attract around the (wrong) period of its release, but ended up to be a winner through sands of time.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#608184) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars You have to feel for Asia minor. Active during arguably the lowest point of progressive rock's forty-five year history, this was a group who produced fine, melodic and highly-intelligent music at a time when nobody cared for such things. As a result, the history of this multi-national outfit proved to be unsurprisingly brief. Formed in Paris sometime during the late 1970s, Asia Minor featured members plucked from France, Turkey and Britain. Unable, due to their achingly unfashionable style of music, to seal any kind of record deal the four-strong group took the bold step of self-financing and self-producing both this 1979 debut release and 1981's highly-praised follow-up 'Between Flesh & Divine', a move which gave the musicians genuine artistic freedom but also fundamentally limited the record's potential commercial reach due to the lack of any kind of distribution deal. And despite the positive critical reception garnered both both albums - in particular 'Between Fleszh & Divine' - Asia Minor's career was over barely three-and-a-half years after it had begun. Obviously, one truly wonders what might have happened if the group had been around during either the genre's early peak or it's 21st century rebirth, yet thankfully they haven't been forgotten. Both albums have been reissued by the French Musea imprint, thus the group have enjoyed a well-deserved second life in the CD age. Recorded during 1979, 'Crossing The Line' is a less polished affair compared to it's well-respected follow-up, yet despite slightly muddy production values the graceful melodies still shine through. Very much a formative piece which allowed Asia Minor to hone their craft in preparation for 'Between Flesh & Divine', 'Crossing The Line' features nine carefully-composed tracks that mix a distinctly arty European sensibility with British-style symphonic flourishes, the group cleverly utilising synthesizers, acoustic-and-electric guitars and founding member Setrak Bekiral's un-flashy vocals in a crisp and clear manner that for the most deliberately eschew excessive musicianship. Highlights include opening piece 'Prelude', which opens the album on a suitably grand note, the throbbing bass thumps of the short-and-sweet 'Mystic Dance' and finally, the lushly mysterious mini- epic 'Vision'. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#820776) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 14, 2012

Latest members reviews

3 stars The debut album from these legends from Turkey. The influences to this album can be found in the English symph prog scene. Or to be more precise; bands like Camel and Genesis. Into these influences and pretty clean symph prog sound, they have also added a lot of local flavour. That means easter ... (read more)

Report this review (#491709) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent atmospheric, eclectic, jazzy, mysterious, and slightly melancholic symphonic progressive music. Great playing. Lots of flute, great drumming and great guitar, among other instruments. Mostly instrumental. Similar in sound to Camel, Anyone's Daughter, King Crimson, Agitation Free (and s ... (read more)

Report this review (#214726) | Posted by listen | Sunday, May 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There are few bands in the history of Prog who could create such spellbindingly atmospheric songs as Asia Minor were capable of conjuring. This album is full of dreamy, rainy soundscapes that are capable of hypnotizing a listener into a state of exquisite melancholic stasis. Depressive but beauti ... (read more)

Report this review (#201825) | Posted by AdamHearst | Thursday, February 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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