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Mahogany Frog

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Mahogany Frog Senna album cover
4.08 | 106 ratings | 6 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Houndstooth Part 1 (4:04)
2. Houndstooth Part 2 (5:29)
3. Expo '67 (5:04)
4. Flossing with Buddha (4:35)
5. Message from Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt (8:29)
6. Message from Uncle Stan: Green House (3:49)
7. Saffron Myst (4:02)
8. Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service (7:46)

Total Time 43:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Graham Epp / electric guitars, Micromoog, Farfisa organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos
- Jesse Warkentin / electric guitars, Micromoog, Farfisa organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos
- Scott Ellenberger / electric & acoustic bass, Briscoe organ, percussion
- Andy Rudolph / drums & percussion, electronics

- Eric Lussier / harpsichord (8)

Releases information

LP Moonjune Records ‎- MJR048 (2012, US)

CD Moonjune Records ‎- MJR048 (2012, US)

Thanks to rushfan4 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MAHOGANY FROG Senna ratings distribution

(106 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MAHOGANY FROG Senna reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I always receive the MoonJune Records new releases to review in my Website, I basically have all their catalogue. But I don't review all of them. Why? You may ask me. The answer is simple, most of the label's catalogue comes from Jazz Fusion side and I just can't stand this Genre. To my ears they'll always be instrumentists that learn how to play their instruments very well in the technical side, but can't write a good tune. These albums usually sounds like a band that enter in the studio and play whatever they want for a couple of hours and then edit 50 minutes of music. Not my cup of tea at all. Sometimes I choose not to review them because I don't want simply bash other peoples work, I don't do that. But I'm pretty sure most of their catalogue is high grade for the Jazz Fusion lovers.

Saying that, I could basically do the same with MAHOGANY FROG. But no, I'll not. Since their previous album, the great DO5 (1998) I was waiting for their next one, it was such a great album. This band isn't about the Jazz Fusion, they're about experimentations. But wait a bit, when I say experimentations I'm not talking about 60 minutes of noise with no sense, no melodies and no music, no I'm not. This guys from Canada know how to mix perfectly their instrumental music without being boring.

I'm talking about Progressive Rock, Experimental Rock and just enough Post-Rock to make it interesting. And they mix it all with melodies, even when the synths take over their music it's not just noise, is musical noise, and that my friends is what makes them interesting. For example, when the synth mimic a F1 car, to pay tribute to the great Ayrton Senna (which is obvious when you look to the name of the album).

Senna (2012) is not just a great example of how to be different and experiment in music, but it's also a great example of how to do experimental music and instrumental music with melody and interesting sounds/passages, even when electronic music comes in here and there they make it in a interesting way.

Unfortunatelly the album comes in a cheap and uninteresting Cardoard Sleeve in Gatefold format with little information about the content, but the music, oh the music. Worth, every second.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After several dedicated listens through this album over the past few months I am finally ready to post a review of this highly acclaimed album from 2012. An instrumental album in the vein of OZRIC TENTACLES, HYPNOS69 and QUANTUM FANTAY with a little more emphasis and volume given to the drums and computer-generated sounds and keyboards and a little less emphasis on predictable melody and structure. (This is no jam band!) While I have enjoyed my listens, and have been entertained and engrossed in their sound (especially the computer keyboard work), and I do appreciate the passion coming from the drummer, it is doubtful that I will find myself returning to this album very often.

1. "Houndstooth, Part 1"?starts out sounding a bit like one of my favorite alubmartists, STEREOLAB's Dots and Loops before the organ is joined by some psychedelic fuzz guitar, computerized drum sounds and rhythms, and builds into what is obviously an instrumental. Kind of cool. (8/10) 2. "Houndstooth, Part 2"?keeps the 60s fuzz/treated guitar and bass sounds with live acoustic drums and some KRAFTWERK/OMD-like keyboard sounds all packaged into a kind of 60s psych pop or 80s bubble gum TONY BASIL-like sound and feel. Happy and psychedelic even a little bluesy. (7/10) 3. "Expo '67"?sounds like a new version of EDGAR WINTER's "Frankenstein" to me. Same instruments, same riffs, same structure. (7/10) 4. "Flossing with Buddha"?birds and church organ start out this one before it turns into a kind of Brit-pop song again straddling the late 60s and the bubble gum pop of the 80s. (Lulu, The Buckinghams, Adam Ant, Yaz, The The.) (7/10) 5. "Message from Uncle Stan Grey Shirt"?some of Mahogony Frog's intros, like this one, remind me of fellow Canadians, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. Lots of chaos and cacophony?like an orchestra tuning before a concert. Uncle Stan (in the Grey Shirt) must be totally wasted cuz this song is all about chaos and really having a slow and tough time (being able to) getting it together. Finally, a kind of House of the Rising Sun meets Pomp and Circumstance pulls itself up out of the dross and then morphs into a "This Is The Doors" cover band intro for the final two minutes. Interesting. And psychedelic. (7/10) 6. "Messsage from Uncle Stan Green House"?starts out with a rather striking JAGA JAZZIST sound to it. Indecipherable babel of voices accompanies the music for a little while until it all descends into a slowed down, heavily sound-effects-accompanied heroine trip. Ends on a structured note. (6/10) 7. "Saffron Myst"?is a melodic, almost laid-back tune with synths/organ featured. Again, I am reminded of STEREOLAB and especially Dots and Loops. (8/10) 8. "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service"?carries over the synth trails from "Saffron Myst" while turning them into virulent crazy with a Todd Rundgren-like organ wash beneath to keep them all tied together. The guitar's entry at 2:35 is wonderful and continues to build within the tornadic frenzy of the other crazed musicians. Again, I am reminded of some of TODD's more adventurous experimentations with sound and noises in his early 1970s solo works. I even half expected it to end with the baton taps and Todd's voice saying, "No! No! No! A little more humanity, please!" as he does at the end of "The Spark of Life." But, no! The song quiets down, goes cyber-space crazy before a harpsichord enters to "restore" order?and fadeout the album! (8/10)

A highly creative album laced with psychedelia reminiscent of all of the past four decades' technological and sound advances. This is not an album I will come back to as often as the above cited space/psychedelic artists because of a certain lack of, well, melody. But I will revisit it for the smiles and curiosities it generates.

3.5 stars rated up for creativity, uniquity and courage.

Review by kev rowland
5 stars More and more I seem to be coming across albums that appear to have more sonic connection with my teenage years than the current day, but as that isn't an issue all I can say is "bring it on!" This is Senna's sixth album, but somehow is a band that I have managed to miss altogether but I see that I am going to have to rectify the omissions. The four-piece comprise Graham Epp (electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos), Jesse Warkentin (electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos), Scott Ellenberger (electric & acoustic bass, Briscoe organ, percussion) and Andy Rudolph (drums, percussion & electronics) yet are a far more in your face rock band than you may imagine from the impressive list of keyboards.

This is progressive rock mixed with krautrock mixed with post rock mixed with jazz, all thrown into a melting pot and allowed to brew and take on a life all of it's own. Imagine Can playing with Tortoise with Soft Machine on the sidelines while someone decides to thrown in some filthy guitar riffs to tie it all together. This is early Seventies sweat and long hair combined certain drugs and the music being played at incredibly high volumes. They combine to provide tight melodies and controlled chaos while at others there seems to be no control at all and they ride the thick basslines a la Chris Squire until it all starts to make sense again. This is not music to be gently listened to on headphones, but to be played at parties where alcohol is in abundance and everyone is having the time of their lives. I mean, there are times it sounds as if Dik Mik is playing with his audio generator.

Filthy, rough and raw, this is great.

Review by Warthur
5 stars This little stunner of an album finds Mahogany Frog reeling deliriously between modern-age electronic dance-influenced krautrock explosions, space rock anchored to earth by way of jazz fusion, symphonic postrock mini-epics and other bizarre genre mashups, producing a melange which seeks out the common ground between tripped-out underground artists of the 1970s and today's cutting edge. Soft Machine comparisons are tempting due to the band's association with MoonJune records, but if I had to relate this to any phase of the Soft's career I'd link it to the second album - the point where the Softs had a perfect balance between what was then the cutting edge of psych and their jazz fusion innovations, and Senna is a similarly modern-sounding album.
Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Fantastic melodic hardcore psychedelic music ... not come across such an activated, delightful Krautrock for a long while.

This "Senna" (reminds me of something like a purgative) has been released in 2012 as the sixth full-length production that has had definitely an adventurous electro-.psych movement full of artistic development. "Houndstooth" suite sounds very promising for us filled with a spirit of adventure. It's a kind of music pleasure without any depressive texture. Makes us possess an obvious hope for another psychedelia / fantasia.

Exactly sounds like another world would has been pulled into their essential mindscape. In the latter part of the album even the minor key of a suite "Message From Uncle Stan" sounds fantastic and positive. Their basal activity should always be vital and dark side of the moon might be vaporized from our earsight soon. The last noise itself "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service" is completely a funky joke, and at the same time, a comfort.

With full of pleasure, they have finely kicked and broken one of the rock categories away in pieces. Their intentional rigidity might be in the same vein of rock-breaking vanguards like U2 or RADIOHEAD. Surely interesting but there be pros and cons I'm afraid. Of course I love it.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I've been working my way through this western Canadian band's discography and it's been a joy to be honest. I'm still blown away at this band's setup as a four piece with all four being multi-instrumentalists they have tons of options when recording and playing. And it's so cool that two of the guys play the exact same thing in guitars, micromoog, farfisa organ, arp string ensemble, korg MS2000 and electric and acoustic pianos with the drummer adding electronics and the bass player organ. Nice! So this is my fifth review of this magical band and I have to rank "Senna" right at the top with "Vs Mabus". Two very different albums as "Vs Mabus" is nowhere as intense and powerful as "Senna" gets. Seems appropriate with the album being named after the great Brazilian Formula 1 driver. Notice the engine on the cover. Senna is considered one of the best drivers this world has seen battling Prost, Fullerton, Schumacher and others before his tragic death.

I have to mention the song titles, I mean this is an instrumental album but "Flossing With Budha" is one Guldbamsen would love and these guys sure have a sense of humour like many Canadians. Hey we've blessed the world with a ton of comedians. The previous album "Do5" is where they seemed to amp it up in a big way and that continues here but I feel this record is more uniform and melodic. Yes this is a band who crosses sub-genres in a way like I haven't heard before but man memorable melodies all over the place along with experimental, in your face power. Yes I would call this a keyboard album.

I'll just touch on the eight tracks briefly that are worth over 43 minutes because this is a very consistent record. We get started with "Houndstooth Part 1" with "Part 2" to follow. Cool hearing the fowl and water sounds to end "Part 2". The closest dog I've had to a Hound is a Doberman. He howled more than he barked. Such a nice intro before we get to that main melody. Again so much going on here and very melodic with plenty of organ. The second track is more powerful with the guitar having more to say. So uplifting before a minute. The pulsating sounds before 1 1/2 minutes sounds amazing then back to guitar led power.

"Expo '67" is something I remember as a kid as being a thing. Held in Quebec in 1967 is about all I knew at the time but it seemed to get referenced a lot in the media long after that. Powerful with distortion yet melodic. Best part is just before 2 minutes to the end. Exciting stuff. "Flossing With Budha" opens with the birds chirping as organ joins in. This is so good. Makes me smile as the drums join in then those disco synths briefly. At least it's not like the new MAJOR PARKINSON with disco raising it's ugly head throughout. A high energy piece. "Message From Uncle Stan: Grey Shirt" is the longest at 8 1/2 minutes. Distant sounds pulse quickly along with experimental noises. This is the Krautrock piece. Lots of atmosphere and it's quite powerful. Love that guitar after 4 minutes.

"Message From Uncle Stan: Green House" opens with depth, distortion and power. It's a green house. We do get a calm for over a minute but this is incredible to really listen to. I mean check it out just before a minute. "Saffron Myst" is brighter and slower with lots going on. A cool tune with beats, bass and keyboards. I like the sound starting just before 1 1/2 minutes the best(the farfisa!). "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service" ends it at almost 8 minutes. Sampled Beluga whales start it that turn into synths with the same tone which is pretty creative. It turns fairly heavy after a minute as drums rumble in and a full sound. Powerful! Check it out before 4 1/2 minutes. All distortion and noise. That lasts for about a minute then we get a calm with distant sounds.

My two favourite albums from this band are like ying and yang I suppose. What an incredibly talented band, so glad I discovered them.

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