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MARSHMALLOW MOONDUST

Antony Kalugin

Symphonic Prog


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Antony Kalugin Marshmallow Moondust album cover
4.02 | 93 ratings | 14 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Marshmallow (20:20)
2. Moondust (20:20)

Total Time 40:40

Bonus tracks on Digital release:
3. Marshmallow Medley (7:20)
4. Moondust Medley (7:20)

Line-up / Musicians

- Antony Kalugin / all instruments

Releases information

CD, Digital released on Caerllysi Music October 10, 2020

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ANTONY KALUGIN Marshmallow Moondust ratings distribution


4.02
(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
25%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (16%)
16%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

ANTONY KALUGIN Marshmallow Moondust reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Some completely solo performances of ideas by the prolific prog maestro from Ukraine. Marshmallow Moondust offers some pleasant, upbeat fluff to distract people from the heaviness of the COVID-era.

1. "Marshmallow" (20:20) mostly prog lite: pleasant instrumental background music with a few nice passages and themes--especially in the 15th and 16th minutes--before the PAT METHENY GROUP Latin-and vocalised section. It's a little too cheesy and gratuitously upbeat for my tastes, but pleasant enough. And there is definitely nothing new, exciting, or innovative going on here. (33/40)

2. "Moondust" (20:20) I was 90 seconds into this one before I realized it wasn't the ending of the previous song! The opening is very familiar--similar to both Incantations-era MIKE OLDFIELD and the light-rock side of PAT METHENY(Secret Story). The "Sesame Street" themes used in the foundation of the third and fourth minutes are a bit distracting--but it is a nice, melodic, soft passage. At 4:40 there is a subtle shift to a new motif that could be an under-development GENESIS demo. Nice sound palette and melodic hooks--especially from the Tony Banksian keys--it's just that you know GENESIS would do much better with the guitars and drums. In the eleventh minute there is another slight shift in which male vocals whisper sing "marshmallow moon" in the background before Mellotron-like female choir voices do some DANNY ELFMAN/Harry Potter-like eerie vocal insertions. At 12:20 things are toned down for clunky bass and jazzy drums to take the Potter-theme into a jazz-lite direction--but this only lasts a bit before bare synth wash, acoustic guitar, "oboe & flutes" and fretless bass take it down into a pastoral New Age passage. Great guitar lead around the 16-minute mark before "harpsichord" and "vibes" and organ take it into a slow GRYPHON/PROCUL HARUM/FOCUS-like theme and passage--which takes us to an amped up end of multiple recapitulations of other themes woven into a cacophony of sound. (34.5/40)

I'm not even sure whether to count the condensed "medley" version of the two epics that are included with my Bandcamp "Digital Album" purchase. The version of "Marshmallow" (3. "Marshmallow Medley" [7:20]) is definitely more rollicking and captures the essence of the 20-minute version with the dynamics of an Emerson Lake and Palmer song cross-bred with a 1980s PAT METHENY GROUP song. (13.25/15)

4. "Moondust Melody" (7:20) opens as if it were the previous song, but then turns a different corner with its sound palette--though ends up still sounding like a KEITH EMERSON keyboard display over a WEATHER REPORT/GENESIS base. The slowdown section--here instituted at the end of the third minute--feels like an unnatural transition, but once you're there it still works in a New Agey jazz-fusion kind of way. Gone are the Sesame Street references but the Procul Harum/Focus motifs become "stately wedding" slow march music. The Danny Elfman/XII Alfonso-like convergence of themes that occurs in the finale is, then, amped up but shortened and a little less satisfying. It sure goes by much faster than the beautiful long version! (12.75/15)

I like the long version of "Moondust" much better than "Marshmallow" but it still suffers from a lightness that feels sometimes incomplete or unfinished. And then I like the condensed version of "Marshmallow" better than that of "Moondust." Go figure!

B-/3.5 stars; a nice prog lite addition to any prog lover's music collection. it's getting a lot of praise so, check it out for yourselves. There's a lot of ear candy here--and it's certainly better than Birds of Paradise--but some of it feels overly familiar, so let's let it percolate a bit before deciding on its final place in Prog World.

Review by Matti
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Collaborators haven't yet shown enthusiasm for this brand new solo album by the frontman of KARFAGEN, SUNCHILD and HOGGWASH from Ukraine (at least not in reviews), whereas each of the five reviews by non- collabs are full-rated. Anyway, I can assure you, I stand wholeheartedly behind my own rating, with all my 37 years of prog listening history. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was so thrilled by a new prog album. Right at the first listening, within the very first few minutes, I knew I would love it, if the charm of the beginning would grace the whole album. And it does. Yes, I love this album!

If I ever feel the need to use the words "Prog Heaven", it is now. By that I underline the easiness of enjoying this instrumental music, feeling blissfully happy. As we know, more demanding prog music doesn't make the impression right away, one needs to digest it and listen to it time and time again before finally "getting" it. That's not the case here: you're instantly grabbed by the beautiful and dynamic flow of melodies and excellent, multi- levelled mellow symphonic prog soundscape. And Antony made it all by himself, ie. played all the instruments. That's just amazing (but it's NOT affecting my rating)! He's a master at keyboards as anyone familiar with e.g. Karfagen knows, but his guitar playing is very good too, and even the drums do not sound fakey (that surely was one of the most critical aspects). The sounds of flute and saxophone are not "real" since Antony and his co- producer Will Mackie decided to stick to the concept of a one man record. Undoubtedly a real flautist/saxophonist would have made a better and fuller impact, but everything that's heard here is enjoyable.

The cd contains only the two main epics, both 20:20 long; I'm not familiar with the 7:20 versions featured in the digital album. I think the sound is best compared to WILLOWGLASS, and CAMEL at their best, naturally with a bigger dominance on keyboards -- but also they can be sonically compared to Camel's finest moments. There are also sharper key parts reminiscent of ELP, but a Camel-like mellowness is never very far away, which is not to say this music would lack dynamics.

Perhaps 'Marshmallow' is the one that flows more passionately and coherently. The beautifully melodic composition is inspired all the way, and the sounds (keys especially) are simply marvellous. 'Moondust' may not be quite as smooth in its twists and turns, which actually helps it sound different from 'Marshmallow'. It also has more flute & sax parts. The synths at the beginning have a momentary Vangelis vibe. Concerning both tracks, the colourful band sound doesn't pale against Karfagen, and Antony also adds some wordless voicing here and there. In a way 'Moondust' is the more varied piece, having more notable jazz nuances and containing also longer delicate movements. Perhaps the end is a bit modest for a composition of this scale, as the more dynamic movement before the peaceful coda ends quite suddenly (this may have something to do with the wish to make each piece exactly 20:20 in length). That's however a harmless tiny detail, and frankly I prefer music to leave you longing for the next listening round instead of building a gigantic and extended grand finale to leave you exhausted.

If you enjoy melodic, instrumentally oriented symph prog á la CAMEL and WILLOWGLASS (whose Andrew Marshall I see as a kindred spirit to Kalugin, sharing similar strong influences from the 70's), do yourself a favour and get this album. BTW, I also like how the cover art (and two mini posters) by Igor Sokolskiy contains references to "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This is a timeless prog masterpiece, and certainly my favourite album of 2020!

Latest members reviews

2 stars Antony Kalugin is a great musician and Marshmallow Moondust is his last album so far. First of all I will say that this is a well crafted album, good production and representation of all instruments. The main problem that I have with this album is that it sounds like he wanted to record "anothe ... (read more)

Report this review (#2490609) | Posted by prog_traveller!! | Tuesday, January 5, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First, I have to state that it's very clear Kalugin is a talented musician and composer, and I would like to hear more from him. However, what he appears to have done with this album is attempted to create something of a "prog by numbers" demonstration of the genre of symphonic prog. What tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#2478401) | Posted by bartymj | Sunday, November 22, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars So my first review here and it happens to be on the new solo album from Karfagen's mastermind, Antony Kalugin. What is there to be heard on this album? Two 20 minute epics, clean production, and some derivative, yet good songwriting. Antony Kalugin keeps his Symphonic Prog train rolling by ... (read more)

Report this review (#2474680) | Posted by ComaEcliptic | Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ANTONY KALUGIN is the mastermind of KARFAGEN. It also has its letters of nobility with SUNCHILD and HOGGWASH; he started to compose new age music then very quickly a progressive frame replaced it; after an album in 2008, he delivers here an instrumental opus in the lineage of the last KARFAGEN w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2462955) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, November 5, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is like returning to a "snow goose" if it was recorded by one man. I did not realize that Anton plays guitar so good. So interplay between synths and guitars are fabulous. Nice touches of the choir here and there brings this Alice in Wonderland feeling. It has great melodies, mixed and produced o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2461639) | Posted by MalenaRoss | Friday, October 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With 2020 being a bad year for so many people because of COVID-19, the virus itself, and the lockdowns that followed, we all need something to remedy the hardships endured by so many. And here comes a new CD with music that is a real breath of fresh air! This new solo album by Ukraine's Antony Ka ... (read more)

Report this review (#2460341) | Posted by Yeshead58 | Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars While the depressive and difficult year 2020 caused tremendous lack of inspiration for many people, Antony Kalugin keeps provide us with great instances of progressive music. After a strong symphonic Karfagen's "Birds of Passage" he created a complete solo album using his keyboards, guitars and voic ... (read more)

Report this review (#2460060) | Posted by GarfunkelSi | Monday, October 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Antony has crafted a beautiful prog instrumental album written and played entirely by him, his keyboards are outstanding as is his guitar playing, although the guitar is not his primary instrument he plays in a very nice full sounding and emotional style. Marshmallow is a well crafted melodic well c ... (read more)

Report this review (#2459991) | Posted by ar_en | Monday, October 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's always a pleasure and joy to see my good friend Antony new release! Finally it arrived to Ukraine and I had a pleasure to listen it on a CD. What a cover! Brilliant work by Igor Sokolskiy as always compliments the music! Two full size posters are present for all Prog fans. For me it was quite i ... (read more)

Report this review (#2459979) | Posted by Trinity S | Monday, October 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Whilst all of our lives had been thrown into the darkness and the in word was "lockdown" The accomplished Antony Kaulgin was busy as usual creating new music but now on his own isolated like the rest of mankind a music opus that without fear of overstatement redefines the genre progressive rock. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2459752) | Posted by CAERLLYSI | Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have been listening to Antony Kalugin for years now and this is one of my favorite albums he's ever released. The first song Marshmallow is fantastic. The melody's here are great and really shows how talented Antony is. The atmosphere is also very unique and beautiful. Moondust Is also great. My f ... (read more)

Report this review (#2459176) | Posted by BlazingProg | Saturday, October 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Antony has released a mesmerising new album where his musical inventiveness has risen to a whole new level. With the clever play on words with the title Mars(hmallow) and Moondust is surpassed by the cleverness of the music. A truly solo album where Antony plays every instrument himself, and yet i ... (read more)

Report this review (#2458234) | Posted by Drmick1971 | Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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