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MARCO MINNEMANN

Eclectic Prog • Germany


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Marco Minnemann picture
Marco Minnemann biography
Born 1970-12-24 (Hanover, Germany)

Marco MINNEMANN is an Eclectic Prog artist from Germany. He is a multi-instrumentalist, but first and foremost, a drummer who has quickly established himself as one of the most prolific and talented drummers in progressive music. Over the years, not only has he released an impressive solo discography, but he has also worked with several bands and solo artists all over the globe, including Steven WILSON, Tony LEVIN, Jordan RUDESS, Mike KENEALLY, Alex LIFESON, Eddie JOBSON, Joe SATRIANI, Trey GUNN, THE ARISTOCRATS, UKZ, THE MUTE GODS, and THE SEA WITHIN among many others.

Born on Christmas Eve of 1970 in Hannover, Germany, he started playing organ when he was 6, later taking up the drums and guitar at age 11. He is now living in San Diego, California. He has developed a drum technique known as "interdependence", which allows him to play several different patterns with each of his feet and hands and has published instructional books on the concept. Many professionals and music trade magazines consider him one of the top ten artists in the drumming world.

MINNEMANN was also involved with a trio drumming tour where he shared billing with Terry BOZZIO and Chad WACKERMAN, has performed with death metal band NECROPHAGIST and KREATOR, joined forces with Guthrie GOVAN and Bryan BELLER to create the trio THE ARISTOCRATS and also helped create the LMR project (LEVIN - MINNEMANN - RUDESS). With all of the projects and bands he is working with, he may be one of the busiest musicians in the industry.

He is considered an Eclectic Prog artist because of his involvement in many different types of progressive music. While he has played all types of music from death metal to alternative, most of his solo work has a unique progressive jazz style though he has delved into some experimental music also. Anyone exploring his music will definitely find something that they love, especially if you are a lover of progressive music as a whole.

Bio by TCat

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MARCO MINNEMANN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
The Green Mindbomb
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Comfortably Homeless
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Orchids
2002
4.00 | 3 ratings
Broken Orange
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mieze
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Contraire de la chanson
2006
4.50 | 2 ratings
House Wife Dog & Two Kids
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
A Mouth of God - Girl of the Week
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Normalizer 2
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Evil Smiles of Beauty / Sound of Crime
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Symbolic Fox
2012
4.08 | 4 ratings
EEPS
2014
3.67 | 3 ratings
Celebration
2015
5.00 | 1 ratings
Above the Roses
2016
4.00 | 5 ratings
Schattenspiel
2016
3.19 | 7 ratings
Borrego
2017
4.00 | 8 ratings
My Sister
2019
3.18 | 9 ratings
McStine & Minnemann
2020
3.57 | 7 ratings
McStine & Minnemann II
2020

MARCO MINNEMANN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARCO MINNEMANN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARCO MINNEMANN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARCO MINNEMANN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Catspoon
2009

MARCO MINNEMANN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Comfortably Homeless by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Comfortably Homeless
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by DangHeck

— First review of this album —
4 stars Just gonna jump right into it!

"Kondome" is like YouTuber David DOCKERY 10-15 years before... Playing drums (and occasional other instruments) to the cadence of spoken (female) German. It sounds pretty natural, really. It is cool when people bring out the sing-songy nature of the human (speaking) voice. Seriously, if you've never heard "A Wild Hare" by Ron JARZOMBEK's SPASTIC INK (1997), read up on it first and (I would most recommend) look(ing) it up on YouTube (it "aurally recreates a scene from Bambi, even down to the dialogue, which is wordlessly mimicked by the guitar."--one upload of the track shows the actual scene as the music plays on top--Talk about next level!).

What I can say is that ZAPPA-isms continue strong on this release starting with the second track, "Papers". At times, this track gets very weird. Just compositional choices that you don't hear too often. Even in the wildest of Progressive Rock. Perhaps disorienting, but incredibly, undeniably fascinating.

And from "Papers" to the next, "Unlaw", the disparate styles somehow go together like bread and butter (see also the closer, as bonus track, "Overloaded", for this next vibe I'll describe). Hard to describe what is going on here. Maybe Psychedelic Soul? Some Funk elements? It rocks, and yet is so cool and collected. And at the same time, very well performed (a common theme in Minnemann's work). Excellent, really. Are we shocked? ["Look at all the t*tties"?! Lol! I mean, with that line, it can now (appropriately?) also be said this track is pretty sexy, admittedly haha.]

Moving along, ZAPPA-isms (T2, T4, T5, T7, T9, T14) stride naturally alongside Space Rock (most reminiscent to me of OZRIC TENTACLES; T4, T11, T13, T14); "Eclectic," super innovative Fusion (T5, T7, T9); R&B/Soul (T3, T10, T13); and the avant-garde (T1, T6, T10, T14).

Quirk that will appeal to ZAPPA fans, GENTLE GIANT fans and, I don't know, Jacob COLLIER fans alike (for Collier, a far better example is out there, I'm sure, but it's just not coming to me)! Some elements call to mind to me PINK FLOYD (see the pastoral "Arpeggio 2"; "Train Check" had the bleating of sheep, and, of course, Animals immediately sprung to mind).

All of this to say, it is absolutely remarkable how an album of this caliber, by an artist supposedly so widely beloved as Marco Minnemann, is only now, not only being reviewed (my pleasure, btw) but being rated at all! An album this good, being rated/reviewed for the first time on this site, and the site is nearly as old as this album! Just amazing to me. It's certainly not perfect, but boy, is it a treat! [Yet another Marco release that I wish I could justify a 5-star rating, just so people will pay attention to it.] Don't hesitate.

Personal Tracks of Note: T2, T3, T6, T8, T9, T13, T14

 The Green Mindbomb by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 2 ratings

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The Green Mindbomb
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by DangHeck

4 stars The disciplined and exemplary meet the quirky and weird!

As I described the opener, "Streets," on my Instagram story mini-review (yes, this is genuinely something I regularly do), it's as if ZAPPA, HOLDSWORTH, and latter-day GONG (Pierre MOERLEN'S, to be exact) had a big ol' Prog baby. But that's not all! Although we very clearly have the Fusion elements from all these listed artists in the bones of this music, we also have avant-garde, Varésque moments, like the most sinister "Class." This is also an example of what I can only assume is MINNEMANN doing "the Zappa thing" (see literally anything Frank did in the early-80s till the end of his life with the Synclavier). Dance Me This, anyone? The Green Mindbomb heavily features this vibe throughout.

And to really show the various colors and flavors on this album and touched on by Minnemann & Co. (he and a bunch of fellow Germans with whom I can't help but be most impressed), "Class" is followed by "Success", a bizarre combination of... what I can only describe as Grindcore, Industrial and... I don't know how to explain it... R&B? Is it John ZORN? BUNGLE? Certainly too early to be inspired by ESTRADASPHERE... It's weird as hell, but it works! Throughout the album there are these beautiful female vocals, and on this track this is wonderfully featured. Very soulful. Very well performed. I don't know if what I'm hearing, too, is also some avant-garde, experimental take on Nu Metal. It's very intense. And, to repeat myself in some way, very impressive.

The variety is of course reminiscent of Frank, but also of Minnemann's most excellent contemporary MIKE KENEALLY. A high compliment from me. I think what I need to make clear is that I'm kicking myself for not digging into Marco sooner. I'm a Prog fan from the age of The ARISTOCRATS, a band that wouldn't see the light of day until their formation 13 years later in 2011. If you like them, ZAPPA, KENEALLY, GONG, HOLDSWORTH and specifically THORENDAL'S Sol Niger Within, then waste no time.

Best I can do with a True Rate is 4.25/5.00, so... is that not worth mentioning?

 Borrego by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.19 | 7 ratings

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Borrego
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I had no idea who Marco Minnemann was until seeing him in concert and having my pants blown off. I mean my son in law was mumbling away "Oh my God" over and over. Best drum show I've seen and I've seen plenty. Anyway I also had no idea how prolific this man is with all the projects he's involved with plus this his solo stuff which I counted something like 19 studio albums he's released. Obviously with his talent and connections he's got some guest on this one, most notably Joe Satriani and Alex Lifeson. This is a double album with four bonus tracks at the end of disc two.

So like almost all double albums we get hits and misses in fact I find disc one ends badly with those last four tunes. Love the opener though called "Sandstorm" for it's heaviness. Vocals in this one and it becomes fairly uplifting 3 minutes in. Check out Satriani after 2 minutes on "The Healer". "Thunderstorm" is cool with the piano and crashing drums. Violin and some great drumming on "Sculpters" Not into "A Random Place" at all but along with the opener my other favourite track from disc one is "Gold Digger". I like the atmosphere and melancholy. Disc two opens with a car starting in "Horsepower". Satriani impresses here. Not into "3 Ghosts In A Saloon" but the short next one "Homicide" is cool. Dark and experimental actually. Yikes on "Lady In White" and "Broken Part" but "What Can I Hide?" makes up for them and this is part of my top three songs along with the two from disc one.

So some great sounding tracks along with some songs that really are not my thing. Very much a mixed bag for sure.

 McStine & Minnemann by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.18 | 9 ratings

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McStine & Minnemann
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Marco Minnemann is a drummer's drummer, who is seemingly able to put his hand to any style of music he wishes to, and as well as playing with Steve Vai, Steven Wilson, and so many others he can also be found in The Mute Gods, The Sea Within, The Aristocrats and now here with Randy McStine. Randy is best-known for Lo-Fi Resistance and The Fringe, and also has a musical who's who on his CV of who he has played with. This album finds Randy (vocals, guitar, bass keyboards, FX) and Marco (drums, percussion, vocals, guitar, keyboards, FX) having loads of fun as they produce music which while often middle of the road melodic rock, also contains some proggy elements and is incredibly accessible. The drumming is exactly what one would expect from someone who has performed on more than 100 studio albums of different styles, namely he pushes it when the time is right with massive fills, while at others he is incredibly restrained and laid back, just setting the groove and letting Randy grab the mood.

This generally sounds like a rock quartet, with additional keyboards and effects used sparingly, yet they mix and blend sounds so that while the bass may be incredibly heavy and Squire-like on one number it can be much further in the distance at others. As they are crossing so many musical boundaries it can be hard to pin down individual influences, but there are times when they provide vocal harmonies so much like City Boy that I find it hard to believe they have not been listening to albums like 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire'. They shuffle at times, dabble with melodic hard rock at others, always with a very American slant and is always massively accessible. McStine is a strong singer with a very pleasant voice, and his basswork in particular is also incredibly impressive as he locks with Minnemann on complex rhythms to provide solid foundations so that the guitar actually does not have to do much apart from provide emphasis.

This is an incredibly polished album which can easily be enjoyed the first time it is played, and is one to look out for.

 My Sister by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 8 ratings

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My Sister
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Marco Minnemann has become quite a busy musician in the last decade or so, having played in Steven Wilson's band, the excellent band The Aristocrats, teamed with Chad Wackerman and Terry Bozzio for a drumming tour, played in various bands including the death metal bands Necrophagist and Kreator, and worked with various famous musicians including Alex Lifeson, Eddie Jobson, Joe Satriani, Trey Gunn and so on. Not only is he an amazing drummer, but he is also a multi-talented instrumentalist who has been releasing several solo albums since 1998.

His latest album "My Sister", was released in August of 2019 and features quite an impressive line-up of guest musicians. The album is a double album with a total of 21 tracks, all written by Minnemann with two of them co-written by Alex Lifeson. Marco plays most of the instruments on this album, however, the guest line-up is too lengthy and complicated to explain here. However, the list of musicians and the tracks they perform on are listed on the album page here in the archives, so I would suggest visiting that page. The entire album has a run-time of over 106 minutes, and you definitely get your money's worth in music here.

The music on this album is quite varied, and the styles also vary from jazzy to neo-prog to heavy prog, hence the reason why it all accumulates under Eclectic Prog. With Minnemann's background, though, this is kind of to be expected. However, the entire album is not as "all over the place" as you might think. The music somehow all coalesces into a cohesive group of songs that sound like they belong together. There are defintaely highlights here, such as "White Sheets", being one of the most progressive tracks which also features some great violin work. "In the Moonlight" is a softer track that still has some tricky rhythms and wonderful drum work from Minnemann, but also contains some of the most beautiful vocals (by Maiah Wynne) and guitar work (from Marco himself) that make this one stand out. "Drum for Your Life" is an exciting and complex instrumental that show off Minnemann's musicianship quite well, especially in the piano riff and complex drumming, but its not just a simple drum solo at all as it utilizes a lot of tonal percussive instruments. Even the strange and quirky "Quantize Me" and "Angels Crossing the Line" have some eclectic appeal to them, complex and thick vocals make them unique and interesting. Both of these tracks are contrasted by the lovely and smoothly flowing "Ferry" that ties that trilogy of tracks together nicely.

There are some tracks on here that you expect to be standouts, right from the beginning. "My Sister" is the title track and is the longest at over 10 minutes. The complex vocal lines and the eclectic rhythms and musicianship here is one of the excellent standouts. The music is well composed and performed, and yes it boasts some complex passages along the way, especially in the extended instrumental sections. About halfway through, the music becomes experimental and quirky, but it resolves itself eventually into a smoother flowing section with some excellent guitar soloing (my guess is that this is the section performed by Alex Lifeson). You also expect "Lover's Calling" to be a standout since this is the track that is co-written by Lifeson and features his guitar, plus the fact that it is repeated in an instrumental version as a bonus track (so it better be good right?). Well, it is, and it definitely stands out, but not only for the reasons you would think. Guests Mohini Dey (bass) and Maiah Wynne (vocals) turn this into a surprisingly haunting and dreamy track which also has some atmospheric and flowing guitars and synths. Check out the way the drums roll and crash, bringing in the heavier guitars, which in turn usher in Lifeson's crazy good guitar solo.

At the same time, there are some questionable tracks that are a bit starchy and can have some vocals that seem to lack any emotion, and these unfortunately come at the first of the album with "Falling Down", "Blessed" and the very odd and disjointed "Radical Radicals". This can happen on some of the tracks and the main problem seems to be in the vocals being a bit overly processed. This is really apparent in "A New Body for Your Soul", which I believe is sung by Marco. The music itself is nice, but the vocals are bad and would have been better off if they weren't processed so much. I don't care how bad of a singer you are, I would rather hear your vocals natural than have them sound like they are coming from a tin can. "Cry" has much better vocals and, even though the song itself is pretty basic, at least it proves that unprocessed vocals are much better. "A Working Town" has starchy vocals, but at least the instrumental sections save it somewhat.

However, strengths and weaknesses of the album can be weighed, but overall, the album comes across as a raw showcase of Minnemann's compositional and musical skills. The idea is definitely ambitious, and there really isn't any concentration on any one singular instrument and this makes the album come across as NOT being an ego trip of any kind, which is one of the weaknesses of many solo albums that concentrate on one performer and one major instrument. That is a big strength for this album, that it doesn't come across that way at all. The standout tracks are worth checking out, and the fact that there are other great tracks make it all worth while, and also makes it easy to overlook the occasional questionable tracks. The trick to this album though, is to get through the first 4 or 5 tracks, which are lacking a bit of emotion and seem a bit haphazard. It might seem like a lot to ask, but the real heart of the album comes after that, and remember, there is still a lot of album left. Overall, it leaves a great impression when all is said and done, and the high points of the album are really high. It all averages out to a great 4 star album.

 EEPS by MINNEMANN, MARCO album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.08 | 4 ratings

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EEPS
Marco Minnemann Eclectic Prog

Review by Grumpyprogfan

4 stars I guess Marco never sleeps. He is recording/touring with the most talented artists in music today (The Aristocrats, Mike Keneally, Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani), and he still finds time to put out solo albums, instructional videos, and who knows what else. EEPS is not just another run of the mill solo album - this is beyond killer! I'm ashamed to say this is my first taste of Marco's solo stuff and I will be buying more immediately.

This disc is loaded with 18 tunes (almost 80 minutes) of creative music that shifts from pop to experimental and almost everything else. Marco plays all the instruments (except the last song) and sings on a few tunes. The talent on display on this disc is amazing, the drumming is phenomenal, but that's not enough, Marco can also play the hell out of the guitar as heard on "Sushi Cat Doll". This song comes out pounding, slows down to a mellow break with a tasty solo, followed by distorted crunch and whammy bar work that has a King Crimson vibe, back to the mellow break with perfectly placed chirping notes, back to a Crimson vibe, and finally evolves into a techno ending with a cool groove. What an amazing song! "Live Ghost" sounds like an outtake from an Aristocrats disc, until the break in the middle transports you to another universe. Other highlights for me include "The Split", "Painter", "Dead Ghost", and the poppy "Sunshine". Hell, there really isn't a bad track, although some of it is hard for me to digest, but there is magic that draws me back for repeated listens.

Thanks to tapfret for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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