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CRAFT

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Craft biography
Craft were really more of a project than a band. Formed by William Gilmour with Martin Russell shortly after both left THE ENID, the pair added percussionist Grant McKay Gilmour and eventually released a short self-titled instrumental album in 1984 based on half the signs of the zodiac. Rumors of a follow-up circulated for several years, but none was forthcoming. Apparently some work had been done, as the 1992 reissue on CD included three short new tracks from the group.

None of the members of CRAFT were original members of THE ENID, but clearly the composing partnership of Gilmour and Russell were influenced by that band's eccentric and highly eclectic style. CRAFT however present songs with a more consistent tempo, and their sole album is much more textured with brass and percussion than their previous band. Their tone is rather more aggressive than that of THE ENID, but the influence in composition and rhythmic range cannot be denied.

The project faded away shortly after the release of their album. Today Gilmour is a moderately well-known chamber, choral and children's' composer living in Scotland. Russell went on to provide studio support for numerous prominent artists such as David Bowie, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, and Sinead O'Conner. He has had heavy involvement with a number of world music projects, and currently heads the Afro Celts Sound System, a world-music collective project.

CRAFT are deserving of a place in the Archives due to their highly symphonic style of arrangements, heavy use of keyboards as well as symphonic and simulated symphonic instrumentation, and their strong musical connection to THE ENID. CRAFT should be considered on the far right fringe of symphonic rock however; their music is certainly in the symphonic vein, but except for the drum work of Grant McKay Gilmour, one would be hard-pressed to call their music 'rock'.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

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CRAFT discography


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3.06 | 14 ratings
Craft
1984

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CRAFT Reviews


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 Craft by CRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.06 | 14 ratings

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Craft
Craft Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Craft is an unnoticed symphonic prog band from mid '80's. The band released so far a single album in 1984 selftitled. Two of the members from here, William Gilmour and Martin Russell were prior to this release in The Enid band. Craft plays a hybrid of mid to late '70's symphonic prog not far from Genesis with a touch of UK (Danger money era) some Yes and a lots of bombastic moments a la Asia or Saga for ex. All the album is instrumental and is based on half of the signs of the zodiac. My CD is from Kinesis records, the one who re issue the album in 1992 and has 3 bonus tracks here. As I said the music is good, with some great moments, like the opening track - Aries, nice melody and good musicianship. The album has aswell some mellower moments like Taurus, but soon after Craft kick seriosly with Gemini and Cancer, two excellent tracks, that will please every symphonic prog listner, great moments with solid interplays between musicians, specially the keybords has an important role here. A true lost album, that for some reasons was lost in the vault of time and for sure needed a better view, but what can we expect from 1984 in prog music, I guess the worst year of prog, or at least one of the most forgetable, minus minor exceptions of course. So, a good album all the way, not a bad moment here, and desearve 3 solid stars., kinda underrated in my opinion, one of the lost little gems of dark years.

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 Craft by CRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.06 | 14 ratings

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Craft
Craft Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Overblown and self-conscious Cheez Whiz is what we have here... and it's not all that bad, actually. Three of the five tracks on the original release, 'Aries', 'Gemini' and 'Leo', are highly listenable academic Symph Rock numbers taking from Saga, U.K., Genesis, Tull, ELP, later Yes, a pinch of Asia and a nauseating whiff of 80s hair metal, and trot along with courtly pomp peppered by good keyboard breaks from ex-Enid man William Gilmour. Martin Russel's (also of The Enid) treated bass substituting for a guitar and Grant McKay Gilmour's acceptable drums add some flavor. If Rick Wakeman composed the music for a kid's TV show about a team of galaxy-defending space knights galloping through the cosmos on horseback, it would sound like this. But this trio does it well, as adolescent as it may be. And there's nothing wrong with that last time I checked.

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 Craft by CRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.06 | 14 ratings

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Craft
Craft Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In the mid-Eighties I visited my favorite record store "Manus" in The Hague when the owner pointed me at this album. He was sure that I would like it as a fan from THE ENID, he explained that Craft had some The Enid members in their line-up. Indeed, it was not a disappointment ... to use an understatement!

1 : Aries - 5.52

The first encounter with Craft their music evokes THE ENID but with a more modern sound and less bombastic. The contrast between the classical keyboards and the fiery electric guitar is captivating. The climates fluently changes from mellow to bombastic featuring wonderful classical orchestrations and ARP Pro Solist-like synthesizer flights.

2 : Taurus - 3.53

This is a bit dreamy piece with tender piano play, a soothing bass and soaring keyboards, topped by slow and sensitive electric guitar runs.

3 : Gemini - 7.11

The climate is bombastic featuring a propulsive beat and great interplay between the classical sounding keyboards and the harder-edged electric guitar. After a fiery electric guitar solo we hear wonderful orchestral keyboards, perfectly in balance with the guitar, it sounds compelling with a Wagnerian undertone.

4 : Cancer - 6.56

This track has some mellow atmospheres but in general it features a propulsive drum beat with bombastic keyboards and fiery electric guitar, this is the typical Craft sound, a captivating blend of classic (keyboards), symphonic and rock (guitar).

5 : Leo - 8.35

Again a propulsive drum beat and great sounding keyboards, this time organ and mid- Emerson-like synthesizer flights. The climates changes fluently and the fiery electric guitar is omnipresent, it gives the music an extra dimension.

6 : Virgo 2.27

A short and classical sounding song that has the most obvious echoes from THE ENID. Very refined and beautiful classical orchestrations.

A WONDERFUL BLEND OF CLASSIC, ROCK AND SYMPHONIC



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