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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS)

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Various Artists (Label Samplers) biography
This section contains albums released by record labels to promote their catalogues of artists.

In the days before the internet and MP3 downloads, it was not nearly as easy for record companies to promote their artists. Advertising campaigns in the music press had some effect, but the prospective audience could not of course hear the music.

While specialist radio stations have been around for some time in the US, in many other countries even today, the availability of anything other than mainstream pop and perhaps classical music is extremely limited.

An effective way to address these issues is for record companies to issue "samplers". These compilations of tracks by bands and artists signed to the label usually sell for well below the standard price for an album. One track by each artist is normally included. How representative that track is of their music varies widely, and as such samplers should be approached with some caution when considering whether a particular band is right for the listener.

The proliferation of samplers released by labels such as Island, CBS, Vertigo etc. in the early 1970's to promote the "progressive" and "underground" bands they were falling over each other to sign now serve as collectable historical documents. Some of the bands went on to secure fame and fortune while others simply disappeared altogether. On these albums, such bands sit side by side.

The advent of the internet and free downloads has largely removed the reason from record companies to release samplers, although they have not disappeared altogether.

Bob McBeath, October 2006

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VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Molecole
1995

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
The New Universe Music Festival 2010
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
Scion A/V Presents: Label Showcase - Prosthetic Records
2012

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 3 ratings
The Rock Machine Turns You On
1968
3.00 | 2 ratings
Rock Machine I Love You
1968
3.67 | 4 ratings
Wowie Zowie! The World Of Progressive Music
1969
3.51 | 3 ratings
You Can All Join In
1969
3.10 | 2 ratings
Nice Enough To Eat
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
Reunion
1970
3.53 | 5 ratings
Fill Your Head With Rock
1970
3.86 | 3 ratings
The Age of Atlantic
1970
4.05 | 3 ratings
Rockbuster
1970
3.00 | 2 ratings
In good company
1970
3.00 | 1 ratings
Picnic - A Breath of Fresh Air
1970
4.04 | 5 ratings
Bumpers
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nova sampler
1970
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Vertigo Annual
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
SiebenSiebzig
1970
3.90 | 2 ratings
The Vertigo Trip
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Puissance
1971
2.14 | 3 ratings
El Pea
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
All Good Clean Fun
1971
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Music People
1972
3.26 | 4 ratings
New Age Of Atlantic, The
1972
5.00 | 3 ratings
Greasy Truckers Party
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
There is Some Fun Going Forward
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock Generation Volume 7
1972
3.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Generation Volume 8
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
Suck It And See!
1973
3.95 | 2 ratings
Charisma Disturbance
1973
4.81 | 2 ratings
The Progressives
1973
3.97 | 4 ratings
Charisma Keyboards
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
This is Island
1974
3.67 | 5 ratings
V - Virgin Sampler
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop Start (Selection of the Best Pop Groups in Yugoslavia)
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vece uz radio
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Leteca Diskoteka: Zoran Modli i Putnici u Odiseji 70's
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Randevu s muzikom
1977
3.51 | 5 ratings
Rock Scene
1978
3.00 | 1 ratings
Formaţii De Muzica Pop 3
1978
4.82 | 3 ratings
Recommended Records Sampler (1982)
1982
3.18 | 3 ratings
Fire In Harmony
1985
4.00 | 3 ratings
Formaţii Rock 9 - Grupurile Pro Musica / Accent
1986
3.02 | 3 ratings
Enneade
1987
2.02 | 3 ratings
Angels in the Architecture
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back On The Road - The Very Best Of Progressive Underground
1988
4.00 | 2 ratings
The 20th Anniversary Album
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Past, Present, Future
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of the 01/W
1992
4.00 | 2 ratings
Fafnir
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ambient Volume 2 Imaginary Landscapes
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
The SI Music Sampler Vol. 1
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Famous Charisma Box
1993
3.50 | 2 ratings
SI Compilation Disk Too
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Progressive Voyage
1993
2.96 | 4 ratings
SI Music Sampler vol. 2
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
SI Music Sampler vol. 3
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Cyclops Sampler
1994
2.50 | 2 ratings
Anna Mulle Lovee
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Vild I Skogen - Silence 25 År
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Molecole
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Dans l'antre du dragon
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
Pick'n'Mix
1995
2.95 | 2 ratings
Cyclops: The Second Sampler
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dik Dik- I GiGanti: Due Gruppi Un'Epoca
1995
4.95 | 3 ratings
Sometimes God Hides: The Young Persons' Guide To Disciplne
1996
3.68 | 3 ratings
Love Proge
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Third Cyclops Sampler
1997
3.95 | 2 ratings
Sometimes God Smiles: The Young Persons' Guide To Discipline Volume II
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
30 ans d agitation musicale en France
1998
4.02 | 3 ratings
Love Proge 2
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Moonchild 98
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
MetaZoon
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Lions & Fables - Verglas Music Sampler vol. 1
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Harvest Festival
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dreams And Visions, Vergals Music Sampler Vol 2
1999
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Dawn Anthology
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tribute to the Titans
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume One
1999
3.82 | 3 ratings
Frog Pest Tree (Magna Carta)
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 1
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 2
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Two
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Children of Black Widow
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Canterbury Tales
2000
2.51 | 3 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 4
2000
3.00 | 4 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 4
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 5
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shroom Productions Progressive Music Sampler
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Arktinen Hysteria: Suomi-avantgarden esipuutarhureita
2001
1.52 | 4 ratings
Anderson, Wakeman, Howe (Original Members of Yes)
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 7
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
Legend Of A Mind
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Cuneiform Progressive II
2002
3.32 | 5 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 5
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
When Worlds Collide: Inside Out Music Sampler - Vol. 2
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 8
2003
3.95 | 2 ratings
Analecta, Volume 1
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ghost Notes
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 1
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Three
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Song of the Silent Land
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
All Good Clean Fun
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog-Resiste
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music In Progress I: Progressive Rock & More
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music In Progress 2: Progressive Metal & More
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Voyage En Progressif (Volume 9)
2005
2.57 | 4 ratings
Ars Longa Vita Brevis: A Compendium Of Progressive Rock 1967-1974
2005
3.50 | 2 ratings
One World Tapestry - Progressive Rock from Around the World
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Think Tank Media Sampler Volume Four
2005
4.92 | 3 ratings
Vertigo Mixed (Mixed By Andy Votel)
2005
3.18 | 2 ratings
Successi Di Dik Dik & I Giganti
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
More Arctic Hysteria / Son of Arctic Hysteria
2005
3.72 | 9 ratings
Time Machine: Vertigo Retrospective
2005
4.08 | 5 ratings
Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Harvest Showdown
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Cuneiform Records Music Sampler
2006
3.95 | 2 ratings
Unicorn Digital (VA) - Progression In Balance Vol. 2
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Taste Of Belgium
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cyclops Sampler 6
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cleveland Prog-Fusion Conglomerate
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wayside Sampler 3
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Insane Times - 25 British Psychedelic Artefacts From The EMI Vaults
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Delirium of the Senses/ Psychedelia in Italian Cinema
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wayside Sampler 2
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
A Breath Of Fresh Air: A Harvest Records Anthology/ 1969-1974
2007
4.00 | 3 ratings
Strange Pleasures
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Spirit Of Joy - Tales From The Polydor Underground 1967 - 1974
2008
4.91 | 5 ratings
L'Ultime rock progressif du Québec
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Analecta Volume 2
2008
3.14 | 3 ratings
Refugees: A Charisma Records Anthology 1969-1978
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Aufbrüche!
2009
2.00 | 1 ratings
Prog Around The World
2009
3.69 | 23 ratings
Emkog Sampler
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Compilado De Musica Progresiva
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spirit Of December
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Prog Rocks! (Magazine sampler)
2011
3.87 | 4 ratings
Prog Rocks!
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks 2
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Prognosis 2.3
2012
2.67 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 24 A New Day Yesterday
2012
2.67 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 25 P2: Stormwatch
2012
3.33 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 26 P3: The Butterfly Effect
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 27 P4: Suits You, Sir
2012
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 28: Into The Lens
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Prog mag sampler 29: P6 Big Big Terrain
2012
3.50 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 30: P7 Cod Bluff
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Prog mag sampler 31 P8: Take the long way home
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crabs Sell Out / The Crabs Freak Out
2012
4.02 | 4 ratings
Five Years in Space 2007-2012
2012
3.00 | 3 ratings
Prognosis 2.2
2012
3.00 | 2 ratings
MOJO Mag Sampler: Echoes
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 1: Harvest)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 2: Charisma)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 3: Virgin Records)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 4: Liberty)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog Rocks! (CD 5: Inside Out Music)
2013

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Dandelion Sampler EP
1971
3.00 | 1 ratings
Classic Rock
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Frog Pest
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Frog Pest Too
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Passenger Sampler split CD
2006
2.17 | 5 ratings
God of War: Blood & Metal
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 39: P17 Awaken the Stone King
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler No. 38 - P16: Arriving Somewhere... But Not Here
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 37: P15 Tangerine Dreaming
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 36: P14 Brave New World
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 35: P13 The Spirit of Radial
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 34: P11 Sailing Uncharted Seas
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 33: P10 Tipplers Tales
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 32: P9 Head Space
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prog mag sampler 40: P18 Childhood's End
2013

VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 MetaZoon by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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MetaZoon
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This sampler contains music by six Finnish bands of Psychedelic / Space Rock, at the early stages of their careers. I borrowed the CD from Vantaa Library, I have no idea how difficult it is to find elsewhere, 16 years after the release. Dark Sun, Moon Fog Prophet and Circle are to be found in the ProgArchives, The Spiralothropes, Transparents and Lotus are not. I appreciate the way the leaflet introduces the bands. The musicians & instruments are also listed, and even the contact information is given for each act. Nice cover art too.

In their own album reviews DARK SUN is said to be a Hawkwind follower, and they have also played Hawkwind in their gigs, but happily the chosen track here is not so derivative. 9-minute 'TimeSpace Continuum' is mostly melodic electronic music with a steady beat and synth layers. Halfway a bright flute joins the trip. Very good track!

THE SPIRALOTHROPES perform two short songs reminiscent of the original psychedelic rock era around 1968. The John Cale-ish vocals are lazy and a bit monotonous. TRANSPARENTS play upbeat psychedelic, jazzy electronica that has some distilled Ozric Tentacles -vibe. Also the terms NuJazz and Chill-Out fit well. Maybe there could be more progress within both seven minute-tracks to avoid slight boredom.

MOON FOG PROPHET (who later translated their name into Kuusumun Profeetta and sung in Finnish) had at the time released only an EP, and frankly they are not yet mature here, but surely promising. Mika Rättö mocks the vocal frenzy of Peter Hammill - which he did much better a bit later - and neither the threateningly dark music is as convincing as their later works.

LOTUS' only album The Totuus wasn't yet released, but the relatively peaceful and spacey instrumental 'Mesqualito' appeared on it too. It's among the best tracks on this sampler. The short-lived, probably Gong and Ozric -influenced group's mastermind (?) Ville Juvonen has released a solo album (of electronic music) a couple of years back, by the way.

And finally CIRCLE who have a very large discography. Having started in 1991, at this point (1998) they already were clearly the most experienced of these bands. Hypnotically rhythmic 'Talking Drum' could be by CAN, and 'Friitalan nahka' (nearly 11 minutes) is more ambient experimental music. -- Sadly it seems that this kind of Various Artists samplers introducing marginal bands have become all too rare especially in Finland.

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 Cyclops Sampler 5 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.32 | 5 ratings

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Cyclops Sampler 5
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars No other independent label can be said to have done as much for progressive rock in the UK as Cyclops, and with this sampler Malcolm marks his 125th release. This double CD features 19 bands with 20 songs, with only one being previously available in this form. The collection shows the diversity of styles on Malcolm's label alone that can be called 'progressive' from the folk stylings of Mostly Autumn through the classical influences of Karda Estra to the more rocky Nice Beaver. The traditionalist may prefer Parallel Or Ninety Degrees, while those who like the old school would definitely want to own the previously unreleased CBS studio version of "Fact and Fiction" by Twelfth Night.

There are so many different styles of progressive rock that to the outsider it can be hard to work out who is what, and what styles of music are covered under the banner. There are also some sections of the scene that are quite incestuous with musicians appearing in each other's bands although this only happens a small amount in these acts.

If you have ever enjoyed prog bands then why not try this collection of what is going on now? It is a sad indictment that if Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator or any of the other wonderful prog bands that this country developed thirty years ago, were starting life now then they would be destined to the same fate as the acts on this sampler. Why will hundreds of fans go to see a tribute band but not try something they have never heard before? Many of you have contacted me to say that you enjoyed the Black Widow sampler that was in #71 well why not try out the UK's No 1 progressive label and see what it has to offer? You may not like all the bands on here but you will find plenty that you will.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Apr 03

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 Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 6
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is the twelfth (I think) cut-price compilation of Musea artists. Of the ten bands on offer this time the only ones I have heard of are Dutch act Cliffhanger and Japanese band Ars Nova. One problem with all of the Musea cut-price collections is that they contain no band information at all, just the band names and country of origin. They also seem to pick tracks that are quite difficult to listen to out of context, so the listener doesn't get a true picture of what is on offer.

Musea are still releasing enormous amounts of material, so this is a reasonable way of finding out what some of their bands sound like.

Originally appeared in Feedback #66, Feb 02

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 Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.00 | 4 ratings

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Un Voyage en Progressif Volume 3
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Yet another compilation from the French progressive label and of the eleven acts on show this time I have only heard Anekdoten, Quidam, Aelian and Cast before, and wasn't even aware of most of the other bands. However, one thing about these albums is that it does give an insight into bands that have released material on their own label in their homeland, which has then been picked up by Musea for European release.

One band that I was pleased to see on the album was Ten Jinn. I haven't managed to get hold of their album 'As On A Darkling Plain' yet, but have heard good things about them from America. Their track, "The Dance Of Les Innocents", is by far the stand out of the 'new' (to me) material and brings together elements of Jethro Tull, Genesis and IQ in a rock/pop fashion that is very interesting indeed.

All in all another good introduction to the label, and it should be available at mid-price

Originally appeared in Feedback #58

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 MOJO Mag Sampler: Echoes by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
3.00 | 2 ratings

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MOJO Mag Sampler: Echoes
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by twseel

3 stars 'Echoes' is a compilation created by the British Musical magazine Mojo. Although Mojo brings an additional cd to every edition of their monthly magazine since 2001, this one is the first one to make it to PA. This compilation is made to show how current psych-pop bands are handling the legacy of Pink Floyd, which is the cover story of the edition that carries this cd. That's also why they chose 'Echoes' as a title.

The album opens with quite a well-known band, Tame Impala, with their song 'Mind Mischief'. This shows strong influences from early Pink Floyd and directly sets the tone for most of the album. It's definitely a song that grows on you.

Next up is 'Voice of the Seven Thunders - Kommune', a guitar-oriented psych-folk instrumental. From what I hear here, this band is rightfully added to PA, it's some real good, original music. Mind the bongo-rhythm and the guitar solos here.

Then there's 'Temples - Shelter Song'. This is quite simple pop song, and not one of my favorites. It has some fun parts, but it's nothing special really.

'Django Django - Hand of Man' is something different. It sounds very small and dark and has a very dreamy, repetitive rhythm. It's not really prog either, but it's a good song for sure.

'The Limañanas - Crystal Anis' has some very sensual male and female vocals with a very mellow rhythm and thick bass sound. It doesn't quite fit with the rest of the songs, and I don't really like it either, also because the vocals are in French...

'Moon Duo - Sleepwalker' has the electric guitar screaming through the whole song and something that sounds like a sitar doing some riffs. The chorus is very nice and makes this one of the better songs. There's also great guitar solos here.

It's followed by 'Toy - The Reasons Why'. This might just be my favorite of the album. There's dreamy vocals and a chorus melody which sounds like a mellotron and appears to have a slightly odd time signature, 15/16 I think. Great song.

'Unknown Mortal Orchestra - From the Sun' has some strong sound effects and guitars, which a create a kind of Sunday morning feeling. Very psychedelic.

'Psychic Ills - Mind Daze' is a little more upbeat and has prominent organ and guitar lines. Dark vocals, like most songs here, as well as multiple guitars in the background.

Then 'Animal Collective - Wide Eyed' brings a totally different mood. Controlled by manic electric sounds effects, this sounds very clinical, but it's also completely overwhelming. Just looking at vocals and rhythm, however this sounds like typical British Invasion music. It ends in repetitive strange sounds and eventually laughter. Yes, pretty weird.

'Teeth of the Sea - A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.' has a Space-Rock sound which would also fit early Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and the Ozric Tentacles. It's only the second instrumental, while most of the songs after this are instrumental as well. From here on, it also gets proggier, if that's a word.

'Wooden Shjips - Flight' has the last vocals on the album, as well as heavy bass and a spacey sounding instrument on which I can't really put my finger. It's a pretty repetitive song, more than most others, and it has great spacey solos from that strange instrument and the electric guitar.

'Mugstar - Sunburnt Impedance Machine' is very upbeat and aggressive song with even some Heavy Metal influences. In the end sirens come in make it sound even more outrageous. This is one of my favorites for sure.

'Zombi - Shrunken Heads' is again much calmer. Zombi is in PA as Progressive Electronic artist, and you can hear why. A calm electronic rhythm opens the song, and after around three minutes, slow orchestral synthesizer sounds come in. This goes on for most of the song, until only the electronic rhythm is left and fades away.

The last song is 'Carlton Melton - Photos of Photos'. Carlton Melton is also added to PA as Progressive Electronic, although this one is slightly different. It's very slow and has practically no rhythm. A bright soundscape just goes on for over six minutes. It tends to get boring after a while.

Echoes is only legally available when it comes with the Mojo Magazine of March 2013. If you don't read Mojo, you should probably order the magazine online or download the tracks individually, which I would recommend.

Echoes is certainly a nice compilation of enjoyable songs, but not at all a masterpiece or something. Not even all songs are quite that good, as this is mostly a practical way to represent the current psych-rock scene. Still, nice to have.

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 Scion A/V Presents: Label Showcase - Prosthetic Records by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Live, 2012
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Scion A/V Presents: Label Showcase - Prosthetic Records
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Label Showcase - Prosthetic Records' - Various Artists (5/10)

Instead of opting for each band's in-studio material, Prosthetic Records decided to demonstrate some of their fine younger bands by recording a live show and compiling some of the takes onto a sampler. Being a big fan of two of these bands and a casual fan of a third, it was a welcome bonus to get this label showcase free-of-charge at a Witch Mountain/Castle show late last year. Apart from Prosthetic Records being one of my go-to labels when it comes to promising new albums, Scion A/V has also had a pretty solid history so far, having released albums for Enslaved and Immolation. Given this amount of promise squeezed into it, I'm surprised how disappointing it turned out to be. Although the exclusive live material for each band makes it worth a checkout for bigger fans of any of the bands, there are many more flattering ways these bands could have been showcased.

The showcase doesn't get off to the greatest start; although The Greenery demonstrate some chops within their given genre, their style of punk-infused hardcore sounds adolescent to my ears, particularly with regards to the shouted/whined vocals.Scale the Summit and Last Chance to Reason are the two bands here that I liked quite a bit before even hearing about this showcase, and I've also had the good fortune of seeing both play live- LCTR when they played with Obscura in Vancouver, and Scale the Summit when they toured through Las Vegas with Dream Theater on the ProgNation '09 tour. With that in mind, I wasn't surprised at all to hear both of these bands offer some great cuts here. Scale the Summit's typically mellowed style is most spared by the recording quality, which is weak at best. Sadly, while Last Chance to Reason's guitars get through well enough, Mike Lessard's vocals come across as screechy and far weaker than when I saw him perform live. Although I had heard a few songs by Holy Grail in the past, most of my experience with them had been vicariously, through hearing others talk about them. Within the context of this showcase, they demonstrate the greatest live energy, but they're also hurt the most by the bootleg-quality recording standard. Although they don't seem to innovate the tried-and-true style of power metal they're playing, I don't get the impression that was their goal to begin with.

With a particular nod to Scale the Summit, the quality of performance and musicianship here is kept to a fairly high standard, and while I can say with some confidence that The Greenery do not fit my tastes in the slightest, I could imagine some others digging what they have to offer. Had it not been for the sound quality and lackluster live setting, I could have recommended this to someone on the prowl for some good new bands. Instead, this may be best left as an apocryphal release for fans of one band to look for if they go through all of the official recordings and still want more.

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 The Vertigo Trip by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1971
3.90 | 2 ratings

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The Vertigo Trip
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A now very rare sampler issued by Vertigo during the early 'swirl' years, this features a fine selection of British underground acts. Included amongst the eclectic set-list are heavy rockers Black Sabbath circa the early years of their burgeoning career, Ian Carr's fusion greats Nucleus, who offer up the title track of their superb second album 'We'll Talk About It Later', and the country-inflected folk-rock whimsy of Daddy Longlegs and their infectious 'Gambling Man'. Its a highly enjoyable listen for those who appreciate the labels early-seventies output, though actual progressive rock is in short supply. Gentle Giant appear, well represented by their entrancing slow-burner 'Funny Ways', as do Gravy Train, Patto and The Keith Tippett Group, though special mention must be made of Catapilla, whose 'Promises' serves up a tantalising glimpse of their incendiary studio debut of a year earlier. However, the majority of 'The Vertigo Trip' highlights the growing diversity taking place at the label, and four sides of vinyl featuring a medley of sonic flavours ranging between folk, pop, country, prog, psychedelia and heavy rock. Despite Nirvana's 'Home' proving a little too stodgy, the the rest of this sample offers up yet more goodies, led the brazen proto-metal of Warhorse, who open the album with 'St Louis'. Aptly-named pub-rockers Legend lend the strut-blues of 'Hole In My Pocket', mystical folk legends Magna Carta appear with 'Time For Leaving' whilst there are some welcome nuggets from Graham Bond and Scottish symphonic-prog veterans Beggars Opera's (very) early days. So, all very good then but the problem, of course, is actually finding the album in the first place. 'The Vertigo Trip' is seriously rare(not that many copies were produced), though thankfully virtually every single track on this item can be found on Repertoire Records excellent series of special edition Vertigo album reissues, which features many albums by the groups listed here. However, if you do come across a copy of 'The Vertigo Trip', you should try your very best to get hold of it. It's a smartly-chosen selection, and manages to showcase just how many great acts Vertigo were producing during this great musical period. And who knows? Maybe one day even 'The Vertigo Trip' may enjoy a deserved reissue.... STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

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 The Crabs Sell Out / The Crabs Freak Out by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Crabs Sell Out / The Crabs Freak Out
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars UK indie label FRUITS de MER Records have been a going concern for a few years now, cementing their place in the market with their own particular brand of limited edition vinyl only releases. One of their slightly unusual habits is to produce some material aimed more or less exclusively towards their firmest core of buyers, and the most spectacular of their productions to fit this description is their final release of 2012: A double album, CD only on this occasion, that basically is unavailable to the public at large. Instead a select few of their most dedicated buyers and a select few reviewers was given the pleasure of enjoying this particular production. For free. I'm not aware of too many other labels laying down this much effort for what is basically a Christmas present to their most dedicated supporters, but kudos to Fruits de Mer for doing so. As far as creating a real emotional attachment to their endeavors, this is a stroke of genius. Especially as most of the people who receive it will know how much this production have cost in terms of time and money to put together.

The first disc of this dual package has been named "The Crabs Sell Out", and as one might expect from that choice of description the whooping 17 tracks you'll find on this disc are fairly accessible items, quite a few that wouldn't have been out of place on regular mainstream daytime radio. As usual all contributions generally hold a high quality, just about the only letdown for me personally was the freaked out version of Hoochie Coochie Man towards the very end, Permanent Clear Light's Tuitsie Fruitsie Ice-Cream Man (Madman Blues). A song that will find it's audience for sure, but not compatible with my personal taste in music. A couple of more tracks were of the kind I'd describe as pleasant experiences, good music but not to the extent of really impressing. The Bevis Frond's Not Quite Home with it's acoustic guitars and vocals dominated verse followed by a harder edged, riff and vocals based chorus is the first of these and The Pretty Things' rock and roll goes rockabilly with an early 70's hard rock flavoring Rosalyn the second of these. Both compositions again sure to have it's avid followers, but to my mind none of these were truly standout features.

But the rest of the material range from good to great to my ears. The Past Tense opens this disc with a delightful psych-dripping guitar theme firmly backed by organ and keyboard effects, while Stay utilize careful psychedelic keyboard effects on top of sitar and guitars taking turns in providing the main psychedelic features on Super Heavy Soul Mammoth Explosion Remix. Sky Picnic have nice Beatlesesque verse parts adding a Tom Petty edge for the chorus, contrasted by a darker toned and more distinctly psychedelic oriented instrumental sequences on Lost Is Found. Anton Barbeau showcase the strength of relative simplicity on Occupy/Divide, where vocals and acoustic guitars dominate the proceedings in an inspired manner with a brooding dark undercurrent catering for the psychedelic tendencies quite nicely. The Seventh Ring of Saturn utilize elegant spacey keyboard details to their slow but tight arrangement on Pillsbury Palace, a subtly distanced affair with a slight detached nature. Jack Ellister combines loose improvised sounding psych instrument breakdowns with darker toned, harder edged compact 60's tinged rock to good effect, while Rob Clarke & The Wooltones use the buzzing psychedelic guitar solo to good effect following their spoof radio advert and lighter toned, acoustic based start of their creation Are You Wooltoned.

The Lucid Dream provides the first taste of the truly brilliant for me with Hits Me Like I'm Stoned, Live on Dandelion Radio. Complete with raga drones and an elongated feature that should find favor among those who are dedicated fans of 70's Hawkwind. King Penguin use light toned guitars and gentler psychedelic details on Cedar Hill, with a slight southern rock flavor that gives this effort a distinct US sound. Johnny Vines American Mourning should be a thrill for those truly fond of the good old Mellotron, and utilize an effective build up from light toned simplicity to majestic splendor, with a sound that I'd describe as perhaps more post rock than psychedelic as such, at the most majestic with a slight metal edge to the proceedings. Soft Hearted Scientists pair off light toned vocals and acoustic guitar displays effectively with darker toned vocals and organ, following an initial introduction. Leigh Gregory showcase effective use of sparse arrangements with vocals, acoustic guitars and violin on the mournful, melancholic piece Eleanor. Beau sticks to the same principle of simplicity even more brilliantly on Poor Old Thing, a superb constellation of bass, acoustic guitar and vocals, with barely audible rhythms beneath. Paul Roland's Adam Adamant also sticks to the simplistic, with sax and trumpet bursts (I think) supplementing plucked guitars and steady rhythms, with a couple of keyboard overlays thrown in for good measure.

The second disc of this set, "The Crabs Freak Out", comes with an expectation of more challenging material than on the first one. And while quite a few of the 15 songs aren't your typical freakout items, just about all the most challenging material is found on the second part of this relatively exclusive double feature.

Personally I found this second part to be ever so slightly less interesting than the opening disc however, not due to any details that resides in the quality department though I should stress. As with most other music this is a matter of personal taste more than anything else. Temple Music's Big Old Sun was a piece I found dizzying and annoying rather than hypnotic with it's distinct brain-twisting electronic motif oscillating at the start and end, and Palace of Swords' The Castle Spectre with it's repetitive, distinct synth theme backed by careful droning keys and percussion grew way too repetitive and bothersome for my personal taste.

In the pleasant but not that impressive department, according to my taste, there's a few instances as well. Sendelica's Space Hopper Blues is a nice enough feature, but to my ears more of a typical power trio blues based hard rock affair with subtle space rock effects applied rather than the opposite in expression, nice enough material but lacking the finder details that would elevate it to the level of, say, one of the classic Robin Trower escapades from the early 70's. Anla Courtis' Helice de Sauco is a very different piece, and it's dampened acoustic guitar and electronics freakout one of those items that will have it's very dedicated audience, but again lacking some finer detail or other to make a grand impression for me. Then there's Helicon's two pieces, the elegant piano and guitar combination of Introduction to an Interlude and the psych-drenched counterpart Pollen, fine pieces of music both but too short to manage to create a real impact for me.

The remaining songs all managed to make more of an impression with me however. Vespero's Another Strangest Thing in the Ocean is a fine display of controlled space rock with improvisational elements included, and Red Elektra '69's Ride in the Stars is an item that has the spirit of Hawkwind written all over it, in a good way I might add. Vibravoid use spoken like vocals and a dark, brooding organ to good effect on Random Generated Future, a compositions that blend some rather obvious nods in the direction of The Doors with a few select futuristic space rock details. Nice. Vert:x' Cube Abuse returns to the classic Hawkwind style. The harder edged part of it to be precise, and I suspect a studio recording of this track would reveal quite a few tasty secrets hidden on this live recording. An enjoyable romp nonetheless. The Luck of Eden Hall's A Drop in the Ocean kicks off with dark toned, fuzz and fuzzy guitars dominating, then shifts towards more of an electronics and keyboards driven affair building up to freakout climaxes. Earthling Society's In the Garden is a feature I suspect will find most favor amongst fans of psychedelic folk music, with acoustic guitars, drones and recorders alongside careful percussion, and a second half rising in pace and intensity alongside female moans. A song where the word climax is sure to be used in descriptions and perhaps even in a few personal experiences for some listeners. Psychedelic music and the realm of the erotic aren't items commonly combined, at least not these days, but those eager for music celebrating the more intimate parts of existence should take notice of this one. Hills Have Riffs' Remembering is a much more grounded affair, with a dual layer of acoustic guitars supplemented by a subtle brooding drone and careful guitar solo details, a tad repetitive but establishing a nifty and compelling mood and atmosphere still. Finally there's Language of Light's Nancy's Song to Psyche, opening with spoken female words, a dark drone as undercurrent and echoing guitar licks, developing into a smooth space and freakout-tinged affair sporting echoing fragmented spoken words, a distinct bass guitar motif beneath, an effective organ backdrop and some odd but suitable rhythm details. A hypnotic affair that manage to survive the disturbing, jarring electronic noise that concludes this introspective space journey.

All in all this double album assembled by Fruits de Mer is yet another high quality item in their release history. Those who'd like to get a taste of this production better hope it turns up on ebay at some point however, or that they know someone whose been lucky enough to receive this one in the post. An intriguing collection of music, and with more than 2 hours of it I would have given it the description very good value for money if it had been commercially available. As it isn't, I'll have to conclude that those lucky enough to get this double CD in the post got themselves a real treat for Christmas.

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 Emkog Sampler by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
3.69 | 23 ratings

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Emkog Sampler
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This Emkog Records CD sampler essentially shows the work of Dan Britton, a keyboard player and composer from the United States, playing with four different bands. I think that most of the music is composed by him, with only one band being the exception. It is not easy for me to write a review about four bands which have the same keyboard player, because his influence and sound is very similar in each band. Maybe the thing which makes the differences between each band is the style of the music and the configuration in instruments and personnel. I´m going to write about each band with more detail: "Deluge Grander", which is represented by two tracks .This band is a quartet (keyboards, guitars, bass and drums).I think that their style is very influenced by the music of Emerson Lake and Palmer, Triumvirat and even by some Folk Rock music from England like Jethro Tull (but without using flute). Complicated music with complicated rhythms. Maybe it is the band in this sampler which has the most complicated and dense Progressive Rock music. "Birds and Buildings": represented by three tracks. Their line-up is also a quartet on which Britton and the bassist also play some guitars. They also have a drummer, but the main difference in this band is a musician who plays flute and sax. Their musical style is more Jazz-Rock and it is the band in this CD which is the most interesting for me. "All Over Everywhere": represented by two tracks. This band is essentially a collaboration between Britton and lead singer Trinna Kesner, who are the composers in this band. They were helped by a variable line-up of other eight musicians, five of them which are women, and the instrumentation is more varied because they use some string instruments like cello and violin , some wind instruments like oboe, clarinet and flute, and some old instruments like dulcimer and zither. Their style is more influenced by Medieval music and also some English Folk music. "Cerebus Effect": represented by one track. It is a quartet of a guitarist who also plays keyboards, a bassist, a drummer and of course with Britton on keyboards. Their style is also more Jazz-Rock oriented but in this case there is a guitarist who plays some heavy guitar parts. The final 20 minutes of the CD are dedicated to show some new forthcoming music in Demo form which I think is mainly from Dan Britton´s ideas. I have to say that at least for my musical taste this CD wasn´t an easy listening experience. The music is sometimes very complicated and in some moments I felt "saturated" a bit by the music. But as a whole the music is good, and the musicians also are very good. The recordings and mixings of all the songs are very good. The cover design of this CD sampler is very good, with some good graphic design and paintings, also showing miniatures of the different 6 album covers from which the tracks were taken. Even the CD itself has a good painting used as a label. As a whole, the package shows very good quality, even if it didn´t show detailed information about the bands´ personnel. I visited emkog.com to read about the bands with more detail. In that website you also can listen to this CD online and even buy it.

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 Prog Around The World by VARIOUS ARTISTS (LABEL SAMPLERS) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Around The World
Various Artists (Label Samplers) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars I found this compilation from Helsinki Library and added it here. The only artist I know in advance are OZRIC TENTACLES. Quite often I'm not very satisfied with these samplers containing newer, nearly unknown bands from various countries: the music often turns out to be more or less metal-oriented. I'm writing this as I'm listening the CD. The two first ones (from Canada and Hungary) fall into that category. Nothing to separate them from dozens of marginal prog bands nowadays, sadly. Intense rhythm, hard playing, layers of synths. LIQUID TRIO EXPERIMENT seem to feature well-known musicians; Tony Levin, Mike Portnoy and Jordan Rudess offer an instrumental track from the album "Spontaneous Combustion". No notable interest to me, just jam-like music to show off their playing talents.

Italy's DERDIAN: yet another riff-loaded prog metal that I'm not going to listen for another round. The same words for the instrumental by guitarist Ethan Brosh from Israel. LEMUR VOICE from Netherlands also play hectic, hard stuff that for a while gave a hint of promise of symphonic Neo-Prog I might return to... but no thanks.

Then the OZRICS with a track from "The Floor's Too Far Away". It gives a nice, spacey contrast but frankly there are more Ozric albums available that I ever care to borrow. The usual stuff, not among their finest for sure. Brazil's KHALLICE opens up with a passionate piano and immediately makes it the most interesting this far, but the singer is annoying and the music turns too soon to be the umpteenth follower of Dream Theater. Good bye, next! ... and next. And next. Chrissake what a waste of time listening thru this. Also France's ANTHROPIA sounds exactly the same as they all do. And this scene holds the word PROG. Jesus! I can't help but I become angry with this kind of noise. The best track (which however is not enough to play this disc another time) is the last one by a Swedish pair of guitarists (taken from a V.A. project "Guitars That Ate My Brain").

So, this CD was definitely not my cup of tea at all. Only for those prog metal fans who want to know more similar artists from around the world.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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