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PHLOX

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Estonia


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Phlox biography
'Phlox' is a fusion/prog rock band from Tallinn, Estonia, formed in 1999
by Kristo Roots (g), Raivo Prooso (perc), Rainer Kapmann (dr) and Priit
Holtsmann (b). Although the line up has gone through numerous changes
over the years, most of the members have close ties with 'MKDK', a
jazz-rock/avant garde record label, non-profit organization and movement
of artists and musicians, who frequently switch from one band to
another, especially between 'Phlox',' BF' and 'Lippajad'. The first
album, "Fusion", was recorded in late 2000, shortly after that Priit
Luming (sx, cl), Allan Prooso (perc) and Pearu Helenurm (kb) joined the
group. During that period the band's music became more improvisational,
from just completely deconstructing their own compositions to having
shows where they tried to avoid anything resembling rhythmic structures
or harmony. In May 2004 the band's second album "Piima" ("Milk") was
recorded in the MKDK Studio, with Margo Pajula on drums and Kalle Klein
on sax, using vintage analogue equipment.
In 2007, with Madis Zilmer of fusion group 'BF' on drums, 'Phlox' completed its latest album to date, "Rebimine + voltimine" ("Tearing and folding"), which saw the
band's return to straightforward, tight structured hard fusion and was
well received by audiences and critics alike, both home and abroad.
Currently the band is recording its fourth album, which will be released
hopefully before the end of 2009.
Phlox in 2009 is: Kristo Roots (g), Raivo Prooso (b), Pearu Helenurm
(kb), Kalle Klein (sx), Madis Zilmer (dr), Allan Prooso (perc)


===Pearu Helenurm===



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
approved by the Jazz-Rock/Fusion team



Discography:
"Fusion", Studio (2000, self-release)
"Piima" , Studio (2004, MKDK Records)
"Rebimine + voltimine", Studio (2007, MKDK Records)

Phlox official website

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PHLOX discography


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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fusion
2000
2.00 | 2 ratings
Piima
2004
3.42 | 9 ratings
Rebimine and Voltmine
2007
3.93 | 9 ratings
Talu
2010

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

4.91 | 3 ratings
Vali
2013

PHLOX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

PHLOX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vali by PHLOX album cover Live, 2013
4.91 | 3 ratings

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Vali
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars It's been a good year for fans of the wonderful Canterbury sound! We've had a terrific new album from some of the originators with Soft Machine Legacy's `Burdon of Proof', a winning collection of jazzy improvs and experimental fragments. But for my money, it's been the younger whipper- snappers that have taken the ideals of various Canterbury bands and added their own unique style to the mix to come up with some tremendously exciting modern interpretations of the sound. La Theorie Des Cordes double live album `Singes Electriques' took the manic quirkiness of Gong while adding their own touch of flair, flamboyance, and humour. This one, Phlox's live instrumental album `Vali', adds noisy and frantic energy to the ideas of Egg, National Health and The Soft Machine, and it's no surprise to find another candidate for one of the albums of the year.

The majority of the album is comprised of Canterbury styled jazz, frequently driven by glistening electric piano runs and rapid-fire varied drumming, but there's also plenty of gorgeous slinky bass, fiery electric guitar wailing and dazzling lively saxophone. The whole disc such delivers such an infectious upbeat sound that will really make you smile, but it also knows when to offer more emotional thoughtful passages as well as some wild unpredictablity. Some pieces include added 70's inspired extended fusion workouts and deeply psychedelic excursions. The band show they can slow things down beautifuly, incorpating some slightly uneasy moodiness in the lonely night- time piano spiralling of the opening minutes of `Hulge Hing', and some driving bluesy soloing and punchy drumming throughout `Paigalelend'. `Hunt' is all brisk and blustery noise with some deeply grooving relentless bass behind exhausting loopy wavering electronic experimentation. However, the smoky saxophone musings of `Kurehirm', truly the sound of lonely night-time city streets gradually turning more bent and dangerously unhinged as it progresses, is full of the same daring, experimental, dingy sonic explorations the Soft Machine quickly turned to, and is absolutely thrilling and only hints at the exciting directions the band can head to from here.

Fans of first-rate jazz/fusion and especially the Canterbury sound should look into this disc right away. A completely infectious album, I was on such a natural high hearing the energy and so much joy in the band's performance! It's also hugely satisfying to hear a band throw out the rulebook of a particular genre and mess around with it to take it in fresh and revealing new directions. `Vali' is easily in my top ten discs for 2013.

The inside of the digipack has an illustration of a bomb going off, and that couldn't be more appropriate. This one takes a fuse to unimaginative, stale clinical fusion albums and detonates right in their faces!

Five stars.

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 Rebimine and Voltmine by PHLOX album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Rebimine and Voltmine
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 2007 Phlox released their second album ''Rebimine + Voltimine'' ("Tearing and folding") with only one line-up change.In the place of drummer Marko Pajula came Madis Zilmer, member of the Fusion act BF.The album was recorded at the MKDK Studios between November 06' and February 07', while three out of the nine tracks were captured live from two performances of the group in the second half of 2006.The track ''Habe'' was included also in the Wayside Music compilation ''Wayside Sampler 3''.

The new album was as powerful and energetic as ''Piima'' with one basic difference: It was well-constructed and fairly oriented Prog/Fusion with structured ideas instead of the directionless, improvised style of the previous one, which was full of Free Jazz moments.Not that this one lacks these moments, but the basic tunes seem to be really worked with tons of interesting instrumental battles and more focused solos.There is a certain KING CRIMSON-vibe in plenty of these pieces, flirting with Fusion-oriented Heavy Prog, as well as links to schizophenic Jazz-tinged Kraut Fusion with frenetic instrumental passages and grooves.Interesting guitar textures, nice electric piano acrobatics and powerful sax intervetions are all over the place, while partially Phlox remind of PANZERPAPPA and their more dramatic Avant-Prog lines with very deep rhythmic parts and a bombastic sound overall.Some Canterbury-styled synth workouts and virtuosic piano solos are also in the menu, while the abstract and pointless passages are quite limited.The performances are very dense and tight, while there are also a few Lounge-type parts with smoother plays and more delicate musicianship to soften things when needed.

Eventually a really good work by Phlox, summarizing their great potential.Fiery, instrumental Prog/Fusion with some impressive executions, showing the group heading into the right direction.Recommended.

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 Piima by PHLOX album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Piima
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Estonian Prog/Jazz-Rockers Phlox were formed during the 99'-00' winter in Tallinn by guitarist Kristo Roots and bassist Raivo Prooso along with some other musicians who left the group too soon.However the band did release the self-produced CD ''Fusion'', followed by the sophomore album ''Piima'' four years later with a more stable crew, featuring also drummer Marko Pajula, keyboardist Pearu Helenurm, wind instrumentalist Kalle Klein and guitarist Alan Prooso.The album was recorded in May 2004 in Kanuti Guild Hall in Tallinn and released under the non-profit artists' label MKDK.

While the band seems to hide some great energy and passion for contemporary Jazz/Fusion, the lack of orientation in the compositions and the extended improvised parts wiouldn't help them jump out of the mass of modern Jazz/Fusion groups.And the same problem like other groups of the style appears constantly.These musicians are good.And the individual performances on the improvised parts show a group of musicians with talent.But there is no actual composing focus in ''Piima''.Too many and pretty forgettable free solos, regarding drum parts, saxes, electric piano and guitars.The grooves are nice and energetic, the more psychedelic hypnotic passages are decent as well, but the overall performance relies too much on the individual performances.There is no sense of melody and sometimes true teamwork in this release.

Not a very succesful wider introduction for Phlox.''Piima'' prooves that this group of guys should function more as a team than a simple group of soloists.This is unmemorable Jazz/Fusion with the focus on the jazzy side, only recommended to fans of the style.

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 Rebimine and Voltmine by PHLOX album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Rebimine and Voltmine
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Estonian nu jazz band "Phlox" is country's best kept secret. "Rebimine + Voltimine" is their third album, and from very first sounds the listener receives huge energetic doze of modernized Canterbury sound brewed with electronics. Complex compositions in National Health tradition,guitars fuzz and flute on the front of the sound, regular rhythm changes, alto/soprano sax attacks and elastic electric piano sound all together build multi-layered dynamic musical construction, really heavy in a moments.

This album is band's heaviest release to date with obvious rock influences.Band themselves tag their music as "powerfusion". Very competent technically and perfectly released, this album is one of the best modern releases seriously rooted in Canterbury Scene's legacy, but at the same time with very modern sound. Recommended for every fan of complex jazz-rock related music,searching for more modern sound.

P.S. Good illustration how different Nordic modern jazz could be.

My rating is 3+.

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 Talu by PHLOX album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.93 | 9 ratings

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Talu
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PHLOX are a Jazz Rock / Fusion band out of Estonia of all places. I've been waiting for the followup to their last album which was pretty close to being 5 stars for me. "Talu" continues in the same style although there's not as much distortion. Cool cover art and when you open up the cover you see the same girl only her eyes are sewn shut. Yikes !

"Voib-Olla Dresiiniga" is so impressive to start with the electric piano and amazing drumming. Vibes too and it's uptempo. It settles some after 1 1/2 minutes with sax standing out. It settles even more 2 1/2 minutes in. Nice drum work as it picks back up. Sax is back. Great tune. "Hullelu" opens with drums,bass and electric piano. Sax joins in. This is so good. Lots of horns. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Nice. It settles after 3 minutes then builds. "Monokkel" opens with electric piano as sax then violin join in. It kicks in around a minute. Nice drumming once again. The guitar is incredible after 2 minutes as it goes on and on. Violin takes it's place before 4 minutes. Keyboards lead as it settles 5 1/2 minutes in, they get crazy around 7 minutes. Sax is back.

"Ooode" is catchy with some good bass. Sax joins in then the tempo picks up. Piano 3 minutes. "Loomaaed" is kind of experimental early. Check out the guitar 2 1/2 minutes in as it grinds away. A calm a minute later with piano and sax. It starts to build 5 minutes in. "In The Wood" features piano and light drums. Horns join in then the sound gets fuller. Guitar around 2 1/2 minutes. Distorted keys after 4 1/2 minutes. "Siil" is uptempo with keys, drums, bass and horns. The keys become distorted after the drums get heavier. Oh my ! Incredible section. It settles back after 5 minutes then picks up a minute later. "Istu. Viis" opens with drums as bass then piano join in. Sax too. Synths before 4 minutes as the bass throbs and drums pound. "Augstin'" opens with electric piano as gentle guitar joins in then a full sound. The sax plays over top of the rather heavy rhythm section. It settles with electric piano only as contrasts continue. Cool tune. "Binokkel" is the one minute closer. It's mellow with violin later on.

I miss that Canterbury flavour with all the fuzz but man this is good. A solid 4 stars without a doubt.

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 Rebimine and Voltmine by PHLOX album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.42 | 9 ratings

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Rebimine and Voltmine
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PHLOX are a six piece band from Estonia of all places, and they play a blend of Canterbury and Fusion. I've said this before and i'll say it again, Canterbury music is the hardest for me to describe because of how much fuzz (distortion) there can be. I mean the bass is fuzzed out, the keys, organ, heck even the guitar is distorted, making it difficult at times to tell what i'm hearing. I love it though, and I love this album.The title of this album means "tearing & folding" in English. By the way the keyboardist had a hand in composing every track.

"Rahn" features these relentless drums and distorted keys. I have to say this drummer really stands out on this recording. Some guest flute on this track as well. Lots of energy and we get some prominant sax as well. The distorted keys are lighting it up before 2 minutes. Guitar and bass sound excellent 4 1/2 minutes in. Check out the drum work before 6 1/2 minutes. Great opening track ! "Kraap" is a live track that i'm sure doesn't mean "crap" in English. This is a short experimental tune with noisy sounds. Ok maybe ? "Habe" is uptempo with drums and keys leading the way. Electric piano and sax join in as it settles some. It's intense again as the contrasts continue. "Hunt" is the longest track at just over 10 minutes. Sax and electric piano to open. Bass and drums join in before 1 1/2 minutes. This sounds so good. It kicks into gear after 2 1/2 minutes with chaos and distortion. Amazing ! It settles again 4 1/2 minutes in. Check out the keyboards before 7 minutes. It settles again. These guys play so incredibly well whether it's fast paced or a relaxed soundscape. Some guest tablas in this song as well. This song really contrasts these two styles well.

"Juulius" opens with some impressive guitar and drumwork. I love when it settles in though with the fuzz as the bass and drums support. This has to be heard. "Kaavjas" has more of a Jazz vibe with intricate drumming, throbbing bass and electric piano. Gorgeous sound 4 minutes in as it settles. Sax follows. "Uhe Poja Toit" is pastoral with liquid keys and sax. Drums and a fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes. Amazing sound 2 minutes in ! The drummer is so good. "Sojajalgne" turns powerful before a minute with lots of distortion and guitar. Just one big fuzz-fest ! Haha.The song calms right down before it kicks back in with a wall of sound 5 minutes in. "Kurehirm" is live like the last track. It seems like the three live songs are the more adventerous and "out there" songs on this album. This one features smooth sax melodies and piano until it turns avant-garde 2 minutes in and stays there until it changes after 5 minutes back to the sax and piano.

I can't say enough about this album. A must for fans of adventerous Canterbury and Fusion music.

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Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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