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SATELLITE

Neo-Prog • Poland


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Satellite biography
The polish progressive band Collage are somewhat legendary within the genre. With several albums under their belts, their album Moonshine is considered a staple within the subgenre. Collage eventually broke up, but Wojtek Szadkowski still had the fire within him. "I wanted to go back to the beginnings, to playing music spontaneously, music which could be played without any barriers, to feel this fresh breeze of creativity again. ... It was like a new beginning for me. I wanted to start from the scratch to feel creative again, and to feel a particular uncertainty, which one can experience only in the beginning of writing new music for a totally new project."

Initially, Satellite started as a solo project for Wojtek, but took on a completely different life of it's own. He finished some vocals and arranged some basic background, but some textures were better provided outside of himself. He met Sarhan Kubeisi, who ironically was a drummer in a friend's band. After hearing him play so beautifully on a song, he knew he had his guitarist.

Wotjek needed a vocalist...plain and simple. So, who better than his old bandmate from COLLAGE than Robert Amirian, who also plays bass. Remarks Wotjek, "Great, distinctive voice, very fluent English language and outstanding sensitivity. Robert agreed to participate". On keyboards, he brought on another Collage alum in Krzysiek Palczewski. Natural comparisons to Collage are expected.

A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset debuted on March 10, 2003. It's follow-up, Evening Games (2006) reached number 8 at the top 100 best selling albums in Poland.

In 2007, Satellite were invited to play the famous Baja Prog Festival in Mexico and released Into The Night towards the latter part of the year. Since then they have added bassist, Jarek Michalski to the band, freeing Robert to concentrate on vocals.

Eric Walker (USA)
See also:

- Collage
- Strawberry Fields

Satellite official website

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SATELLITE discography


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

3.89 | 179 ratings
A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset
2003
3.85 | 135 ratings
Evening Games
2004
3.96 | 216 ratings
Into The Night
2007
3.58 | 112 ratings
Nostalgia
2009

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

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

3.59 | 31 ratings
Evening Dreams
2005

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

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

SATELLITE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.89 | 179 ratings

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A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars While Satellite may be a new name in the prog field, and 'A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset' their debut album, this is a band that have been formed out of one of Poland's most well-known and best-loved prog acts, Collage. Originally this was set to be a solo project by drummer and main Collage songwriter Wojtek Szadkowski but he gradually brought in more and more musicians, many of whom he had performed with in Collage. They are signed to Metal Mind, the most important label of it's' type in Poland, and the artwork has been provided by Mark Wilkinson of Marillion/Fish fame. In fact, if you look at the Satellite site at www.satelliteprog.com you can see the whole series of covers that he designed for this, a real work in progress.

But what about the music? The band themselves have compared it most to 'Moonshine' era Collage but how about Western proggers who may have never heard that band? In fact there is a lot going on, and while certain influences such as Genesis and Pendragon or Pink Floyd can be picked out, it is easier to say that this is easy listening prog that is thoroughly enjoyable throughout. The album is sung in English, and in fact the feel is that this is an American project and not a Polish one at all. The album starts with street noise and a snippet of a radio commentator, and the impression is a bustling American city. That is an intriguing way into the first song, "The Evening Wind", which at nearly thirteen minutes long is a great start. Of course, the guitar can't be hidden totally by the keyboards and there are some very powerful plays indeed. A particular favourite has to be "No Disgrace" which is a belting prog rock number driven along by dynamic percussion and sizzling keyboard runs.

This could easily be the most important album out of Poland this year, and the finest I have heard from that country since Quidam. Which one is the better? The jury is still out.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

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 Nostalgia by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.58 | 112 ratings

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Nostalgia
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Satellite's first three albums formed a sort of trilogy of day, evening and night, so Nostalgia marked the start of a new era for the band, being their first album outside of this context. Once again, Satellite put an even bigger emphasis on drawing on more non-prog influences to spice up their sound, as is particularly notable in the keyboards and drums on this release. Recorded in Wojtek Szadkowski's home studio, it's entertaining enough, but to my ears the mix is a little off - particularly with regards to the drums, which I feel are a little overwhelming. Still, fans of the band's combination of dance music rhythms with neo-prog will find it entertaining.

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 Into The Night by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.96 | 216 ratings

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Into The Night
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Satellite follows up the more traditional neo-prog release Evening Games with Into the Night, on which they once again try to incorporate more modern (particularly modern electronic- leaning) musical influences into their sound, creating a more diverse piece of work than either of their preceding albums. On Evening Games they'd already mastered melodic neo-prog and gentler musical approaches, whilst on Into the Night they show a greater flair for louder and more raucous outbreaks of technical virtuosity. It's another very strong album which shows how the band's musical talents have matured like fine wine over the years, and will appeal to most fans of neo-prog.

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 Evening Games by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.85 | 135 ratings

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Evening Games
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Satellite's debut album had a really great cover but musically speaking was somewhat average; their second album, Evening Games, has a completely atrocious cover (seriously, what is it with bands accepting miserably poor CGI when an amateur DeviantArt artist could do better for cheaper?) but musically speaking is a substantial improvement. The balance this time has swung more towards the band's symphonic and neo-prog side and less towards the spacey, ambient, almost dance music-inspired rhythms that underpinned the previous album (though they are still present here and there), and on the whole the mixture is far more successful this time around. Those who miss the old classic Collage sound will find it alive and well here.

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 A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.89 | 179 ratings

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A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The prospect of a spiritual successor band to Collage, one of the absolute greats of the Polish neo-prog scene, is surely enough to make any neo fan excited. As it stands, though, Satellite's debut album shows potential but does not quite live up to it to my ears.The interesting experiment of having dance music rhythms underpin a lot of the songs (there's even a song with preprogrammed drums) with neo-progish keyboard and guitar solos over the top was probably worth a try, but here at least they don't quite mesh into a coherent whole. Still, the Mark Wilkinson cover art (which seems to be his take on the cover to Neil Young's Trans) is a nice touch.

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 Evening Games by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.85 | 135 ratings

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Evening Games
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Two years after their beautiful debut, Satellite return with a second album but without Mirek Gil on board, who went on to form Believe.Absent in the line-up is also bassist Przemek Zawadzki.They were replaced by bassist Piort Zaczek, while Sarhan took over both lead and rhythm guitars.''Evening games'' was released again on Metal Mind Records and became one of the most succesful rock albums in Poland.

And not just accidentally, as this one is an album that defines what modern Polish Prog is all about with Satellite's sound being synonymous to the term.The great 17-min. eponymous opener is propably the perfect example of this style.A mix of contemporary Symphonic Rock, COLLAGE-styled Neo Prog and Psych/Ambient/Space Rock, where power meets softness and roughness gives its place to delicacy.The rest of the album is certainly defined by this description.An album full of sudden breaks but always based in melody, where deep atmosphere is the undisputed king.Smooth parts with light guitars, sensitive warm vocal lines and soft piano burst radically into dynamic passages with powerful solos, grandiose keyboards and a symphonic attitude.And a big part of Satellite's sound is the alternation between normal and distorted vocals, the constant use of sound effects and the careful use of analog keyboards as well like organ and mellotron.The electric guitars have an evident PINK FLOYD vibe, especially in the solo parts, while COLLAGE's ghost seems to be all over the place due to the high quality of the musicianship, characterized by the grandiose synths, the elegant vocals of Amirian and the light symphonic sound.

Another huge album by this excellent Polish band, maybe a little better compared to their debut.Contemporary prog means ''Evening games'' to me and the album comes as an essential addition to any collection of a decent prog fan...4.5 stars.

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 Nostalgia by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.58 | 112 ratings

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Nostalgia
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by 1791 Overture

4 stars What a bizarre, fascinating album. Satellite has always been a band that I've respected from afar; their brand of Polish neo-prog is consistently satisfying, if not exactly mind-blowing. This album has the band sort of derailing in the most amazing way possible - the Banks-inspired keyboard leads are still there, though in a stripped down form. But something is different - the songs are a mishmash of crossover influences, including, incredibly, a strong RnB presence.

I won't bother going through every track of this album, as there are too many surprises, too many musical goodies, to detail. Instead I'd like to focus on the incredible "Am I Losing Touch?" which another reviewer has mentioned (rightly so) as the highlight of the album. It begins as sort of a cheesy film sound track backed by electronic percussion and fretless bass and somehow - I have no idea how - ends up as a disco number, and eventually collapses into a contrapuntal Renaissance-styled vocal section. And, AND [dear Lord, I can't get over the fact that I actually heard this] the bass vocals in this little interlude are the deep "doos" characteristic of 70's RnB tracks...the RnB influences somehow catapult into the Renaissance music and fit *perfectly* - I just...how the hell does that even happen? There are few times when, listening to music, I feel truly SHOCKED by what I hear, by the way various influences are combined to create something astounding. But "Am I Losing Touch?" was one such case. I still can barely believe that this song was written - I don't even know how to talk about it without sounding like an incoherent idiot (as you've probably noticed). This album is a curious fusion of genres throughout, and that is only the most incredible example; *please* give this album a chance and rather than being put off by the various pop music influence throughout, welcome them and try to appreciate how they turn this neo-prog outfit into something utterly unprecedented and unique.

The album is not perfect - as other reviewers have mentioned, some of the song times are bloated and the song structures may not satisfy the more demanding prog fan. But judge this album on its own merits, not on a preconceived notion of what prog should be like. This is wild stuff.

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 Into The Night by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.96 | 216 ratings

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Into The Night
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An exceptional neo prog album from Polish band Satellite, this has turned into one of my favourite purchases of the year, and I got it on the strength of reviews on PA.

This is a band who provide an almost perfect mix of melody, melancholy, and also riffing out as if they were born to do metal. For an example of this, listen to the opening section of the epic track Dreams, which blazes along at 100 miles per hour, before settling down to some more recognisable symphonic inspired keyboards and guitars. I especially love the closing section, which features an exquisite guitar solo backed by huge sounding keyboards, and a pulsating rhythm section, before rocking out in mad fashion at the end. This is a track of many moods, and is a fantastic listen.

They can also do more commercial, melodic prog very well also, and I would particularly mention Downtown Skyline here, with its swirling keyboards, and upbeat rhythm. It would have made a good long single. Melodic also applies to Heaven Can Wait, which has at its heart a huge sound, mainly affected by some superlative, grand, keyboard work.

The contribution by all musicians is superb, and this is as about as tight knit an outfit as I have heard for many a year. I have Moonshine by Collage, a predecessor band, and the similarities are obvious, but, if anything, this band have brought a fresh focus to their obvious inspirations, in addition to this album having a much harder edge.

The highlight of the album, for me, is Don't Go Away In Silence, and this portrays that tight musicianship exceptionally well. Very low key, dark, almost sparse, but played and sung very well, especially the guitar. The solo bursts in the mid and end sections have to heard to be believed.

If you are a fan of acts such as Fish, Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, and Genesis (yes, the inspirations are that diverse), but also of material from bands such as Riverside, their fellow Poles, then you will find a lot to enjoy here.

Into The Night is a fine album, and deserves a four star rating. On the back of it, I have bought last year's album, and am looking forward to seeing how this band progress.

There is a lot of good stuff coming out of Poland - this is amongst the best. Highly recommended.

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 Nostalgia by SATELLITE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.58 | 112 ratings

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Nostalgia
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Nostalgia is undoubtedly a very well looked-after album. Production- and sound-wise, the mastermind behind this album has done a very good job. Neat arrangements, clear sounds, polished melodies, professional result. The album consists of 7 tracks of average duration of 8 minutes and range somewhere between the softer side of neo-prog and crossover prog. There is a strong commercial approach about this album, found especially in the easy-listening (but often quite strong) melodies and the mature-sounding vocals.

Satellite have brought together a number of influences from AOR (see the energetic opening track), soft crossover prog and the pioneers of neo-prog (Marillion, IQ). The musicianship levels are high but there is a feel that they have been compromised in search of a "commercialised" result. There is a pop and often a ballad-like feeling throughout the album. At the same time, a few great melodic and more complicated passages, usually mid-track, seem to compensate for this (see Afraid of what we Say, Am I Losing Touch).

On the positive side, the album flows pleasantly from start to finish. Special mention needs to be given to the vocals of Robert Amirian that really fit with the music and help produce a solid outcome. However, even when the vocal performance is outstanding (Over Horizon) the compositions appear weaker than expected. The album has only a few moments of challenging music and could not be recommended to demanding prog fans.

Having read various comments, it seems that previous Satellite albums might present more musical challenges and this is where I will be heading next. As for Nostalgia, it is a very pleasant album that lacks that extra touch to make it a memorable release. The musicianship and the compositional skills are certainly there, but evident in only a few minutes of each track within the album. Fans of softer aspects of neo- and crossover prog might enjoy this album.

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 Evening Dreams by SATELLITE album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.59 | 31 ratings

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Evening Dreams
Satellite Neo-Prog

Review by lor68
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ok that's another product regarding the Neo-Prog scene in Poland, always present- especially after so many concerts performed by Collage (the root of Satellite)- and We are talkin' about nothing new I should say, in comparison to the recent productions in the UK signed up by Pendragon and IQ a long time before Satellite...nevertheless, despite of their low budget, the audio and video quality and a good impact live on stage as well, sometimes let me change idea about this Polish ensemble...of course it's not for the cheesy lyrics and the simplistic approach that I'd like to give you a piece of advice about "Evening Dreams", but it's only as I remark- above all- some good instrumental parts (sometimes reminding me of an old Swiss band called Deyss, with their guitar soloings well supported by the keyboards) and even the good skill regarding the drummer, for which the present DVD is worth checking out at least.

The track "Evening Games" perhaps is the best episode, even though the song is too long and the use of Mellotron sometimes is able to disturb me just a little bit (moreover, always regarding the approach of this band in search of some typical bombastic solos- it's a sort of emulation of the seventies- "filtered" by means of the Neo Prog experience of the early eighties in the UK, a bit tiring nowadays...).

In any case the output live of their stuff is much more interesting here than in their usual performances at the Recording Studios..this is my opinion naturally and at the end your "music tastes" could be different from mine!

So make your own choice as usual, but for me the present product is quite essential within a personal Collection of Neo Prog music...in the average.

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