Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL

Crossover Prog • Germany


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Poor Genetic Material picture
Poor Genetic Material biography
Founded in 2000

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL has been working in two very different directions. The original duo / trio performed experimental that resulted in the two "free to random" recordings. As a full five-piece band PGM plays more song-oriented material. This line-up has recorded the 2001 album "Summerland" and the new album "Leap Into Fall".

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL forum topics / tours, shows & news


POOR GENETIC MATERIAL forum topics Create a topic now
POOR GENETIC MATERIAL tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "poor genetic material"
Post an entries now

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to POOR GENETIC MATERIAL

Buy POOR GENETIC MATERIAL Music



More places to buy POOR GENETIC MATERIAL music online

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL discography


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

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.60 | 5 ratings
Free to Random, Vol. 1
1999
3.33 | 3 ratings
Free to Random, Vol. 2 - Modern Myths
2000
3.08 | 13 ratings
Summerland
2001
3.06 | 13 ratings
Leap into Fall
2002
3.90 | 13 ratings
Winter's Edge
2003
3.40 | 5 ratings
Free to Random
2005
3.88 | 19 ratings
Spring Tidings
2006
3.04 | 9 ratings
Paradise Out of Time
2007
3.35 | 23 ratings
Island Noises
2011
3.85 | 34 ratings
A Day in June
2013
3.95 | 21 ratings
Absence
2016
3.59 | 16 ratings
Here Now
2020
4.00 | 1 ratings
Spring Tidings - 15th Anniversary Edition
2021

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

3.50 | 2 ratings
Chalkhill Blues
2016
3.18 | 2 ratings
The Star
2020
4.05 | 2 ratings
Stargazing
2020

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spring Tidings - 15th Anniversary Edition by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Spring Tidings - 15th Anniversary Edition
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

— First review of this album —
4 stars Well, That Changes Everything

Do Not Get Lulled

Warning! Expectations set too low, too sweet, will be rudely intersected with menace, darkness, and complexity. In this 15th Anniversary Edition of "Spring Tidings" from veteran German symphonic progressive quintet POOR GENETIC MATERIAL, a "simple" rearrangement becomes a new album.

Something quite different.

And Another Thing!

I'm fighting temptations right and left. For instance, due to the title "Spring Tidings" I'm tempted to dismiss the symphonic progressive twists and turns and tempo changes and shifts of mood and ever-changing terrain of keyboard richness/guitar textures/complex rhythm section replete with accomplished drumming and hard-charging bass lines- 'well, that's to be expected.'

And then regarding the lyrics, which if you wish to stay sublimely unaware and lazily entertained Do. Not. Read.- but if you take the bait and do a little mental work, well then, the temptation is to write a 15 page paper (with references, typed, double-spaced) on all the allusions, ideas, and themes which emerge.

Because the lyrics, like the music, push the listener into quite unexpectedly dark and dangerous terrain- "Spring Tidings", my a$$!

No Spring Picnic

Or is it just me- here as I write this in actual spring, in KS, USA, on a chilly, wet, dark-hued day with the threat of flooding in the forecast- just the mood I'm in, or am I seeing, reading, hearing multiple levels of music and ideas and experiences- which by the way strike me as a brand-new entity from the original 2006 version of "Spring Tidings"?

But I Will not Yield!

To temptation, that is. No, I doubt if you read album reviews for an in-depth look at the compositional machinations of skilled high-level musicians in mature stride, or for an incisive review of the poetic and lyrical aspects of emerging themes within the text given- the water/sea/rain/solitary drops/puddles/sweat/rivers...the views on life and death, the shadow aspect of living and dying in the psyche...

Wait, damn it, there I go, giving in!

To Further Complicate Matters

For simple minds like mine, that is- there are now THREE versions of "Spring Tidings"! The 2006 original, the newly minted vinyl edition with six tracks in a different order; and the CD version with eight tracks- and all of these to one extent or another, 'different'.

In a way this is emblematic of one of the motifs suggested by this album- set to gorgeous, lush symphonic progressive music, nearly impressionistic lyrics suggest that springtime represents something much deeper and darker and more subjective than any romanticized notion of flowers blooming, birds singing, and new life springing up.

Three versions of many possible versions, any one of these possible, any number of them to be found somewhere at some time- and hopefully one of these will be a hopeful, lustrous springtime that represents a true "city of light...the city to end all night."

My Rating

Four lustrous stars- an "Excellent addition to any progressive rock collection"- and one that may be be experienced (in three versions!) over and over again.

 Here Now by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Here Now
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars German prog band Poor Genetic Material are back with their twelfth album, their first in four years, but there again the band have slowed down somewhat in recent times and no longer produce an album a year like they did for their first eight releases. It is the same recording unit which has been in place for years, while singer Phil Griffiths has again invited his father Martin (from the legendary Beggars Opera) to guest on a number as well. This is all mellow stuff, with multiple layers being set down for Phil to lay his vocals. He is a great singer, and also sets himself up with plenty of backing vocals which take the music into an almost 10CC direction. Due to the layering, it means that when an instrument manages to cut through it has an immediate and impressive impact, whether that is a finger popping bass note or a delicate flute. There are Mellotrons at play, distant lead guitars, and a pop/prog mentality which both makes this album feel rather lightweight and highly enjoyable at the same time.

This is not music where the listener needs to settle in for multiple plays, but rather is one where they can find themselves smiling on the very first time of playing the opening title track, with the smile getting that little wider the more they listen. I do wish there were more in the way of dynamics and depth in the material, and there are times when some of the early Eighties' influences are a little too overt, and Pallas in their early days are an obvious reference. I would have liked to have had a little more crunch and a little less polish, as I am sure these songs would not come across quite like this in a live environment. All that to one side, this is an incredibly enjoyable album, smack bang in the middle of the Crossover sub-genre, with the odd neo prog influences here and there. Maybe not one for the traditionalists, but a nice listen all the same.

 Here Now by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Here Now
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars POOR GENETIC MATERIAL is like the carpenter with 12 toolboxes, each highly specialized, who cannot remember which toolbox does what, so has to open all of them. Luckily, this seems to delight the listener while apparently not aggravating the carpenter nearly as much as one might expect. Embarras du choix. Put another way, they have about 5 lead instruments give or take, because, after all, Phillip Griffiths' voice could swallow up about 5 average prog vocalists, if he didn't have flawlessly good taste that is. Lyrically erudite as well, he either insists on or is aggressively encouraged to bring in his dad Martin of BEGGARS OPERA fame at least once an album who manages to simultaneously raise the bar and make Phillip sound better! Oh dear I suppose that makes 6 instruments doesn't it? No matter. Open up the boxes!

Thematically, "Here Now" seems like the antonym and antidote for predecessor "Absence". The here and now is all we have, and, particularly in the centerpiece "The Garden" (sung by papa who name checks my favourite Beggars Opera track), the present has the capacity to be anything but a gift to the more sensitive among us. But who says we can't create our own, better reality, even if just for a vacation, or an evening for that matter? Musically, "Here Now" kicks off simply, with a string of shorter and progressively better tracks that converge while remaining well demarcated. As before, the group plies its trades comfortably at the intersection of simple and complex melodies, verse chorus structures and variegated suites, spacey ambience and funk, chill and edgy, solos and ensemble. My personal favourite is the touching "Note from my Younger Self", the complete package encapsulating all of the above.

In typical PGM fashion, all will be revealed in time, in my case almost 6 months, not that I think I have it, or anything figured out for that matter. But I can tell you that the arrangements, in particularly how Pia Darmstaedter's flute comingles with each other lead as called for, continue to mature, which might not be a requirement for this fan, but, inasmuch as it makes the band more likely to stick around for another decade or so, I'm all for it. Oh yeah sorry, I am just happy they are here now.

 Here Now by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.59 | 16 ratings

BUY
Here Now
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

4 stars Veteran Outfit Hits Stride

Poor Genetic Material ISN'T

Consider the irony of skilled and devoted musicians collectively producing a dozen albums in their 20-plus years of existence- challenging each other and the listener not only with intelligent musicianship, but coupled with thought- provoking lyrics.

Perhaps with a gleam in the eye, they name the band, but...

NOT poor genetic material at all! Rather, to these ears, experienced musicians that demonstrate rather fine genetic material- and we're the better for it, and for them.

Here Now

Really it's all we have. The moment. The choice of how to use it.

For me, that's what Poor Genetic Material (PGM) explores herein.

And done with verve, endless ideas, flawless execution- from surprisingly catchy choruses, solid bass and drum foundations, atmospheric guitars, rich keyboard sounds including piano, synthesizer, mellotron, and organ- that rich full organ sound I so love- to excellent clean vocals done up in harmonies, counterpoints, call and response...

I Learned a Couple New Words

So along with the outstanding music and musicianship, the lyrics prove to be mind-bending and provocative. Concepts that need to be pondered.

And those words? "auspication", "vaticination"- and no, I'm not telling. Do your own damn homework.

So Here's My Thought

Some gems never get discovered. How PGM has remained under the radar for two decades? Can't explain. For me, it's a gift, a big wet kiss from this band to those of us willing to give it a fair hearing.

My Rating

4 Lustrous Stars- "excellent addition to any progressive rock collection".

 Stargazing by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
4.05 | 2 ratings

BUY
Stargazing
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Written and performed by the "trio" version of POOR GENETIC MATERIAL (PGM) - Philip Griffiths (vocals), Stefan Glomb (guitars and bass), and Philipp Jaehne (keyboards and programming) - "Stargazing" is one of a series of singles-only releases springing from an abundance of material beyond that which can be included in the infrequent full length offerings by this long lived and much respected collaboration.

Well, it's certainly not for a lack of quality that "Stargazing" will remain a wallflower! It bears all the hallmarks that we have come to expect: the rich tone and reflective lyrics of PHILIP GRIFFITHS; the atmospheric support of the band's core composers and instrumentalists for the last 2 decades of enviable stability; and most of all that unmistakable grook. That's a word blend that could easily escape my lips when attempting to describe the cross between a hook and a groove that permeates PGM's work. It's like a subliminal "listen to me again, please" that seems implanted in the "private bit" of the MP3 itself. So I did, and I did again, and again and again, and I was glad. I'm especially fond of the rhythmic keyboard motifs and the unhurried and forgiving vocal passages that beckon me between summonses.

if you are wondering, the full band release of "Here Now" is due out in September. That's where talent like flautist Pia Darmstaedter and Philip's father MARTIN GRIFFITHS joins in. That should keep my eyes glazing (sic) at my calendar for the next month.

 The Star by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.18 | 2 ratings

BUY
The Star
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

3 stars It's All Relative

Creative People Must Create

There are things I simply can't understand. For example, that star. People with much bigger brains than me tell me it may not actually be there any more.

It may be long dead.

Staring into the enormous void, that star looks real. It exists. It appears to be glowing, intense, coldly sparkling in the vastness of space.

It's THERE.

Yet It Isn't

So, back to POOR GENETIC MATERIAL, and creativity.

POOR GENETIC MATERIAL has been a going concern since Anno Domine 2000. Apparently it began with the core musicians, singer Philip Griffiths, guitarist Stefan Glomb and keyboardist Philipp Jaehne.

These three creative, restless souls must create, despite the logistical challenges of gathering the FULL eight creative types, also collectively known as POOR GENETIC MATERIAL.

Got that? PGM-Core, if you will, this trio.

The single

We hear gentle acoustic guitar enter, then quirky keyboards, and soon reflective vocals. Percussive bass sounds add depth and the music builds.

A definite shift comes with electronic sound effects, a near-mystical feel of cosmic sounds, and a questing chorus. There are layers of keyboards and textures of piano, synthesizer, sound effects.

The lyrics

From the perspective of our very own star, the Sun, we are evaluated, taught, faced with the nearly inconceivable truths that although this seemingly constant source of heat and light- is fading away into nothingness.

So what do we actually know?

Is this something upon which we can depend? Is there something behind this cosmic drama- after all the Sun is but one in a mind-bending array of Suns in an ever-expanding universe (multi-verse?).

Is it random, or is it purposeful.

You know- simple stuff.

So, back to creativity once again

The "answer" in this song, is that there is "re"creation. From death, new life. How and why this happens- well, you. must decide for yourself.

My rating: 3 stars. The ideas are 'stellar', yet I wasn't gripped as the music didn't really push me into new dimensions.

 Absence by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.95 | 21 ratings

BUY
Absence
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars An oddly familiar scene, a fleeting scent, faint friendly voices, a touch just so, or a subtle awakening of long dormant taste buds...such playful prodding of senses past seems to multiply with the passage of time. We construct memory as our years advance, on the fly, such that what we recall is not our lived past but how our internal storyteller sees fit to reenact it. Nostalgia is not an uncommon theme among even the relatively young in our favorite bands, and it's certainly not necessary to dive back into the recent or distant past to cite numerous examples. But one that might be unfairly overlooked is the latest from the German/Scottish band POOR GENETIC MATERIAL.

Simply titled "Absence", its sensuous approach is to simulate the daydreaming that accompanies reflections of one's past, often beginning almost imperceptibly before morphing into sentiments raging from intense regret to wistfulness to unadulterated joie de vivre. The overall tempo varies from airborne spaciness to somewhat more plodding than the expectations set by prior PGM efforts whilst clinging to the band's lucid pairing of its musical and lyrical visions.

They have wisely retained the services of 2 of the best vocalists in the business, the father-son tandem of Martin and Phil Griffiths, as well as the colourful musings of flautist Pia Darmstaedter. These contributors are as always ably backed by the musical masterminds Philip Jaehne and Stefan Glomb, and a rhythm section that approximates the procession into later earthly life and perhaps beyond.

All tracks are lyrically effective with only "What if..." somewhat lacking in the nuanced interplay we have come to expect. The high point for me is the tandem of the affirming "chalk hill blues" and the aching of severed, perhaps imagined, connections cast by "Absconded".

My own regrets vis a vis the present recording are that it seems once again to elude the wider prog and musical community outside of a few enclaves in Europe; the band is too busy with other projects to be free to perform live; and this might be their last gift to us. I for one will deeply feel their absence.

 Summerland by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.08 | 13 ratings

BUY
Summerland
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This humble "debut" of sorts rather timidly introduces the style that POOR GENETIC MATERIAL would ply over the 4 albums that mark the group's season cycle of the early 2000s. Coming off of 2 essentially ambient records, "Summerland" acquaints us with two-timing vocalist PHIL GRIFFITHS of ALIAS EYE, whose pipes inherit the authority of his father MARTIN GRIFFITHS. The style here is not unlike the softer aspects of ALIAS EYE, with more than a nod to the preceding "Free to Random" works. In fact, this is one of those albums that never seems to be played at a high enough volume to garner attention, apart from a shining melodic shift here or a vocal outburst there. Yet taken as a whole it exultingly bears the laid back uniformity of a lazy summer season, with the simmering sense of a life to be savored, in which western ideals of growth and productivity are folded neatly along with the autumn clothes. Yes we will get to them but don't rush us! The response is loud and clear in "Rush of Ages" that opens the follow up album "Leap into Fall". But for the meantime you may enjoy the atmospheric soft rock of "Summerland".

 Summerland by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.08 | 13 ratings

BUY
Summerland
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Germans Poor Genetic Material from Speyer started as a duo in late-90s with Stefan Glomb on guitar and Philipp Jaehne on keyboards.Both were previously playing with the Neo Prog band Eskape, at the time when Jaehne established also the well-known QuiXote label with Tea For Two's Stephan Weber.They recorded their first couple of albums ''Free to Random Vol. 1'' (1999) and ''Free to Random Vol. 2'' (2000) with the help of another ex-Eskape member on keyboards, Martin Lengsfeld, both were attempts on the field of Experimental/Ambient Music.For their next album ''Summerland'' the band comes as a 50:50 mix of Eskape and Alias Eye with Phil Griffiths joining on vocals and Ludwig Benedek on drums.The album was released in 2001 on QuiXote.

Poor Genetic Material put an end to their experimental tendencies of their first works and propose an intelligent Progressive Pop in ''Summerland'', where vocals, melodies and sensitive textures play the basic role.They sound close to IT BITES or mid-90's BIG BIG TRAIN, focusing on soft keyboard lines, nice electric and acoustic moves and ambiental soundscapes with an atmospheric background.Even if the instrumental stuff is rather limited, the clean and emotional voice of Phil Griffiths is extremely rewarding.Most of the tracks are pretty simplistic with a few progressive moves added for good measure, relying on memorable melodies and accesible songwriting, surrounded by some typical elements of the Prog Rock genre, like a few theatrical singing lines, guitar distortions or light symphonic colors, while some of the electric solos have a strong FLOYD-ian vibe.The long title-track has more in common with the Neo Prog genre akin to TWELFTH NIGHT and PALLAS.Such a strong dependency from the melodious textures means this album lives or dies from its melodic depth and fortunately the band offers plenty of them with a good inspiration.

Accesible Neo Prog with strong Pop twists.Well-composed, sensitive and enjoyable music.Recommended.

 Island Noises by POOR GENETIC MATERIAL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.35 | 23 ratings

BUY
Island Noises
Poor Genetic Material Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars After their season cycle, POOR GENETIC MATERIAL sought another source of inspiration for their abstract soundscapes. They marked time with a transitional album before appearing to settle on master literary works, the first of these being Shakespeare's "The Tempest". It took 4 years for this mammoth undertaking to reach fruition, in which time I would have wished for a compatible visual production which would have enhanced the experience.

I confess that this play by the bard was not on our required list for any English classes, so I am not familiar with the story, and I could imagine that a knowledge of the plot and characters, more so the themes might help an appreciation of this double CD. Still, it offers many pleasures, again walking a fine line between modern neo prog, old style symphonic prog, accessible rock, and ambient music; patient fans of all of these will find plenty to inspire them. I say patient because "Island Noises" is generally lower key than most prog and reveals itself in strata particular to each listener's sensibilities and vulnerabilities.

To dispense with the inevitable weaknesses of such an ambitious project, I have to say I am not a fan of any of the narrated parts that last more than 10 seconds or so, as they further decelerate the subtle momentum, and they cannot be programmed out. At almost 100 minutes, this could possibly have been pared to a long single disk with an executive decision here or there. And, finally, as alluded to, and perhaps related to the band's' legacy as soundtrack oriented writers, while the album is highly visual, at times I need a little help with the images, particularly on the more elongated atmospheric passages. Not that there is anything wrong with occasionally drifting off, but I keep feeling like I am missing a scene!

Of its many strengths, which I have to say do offer more than sufficient repudiation, the voice of PHIL GRIFFITHS continues to mature and sets the band so far above their contemporaries - it is heartfelt, always spot on, and fits the music to which it is set. The musicianship is confident and tight, and the arrangements and compositions appealing. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on the 20 minute title cut, a potpourri of all the styles represented by PGM in proportion and juxtaposition, with even some jazzy interludes. It all opens out to a jaunty vocal section about Caliban. Pia's flutes offset the pretensions as needed. Other superb tracks that may not seem so at first, which one can say about everything here, would be the almost classic symphonic "Roarers", the sweet ballad "Brave New World", the playful swing of "Assassins and Sleepers", "In a State of Grace", "Fountain of Innocence", "Drowning the Book", and the forward from the past looking "Dreamstuff", in which the impact of the story and author are examined.

Comparisons are challenging with PGM - I hear bits and pieces of classic and contemporary, but they have managed to retain their individuality through their eclectic nature, consummate vocalist, ambitious themes, and warm arrangements. At the risk of triggering a tempest in a teapot, I'd say these noises drown out most of their better known brethren.

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.