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PEAK

Progressive Electronic • Australia


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Peak biography
Formed in Adelaide, South Australia in 1980 - Reunited in 2018

PEAK is the duo of Robert Reekes-Parsons and Paul Fisher. Both men are multi-instrumentalists, with Reekes-Parsons gravitating more to keyboards and Fisher to guitars.

How would you classify PEAK's music? If you were to listen solely to Innovative Communications (Klaus Schulze's record label) promotional spiel after the 1983 re-issue of the album "Ebondązzar" you may think PEAK was a group largely influenced by KING CRIMSON and GENESIS. The reality is that PEAK has moments where they emulate the style of these prog giants, as well as progressive electronic great TANGERINE DREAM. Having said this, the complex intertwining of guitar and synthesizer may mostly remind of Manuel Göttsching's ASHRA and seems to belong in the sphere with the Berlin School-aligned artists, though this is not always the case as is witnessed when listening to the whole album.

PEAK has only the one album, "Ebondązzar", initially released on Cement Records, Australia in 1980, then re-issued in Germany by Innovative Communications in 1983. On "Ebondązzar" Reekes-Parsons is credited with playing keyboard synthesisers, vocoder, strings, electric piano, tubular bells and fragmented guitar; Fisher's credits are guitar synthesisers, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard synthesizers and electronic effects. The duo was assisted with drumming throughout the album by John Haffert. Additional assistance on the track 'Ocean Of Dreams' came from Kym Martin with the military snare and Lindon Lisk on bass. To date "Ebondązzar" has not been issued on CD.

- Chris 'Coops' Cooper (T.Rox) -

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PEAK discography


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

3.98 | 17 ratings
Ebondązzar
1980
4.00 | 3 ratings
Slizdexics Untie
2018

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

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PEAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Slizdexics Untie by PEAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Slizdexics Untie
Peak Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Peak were an Adelaide-based progressive electronic rock band based around two multi-instrumentalists Robert Reekes-Parsons and Paul Fisher, who along with some guests on drums released 'Ebond'zzar' back in 1980. Did I say 'were'? I guess I should amend that to 'are' as only 38 years on from the debut the guys have been joined by bassist Colin Forster and are back with their second album, 'Slizdexics Untie'. I have yet to hear the debut, but as the guys are planning to be soon release a remastered version, I am hoping to rectify that in the near future if it is anything like this which is a very interesting album indeed. Heavily influenced by krautrock and Tangerine Dream in particular with Kraftwerk here and there, there are also plenty of Floydian touches especially from the 'Meddle' period, but the guitar is often more strident and dominant than one normally expects from Gilmour with more of rock edge. Keyboards provide the backdrop, often with repeated melody lines, which allows Paul's guitar to be dominant and drive proceedings forward. For something which contains so many layers of keyboards it is surprisingly heavy in many ways.

Peak only had a bassist on one number on the debut, but Forster's role in this album cannot be understated as he is very much an important part of the overall sound, sitting in the middle ground between keyboards and guitar, linking the two together so they combine as oppose to acting as individuals. There are some vocals on the album, but they are used mostly in an instrumental sense, and the overall feeling is of something quite experimental which wouldn't have sounded out of place in Berlin more than 40 years ago. There aren't many bands who release albums with such a gap in between, let alone produce something which is so enjoyable and easy to listen to. Songs like 'Trains' are just great fun, with keyboards and bass running down the tracks and guitar all over the top making a mess of things. The combination of structure on one side and freedom on the other is what makes this such an accessible and fun album from beginning to end. Let's hope it isn't quite so long until the third.

 Slizdexics Untie by PEAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Slizdexics Untie
Peak Progressive Electronic

Review by PaulCipro

5 stars Slizdexics Untie is groundbreaking - beyond the exceptional musicianship and incredible recording quality, the composition is a combination of flowing and drifting melodic passages peppered with sudden, powerful riff-oriented prog rock movements. "Gorilla Gas" and "The 'J' Curve" stand out among a sea of gems, but any lover of quality music - be it progressive or any genre, will find their own favorites, and they will change with your moods as this work is, unique unto itself, "evolving" - something that is experienced rather than listened to. Absolutely a must for any complete prog collection - beyond that, for any collection.
 Slizdexics Untie by PEAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Slizdexics Untie
Peak Progressive Electronic

Review by David64T

3 stars A mostly instrumental offering by Adelaide electronic rock band Peak, 38 years after their first and hitherto only album. Features original Peak members Paul Fisher (guitars / keys / electronics) and Robert Reekes-Parsons (keys on 2 tracks) plus Colin Forster (bass on all tracks) and guests on other instruments. "Last of the seatbelts" reminds me a little of "Obscured By Clouds" and other tracks have an instrumental Floyd feel to them also eg "Gorilla Gas" (seems to me rather like a sped-up version of Floyd's Shine on). Produced beautifully, selection of instrumentals that at times sound like Jean Michel Jarre with added guitars and sound effects. I will extend this review after I have listened a few more times.
 Ebondązzar by PEAK album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.98 | 17 ratings

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Ebondązzar
Peak Progressive Electronic

Review by sl75

4 stars This subgenre isn't my specialisation, but I'm on somewhat of a mission to collect as much vintage Australian prog as I can, hence I tracked down this album. I love it more than I expected I would.

The compositional style is fairly minimalist, most of the pieces are built on simple repeated patterns and a fairly limited harmonic palette; like most minimalist music it makes up for a lack of complexity by creating hypnotic moods. Their strength is the diversity of their sound palette - their mix of various synthesizers and electronic effects with more organic instruments (especially their use of guitar), and music concrete approaches. (One guest instrumentalist is crediting with 'swimming', and they're serious - the swimming is an important part of the sound world of "Penguin".)

The tracks of the first side segue seamlessly, but very diverse moods are evoked - heavy guitars and drums to open the album, calming down quickly to a more pastoral sound (with much use of flute colours); then a more strictly electronic soundworld with Tangerine Dream -style use of sequencers; then a more abstract soundworld with unsettling doppler-effect sounds sweeping in and out; then into a more ambient mood with lightly arpeggiated guitar, a simple and soothing synth contribution, ocean sounds (and, incongruously, military-style drumming), and fading out with the ocean. The second side offers more discrete compositions, again each exploring a unique soundworld - the final two tracks offer a more organic guitar-dominated approach (an acoustic, pastoral vibe for "Snail's Pace", a more electric rock feel for "Agent's Lunch"); "Penguin" and the lengthy "Along For The Ride" is back in Tangerine Dream-style territory (but with a prominent, if low-mixed, role for guitar in the latter); "The Hunt" mixes both soundworlds.

 Ebondązzar by PEAK album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.98 | 17 ratings

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Ebondązzar
Peak Progressive Electronic

Review by T.Rox
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A little known Aussie effort that is worth a look!

Ebondązzar is a reasonably rare album from Australian duo Peak - Robert Reekes-Parsons and Paul Fisher - with able assistance on drums by John Haffert. It is a purely instrumental affair with vocals limited to vocoder output, effects and grunting.

Ebondązzar has been issued twice on vinyl. The original Australian release was in 1980 on Cement Records, followed by a re-issue in 1983 by Innovative Communications from Germany. Despite two different releases the work appears to be relatively unknown.

Ebondązzar has nine tracks with the longest, "Along For The Ride" clocking in at a little over the nine minute mark. Having said that, all the tracks from side one segue seamlessly making a suite of sorts with a running time of 23:02, though each track is quite different and there is no real hint of a concept. (All tracks on side two are clearly segregated.)

Not a masterpiece by any means, Ebondązzar is an album of varied soundscapes, journeying mostly into the territories of electronica, space rock and possibly Krautrock. At one point there is a step towards synthesized heavy prog as "The Hunt" goes into full flight in its last half. And to cap things off there is even a hint of blues rock with the final track, "Agent's Lunch". With the variation presented on Ebondązzar it is a difficult album to pigeonhole.

Highlights are: the hypnotic "Along For The Ride" opening with nice guitar and synthesiser interplay that moves into a Kraftwerk-style of electronica; "Encounter" with guitar synth pyrotechnics conjuring visions of King Crimson, before turning a corner into the symphonic realm; "Nightmist" with vocoder voices and its soaring sequencer melody so readily reminiscent of Tangerine Dream; and the dreamlike "Ocean Of Dreams" that opens with the peal of tubular bells before the synthesisers takeover, and then with the synths being overlaid with military-style snare drumming and tubular bells for much of the journey.

I like this album, but have a bias towards works from Australia. That said, I don't believe fans of electronic music or space rock wherever they be from would be disappointed if they were to stumble upon Ebondązzar in their travels. For the Dinosaur a 3.5 star rating, moving to 4 stars seems appropriate.

Thanks to T.Rox for the artist addition. and to kev rowland for the last updates

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