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MAHOGANY FROG

Eclectic Prog • Canada


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Mahogany Frog biography
Canadian act MAHOGANY FROG was founded in 1998, when self-described high school noise-makers Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin met flamboyant bass-player Nathan Loewen. A joint interest in loud, psychedelic and experimental music lead them together, and with various drummers participating they became a busy live act. In 1999 they managed to land a regular drummer as well, in the shape of Jean-Paul Perron. In addition to his skills with his main instrument, his expertise in the use of samplers and loops added an additional electronic edge to the music the band was playing.

At this time the band also started collaborating with other artists, and put on shows where ethnic food, visual art and performance art became integrated with the music in a total setting; and these event proved to be highly popular. In short, the band started growing a regular fan base.

Mahogany Frog started appearing with more and more notable Canadian acts at this time, even doing the odd stints as headliners, and in between their various live performances they found the time to create an albnum as well, Mahogany Frog Plays the Blues, which was issued in 2001.

At this time the made some line-up changes as well. Come 2002 and Shaun Mason (bass), Jordan Perry (keyboards, synths) and Mike Spindloe (sax) was added to the line-up, while forming member Loewen left. This expanded line-up recorded one album, The Living Sounds, eventually issued in 2003.

In 2003 Mahogany Frog also deciuded to change locations, moving from Saskatoon to Winnipeg. Bassist Mason stayed behind though, and was shortly after replaced by Scott Ellenberger (bass, trumpet). This revamped line-up hit the studio in the summer of 2003, and created their most complex excursion so far, VS Mabus, issued in early 2004. On this album the band really started expanding their use of keyboards and synths; and to some extent reinvented their sound with this production.

The band's fourth production, the 2005 disc On Blue, continued evolving this reinvented musical expression; now in shorter, more compact musical excursions.

By the time the band release their fifth album Do5 in 2008, their complex and eclectic approach to music reaches new heights; widely regarded as the most eclectic production in a discography already consisting of material largely impossible to pin down in any given genre of music.

Mohagony Frog is still a highly popular live act as well; touring with more or less regul...
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Senna by Mahogany FrogSenna by Mahogany Frog
Moonjune Records 2012
Audio CD$8.66
$1.40 (used)
Do5Do5
Moonjune Records 2008
Audio CD$10.63
$4.66 (used)
Mahogany Frog on BlueMahogany Frog on Blue
EP
CD Baby 2006
Audio CD$14.07
$80.14 (used)
Mahogany Frog Vs MabusMahogany Frog Vs Mabus
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$11.02
Mahogany Frog Do5Mahogany Frog Do5
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$14.07
$17.09 (used)
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MAHOGANY FROG discography


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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Plays the Blues
2001
3.96 | 7 ratings
The Living Sounds
2003
3.55 | 6 ratings
Vs Mabus
2004
3.53 | 9 ratings
On Blue
2005
3.91 | 18 ratings
DO5
2008
4.07 | 77 ratings
Senna
2012

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

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MAHOGANY FROG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On Blue by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.53 | 9 ratings

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On Blue
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars For their next album Mahogany Frog decided to reduce the length of their recording tracks so this one could get a vinyl pressing.Some tracks in here were recorded in a non-professional level at the time of their writing, others would get a proper recording in the studio.Moreover they had already established their own Mafrogany Hog label (a slight joke with an anagram of their name) and the album was released in 2005.

While the tracks are reasonably shorter to cover the appropriate time allowed by a vinyl issue, the style of the Canadians is still grounded in old-style Prog/Fusion with a special note to the Canterbury school.Especially NATIONAL HEALTH had to have a huger impact to the sound of the band, which is filled with old Canterbury jams, featuring lots of organ, vibraphone and piano interactions, but the modern flavors are always present, as this time the band appears to experiment with the sound of piano, synthesizers and electronics.Moreover the slow tempo parts even have a slight Post Rock touch with ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS being a good comparison at this point, more particularly the guitars appear to be distorted and more ethereal.The overall style is fairly keyboard-driven with quirky moves and plenty of interesting breaks, characterized by looser performances but also jazzy instrumental battles, while the more experimental stuff has a slight cinematic mood due to the use of loops and distortions.It was hard though for the quartet to escape their vintage influences and the Canterbury tastes appear always in the horizon.

Another very strong effort by Mahogany Frog, albeit a bit more abstract and abnormal than their previous album.Jazzy, keyboard-based, instrumental Prog, which tries nicely to combine recent technologies with nostalgic inspirations.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Senna by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.07 | 77 ratings

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Senna
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This little stunner of an album finds Mahogany Frog reeling deliriously between modern-age electronic dance-influenced krautrock explosions, space rock anchored to earth by way of jazz fusion, symphonic postrock mini-epics and other bizarre genre mashups, producing a melange which seeks out the common ground between tripped-out underground artists of the 1970s and today's cutting edge. Soft Machine comparisons are tempting due to the band's association with MoonJune records, but if I had to relate this to any phase of the Soft's career I'd link it to the second album - the point where the Softs had a perfect balance between what was then the cutting edge of psych and their jazz fusion innovations, and Senna is a similarly modern-sounding album.

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 The Living Sounds by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.96 | 7 ratings

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The Living Sounds
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars An instrumental voyage through various points of view - or "What It Means To Be Prog?". Extremely long compositions means elongated tracks, a lot of repetition, but mostly it just serves these exploration purposes. The music itself varies from glorified "tuning-like" sounds, through some Post-Rock-ish like moments to Avant-Gard.ish disharmonies of a funny kind (you will know when you hear it) + some normal "Rock" parts, usually with a twist. When, in the 1/3 of Part3 some late 60s organs suddenly started playing, I wasn't surprised. Variability, that's what you have to expect from this record.

It fits together quite easily, because it doesn't. Easy way to avoid consistency needs, right ? A lot of seemingly unrelated parts (forget Parts 1-4, it's more like Parts 1-40), but when thinking about the record in its entirety, it suddenly works. Quite an achievement and I like it that way.

Peace.

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 Senna by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.07 | 77 ratings

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Senna
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars More and more I seem to be coming across albums that appear to have more sonic connection with my teenage years than the current day, but as that isn't an issue all I can say is "bring it on!" This is Senna's sixth album, but somehow is a band that I have managed to miss altogether but I see that I am going to have to rectify the omissions. The four-piece comprise Graham Epp (electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos), Jesse Warkentin (electric guitars, MicroMoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, ARP String Ensemble, Korg MS2000, electric & acoustic pianos), Scott Ellenberger (electric & acoustic bass, Briscoe organ, percussion) and Andy Rudolph (drums, percussion & electronics) yet are a far more in your face rock band than you may imagine from the impressive list of keyboards.

This is progressive rock mixed with krautrock mixed with post rock mixed with jazz, all thrown into a melting pot and allowed to brew and take on a life all of it's own. Imagine Can playing with Tortoise with Soft Machine on the sidelines while someone decides to thrown in some filthy guitar riffs to tie it all together. This is early Seventies sweat and long hair combined certain drugs and the music being played at incredibly high volumes. They combine to provide tight melodies and controlled chaos while at others there seems to be no control at all and they ride the thick basslines a la Chris Squire until it all starts to make sense again. This is not music to be gently listened to on headphones, but to be played at parties where alcohol is in abundance and everyone is having the time of their lives. I mean, there are times it sounds as if Dik Mik is playing with his audio generator.

Filthy, rough and raw, this is great. www.moonjune.com

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 Senna by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.07 | 77 ratings

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Senna
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars After several dedicated listens through this album over the past few months I am finally ready to post a review of this highly acclaimed album from 2012. An instrumental album in the vein of OZRIC TENTACLES, HYPNOS69 and QUANTUM FANTAY with a little more emphasis and volume given to the drums and computer-generated sounds and keyboards and a little less emphasis on predictable melody and structure. (This is no jam band!) While I have enjoyed my listens, and have been entertained and engrossed in their sound (especially the computer keyboard work), and I do appreciate the passion coming from the drummer, it is doubtful that I will find myself returning to this album very often.

1. "Houndstooth, Part 1"?starts out sounding a bit like one of my favorite alubmartists, STEREOLAB's Dots and Loops before the organ is joined by some psychedelic fuzz guitar, computerized drum sounds and rhythms, and builds into what is obviously an instrumental. Kind of cool. (8/10) 2. "Houndstooth, Part 2"?keeps the 60s fuzz/treated guitar and bass sounds with live acoustic drums and some KRAFTWERK/OMD-like keyboard sounds all packaged into a kind of 60s psych pop or 80s bubble gum TONY BASIL-like sound and feel. Happy and psychedelic even a little bluesy. (7/10) 3. "Expo '67"?sounds like a new version of EDGAR WINTER's "Frankenstein" to me. Same instruments, same riffs, same structure. (7/10) 4. "Flossing with Buddha"?birds and church organ start out this one before it turns into a kind of Brit-pop song again straddling the late 60s and the bubble gum pop of the 80s. (Lulu, The Buckinghams, Adam Ant, Yaz, The The.) (7/10) 5. "Message from Uncle Stan Grey Shirt"?some of Mahogony Frog's intros, like this one, remind me of fellow Canadians, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. Lots of chaos and cacophony?like an orchestra tuning before a concert. Uncle Stan (in the Grey Shirt) must be totally wasted cuz this song is all about chaos and really having a slow and tough time (being able to) getting it together. Finally, a kind of House of the Rising Sun meets Pomp and Circumstance pulls itself up out of the dross and then morphs into a "This Is The Doors" cover band intro for the final two minutes. Interesting. And psychedelic. (7/10) 6. "Messsage from Uncle Stan Green House"?starts out with a rather striking JAGA JAZZIST sound to it. Indecipherable babel of voices accompanies the music for a little while until it all descends into a slowed down, heavily sound-effects-accompanied heroine trip. Ends on a structured note. (6/10) 7. "Saffron Myst"?is a melodic, almost laid-back tune with synths/organ featured. Again, I am reminded of STEREOLAB and especially Dots and Loops. (8/10) 8. "Aqua Love Ice Cream Delivery Service"?carries over the synth trails from "Saffron Myst" while turning them into virulent crazy with a Todd Rundgren-like organ wash beneath to keep them all tied together. The guitar's entry at 2:35 is wonderful and continues to build within the tornadic frenzy of the other crazed musicians. Again, I am reminded of some of TODD's more adventurous experimentations with sound and noises in his early 1970s solo works. I even half expected it to end with the baton taps and Todd's voice saying, "No! No! No! A little more humanity, please!" as he does at the end of "The Spark of Life." But, no! The song quiets down, goes cyber-space crazy before a harpsichord enters to "restore" order?and fadeout the album! (8/10)

A highly creative album laced with psychedelia reminiscent of all of the past four decades' technological and sound advances. This is not an album I will come back to as often as the above cited space/psychedelic artists because of a certain lack of, well, melody. But I will revisit it for the smiles and curiosities it generates.

3.5 stars rated up for creativity, uniquity and courage.

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 Senna by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.07 | 77 ratings

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Senna
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

5 stars I always receive the MoonJune Records new releases to review in my Website, I basically have all their catalogue. But I don't review all of them. Why? You may ask me. The answer is simple, most of the label's catalogue comes from Jazz Fusion side and I just can't stand this Genre. To my ears they'll always be instrumentists that learn how to play their instruments very well in the technical side, but can't write a good tune. These albums usually sounds like a band that enter in the studio and play whatever they want for a couple of hours and then edit 50 minutes of music. Not my cup of tea at all. Sometimes I choose not to review them because I don't want simply bash other peoples work, I don't do that. But I'm pretty sure most of their catalogue is high grade for the Jazz Fusion lovers.

Saying that, I could basically do the same with MAHOGANY FROG. But no, I'll not. Since their previous album, the great DO5 (1998) I was waiting for their next one, it was such a great album. This band isn't about the Jazz Fusion, they're about experimentations. But wait a bit, when I say experimentations I'm not talking about 60 minutes of noise with no sense, no melodies and no music, no I'm not. This guys from Canada know how to mix perfectly their instrumental music without being boring.

I'm talking about Progressive Rock, Experimental Rock and just enough Post-Rock to make it interesting. And they mix it all with melodies, even when the synths take over their music it's not just noise, is musical noise, and that my friends is what makes them interesting. For example, when the synth mimic a F1 car, to pay tribute to the great Ayrton Senna (which is obvious when you look to the name of the album).

Senna (2012) is not just a great example of how to be different and experiment in music, but it's also a great example of how to do experimental music and instrumental music with melody and interesting sounds/passages, even when electronic music comes in here and there they make it in a interesting way.

Unfortunatelly the album comes in a cheap and uninteresting Cardoard Sleeve in Gatefold format with little information about the content, but the music, oh the music. Worth, every second.

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 Vs Mabus by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.55 | 6 ratings

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Vs Mabus
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars An interesting Canadian band,started as a Psychedelic/Jam/Alternative Rock act by multi- instrumentalists Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin along with bassist Nathan Loewen and later drummer Jean-Paul Perron.Their debut ''Plays the blues'' from 2001 was a mix of the above description,but then the band arised to a seven-piece act with the addition of keyboards and wind instruments.''The living sounds'' from 2003 sees the band introducing these new elements,but still searching for a particular style.The next year Mahogany Frog moved to Winnipeg and were shortened again to a quartet with new bassist Scott Ellenberger with the prog influences playing now a basic role to their sound.''Vs Mabus'', distributed by Teargas Recording Tree in 2004,just confirms the fact.

The opening 12-min. ''Spooky'' is a good Psych/Prog piece with varied guitar work and nice work on electronics,synthesizers and effects.It is followed by the short but very intense ''St. Helga of Argyle'',where jazzy guitars battle with synths and organ in a very Canterbury- influenced track.More from Canterbury inspiration on the 11-min. ''The Third Machine'' and this one is a stunning cut,where I can't help thinking of HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, CARAVAN but especially NATIONAL HEALTH when listening to it plus an evident NUCLEUS vibe.Impressive interplays between organ,Farfisa,piano and synths with the guitars with also a psychedelic start with wind instruments will complete a beautiful experience.The 17-min. ''Paul's Overalls Hold Mould'' is the amalgam of all Mahogany Frog's inspirations.A mix of Psychedelic/Kraut jamming sessions with Heavy Rock and Jazz-Rock with a rich sound,shifting moods and improvisational parts with lost of electronic effects added.A really ambitious and interesting number.The album will close with the 13-min. '' Boat Alone (We're Not Sailing in This...)'' and its respectful electronic/synth effects start,which will leave their place to some nice Canterbury/Jazz-Prog with beautiful work on organ and piano,the already familiar jazzy style of Warkentin's guitar with also some lovely flute passages added,a track which features the best of the album's sudden breaks.

This band should have entered the prog world sometime earlier.But it is never too late at least and Mahogany Frog released some of the most finest Canterbury-influenced Jazz/Prog ever to be recorded by a modern band.Strongly recommended, especially if you are an addict of bands in the vein of CARAVAN,THE SOFT MACHINE, GILGAMESH, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and NATIONAL HEALTH or artists like BRIAN AUGER snd KEVIN AYERS.

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 DO5 by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 18 ratings

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DO5
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Another huge surprise from Canada.

To my knowledge, this is the fifth album from Mahogany Frog. A band I have never heard about before until I got this CD and read Raff's review of a festival they played in USA. Obviously, I have lost out on something really good here.

How should I describe the music on this album ? The music on this album has no vocals whatsoever. The nearest reference point is therefore fusion. But although there are clear references to both jazz and in particular fusion here, I am most of all getting King Crimson vibes here. That combined with a lot of space rock and Soft Machine vibes too and a dash of zeuhl and avant-garde (Present) too. The very dense sound is pretty much typical post-rock too. This is most certainly an album made this decade and not in the 1970s.

The music is mostly driven by jazz guitars and some vintage keyboards. The bass is also very much a melody driving instrument. The drums keeps the rhythm going. This combines into a wall of sound Phil Spector would had been proud of.

The music flows and ebbs in both majestic and bombastic soundscapes before it withdraws to a more pastoral retreat. Some of the melody lines are very heavy. Some are pastoral. But none of the melodies are dull or even remotely uninteresting. In short, all melodies are great and they flows into each other to create a truly great forty-seven minutes long piece of music. In this respect; this is a symphonic prog album, although the sound is nothing but symphonic prog.

In short, this is a great album which plays on many different levels. I am truly won over by this album and it has given me some great sonic experiences.

4 stars

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 DO5 by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 18 ratings

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DO5
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars In fact 4.5

01. G.M.F.T.P.O.

This quartet of Canada begins the record surprisingly well. Double guitars, varied sounds and the weight of, let's say a modern KING CRIMSON. We ended up with some voices, like in the News. 

02. T-Tigers & Toasters 

Following the voice of News we have another voice, this time those generated by computer programs that help the mute people to communicate. Following, lost keyboards that show the 'great' sound that the band wanted to capture, they recorded the album in one of those large rooms, from those used to recording choirs and small ensembles. Another great detail is the electric piano here and there. It is an atmospheric track, surrounded by schedules J. P. Perron and his interesting synthesizers. Varied climates make the listener lose track of time, and the full 11 minutes pass quickly while its various parties to go on. Intensely creative and interesting.

03. Last Stand At Fisher Farm

A strange mix, is what this band is! At the same time the band is YES and TORTOISE. PINK FLOYD and HAWKWIND. In this track we have a kind of anthem adorned by various synthesizers, a space rock, worthy of a 'star cowboys ' movies, can you imagine that? (laughs)

04.You're Meshugah!

In the fourth track of DO5 the boss is J. P. Perron, the drummer, hitting hard in your drumkit. At the same time the group has a strong melodic base, although chaotic at first what we have is a series of catchy tunes that 'stick' and make you shake your head and sing along, even if the track (and band) being completely instrumental.

05. I Am Not Your Sugar

A natural continuation (and fantastic) of the previous track and a pun on the names too.  The band has a channel on Youtube and there is a great version of this track that is worth taking a look in the videos section of the band here in PA

06. Demon Jigging Spoon

Guitar and bass playing a simple riff (and kinda Japanese) together while the keyboard is in a series of sounds, sometimes enigmatic sometimes emotional. Add to the mix martial rhythms and a soundtrack from a B horror movie, great sound!

07. Medicine Missile

Atmospheric, even more than the others in the same style as 'Last Stand At Fisher Farm'. From the 2 minute song packs, get 'in stride' and speeds. Great bass lines from Scott Ellenberger. In general the whole band is great, great musicians, clever and know how to build melodies.

08. Lady X Oc & Shield Jaguar

the double Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin is extremely competent, alternating all the time between keyboards, synthesizers and guitars. When composing neat melodies and harmonies. An ode to the ears, good to be numb and forget a little of everything, focus solely on music.What today in times of internet becomes a thing increasingly difficult.

09. Loveset

A kind of 'Serenade', a piece inspired by classical music. With the trumpets and electronics 'blips', but in a concise and cohesive, not just a strange mixture.

More than a simple 'mixture', a great album full of catchy tunes and oddities. Hearing highly recommended!

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 Vs Mabus by MAHOGANY FROG album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.55 | 6 ratings

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Vs Mabus
Mahogany Frog Eclectic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Now here is an album that just blew me away completely from the start to the finish. The basically unheard of progressive rock jazz fusion Canadian outfit called Mahogany Frog have done it to the max this time. This album deserves a ton more exposure than it has received and would be one of the best albums I have heard in a number of years. Mahogany Frog mix modern music phraseology with the old 70's vibes and sounds to create a truly engulfing wall of sound that sticks for his music lover. There a 4 epic tracks on this album as well and each number is given lots of space to unfold and create its own vibe. Tons of vintage keyboards (Farfisa, moog ?etc?) with deep bass, guitar, trumpet, flute and wonky effects. This is one of those fantastic headphone experience albums as well with excellent soundscapes and tones. Lovers of fusion rock will also likely get off on this band ! Overall and excellent album

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