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DAVID BAGSBY

Eclectic Prog • United States


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David Bagsby biography
DAVID BAGSBY is a Cherokee musician now residing in Kansas City. He studied jazz under Stanley Jordan, but jazz is only one component of his music - he is incorporating many elements of symphonic progressive rock, as well as acoustic/ethnical elements, and a plethora of analytical in-depth approach, such are Euclidean Space and and alternative tunings.

In addition to his eclectic musical approach, he's also involved in photography and film making.

Bagsby stated that his goal is to became a Rube Goldberg of Rock.


Sources:
www.myspace.com/davidbagsby
bagsby.com

David Bagsby official website

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Buy DAVID BAGSBY Music


The AviaryThe Aviary
esotericity Music 2011
Audio CD$6.50
$4.99 (used)
EphemeronEphemeron
esotericity Music 2011
Audio CD$10.00
HallucinographsHallucinographs
esotericity Music 2011
Audio CD$10.00
TransphoriaTransphoria
esotericity Music 2011
Audio CD$10.00
$5.99 (used)

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DAVID BAGSBY discography


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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Aviary
1991
4.00 | 1 ratings
Xen
1995
3.00 | 1 ratings
Happy Hour for a Pack of Screaming Monkeys - The Music of Raymond Scott
1998
3.86 | 3 ratings
Transphoria
1999
3.95 | 2 ratings
Ephemeron
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Lunaria
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Serigraphs
2005
3.95 | 2 ratings
Syllogisms
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Euphoricon
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hallucinographs
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Watch Out
2010

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

DAVID BAGSBY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

DAVID BAGSBY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Happy Hour for a Pack of Screaming Monkeys - The Music of Raymond Scott by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Happy Hour for a Pack of Screaming Monkeys - The Music of Raymond Scott
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Saying Raymond Scott was innovative is like saying Muhammad Ali was good with his fists or that Marilyn Monroe was voluptuous. There is little doubt on the matter.

An engineer whose skills in electronics would lead him to musical composition and mechanical invention, Scott was encouraged by his brother to attend the Institute of Musical Arts (which became Julliard) where he graduated in 1931, later developing a style he called "descriptive jazz" with a reduced reliance on improvisation-- Blom&Winner note; "Scott sought to master all aspects of sound-capture and manipulation. His special interest in the technical aspects of recording, combined with the state-of-the-art facilities at his disposal, provided him with enormous hands-on experience as an engineer."

In 1943, Raymond Scott sold his publishing rights to Warner which often quoted his work in their classic cartoons (where he gained the incorrect image of cartoon-music composer), and in '46 he founded Manhattan Research toward experimenting on a large scale using inventions of his as the Electronium [considered the first self-composing synthesizer] and Clavivox. Scott would record a slew of early electronic music when Edgar Froese and Brian Eno were still playing with tape recorders, and would later head the Electronic Research division at Motown. It is this vast and important legacy that keyboardist David Bagsby has sought to capture and with a little help from some very impressive friends - including Ron Jarzombek and Kurt Rongey - he did us all a great favor by preserving Ray Scott's work while reinterpreting it for a new audience. And it's a kick-and-a-half.

Many will instantly know some of this work from any number of sources that continue to borrow from Mr. Scott's brilliant catalog, including cartoons new & old (and of course Rush's rock version on a certain Hemispheres cut). But it is the range and totality of the work here that really shines a light on the contributions Raymond Scott made to 20th century music. And leave it to Prog musicians to do it right. A furious bass ground establishes the timeless 'Powerhouse' with all its industrial monikers and factory output, thud-thudding through bells, cranks & whistles, swinging up next with the Hawaiian guitars of 'Businessmans Bounce'. Ron Jarzombek's stinging contribution 'Celebration on the Planet Mars' follows, a wonderland of shred-osity and thick layers of guitar joy, and an absolute must for Jarz fans. Mad organ work for 'The Sleepwalker' as it teeters on a highwire, dazzling the audience with alacrity, and Kurt Rongey's prog take on 'Oil Gusher' is great fun. A rousing 'War Dance For Wooden Indians' from Kevin Leonard; terrific contagion of 'The Penguin' by our host; 'Twilight in Turkey's techy club beats; very cool prog/fusion in 'Kodachrome'; and not-quite-right bounce of 'Huckleberry Duck' by Bagsby/Rongey. 'New Years Eve in a Haunted House' sports some rippin' freejazz, ending with the Satriani rhythms of 'Steeplechase'.

Not to be confused with David Bagsby's other, more traditional progrock and electronic releases, Happy Hour for a Pack of Screaming Monkey's was a labor of love in a different arena, one of past glory and unrequited creation for a great American composer, inventor and innovator.

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 Xen by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Xen
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars Xen is a collaboration between keyboard wizards Kurt Rongey and David Bagsby, and though a touch scattered on the surface, is a juicy, well-crafted record filled with the adventures and escapades that make Bagsby & Rongey two of the best of the smaller American proggers. When paired, these heartlanders offer a rare treat.

Mr. Bagsby's growing reputation precedes him, and fans of the Texas prog scene will know Kurt Rongey from The Underground Railroad and his acclaimed solo work. Here these maestros are at liberty to really let go and give a performance that pushes at the ceiling of even the most bold prog rock. The project was named after 20th century musician Iannis Xenakis: "The music is completely electronic," reads Kurt's bio, "and was composed using, among other things, mathematical formulas to determine pitch and rhythmic values. Taking the artwork of Max Ernst as inspiration and, in fact, composing soundtracks for the drawings, the two came up with some truly captivating prog". I'll buy that, and Xen lives up to its description.

Chopped lines of piano crash into each other waiting for something to emerge, and it does with rushes of varied tempos, each shot down and reborn as something else. The fickle pattern-building continues, making us yearn for something to latch onto. But Xen isn't an easy album and it requires payment. 'Nearly Immaculate Conception' blows up with a thrilling groove of sampled opera and pounding bass lines, and 'Sky Opens Twice' develops nicely between composition, improvisation, and hints of John Carpenter. Seductive and strange 'Crime or Miracle' entices us into its web where struggle becomes useless and our fate is soon sealed, the weird jazz of 'Nightly Food to the Streetlamps' never rests, foreboding 'Immaculate Conception', 'P.E.D.', and the cybernetic 14-minute closer as the two players create an artificial solar system with nothing but spare parts.

At once ahead of its time and stuck in the past, Xen is something to be gradually sampled, perhaps only a few tracks at a time, before it can be heard with the perspective required. Virtuosic, and rather insane.

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 Hallucinographs by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Hallucinographs
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars David Bagsby's 2006 release of almost entirely improvised music (98 % according to him) is an intriguing and rather spectacular event. Bagsby seems to have the uncanny knack of knowing exactly when and how he should record himself, able to capture a moment and momentum that if underestimated, may be lost forever. But Hallucinographs is more than just worthy spontaneous invention. There is music here that feels finished as it is being laid down - rare nowadays even in jazz - connecting the more ethereal parts into a cohesive if unpredictable whole. It's an approach somewhat unfamiliar to the average prog fan and may be a challenge to appreciate, maybe even to hear. But since when has that scared proggies? It's the kind of record both exciting and maddening as parts you love arrive and just as quickly vanish without a trace, with new things to sample and then on to the next moment before you've digested the last. A dizzying experience, and well worth having. Bagsby writes: "It began as a techno album but ended up mutating into something else". Quite.

The CD is broken into four parts though they play more or less as one piece, the segues from one cut to the next barely discernible. A seasick electronic drum track welcomes us to this strange brew as it begins pulling us deeper into its fetid, befouled contents. Unwelcome things happen continuously as tempos suddenly rise or fall, bits of pre-chewed matter swirl in and out of tidepools of unknown liquids, and distant parts of music connect briefly only to fall away. As things progress, the uneasy feeling that we're on a most treacherous voyage begins to sink in. But it's too late, there's no going back. I doubt you'd find your way even if you tried, your long-dead corpse found months later by fishermen.

Dave Bagsby's main squeeze here is a Korg Modeling Synthesizer, though it is unclear whether he or it is in charge. All the better, as an instrument playing a musician is at least as interesting as the other way 'round. There are passages that almost sound as if Bagsby intentionally sabotages the music, causing things to spiral off into unknown quantities, eventually all finding their way back to the mutating fold. It is entertaining to say the least, and occasionally downright awesome. Frustrating at times, but awesome. An RP50 guitar processor adds a nice rock flavor to 11-minute 'Achy, Breaky Quark'. By the halfway point one's brain has pretty much shut down and is on cruise control, equally curious and terrified, just letting the undercurrents take us through the lower regions, past the lighted rocks, brilliant jellies and belching lifeforms. By 'Taken Out of Cortex' things start to clear a bit and we begin rising back up to the surface, but not before a parade of mechanical misfits, warbling quasars, and broken thoughts pass us by.

Bold, and quite an undertaking for both composer and listener. In certain ways this is one of Bagsby's greatest moments on record, and should only be played under the most calm conditions so as not to become forever lost in this enormous sea. Neat stuff.

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 Ephemeron by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Ephemeron
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Ephemeron is a collection of humanly impossible polyrhythmic hierarchies. A minimum of 3 concurrent time signatures are occurring at any given time", says the musician's description of this 2001 disc. That musician is self-made progressive eccentric David Bagsby. Compelling words, and the question of whether the one-man album would live up to that description, even more so.

I hesitate to use the term 'experimental' for this one, as I get the impression much of the experimentation has already occurred during late nights in a dimly-lit cellar, the kind meant for quick escape from an Oklahoma twister. We may never know what of this CD is spontaneous, what was penned, and what was a mysterious blend of both. Perhaps David Bagsby himself may not fully know, such is the magic alchemy of creation. Suffice to say, Ephemeron is fascinating. And though a sort of exercise in metric counterpoint, it is much more than some banal demonstartion. It is musical too.

Frankly, writing about this material is much like trying to undo an intricate math theorem with little hope of finding the solution. Just when your brain has a grip on what the ears are hearing, it changes, subtly or abruptly, and all bets are off-- patience may be required. Oh yes, it may. 'More Nightmares of Science' starts as a seven-note phrase that begins to alter beyond recognition. Like some tonal language, it converses freely on numerous subjects. 'Ephemeron 3' is almost a structural reversal of the first cut and livens up with bold piano, sharp accents of drum programs, deeply-set synthesizers that reach to the core, always maintaining the record's 3-signature rule.

'Ephemeron 4' goes deeper yet, pushing through ink-black subspace highlighted with chirps and signs of life. Darkness getting darker, thicker, and warmer, interrupted by the incredible 'Automatia'. Like a living machine in which you are a prisoner, it takes you; moving ever-faster, layer upon layer of patterned signals, melodies, variations, ripples, articulations, numbers, calculations, redirections, conversions, corrections, over all too soon. 'Hydrophony', the weaker of the cuts, has an unwieldy start and doesn't change much throughout its jerky and slightly gaseous thirteen minutes and considering it is a bonus track, that makes sense.

An outcast Prog demigod, consigned to flames of woe and writing its score while he's there, David Bagsby is Progrock's unsung renegade, and though at times excruciatingly difficult and challenging, Ephemeron is also highly rewarding. If you're ready.

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 Lunaria by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Lunaria
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars David Bagsby voyages into space, enters lunar orbit, and after a gradual skip over the maria settles down on the surface for some crater counting, gentle walks through soft regolith, and tunes-in to the mascons at Serenitatis & Crisium for his very pleasing 2004 ambient release Lunaria.

As with any good ambient work, the quality of sound is the lead player and here Bagsby pays a keen ear to what his waves do to a set of speakers. "I prefer to think of this collection as Gothic mood music", he writes in describing his desire to do a Moon-based album. Opener 'Mare Nubium' lays down big walls of vibration, doing precisely what bass pedals should as it shakes the ground with power, the nervous triplets of 'Selenopolis', 'Mare Vaporum's gravimetrics and 'Mare Crisium' with 1950s-style theremin samples. As we approach the Antipodes out toward the Aitken basin, things get quieter and creepier for 7-minute 'Oceanus Procellarum', the crawling Selenites at Peary Crater and the Peaks of Eternal Light, the soul-swallowing 'Mare Imbrium' and finally rising back out with 'Lunar Halo'.

A pleasing ride with Dave Bagsby hitting just the right kind of astro-spiritual tone, perfect for an afternoon or evening of cosmic intrigue and contemplation.

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 Syllogisms by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Syllogisms
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This sizable release from keyboardist extraordinaire David Bagsby is a collage of 18 cuts encompassing the player's mastery of aural texture & timbre as well as his penchant for playful but deliberate composition. I am, as a lifelong sci-fi geek, reminded of the music of the Krell; the fresh, complex and utterly alien sound that emerged from the bowels of the vast installations on Altair IV in the breakthrough 1956 film Forbidden Planet (granted, that was just someone working an aetherphone, but at the time it must've been literally out of this world). If Bagsby's music weren't so aggressive and eclectic, I'd almost call it progressive trance-- it's like what all those New Age artists would sound like if they had a pair.

Up-tempo 'Skewtopia' blows open the disc, Bagsby's layered synths throwing glorious light and hitting notes only dogs could hear, an intricate drum program supporting as the cut moves through altered beats, deep machinery, polyhedral concoctions, extending as far as possible and then going even farther. Orchestral tunings in 'Node to Perdition' cleanse the palate before the oddities of 'Chicken Coop for the Soul', unnerving vocal samples in 'Kafka's Day Off', rather Prog 'Occam's Razor Burn', cetacean 'Camus-The Existentialist Whale' and videogame kitsch for 'Plato's Fun Factory'.

'Cause and Defect' is jittery, sending tingles in a Bernard Herrmann kind of way, and mechanical 'Zen in the Art of Lawn Darts' throws a curve ball at ambient 'Epicurus' Day Off'. The shrill complaints of Schrodinger's cat bemoan an unattentive owner, matched with 'Devils Adjective' but saved by the industrial animatronics in 'Futuilitarian', a familiar Bagsby nod to the music of the classic Warner cartoons. The show closes with very cool sound sculpture 'Goober Mensch'.

Though there are bits here & there on Syllogisms that won't appeal to all people all of the time, that's to be expected at this sort of smorgasbord. As for Dave Bagsby's musical wizardry, I'll let some familiar names speak to that:

"Wonderful, excellent work." - Mike Keneally

"I think he does some great stuff." - Dave Stewart

"The outer fringe of progressive rock." - Keyboard Magazine

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 Serigraphs by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Serigraphs
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Demented genius David Bagsby's 2005 offering is an homage to his friend, artist Rob Smith, whose bizarre and deeply funny paintings & prints reveal a motif best described by the title of one of Mr. Smith's pieces: 'Oklahoma Gothic'. And though Bagsby's material does at times reflect the artwork, it is also a being unto itself, a world of whirling, ever-changing music that impresses a little more each time it's audited as he perpetually writes the soundtrack to some long lost interactive broadcast from another world, the signals trapped sailing through the cosmos.

Fans of progressive electronic stuff take note, this CD will be a wet tangerine dream but with a more aggressive approach and a wayward alien at the helm. 'Bondage' is a hideously delicious tech beat from an imaginary club where they dance to odd meters till dawn, gobble delicacies from different planets, and do designer drugs in private booths while unnatural acts are perpetrated. 'Twilight on Salsbury Plain' is pretty much just that, eerie and ominous, Bagsby's markers from early science fiction cinema evident, and flagship 'Oklahoma Gothic' returns to the cosmic danceclub but with more development and neat synth sounds. 'Potato Man's Techno Screenprinting System' is industrial as it blorps, kunks, mips, and b'zakts its way to Bagsby's dark church organ for 'Study of Praying Hands' tailed by the enormous, huge-footed cartoonisms of Ray Scott and his brazenly buffoonish bounce - an element underused on this disc - with some graveyard goodbyes at the end.

Overall a solid release from Dave Bagsby, of interest to synth enthusiasts and brave-minded progsters, and a good representation of the sound he has cultivated.

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 Transphoria by BAGSBY, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 3 ratings

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Transphoria
David Bagsby Eclectic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars David Bagsby is a name most prog listeners should know but probably don't, and is the kind of musician that won't be appreciated or even recognized for years, maybe decades. But that's okay; he's been making great stuff for a long time, prolifically self-releasing it through his own Kansas-based company and guesting on all sorts of cool projects from Ron Jarzombek's Spastic Ink to joint efforts with friend Kurt Rongey. A sort of postmodern mad scientist with enough ideas & vision to fill up a lifetime, Bagsby tends to do what Zappa might've done had he not gotten so big, and tickles the funnybone with a neat mix of humor and dead serious compositional journeys. And thanks to guys like Fred Trafton over at the GEPR, David Bagsby has been getting some much deserved notice in Prog circles.

This, his 1999 release Transphoria, is a good starting place for the proghead who may be understandably wary of dropping some bucks on Bagsby's brand of art music. After several emails with Mr. Bagsby, I learned almost everything here is produced on keys as on the huge, scorching opener 'Esotericity' followed-up perfectly with 7-minute 'AVN'. Bagsby's work is that of a man dying to create but barely knowing where to begin, so overwhelmed by his own skill and muses that it's all he can do to sit down and play it without being crushed by an insatiable lust for all of musical history. But somehow he gets it done, and this CD is one of his best.

'Lyra' and 'Vista del Mars' are slow and probably unnecessary but the New Agey title cut redeems, dealing out killer Prog stylings evoking Keith Emerson, Frank Zappa, and of course Raymond Scott. Epic 14-minute 'Where Reason Stops' centers the album around Bagsby's highly eclectic style and brings together the full gamut of his influences from Electronic to Fusion, New Age to Old World, Prog to Pop, and 'Stranglefsky' ends on a bit of jazz meets syn-phonette.

Fellow midwesterner Wilhelm Murg says of Bagsby, "He creates a tightly woven schizophrenic blend of experimental art and pop culture that developed in isolation out here in the plains. The images of Caruso visiting the oilfields, Bob Wills playing Hawaiian music in the shadows of our gothic, art deco cityscape, Gary Busey hot rodding across town on Route 66, and Oral Roberts having visions of a 900 foot Jesus, are all summed up in Bagsby's compositions."

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