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CICCADA

Eclectic Prog • Greece


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Ciccada biography
CICCADA were formed in 2005 in Athens. Current line-up consists of Evangelia Kozoni (vocal duties and keys), Nicolas Nikolopoulos (various flutes and keyboards), Giorgos Mouchos (guitars) -this trio is a core of the band, other members are Omiros Komninos (bass), Christos Zeleidis (drums) and Panagiotis Gianakkakis (piano).

The music of CICCADA is heavily rooted in folk music; it's complex, compelling, borowing influneces from many other spheres of progressive rock or more. If you're intrigued by fusing the most complex moments of GRYPHON and GENTLE GIANT, this band is highly recommended. They released their debut 'A Child In The Mirror' for Fading Records, which is a subdivision of Italian label AltrOck Productions, in June 2010.



Moris Mateljan, 2010.
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The Finest Of MiraclesThe Finest Of Miracles
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Fading Records
Audio CD$19.99
$17.77 (used)
Child In The MirrorChild In The Mirror
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Indies Japan/Zoom 2010
Audio CD$20.00
$18.50 (used)
Finest of MiraclesFinest of Miracles
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Imports 2015
Audio CD$28.88
$43.89 (used)
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CD a child in the mirror
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CD the finest of miracles
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CICCADA discography


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

3.82 | 204 ratings
A Child in the Mirror
2010
4.06 | 116 ratings
The Finest Of Miracles
2015

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CICCADA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.06 | 116 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars It's been five years since Greece's Ciccada released their highly acclaimed debut album, A Child in the Mirror on AltrOck Records. Now they are back with an album that displays the maturation process the band has undergone in both recording and compositional technique. The songs of The Finest of Miracles show improved mastery of the band's proclivity for weaving sophisticated instrumental structures using their multiplicity of ancient and traditional folk instruments integrated with modern electrified instruments. They have also refined their symphonic sensibilities, as is displayed in the long-playing masterpieces, "Around the Fire" and the 18-minute long "The Finest of Miracles Suite." They are also much more evenly paced, eliminating the occasional tendency they had previously to over-do or flood passages with too much information.

1. "A Night Ride" (6:26) is an instrumental putting on immediate display the fact of the band's maturation as well as its further commitment to both rock music and symphonic song structures. Also on display is the multi-instrumental virtuosity of leader Nicolas Nikolopoulos who is credited with flute, tenor sax, Mellotron, synthesizers, electric and grand pianos, organ, and glockenspiel. The contributions of guest musician Lydia Boudouni on violin are also quite significant. Nice opener. (8/10) But, we're all waiting for the complete ensemble--and especially the contributions of vocalist extraordinaire, Evangelina Kozoni. The next song does not take long to satisfy.

2. "Eternal" (8:02) starts out sounding very much like A Child in the Mirror's "A Garden of Delights"--though a bit more spacious. By the middle of the song the band has started mixing things up enough and by the end of the sixth minute they have finally broken away from its predecessor: organ, acoustic guitars, flutes, Mellotron and violins. In retrospect, it feels as if it is really Evangelina's vocal melody that keeps bringing me back to "Earthly Delights," not so much the instrumental music. Still, a great song. Great sound. (8/10)

3. "At the Death of Winter" (4:04) starts out with flute, synths, Mellotron and marimba setting things up for Evangelina's storytelling vocal. The song is impressionistic: jazzy, folkie, kind of childlike and pleasant. At times it even treads into GENTLE GIANT territory--especially with the jazzy section beginning in the third and the rondo weave of male vocals accompanying Evangelina which soon follows during the fourth minute. Surprising and beautiful song! (9/10)

4. "Around the Fire" (9:16) is a true symphonic construction with no single section lasting more than 45 seconds and never less than 30. It opens with two wooden flutes playing together for the first 30 seconds. Multiple tracks of acoustic guitars fill the next 30 seconds before an all-out acoustic JETHRO TULL instrumental weave bursts out. This is then joined by organ and Evangelina's vocal. Next there is a brief instrumental of medieval instruments before the music returns to the JTULL theme with electric guitar and flute flashing in and out in an enthusiastic dance. Next Evangelina returns with the organ before the song quiets down to the medieval instrument section this time with Evangelina's voice. It sounds like a 1960s folk songs with its strummed acoustic guitars and background vocal harmonies. Gorgeous! At the five minute mark we get to hear two electric guitar soli before the song devolves into a rapidly strumming acoustic guitar. Then, at 6:30 we get to hear some impassioned JTULL flute and guitar soli, building into a heavier JTULL crescendo before returning tho the 60s folk section with the addition of Mellotron and GENESIS-like guitars to exit. Amazing song! (10/10)

5. "Lemnos (Lover Dancer)" 0:47) is a song in the true medieval folk minstrel tradition. Plus horns! (10/10)

THE FINEST OF MIRACLES SUITE:

6. "Birth of the Lights" (1:52) opens surprisingly heavily, with and odd time signature, before evolving into a softer and lighter "sunshine and unicorns" mood. (9/10)

7. "Wandering" (6:42) opens sounding a lot like very early GENESIS. Sax with background violin and piano are interspersed with the "mischievous" "interruptions" of flute A weave of multiple synths ensues before the song returns to the sax and violin weave, this time interlaced with slightly heavier sections?one of which has some raunchy jazz guitars. The song always comes back to either the sax and violin theme and/or the flutes over acoustic guitars for its grounding. This is very much a soundtrack for a film--like an old silent film soundtrack--one in which five or six very distinct personalities are interacting and/or conversing. (9/10)

8. "Sirens Call" (1:38) starts with simple acoustic guitar arpeggios joined by flute and then double bass and Rhodes piano. Violin and flute trade soli throughout. (9/10)

9. "As Fall the Leaves" (3:09) is a medieval folk ensemble set up for Evangelina to sing in her native Greek. Very RENAISSANCE like. (10/10)

10. "Song for an Island" (4:47) sees the suite step into the electronic era with trumpets and Mike Oldfield-like lead guitar with Evangelina continuing singing in Greek. The music has the feel of an early bluesy JETHRO TULL or GENESIS song. Horns join in at 1:10, adding something special before the song returns to the opening vocal section. In the fourth minute it takes a turn into new territory--a kind of "MacArthur Park" sound and structure. At 4:30 a circus-like element is introduced--which carries us through to the end! (9/10)

Amazing composition pulled off with such skill and maturity! Awesome!

This album has an amazing 1970s feel to it in the way it is composed and performed; such mastery and maturity is rare in this day and age. Always a sucker for medieval and folk traditions, this album has bewitched me--much more than even their debut--to which I also ascribed five stars.

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 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.06 | 116 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by below zero

5 stars A group from a small country with no tradition in progressive music seems to know the way to sound like a classic band. Groups such as the "Afrodites child" is certainly an exception. The musical form of "The finest of miracles" have a prototype that does not depart from the authentic sound of progressive sound. I especially enjoyed the keyboard and flute.The guitar work is excellent here, especially in the guitar solos.The drum and percussion sounds very well-balanced with increased tensions the right time. Certainly the group has makes a clear progress compared with the first album "A child in the mirror". I enjoyed it very much. Five stars.

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 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.06 | 116 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Ciccada is one of the most talented and promising bands in Greece right now. (In my opinion at least).

I discovered them a few years ago, when they released their first album 'A Child in the Mirror'. While I was listening to that album I was surprised by their rather unique sound (for the Greek standards at least), which combines many different elements such as Folk, Jazz and Progressive Rock, just to name a few.

A couple of months ago, Ciccada released their second album 'The Finest of Moments', which is better than their first one in everything. Better compositions, more "mature" sound, and a lot of guest musicians playing a huge variety of instruments, giving their music a beautiful "color".

(I had the chance to meet the drummer Giannis Iliakis, and the mastermind behind the band Nikos Nikolopoulos, and I have to say that they are cool and interesting guys, but above all very good musicians).

As for the album, it includes 10 tracks and has a total running time of almost 45 minutes. There are 3 small tracks included, which can be characterised as "passages" between songs, and they are under 2.00 minutes long. All the rest are between 3.00 and 9.00 minutes in length.

The album's opening track is the dreamy instrumental 'A Night Ride' having as leading instruments the keyboards and the violin at the start, but there are more instuments added later on, such as the flute and guitar. Definitely one of the best songs here.

With the second track 'Eternal' the band is presenting to the listeners their female singer Evangelia Kozoni, with the soft and beautiful voice.

As for their influences, most probably are bands like: Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Camel etc, but you can't say that Ciccada are a "copy" of those bands. They have some elements from those bands in their music yes, but they are combined in such a way that the final outcome sounds very personal.

At the moment I got the album's in MP3 version, waiting for the release of the vinyl version which will probably come out in May.

I strongly recommend the album to those who can enjoy and appreciate an album with "dreamy" passages, beautiful melodies, and in many occasions complex compositions.

If I had to rate it, I would give 4.00 out of 5.00 stars.

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Ciccada from Athens, Greece came together in April 2005, after veteran keyboardist/flutist Nicolas Nikolopoulos met with young and promising guitarist Giorgos Mouchos.Starting from instrumental textures and adding lyrics in the process, they had to recruit a singer and finally settled with Evangelia Kozoni.A couple of years later they started presenting their work with guest musicians in several clubs and pubs, until recording a demo CD in 2009.After recruiting bassist Omiros Komninos, the band came to the attention of Fading Records and traveled to Italy to record the debut album ''A Child in the mirror'' at the Effettonote Studio in Milan.Plenty of Italian and Greek musicians guested on this work, highlighted by Yūgen' Valerio Cipollone on clarinet and Mattia Signo on glockenspiel as well as Paolo Ske Botta on electric piano.The album came out in 2010.

Ciccada played a widely unknown style in the Greek music scene (which rockwise was traditionally inspired by the psychedelic movement), a diverse mix of Symphonic Rock, Medieval Folk and Jazz with lovely, refined and polished orchestrations, featuring complicated moves, endless mellow interplays and some beautiful melodies.The sound of the band has been enriched by instruments like sax, cello, clarinet, accordion and reeds, thus their soundscapes are always full of flexible orchestrations and a certain lyrical depth due to Kozoni's presence.The lyrics are written mostly in English, but a pair of tracks are sung in Greek, nothing hurting the flow of the album, as Kozoni's thin, operatic voice make them hardly recognizable, sounding more like an additional instrument.Ciccada sound a lot like GRYPHON, early KING CRIMSON, CAMEL and GENTLE GIANT, lots of melodic flutes in the process, numerous proggy twists on Mellotron, Hammond organ and electric piano and some very good electric explosions on guitar along with sporadic entries into jazzier patterns.The huge presence of guest musicians and the long list of additional instruments make Ciccada sound like a mini Chamber Folk orchestra at moments, always performing under progressive arrangements.No particular highlights, all tracks are really nice with evident retro leanings of the Classic Prog variety and a touch of light R.I.O. vibes.

I am quite shocked to see a Greek band playing this specific style.Really cool symph-influenced Prog Folk with dominant flutes and keyboards and several interesting orchestrations.Strongly recommended, even more if you love any of the aforementioned bands/influences...3.5 stars.

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ciccada from Greece offers a very entertaing album and pleasent most of the time. A child in the mirror is the name of the album released in 2010 and is for many listners a very good one, ok with that , the minus of the album at least for me is the voice of Evangelia Kozoni, who fits perfectly is this prog folk atmosphre, but to my ears his tone and his vocal manuvres are to swell or cool for my taste. Anyway the instrumental arrangements are more then ok with some fantastic parts like the opeing track or another highlight being A Storyteller's Dream. Well performed folk prog with caterbury and eclectic passages here and there, some Gentle Giant parts meets Gryphon, not band at all in the end but I can't express my total delight for this album overall. A good debute for these greeks who presented an enjoyble album but to me at least is nothing really impressive. 3 stars for A child in the mirror.

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Bilkaim

4 stars A Greek Canterbury? It is hard to say. I felt obvious Canterbury atmosphere while listening to this album, although it contains lots of other elements, from British folk to Scandinavian melancholy. This is definitely one of the best albums in recent progressive rock production, not only because of some extraordinary contributions of the members and guests (especially Evangelia Kozoni who sings both Greek and English), but also because of the fact the songs have their identity, their artistic particularity and depth of expression. When you unexpectedly recognize that uniqueness buried with hundreds of modern progressive rock albums, hardly avoiding being a clone of the fundamental progressive rock achievements of the seventies, then it is the sign you are dealing with the group that has definitely something to offer. Especially recommended for those who like Gilgamesh, White Willow, Syrinx and similar stuff.

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars 'A Child in the Mirror' was one of my Top-10 album picks for 2010, thanks mostly to its wonderful and liberal use of mellotron, woodwinds and keyboards that managed to explore the range of the music without being overpowering or 'trendy'. This is a beautiful album with the sort of imaginative arrangements that pay tribute to the masters of old while at the same time making its own contribution to the current progressive rock scene.

Greek progressive rock of the 21st century tends to remind me a bit of RPI in terms of the omnipresent trait of layered instrumental sounds that expand rather than simply reiterating the rhythm and musical theme of a given song. Flutes and recorders make their own way through a composition while at the same time the piano, organ and other keyboards traverse ever-shifting scales and tempo shifts, setting an overall mystic mood to most of the music. Finally the guitar, bass and percussion ground the whole thing in a decidedly rock vein, but something that seems far removed from the traditional blues, jazz or folk influences that characterize most rock music. The whole thing is simply enchanting, cosmopolitan and culturally amorphous, yet the band manages to make it all sound so simple and casual. There are similarities to another Greek band, Will-o-the Wisp that I find appealing here, especially the fantasy-tinged mood and soothing female vocals that make every song seem like a small suite even though most of them (excepting "A Garden of Delight") are not much longer than a typical FM radio tune.

I guess there's a story here, or at least the song titles suggest as much. Almost all the lyrics are in Greek though so unless you happen to speak it or have a good interpreter the message is left to the imagination, but the album cover, mood and titles give pretty good insight into the general theme.

Other than the title track most of the music fits the description above. That one song has a couple of short instrumental passages and one vocal track that seem to be in a smooth jazz bent, not overpowering but distinctive enough from the rest of the album as to stand out. The brass is synthesized I believe, while the piano and organ blend to make this sound like a sort of folksy ballad. There is a sadness to Ms. Kozoni's vocals that melds with the opening of the next track "A Storyteller's Dream" and its weeping acoustic guitar with wispy flute that give way to an energetic rock rhythm of guitar, bass and drums although the song never lets go of the woodwinds and even adds mellotron and organ to great effect for an overall passage of music that seems to go on forever. The closing flute and wordless vocals feel like a bridge, a shift in the musical theme that carries on through "Raindrops" before turning darker with the mellotron strings and heavy beat of "An Endless Sea" and "Epirus - A Mountain Song". "Elisabeth" gets even funkier although the bits of flute and acoustic lulls keep the percussion and guitar from overpowering the delicate mood. The listener gets the sense that there is a climax of some sort coming, so despite the laconic mood there is a feeling of anticipation and tension that heightens each song as they build on each other.

Finally "A Garden of Delights" pulls all the various instruments and sounds together along with a solidly grounded guitar and organ base, stilted sharp piano and the few English vocals on the album. This is the summation, the point to the story and the keyboards and guitar strings definitively mark the buildup to the end. In the end though the music fades rather than explodes, yet another demonstration of the unique character of modern Greek music as this waning is both unexpected and immensely appealing. A great ending to an exquisite album.

I know almost nothing about this band and have purposely avoided trying to find out too much. Like their countrymen Will-o-the Wisp the band are all consummate musicians and collaborate very well together. Their music is unique in that it is clearly in the progressive mold but doesn't sound like any prog rock created outside of Greece. For those reasons I highly recommend this album to any prog rock fan, and don't have any problem rating it as a high four out of five star effort. You really should have 'A Child in the Mirror' in your collection.

peace

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A new band from Hellas with a very impressive following here in ProgArchives already. Is Ciccada the saviour of Greece ?

They could be that. Their music is very dense and cleverly put together. There is a lot of mellotron, moog and piano in their sound in addition to a thundering bass/drums constellation. Add guitars and flute too and you get this sound. That and Evangelia Kozoni's superb vocals. She sounds like Kari Rueslaatten though and I get the feeling that Ciccada is what Third And The Mortal could had been if they had gone prog instead of electronica. OK, just a personal reflection......

Ciccada's music is based on folk music with expansions into the eclectic prog landscape. But folk rock is mostly what we get here. Their place in the eclectic prog genre is justified though by the eclectic build up of their songs.

This is a very good album which should had been a great album with the addition of one or two killer tracks which would had elevated this album to a great album. It is not, but it is close enough to explain their popularity. There is no doubts Ciccada is onto something here and I have high hopes for their second album.

3.5 stars

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In my eternal quest to discover new music, now and then, though unfortunately not as often as I would like, a new band or one I simply haven't discovered yet will come along with something rather special. One such band is Ciccada who released their debut album, A Child In The Mirror in 2010. The band come from Greece, a country that unless I've missed a load of stuff which I doubt is not particularly prolific in prog circles and this turns out to be the first album I've bought from a band from that country. Yes, not even an Aphrodite's child Cd in my collection!

Listening to A Child In The Mirror, I'm struck that there's nothing particularly original here, yet it still comes across like a breath of fresh air. Ciccada draw on many musical styles with folk being high on the list, but there's also jazz, classical touches and some symphonic prog too. This is all played by highly skilled musicians in complex arrangements that for the large part is played with a lightness of touch that is rare, even in prog. To cap it all off there's the lovely and pure vocal delivery of Evangelia Kozoni, who sings partly in her native tongue and partly in English.

For the large part the music just seems to float along all light and airy with lots of acoustic instrumentation - flute, recorder, acoustic guitar and piano sit alongside the more traditional (in rock) electric instruments, which never overpower the acoustic, despite the occasional more bombastic moment which works the better for being saved for special moments such as their namesake track or Elizabeth and even here the light and shade elements still play an important role. Due to the complexity of the music it takes a few listens for the beautiful and subtle melodies to shine through but the rewards are worth the perseverance as A Child In The Mirror proves to be a highly enjoyable and multi-faceted album.

Unfortunately I only bought this Cd a few months ago. Had I acquired a copy last year I'm sure it would have had a place in my top 10 of 2010. Well worth seeking out in my humble opinion.

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 A Child in the Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.82 | 204 ratings

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A Child in the Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars This album has a serene quality that sort of drifts by while I listen to it. Opening with an instrumental named after the band itself, it is immediately apparent that this group is composed of very talented individuals who did their homework concerning 70s prog101. With a Hammond organ providing the main melodies combined with busy flute soloing and electric guitar work, this piece combines Jethro Tull, Renaissance and Gentle Giant into this somewhat folksy stew with a generous helping of melodies.

With the flute used as a main instrument throughout the album, the Renaissance feel of this effort is already in effect, but it reaches a completely new level once Evangelia Kozoni adds her vocals to the mix, with a lilt and singing style that conjures images of the days when everyone rode horses and used arrows to kill people instead of guns. It almost sounds like a sort of "new age" prog with a bit of a Mediterranean vibe nestled into the mix. It's refreshing at first, and pretty interesting, but by around somewhere during the fourth track I was really looking for a break from all the Hammond organ and flute noodling. They sound pleasant enough for periods of time, but I never realized until listening to Ciccada for the first time how annoying those instruments can become if played continually and excessively. Sheesh. An Endless Sea was a breath of fresh air with its sweet piano melodies and a surprising bit of "rockin' out" by the guitars, and I hope they pursue this path just a little bit more, even if it's not as distinctive as their general sound through most of this creation.

This is not an album I can play from beginning to end without needing a serious pause...maybe it's just something I'm not used to. The playing prowess is excellent, the melodies are diverse and quite complex at times, the singing is very pleasing to the ears, and there was plenty of thought put into these compositions and lyrics; nothing felt like a rush job. Still, all those busy flute & Hammond organ passages can be a chore for me to deal with; I suppose nothing a good mug of fine mead wouldn't cure.

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Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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