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ELECTRUM

Crossover Prog • United States


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Electrum biography
ELECTRUM are a late 90's, all-instrumental trio from New England who stand at the crossroads of prog rock and fusion, somewhere between RUSH and Bill Bruford's solo albums. The are: Dave Kulju on electric guitar and synthesizer, Joe Musmanno on acoustic and electronic percussion, and Gino Foti on bass guitar, synth and MIDI pedals. Their goal is to create music that is both emotionally moving and technically challenging. Their sound is bare boned: no flash, all rock steady, with plenty of drive and direction, yet full of complex arrangements and antiseptically clean odd-time signatures.

Their first album, "Frames of Mind" (98), showed some promise but may have lacked a bit on the melodic side; it also featured no soloing whatsoever - a disappointment for an all-instrumental album. The more polished "Standard Deviation" (02) was a logical progression, featuring some welcomed synth, keyboard and guitar solos plus some great drumming by Musmanno; as for Foti's bass work, you'd never guess the man was self taught. Here and there, you might hear various influences (LED ZEP, KING CRIMSON and, of course, RUSH), but the band seldom lingers in one particular zone, preferring the 'touch-and-go' approach and thus avoiding the clone trap. Excellent production, btw.

Recommended to RUSH fans but will definitely appeal to fusion fans too.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Frames Of MindFrames Of Mind
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ELECTRUM discography


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

3.32 | 5 ratings
Frames of Mind
1998
3.57 | 7 ratings
Standard Deviation
2002

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ELECTRUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Frames of Mind by ELECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.32 | 5 ratings

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Frames of Mind
Electrum Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars US trio Electrum was born at the fall of 1995, when bassist Gino Foti answered an ad of guitarist Dave Kulju, who was looking personel for forming a Progressive Rock band.The two of them started rehearsing and composing original ideas, while another ad was placed by Kulju, this time in search for a drummer.Joe Musmanno responded and became the third member of Electrum.The recordings of their debut ''Frames of mind'' took place at Gino's home studio between August and December '97 and the album was released eventually in March 1998.

Powerful, instrumental, guitar-led Progressive Rock is the style on this album, which often evokes the great days of RUSH and KING CRIMSON as well as modern acts or artists from the U.S. like TONY SPADA or TILES.Long arrangements with nice power grooves in the vein of ALEX LIFESON along with emphatic breaks and smoother chords meet the sometimes more melodic side of Electrum with a few added doses of keyboards.In the more complicated parts Kulju's style also brings to mind ROBERT FRIPP's heydays with KING CRIMSON.There is a good balance between heavier Power Rock material and softer instrumental pasages, while the band changes direction every minute, making the album far from monotonous.Kulju and Foti provide also synthesizers in parts of some tracks, adding a light symphonic flavor, while the music flirts with Prog/Fusion at times, recalling US compatriots MIND GALLERY.

Excellent purchase for all fans of the aforementioned bands/artists and especially RUSH.Energetic, dynamic, diverse and recommended music all the way.

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 Standard Deviation by ELECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.57 | 7 ratings

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Standard Deviation
Electrum Crossover Prog

Review by progaeopteryx
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Electrum is an all-instrumental trio consisting of bass guitarist Gino Foti, guitarist Dave Kulju, and drummer Joe Musmanno. Kulju and Foti both share keyboard duties. This is their second album, featuring seven all instrumental tracks (the first and fifth tracks have a few scant spoken mutterings). My main interest in this band is that I discovered their CD at a cheap price on Ebay and after reviewing several positive reviews on other sites, I gave it a try.

Wow, what a mixed bag this CD is, and I mean that in a positive way as the musical styles are quite diverse, although there is a subtle "sameness" across the whole album. Many of the reviews I've read point to Rush as a big influence, and I'm not so sure the influence is "big," but it certainly is there, mostly in Musmanno's almost Peart-style of drumming. Occasionally the guitar work is similar to that of Alex Lifeson, but generally Dave Kulju has a wide palette and I hear similarites with other prog guitarists like John Mitchell, Roine Stolt, Chris Fry, and John Petrucci (yes, Kulju plays some metallic riffs in places). Some songs are jazzy, some even exhibit blues influences. Some are energetic, some peaceful, and some are a mix of several styles. I even hear a little neo prog and symphonic prog in places, though the keyboards are usually used as a background or to fill out the sound more, with occasional solos being brought out into the front. The bass work is exceptional, though it plays a more subdued accompanying role instead of being in front. Occasionally I sense some Geddy Lee references (particularly during the last track).

Overall a really nice album and an enjoyable listen. If you like your prog in the instrumental vein with touches of Rush, this one is worth your attention.

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 Standard Deviation by ELECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.57 | 7 ratings

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Standard Deviation
Electrum Crossover Prog

Review by DeKay

3 stars Electrum is a prog rock trio. This brings to mind the most legendary canadian prog rock band and there is a point here. The music of Electrum is reminiscent of Rush, though it would be unfair (if not a lie) to say that these guys copy Rush.Their music also involves many jazz and fusion influences. The first time I had the chance to listen to "Standard Deviation" I was driving and I remember I being totally captured by the album. When I finally arrived, "Seven Falls, Eight Rises" had just began, so I parked, turned off the engine and enjoyed the rest of it before going where I was going. In a few words, "Standard Deviation" is characterized by great instrumental music, high level of musicianship, very good compostitions, and a fair sound.

The worst moments of the album are probaly "The Will To Power" (too bad it is the opener) and "Appartment Living", which has nothing to do with the jazzy melodic approach of the rest of the tracks.

My favourite tracks are "Degrees Of Freedom" and "A Fugue State", both outstanding pieces, of prog with great melodies, constant mood changes and wise use of keyboards.

Recommended to all fans of instrumental prog rock.

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 Frames of Mind by ELECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.32 | 5 ratings

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Frames of Mind
Electrum Crossover Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Guitarist Dave Kulju connected with a drummer and a bassist via a Rush email list to form the band ELECTRUM. Their debut "Frames of Mind" is interesting in that it is the most *minimalist* Rush imitation I've ever heard. Unlike most Rush-ies who attempt to totally duplicate (or even to add to) the Rush "sound", Electrum reduces the style of their heroes into a form of melodically ambiguous instrumental hard rock music emphasizing bass/drum/guitar *interplay*.

This was recorded in the mid-to-late 1990's with a limited production budget. Their 2nd album, "Standard Deviation" would be a great step forward for the band in terms of composition and production. But "Frames of Mind" projects a more singular identity and more prominently wears its RUSH influence as a "badge of honor".

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that is a very *unique* RUSH inspired offering. When I picked it up in the late 1990's, it was bargain-priced even as a new CD so look around for a good retail price if you want to hear a unique approach to Rush flattery.

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 Frames of Mind by ELECTRUM album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.32 | 5 ratings

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Frames of Mind
Electrum Crossover Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a three-piece band that got together after an ad that ELECTRUM's guitarist posted to the National Midnight Star - the RUSH on-line digest/mailing list, looking for other musicians. You can hear the RUSH influences in ELECTRUM's music that is Instrumental Progressive Rock. Their music combine a myriad of influences and genres such as Classical Music, Jazz, Progressive Rock, Jazz-Fusion, Prog Metal, Neo Progressive Music, Pop, Folk and Heavy Metal. Here you can find complex odd-time signatures and polyrhythms. The music is very strictly arranged and has a very composed feeling, because the lead and solo sections is kept to a minimum. The bassist Gino Foti has been playing bass for 6 years, he's entirely self taught, but it sounds like he's been playing for whole his life. I am astounded by the group's musical skills. Every track on the album is totally amazing. My personal favourites are "Reverie" and "Portal to Arcanum". This is a must-buy for everyone who likes really Progressive Music. Beside PÄR LINDH PROJECT's CD "Mundus Incompertus" the best album so far in 1998.

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