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NIC POTTER

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Nic Potter picture
Nic Potter biography
18 October 1951 (Wiltshire, England) - 16 January 2013

Nic Potter is probably best known for his time spent as the bassist for Prog band VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, as well as playing bass on many of Peter Hammill's solo albums. He also however has released quite a few solo albums himself, which feature heavily on synths, not to dissimilar to Berlin School. Some of his more notable solo releases include Mountain Music (1984), Self Contained (1987), and The Blue Zone (1990).

::bio by Sheavy::

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NIC POTTER discography


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

2.13 | 4 ratings
Mountain Music
1984
3.50 | 2 ratings
Sketches in Sound
1986
3.50 | 2 ratings
Self Contained
1987
3.05 | 3 ratings
The Blue Zone
1990
3.05 | 2 ratings
New Europe - Rainbow Colours
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dreamworld
1997

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Italy
2008

NIC POTTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NIC POTTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Dreams in View 81-87
1988
4.00 | 1 ratings
Mountain Music & Sketches in Sound
1993

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

NIC POTTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mountain Music by POTTER, NIC album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.13 | 4 ratings

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Mountain Music
Nic Potter Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars -- First review for this album --

Nic Potter's name is recognized by all connoisseurs of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR in which he played bass in the early 70's and in '77-'78, as well as on several Peter Hammill solo albums. But fewer are aware of his solo output that perhaps surprisingly falls under the category of Progressive Electronic. Although at least on ground of this album, the only one I've listened to, the term 'progressive' is frankly very questionable.

Mountain Music is Potter's debut album (some sources say it was released already in 1983). It is almost entirely played by Potter on bass, synths and piano. Huw Lloyd-Langton plays guitar on two tracks and John Ellis on one. The VdGG partner Guy Evans appears on percussion on three tracks. 'Morning Suite' is a dreamy and slightly melancholic piece centering on soft synth sounds. It reminds me of PETER DAVISON's similar-toned electronic/New Age album Winds of Space (1987). The second, guitar-featured piece 'Paradise Journey' is more upbeat with programmed percussion which is a bit too dominant, but the repeated melody is fairly nice.

'Tropical Tones' returns to the softer sounds. I'm not saying the synth sound would be similar but in a way I'm thinking of the instrumentals on A Curious Feeling (1979) by Tony Banks. 'Middle Street Dream' builds a dreamy, bright-toned synth melody on top of a clinical rhythm pattern, despite the presence of Evans. 'Night Falls Over Europe' is again more upbeat number. One could think of the synth-centred film music of GIORGIO MORODER (Midnigh Express, for example). There's an urban, nocturnal "noir" atmosphere. 'The Forest' on which John Ellis plays perhaps the album's most distinctive electric guitar participation continues in the same style. The programmed drums are on the foreground. Sadly too much so, on the album whole.

With eight tracks of regular song length, the album is also rather short (32:24). I'm afraid it's more of a curiosity -- with a certain nostalgia factor if you have lived the early eighties and listened to the synth music of the time -- than a musically enduring work of art. The melodies are often quite nice, to say the least, but the compositions do not have much of a progress. The featured co-musicians do only a little to widen the album's sonic pallette. The synth work and programmed sounds are at times similar to what Peter-John Vettese did on Jethro Tull albums The Broadsword and the Beast (1982) and Under Wraps (1984). This instrumental album remains a bit hollow, and if Nic Potter had collaborated with some vocalist -- in the Jon & Vangelis manner -- the results might have been more interesting. 2 stars rounded down.

 New Europe - Rainbow Colours by POTTER, NIC album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.05 | 2 ratings

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New Europe - Rainbow Colours
Nic Potter Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It is kind of healthy for Nic Potter to have stayed away from his mothership band's musical language, he anyway held, as bass player, the invisible position.

Nic Potter's NEW EUROPE - RAINBOW COLOURS, 1992 has one of the most uncharacteristic track dispositions I know. First track lasts 4 minutes, second track 47, then back to 2 or 3 or 6 minutes tops for the remaining eight tracks.

Anyway, Nic "Mozart" Potter, as his nickname implied had a natural hunger for symphonic music. To Progressive electronic followers, the thrill consists in adding electronic noises in his "classical music" oriented compositions. Track 2, "New Europe", which is like an album itself, delivers to all extent the symphonic mode accompanied by some electronic touches just at the right time. As I found out in earlier releases, his musical language was just starting to bloom, therefore it still shows his personal influences and likings.

Some tracks , track one the most, show that he was highly impressed by the Dire Strait's 1985, "Brothers in Arms" album, I assume, and maybe to be more accurate in my wild guess, their live tour of the same.

Others are guitar or flute based, "New Age" kind of atmospheric compositions which hold among the rest a more personal musical language.

The kind of release which should not go unnoticed, yet it still is short of being essential according to PA's suggestions on rating.

PD-And believe it or not, all symphonic aspirations, although not that unique, never sound over the top, which adds up for their enjoyment.

***3.5 PA stars.

 The Blue Zone by POTTER, NIC album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.05 | 3 ratings

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The Blue Zone
Nic Potter Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nic Potter (1951/2013), should sound familiar to those acquainted with Van Der Graaf Generator. He was their bass player, as he also played alongside or inside with other musicians and musical projects. A sad loss but nevertheless quiet a fructiferous life.

Of those myriad of projects, his solo ones, are included in this Progressive/Electronic sub-genre.

I due to the same felt intrigued, because a die hard VDGG follower I am not.

As far as electronic goes, yes there is synth-pop/rock in his 2 first releases and yes an expected dosage of the then emerging "New Age" and "Fusion/World Music" musical stylings.

Anyway, once inside the works I got, I will start with his fourth release as registered here in PA, "The Blue Zone", 1990. Why I chose this one? Well nobody can play the Bassoon as it sounds here, at least not Nic.

Here is the list of the unwritten credits.

Bassoon / Lindsay Cooper (track: 5), Classical Guitar / Duncan Browne (tracks: 4, 5), Electric Guitar / Snowy White (track: 1), Guitar / Huw Lloyd-Langton (tracks: 3, 6), Peter Hammill (track: 2), Oboe / Catherine Milliken (tracks: 5), Percussion [Woodblock] / Guy Evans (track: 2), Saxophone / Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan (track: 6), Violin / Stuart Gordon (track: 5).

So as I was telling this is a party, not a guy playing with himself (no pun intended).

Ok, for starters, he has not the same knack for experimentation his mothership band held, in fact he was known as Nic "Mozart" Potter, this release shows why. More than once a symphonic mood emerges. Big structured, epic like sections arranged to its full extent, not exactly that original in their language but huge, as mini-"Mozartesques" playful figures tag along and that is only part of the show.

The Fusion/Latin styling was Nic's mode to translate his bass player's spiritual cadence and Santana's language seems to have made quiet an impression on him, therefore there are also this kind of "Sexy/Latin/Danceable" moods. Add up Vangelis and J.M. Jarre as close influences in his music writing.

All in all, some highly exciting, perfectly structured tracks, but not exactly a unique musical language which demands more listenings. Then again this album will fill expectations but then eventually could easily be forgotten. Best track "Blue Zone-3" the longest one, which adds 0.5 .

***3.5 PA stars.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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