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THE ASHQELON QUILT

Eclectic Prog • Israel


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The Ashqelon Quilt biography
The ASHQELON QUILT are a young Israeli trio who seem to have absorbed the best of late 60's and early 70's progressive elements. Their material ranges from English, Celtic and Middle Eastern folk to the BEATLES, GENTLE GIANT, PINK FLOYD and early GENESIS (circa "Trespass"). The band consists of brothers Orj Hendel (guitars) and Shachar Hendel (keyboards, bass and MIDI programming), and Sharon Rinat (recorder); all three alternately share vocal duties. A number of guests also contributed some vocals, flute and violin on their 2001 release "The Event", including the Hendel brothers' own dad, Benny Hendel.

The album combines the rustic qualities of folk and the deep, lushness of pure symphonic prog, most obvious on the epic closing track. The soft, breathy vocals of the Hendel brothers will remind you of the ZOMBIES, whereas Sharon Rinat's voice is slightly reminiscent of Sally Oldfield's. Unfortunately, all vocals are accented and a little shaky (especially Rinat's). But it is the band's knack for successfully integrating a multitude of musical ideas that makes their material interesting: bits of HACKETT-like guitar here, some Clive Nolan-like keyboards there, Floydian guitar solos, RIVERDANCE-like drum beats, frequent BEATLEsque inflexions (both musically and vocally), echoes of GENTLE GIANT as well as PORCUPINE TREE soundscapes cropping up everywhere: everything here gels perfectly to create a unique, mellow symphonic sound carefully spiced up with some Middle Eastern accents. Very good production overall.

Highly recommended if you appreciate moderately complex, mellow prog and don't mind a slight folk twist.

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

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3.66 | 13 ratings
The Event
2001

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THE ASHQELON QUILT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Event by ASHQELON QUILT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.66 | 13 ratings

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The Event
The Ashqelon Quilt Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Israeli group from Jerusalem, formed sometime in the 90's by brothers and multi-instrumentalists Orj Hendel (guitars, mandolin, percussion, vocals) and Shachar Hendel (keyboards, drum programming, lead vocals).In 1999 they appeared for the first time in the tribute album ''To Canterbury and beyond'', covering Matching Mole's ''Dedicated to you but you weren't listening''.Shortly after female singer/flutist Sharon Rinat and the trio records their debut album ''The event'' with a few guests on vocals, flute and violin (the last played by Corinne Schlomovitch, who also contributed in the tribute album).The album was originally released in England in 2001 on the Headline label.

The Ashqelon Quilt had something new to propose and this fact alone made their attempts pretty exciting, even if their debut is not flawless.They blended the Orchestral Pop structures of THE BEATLES with the Symphonic/Folk Rock of GENTLE GIANT and RENAISSANCE, while they occasionally meet the more classic stylings of GENESIS and CAMEL.Their music contains elements from Classical, Folk, Pop and even Jazz, offered through fragile, refined arrangements with sensitive and ultra-clean vocals but also some impressive musicianship, which bursts from light, poppy vocal orientations to grandiose symphonic arrangements and folky interludes.The atmosphere is pretty soft and laid-back for the most of the album's length, led by an array of keyboards, the use of violin and flutes and the decent drum programming, supported by the good vocal arrangements.More pompous ideas of course are also present, especially when synthesizers and electric guitars are introduced.Their style becomes at this point very symphonic with CAMEL resemblances and tight links to 90's Italian Prog groups such as SITHONIA or MALIBRAN.The modern era of keyboards meets often the archaic sound of flutes and percussion, delivering imaginative and pretty original music.All vocals come in English apart from the narration of ''Introduction to the event'', which is delivered in Hebrew.

According to an interview of the trio, a new album was on its way with an expected date in 2003/2004 and the Hendel brothers were trying to gather a tight crew for live gigs, but for unknown reasons their name dissapeared from the map.Shachar Hendel remained involved with music, having also his own bandcamp page.

Very good mix of old-styled Symphonic Rock with Pop and Folk.Melodic and rich music with a few impressive cuts.Warmly recommended.

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 The Event by ASHQELON QUILT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.66 | 13 ratings

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The Event
The Ashqelon Quilt Eclectic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Now we are talking about prog rock, aren't we ? Even this first, "One By One" track, despite its short lenght has a lot of prog to offer. This guitar sound after he sings "...once" is wonderful.

As first reviewer pointed, this is nice debut. But as of 2009, this 2001 album stayed as only album by this artist. Which is sad, because it's good one. I found just two bad things about it. Just a minor flaw, the album cover, which is also good one at once. I hate bugs and there is a one. It ruins all this beauty. But that's just my problem, therefore I declare this artwork as good. Second one is worse thing. Drums, I just feel there should be someone living, not just drum machine. This prevents me from giving five stars. But it's better 4, you can call it 4+.

Songs are beautiful and innovative. Israel offered not so many artists to deplete their culture resources. There are also some instruments unknown to me, but they helps for sure. Woman vocals are very good and male are good, maybe standart (in a good way of this word).

Songs are very, very melodic. Which I can appreciate a lot, when joined together with prog side of the music. Just 47 minutes of great prog rock. I mean that I feel like I want more of this great music. Maybe I can take this rating to five stars

Well, after some listening, "The Coin" is song which persuades me the most to give 5 rating. It's also oriental flavour which overwhelms everyone involved in listening this. Violin, which is sometimes present is also good deal. "The Well" decided, I'm giving 5.

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 The Event by ASHQELON QUILT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.66 | 13 ratings

BUY
The Event
The Ashqelon Quilt Eclectic Prog

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ASHQELON QUILT are a young 3-piece prog band from Israel, and "The Event" is their debut CD. The band's music mixes mostly British-prog influences with psychedelic-laced vocals (in English). They also enjoy to add Celtic and Middle Eastern influences to their compositions, and I also hear neo-prog sounds every once in a while.

If I was to come up with a good description of this band's sound I would say that if you took JETHRO TULL's lighter medieval/Celtic moments, mixed in Syd BARRET-like vocals, including female vocals, then you would get something similar to ASHQELON QUILT. The lyrical style recalls the late-60s psychedelic rock scene, and have a naive quality that might not appeal to hardcore prog fans. Out of the 9 tracks on the CD, the first six, and the last track, are high-quality. The other two tracks feel more like filler.

Overall, I would recommend "The Event" to fans of bands like YOKE SHIRE, RAISON DE PLUS, BREAD, LOVE AND DREAMS, and JETHRO TULL's newer music.

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