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PROJECT: PATCHWORK

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Project: Patchwork picture
Project: Patchwork biography
"Tales from a Hidden Dream" is the first album of drummer Gerd ALBERS from the cover band GROOVEFABRIK. He had help from 30 artists such as Kalle WARNER (RPWL), Marek ARNOLD (TOXIC SMILE, SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR), and Martin SCHNELLA(FLAMING ROW). The songs were generated over a period of 8 years and mixed by 3 producers in 3 different studios. The results are a combination of songs from a Neo progressive style close to MOSTLY AUTUMN, more straight forward rock songs and others with a slight metal edge.

Bio by rdtprog

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PROJECT: PATCHWORK discography


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PROJECT: PATCHWORK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 12 ratings
Tales from a Hidden Dream
2015
3.72 | 54 ratings
Re|Flection
2018
3.44 | 6 ratings
Ultima Ratio
2022

PROJECT: PATCHWORK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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PROJECT: PATCHWORK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PROJECT: PATCHWORK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ultima Ratio by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.44 | 6 ratings

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Ultima Ratio
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars It is unusual to read a booklet and realise this is the final album from the artist, as usually they are on a high when their art is finally being made available to the public, and that decision is made at some point in the future. However, Gerd Albers decided some time ago that his project was going to have a life span of three albums and as this is the third, he is sticking to that. While Gerd provides guitars, drums & percussion, backing vocals, he brings in other musicians and singers to assist him in fulfilling his dream, and it would be easy to list who they are and what bands they play with, but instead let us just say there are multiple guitarists, keyboard players and singers, plus a few others. I mean, the name gives it away in that this a project bringing together lots of different pieces which Gerd then puts together as a complete whole.

Instead of containing the lyrics, the booklet instead explains the rationale behind each song, and while we have been talking quite a bit about Covid albums over the last few years when musicians have not been able to be in the same room, this is the first one I have come across which uses Covid as the concept. Everyone will have a different story about their own experiences, and these differ not only between countries but also between different areas ? I work in Auckland, the most locked down city in Aotearoa, yet South Island (where I live) was hardly impacted at all (apart from border closures). Here Gerd attempts to describe the social results of the long-term lockdown situation in Germany and worldwide and whether the consequences of those policies are more serious and long lasting than expected.

It is a project, with multiple musicians and singers, and it very much feels that way so is best to think of as an ensemble performance as opposed to a band. This is crossover prog, wonderfully melodic yet also touching into other areas, most notably Neo, and the use of different singers impacts on the overall sound. Interestingly, Gerd says when the songs were originally written and some of them heavily predate the pandemic and were then adjusted accordingly with "Code Red" dating all the way back to 2015 (wonderful vocals on this by Miriam Kraft by the way). Gerd may have completed his trilogy of works under this name, but they are still out there to be discovered, and this one contains more depth and thought than many.

 Ultima Ratio by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.44 | 6 ratings

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Ultima Ratio
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars Gerd ALBERS benefited from the help of many artists such as Jean PAGEAU (MYSTERY), Marek ARNOLD (TOXIC SMILE, SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR) and Martin SCHNELLA (FLAMING ROW) to release this 3. Ah I forgot Gerd c is this all-Teuton touch to the sound ranging from MOSTLY AUTUMN, ARENA, FLAMING ROW, TOXIC SMILE or the oldest ELOY and AYREON; refined prog with 6 different vocalists and 10 years of intriguing art-rock sound. He released this 3rd concept album talking about the pandemic, on a musical and societal reflection, a dark future transcribed into texts; here it is already the 5th wave and its increasingly inhumane measures. A more modern sound, accessible, less folkloric than its predecessor in which we throw ourselves.

"Ultima Ratio (Pt. I) Prologue" symphonic intro, on prog metal la AYREON, latent and intoxicating, the title that makes you let go of the watts on your channel, very good start. "New Normality" return of this acoustic guitar bringing a conventional prog metal title on a sound of the latest PINK FLOYD where the singularity comes from the half-phrased, half-raped break confusing for a moment; the fat guitar solo afterwards raises the impression, it goes on VAI, MALMSTEEN, BLACKMORE, in short, only good with a fat and juicy synth as it should be in a hard melodic atmosphere. "Weeks of Sorrow" enjoyable entry on the highlighting of the drums, then a borderline AOR tune on this consensual melodic title well typed 80's for the fact. "Code Red" continues back to the acoustic guitar and the arrival of a feminine vocal pouring into the bucolic ballad which will go crescendo for a colorful finale la MOSTLY AUTUMN. "Hope" for the acoustic-electric interlude, the title that gives all its letters of nobility to prog in general by editing these little gems.

"Dead-end Street" continues with the title which is likely to make everyone agree: more elaborate, heavier, more nervous, more in the metal prog movement of this decade. Pop verse set back then it goes with this riff that feels good; the heaviness of the air does not make me find analog sounds, which is a good thing after all; it plunges into the melodic metal of the 90's, the reminiscences are not too marked. Little more to the final solo and the magical voice of a great frontman also on his original group. "Depressed Sentiments" for the second romantic-folk ballad where the piano and the choirs can make you think of a watered down ALAN PARSONS , to a MAGENTA, a KARNATAKA, a bit cutesy and long. "Keepers of the Fire" continues with the title river intro sweet spleen with a melodic guitar solo then nervous prog metal break, on a tune reminiscent of FAITH NO MORE or TOKYO BLADE and RUSH for this characteristic phrasing; break again with the calm voice of Jean PAGEAU which brings warmth and velvety, yes we would eat it; his flute fascinates, a slight nod to the GENESIS of yesteryear in fact, the notes become crystalline then it takes off again for the last more symphonic third with this drum pad that never ends; the bewitching finale between soaring notes and mysterious sound filled with spleen, perhaps a hope for a positive ending, in short the perfect title. "Ultima Ratio (Pt. II) Epilogue" completes this set with the encore of the intro, a piece where the musical art becomes a therapy for this low world.

PROJECT PATCHWORK3 is therefore the musical concept that can be listened to easily, almost too accurately. Melodic, soft titles mixed with some more nervous ones can confuse the attentive listener picking up this rather puzzling difference; melodic yes, art rock yes, progressive music well formatted so as not to scare and have a good time, what more could you ask for to forget this pandemic for a while? A very beautiful album which shows that the two protagonists have taken advantage of this imposed confinement and in fact sign a very nice surprise.

 Re|Flection by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 54 ratings

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Re|Flection
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

3 stars Gerd Albers and Peter Koll released 'Tales of a Hidden Dream' in 2015 and continue with 'Reflection'. A reflection on the world in which we live, so a lot of questions! From this album 20, I say twenty singers, musicians have come together to finalize this disc after 8 years and 3 recording studios, in other words we could expect small well shaped pearls!

The personal result is rather mixed with neo-prog advances, stratospheric guitar flights, synths that are a little too withdrawn, well-made breaks with piano and sax worthy of a SUPERTRAMP and crescendos that are too sluggish, too conventional and especially too great inequalities between each title!

At the musician level, the fact of quoting members of SEVEN STEPS, FROST, ARENA, FLAMING ROW, SUBSIGNAL, TOXIC SMILE gives the opening to a proven musical potential. What about on the turntable? A colorful musical melting pot with very good instruments, a plus on guitar and sax and slightly offbeat vocals with female voices la MOSTLY AUTUMN and especially AYREON. Male voices that are not singular enough and too linear. I would say that takes away some of the charm of the titles. In short, I'm not going to dissect this album by targeting such a sax or guitar solo at such a moment that made me think of...!! Or such a song with its break worthy of such a group that made me go to the lands of PROG! Because if I tackle it, I will make you imagine that this concept sails on the sounds of the 70s, 80s with a little of the 90s and 2000s and that we get lost in it a little like that!

No, I'm going to play the game of warning you that this concept album, there is none for me, but only reminiscences of sounds of the aforementioned groups, there we find them in each title! That the voices prevent you from really diving (really my negative point for this album with too many changes which lead to discontinuity over time even if I "heard" Peter GABRIEL at a moment!!). But only the instrumental atmospheres (ah that sax in the intro of "Worried Citizens"!!, that clarinet on "Fear of Loss" and her Genesis voice!, those riffs on "First Disorder" and "Inferno" and that flute on "Struggle and Agony" interspersed with almost prog metal riffs are worth a second listen! That the little musical ballad "Last Horizons" is well worth one of AYREON and that the last two titles are eyeing squarely towards a structure ... of AYREON stronger!

In the end, I would say that if we expected a concept, we will be disappointed! If we were expecting prog, folk, metal or symphonic flights, we will get our money's worth and our time's worth! That this CD gives pride of place to reflection as other concepts have done long before this realization! But let's give more to the riffs, the sax break, the voice of the three guests and a very good quality recording!

 Re|Flection by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 54 ratings

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Re|Flection
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars German venture PROJECT: PATCHWORK is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Gerd Albers. Following many years of work he released his debut album as Project: Patchwork in 2015, aided by a score of fellow musicians. Three years later we find this project signed to German label Progressive Promotion Records, who released the second album by this venture in the first half of 2018.

This is a venture I regard as one still in development, but it is developing nicely and to the point of now having the qualities needed to possibly entice a larger crowd. If you tend to enjoy music of the kind that resides on the borders between hard rock, progressive rock and folk music, Project: Patchwork's second album is one that merits an inspection. A few levels shy of the quality of the Ayreon's of this world, but a good and diverse album.

 Re|Flection by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.72 | 54 ratings

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Re|Flection
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Project: Patchwork is a studio project that has been put together by two German musicians, Gerd Albers and Peter Koll, along with the odd friend. This is the second album, and this time they have used less personnel than on the debut, so only 22 additional players and singers this time round. I noted that this had been recorded by Marek Arnold, Martin Schnella and Peter Koll, and given that the first two are bandmates in a few different outfits, it is not surprising that we have a polished outcome (Marek also mixed the album). A quick glance through the names involved and I spotted John Mitchell (on the road with Arena as I write this) and Melanie Mau, who most recently has been involved with Martin and Marek on the Art Rock Project ('Stay' is still my single favourite song of the year to date).

With so many different musicians and voices it is often hard to provide an album that doesn't come across as a hotchpotch of styles, let alone a patchwork, but somehow this has been pulled together into something that is incredibly melodic. I have been fortunate to hear most of Marek's work recently, and I can hear that he has had a major part to play in the arrangements and the way that the album has come out in the end. This is a polished piece of work that fans of Flaming Row and Seven Steps to the Green Door will be looking out for. There is a strong piano base at times, with good keyboards and guitars which allow the singers to be full of confidence. Listening to this has made me realise that I am yet to write a review for the debut, and that I really need to set to and give it some serious listening, as after hearing this I want to find out more. Melodic progressive rock with strong guitars and great vocals, this is a delight.

 Tales from a Hidden Dream by PROJECT: PATCHWORK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.23 | 12 ratings

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Tales from a Hidden Dream
Project: Patchwork Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars German venture PROJECT: PATCHWORK is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Gerd Albers. He has been working to record material he has written for a number of years, and with some help from a large group of friends and relations he managed to finalize an initial album, "Tales from a Hidden Dream", which was self-released in 2015.

"Tales from a Hidden Dream" is indeed a patchwork project, with some details more interesting than the others. The epic-length compositions, alongside the stunning opening track Beginning, will be the main selling points for a progressive rock-oriented audience, and those with an interest in an artist that adds in some hard rock and metal bits to a production with a progressive rock foundation may well be seen as something of a key audience for Gerd Albers' Project: Patchwork. This isn't a finely polished gem though, but rather a rough diamond with some facets shining bright.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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