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Uroboros View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 17:33
Ok, thanks, I'll send him a message right now. Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 17:37
Originally posted by Uroboros Uroboros wrote:

Ok, thanks, I'll send him a message right now. Smile
 
 
It seems there's a problem with all reviews on the main page.
All of them appear bold and italic now....
Weird.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 17:39
Great words, Uroboros.

I've only heard snippets of Estradasphere and Deserts of Traun, but a lot of it reminded me of Taal.

Also check out Cerberus Shoal, who also do more comedy-based prog (like Zappa, but more modern).

I plan to listen to some Estradasphere soon.


Edited by Geck0 - March 11 2007 at 17:40
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:00
Originally posted by Uroboros Uroboros wrote:

Ok, thanks, I'll send him a message right now. Smile
 
 
It looks fine now.
 
I think your review should be posted here as well, to let people know of this great album:
 
ESTRADASPHERE — Palace Of Mirrors
Review by Uroboros (Nicolae Claudiu Solcan)

5%20stars A soundtrack to a possible world

I stumbled upon Estradasphere about two years ago, in a time when I thought I had already discovered just about every crazy thing possible in music (now I'm pretty sure I'm far from that). I was reading a review somewhere and it said something along the lines of "honestly, this must be the best band in the world". I was amused and intrigued and got their first album, It's Understood , to find out what it was about. I was so shocked and hooked that it took me months to get over it and pass on to another album. Now, after hearing Buck Fever and Palace of Mirrors , I have to say all these albums are consistent in quality, although the latter does show a heavier sound and tighter interplay.

The music on Palace of Mirrors is insanely diverse and charmingly incoherent in style. The album reveals a cinematic intent from the beginning, with the opening sounds on "Title", seguing into the track that gives the album its name, which displays a glorious soundtrack quality, as if taken out from a Hollywood production of old. The album cover also points towards such an interpretation, suggesting past romantic scenes, opening subtle doors to the listeners, expecting them to create their personal imagery around the music, beyond the threshold of shattered mirrors. The track is led by a string ensemble and serves as a fine introduction.

However, next we are treated with a totally different beast: "A Corporate Merger", after a few jazzy opening chords, blasts with an accordion playing a Balkan-flavoured groove in 7/8. The band use the theme as a starting point for an extended piece, they deconstruct it gradually, introducing alternating time signatures and improvising around it with funky bass and a guitar solo, until the whole thing becomes an outright metal affair, with syncopated riffs sounding like Meshuggah, but with violin on top. The track ends with some speed/thrash madness, a recurrent trend later in the album.

"The Terrible Beautypower of Meow" is basically a Hawaiian-style guitar workout, while "Colossal Risk" brings the cinematic mood back, only this time enriched with an extravagant brass section and some angelic female vocalizations. Following these is the creepiest track on the album, dubiously entitled "The Unfolding Pause on the Threshold", a crushing industrial experiment, adorned with screeching and echoing hall-like samples.

"Smuggled Mutation" is a wonderful blend of authentic Romanian folklore and thrash metal riffage. This is the first time I hear what is called a "þambal" (traditional Romanian percussion instrument, somewhat resembling a xylophone, but more complexly structured) used in a Western-made piece of music. A great thumbs up to the band for that! The vivacious, up-tempo groove of the track, led by bucolic violin and þambal, often gives waz to lightning-speed riffs and double bass onslaught, completing the picture and adding novelty.

The album continues to diversify with a waltzy piano number ("Six Hands"), followed by the soft, laid-back jazz of the brass-soaked "The Debutante", which reminds me of the kind of jazz band you're likely to see peforming on an improvised stage in the middle of a crowded city on a rainy Sunday afternoon to the delight of the accidental passerby.

"Flower Garden of an Evil Man" is another highlight - a feast of dissonance, led by programmed percussion and the weird, processed screams of what sounds like a muted saxophone, but could very well be a violin or some crazy instrument... all on a bed of creepy harmonies building up to a climax and finally dissolving into disharmonic chaos.

If the next two tracks don't bring anything new to the table, the album's finest moment is kept for last. The ending piece, "The Return", might just be the best thing I've heard the whole year. It opens with some seriously menacing riffs, built around a crazy rhythmic pattern, resembling Meshuggah once again (but with an accordion on top, obviously), followed by a build-up section where soaring violins play a tremolo in unison over some black metal-type blast beats... From that point onwards, the whole track is a constant release of tension and I can't imagine any metalhead in their right mind not headbanging to this stuff. The framework of this track is tech metal at its finest; the drum work is brilliant and is just about as close as anyone could get to Gene Hoglan or Sean Reinert without actually being them; and - on top of it - accordion, violin and guitar solos fly all over the place like crazy bumblebees in flight.

To conclude, Palace of Mirrors is a great offering from Estradasphere, unique and unpredictable music building a colourful world of sounds and suggestions. The production on this one is better than on previous albums, the songwriting, although as diverse as before, is now more focused, and the playing is significantly tighter, providing more cohesion when compared to their past works.

The palette of styles employed on this album is huge. Some people may find this instantly appealing, others may need repeated listens. However, I believe everyone (except prog dinosaurs maybe) should give this a try, at least in order to keep in touch with the great music that is being made right now and here, under our noses.

Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007, 17:18 EST | Permanent link

 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:00
Phew, it's finally fixed. And I also got my n00b questions answered. Embarrassed
Geck0, I have listened to And Farewell to Hightide from Cerberus Shoal and liked it very much, but I only spotted some obvious post rock sensibilities... Some beautiful melodies, some sombre moods, a generally steady pace, some dissonance here and there... It sounded post rock-ish to me. Can you recommend other albums of theirs that sound differently?


Edited by Uroboros - March 11 2007 at 18:01
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:02
Yes I can, "Chaiming the Knoblessone" is much more avant-prog related and so is "The Land We All Believe In" (their most recent album).

They're the only two I've heard and they're not really post-rock to my ears.


Edited by Geck0 - March 11 2007 at 18:05
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:18
Originally posted by Uroboros Uroboros wrote:

"þambal" (traditional Romanian percussion instrument, somewhat resembling a xylophone, but more complexly structured)


seems like the main page doesn't support "ţ"...
nice read; i can't draw a virtual image of how they sound like, out of my little knowledge, but it's certainly an appetit opener.


Edited by andu - March 11 2007 at 18:19
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:20
Originally posted by Geck0 Geck0 wrote:

Yes I can, "Chaiming the Knoblessone" is much more avant-prog related and so is "The Land We All Believe In" (their most recent album).

They're the only two I've heard and they're not really post-rock to my ears.
 
And Farewell to Hightide is from '96 - I think it's one of their first. They may have altered their style afterwards, but that one is indeed a take on post rock in its early 90's form (whatever that means). I'll surely try to check the other ones out. The same goes for the various Estradasphere-related projects.
I think there was also some kind of connection between Estradasphere and Secret Chiefs 3, another one of the craziest bands around at the moment and a recommended listen. Actually, what I heard from them (no complete album yet) sounded quite a lot like Estradasphere in mid-Oriental mode with some very weird percussion thrown in.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:23
Originally posted by andu andu wrote:

Originally posted by Uroboros Uroboros wrote:

"þambal" (traditional Romanian percussion instrument, somewhat resembling a xylophone, but more complexly structured)


seems like the main page doesn't support "ţ"...
nice read; i can't draw a virtual image of how they sound like, out of my little knowledge, but it's certainly an appetit opener.
 
Yeah, I noticed that... Big%20smile I wonder if it works here:
ţţţ
 
Anyway, you should really hear them, they sound like so many things at a time that it's very hard to describe them.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:28
Originally posted by Uroboros Uroboros wrote:

Originally posted by Geck0 Geck0 wrote:

Yes I can, "Chaiming the Knoblessone" is much more avant-prog related and so is "The Land We All Believe In" (their most recent album).

They're the only two I've heard and they're not really post-rock to my ears.
 
And Farewell to Hightide is from '96 - I think it's one of their first. They may have altered their style afterwards, but that one is indeed a take on post rock in its early 90's form (whatever that means). I'll surely try to check the other ones out. The same goes for the various Estradasphere-related projects.
I think there was also some kind of connection between Estradasphere and Secret Chiefs 3, another one of the craziest bands around at the moment and a recommended listen. Actually, what I heard from them (no complete album yet) sounded quite a lot like Estradasphere in mid-Oriental mode with some very weird percussion thrown in.
I agree. I see this as one of the "Schools" of avant-prog which includes this "type" of melange of styles, jumping around and taking some parts of each genre in existance in order to fuse them into something else - This so-called schools includes as I see it, Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, Gods of Shamisen, Fish Tank Ensemble, etc.
I find it to be related in its humoristic approach and overall atmosphere to what I see as the Samla school of RIO - which has bands like Ensemble Nimbus, Miriodor, Hoyry Kone, et al.
But those are just my personal impressions and only serve to give rough guide as to what to expect and how do they relate to one another. Each band is a great band in its own merit.
 
As for Cerberus Shoal, I have several of their albums and as was said, their later period is more avant-prog inclined as opposed to the first "period".
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:40
Secret Chiefs 3 are on the same label as Sir Millard Mulch (Mimicry Records), I believe and their link is Trey Spruance.

Of course, try out Sir Millard Mulch's recent album too, his music is also in that same school.  I've yet to purchase anything by him, but I've been in contact with him and indeed, he once used my words for a bulletin on MySpace. Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:45
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

I agree. I see this as one of the "Schools" of avant-prog which includes this "type" of melange of styles, jumping around and taking some parts of each genre in existance in order to fuse them into something else - This so-called schools includes as I see it, Mr. Bungle, Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, Gods of Shamisen, Fish Tank Ensemble, etc.
I find it to be related in its humoristic approach and overall atmosphere to what I see as the Samla school of RIO - which has bands like Ensemble Nimbus, Miriodor, Hoyry Kone, et al.
But those are just my personal impressions and only serve to give rough guide as to what to expect and how do they relate to one another. Each band is a great band in its own merit.
 
As for Cerberus Shoal, I have several of their albums and as was said, their later period is more avant-prog inclined as opposed to the first "period".
 
 
 
I hadn't thought of making the connection, but I suppose it's valid. However, compared to the American examples you gave, SMM/Hoyry-Kone/Alamaailman Vasarat are not as maximalistic. Like you said, they share the same quirkiness, but they generally don't incorporate as many strikingly different influences into their sound; maybe that's why they are not as immediate as the former group of bands can be. The way I see it, the American school you speak of is closer to Zappa's works in its all-encompassing intentions.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:48
This is turning into a broader recommendations thread... Tongue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:49
^^^
Yes, I agree and that's why I only said related, but not the same "camp".
It's just me talking though, and my personal impressions, so not really valid...
 
 


Edited by avestin - March 11 2007 at 18:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 18:54
I know definitely that Sir Millard Mulch likes Alamaailman Vasarat though, as he saw them listed on my MySpace and left a common for me about them.

So it seems they all have massive influences and that's what makes them sound like they do.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 22:03
ah...yea, sorry..im a stupid American...never been to the Balkans, although im certainly willing -its the wallet and time that isnt, and had no idea it was a Balkan thing. so it was pretty eerie to come across, not that it really bothered me about either band, although i was fairly certain Estradasphere's version would be much more elaborate (from what ive seen, azigza is more a momentary novelty)

as for Meshuggah with a violin...you've almost sold me on buying this CD immediately.
"Tell me why world, unfathomable and good,
The beauty of everything is infinite and cruel."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2007 at 22:04
((the above was in response to Uruboros...hit reply when i meant quote...))
"Tell me why world, unfathomable and good,
The beauty of everything is infinite and cruel."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2007 at 05:29
Originally posted by Prometheus Prometheus wrote:

ah...yea, sorry..im a stupid American...never been to the Balkans, although im certainly willing -its the wallet and time that isnt, and had no idea it was a Balkan thing.
 
The traditional music of the Balkans has entered, at least in my country, in something of a revigoration process. Traditional players are brought to modern studios to record in good conditions, or old recordings are put on cd. I don't think they're available on odering sites yet, but we could help you if you're interested.
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