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DJPuffyLemon View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: My opinions on various music I've recently heard
    Posted: June 25 2008 at 12:21
This blog will discuss some music I've heard recently. I will keep adding to it as I gain new opinions and revise old ones as necessary. When responding to any part, please put the number of the subject (ex: 2) Well, imo Anekdoten is actually....., or 3) I love Tangerine Dream, etc). It will make it easier to keep track of.
 
Disclaimer: Some of my opinions will shock and disgust you. If you feel the need, and posess the ability, please try to set me straight!

1) Anglagard
Hybris is a pretty good album. But it has a lot of seemingly random ideas which are undeveloped in order to make their tracks longer. Really cut and paste like. The individual parts are pretty amazing, unfortunately they seem to go from one idea to the next indiscriminantly and that's their forumla for each song.

I haven't heard Epilog in a while, but I'll have to listen to it again. From what I remember though it wasn't as amazing as Hybris.

2) Anekdoten
I would say more, but I would only keep praising them...though actually I realized that I haven't listened to their middle three albums enough. My fear is that they have too much post rock slash alternative rock songs later on. Every post-Vemod album has some songs which I don't really like, also its really their best album their likely to ever put out. I hear that their shows are supposed to be amazing.
 
2b) Disappointed in Nucleus (Added August 31st)
Listening to Nucleus (their second album), has left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, it has some amazing absolutely amazing songs, but on the other, its got horrible ones. The worst part is, that every song has potential to be better than Vemod material, but most fail. The title track and Raft/Rubhank are the only good ones. The others suffer from too much crazy jamming. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but dude's gotta lay off the fuzz bass a bit.
 
The long track, Book of Hours, I think its called, has a great intro and buildup, but its ruined by the intensity of the fuzz bass, even though its being played with restraint. It also has bad transitions right out of the buildup. I expected them to do something with it, but rather they just throw it away and do something different. Maybe I just listened to the album on the wrong day, any opinions?

3) Tangerine Dream
Cyclone is a pretty 80s sounding album. I wasn't really a fan, and its more accesible than R and P for sure, speaking of which:

Rubycon is very very minimalistic. It seemed very spacey when I listened to it, I think it would be good meditating music.

Phaedra is much better imo. If only because there's more going on. It sounds almost poppy. I have to listen to it again, and I think by second listen I'll either like it a lot, or completely change my opinion and get bored of each track halfway through, but we'll see.

Granted I haven't listened to them that well, but I think they're potentially pretty good. Never really liked the genre though.... (electronica = good; prog = really good; electronic prog = crap)

4) Zeuhl
On to the meat of the post, above was a warm up.

Zeuhl is music that really takes you by the balls. I am 100% serious when I say this: Jazz fusion fans, you will love the jazz attitiude and attributes, but will be put off by the avant-garde nature. I really think this should be your next genre of musical spelunking.

Magma - the main zeuhl band. Only MDK and the track De Futura are indisputably amazing in my humble opinion (by amazing i mean better than 95% of ALL music that came out of the 70s), the rest of their stuff can be very grating and/or inaccessible. The rest of Udu Wudu is alright, I would reccomend to Zeuhl fans, even though they probably already heard it. Kontarkosz is also really great, but as I said, inaccessible.
 
I prize music that is resonant, and their stuff that isn't resonant is really hard for me to get into. 1001 degrees Centigrates I think has potential, though at the moment only sounds like watered down fusion to me. The stuff that is resonant, like the Retrospektiw I-II album versions of Theusz Hamtaahk and MDK are very good. Udu Wudu is pretty decent too, not as complex, but capturing the essence of Zeuhl.
 
Haven't heard the debut album, but I imagine it is rather weak, though a necessary step in the development in the genre.

These bands are all offshoots of Magma, with one (usually more) member being a former Magma member:
Weidorje
Eskaton
Eider Stellaire
Dun

I have one album by each which I need to explore. They are more accessible than most of Magma's output. Better? ...perhaps, though only Dun is really unique among them. The rest sound like Udu Wudu era Magma. So conclusion about Weidorje, Eskaton, and Eider Stellaire: they are better than Udu Wudu-era Magma (baring De Futura), if less inspired.

About Dun: really good, but suffers from the problem that Anglagard does. Taken in 1 minute segments, they are unstoppable, but as a whole, each song is basically a mish-mash. Don't get me wrong, by body likes it alot, but my head is saying, "what are these guys? Fantomas?"

Somewhat related, The Red Masque and Corima, two modern bands. The Red Masque is very zeuhl and Univers Zero influenced. Track 2 off of Eskaton's 4 Visions album, Attente, sounds VERY VERY SIMILAR, ALMOST SCARILY SIMILAR to The Red Masque. Corima is more of a copycat slash clone. On myspace they have a track which sounds exactly like De Futura. They also made up their own language (similar to Kobian, but they admit that its gibberish).
 
4b) All these zeuhl spin-off bands are kind of bad (Added June 29th)
or not quite "bad", more like, posing as zeuhl. While Eskaton is still great, they suffer to this problem to a degree too....all the zeuhl bands are like trying to be magma and as a result (probalby because they don't understand the vision that vander had) they sound like watered down b-sides. its kind of depressing really because i would have liked more zeuhl to listen to.
 
the exception would be Japanese zeuhl (plus Dun, which is pretty much japanese anyway because it sounds more like it than it does French), but that's not what I'm looking for, and even that is more avant-prog than zeuhl. f**k i want more quality Zeuhl!
 
4c) Magma is AWESOME!! (Added August 31st)
I've been listening to Magma a lot lately, and not only has it influenced me enough to get one of their band shirts, but its also made me rethink what type of music I want to play. Zeuhl is amazing, and Magma is possibly the most unique jazz/rock/fusion band ever.
 
Theusz Hamtaahk is an awesome song, and yet whenever I compare it to MDK I feel slightly disappointed, despite knowing that TH is a different kind of composition. Its a great song, probably my second favorite Magma piece, but MDK is just so much more epic. Perhaps other versions of TH (I have Retrospektiw I+II's version only) are better?
 
5) Italian Prog
Potentially, things I will say will make you upset. Or at least feel the need to defend the genre.

I will say that my thoughts earlier in the year about italian prog being similar to fusion was 100% out of line. They are completely different genres, though with some influences and attributes occasionally. I had thought this because I had listened to PFM when first entering the genre and thought they were very jazzy and attributed the genre with fusion.

Italian Symphonic Prog naturally has everything to do with English Symphonic Prog. If the language barrier wasn't there, I'm pretty sure that they would be mistaken for one or the other. Though there are of course many aspects which are purely Italian in ISP, including their unique use of synths. Refering mainly to Darwin album (by Banco).

What I have to listen to first I think: PFM, Banco del Mutuo Succorso, Museo Rosenbach. I already heard storia di un minuto and darwin, but I need to listen to it again, now that I have more of an open mind towards it, and also more of their stuff period.

So besides Storia and darwin, what else should I listen to?

6) Neo-Prog
First, let me start by saying: AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! and continue by saying AHHAAHAHAHAAH!!

Do they really call this music? What is this? Like, Marillion is the only band which doesn't suck or something. Now that I've got this out of my system, let me explain, I downloaded Arena's The Visitor, IQ's Dark Matter, The Wake, and Ever, Pallas' Cross and Crucible, Dreams of Men, and Sentinel, and Sylvan's Posthumous Silence.

The only album out of all those that DID NOT sound like a bunch of pop songs connected by so-so instrumental sections which were completely overproduced was The Wake, which was pretty decent, sounding like Script for a Jester's Tear. I will have to listen to these albums a couple more times because there has to be something to it besides rehashing of Genesis and Yes. Of course, Neo prog came along because they needed to keep prog alive, but no band seemed to go away from the mold except Marillion.

Granted though, that all these bands are around in the 2000s, which is confusing. Before I elaborate, let me say that in the 1980s, there were some pretty good, if not confused sounding albums being put out, so my main beef isn't with them. Read on:

The problem with Neo prog in the 2000s is that it really doesn't sound progressive at all. And that's really what separates this from retro-symphonic prog like The Tangent and The Flower Kings. (IMPORTANT DISCUSION TOPIC)

Here's the thing, these genres are basically the same, only difference is that neo prog sounds like its drawing its influences from BOTH the 70s and 80s, while retro prog is solely from the 70s. There's more of an 80s vibe going on with the neo prog of today. In the end though, they are basically interchangeable (the genres that is). Any difference at all would be that retro prog actually is more faithful to symphonic prog of the 70s (to a fault), while neo prog has moved away and formed a genre I like to call "pop music with very very slight progressive tendancies".

All that said....I think that I can draw a comparison between 80s neo prog and retro prog in their sound. Basically have the same sound as each other, just one is from the 80s other from 2000s.

If I haven't lost you yet, I think that Neo prog still can sound good, but almost chooses not to in favor of being simple. But since I see something special in Marillion, then there must be something good about the other bands.

(BTW, Marillion has bad albums under Steve Hogarth (post-fish), which I haven't heard, but which most likely sound just like the rest of neo prog like Arena, Pallas, IQ, and Sylvan. What I'm banking on is that since I've downloaded the highest rated and only the highest rated albums (according to PA) that I should get the best of neo prog. I'll listen more....)
 
6b) Neo-prog + Modern Symphonic (Added June 29th)
Okay, so I've put aside all my notions of these two genres and I've decided to give them another chance. (yay openmindedness). So here's my mindset: I'll go into this listening as though its a pop song or some sort of rock like Nickelback (ew nickelback?? yeah, nickelback).
 
Because that's basically what it is. the Tangent and Flower Kings are really nothing more than the pop of the prog world. Neo i guess i would call "art rock" but not quite as that would be an insult to art rock bands. So both are basically alternatives to normal rock which I won't try to give a name.
 
6c) More grief concerning neo-prog, but I'm getting better (Added August 6th)
Neo prog annoys me, which includes IQ, Pallas, Arena, and now Marillion, who I love but has their flaws which were made apparent through listening of more neo prog. Its NOT bad music at all, but not something I can truely enjoy. I am amazed by the production quality and wish sometimes that Yes and Genesis had this quality of recording, but perhaps the production actually get in the way of the music. Possible, and it would be nice to hear a stripped down version of neo prog. I haven't listened to nearely enough though to make a final opinion that I can be content with...but the process is just so PAINFUL. btw I still think Misplaced Childhood is the greatest thing to come out of the early 80s if you're not counting metal.

7) Chris Squire's Fish out of Water
Not bad, not bad at all. It sounds more like Supertramp than Yes. The first two tracks are kind of poppy and not all that great, but that could just be my post-Yes interests conflicting with the music style. The other three tracks are pretty good, my personal favorite after one listen having to be Silently Falling, for its 5 minute intro and fairely interesting other 6 minutes. Despite the tendancies of many solo artists (Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe come to mind...oh look at that) to make their instrument the lead, Squire never does, and it makes for a more cohesive and impressive album.
 
8) Krautrock (Added August 6th)
Krautrock (Amon Duul II, CAN, Neu!, etc) is very much a stoner genre. Nothing against the genre, I enjoy it very much, but its 100% (from what albums I've heard) music to get dumb by. Its nice as background music or something to relax to. Its great for that actually, and the energy put into the compositions is great, but you really can't hope for instrumental interaction, at least, you don't listen to this music for intellectual stimulation, as you might when you listen to some types of prog. Rather this is just really cool music.
 
9) Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Added August 6th)
This is mainly a commentary on the first two tracks since that's what I listened to today:
 
So after listening to the first track, Pharaoh's Dance, I'm kind of indifferent. It didn't really leave an impression on me. The dual drums (plus percussionist) are really cool but nowhere NEAR the amazingness of Magma. John McLaughlin basically didn't do sh*t. He just hit random...actually it was what sounded like the same chord for 10 minutes. The track really just sounded like something I'd use to block out outside noises while reading. Admittedly, I didn't listen to it that closely.
 
The title track is much better from what I heard. But also I've put myself in a better condition to hear the music. I put my jazz ears on so to speak. You can't listen to this music (at least not the first two tracks) and expect it to "go anywhere" in the manner that rock does. The tracks are entirely improvised, and severely editted (which I only found to be a problem once, when an abrupt beat change in the first track kind of annoyed me). I think live in the moment with these songs and see how the instruments/musicians interact with each other rather than how the song progresses.
 
Also, despite the title track having three drummers/percussionists and two bassists, it sounded awfully empty.

Also2, just started on Spanish Key, and it sounds pretty good, like it has a point, I think that the rest of the tracks are more rehearsed?

10) Friday Night in San Francisco by DiMeola, Lucia, McLaughlin (Added September 9)
So, Friday Night in San Francisco, while definately an event I would like to experience, isn't as great as I thought. Its got tight (yet simple) arrangements, but its actually very much just them shredding away. Opening track is pretty cool, but its also mostly just shred soloing after the initial opening section. idk I'll have to listen to it again, but it doesn't seem like something I want to have anything to do with creatively speaking. I mean, Its definately something I want to be able to do ability wise, but even that (I know I have no place saying this because I haven't actually written anything like this yet) would be easy.

I'm speaking mostly from the experience I had learning the opening section of the opening track. Arguably (but not much) the best track from that album, and its pretty easy to learn minus the incredible speed.


Edited by DJPuffyLemon - September 09 2008 at 16:10
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2008 at 13:22
I'll stick to a couple of topics here, since I'm no Zeuhl expert (though it's a sub I'd really like to explore), never heard Anglagård, and Neo-Prog is not really my cup of tea. What I've heard of Anekdoten is very much to my taste instead, but I need to get more material from them. As for TD, I'm not the biggest fan of Electronic Prog...  Therefore, I'll focus on Italian Prog (I am Italian myself) and Chris Squire's solo album.

The latter is one of my favourite prog albums ever, and in my review I gave it  5 stars. However, I don't agree about your statement that it doesn't sound like Yes. It does, yet doesn't... Never thought it sounded like Supertramp either. "Silently Falling" is in my opinion a masterpiece, though probably my favourite track is the jazzy "Lucky Seven". Superb musicianship, more than adequate singing by Chris, and THAT bass playing... No wonder he's my darling Micky's idolHeart.

As regards Italian Prog, if you think it sounds like British Prog on the basis of listening just to PFM and Banco, I'm afraid you are in for a surprise once you start to explore the subgenre. Though Micky would probably give you different recommendations, I'll start with a few albums that may help you revise your first impression of it:

Area - everything, though Crac! is widely held as their masterpiece (jazz-rock with tons of ethnic influences, very distinctive vocals, and a strong political slant)
Osanna - Palepoli (flute-based, hard-edged prog with a strong Mediterranean influence)
Balletto di Bronzo - Ys (Micky's favourite, very heavy, organ-based prog with very dramatic vocals)
Alan Sorrenti - Aria (not easy to describe.. Vocally, he's been called the Italian Tim Buckley. Very atmospheric music)
Franco Battiato - I'll leave that to Micky... He absolutely LOVES the man, who is still churning out great music.

I'm not an expert on RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) in spite of my origins, so I'll leave to the real experts the honour of suggesting some even more interesting stuff.


Edited by Ghost Rider - June 25 2008 at 13:23
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2008 at 13:39
Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

6) Neo-Prog....

"pop music with very very slight progressive tendancies".


Um...no.

You listened to The Dreams of Men and still think that? Confused

The music on The Visitor you could easily break down into a structured song, but it shouldn't put you off because the structure is not very different from non-prog. In fact, it's usually closest to metal/prog-metal I've found.

It's much more confined and defined than Symphonic, usually. If you come into it with an attitude that prog should go anywhere and everywhere and do everything, yer gonna not like what you find.




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2008 at 13:47
Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

2) Anekdoten
I would say more, but I would only keep praising them...though actually I realized that I haven't listened to their middle three albums enough. My fear is that they have too much post rock slash alternative rock songs later on. Every post-Vemod album has some songs which I don't really like, also its really their best album their likely to ever put out. I hear that their shows are supposed to be amazing.
 
Anekdoten is epic, one of the best discoveries I've made here on the archives Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2008 at 21:00
Well written and I agree with you in most parts and yes The Wake is a great neo prog CD but there's others to explore that are special som e of the higher rated Pallas and Twelth Night are also very good, theres dozens of great neo prog bands that sound more prog than pop.  Thumbs%20Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2008 at 21:06
If you liked Marillion Fish era, you should SURELY try Pendragon.
Check Masquerade Overture(their best) or Window of Life.(my fave)

I do agree on some stuff of yours, but I don't consider myself an expert on those topics so I'll just leave my recomendation..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2008 at 23:29
I agree with you on a LOT of this. Especially the part about neo-prog (6), which I have yet to develop any affection for.

(3) Tangerine Dream, well, I've TRIED to like them for years and years....but they do almost nothing for me. I much prefer Vangelis, who actually seems to compose. I also like Popul Vuh, Cluster, Roedelius....

(4) As for Zeuhl, try to hear Rialzu's album "Ricordu". I'm really digging it.

(5) I like Goblin, especially "Roller".

Lastly, (7) Chris Squire's "Fish Out Of Water" is one of my favorite albums of all time. I rate it with 5 stars, and find it to be beautiful, majestic, jazzy, and sublime. For me, one of the few perfect albums. Seriously. Give it some more listens. I really hope you'll come to love it like I do.....


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 00:09
Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:


Granted I haven't listened to them that well, but I think they're potentially pretty good. Never really liked the genre though.... (electronica = good; prog = really good; electronic prog = crap)



You don't like electronic prog? Maybe that's because the small subset offered here is a very narrow selection, There's plenty of electronic prog out there, some of it retro prog, some of it decidedly experimental. As you'd expect, given the versatility of electronic instruments!

Don't judge the genre based on the small selection on this site.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 02:01
Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

The problem with Neo prog in the 2000s is that it really doesn't sound progressive at all. And that's really what separates this from retro-symphonic prog like The Tangent and The Flower Kings.

So what you're concerned with is what "sounds progressive". Yep, that pretty much sums up the viewpoint of a lot of the people on this website; so long as they think that they are listening to something on the cutting edge, they are content. Who's to say these Neo bands are even trying to be progressive anyway? They are just playing in a style of music. If you don't like them that's fine but to say that "the problem" with them is that they don't "sound progressive" is moronic; the entire point of progression in music is to open up new sounds and these so-called "Neo Prog" bands are simply playing those sounds. Music is the point of progression, not the other way around.

As for The Tangent and The Flower Kings, why are they "retro-symphonic prog", why not just "symphonic prog"? They are simply new bands playing that style of music that have their own distinct sound. If they are retro-symphonic then every band after the exact first band to play symphonic prog is retro-symphonic. Camel, for example would be retro symphonic, and I think some people around here would get pretty pissed if people started calling them that.

Quote (IMPORTANT DISCUSION TOPIC)

Not really.
"It's music, and I like it" - Miles Davis on Sketches of Spain
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 11:53
Can't say I disagree violently with any of the thoughts in the original post but would just like to reiterate how 'dodgy' a band Tangerine Dream can be:

I had the misfortune of seeing them 'live' at the Glasgow Apollo in the 80's (I think) and have to say it was the most turgid experience I have ever voluntarily undergone. They had a percussionist that night and he appeared to be the only organism capable of respiratory functions occupying the stage. Most of the audience were immunized with peruvian snuff, and after 30 minutes of unremitting tedium, I wished that I had been too. From memory Edgar Froese stood up on one of the last numbers to play an electric guitar solo and such was the jolt to the pervasive torpor, this drew rapturous applause before he had even played his first note. (Go figure)


Edited by ExittheLemming - June 27 2008 at 11:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 12:05
DJPuffyLemon

You say that Marillion had 'bad' albums under Hogarth, which you 'haven't heard' How do you know they are bad if you've not heard them?? I'm not a huge fan myself, but I can assure you, albums like Brave and Marbles dont really resemble the acts you compare post Fish Marillion too.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 17:01
Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:


The latter is one of my favourite prog albums ever, and in my review I gave it  5 stars. However, I don't agree about your statement that it doesn't sound like Yes. It does, yet doesn't... Never thought it sounded like Supertramp either. "Silently Falling" is in my opinion a masterpiece, though probably my favourite track is the jazzy "Lucky Seven". Superb musicianship, more than adequate singing by Chris, and THAT bass playing... No wonder he's my darling Micky's idol.

Well dude look, it obviously SOUNDS like yes, but its not yes. Honestly while listening to it and coming to the conclusion that it sounded like Supertramp, I asked myself, which band would be more likely to put out an album like this? And believe it or not, from one listen it sounds much more like a supertramp album than a yes album.

Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:


As regards Italian Prog, if you think it sounds like British Prog on the basis of listening just to PFM and Banco, I'm afraid you are in for a surprise once you start to explore the subgenre. Though Micky would probably give you different recommendations, I'll start with a few albums that may help you revise your first impression of it:
Have not heard these I'll have to check them out thanks! I had always thought tho that even by virtue of them both being symphonic prog, they'd have similar sounds. What would you compare the non-British prog sounding bands to?
 
Originally posted by stonebeard stonebeard wrote:

Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

6) Neo-Prog....
"pop music with very very slight progressive tendancies".
Um...no.
You listened to The Dreams of Men and still think that?
The music on The Visitor you could easily break down into a structured song, but it shouldn't put you off because the structure is not very different from non-prog. In fact, it's usually closest to metal/prog-metal I've found.
It's much more confined and defined than Symphonic, usually. If you come into it with an attitude that prog should go anywhere and everywhere and do everything, yer gonna not like what you find.

Well, I mean I haven't listened to any of it really closely, but my impression is that they're putting simple pop songs (sections with singing) and linking them together with occasional prog instrumentals. I mean, by no reason does it have to be the same as 70s symphonic...but my god at least give them a reason to be on the site! I think right now I'm just searching for that reason.
 
Originally posted by MisterProg2112 MisterProg2112 wrote:

Anekdoten is epic, one of the best discoveries I've made here on the archives
 
They are pretty f**king amazing!
 
Originally posted by Yorkie X Yorkie X wrote:

Well written and I agree with you in most parts and yes The Wake is a great neo prog CD but there's others to explore that are special som e of the higher rated Pallas and Twelth Night are also very good, theres dozens of great neo prog bands that sound more prog than pop.
 
What do you think of the albums I said I had?
 
Originally posted by cacho cacho wrote:

If you liked Marillion Fish era, you should SURELY try Pendragon.
Check Masquerade Overture(their best) or Window of Life.(my fave)
 
Thanks I'll check this out, also same question as aimed at Yorkie.
 
Originally posted by peskypesky peskypesky wrote:


(3) Tangerine Dream, well, I've TRIED to like them for years and years....but they do almost nothing for me. I much prefer Vangelis, who actually seems to compose. I also like Popul Vuh, Cluster, Roedelius....
(4) As for Zeuhl, try to hear Rialzu's album "Ricordu". I'm really digging it.
(5) I like Goblin, especially "Roller".
Lastly, (7) Chris Squire's "Fish Out Of Water" is one of my favorite albums of all time. I rate it with 5 stars, and find it to be beautiful, majestic, jazzy, and sublime. For me, one of the few perfect albums. Seriously. Give it some more listens. I really hope you'll come to love it like I do.....

3) Vangelis is pretty sweet on Aphrodite's Child and his compliations with Jon Anderson (not really prog for the latter, more like its appealing to the disco portion of my brain). Haven't heard his solo stuff, though I did get 1975's HEAVEN AND HELL, yet to put it on. What you think of it?
4) Is that on the site? either I searched wrong or its not.
5) Will have to get that too.
7) Perhaps I will, I mean at the moment I like it more as an art-pop album, you know nice compositions and melodies. I'll listen to it again soon though, promise!
 
Originally posted by russellk russellk wrote:

Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

Granted I haven't listened to them that well, but I think they're potentially pretty good. Never really liked the genre though.... (electronica = good; prog = really good; electronic prog = crap)

You don't like electronic prog? Maybe that's because the small subset offered here is a very narrow selection, There's plenty of electronic prog out there, some of it retro prog, some of it decidedly experimental. As you'd expect, given the versatility of electronic instruments!
Don't judge the genre based on the small selection on this site.
 
What should I check out then? Just in general, what do you consider the best of electronic prog?
 
Originally posted by King Crimson776 King Crimson776 wrote:

Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

The problem with Neo prog in the 2000s is that it really doesn't sound progressive at all. And that's really what separates this from retro-symphonic prog like The Tangent and The Flower Kings.

So what you're concerned with is what "sounds progressive". Yep, that pretty much sums up the viewpoint of a lot of the people on this website; so long as they think that they are listening to something on the cutting edge, they are content. Who's to say these Neo bands are even trying to be progressive anyway? They are just playing in a style of music. If you don't like them that's fine but to say that "the problem" with them is that they don't "sound progressive" is moronic; the entire point of progression in music is to open up new sounds and these so-called "Neo Prog" bands are simply playing those sounds. Music is the point of progression, not the other way around.
 
As for The Tangent and The Flower Kings, why are they "retro-symphonic prog", why not just "symphonic prog"? They are simply new bands playing that style of music that have their own distinct sound. If they are retro-symphonic then every band after the exact first band to play symphonic prog is retro-symphonic. Camel, for example would be retro symphonic, and I think some people around here would get pretty pissed if people started calling them that. 
 
Yes, but what new sounds are they uncovering? What are they playing that makes them stand out or sound unique against the backdrop of countless other bands? Just by being on this site, it implies that they are progressive in some wayshapeorform. I'm not concerned about "sounding progressive" in the sense I think you're thinking of, which is long compositions, multiple time sig changes, etc that catagorized symphonic prog in the 70s. I'm okay with them not doing any of that. What I want to know is where are they progressing? What are they doing that other bands of the time have not done?
 
And reason I call Tangent and TFK retro is because from what I've heard they are re-iterating what 70s bands like Yes and Genesis have done. I really am missing something if you say that they sound different. If they are making contributions to progress/advance/revolutionize the genre then I have nothing wrong with saying they are straight up symphonic prog.
 
Originally posted by King Crimson776 King Crimson776 wrote:


Quote (IMPORTANT DISCUSION TOPIC)

Not really. 
I see what you did there!
 
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Can't say I disagree violently with any of the thoughts in the original post but would just like to reiterate how 'dodgy' a band Tangerine Dream can be:
 
I had the misfortune of seeing them 'live' at the Glasgow Apollo in the 80's (I think) and have to say it was the most turgid experience I have ever voluntarily undergone. They had a percussionist that night and he appeared to be the only organism capable of respiratory functions occupying the stage. Most of the audience were immunized with peruvian snuff, and after 30 minutes of unremitting tedium, I wished that I had been too. From memory Edgar Froese stood up on one of the last numbers to play an electric guitar solo and such was the jolt to the pervasive torpor, this drew rapturous applause before he had even played his first note. (Go figure)
 
Haha, that's kind of funny.
 
Originally posted by Blacksword Blacksword wrote:

DJPuffyLemon

You say that Marillion had 'bad' albums under Hogarth, which you 'haven't heard' How do you know they are bad if you've not heard them?? I'm not a huge fan myself, but I can assure you, albums like Brave and Marbles dont really resemble the acts you compare post Fish Marillion too.
 
Albums like Brave and Marbles are the exceptions. How do you account for their others:

Holidays in Eden
2.91
Radiation
2.46
Marillion.com
2.90
Believe it or not sub 3 ratings aren't exactly the sort of things I look for in albums. I can guess that they sound similar to the rest of neo prog, which I have, but admittedly that is a very uninformed conclusion.


Edited by DJPuffyLemon - June 27 2008 at 17:05
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 19:08

3) Tangerine Dream

Rubycon was my introduction, and is still my favourite. Bleak atmosphere and a story-like feel. Brilliant use of the synths. Minimalistic, perhaps, but I think that just makes the parts carry a bit more weight.

Phaedra was a bit of an odd experience. I didn't like it as much (seemed underpolished), but I need to finalise my opinions on that. Stratosfear was also very good, and had some of the atmosphere of Rubycon.

4) Zeuhl

I have Magma's debut, which I like, and MDK, which I like. MDK is definitely denser, but it at the same time, the debut had many qualities worth exploring.

I also have Koenjihyakkei's Angherr Shisspa, which is a great album. Very odd drumming, and some stunning soloists, I think they overwrought the operatic vocals, though.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 20:17
Cacho  //  I adore both Fish Marillion and Pendragon    Thumbs%20Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 21:56
Originally posted by DJPuffyLemon DJPuffyLemon wrote:

Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:


The latter is one of my favourite prog albums ever, and in my review I gave it  5 stars. However, I don't agree about your statement that it doesn't sound like Yes. It does, yet doesn't... Never thought it sounded like Supertramp either. "Silently Falling" is in my opinion a masterpiece, though probably my favourite track is the jazzy "Lucky Seven". Superb musicianship, more than adequate singing by Chris, and THAT bass playing... No wonder he's my darling Micky's idol.

Well dude look, it obviously SOUNDS like yes, but its not yes. Honestly while listening to it and coming to the conclusion that it sounded like Supertramp, I asked myself, which band would be more likely to put out an album like this? And believe it or not, from one listen it sounds much more like a supertramp album than a yes album.

Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:


As regards Italian Prog, if you think it sounds like British Prog on the basis of listening just to PFM and Banco, I'm afraid you are in for a surprise once you start to explore the subgenre. Though Micky would probably give you different recommendations, I'll start with a few albums that may help you revise your first impression of it:
Have not heard these I'll have to check them out thanks! I had always thought tho that even by virtue of them both being symphonic prog, they'd have similar sounds. What would you compare the non-British prog sounding bands to?
 


ahhh. .nearly missed this...

first off... Ghost Rider is not a dude LOL... but is in a fact a remarkably beautfiul woman. With a great  ear for music.(years screening potential additions for this site prove that LOLClap) as well as for Supertramp... . FooW sure as hell don't sound more Supertramp than Yes.  In fact...  ideas and a full song from Yes's next album came from Squires's sessions for his album.



as far as the Italian stuff...  check the appreciation thread.. I can bump them for you if you wish.. but both Jim (Finnforest) and I have both posted recommendation lists.  Symphonic? What is symphonic... do Yes, ELP  and Genesis sound anything alike. Symphonic is one of the vaguest terms in prog.. next to...'prog' and the multitude of ways people see and define prog. Bo Hannson.. a strongly psych and Jazz influenced artist is in symphonic.. Kansas...  those groups have little in common.  As much as common as English and Italian prog...  dig a little bit into RPI.. and you'll see what I'm talking about. It is a complete different sound.. with different inlfuences than English prog.


Edited by micky - June 27 2008 at 21:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 22:06
Originally posted by Ghost Rider Ghost Rider wrote:

I'll start with a few albums that may help you revise your first impression of it:

Area - everything, though Crac! is widely held as their masterpiece (jazz-rock with tons of ethnic influences, very distinctive vocals, and a strong political slant)
Osanna - Palepoli (flute-based, hard-edged prog with a strong Mediterranean influence)
Balletto di Bronzo - Ys (Micky's favourite, very heavy, organ-based prog with very dramatic vocals)
Alan Sorrenti - Aria (not easy to describe.. Vocally, he's been called the Italian Tim Buckley. Very atmospheric music)
Franco Battiato - I'll leave that to Micky... He absolutely LOVES the man, who is still churning out great music.

I'm not an expert on RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) in spite of my origins, so I'll leave to the real experts the honour of suggesting some even more interesting stuff.


excellent.. excllent sugestions...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2008 at 00:07
I don't see (hear?) how you can think "Fish Out Of Water" sounds more like Supertramp than Yes. But whatever...

As for Rialzu, you can read this review:
http://www.somnius.com/outermusicdiary/2008/04/19/rialzu-resan-zog/

and hear mp3's and buy through this link:
http://alain.lebon4.free.fr/soleil/rialzu-gb.html

As for Vangelis, I do like "Heaven and Hell", but "China" is even better.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2008 at 15:36
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

as well as for Supertramp... . FooW sure as hell don't sound more Supertramp than Yes.  In fact...  ideas and a full song from Yes's next album came from Squires's sessions for his album.
actually, listening to it again, I would have to agree. It was just Lucky seven with its saxophone that threw me off. it does sound like yes this time around. okay so you win!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2008 at 11:47
Originally posted by Yorkie X Yorkie X wrote:

Cacho // I adore both Fish Marillion and Pendragon    Thumbs%20Up


Glad I have back-up.

Though, to the OP, beware that Nick Barret's voice is not that likeable, I must admit. Well at least for me. Though in time when you start to like the music you'll get pass the vocals. I'm not saying the voice is bad, but I don't think it's everybody's cup of tea.

Tell me when you got something by them. Remember check these ones:
The World (very good, but it gets better in the following albums)
Window of Life (my personal fave)
Masquerade Overture (OVERALL it's said to be their BEST)
Not of this World (haven't heard it. It has Mixed reviews. Some say it's their BEST some say it's their WEAKEST)

Also remember, as many Neo Prog bands, Pendragon has some notable influences like from Pink Floyd and Genesis. So in some songs you got some echoes, it doesn't make me any bad, but for some it does.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 30 2008 at 00:28
okay, so I've added 4b and 6b, my newest opinions on whatever......
 
4b) All these zeuhl spin-off bands are kind of bad
or not quite "bad", more like, posing as zeuhl. While Eskaton is still great, they suffer to this problem to a degree too....all the zeuhl bands are like trying to be magma and as a result (probalby because they don't understand the vision that vander had) they sound like watered down b-sides. its kind of depressing really because i would have liked more zeuhl to listen to.
 
the exception would be Japanese zeuhl (plus Dun, which is pretty much japanese anyway because it sounds more like it than it does French), but that's not what I'm looking for, and even that is more avant-prog than zeuhl. f**k i want more quality Zeuhl!
 
 
6b) Neo-prog + Modern Symphonic (Added June 29th)
Okay, so I've put aside all my notions of these two genres and I've decided to give them another chance. (yay openmindedness). So here's my mindset: I'll go into this listening as though its a pop song or some sort of rock like Nickelback (ew nickelback?? yeah, nickelback).
 
Because that's basically what it is. the Tangent and FLower Kings are really nothing more than the pop of the prog world. Neo i guess i would call "art rock" but not quite as that would be an insult to art rock bands. So both are basically alternatives to normal rock which I won't try to give a name.
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