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Comparing prog from different countries

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presdoug View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Comparing prog from different countries
    Posted: January 17 2013 at 19:36
^I love the French prog band Clear Light
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2013 at 16:58
Originally posted by Dellinger

Isn't Ange good enough for those wanting to get some french prog? I have some Ange albums in my to-get list at the moment.


Other cool French bands (besides Magma)

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=771

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=580

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=991

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3378

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=970
Blessed Easter to you and yours...


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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2013 at 16:23
Hi,
 
It's not too hard, really.
 
You take the movies from the time in those countries, the writers in those countries, and then the painters ... and you can see who is progressive or not.
 
German -- it's clearly defined in Edgar Froese's words in the Krautrock special ... and it also went for film, theater and art.
 
French -- Probably more history minded and such, in general any experimental and progressive out of that country was either like ... Heldon ... or Ange ... but the problem is ... how do you rate Alan Stivell, from Brittany? ... he's so varied and at times progressive, to the point of embarassing folks that never heard the mixes he has!
 
Italy -- I always though more classical music minded, even groups that took directly, classical music concepts and did them in rock instruments ... many groups fit this spot. However, it is easy to say that Banco, and Le Orme, did not exactly follow this route ... and still got it done, but I think they were too well defined to not know what they were doing.
 
Spain -- in the 70's the bands I heard were quite Yes, Supertramp sort of blends, with the usual amount of spanish guitar to show the difference. Funny thing, Carmen, was not from Spain. They were from LA, and many times they were more interesting as "spanish music" than the more traditional folks.
 
England -- I will not take a lot away from the english, except that they went ahead, and did not worry about what it was. And it goes back the tne mid-psych days and into the "beat" days ... something that is still not quite clear and studied as an important art movement that helped create many bands. But London, also has, some of the best theater in the world, and they even used electric bands, and Gryphon is a perfect example of a "progressive" band, that probably would not be ... if we unplugged the instruments! But it was good and then some.
 
I'm not as well versed on Eartern Europe to discuss, or Northern Europe. I am in film, and some theater, but not music, surprisingly enough.
 
But there are some odditties ... Egberto Gismonti is considered "jazz" and should be "progressive folk" when he is solo and alone on piano or guitars. Instead his early works have an amazing combination of Jan Garbarek, and Charlie Haden to create some intensely beautiful stuff that would be "progressive jazz" but no one can find a way to describe that ... and of course, to say that Brazil did not have "progressive" music is insane ... ! Or Argentina, but the subtleties I am not clear or familiar with.
 
One last one ... there was a film called "Bitter Sugar" that came from Cuba ... in that film there was a lot of music including a couple of things that were definitly progressive. Not all music in Cuba is the traditional, tiresome stuff ... there is more there than meets the eye!
 
Sorry for the generalizations ... hard to discuss these things out of context ... if you add the film makers, the artists and the writers to the country and jigger them really good, you know right away that you have a very strong "artistic" scene, that developed ... and as such the USA, England, Germany and France ... were at the forefront of it, and Tokyo joined up a bit later in full force! It's really hard to say that France's music was not progressive or experimental when some of their writers, and film makers were by VERY FAR the most experimental and innovative folks around during the 60's and 70's ... and what was seen in film, could also be seen in other arts.
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2013 at 12:02
Isn't Ange good enough for those wanting to get some french prog? I have some Ange albums in my to-get list at the moment.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jude111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 21:44
Originally posted by aldri7

Maybe this is why French prog never developed along the same lines out of fear that others would accuse it of sounding like the UK.. :)


Vous etes francais? Have you heard Asia Minor's first album? That's my favorite French prog album (they sing in English,  however). Second would probably be HALLOWEEN, by Pulsar, although truth be told, I only need to listen to the first 10 minutes of it or so (which is utterly brilliant). I also really like Jarre's two big ones, and Ponty's 70s work. I agree with what you are saying, though. As a francophile, I was disapointed that I couldn't find any really great French prog, sung in French. Finally gave up. There's so much chanson francaise/variete that I enjoy though (which most French think I'm a total nerd for admitting to liking, such as Souchon and Obispo and Cabrel and Daho, et al :-) et Noir Desir, bien sur! ;-)


Edited by jude111 - January 16 2013 at 21:48
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Post Options Post Options   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 19:31
There is a classical music tradition in the UK, mainly with composers from the 20th Century, like Elgar, Vaughn-Williams, Walton, Havergal Brian, Holst, Delius, etc., but i don't think it rubbed off on prog bands that much.
                It is important to not speak of the German prog scene as just "Krautrock", and to generalize from that position. There are important Symphonic Prog bands from Germany like Triumvirat and Wallenstein, that did connect with the Austro-German classical music tradition in some ways.
                   Austria does have a prog band scene, though, admittedly, not very high profile. The only band that comes to mind that i have heard is Vita Nova, but there are others.
                        
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 17:37
I don't know much of italian music, but the RPI that I have listened to gives me the impression that they have a very Italian sound, much of what I would expect more traditional italian music to sound like, specially Banco.
As for Mexico, from where I am, the very few prog albums that I have heard have just about nothing of more traditional mexican music (which is perfectly fine for me, for I don't really like it so much, though it might be interesting to hear some band doing a nice fusion of Mariachi and Prog). Well, I guess Carlos Santana does have a very stron Latin flavour to his music, and he's considered here as having some prog elements, but in the end I don't know much from him either.
From other Latin American bands that I have heard, "Los Jaivas" from Chile do have many influences from traditional music, I guess from their country, and there must be some other bands that take traditional music into their prog. I think it must be the same with many spanish bands, the one I know is "Triana" and they have many Flamenco sounds in their music.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeqexes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 17:09
Mikael Akerfeldt himself said that Nepenthe from Heritage was derived from Swedish folk music.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sumdeus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 17:03
Not sure how Opeth have folk elements unless I missed the memo where using an acoustic guitar anywhere in your music constitutes as a folk influence now...


Edited by Sumdeus - January 16 2013 at 17:03
Sumdeus - unique, ambitious music with a wide range of influences and ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeqexes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 15:39
Bands like Nightwish and Opeth (from Scandinavia) have included folk elements in their music
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 14:43
Originally posted by aldri7

Something else to consider  -

The quirky, slightly irritating, classic "prog" vocal style (Peter Gabriel, ian anderson, Roger Chapman, Cyrus)
is distinctly British (or British Isles) and did this arise from a folk tradition? In any case, I sense that in other countries, this style was not that well accepted. US bands often adapted well to it and copied it, but on the continent, especially in Germany and Italy perhaps, fans never really dug it and prog vocalists in those countries didn't feel any compulsion to imitate that style. Might they actually have had a derogatory attitude towards classic UK prog vocalists?

And so how/why did that vocal style arise and gain acceptance in the UK but not on the continent? A folk tradition? (seems likely as the themes often explored by those bands are mystical and folk related (fairies, elves, gnomes, enchanted forests, etc)

aldri7
I like your earlier post a lot but this one is strange as those vocalists are hardly that alike. Always thought Roger Chapman overdid the vibrato while Ian Anderson and Peter Gabriel were just themselves.
The Brit prog bands didn't get much initial exposure on radio so they developed a highly theatrical approach to help project what they were doing and gain attention I think. I gather the early reviews of Genesis were not always that favourable so I'm not sure they achieved this universal acceptance that you imagine. The first time that any of their albums charted anywhere was in fact Italy and not Britain so I don't there could have been that much resistance from that country to the vocal style.
BTW I always assumed the quintessential British/English prog vocalist to be Greg Lake anyway.
 


Edited by richardh - January 16 2013 at 14:45
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 14:26
Regarding my birth country :

Poland was so fascinated by Marillion and Fish that a host of neo-prog bands arose in the eighties and early nineties.

In the late sixties, however, some artists like Marek Grechuta and Czeslaw Niemen popularized  the knowledge of polish poets (Tuwim, Norwid...) over the country by singing their poems. 

Regarding France :
Besides Zeuhl (which has very few bands under its umbrella), France has a long history with celtic folk and traditional music (Dan Ar Braz, Malicorne, Alan Stivell, Pierre Bensusan and more recently Seven Reizh).

In Romania, Phoenix played folk music because the communist regimen prevented them from playing "western" rock music. So, they incorporated romanian folk elements in their music in order to be allowed to record during the times of Ceausescu's communism.
"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 14:06
Originally posted by aldri7

Originally posted by lazland

Sorry, but I don't find the vocal style "irritating", and, also, it was English, not British. There is a difference.

Further, those bands were huge on the continent, in the case of Genesis before they were in Britain.

I don't find it irritating either, but I did at first.....it was an acquired taste for me...

thanks for correcting me on the Englsh vs British..

aldri7

It wasn't a correction, but an observation, but you are very welcome, my dear chapBig smile


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Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 14:03
Originally posted by lazland

Sorry, but I don't find the vocal style "irritating", and, also, it was English, not British. There is a difference.

Further, those bands were huge on the continent, in the case of Genesis before they were in Britain.

I don't find it irritating either, but I did at first.....it was an acquired taste for me...

thanks for correcting me on the Englsh vs British..

aldri7
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 13:52
Chappo's style is not that different from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso (a lot of vibrato) . RPI is I think influenced more by the American country and the French chansonniers than by the Italian folk. 
About French prog, Zeuhl apart, you can find some good psych/space and symphonic prog, and with French vocals but from Canada there's an absolute masterpiece like this


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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 13:45
Sorry, but I don't find the vocal style "irritating", and, also, it was English, not British. There is a difference.

Further, those bands were huge on the continent, in the case of Genesis before they were in Britain.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 12:02
Something else to consider  -

The quirky, slightly irritating, classic "prog" vocal style (Peter Gabriel, ian anderson, Roger Chapman, Cyrus)
is distinctly British (or British Isles) and did this arise from a folk tradition? In any case, I sense that in other countries, this style was not that well accepted. US bands often adapted well to it and copied it, but on the continent, especially in Germany and Italy perhaps, fans never really dug it and prog vocalists in those countries didn't feel any compulsion to imitate that style. Might they actually have had a derogatory attitude towards classic UK prog vocalists?

And so how/why did that vocal style arise and gain acceptance in the UK but not on the continent? A folk tradition? (seems likely as the themes often explored by those bands are mystical and folk related (fairies, elves, gnomes, enchanted forests, etc)

aldri7


Edited by aldri7 - January 16 2013 at 12:16
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Marty219 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 11:53
The Macedonian band Leb i sol used to be really connected to their ethnic roots. Next to incorporating a lot of Macedonian and Balkan melodies and rhythms (use of exotic scales like the double harmonic minor and odd meters such as 7/8 and 11/8), they did some jazzy/proggy arrangements of Macedonian folk songs.

Few examples:

Devetka - based on the Macedonian folk song "So maki sum se rodila"
Aber dojde donke - based on the folk song with the same name
Bistra voda - based on a folk song with a similar title, "Da sum bistra voda"

I hope I don't offend other people from the Balkans by claiming these songs are Macedonian, I could be wrong as they could be Bulgarian or Serbian.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 11:02
Originally posted by aldri7

Snowdog,  yes I did try searching on this but without keywords that would really stand out, I didn't get very far..



Well I don't think we had a topic like this. That wasn't my point. No worries.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 10:59
Snowdog,  yes I did try searching on this but without keywords that would really stand out, I didn't get very far..

A point I'll make here -

One might expect that there might be a similarity in how German and Scandinavian prog sounds. I base this on the fact that they share a lot of cultural heritage, ethnic ties etc. But they don't sound anything alike. Sumdeus mentioned that the Germans with Krautrock were consciously trying to develop a style they could call their own, something that no one could accuse of sounding like the Brits or anyone else. I have always felt that that is true also. While on the other hand, the Scandinavians don't seem to have this issue. They borrow liberally from the UK and US while adding to their own traditions. I have always had an extremely high regard for the Scandinavians (Terje Rypdal was enormous  with me) because of how accepting they are of dissonances and complexity in their prog and jazz, something that really sets them apart from the Germans. So overall Krautrock and Scandinavian (OK, Swedish I'm thinking mostly) prog represent opposite poles from the standpoint of simplicity vs complexity. With Krautrock you get a stripped down prog and its noteworthy to me that the Germans have gone down this path before, rejecting atonal Viennese classical music for example a hundred years ago in favor of a more direct and simple music more popular with the masses. It is tempting to suggest that the Germans may have never felt totally comfortable with trends towards increasing harmonic complexity in music, owing to the possibility that it threatened to some extent their own heritage (Bach, Hayden, Handel, Beethoven, Wagner etc).  Also, a lot of the characteristics of Krautrock (repetitive motifs etc) can be found in German progressive electronic music (tangerine dream, etc) also.

And i guess I also wasn't aware that "Kraut" and "Krautrock" are terms that arose first in Britain and are somewhat derogatory in origin. The term "kraut" was first used around the time of WWI. The German's don't use that term to describe themselves, and so I wonder if they have another term for their own music and did they eventually accept "Krautrock" or do they see this as a put down. I would think it would not still get used if there were too many complaints :)

And as for the French. The poor French.:)  I always felt that maybe they were caught flat footed when the whole rock thing evolved in the 60's. It was all coming from the UK across the channel, and with their natural inclination to not want to be seen as copying anything the Brits do, they were left to flounder which they did. And so while Germany evolved their own prog school with a fairly coherent style, Zeuhl music is a hodgepodge - bizarre, jazzy, atonal, furious at times, but often sounding not much more like someone is just angry about having been left in the dust by the Americans and Brits when they have such a glorious musical heritage of their own (which curiously they don't tap into).  And listed among the French Zeuhl bands are a fair number of Japanese ones - why does this all sound sort of anarchic and slightly cheesy to me while the Scandinavians made really impressive use of jazz influences? I hope I don't insult any fans of french prog, but I guess I still don't quite get it..(OK, I like magma and also find Eider Stellaire and Potemkine to be quite good). But my overall impression of the French is that maybe at no time was there a single individual or band with the right vision and respect for their history to guide them in a unique direction suitable to French culture as a whole. Zeuhl feels like subversive, jazzy music from the underground with quirky atonal qualities having artistic pretentions. Magma founder Christian Vender drew inspiration from Coltraine and was the son of a jazz musician. That Magma went on to lead future generations of French proggers rather than a band more grounded in french culture and history is something I feel is unfortunate...


aldri7


Edited by aldri7 - January 16 2013 at 13:24
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