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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2013 at 01:39
Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

I'm glad to see all of this discussion as I've been away for 4-5 days. 

My first impression of this website is that there is an amazing base of knowledge here. I'm from the US and my knowledge of European prog and jazz is nowhere on the level of some of you.  I knew this when I started the thread - that I was probably going to find myself in over my head very quickly. But the great thing is this - I want to learn more, and thankfully you all have responded in ways that are perfect. I mean, I wanted to learn more about French prog, to get past my impasse and somewhat negative attitude there, and now you have given me the names of some bands to consider which I will do. Same goes for some other countries too. And so I hope to go out and do some more listening and then get back with some impressions.

My comment about UK vocalists drew a small amount of fire which is OK.  I'm not surprised at that.  And I think that my impression that these vocalists might not have been that popular on the continent (especially Germany and Italy) is based on what seems to be a lack of imitators and nothing more. Imitation is flattery.....

And as for Greg Lake being the quintessential prog vocalist......I wouldn't have a problem with that, but I might ask you to define "quintessential" and "prog".......:) 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2013 at 15:44
I'm glad to see all of this discussion as I've been away for 4-5 days. 

My first impression of this website is that there is an amazing base of knowledge here. I'm from the US and my knowledge of European prog and jazz is nowhere on the level of some of you.  I knew this when I started the thread - that I was probably going to find myself in over my head very quickly. But the great thing is this - I want to learn more, and thankfully you all have responded in ways that are perfect. I mean, I wanted to learn more about French prog, to get past my impasse and somewhat negative attitude there, and now you have given me the names of some bands to consider which I will do. Same goes for some other countries too. And so I hope to go out and do some more listening and then get back with some impressions.

My comment about UK vocalists drew a small amount of fire which is OK.  I'm not surprised at that.  And I think that my impression that these vocalists might not have been that popular on the continent (especially Germany and Italy) is based on what seems to be a lack of imitators and nothing more. Imitation is flattery.....

And as for Greg Lake being the quintessential prog vocalist......I wouldn't have a problem with that, but I might ask you to define "quintessential" and "prog".......:) 

aldri7




Edited by aldri7 - January 21 2013 at 16:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kosmonaut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2013 at 13:27
Scandinavian bands often lends quite heavily from Scandinavian folk music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote someone_else Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2013 at 09:18
Originally posted by Dellinger Dellinger wrote:

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.
I don't know them very well, but the albums from Le Cimetière des Arlequins to Guet-Apens should be worth a number of tries at least. Anyway, their last album, Moyen-Âge, is a rock solid StarStarStarStar in my book, but it is not widely acclaimed here on PA.


Edited by someone_else - January 21 2013 at 09:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2013 at 09:00
Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

^I love the French prog band Clear Light
 
I love that band too!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2013 at 08:48
I haven't investigated European music traditionally as much as I should and that is due to pure lame habits of my own. However..I own most of Guru, Guru's catalog which their influences are drawn from American Jazz and Blues. Mani and Some Friends takes on the role of a Frank Zappa style on tracks like "Chicken Rock' and also the Pink Floyd Ummagumma/Jimi Hendrix sound on tracks like "Another World". They also role play on American 70's Funk with "Eating my Hotdog"...they venture into the world of John McLaughlin..early Mahavishnu period on Dance of the Flames, Hendrix/Frank Marino style is evident on Kanguru etc. The originality of their style reveals itself in their sense of bizzare humour with sound effects and stories spoken in the German language.
 
Pulsar (a French band) draw influences from Pink Floyd and King Crimson while Ange are influenced by the sound of Genesis and K.C. Both bands have a great originality to their style of writing. It's amazing to me how they managed to pull that off in the real world! Goblin ...from Italy have a direct influence of ELP/Genesis within their sound yet have a much darker structure musically than both of those bands stylistically based on their constant interplay between guitar and keyboards interchanging or reversing methods of playing the "Devil's interval".
 
Rio bands like Univers Zero and Art Zoyd use the same formula yet it is based more so around the style of Avant-Garde composition derived from the 20th century. Which again...when I mention the "Devil's Interval"...I am making reference to tri-tones that they re-construct in a thousand ways, never totally heard before by those who were K.C. fans in the 70's, but more likely to have been performed first by string quartets of the 50's and through the music of John Cage, George Crumb, and many other greats. Nevertheless all cemented together to form a new inventive prog style of writing. A style that is evident (only in sections), on "Piece of Mind" by Curved Air.
 
Folk music is more evident in the style of French prog bands to me than the German experimental Krautrock ..however there are exceptions to that rule. Conventum (from Canada) and Harmonium seemed to have less influences from other's who were on the prog scene before them ..unless they were crafty enough just to cover it up...or maybe the music simply fell into place naturally and nothing was ever said between members of those bands just as nothing was hardly said when YES wrote Fragile. A telepathic experience where everything was created during the moment and pieced together between band members without too much verbal communication. Their minds could have been wiped clean of anything particular they experienced on that day and the notes entered their minds, they played it, it was fitting and bingo .."Southside of the Sky" was written or they could have came up with a signature line because they did in fact have a specific person, place , or thing on their mind. Nothing is an exact science when writing however ethnic, classical, folk influences you heard as a child before attending music college or even just formal training is planted in your mind...so therefore because you are human , you could delude yourself into believing that you wrote it. A question unanswered in most cases and left to the Gods...whoever they might be...either cosmic muffin or whatever you prefer that delusional energy level to be. Some kind of spiritual energy does channel through musicians and they create some of the most original music in history because of it...yet the musician has no control over it, doesn't care to define it as anything other than human growth of predictability and may find the topic farce. But according to the evidence of what has been composed in the past..there is something out there to the extent of the unknown which is a force that musicians connect with. Very much like Gnosis ..where upon you may feel something and not have an explanation for it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Warthur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2013 at 10:40
It's also worth considering that the national scenes were never entirely isolated from each other - even groups who were stuck behind the Iron Curtain at the time like SBB were able to take part in the cross-fertilisation of ideas.

For instance, if you're exploring the Italian scene it's worth being aware that Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator were - huge, huge, huuuuuuuge there. They had massive riots break out at VdGG concerts, for instance, and Genesis were a big deal in Italy well before they achieved comparable popularity in the UK. It's unquestionable that there was a fertile scene bubbling away there even before the Charisma tours of the early 1970s (must be about 1970-1971 because the insanity of the Italian tour contributed to VdGG's first breakup), but the English acts the Italians embraced - and Genesis/VdGG in particular - catalysed the Italian scene enormously, and I'm convinced it was one of the key factors in inspiring the massive boom in Italian prog acts putting out albums in 1972-1973.

Meanwhile, Bo Hansson was doing his Lord of the Rings album and would eventually get it published in the UK via Charisma, and a bit later ELP helped to put out English versions of Banco and PFM albums for the UK and US market. It's all interconnected...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2013 at 10:01
As a Catalan / Spanish I can confirm that generally speaking, Catalan and Spanish Prog very often contains clear influences of the classical, popular and folk music of the land (which is a great thing in my opinion).

Edited by Gerinski - January 18 2013 at 10:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brainstormer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2013 at 08:11
Not sure how well the French did as far as creating as many numbers of great Prog bands, we
could just say Zheul could just be, for argument's sake,  a superfluous title for French prog, so all Zheul bands are
French prog bands.   Per capita, what countries have the most prog bands? Isn't France as
large as Germany and Britain? My favorite German bands are Neu, Novalis, Hoederlin, and 
Cluster, much of the other German stuff for me is a little too "wild."  But France had the YeYe
movement, which created really great melodies and arrangements, on par with much American
soul/pop from that time period.  I don't sense Germany having as much of that quality going on, whereas
Britain obviously did.  But I love some female German Schlager music, like Ina Martell from
East Germany, and Marion Maerz.  It's important to realize that Stella Vander was a big YeYe
star in France before she met Christian. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2013 at 16:58
Originally posted by Dellinger Dellinger wrote:

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
oh yeah




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jude111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 21:44
Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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 - surreal space/psych/prog journeys
Tathastu - funky/bluesy rockin' psych jams
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2013 at 14:43
Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

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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