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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Emkog Sampler CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.69 | 24 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Normally I don't care about compilations made by record labels, so when I received Ban Britton's mail offering me EMKOG (Sampler of the bands from the label with the same name), was tempted to say "no hanks", but then I remembered Dan played in one of my all time favourite bands (DELUGE GRANDER), so I accepted his offer....A decision I will never regret, because it's a very tasteful compilation of songs by four different bands that have one thing in common, Dan Britton played keyboards in all of them.

My first surprise was to notice how different the four bands are:

- DELUGE GRANDER plays a new and complex form of Symphonic Prog, with hints of Jazz and even Avant Garde,

- BIRDS AND BUILDINGS is even more complex, and play some sort of fluid Jazz with touches of everything, I even heard some Flamenco hints.

- ALL OVER EVERYWHERE on the other hand, is a musical collective (as described by the band), almost a small orchestra that combines the styles of all the members to create a unique and original sound

- CEREBUS EFFECT is what you get if you blend MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA with KING CRIMSON and a unique atmosphere created by the band, a very aggressive Fusion music with radical changes and odd time signatures, really impressive, even for me, not being a fan McLaughlin and Fripp's bands.

But there's something in common, all the tracks are simply outstanding, maybe the mix is not the best I have heard (strange, because what I heard by CEREBUS EFFECT and DEKLUGE GRANDER, is perfectly produced), but it's good enough to appreciate the excellent music.

As a Symphonic fan, it's obvious that my favourite tracks have to be "The Solitude of Miranda" (Delicate and with emphasis in the dexterity of the musicians) and "Aggrandizement's excerpt" (Dark Mysterious and heavy), both recorded differently than in the DELUGE GRANDER albums, so it's a double pleasure to have a new and previously unreleased version of two great musical pieces.

But there's not a single weak moment and other some really impressive songs, like:

"Yucatan 65: The Agitation of the Mass" by BIRDS AND BUILDINGS, where Brett d'Anon gives a lesson of how an acoustic guitar must be played.

The solemn and atmospheric "Gratitude" by ALL OVER EVERYWHERE, with it's magnificent organ performance and the dramatic aggressiveness of "Nine Against Ten" by CEREBUS EFFECT.

In other words, an excellent addition for those who have not previously heard this band, but even better for the ones who know them, because they will get some new and previously unreleased versions of many tracks.

Despite I'm not a fan of compilation albums, I wouldn't dare to rate the excellent EMKOG with less than 4 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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