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PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Electronic definition

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov (Green Ray, 1976) and Didier Bocquet (Voyage cerebral, 1978) will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be in search of the absolute industrial "post-nuclear" sound tapestry. His visionary musical experience is based on cyclical loops, abrasive concrete noises and vertiginous piano dreamscapes. ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before M.B and the industrial-bruitist wave, the 70's Italian specialists of electronic experiments had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati (Mirage, 1979), Francesco Bucherri (Journey, 1979), and Francesco Messina for representative, lyrical and spacey orchestrations and also Futuro Antica (D'ai primitivi all'elettronica, 1980) or Telaio Magnetico (Live' 75) for tripped out minimalism.

In the early 1980s and after following the kosmische path of classic Klaus Schulze, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic created the so called "alchemical" / "Sacred" space music. The music offers a dynamic combination between ancient-traditional music of the West and synthesised sonic soundscapes. The most representative artists of this movement are Michael Stream (Lyra Sound Constellation, 1983) Robert Rich (Numena, 1987) and Steve Roach (Dreamtime Return, 1988).

In the early 80s Ian Boddy (Spirits, 1984 / Phoenix, 1986) and Mark Shreeve (Assassin, 1983 / Legion, 1984) unique spacedout synthesised sagas represented the british answer to the challenging Berlin kosmische school. Their music embodies timbral drone sequences, systematic arpeggiations and synth-pop textures.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna and Father Moo & the Black sheeps) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe BLACHE


The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree


Progressive Electronic Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Electronic | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.29 | 265 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.26 | 850 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.23 | 258 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.17 | 731 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.41 | 33 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.18 | 138 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.24 | 57 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.11 | 230 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus
4.24 | 50 ratings
GREEN RAY
Zanov
4.57 | 16 ratings
LONG LOST RELATIVES
Syrinx
4.30 | 34 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.78 | 11 ratings
DECONSECRATED AND PURE
Alio Die
4.51 | 17 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
4.07 | 172 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.22 | 35 ratings
LUCIFER RISING (OST)
Beausoleil, Bobby
4.15 | 52 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.18 | 42 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.52 | 14 ratings
BLACKER
Radio Massacre International
3.99 | 435 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
4.02 | 175 ratings
NEW AGE OF EARTH
Ashra

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Electronic experts team

SYNTHESIST
Grosskopf, Harald
TIME REPLICATED
Bownik, Adam Certamen
TUSSILAGO FANFARA
Anna Sjalv Tredje
MUSIK AUS DEM SCHATTENREICH
Frohmader, Peter

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 Uma Nova Realidade by CADIMA, SAMUEL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2018
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Uma Nova Realidade
Samuel Cadima Progressive Electronic

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars This single track has come up to us in the hot summer of 2018 as one of tracks in Samuel CADIMA's upcoming creation. In his debut album he launched trippy, dreamy texture along with his splendid electronic sound departure, and via this stuff, amazingly, his musical appearance's got more delightful and tastier fully with major keys. A tad cloudy electric guitar touch is rather of my comfort. He says he always plays all instruments in the creations and that's pretty surprising for us because of his variation of sound appearances and approaches. We might beat time with our hands to this song without ourselves I guess, and the loud beat would be an apparent praise for his upcoming album in near future.
 Winter Solstice: North by COIL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
2.55 | 4 ratings

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Winter Solstice: North
Coil Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This EP is the final in a series of 4 CDs that contain music inspired by the seasons. Each one of these CDs is so different, but that is usually the case with Coil, and that is what makes their music so interesting, you never know what to expect. Overall, this one is cold and ambient, the music definitely reflects the empty feeling of the winter season, at least in the north half of the hemisphere.

This EP has 4 tracks. The first track, "White Rainbow" is sparse recording, at least most of the way through, with inconsistent percussion, vocals that sound like Brendan Perry from "Dead Can Dance", except with all electronic synths and sounds. The song is sung in a chant style, but with one voice, no harmonies. This sparseness continues most of the way through, but towards the last few minutes, strange electronic noises start to take over the track until it obliterates the drone and vocals that have been dominating the song.

Next is "North" which is comprised of metallic electronic sounds, again quite ambient with a soft rhythm underneath. There is a lot of echo, and you can hear a indiscernible and processed voice that sounds like it is echoing through a dark hallway. No melody here, just experimental and spooky ambience.

"Magenetic North", the third track, is another electronic drone, with varying tones that swirl around. There are subdued, almost whispered, and tuneless vocals. There is no rhythm here, it's just mostly quiet and subdued. The feeling is loneliness and isolation. The best way to experience this is with a good set of headphones, in a darkened room, with your eyes closed. It's also a good time to take a nap, because it goes on for 8 minutes.

It's not Winter without a Christmas song, so, Coil puts a traditional folk song on as the last track. Titled "Christmas is Now Drawing Near", it is sung and performed by guests "Rosa Mundi". It is a Catholic song, and it sounds like it, with a little Celtic feeling to it. Strings provide a drone like sound while keyboards provide atmosphere, keeping things cold and mostly dark.

Strangely enough, the short EP is very relaxing, even with it's dark and somber tones. It is quite ambient and mostly drone- like, and you almost wish for something a little upbeat, but you don't get it here. It is decent enough for lovers of ambient drone music, and those interested in Electronic Prog might want to try it out. Otherwise, it is not very interesting. As a fan of ambient electronic music that is done well, I really have a hard time getting into this one. You would probably be better off finding the compilation "Moon's Milk" which contains the 4 EPs in this series, as they do work better together than they do separately. Otherwise, this lone EP is only for collectors and fans.

 Radio-Activity [Aka: Radio-Aktivität] by KRAFTWERK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.16 | 182 ratings

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Radio-Activity [Aka: Radio-Aktivität]
Kraftwerk Progressive Electronic

Review by SonomaComa1999

2 stars REVIEW #12 - "Radio-Aktivitat" by Kraftwerk (1975). 07/28/2018

I have to decided to do a new series of reviews based on this site's random album generator, and this was the first one that came up. Now I admit I had never heard of Kraftwerk prior to stumbling upon this album; I was surprised to see that they have a pretty decent following and are well known (at least in Europe). Receiving almost ubiquitous critical acclaim for pioneering electronic music, this German band which was founded by members Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter rose out of the city of Dusseldorf during the Cold War, which had split the once proud German nation into two shells of its former self, the capitalist West and the communist East. Prior to the release of their 1975 album "Radio-Aktivitat", they had achieved mainstream commercial success with the album "Autobahn".

There is a recurring theme which surrounds this album, that being the concept of electricity and its functions. Although the album's title, which translates to "radioactivity", may be perceived as having nuclear connotations, it rather serves as a pun to refer to radios (Radio activity, or the activity of radios). As opposed to previous Kraftwerk albums, the band relies almost entirely on electronic sounds, which makes for a rather quaint futuristic sound while remaining nostalgic. Think of how the video game series Fallout was set in the future, but still retained an element of 1950's culture which allowed it to have this alternate reality; Kraftwerk's album has the same dynamic, but with the bleak and tense atmosphere of Cold War Europe and the 1970's. It makes for a rather homely sound which does not sound too disturbing or radical, almost like what people would have expected what society was like in the year 2018 back in 1975. "Radio-Aktivitat" was Kraftwerk's first album to top the charts, doing so in the nearby nation of France.

The album is opened with the sound of a geiger counter, which subliminally refers to the literal interpretation of the album name. This is considered its own track, but segues rather flawlessly into the first true song, which is the title track and the lone single to come off the album. Just like the album, it performed very well in France as a single, and further pushed the band into prominence. We are introduced to the Kraftwerk style of music, which relies upon recurring themes and motifs of electronic music coupled with rather repetitive phrases of lyrics. The band lyrically shifts back and forth between the concept of radio waves and radioactive decay between the sinister and foreboding tone of the digital background. Making prolific use of electric drums and synth, as well as some morse code which repeats the song name, we are treated to a rather fitting introduction to the album which basically encompasses what we are to hear going forward. I will admit that electronic music is not a niche of mine, but this is a fine song. The same can be said for the next tune "Radioland" which focuses the themes towards the short-wave radio, a device used by Germans on both sides of the Iron Curtain to communicate with each other during one of the modern world's most tumultuous and fear-inducing conflicts. Through the band's music you can feel the reserved atmosphere of the German nation as it is carried along in the rapids of what seemed like a never-ending stand off between the United States and Soviet Union. I particularly liked this tune as it had a much more comfy tone to it as opposed to the opener; both Schneider and Hutter share vocals on this track, and vocal distortion is used to spice things up. Continuing on with the concept, the band shifts the topic over towards modern forms of radio communication with "Airwaves" which is a more fast-paced and active tune that introduces another new sound to the listener. I could say that this tune is maybe more optimistic than the previous two, while it still retains this avant-garde mischievous sound that the band seems to have a bit of a knack for. One problem I have early on is that the band is relying on this rather long songs which largely lean on an almost homogeneous sound, which tends to get rather boring past the half-way point. "Airwaves" is the perhaps the greatest offender yet, although it will by no means be the worst by the end of the album. To salvage this issue, the band is not being outright annoying with these sounds, and we get another moment of quaint cold-war nostalgia with the segue into an intermission followed by two more short tracks which include a spoken word news report on radioactivity as well as a brief scientific interlude to open the second side of the album.

Here's where things begin to deteriorate for this album. The second side of "Radio-Aktivitat" in my humble opinion is a total flop. While "Antenna" is an okay yet once again repetitive dance-oriented synth-pop tune which fits in with what we were exposed to on the first side, what perhaps take the cake for being the most annoying song on the album is the three and a half-minute "Radio Waves", which consists of nothing more than a very annoying bubbly synth motif with some overlaying vocals. I wouldn't doubt that if the KGB stole information from the West Germans, they would have stolen this track and used it to torture East German political dissidents. That's how bad this tune is; it is a mere waste of your time to listen to; I really can't see how anyone could rationally like this. It's supposed to be about pulsars and quasars, but this was not evident upon my several listens of this album - I guess it's because I can't speak German. Anyway with that behind us, we move on to the shorter "Uranium" which really is not much of a reprieve from the noise that just assaulted my ear drums. The band breaks out the Orchestron for some more weird avant- garde sounds in tandem with some more equally weird distorted vocals. I would qualify this as more of an ambient tune, hammering down the fact we have gone completely off the beaten path from where we were just five minutes ago. Thankfully this is not as long as the abomination which preceded it, and the subsequent "Transistor" is a return to that homely feel that I have sort of have grown to appreciate from this album. Wrapping things off is the closing track "Ohm Sweet Ohm", which is an extension of that feeling, going almost six minutes in a more accessible tone that allowed me to complete the album without wanting to rip my head off. While it ends the album decently, it really isn't that much of a consolation for what is an obviously weak second side.

I tried listening to "Radio-Aktivitat" several times given my lack of familiarity with electronic music. However, this album just never really grew on me outside of the first side; I hesitate to even call it progressive outside of the literal definition of moving music forward. Sure we have an interesting concept related to electricity and radioactivity, but it ultimately falls flat under a lot of synth and avant-garde mush that gradually grows tiring. This album barely falls short of forty minutes, but it feels like an hour at least just based on the sheer repetitive nature of the content. I was surprised to see that this album actually charted here on America's Billboard 200 album charts, although it only hit #140 as opposed to #1 in France, #4 in Austria, and #22 in the band's native Germany. I had never heard of Kraftwerk up until now, and while I will still give their other albums an opportunity in the future if I stumble upon them, I am not impressed. For their 1975 offering, I will give it a two-star (66% - D) rating; this is rather generic and boring electronic music, with only one real listenable side. I would only really recommend this for fans of the electronic music genre, as they may find some sort of sympathy for it. I will prefer to stick to my analog guitar and symphonic vocals, thank you very much.

 Harmonia Live 1974 by HARMONIA album cover Live, 2007
3.72 | 15 ratings

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Harmonia Live 1974
Harmonia Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A live document of a HARMONIA concert held in Griessem, Germany March 23rd 1974. There's no crowd noise at all and all the tracks here aren't on their first two classic albums which I also find interesting. This is an archival release finally hitting the shelves in 2007. The music here is fairly even with little in the way of breakouts. This trio which combined Rother(NEU!) with Roedelus and Moebius(CLUSTER) would always peak my curiosity and this album is no different. I just find myself mesmerized almost with the music here. It is samey and trippy with organ, piano, percussion, synths and Rother's guitar that keeps these soundscapes moving along.

"Schaumburg" has these beats and spacey sounds with guitar expressions helping out. I like the ethnic vibe here and it's very repetitive. "Veteranissimo" is the longest track at 17 1/2 minutes. Beats to start as faint keys join in. The beats are more intense before 4 minutes but they fade back again. Synths seem to be buzzing here. An electric beat after 6 minutes and there seems to be organ here too as the relentless beats continue. It gets pretty quiet after 8 minutes but beats continue. It gets louder and lots more depth 15 1/2 minutes in. It lightens again as it fades out.

"Arabesque" has a nice full sound to it with organ, bass-like sounds, synths and more. The guitar will leave it's mark as well. "Hola-Polta" has these repetitive beats with synths over top and it all sounds pretty cool. Another sound joins in, maybe the electric percussion but I'm not sure. The sound does get louder then fade back on and off throughout this one. The beats are non-stop though. "Ueber Ottenstein" ends it with uptempo percussion as synths join in in creating atmosphere. Guitar and piano follow. Some loud guitar expressions I believe will come and go. Some twittering synths as well.

Tough to know what I'm hearing on this one all I know is that it works. It will always remind me of my trip to get skinny jeans on a whim over a week ago.

 Eno & Cale: Wrong Way Up by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.78 | 43 ratings

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Eno & Cale: Wrong Way Up
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is truly an underrated album. It is also very unexpected. When you hear of Brian Eno and John Cale doing an album together, you would expect maybe ambience or at least very experimental music. You would be mistaken. This album has some of the most accessible music either artist has been involved in. But, believe me, it does not make it a bad album. Yes it is lacking somewhat in progressiveness, but the faster songs are so cheery and catchy that you have to sing along. And the harmonies, mostly based on heavy layering, are excellent to the "nth" degree. That is what I love about it most is the harmonies, sort of like a more modern Moody Blues type harmony, but better.

The first track is sung by Eno, but I would imagine it involves auto tune, because I have never heard him sing like this. The violin and keyboards are exiting and catchy. The same feeling melds into the next track "One World", even more upbeat with Eno and Cale both sharing vocals with lots of harmony. "In the Backroom" is a slower tempo and more of what you would expect with the vocals more subdued and no harmonies, just singing by Cale. The rhythm is consistent throughout, but there are some interesting things going on in the instrumentation. "Empty Frame" has a nice mid tempo swing feeling to it. Eno has lead vocals on this and there is some brass involved in the background and there are some harmonies here, but not as choir like as before. The guitar towards the middle is nice, but it's mixed a little deep. Vocals again seem too perfect for Eno, but it still sounds great.

"Cordoba" is a very laid back slow song lead by Cale. This one is more ambient and slightly experimental sounding, but it is not typical enough to be considered pop. It is a lot darker than anything that has come previously, so probably more what you would have expected from these two. Very sparse and the voice is solo with limited harmonics and some distortion in the orchestration towards the end giving it a unsettling feeling. "Spinning Away" is more of a nice, funky feeling with that feeling being provided by a strumming guitar while the keyboards are smooth creating a nice contrast. Eno has lead on this one and the beautifully layered and uplifting harmonics are back. The stings are back on this one too, and give this song great atmosphere. "Footsteps" is a mid-tempo song sung by Cale and is very 80s sounding especially with the synth melodies going on here. This one would have fit well on any Wang Chung album, in other words, I don't care for it as much.

Cale leads again on the next song "Been There, Done That". This one is upbeat and was released as a single and actually had some success. It is decent, but I would have picked one of the other previous upbeat songs for the single. But it has memorable lyrics that are easy to sing along with. "Crime in the Desert" has a nice piano hook that plays though the song, upbeat once again and a return to the layered harmonics that are so appealing. The synths are reminiscent of a more upbeat Vangelis tune. This one is the 3rd in a row lead by Cale. The last track on the original release is "The River" and is lead by Eno. This on has an annoying computerized drum and keyboard loop that changes chords with the vocals. It is more subdued like "Cordoba", but not as experimental. Eno's voice has an echo to it, giving it a slightly mysterious sound. The chorus is nice with the vocals, but it can remind you of sitting around a campfire singing and once you get that visual, it gets a little corny. Since the original had only 10 tracks, by this time it was starting to wear out it's welcome, so it ended at the perfect place.

The remastered version released in 2005 had 2 bonus tracks, but 1 of those tracks was different in the UK and the US. "Grandfather's House" was the UK bonus track. It is a slow ambient song, but the electric piano or vibe is a little annoying and reminds you of the terrible late 70s, early 80s Chicago albums. However, the lyrics are nice. "You Don't Miss Your Water" was the track available in both the UK and US versions. This one is better, but it is still slow with no percussion. It is driven with guitar this time, so it's not tacky like the previous one. It also has the layered harmonics. "Palanquin" was the bonus track in the US that replaced "Grandfather's House". Out of the two different bonus tracks, "Palanquin" is better in that it uses acoustic piano instead of electric, so it's not so dated sounding. It is a beautiful, atmospheric track, all instrumental, and with a new age feel, but still nice.

Overall, I really love this album and I did the first time I heard it. I do admit that it tends to wear itself out towards the end, but the bonus tracks, at least on the US reissue, do breathe life back into the album at the end. I know there isn't much there that is considered progressive, but the harmonics push this far and above any typical pop music out there. I consider it an excellent addition to my collection, but not to my prog music collection. So I have to settle for a "Good" rating, but it's pushing the 4 star rating.

 Caldea Music II by BLAKE, TIM album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.45 | 7 ratings

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Caldea Music II
Tim Blake Progressive Electronic

Review by WFV

4 stars 4.5 stars. This is my kind of modern progressive electronic. Blake definitely celebrates his electronic mastery on this work commissioned for Caldea Thermo-Ludique Center in Andorra. Water and its healing properties in all forms is the inspiration here, and this work contains no filler. Blake and Berlin School fans will find a lot to like on the three extended pieces and new age fans will find more to like on the other shorter tracks that tie the lengthy tracks together. Tim Blake is an electronic artist that deserves more attention worldwide His later seventies albums are classics and his newer work is surprisingly easy to digest
 Sixty Minute Zoom by ZOLTAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.56 | 7 ratings

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Sixty Minute Zoom
Zoltan Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the second full length album from ZOLTAN and like the first we get Matt Thompson founder of GUAPO and a fantastic bass player along with all the electronics and keyboards he adds. His brother Andy formerly of LITMUS and owner of Planet Mellotron adds a variety of anolog synths, mellotron and more while Andy Prestidge plays drums. The debut was absolutely incredible with an abundance of mellotron suiting my tastes perfectly. This was has a lot less of that ghostly instrument and for my tastes it's a full star less but still a solid 4 stars.

"Antonius Block" opens with mid paced sequencers as the mellotron rolls in. High pitched synths after a minute also join in then drums after 2 minutes. For me it sounds much better when the drums arrive. It's mostly drums and synths before 4 minutes as it settles back to the end. "Uzumaki" opens with drums but bass and synths join in quickly. The drums stop around 2 minutes as it turns somewhat haunting then the drums return. Deeper sounds join in after 3 1/2 minutes.

"Table Of Hours" features synths that slowly pulse as other synths come and go. It turns haunting 2 minutes in with sounds that could be from outer space. High pitched synths will also join in. This is melancholic and it will end with those sounds from outer space only. "The Ossuary" opens with keys before outbursts of drums and bass come and go. Soon growly synths also join in along with spacey synths over top. A steady beat 1 1/2 minutes in and I really like that prominent bass. It settles again 2 1/2 minutes in then sequencers kick in with drums and bass changing the sound. Synths are back then mellotron 3 1/2 minutes in.

"The Integral" is the side long closer at almost 21 minutes. Outer space sounds pulse before the synths join in. Deep sounds a minute in then spacey synths and keys take over. More deep sounds follow then sequencers and drums around 2 minutes. It all stops after 5 minutes as a new sound takes over of drums and bass and the bass is really upfront. Synths only before 8 1/2 minutes but the drums and bass return quickly along with mellotron. So good! Another calm after 10 minutes with growly and spacey synths.

This turns haunting then drums and sequencers take over after 13 minutes. Spacey synths too, great sound here. Love these beats then the mellotron returns after 17 minutes and this all sounds amazing with those relentless electronic and drum beats. A minute later the beats stop as it turns haunting once again with synths. The beats are back quickly though along with mellotron. Just a killer ending.

So another Electronic album I highly recommend but please check out their debut if your into mellotron.

 Aphorisms Insane by CULTURAL NOISE album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.50 | 7 ratings

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Aphorisms Insane
Cultural Noise Progressive Electronic

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I just discovered Cultural Noise. Well, better late than never, but then with music this obscure, I'm not one bit surprised I never knew of these guys before. Cultural Noise is the only Austrian group I know of playing Berlin School electronic music (I know Paul Haslinger was Austrian, but he was a member of Tangerine Dream in the late '80s). Like Tangerine Dream of the mid '70s, these guys used sequencers, Mellotron, and analog synths. But they don't try to copycat the TD sound, even though the influence is a bit obvious. The sequencers tend to be more ominous, and this group has habit of abruptly stopping the sequencers unexpectedly (TD had a habit of fading them out when they want to give them a rest, obvious example being near the end of Rubycon) and going into weirder territory. Somewhere the band does a quote from Bach on the synth. I really love the mood these guys create. This album appeared in 1980 on CBS but the original LP is now very hard to find and expensive. It did go through a second pressing, released by the band themselves in 1981, but can be distinguished by a more generic black and white cover. I can't believe I still keep finding obscure and amazing electronic music. Right there with the likes of Zanov or Anna Själv Tredje (although Zanov has been recently getting much more attention than ever before thanks to his back catalog being reissued and brand new recordings from him) when it comes for great obscure electronic music. This album is truly worthy of your attention and clearly my favorite from 1980.
 Node Live by NODE album cover Live, 2018
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Node Live
Node Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars They may have only released two albums in more than ten years of existence, but synth supergroup Node have a very strong reputation indeed, so when they decided to perform a rare concert in London in 2015 why not do it at the Royal College of Music? I'm pretty sure I've not come across another live album from those hallowed halls, and have not even seen a concert advertised, so I doubt if they have ever had so many vintage and modular synthesizers on stage before this! The four members of Node (Flood, Ed Buller, Dave Bessell and Mel Wesson) refuse to use backing tracks, and everything had to be manually tuned and set up, a task that took all those involved (including the crew) a full day to complete.

Then it was just the matter of getting onstage and let the music take them where they wished. The resulting album consists of four edits from the concert, plus a bonus piece from rehearsals. This is very much from the Berlin School style of synthesiser music, heavily influenced indeed by Tangerine Dream, so much so that one could easily believe that this is a recording by that band (particularly if one hasn't really studied their output, such as myself). The music is layered and condensed in such a way that it is hard to hear how many hands are generating the sounds at any particular time, or what is coming from where, it becomes an amorphous mass where the music is a living, breathing being. It is very easy to get lost inside the music, to be take on new journeys and adventures, and I would imagine that many people at the concert sat there with their eyes closed to ensure that nothing disturbed the aural majesty being played in front of their ears. The album has been released in a limited edition run of just 2000 copies, and if this is your style of music then you really do need to grab this quick.

 Silhouettes by SCHULZE, KLAUS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.10 | 13 ratings

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Silhouettes
Klaus Schulze Progressive Electronic

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

3 stars It is hard to really comprehend just how important Schluze has been to Krautrock and electronic music in general, from his early days with Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel he then moved into solo works, and I am sure that many progheads have at least a couple of his albums in their collection. The four pieces on the album were created between summer and autumn 2017 following an extended period which was, due to health problems, very quiet and for this reason very meditative at times. Schulze: 'The result automatically was a phase of reflection, of retrospection, of pure contemplation. In the wake of your 70th birthday you naturally find yourself looking back at the past ' so the result is a reorientation, a renewed awareness of what is really important.' Schulze describes the music on 'Silhouettes' as a 'reduction to the essential things' and has consciously worked only very sparingly with solos and vocal elements. He explains: 'No great distractions, nothing to force your attention in a certain direction, no major effects or gimmicks, no frills or dominant rhythms. It was important to me to paint the pictures in the depth of the space, the sonic fields of tension and atmosphere.'

My wife found me intently listening to this album and burst out laughing, as I had my eyes closed, and she just wouldn't believe that I wasn't actually asleep. But this is an album that really does work best when all other sensory distractions are removed, and one can just fall into the soundscapes being created. In many ways this reminds me of some of his earlier work, where trance was an influence, and the music becomes layered soundscapes for the mind. It is more direct than many of Jean Michel Jarre's works, but in some ways it does have similar style, yet somehow that little bit more direct. It doesn't fall into the New Age of some of Wakeman's solo works either, but combines many elements that just work. Of all the solo albums I have heard from Schulze, I must admit that this is my favourite so far, although to be fair I have only come across such as small amount of a man with a prestigious output. Fans of both electronic music and prog will certainly enjoy this.

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OSE France
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YOU Germany
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