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RIO/AVANT-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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RIO/Avant-Prog definition

Avant-Prog

Avant-prog is an umbrella term which refers to any progressive rock artist with a strong leaning towards avant-garde and highly experimental approaches to music. Therefore, it includes the sub-genres of Rock In Opposition (see below) and Zeuhl in addition to general avant-prog artists.

Avant-prog is generally considered to be more extreme and 'difficult' than other forms of progressive rock, though these terms are naturally subjective and open to interpretation. Common elements that may or may not be displayed by specific avant-prog artists include:

- Regular use of dissonance and atonality.
- Extremely complex and unpredictable song arrangements.
- Free or experimental improvisation.
- Fusion of disparate musical genres.
- Polyrhythms and highly complex time signatures.

Most avant-prog artists are highly unique and eclectic in sound and consequently tend to resist easy comparisons. However, Frank Zappa is often cited as a major influence on many avant-prog artists due to his early adoption of avant-garde and experimental attitudes within a predominantly rock/jazz context.


Rock In Opposition

Rock In Opposition (RIO for short) is the name of a short-lived movement that has gone on to define a sub-genre of progressive rock, and which is now sometimes applied to musicians whose careers hadn't even started by the time the movement had ceased to exist in any official capacity. It is not synonymous with the term avant-prog, for whilst bands associated with RIO are (generally speaking) avant-prog in nature, most avant-prog bands are not associated with RIO.

The roots of RIO can be traced to Henry Cow, a UK progressive rock band with a distinctly avant-garde sound and left wing political ideology. Henry Cow toured extensively in Europe throughout much of the 1970s and came into contact with a few similarly inclined bands, in an ideological sense as much, if not more, than a musical one. These groups did not always have much in common stylistically, apart from a basic leaning towards fusing avant-garde qualities with elements of rock. Most of these bands were working independently at the time and had no distribution or realistic opportunity of touring outside their native countries. The idea of Rock In Opposition was to create an independent network of like-minded performers that would not be dependent on the largesse of major record companies for their survival.

Henry Cow invited four of these bands to play alongside them at the first Rock in Opposition festival on 12th March 1978, at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane in London. The British Arts Council helped the funding of the festival with a ú1000 grant. The Rock in Opposition slogan "The music the record companies don't want you to hear" was altered very slightly for the flyer advertising the first Rock in Opposition concert.

The five initial Rock in Opposition bands were:

Henry Cow (England)
Univers Zero (Belgium)
Etron Fou Leloublan (France)
Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden)
Stormy Six (Italy)

Three additional bands were later officially elected to the movement:

Art Zoyd (France)
Art Bears (England)
Aksak Maboul (Belgium)

The involved bands had many disagreements in a meeting at Sunrise Studios in Kirchberg, Switzerland in December 1978 about the purpose of the group, and its meaning. They eventually came up with a plan to continue their joint concerts. They organised three more festivals and co-operative record distributions but eventually the RIO group dissolved. It left behind a legacy that would initially be picked up by later projects from the many musicians involved with the original movement, and later on by artists inspired by the original RIO groups. Miriodor and Ensemble Nimbus are often said to be influenced by Samla Mammas Manna, for example, and are consequently sometimes referred to as RIO bands.

Since 2007, a contemporary RIO festival has been held most years in Carmaux, France. This festival has included artists closely associated with the original RIO movement alongside bands from the wider world of avant-prog and experimental music.

Dates of the original RIO festivals

12 March 1978 at New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London, England (set up by Henry Cow)
26 April 1979 to 1 May 1979 at Teatro dell'Elfo, Milano, Italia (set up by Stormy Six)
28/29 September 1979 in Uppsala, Sweden (set up by Samla Mammas Manna)
Bruxelles, Belgium (set up by Univers Zero)

Useful links

Information on RIO from Chris Cutler's website

Additional historical information on Squidco

Written/Compiled/Edited by past and present members of the RIO/Avant-Prog team

Current team members:
as at 27/8/2014

Steve (HolyMoly) ... team leader
Luca (octopus-4)
Ori (frippism)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)

RIO/Avant-Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 RIO/Avant-Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.33 | 1075 ratings
HOT RATS
Zappa, Frank
4.31 | 581 ratings
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Zappa, Frank
4.31 | 609 ratings
THE GRAND WAZOO
Zappa, Frank
4.67 | 28 ratings
H─XAN
Art Zoyd
4.32 | 182 ratings
A LITTLE MAN AND A HOUSE AND THE WHOLE WORLD WINDOW
Cardiacs
4.31 | 200 ratings
SING TO GOD
Cardiacs
4.29 | 212 ratings
UZED
Univers Zero
4.27 | 285 ratings
CHOIRS OF THE EYE
Kayo Dot
4.32 | 118 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Thinking Plague
4.69 | 23 ratings
Гуси-Лебеди / GEESE AND SWANS
Vezhlivyj Otkaz
4.43 | 51 ratings
ZABRANJENO PLAKATIRATI
Buldozer
4.28 | 162 ratings
UNIVERS ZERO (1313)
Univers Zero
4.25 | 195 ratings
M┼LTID
Samla Mammas Manna
4.41 | 46 ratings
BOOK M
Secret Chiefs 3
4.34 | 66 ratings
JEAN LOUIS
Jean Louis
4.48 | 33 ratings
SIRENS AND SILENCES/WORK RESUMED ON THE TOWER
News From Babel
4.24 | 152 ratings
WESTERN CULTURE
Henry Cow
4.21 | 187 ratings
HERESIE
Univers Zero
4.26 | 89 ratings
BARBARO (MA NON TROPPO)
Present
4.52 | 25 ratings
SCAMBOT 1
Keneally, Mike

RIO/Avant-Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the RIO/Avant-Prog experts team

ENSEMBLE HAVADI└
Ensemble HavadiÓ
TIGROVA MAST
Tigrova Mast
PLAYS STANDARDS
Ground Zero
SHINUTOKIWA BETSU
Wha-Ha-Ha

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Latest RIO/Avant-Prog Music Reviews


 Coffins On Io by KAYO DOT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 35 ratings

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Coffins On Io
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Toby Driver keeps on evolving. Perhaps more than any other artist . . . ever. Miles. Fripp. Genesis. Sylvian. Herbie. Mahavishnu John. Zorn. Ulver. Trying new styles, new personas, stretching himself instrumentally and compositionally, Toby Driver's Kayo Dot discography alone would compare favorably to any of the above shape-shifting artists--and Coffins on Io does not disappoint on that account. The much-mentioned Goth/glam-synth-pop sounds from the 1980s are absolutely present here (the over-long "Library Subterranean" [8:23] [9/10], the feel of the guitar chord sequence and vocal in the first two sections of "The Assassination of Adam"), but there is so much more. There is a haunting soundtrack jazziness to the saxophone-laden "Spirit Photography" (10:06) (10/10). And yet there are still vestiges of the Post Metal heaviness of previous Kayo Dot albums, such as on the second half of "The Assassination of Adam" (5:47) (7/10; a bit too grating for my ears), as well as some of the sensitivity and enjoyable melody-making of Toby's maudlin of The Well era ("Longtime Disturbance on the Miracle Mile" [4:07] [8/10]). Parts of "The Assassination of Adam," interestingly, also fit into the realm of psychedelia.

Two of my favorite three songs sound like they came straight out of the 80s. In the haunting "Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22" (9:25) (10/10) I hear bits and pieces of bands like DIF JUZ, TALK TALK, BLUE NILE, THE CURE, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, NEW ORDER, DEPECHE MODE, ICEHOUSE, ROXY MUSIC, and even STEELY DAN (in the drumming).

Despite its length, "The Mortality of Doves" (11:54) (9/10) has one of my favorite Toby Driver vocals of all-time. Though it is very heavily treated in reverb, it is his most consistently 'normal' vocal ever. It is also heavily steeped in similarities to the glam styles of 1980s Glam rockers like Brian Ferry, Ira Davies and Dave Gahan. And yet it is Toby Driver--his own fresh, new territory. Where the song suffers, however, is in its lack of variation and 'development' over its twelve minute length.

"Spirit Photography" (10/10) escapes being pigeon-holed in the 1980s umbrella due to its spaciousness and its jazzier drums (though 1990s TALK TALK does come to mind). The gentle central groove with its DICK PARRY-like breathy sax is quite reminiscent, to me, of the wonderfully soporific songs "Breathe" and "Us and Them" from PINK FLOYD's Dark Side of the Moon.

Still, this is, for me, the most impressive--and my favorite--Kayo Dot album since Choirs of the Eye. The others have been either too unpolished, too dark and depressing, or seeming undeveloped and without direction. While Toby's signature chunky, rolling bass remains central to every song, Coffins on Io has seen Toby & Co. take a definite turn down a "road less travelled by" other bands. Let's hope that it is the one that makes all the difference.

4.5 stars--one of the best I've heard from 2014.

 Diskomo 2000 by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
2.92 | 4 ratings

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Diskomo 2000
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

3 stars The Residents in their strange wisdom found it necessary to take parts of the "Eskimo" album, a concept album depicting the life of an Eskimo, and make a shortened disco version of it. Now, if you have heard the "Eskimo" album, it obviously makes you curious to hear that, doesn't it. One of the most non-commercial albums ever actually was reduced to disco? Well, apparently it can be done, not just one time, but at least 3 times.

There are three versions of the Diskomo track on this E.P. They are on tracks 1, 2, and 8. The first version is actually a very well done version that will actually give The Residents credibility and could easily be played in a club and taken seriously. Seriously? The Residents? Well, they have been making music for a long, long time, they had to get it right sometime. The second version is the original Diskomo version, and though it sounds dated, it retains a lot of the original Eskimo sound, so it is easy to pick a lot of the pieces of the Eskimo album out. The third version is the 1992 version.

So what else makes up this E.P? How about the suite known as "Goosebumps". This suite comes from the original Diskomo E.P. released several years before. In this instance, it is divided up into tracks 3 - 6. These are The Residents crazy-assed versions of nursery rhymes and it is quite hilarious. They use their minimalism very well in these tracks and their twisted sense of humor is running rampart throughout this suite both in their music and their satire. Vocals are put through special effects and loops to the delight of twisted minds everywhere. I can't help but think Mike Patton was inspired by The Residents after hearing this suite. This stuff is so weird that it's awesome and it's friggin' hilarious. Nursery Rhyme psychedelia at it's best. I suppose this would be a way of introducing young children to avant garde music, but it all depends if you want them to come out of the experience with their sanity or not. Probably best to wait until they are older. The last track of the suite is "Twinkle" and the following track (#7) is an updated version (well it was updated in 2000 for this E.P. specifically) of "Twinkle". The updated version sounds nothing like the original "Twinkle" at all and is sung by a child while the instrumental accompaniment goes off on another tangent altogether.

Finally we get to the 1992 version of Diskomo, which doesn't have a disco beat at all, but is more of a constant mid-tempo beat with a constant drone in the background and pieces of Eskimo melodies playing throughout. Sort of an alternative sound that was popular during that time. Not too bad though. I do like the choral effects in this version.

Anyway, even with the 3 versions, it is varied enough to stay interesting throughout the album and if you can't get the original Diskomo E.P. then this one is worth it just for the craziness of the "Goosebumps" suite if for nothing else. Alas, I have to give this only 3 stars, because it is non- essential Residents material, but let it be known that I love this E.P.

 Disconnected Synapses by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 1992
2.49 | 13 ratings

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Disconnected Synapses
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

1 stars Here is another bootleg recording of an early Zappa concert that was made official by FZ in order to discourage people from buying the bootleg copy. The album is available as part of the "Beat the Boots, Vol. 2" but was also later made available on it's own. FZ did not enhance these recordings much if at all, so they retain their questionable bootleg quality. The concert featured on this disc is entirely from Palais Gaumont, Paris, France, on December 15 1970.

This particular recording is not very good, though the show itself is not bad if you are a fan of the Flo and Eddie years, which I am not. I find their vocals and hijinx annoying. To me it's because of their delivery, not because of the material, that doesn't bother me. However, for those who are fans of that period of time in FZ's chronology, there might be some special things on this recording that you would be interested in. As a FZ fan, I can find other recordings that have a much better quality of recording, so I don't recommend this except for completionists. I am one of those, but I don't listen to this recording much because there are better ones, I just like the idea that it's in my collection, if you know what I mean.

Now the version of King Kong on this one is very good, but again the quality of the sound is not so good. And again, there are other great live recordings of this song. King Kong is a jazz piece with a lot of improvisation and solos, and this version as with all versions of the piece is unique. The biggest and most attractive feature of this version is it is one of the few recordings of Jean Luc Ponty (who is one of the most outstanding jazz violinists in the world) performing with the Flo and Eddie team and his solo, as usual, is amazing. But I just can't get over the poor sound on this album, so I have to stick with a 1 star on this one. There are better live versions of all of these songs on other live albums.

 Chunga's Revenge by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.40 | 232 ratings

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Chunga's Revenge
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

4 stars The third FZ solo album (Lumpy Gravy and Hot Rats preceded it), Chunga's Revenge, plays out like a more blues-oriented Hot Rats, with jokey lyrics courtesy of Flo and Eddie, formerly of the Turtles. Imagine going from "Happy Together" to "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink"! The album opens with "Transylvania Boogie", a guitar jam with exotic gypsy scales. It segues into the next song, "Road Ladies", before it gets too boring. "Road Ladies", however, is a blues song verging on parody, not too dissimilar to "Andy" off of One Size Fits All. The obligatory guitar pyrotechnics are subdued, yet still manage to satisfy. "Twenty Small Cigars" sounds like a straightforward jazz tune, yet Zappa manages to convolute it by playing the harpsichord on it. The following side-ender, "The Nancy And Mary Music" is a three-part suite accented by Aynsley Dunbar's drums (who would later join Journey, for some reason unbeknownst to me). Side 2 opens with "Tell Me You Love Me", which presages the cock rock of Aerosmith, Foreigner and post-Physical Graffiti Led Zeppelin. The following "Would You Go All The Way?" follows the same subject matter. In my opinion, it's the weakest song on the album. However, the title track is a barrage of guitar and wah-wahed sax, with soft Soft Machine-esque interludes interrupting the gargantuan riff. The last two songs, "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink" and "Sharleena" are jokey style parodies of Country and Western and 50s Doo-Wop, respectively. All in all, the album isn't a classic like Apostrophe or Hot Rats, but it's still an enjoyable listen.
 The Director's Cut  by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.63 | 63 ratings

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The Director's Cut
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars Mike Patton, the genius behind Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and countless other projects is also the genius behind Fantomas. With Fantomas, he has explored a wide array of musical styles by putting his own stamp of craziness on it, but this project is one of his most eclectic. What you have in this album is a collection of movie soundtrack covers, most of which are from horror movies from composers like Henry Mancini and John Barry. Even though there are some very orchestrated tracks here, including the opening track "Theme from The Godfatther" don't let that fool you. The Godfather is very straightforward, almost something you would hear on an elevator, except with clean clear sound and amazing production which raises it above the typical orchestral cover. But after that, things turn sharply south.

Most of the tracks are crazy studies in extreme listening, from heavy harsh vocals and crashing guitars to mysterious sounding keyboards and deep voices, the tracks are mostly faithful to the originals, except that you have Mike's crazy vocals (he uses his voice effectively as an instrument and for singing throughout this album), the band's orchestration is all over the place and it is one wild, frantic ride for your ears. Scary atmospheres for the most part, amazing how the first track makes you feel so safe and lures you into this asylum of otherwise manic music. This is RIO in the extreme, so be ready for it, and most of the shock value of the extremes will be easier to handle.

So everyone has heard covers of movie theme music, but you haven't heard one like this. If you know Mike Patton and just how wild he can be, then you can imagine what this is like. Maybe this is one of Fantomas most accessible albums, but I don't think many untrained minds will get past the 2nd track without a blown brain socket. I agree it is the best Fantomas album and most enjoyable, because I admit I have a very hard time with "Suspended Animation" (which is a collection of songs that sound like cartoon music with sound effects and chaos from start to finish) and their other albums, but I find this one very exciting, original, groundbreaking and a definite masterpiece of avant garde progressive music, this album sets the bar for one of the best in that subgenre in my opinion. Essential and a masterpiece. 5 stars.

 Roxy By Proxy by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2014
4.61 | 14 ratings

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Roxy By Proxy
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I've got eleven live Zappa albums so far and this is without question my favourite. More on why that is later. The songs here are taken from the Roxy shows in LA on December 9th and 10th and unlike the "Roxy And Elsewhere" live record there is no "elsewhere" on this one. These shows happened after a year long World tour by Zappa and his mates. Jean-Luc Ponty left in the summer of 1973 while Ian Underwood left in November. Enter Chester Thompson and Napoleon Murphy Brock to help fill out the lineup. I should mention that these particular live versions haven't been released until here on this recording. What is the appeal for me here? Well for one it's the jovial mood of the concerts. Frank is so into this and in great humour. He seems to be having so much fun along with the rest of the band. The audience is also very much into this as we can here them react many times throughout this recording to what is going on. Also the music itself for my tastes is perfect. I kept thinking how uplifting the music is, and how I just feel so good everytime I put this album on. It takes me back to a much different time in my life even though I wasn't there(I was 12).

"Carved In The Rock" opens with Zappa saying "Hello folks!" Then he introduces the band before telling the story behind the song "Inca Roads". He mentions Chariots Of Fire and Extraterrestrials as these high pitched spacey synths sounding like theremin play in the background. This is what consists of track one, no music yet. "Inca Roads" wasn't officially released until the 1975's "One Size Fits All" album so here we get an early look at it and it is quite different from the studio version as it is slowed down here, especially early on. George Duke is on vocals and it's pretty funny when he laughs in the middle of singing. These guys were having too much fun. The pace does pick up 2 minutes in and we get lots of percussion as well. It's freaking amazing 3 1/2 minutes in with the keyboards as the the vocals have stopped. Check out the bass as well. A horn solo after 5 minutes then the fast paced vocals return 6 1/2 minutes in. When the song ends Frank talks about how great it is living in Hollywood because of all the perverts. He says perverts make ordinary people look good. This is an intro of course for "Penguins In Bondage". Man this is good with those funny lyrics and "lights out" playing while Frank almost speaks the lyrics. Nice guitar solo 2 minutes in that is the start of a killer instrumental section. Man! The vocals are back 4 minutes in.

"T'Mershi Duween" is a "bongo number" as Zappa describes it. Other instruments join in around 30 seconds. A cool but short tune. "Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat" has such a feel-good vibe to it throughout. Lots of percussion and the crowd roars it's approval before 2 minutes. "RDNZL" has so much going on and the horns remind me of CHICAGO. The guitar arrives just before a minute and solos. Nice. Listen to the avant horns 3 minutes in and i'd call the vocals avant as well(haha). Some crazy keyboards too. "Village Of The Sun" is dedicated to John and Nelly Wilson and it's another feel good song. "Echidna's Arf(Of You)" features honking horns, percussion and so much more as the guitar comes and goes. "Don't You Ever Wash That Thing" is incredible with the turn on a dime instrumental work on display here. A trombone solo after 1 1/2 minutes and it ends with Frank saying "Watch Ruth all during our program". And he goes on about it for a while. Check out the electric piano 4 1/2 minutes in then the drum solo a minute later as this song blends into "Cheepnis-Percussion" with the talents of Thompson, Humphrey and Underwood. Huge applause when it ends then Zappa explains that that was actually "Cheepnis" then they play the full band version next with vocals. It gets pretty crazy late.

"Dupree's Paradise" is fantastic and the band is having so much fun. It kicks into a solid groove before 5 1/2 minutes. Nice flute solo after 7 minutes then a bass solo follows. Awesome stuff. Check out the drum fills here as well. Frank solo 10 1/2 minutes in and i'm feeling really good. Horns are back 14 minutes in. After the song ends Frank introduces the band once more as they leave the stage. They come back out and Zappa says "Alright we're going to play "King Kong" for ya, it's also hooked up to "Chunga's Revenge" and the ending of "Mr. Green Genes". He then tells Ruth to hurry up and she says "no" as they banter. Man this is such an impressive instrumental. Some excellent guitar starting before 5 minutes and I love the prominant bass as well.

So while many will call this inferior to "Roxy And Eleswhere" I will have to strongly disagree. But then there's no accounting for taste is there?

 Demons Dance Alone by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.11 | 17 ratings

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Demons Dance Alone
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars This is actually a mostly serious concept album...yes serious. The Residents most of the time are always releasing albums that are lampooning and satirical of all types of music. But this time, the topic is dealing with emotions surrounding the attacks of 9/11. This is probably one of the more accessible albums by The Residents, yet it is handled very well. You still get a lot of the minimalism that you are used to, but the production on this one is very good which helps and some of the songs are very well orchestrated. You still get that level of weirdness that you expect from The Residents, so no they are not compromising much to get the message across.

The album is divided into 3 parts which are collectively preceded and followed by an introductory song and another summary song. Each part is separated by a few very short instrumentals/sound effects. Tracks 2 - 8 are Part I and entitled "Loss". Part two is comprised of tracks 12 - 17 and called "Denial". Part 3 is entitled "The Three Metaphores" which are tracks 21, 23 and 25 and are separated by 3 more very short tracks. The music is simple yet complex with the alternating strange and normal vocals and vocals are also lead by female vocalists in several tracks, which help with the flow of the album, making it not get stagnant or monotonous.

With all the albums in The Residents discography, this one is one of their best. You still get a lot of The Residents signature sound, but this time it is done with more reverence to deal with the subject matter. This album is still a great representation of the uniqueness of the avant garde prog sound, in that it is not typical music, it is still experimental and challenging, but it is also accessible. You could almost get away with playing it for almost anyone, but you might still get some weird looks from time to time. Anyway, as far as avant-prog, I consider this a masterpiece of mostly minimalistic and inventive music even though it is one of The Residents most thought out and accessible recordings. 5 stars.

 Over-Nite Sensation by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.02 | 424 ratings

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Over-Nite Sensation
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

5 stars On this album, Zappa ditches Jazz fusion (even though elements of the genre are still there) for dirty funk. Also, he uses much more sexual innuendo to great effect, songs like "Dinah Moe-Humm" being the most obvious example. All of this makes Over-Nite Sensation the best "gateway drug" to Zappa. The opener, "Camarillo Brillo" sounds awfully like a west coast folk rock song, but with lyrics about aliens, dwarf breeding and authentic ponchos, the song couldn't be any further from its source. "I'm The Slime", a song denouncing the news as brainwashers, uses a riff that wouldn't be out of place in a Grand Funk song, yet advances the level of creativity with an interlude that sounds like an outtake from Sesame Street. Zappa doesn't sing the song, but he uses a pseudo-rap technique that pops up on the album even more. "Dirty Love" follows, with a funky clavinet/guitar interplay reminiscent of Stevie Wonder. The lyrics implore the listener to give your dirty love to Frank, and not caring about "your sweet devotion". The song "Fifty-Fifty", sung by Zappa acolyte Ricky Lancelotti, is a tale of the common man who is incredibly self-loathing. But Jean-Luc Ponty and Zappa are absolutely ripping on their respective solos, with Frank's "tweezed" guitar tone jumping out of the speakers. "Dinah Moe- Humm", as mentioned earlier, is the most pornographic song on the album. The plotline goes like this: boy meets girl, girl bets boy he can't make her orgasm, boy tries to make girl orgasm, boy has sex with her sister, girl gets aroused by that. Frank Zappa didn't do drugs, but he did do tons of groupies ;). The next track, "Zomby Woof", once again sung by Lancelotti, talks about a zombie who has a taste for college girls. Zappa's solo, also using the "tweezed" tone, would be a solo vehicle for Steve Vai in the future. Finally, "Montana". The story line is even more convoluted than DMH, with a man moving to Montana to farm dental floss. How weird is that? And even weirder, the Ikettes (as in Tina Turner) provided backing vocals on every song! Try telling Tina Turner to sing quintuplets while talking about dental floss. Even though this album has its idiosyncrasies (it is Zappa, after all), it's still a refreshing listen
 We're Only In It For The Money by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.15 | 465 ratings

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We're Only In It For The Money
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Thai Divone

5 stars A full blown attack on our ears and minds. I don't think that there is any other way to describe this work of genius. From the moment it starts, till it's end less than 40 minutes later, this album doesn't slow its pace, downplay its satire or let us stray away from it. It was shocking in the 60s, when it was first released, and it is still shocking today.

Some SFX lead us to the voice of Eric Clapton, asking a girl if she's hung up. Then we hear the technician talking about erasing all the masters, before we get Jimmy Carl Black talking about being the Indian of the group. It's hard to call this track a song, but? It does lay the ground for the things to come.

Who Needs the Peace Corps is where our journey really begins. We follow a hippie, or should we say a generic hippie. He drops out, goes to San Francisco, and buys a wig. The song is quick-paced, and has a great rhythm. The guitar part is great. The style of the song, though, is classic, is normal. But the words are so satirical and brilliant. On third listen and onwards, one starts to identify even more layers in this "simple" song, showing yet again the genius of Zappa. "I will love the police as they kick the [&*!#] out of me on the street".

Then we cut to the Concentration Moon, a slow paced song, lamenting about the freedom lost when one is in the jail. 37 seconds and the pace pick up, and it's a different beast. A hippie dies. The technician and JCB again, and we're back to the slow pace of the beginning. The US is afraid of us, the hippie says before dying.

Then Zappa sings for the parents, who stay for themselves, busy with their jobs, straying away from their children, letting them roam free and kill themselves. Then we get a short phone call, showing us the fear from one's dad, before getting to the next song- Bow Tie Daddy- a happy song about a beating dad.

Then a nice piano leads us to an almost Kinks's like song, or maybe just a Who's song, about the phony-ness of the hippie movement, and then some famous Zappa's SFX, still kept to a minimum.

What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body is another masterpiece, combining three complete songs into a single minute. Some short keyboard riff, then two lines said by Suzy and then Franki Zappa before the song begins, letting us experience the feeling of being on drugs. Or at least, letting us feel like seeing it from the side. It always reminds me a bit of Hendrix combined with the Beatles, but I think that it's just me. The song is yet again a quick travel between so many different musical styles, like a trip around the music industry in 3 minutes and a half.

Anyways, then comes Flower Punk which is a parody of Hendrix's Hey Joe, attacking the music industry and the hippies alike. It's quick and sounds almost like a kid's show taken to the extreme, only with some dirty lyrics and strange musical style. Around the 1:30 mark Zappa breaks loose, and the attack renounces. Screams, voices, SFX, high voices moving way to fast, and Zappa saying completely different things from each side of the sound- system. It's a cacophony, but a way too funny one to be taken seriously, much like the psychedelic music of the time.

Hot Poop is like the opening track, moving in 3 times speed. The second side was opened, and what a side it is. It sounds like all those things that Zappa kept at bay? Well, now they've got their opportunity to go out, enjoy themselves, be free for the first time in forever.

Let's Make the Water Turn Black sounds like a combination of the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, on steroids, with lyrics devoid of any inherent beauty. Zappa screams of their phony-ness. The Idiot Bastard Son continues the line the earlier song started, telling us yet another story before being cut short by the people listening.

Lonely Little Girl is a lament about a deserted girl, for whom her parents don't really care. It goes from being sad to being happy, and then all the way back, traveling through earlier songs, and going KABOOM in the middle. It even gets middle-eastern for a few seconds. And all this attack on the hippies? It all culminates in Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. Then a reprise for What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body, taken on even greater steroids, before getting to Mother People which is a peculiar and very strange little gem. Here Zappa asks us questions, and throws some nasty words on us, in an almost way too na´ve presentation. And after that? We're closing with The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny which sounds something like an avant-garde piece from 1940's Paris, combined with some nasty horror-soundtrack elements and then taken to the extreme. I can't really describe it, but I don't think that I should. It is a track one has to listen to for herself/himself.

And then we're left with a void, alone in the dark, staring at the record, and starting this musical journey all over again. Because the album doesn't end on first listen, nor does it end in the 30th. It just needs more and more time, growing better with each listen, amazing us again and again. So yeah, I don't think that I can give this album any less than 5 stars. It is essential not only for the Prog Fun, or for the historian` it's not essential only for the music lover or for the literature-student. It is one of those records that one just needs to have, to hold dear and true. This record? This one is one of those unique experiences. It just needs a listen. And then a bit more?

 Passing Through The Wall by ZEVIOUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.85 | 6 ratings

BUY
Passing Through The Wall
Zevious RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars I don't know how these guys did it, but they've essentially made a progressive garage rock album with the speed, technicality, and fury of tech death, and the mechanical edge of industrial rock. And on top of that, this is simply a masterpiece. "Entanglement" is a pertinent example: a driving, guitar-esque bass sets the scene for an exploratory guitar, with perfect drum backing, all played in the style of math. Ever heavy and energetic, and the sounds here do feel like metal - not in the musical sense, but in the sense that the music brings to mind cold steel. Everyone plays excellently, making a wall of solid sound that is at once entertaining and experimental. This doesn't pass through walls, but smashes through them. A spectacular record, highly recommended to math and tech death fans more than avantheads, but still recommended all around.
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RIO/Avant-Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
1870 (MIL OCHOCIENTOS SETENTA) Mexico
3 MICE Multi-National
5UU'S United States
THE A BAND United Kingdom
A-MUSIK Japan
A.P.A.T.T. United Kingdom
ABSOLUTE ZERO United States
AFENGINN Denmark
AFTER DINNER Japan
AFUCHE United States
AHLEUCHATISTAS United States
AHVAK Israel
AKINETËN RETARD Chile
AKSAK MABOUL Belgium
ALAMAAILMAN VASARAT Finland
ALFIE RYNER France
ALTERED STATES Japan
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ANATROFOBIA Italy
APPENDIX Slovakia
ARANIS Belgium
ARBETE OCH FRITID Sweden
THE ARCHESTRA Belarus
ARKTIS/AIR Austria
ARMON KUILU Finland
ART BEARS United Kingdom
ART FLEURY Italy
ART MOULU France
ART ZOYD France
ARTERIA Mexico
ATHANOR France
ATOMIC APE United States
BABLICON United States
BANDA EL┴STICA Mexico
ARRIGO BARNAB╔ Brazil
BARNACLED United States
BARRICADE France
LES BATTERIES France
BEGNAGRAD Yugoslavia
BOB BELL Canada
BIG BLOCK 454 United Kingdom
BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC United States
BISE DE BUSE France
IVA BITTOV┴ Czech Republic
BLACK ENGINE Italy
MICHEL BLANC France
BLAST Netherlands
THE BLITZOIDS United States
BONE Multi-National
THE BOOK OF KNOTS United States
BOREDOMS Japan
FRANăOIS BREANT France
MARKO BRECELJ Yugoslavia
BREZNEV FUN CLUB Italy
HASSE BRUNIUSSON Sweden
BULDOZER Yugoslavia
BZ BZ UEU Italy
CALOMITO Italy
THE CAMBERWELL NOW United Kingdom
CAPILLARY ACTION United States
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CATERPILLARMEN Iceland
CAZUELA DE CďNDOR Chile
CERBERUS SHOAL United States
CHARMING HOSTESS United States
CHEER-ACCIDENT United States
CH╩NE NOIR France
GUIGOU CHENEVIER France
CHOU PAHROT United Kingdom
CICALA-MVTA Japan
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET United States
A CLEAN KITCHEN IS A HAPPY KITCHEN Belgium
COBRA United States
JEAN COHEN-SOLAL France
COMBAT ASTRONOMY Multi-National
COMBO FH Czech Republic
COMMUNIO MUSICA Denmark
LINDSAY COOPER United Kingdom
COSA BRAVA United States
CREEDLE United States
CRO MAGNON Belgium
CTHULHU RISE Ukraine
CUCAMONGA Argentina
CULTO SIN NOMBRE Mexico
CURLEW United States
CUTLER AND FRITH United Kingdom
CHRIS CUTLER United Kingdom
RUBEN D'HERS Venezuela
DAIMON ORCHESTRA Japan
PATRICIA DALLIO France
DANISCO (FOR BEAUTY) France
DATE COURSE PENTAGON ROYAL GARDEN Japan
DEBILE MENTHOL Switzerland
DECIBEL Mexico
DEEP SWEDEN Czech Republic
DEMI SEMI QUAVER Japan
DANIEL DENIS Belgium
THE DESERTS OF TRAUN United States
DEUS NUVEM Brazil
DIE ANARCHISTISCHE ABENDUNTERHALTUNG Belgium
DIE KNODEL Austria
DISCUS Indonesia
DOCTOR NERVE United States
BOB DRAKE United States
TOBY DRIVER United States
THE DRX United States
PASCAL DUFFARD France
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DUNAJ Czech Republic
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DUREFORSOG Denmark
THE DUSTMAN DILEMMA France
EARDANCE United States
EBU GOGO United States
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RICH WOODSON'S ELLIPSIS United States
ENCORE + GRANDE Multi-National
ENSEMBLE HAVADI└ Italy
ENSEMBLE NIMBUS Sweden
L' ENSEMBLE RAY╔ Switzerland
ENSEMBLE SUPERMUSIQUE Canada
EPN TRIO Argentina
EREHIA Mexico
ERTH Costa Rica
ESKIMO United States
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EXTRA LIFE United States
FACTOR BURZACO Argentina
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BERNARD FALAISE Canada
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FAT Canada
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UN FEST═N SAGITAL Chile
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MMCIRCLE Canada
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