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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 20/05/2016

Raffaella (Raff)
Luca (octopus-4)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Ori (frippism)

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

4.32 | 1349 ratings
HOT RATS
Zappa, Frank
4.32 | 793 ratings
THE GRAND WAZOO
Zappa, Frank
4.32 | 768 ratings
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION: ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Zappa, Frank
4.66 | 37 ratings
TAIGA
OOIOO
4.49 | 52 ratings
H─XAN
Art Zoyd
4.33 | 149 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Thinking Plague
4.30 | 238 ratings
SING TO GOD
Cardiacs
4.44 | 61 ratings
BOOK M
Secret Chiefs 3
4.28 | 279 ratings
UZED
Univers Zero
4.44 | 61 ratings
N║ 6
Present
4.30 | 195 ratings
WESTERN CULTURE
Henry Cow
4.26 | 334 ratings
CHOIRS OF THE EYE
Kayo Dot
4.39 | 62 ratings
DECEIT
This Heat
4.26 | 242 ratings
HERESIE
Univers Zero
4.25 | 240 ratings
M┼LTID
Samla Mammas Manna
4.38 | 58 ratings
ZABRANJENO PLAKATIRATI
Buldozer
4.28 | 112 ratings
BARBARO (MA NON TROPPO)
Present
4.31 | 89 ratings
ON LAND AND IN THE SEA
Cardiacs
4.23 | 211 ratings
A LITTLE MAN AND A HOUSE AND THE WHOLE WORLD WINDOW
Cardiacs
4.52 | 32 ratings
LETTERS HOME
News From Babel

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
SECONDE ERE
Xaal
CARTOON
Cartoon
8.8
Silo, Le

Latest RIO/Avant-Prog Music Reviews


 Pestrottedans by PANZERPAPPA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.95 | 17 ratings

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Pestrottedans
Panzerpappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars Nice jazz fusion with a strong sense of folk/traditional melody, pace and structure.

1. "Spadom" (4:11) melodic but perhaps a little simpistic. (7.5/10)

2. "Pestrottedans" (7:05) again demonstrating the band playing a little too tightly, too closely to the main melodic structure. (8.5/10)

3. "Barkus I Vinterland" (6:04) a much ore laid back song than the previous two, it establishes a very catchy melody straightaway with the saxophone before guest ELAINE DI FALCO is given a solo on accordion! Nice song that does very little unusual or extraordinary until the big band sound crescendo near the end. (7.5/10)

4. "Fundal" (6:54) nice slow off-tempo whole band build to open the song. Tense. Keys, saxes, and guitars forge a tight duel-like weave. One of the best songs on the album. (9/10)

5. "Tredje Malist" (4:13) pleasant little ditty with several melodies weaving in and out of each other. (8/10)

6. "Landsbysladder 3" (8:26) folk melodies melt into seductive jazz tunes with this one--and back and forth. Very refreshing and creative! A good song that went on a bit too long. (8.5/10)

7. "Goda' Gomorrah" (6:25) opens with an ominous electronic keyboard wall of sound. Is this Panzerpappa doing Kosmisches Musik? Slowly it builds with an awesome middle section dominated by a "horn section." (NEKTAR's "Nelly the Elephant" comes to mind.) The best song on the album. (9.5/10)

Nothing Earth-shattering here but good, solid prog rock from a folk jazz foundation.

 A Token Of His Extreme by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Live, 2013
4.45 | 20 ratings

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A Token Of His Extreme
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by PlacesofLight405

5 stars This live recording was an FZ production that aired on WCET in LA 1974. Released by the family trust a few years ago, this album features many of the same songs Frank and his frozen rubber band tight band played during this period, with some surprises thrown in that will appeal to die-hard and novice Frank Zappa listeners. No trombone this time around, so George Duke really shows his funky chops on the variety of devices at his disposal. As with any exceptional Frank show from his early to mid '70s output, the material blends seamlessly and the droll, dour tone in his musings play perfect foil to madcap Napoleon Murphy Brock. The highlights are many - "The Dog Breath Variations", the medley " Oh No - Son of Orange County" and especially "Pygmy Twylyte" are given his best treatments. A sublime version of "Inca Roads" is included along with the extended "Florentine Pogen" and "Room Service". In all, a great collection of pieces hard to find together nowadays on one CD, as the money hungry Zappa family trust usually stretches things to 2,3,4 CD's. If you are introducing someone to the humor and progressive virtuosity of Frank Zappa, this is a fine place to start.

 Sing To God by CARDIACS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.30 | 238 ratings

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Sing To God
Cardiacs RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by A_Flower

5 stars A few months ago, I discovered Cardiacs with this album. I fell in love immediatly Cardiacs are one of the most s spectacular program rock bands out there and this album proves it. I first listened with average expectations but was blown away by the creative yet complex music of Tim Smith. I had been looking for something really unique in prog and finally found it. Every song from Sing to God has it's own amazing creativity to make a perfect album.

Eden on the Air begins with random chimes and an atmospheric oceanic fade in. It is a swan song with high vocals thrown in the middle. I love how symphonic it is but so weird at the same time.

After the basic two minuets of Eden, things pick up speed with the advent grade Eat it Up Worms Hero. The song is messed up with random screams and hidden melodies. There is a lot happening and at the very end, after the fade out, we get some nice piano interrupted by a bang.

When I first heard this album, I was prepared for Eat It Up but not Dog-Like Sparky. The song has a sort of perpetual beat to it and picks up speed for the melody. The lyrics make no sense, but they don't matter. The melodIes just get better and better! I especially when the sing "Crawling is my Way." It's so strange because it has to be prog, but it just is so much more!

Now we get the quintessential prog-punk hybrid, Fiery Gun Hand. This one has normal punk like singing with random sounds that I could understand if most people would find annoying as help-I love it! In a few moments, it also becomes really symphonic and it even has a guitar solo and a keyboard solo. It has everything!

Things "kind of" calm down in Insect Hoots on Lassie-good title. I feel like this kills brain cells it's so advent grade and weird. The saxophone melody is awesome and son is the acoustic guitar. Another great one!

If the album had any weak tracks, the weakest link is Fairy Mary Mag-and even this is great! After the crazy intro, it becomes very medieval with a little girl singing after Smith. The ending is a random keyboard solo.

Now we get back into punk with Bellyeye. Such a good track. Some of it even sounds kind of polka-ish, Tim Smith is a genius!

Things get weird in A Horse's Tail. This song has so much fit into four minutes it feels like an epic! In the middle, you can hear more screaming and everything sounds like a demon circus. This is a personal favorite off the record.

Then we get what I think will end up being one of my all time favorite songs. Manhoo. The song sounds like possessive children singing with Tim Smith about spirits. Seems like a weird ghostly song turned into a rock song. I can't really describe how much I love it, just listen to it!

The first disk ends with Wireless. This one seems like a technological one for the 90s. It has an awesome repetitive keyboard riff that makes it feel very retro. As this moody plays off, it eventually ends and we are left with a tiny snapping beat over the sound of crickets. Tim Smith narrates some weird lyrics about buckets, eventually, the snapping stops. The first part ends with a beautiful orchestral overture.

Then it comes. The most messed up song ever. Dirty Boy. You want to turn it up but it hurts your ears. It sort of is like a hardcore version of The Beatles "I Want You". It takes many listens, like all the greats, but my favorite parts are...basically all of it. The buiild up in the middle is an eargasm. But the most notable section is the last two minutes. One note is held and is so loud but the guitar underneath is unbelievable!!!!

Billion is a short opener to Odd Even. Pretty cool.

Odd Even is probably the most accessible song off this weird album. It is dominated by acoustic guitar, strange feedback, and strings. It's a very sweet track, and in the middle is the same keyboard so at the end of Fairy Mary Mag. I feel it is heartfelt, and sort of a love song.

Bell Stinks is the instrumental prelude to Bell Clinks. It has a sort of crazy beat and a randomly beautiful and spacious middle. Pretty funny song!

Bell Clinks is really fast paced! You cannot understand a word. I read the lyrics and I think its about social rights or something. I don't know why, but it makes me think of Ballroom Blitz. Oh, and it has an awesome guitar solo!

Flap Off You Beak is not as weird but it's even better! First of all, look at the title-hilarious! I don't know if it's accessible or not, but it's got good vocals, good piano, and overall is one of my favorites.

Quiet as a Mouse is not a song but a really creepy bit about scientists experimenting on mice. Reminds me of the play I am currently in "Flowers for Algernon." One women is very creepy in this bit, some scary stuff here.

I have never done drugs, but if I do,I think it would feel not like listening to this next song, Angelworm Angel. The percussion is insane and super weird. This is just too much to take in!!!

Then we settle down with Red Fire Coming Out of His Gills. I like this strings, and the overall composition is a good one.

No Gold is probably the trippiest song off the album. It uses weird fade in piano, and this beats are followed by some even stranger percussion. The vocals also have a sound effect, as do the strings in the back. Weird song, but still great.

The album's climax is Nurses Whispering Verses. Pretty frightening song. It is dominated by an epic riff that fits it perfectly. Although the riff is kind of the only good part, the song also has a small build up and an ambient ending. The song fits best when with the whole album, but is a great climax!

Finally, Tim Smith treats us to an outstanding love song for the finale. Fondling brings a tear to my eye. After verses comes an overpowering synth riff each time. I can't really describe it because while I'm listening I have too many goose bumps to type it right now. If you listen closely, you'll hear chimes at the end, like the start.

Buy this album now. You will not regret it.

 The Selected Of Enigmarden by ROZ VITALIS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
2.13 | 4 ratings

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The Selected Of Enigmarden
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Like the title says, this release is a selection from the album Enigmarden (2005). That one has got relatively reserved criticism here, and for a good reason, I can tell you, especially if this 7-track selection -- made for what purpose exactly? -- from the original 14 is supposed to be any better. I haven't listened to that album, nor any other-than-new music of this band from St. Petersburg (but I just received five discs in mail). It's evident that Roz Vitalis has matured a lot in the last ten years.

What we have here is instrumental and rather experimental music firmly centered around the keyboards of the frontman Ivan Rozmainsky. The keyboard sound is sharp and intense, backed by programmed drums plus some wind Instruments here and there -- and I'm sad to say, that's about all. Most of the time tempo is rather fast, and together with this hollowness of soundscape it is only underlining the unpleasant sense of music made out of mere will of experimenting with instruments. On the other hand, there's hilarious energy and a touch of humour, and despite the melodic / rhythmic complexity the tracks do maintain some intelligence and coherence instead of being plain silly.

The extra ingredients on top of organ-oriented keys and programming increase the surprise factor. These include the female voice (can't tell if she's singing some lyrics with a meaning, or is the voice only used as another instrument) on 'Stress of Tenderness' and a decent variety of wind instruments during the album: recorder, clarinet, harmonica and even a Peruvian native flute (on 'Be Aware of Strangers'). But in the end, the musical style remains rather pointless, lacking deeper emotions, and the soundscape too hollow to avoid headache on the long run. This definitely isn't music I'd like to listen to again and again; my low rating is more subjective than objective. Of course I may also point out that RIO/Avant-Prog has never been among my favourites. If you enjoy the genre and can stand both the crazy side of Keith Emerson and the lack of a real rhythm section, you may find some unique pleasure from this music.

 1000 by CHROMB! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 3 ratings

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1000
CHROMB! RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Oh such a delightful touch reminds me of French avantgarde progressive communes. This album "1000" released in 2016 by a promising and expressing French killers CHROMB! (thanks to Clement in Dur Et Doux label for a brilliant suggestion) has crazy excessive appearances here and there.

In the beginning of the first strike "Des Francis En Quinconce" an eccentric electronic explosion like a childish quarrel absorbs the audience definitely. Pretty comfortable is a combination of jazz rock coolness and mysterious electronica. Quirky percussive voices reminds me of a French obscurity Super Freego. Such a magnificence cannot help giving us a big surprise and massive impression.

Contrary to the first one, we should get relaxed in mystic chorus and danceable groove in "Bobby" with some dissected sound texture out of prediction. "Favrice" has quite innovative anti-majority-like soundscape seasoned with slight tragic spice. We can find Krautrock- ish distorted psychedelia (like Siinai) mixed with warped anti-pop and avantgarde jazz Fantasia in "Le Tombeau Est Vide". Cannot estimate what they would launch as the next melodic strategy.

Obvious pleasant moments can usually be heard in complicated vibes and movements ... e.g. in a perfect greeting "Bonjoure". Constructive, contractive phrase variations to shoot addictive heartache to the audience can be found in"La Nuit Des Madames" ... mystic rhythmic / melodic lines really. A confusing ambient collection "Die Krabben Leben Noch" is another fave of mine, filled with drastically psychic sound material. This colourful exaggerated stream takes us the final stage "Il En Fallait" drenched in almost all of their musical essences.

Apparent comfort full of impression should be kept in our ears, beyond explanation. Kinda sarcastic and stimulative creation must be fine for every progressive rock freak yuppie ... addiction, it's real addiction.

 Hamstrapped by UBERBAND album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Hamstrapped
Uberband RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars Can I write an objective review of an album that for some strange reason I have loved since the first listen? It happened that reading the trakck titles of their "Live in Poland" I was expecting another of that noisy-punky-ish bands, but the first notes of "Oompapa" were enough to catch my attention. Odd tempo and a catchy melody spreading Zappa-esque humour and so many changes touching various genres, sometimes reminding of the GonG of Angel's Egg to come bacj to the initial riff, and all in less than 5 minutes.

So what comes after? A sort of dixieland song with a Broadway flavor suddenly changing into a 60s melodic song, suddenly changing into something else coming from the 80s, but everything extremely well played, because first of all this is a band of skilled instrumentists.

"Slowly"...continues in this parodistic vein. It could be the Platters meeting the Oasis...but before you can realize, you are listening to a slow samba, then back to the main theme. The fake Spanish of the second part is remarkable, just before entering a Crimsonian section which fades into the album's masterpiece.

"Salmon Boots" is incredibly fun, with the bluesy choir and the "Michael Jackson's like" lead vocals speaking of a pair of fish-stinking salmon boots. After some caughs the choir is replaced by instruments for a progressive part suddenly replaced by a swing jazz section. Note what bass and piano do before ending inti the follwing track.

"Horse" is funky, then easy jazz, then 60s psychedelia. Between Zappa and GonG, both for the composition and execution skills and for the crazyness. The guitar solo is nice and I have found myself thinking that a wah-wah on it would have been perfect. But there's more. I don't know how the follwing part can be described, but it return to the easy jazz to later get into a kind of spiritual. They put so much in a single song that if expanded they could have released a triple album.

Finally "5$", which is also what I have paid for the Bandcamp download. A proper 70s rock song reminding of bands like Who or early Led Zeppelin with an excellent rock instrumental part where the guitar has more space than in the other tracks.

In all the tracks the vocals deserve to be mentioned, too.

It's a pity that after this EP Uberband have disbanded. This is my "discovery" of 2016. Few days ago I was playing "Oompapa" in my car, from a smartphone connected to the car audio "aux". My wife took the phone off and threw it to the rear seats. It's a sign that it's good.

4 octopus stars.

 1000 by CHROMB! album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 3 ratings

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1000
CHROMB! RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars '1000' - CHROMB! (77/100)

I originally became acquainted with the work of the CHROMB! guys through a past project of theirs, PoiL. Dur et Doux, the longstanding collaboration of LÚo Dumont and Camille Durieux ("Hard and Soft" in French-- a clever play on their surnames) never strays from whimsical avant-prog however, so I wouldn't have batted an eye if this had been marketed as the next PoiL album. Challengingly atonal arrangements and lowbrow Zappa-esque humour are going to be staples for this French collective for probably as long as they live. At the end of the day, this is the Rock in Opposition you might already love or hate, being brought into the 21st century. CHROMB! may not be quite as relevant as Univers Zero or another of their forebears, but their sound is every bit as tight and challenger to the undaunted listener.

Even if this is the first time I've heard of CHROMB!, there's been music released under the name at least since 2012. Their two albums before this were called I and II respectively. Calling their third album 1000 seems like a clever way for CHROMB! to jump the shark. What was IX supposed to sound like? What of the zealous fan cults that could have sprung if they had seen fit to release 487? While the overabundant humour in bands of this nature usually get on my nerves, I have to say that the way the Dur et Doux collective stand out most from their equally-proficient RIO peers is that the humour actually works. At least when it comes to the non-musical aspects of their work, from titles and lyrics to the aesthetic, they've got a way of tickling wit like few others in their class have managed. I still think I prefer the ultra-serious approach of bands like Shub-Niggurath and Univers Zero, but considering the bad Zappa humour is usually something I've struggled with in avant-prog, the success of CHROMB!'s whimsy is all to their credit.

After having been wowed by PoiL's maniacal tightness and avant-weirdness, I'm not surprised at all that CHROMB! enjoys the same merits. Despite all tongues-in-cheek, 1000 is very serious, formal- sounding music. Slower sections mess around with weird, uncomfortable harmonies; faster sections do the same while throwing in unpredictable times and ample space for the musicians to push themselves. I do think this sort of highly technical avant-prog went out of style around the time bands like The Mars Volta and Porcupine Tree usurped the prog mantle. Even so, it wouldn't be hard to see the RIO niche get bigger if bands like CHROMB! continue to outdo themselves in terms of their musicianship.

Even if 1000 can be summarized effectively by the whimsical avant-prog description, there's still a ton of variety in between. "Bonjoure" is a fantastic fast jam in dissonant RIO tradition. Martial basswork thunders below playfully anxious alto sax, wrapping up with near-perfect band tightness. They are able to flow from frantic material like that to warmer vocal sections, replete with choral harmonies at no cost to the general weirdness. It would be easy to dismiss CHROMB! as being weird for weirdness' sake. That theory overlooks how deceptively coherent 1000 is as a work. I've heard some similar avant-prog in the past few weeks that sounded almost painful in the way they would cram so much into an album without rhyme or reason. For CHROMB!, their "reason" is probably still to make people laugh and have fun as much as a SoCal pop-punk band, but make no mistake: CHROMB!'s silly charm and playfulness is backed up by a very real intelligence and direction. I really hope to hear more of this sort of stuff in the future.

 The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out! by ZAPPA, FRANK album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.92 | 548 ratings

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The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out!
Frank Zappa RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A listener's enjoyment of this very first Frank Zappa album may depend largely on their age. If you are a reader born sometime after the year 1980 (like me), you will probably not be impressed. Freak Out! will probably come across as a somewhat bloated, anachronistic curiosity. If you were born at a time when Zappa and the Mothers were actually making music, and especially if you were around in the '60's, you'll probably find Freak Out! a riot of satirical humor and unapologetic finger pointing at the contradictions and hypocrisy of modern culture.

To put this into contemporary perspective, imagine if an incredibly talented group of musicians came together and used the cliches of today's pop-stars (auto-tune, over produced electronic sounds, dance routines, rap-infused vocals) to lambaste the fans of those very same musical cliches. It hasn't happened. It probably won't ever happen; and this is one of the reasons why I think every prog fan - and music fan in general - should give Zappa music a serious try. There's no one out there today like Frank Zappa, and Freak Out! is a great example of his early output.

So what will you hear on this release? Freak Out! is basically a mish-mash of '60's sounds, complete with twanging guitar, do-wop vocals, Beetles-esque rocking, sappy love ballads, psychedelic freak outs, and catchy melodies. You might sometimes be tricked into thinking that these are "normal" songs, but of course they're tongue-in-cheek at their most benign. For the most part the band is playing rhythm-centric music, with melodies carried by the vocalists. Don't expect monster Zappa guitar solos, but you will hear heaps of orchestrated moments as well, as the ranks of the Mothers of Invention add string, brass, woodwind, and percussion elements to many songs. Sometimes this is subtle, but usually it's wonderfully overblown, which adds to the satire of the songs. Half-way through, the freak out session begins. Things get psychedelic and weird, but lose none of their edge or bite.

The overall effect is an hour of sardonic joy. Freak Out! doesn't hit the same heights as some of the Mothers' more polished works, but this release is especially impressive given that it's their very first effort. Now that we're almost post-2016, listen to "Trouble Every Day" and tell me that it doesn't resonate with the times. Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 5 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

 Naked City by NAKED CITY album cover Studio Album, 1989
4.08 | 96 ratings

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Naked City
Naked City RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is essentially what happens when a jazz band decides to play avant-garde rock and roll, with basically straight- ahead rockabilly numbers made weird with odd little solos and outbursts here and there. The overall sonic effect isn't too dissimilar from the wilder moments of Mr. Bungle - indeed, John Zorn and Trey Spruance would end up working together from time to time in future - though with a slightly more consistent "anchor" in early garage rock.

It's all very impressive, but I'd add a couple of caveats. The first is that if you are interested in this album because of thw participants' jazz work, you should keep in mind that this doesn't sound even slightly like jazz. The second is that I sneakily kind of think the garage rock side of the band is just fine and all that weird soloing just makes the album odd for odd's sake. This is a sentiment which, if course, is entirely antithetical to the experiment here, but I just feel like the experiment just isn't quite my cup of tea.

 Live in Kirishi by ROZ VITALIS album cover Live, 2016
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Live in Kirishi
Roz Vitalis RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars There are bands who can pull things off brilliantly in the studio setting yet cannot pull off a brilliant live performance of their music. Likewise there are bands that are renowned for unleashing stunningly brilliant live events yet somehow fall short on their musical visions on the studio side of the equation. No such dilemmas for St Petersburg symphonic avant-proggers ROZ VITALIS who prove without a doubt on their latest LIVE IN KIRISHI that they more than have the chops to put on one helluva musical spectacle. This short but sweet barely over 30 minute long musical gem includes what the band deems the most "essential" tracks from the "Lavoro D'Amore" studio album with a couple of extra tracks which include "Blurred" which serves as a sneak peak for the next studio album as well one another bonus goodie tagged onto the end appropriately called "Ending."

Not being content to merely perform these tracks as heard on the studio album, ROZ VITALIS goes the extra mile and play their hearts out taking a more driving approach with a greater emphasis of Alexey Gorshkov's trumpet playing skills which at times makes me think they've kidnapped a mariachi band and forced them to play for vodka or something! The band pulls these tracks off with ease offering us hard driving rhythmic developments as heard on the bass and more pronounced rockin' guitar interaction along with lush organ and keyboard runs. The melodic developments are just as tasty and intact as on "Lavoro d'Amore" but the band simply hits a home run with their tight uncompromising prog bombast hypnotizing the audience into musical bliss.

It takes a lot for me to get excited about a live album to be honest. While i love much music, i do not equally love live renditions of many bands who more often than not fail to add any gusto and bravado to the studio versions at hand assuming they don't butcher the whole package entirely. ROZ VITALIS proves to me on this first sampling of their LIVE settings that they are actually MORE enticing as a live act than they are on many of their albums. While i love the majority of their entire discography, it is true that sometimes things can sound a tad clinical in the production department and this LIVE setting offers a totally organic funfair of talented musicians mixing and melding their musical mojo.

The production is crisp and clear and actually sounds like their playing in the same room. While there is a live audience attending, don't expect arena rock here as there is only a small crowd of fans in attendance, but what a treat they experienced to on this day with a performance like this. The familiar tunes with added elements of space rock, occasional funky guitars and the more rocking approach in general with healthy doses of vaunting trumpet add a whole new dimension to the "Lavoro d'Amore" track list and one that sits with me quite well. This is just as recommended as any of the other top notch studio albums in the band's canon. A LIVE album that sits well with its studio counterparts.

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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
ALBOTH! Switzerland
ALEX'S HAND United States
ALFIE RYNER France
ALTERED STATES Japan
AMOEBIC EMSEMBLE United States
ANATROFOBIA Italy
ANDREW MOORE'S CHAMBER WORKS United States
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
THE ARTAUD BEATS United Kingdom
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
BBP UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA Czech Republic
BEGNAGRAD Yugoslavia
BOB BELL Canada
BEN LEVIN GROUP United States
BIG BLOCK 454 United Kingdom
BIG FARM United States
BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC United States
BISE DE BUSE France
IVA BITTOV┴ Czech Republic
BLACK ENGINE Italy
MICHEL BLANC France
BLAST Netherlands
BLITURI Canada
THE BLITZOIDS United States
BONE Multi-National
THE BOOK OF KNOTS United States
BOREDOMS Japan
BOSNNIA Argentina
BOX Multi-National
FRANăOIS BREANT France
MARKO BRECELJ Yugoslavia
BREZNEV FUN CLUB Italy
BRIAN! United States
BROKEN.HEART.COLLECTOR Austria
HASSE BRUNIUSSON Sweden
BUILD United States
BULDOZER Yugoslavia
BZ BZ UEU Italy
CALOMITO Italy
THE CAMBERWELL NOW United Kingdom
CAPILLARY ACTION United States
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART United States
CARDBOARD AMANDA Multi-National
CARDIACS United Kingdom
CARTEL CARNAGE France
CARTOON United States
CASSIBER Germany
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
CHROMB! France
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
DEADBURGER Italy
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
DUMB WAITER United States
DUNAJ Czech Republic
TREVOR DUNN United States
DURE-M╚RE France
DUREFORSOG Denmark
THE DUSTMAN DILEMMA France
EARDANCE United States
EBU GOGO United States
ELECTRIC MASADA United States
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
ESTRADASPHERE United States
ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN France
EX-GIRL Japan
EX-P Italy
EXTRA LIFE United States
FACEMEAT Australia
FACTOR BURZACO Argentina
PAVEL FAJT Czech Republic
BERNARD FALAISE Canada
FAMILHA ART┌S France
FANTOMAS United States
FAR CORNER United States
FAT Canada
FERDINAND RICHARD France
UN FEST═N SAGITAL Chile
FILTHY HABITS ENSEMBLE Spain
FINNEGANS WAKE Belgium
FIRE! Sweden
THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS United States
FOREVER EINSTEIN United States
FORTRANGT HUSHALLSARBETE Sweden
FOTE / THE TRUTH CLUB United Kingdom
FOTGJENGEREN United States
THE FRACTURED DIMENSION United States
LES FRAGMENTS DE LA NUIT France
FRENCH TV United States
FRESH! Japan
FRIENDLY BEARS United States
FRED FRITH United Kingdom
FRANK-WILLIAM FROMY France
FUKKEDUK Belgium
DIAMANDA GALAS United States
GANNETS United Kingdom
GARAMOND Italy
GARGANTUA Poland
GATTO MARTE Italy
PATRICK GAUTHIER France
GEINOH YAMASHIROGUMI Japan
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GODZIK PINK United States
GOLDBUG United States
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THE GORDON GRDINA TRIO Canada
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GRAMIGNA Italy
GRAND ULENA United States
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LES GRANULES Canada
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GROUND ZERO Japan
GRUPPO D'ALTERNATIVA Italy
GUAPO United Kingdom
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GUTBUCKET United States
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LES HALMAS Switzerland
HAMSTER THEATRE United States
HAPPY 55 Russia
HARDSCORE Belgium
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THE HAT SHOES Multi-National
CHARLES HAYWARD United Kingdom
HELLEBORE France
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HENRY COW United Kingdom
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HESUS ATTOR Croatia
HI-SPEED Japan
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ZACH HILL United States
TIM HODGKINSON United Kingdom
LARS HOLLMER Sweden
HONEY RIDE ME A GOAT United Kingdom
HORDE CATALYTIQUE POUR LA FIN France
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HUNUNHUM Japan
HYRROKKIN United States
I AM ABOVE ON THE LEFT Russia
LES I France
IDIOT FLESH United States
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JUSTINE Canada
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KILLING TIME Japan
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THE KNELLS United States
KNOMIGON United States
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KOMBINAT M Austria
KOMINTERN France
KOREKYOJIN Japan
KORMORANY Poland
KOROVA MILK BAR France
KRALDJURSANSTALTEN Sweden
DAGMAR KRAUSE Germany
KROKO Finland
KRUZENSHTERN & PAROHOD Israel
KUHA. Finland
KULTUR SHOCK Multi-National
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L'EFFET DEFEE France
LA 1919 Italy
LACRYMOSA Japan
LARS LACH'N JONSSON Sweden
LARSEN RUPIN Switzerland
LARVAL United States
LASK Germany
LAST EXIT United States
LEAN LEFT Multi-National
LED BIB United Kingdom
JOSE LUIS FERNANDEZ LEDESMA Mexico
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LIGEIA MARE United States
LIGHT COORPORATION Poland
LITAI Italy
LITTLE WOMEN United States
THE LOCALS Germany
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LOOMINGS France
LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS United States
LUNAPARK ENSEMBLE Japan
LUZ DE RIADA Mexico
MACROMASSA Spain
MAESTRO TRYTONY Poland
THE MAGIC BAND United States
MAKE A RISING United States
MAMMA NON PIANGERE Italy
MAN MAN United States
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ALBERT MARCOEUR France
MASADA United States
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LE MASCHERE DI CLARA Italy
MASSACRE United States
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METABOLIST United Kingdom
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METAMORPHOSIS Czech Republic
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MIRIODOR Canada
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MIZUTAMA SHOBODAN Japan
MMCIRCLE Canada
MOE! STAIANO/MOE!KESTRA! United States
MOMBU Italy
MONKEY PUZZLE TRIO United Kingdom
MOONCHILD TRIO United States
MORKOBOT Italy
MORVISCOUS United Kingdom
MOSA¤C France
MOTOR TOTEMIST GUILD United States
MR. BUNGLE United States
MUCHO TAPIOCA France
MUD MOTHS United States
THE MUFFIN MEN United Kingdom
LA MUJER BARBUDA Argentina
MUSEO HETERODOXO Peru
MUSICA D'REPUESTO Cuba
MUSICA TRANSONIC Japan
MYRBEIN Sweden
N.O.R.M.A. Italy
NAKED CITY United States
NAKED TRUTH United States
NAZCA Mexico
NE ZHDALI Estonia
NEBELNEST France
NEO Italy
NEWS FROM BABEL United States
NI France
NICHELODEON Italy
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NIMAL Switzerland
NINE TOBS Netherlands
NO SAFETY United States
NO SECRETS IN THE FAMILY Switzerland
NON CREDO United States
NOODBAND Netherlands
NOOUMENA France
NORMAL LOVE United States
NOUVELLES ETHNOLOGIQUES DE L'OBSCUR MUSEUM France
NOW WE'VE GOT MEMBERS Norway
NOXAGT Norway
NUCLEAR RABBIT United States
THE (EC) NUDES Multi-National
OCTAFISH Germany
OCTAVO France
OCTOBER EQUUS Spain
OLD TIME RELIJUN United States
OLIVE MESS Latvia
OOIOO Japan
OPABINIA Japan
OPTICAL*8 Japan
OPUS AVANTRA Italy
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THE ORDINAIRES United States
LAS OREJAS Y LA LENGUA Argentina
ORQUESTA METAF═SICA Argentina
THE ORTHOTONICS United States
OSSI DURI Italy
OTEME Italy
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OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Japan
OXOMAXOMA Mexico
P.O.N. Japan
PABST Germany
PAINKILLER United States
PAK United States
PALINCKX Netherlands
PANZERPAPPA Norway
PAPER MICE United States
PATAPHONIE France
MIKE PATTON United States
PEARLS OF SWINES France
PERFUME DE MUJER Cuba
PERHAPS CONTRAPTION United Kingdom
LA PERRA Mexico
PFS United States
PIENZA ETHNORKESTRA France
PIG SOUL Brazil
PIKAPIKA TEART Russia
PISSUK RACHAV Israel
PITOM United States
THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE Czech Republic
PLOZ Canada
POCHAKAITE MALKO Japan
POCKET ORCHESTRA United States
KIMMO POHJONEN Finland
POIL France
POKERFACE Sweden
POLYMORPHIE France
LES POULES Canada
PRESCOTT United Kingdom
PRESENT Belgium
PROSESSOR BALTHAZAR Norway
PSUDOKU Norway
PSYCHOYOGI United Kingdom
PSYNKOPAT Sweden
PULSOPTIONAL United States
PUNGO Japan
PUSH THE TRIANGLE France
QUATEBRIGA Yugoslavia
QUINTORIGO Italy
RABBINICAL SCHOOL DROPOUTS United States
RADIATION10 France
RAMLOSA KVALLAR Sweden
THE RANCID YAK BUTTER TEA PARTY United States
RAPA NUI Peru
RASCAL REPORTERS United States
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RATTLEMOUTH United States
RECREATION Belgium
RED BALUNE United Kingdom
THE RED MASQUE United States
RED NOISE France
ALEC K. REDFEARN AND THE EYESORES United States
REDRICK SULTAN Canada
REPORTAZ Poland
THE RESIDENTS United States
RESISTENCIA CHACO Argentina
R╩VE G╔N╔RAL Multi-National
LES RHINOC╔ROS United States
ALESSIO RICCIO Italy
HARRY ROESLI Indonesia
ROUGE CIEL Canada
ROZ VITALIS Russia
SAJJANU Japan
SALES DE BAĐO Argentina
SALLE GAVEAU Japan
SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA Sweden
SARLO AKROBATA Yugoslavia
SATANIQUE SAMBA TRIO Brazil
MASAHIKO SATOH AND THE SOUNDBREAKERS Japan
DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Greece
DANIEL SCHELL & KARO Belgium
SCHNELLERTOLLERMEIER Switzerland
THE SCIENCE GROUP Multi-National
SCORCH TRIO Multi-National
SEABROOK POWER PLANT United States
SEBKHA CHOTT France
SECRET CHIEFS 3 United States
SHINING Norway
SILENCIO United States
LE SILO Japan
SIR MILLARD MULCH United States
SIX CYLINDRES EN V France
SKELETON CREW United States
SLAPP HAPPY Multi-National
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM United States
FRANCISCO SLEPOY Argentina
SMEGMA United States
SNAKE OIL France
SNAKEFINGER United Kingdom
SNARLING ADJECTIVE CONVENTION United States
THE SOCIET└ ANONIMA DECOSTRUZIONISMI ORGANICI Italy
LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES └ LA PARADE DES OISEAUX France
SONAR Switzerland
SONS OF CEPHEIDS United States
SOT Norway
SOTOS France
SPALTKLANG Switzerland
SPECIES BEING United States
STABAT AKISH France
MARK STANLEY United States
STARRING United States
STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND Switzerland
SIMON STEENSLAND Sweden
STEPMOTHER Multi-National
STOP MOTION ORCHESTRA United States
STORMY SIX Italy
STRANGE CHANGES United States
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SUDOKU KILLER Italy
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SUPERDENSECRUSHLOADFACTOR Australia
SWEET POTATO United Kingdom
SYNKOKE Norway
SZENTENDRE France
HERMANN SZOBEL Austria
TACO Japan
TAIRIKUOTOKO VS SANMYAKUONNA Japan
TALI TOK╔ Belgium
TAMANDUA United States
TANZ Italy
TAPETTO TRACI France
TARTAR LAMB United States
TAYLOR'S FREE UNIVERSE Denmark
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TENKO Japan
TEXTBOOK OF MODERN KARATE Italy
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 United States
THINKING PLAGUE United States
THIS HEAT United Kingdom
JACQUES THOLLOT France
THONK Switzerland
THRANGH Italy
STEVAN KOVACS TICKMAYER Serbia
TIGRESS AND THE U-FRAIDEES United States
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TIME OF ORCHIDS United States
TIN HAT United States
TIPOGRAPHICA Japan
TOM MOTO Italy
TONE DOGS United States
TOUPIDEK LIMONADE France
TR-OND AND THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES Norway
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TRAP United States
TRAWLER BYCATCH United States
TRIBAL LOGIC Russia
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TRIPLE ZERO France
YASUTAKA TSUTSUI / KOHSUKE ICHIHARA / MASAHIKO SATOH Japan
U TOTEM United States
UBERBAND United States
UDUS Italy
UKANDANZ France
ULTRA ZOOK France
UNBELTIPO Japan
UNIVERS ZERO Belgium
UNREST WORK & PLAY United Kingdom
UPSILON ACRUX United States
UR KAOS Sweden
UT GRET United States
UZ JSME DOMA Czech Republic
VERTO France
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VEZHLIVYJ OTKAZ Russia
VIALKA France
VIDEO-AVENTURES France
VIRGULE IV France
VLADIMIR BOZAR N ZE SHERAF ORKEST─R France
THE VOID'S LAST STAND Germany
VOLAP▄K France
VOLCANO THE BEAR United Kingdom
VOLUNTARY MOTHER EARTH Japan
VON ZAMLA Sweden
VORTEX France
WAPASSOU France
WHA-HA-HA Japan
WHEN Norway
DAVE WILLEY United States
WONDEUR BRASS Canada
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THE WORLD HERITAGE Japan
BRIAN WROTEN United States
X-LEGGED SALLY Belgium
XAAL France
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ZAAR France
THIERRY ZABOITZEFF France
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FRANK ZAPPA United States
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TOM Z╔ Brazil
ZENERIK Greece
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ZOAMBO ZOET WORKESTRAO Slovenia
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JOHN ZORN United States
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ZYPRESSEN Japan

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