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ECLECTIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Eclectic Prog definition

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

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Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.60 | 3223 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.53 | 2515 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 1509 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 1611 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.40 | 2130 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.36 | 1237 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.36 | 627 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.31 | 1226 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.28 | 1121 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.27 | 1407 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.27 | 1105 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 1134 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.24 | 1104 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.22 | 1013 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.26 | 370 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.25 | 342 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.20 | 573 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO
Beardfish
4.26 | 301 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.16 | 630 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.11 | 1436 ratings
DISCIPLINE
King Crimson

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

L'ENFANT ASSASSIN DES MOUCHES
Vannier, Jean-Claude
ASTRID PRÖLL
Astrid Pröll
INTERPOSE+
Interpose+
OJCIEC CHRZESTNY DOMNIKA
Skrzek, Józef

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Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Skymind by TAAL album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.09 | 111 ratings

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Skymind
Taal Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Skymind' - Taal (81/100)

I was recently introduced to the world of Taal through their debut album Mister Green, a melange of classic progressive styles the French act quietly delivered to the world back in 2000, without much in the way of fanfare to herald its release. Lamentably, there's every reason to believe Taal have gone their separate ways in the time since, Mister Green nonetheless struck me as the work of a band with great potential. Most of the prog rock subsets you can think of (including metal) were represented at some point on the album, with each song a new opportunity to divulge another influence. Though they ultimately struck me as window-shopping proggers in a search of style they might call home, Taal's passion for progressive music was clearly apparent in how well they could immerse themselves with each style, be it space or jazz rock, classical or folk, heady composition or avant-garde quirk. Theirs was an ambitious first undertaking, and there's merit is calling it an overlooked gem. Even so, Taal's all-encompassing approach suffered the lack of a distinctive, identifying character; this kept their music sounding like a series of song-length excursions into other bands' sounds, rather than a testament they might truly call their own.

With that preface, their second album Skymind startles me. Not only did they find themselves a distinctive sound in the three years between this and Mister Green; they managed to do so by broadening their dense ambitions to an extent unrivalled by the debut. Those, of course, being the same ambitions I thought had originally held Taal back from finding themselves in the first place. Strange things were clearly transpiring for Taal in the first years of the millennium. Skymind almost sounds like the work of a different band altogether. That's not entirely inaccurate, either. Taal effectively doubled their ranks, bringing in another drummer and permanent string section. This completely changed the game for them, and it shows in the music. If Mister Green was the work of a skilful prog rock band, Skymind is the product of a tightly-knit chamber rock ensemble, now with the scope and confidence to wield their eclecticism, but with no loss to the humour and energy of their earlier work.

I was actually talking briefly about this album with a friend last night. He described Skymind (I'm paraphrasing here) as 'classical music played by rock musicians'. It was funny, because a lot of the time I've spent listening to the album, I've had the opposite impression in mind. Regardless, this might go to show that the Taal circa Skymind is and should be judged by a different criteria as its earlier incarnation, which sounded like a prog rock band sounding like other prog rock bands. In my experience with the more eclectic side of prog, I've found it can take a long time before one can safely judge how good the music really is. I'm sure the same could be argued for all music in general, but it's especially true when bands are pushing ideas into their music like there was an 'Everything Must Go' closing sale at the Wholesale House of Riffs. Mister Green took me three or four spins before I could say I'd firmly grasped it. With Skymind, I'm seven listens in (and counting!) and I'm still hearing new things about it. It's not that Skymind is necessarily more jampacked than its predecessor; in fact, it feels as if Mister Green had quite a bit more content to wade through. The biggest change is the way Taal handled their ideas on Skymind, how they've strung them together. It doesn't feel like a rogue's gallery of prog rock styles most of us are already probably well-versed in. Their reach is as varied here as it ever was-- drawing in all between avant-metal and gypsy jazz-- but with Skymind, they became master of these influences, rather than the other way around. These compositions, however diverse they may seem at times, sound like they were written with fealty only to a style Taal were carving out for themselves. I was impressed by the skill with which they tackled each style on the debut, but it's another thing to be hearing them bring those ingredients alongside their own voice.

The biggest change, I think, that's empowered them to take charge has been the string section. Two violins, a viola, and a cello fill out Taal's newfound 'other half'. It's not unheard of that progressive rock band incorporates symphonic influences, but very rarely does a band integrate it to the point that I can't imagine hearing Skymind without the violins. They are a constant presence on the album, swirling about in a way that often compliments, and occasionally even competes with the guitars for my attention. The consonant arrangement for the string section remains the same regardless of the genre Taal are touching upon at the given time. Because the strings are so consistent in their colour throughout each eclectic shift, Skymind sounds coherent and whole.

While I don't think Taal managed to make vocals work in their style (Loic Bernardeau's tongue-in- cheek delivery sounds like a joke the listeners weren't let in on), Helene Sonnet's voice on "Blind Child" works well for the intended chanson-type tone they were going for. While vocals seem to pop up a surprising amount on Skymind, I still think of Taal as an instrumental prog band. Here moreso even than on Mister Green in fact, they carry so many of the qualities I'd attribute to instrumental progressive rock: dense, meticulously composed, and with the tendency of losing track of melody. It took a fair while longer for Skymind to grow on me relative to the debut, but in the end, Taal's second album stands a full head beyond the debut. Skymind does for me what many of these 'composer-rockers' fail to. Where the common tendency is to get mired in cerebral noodling, there is an emotionally palpable beauty to the music that sets Taal apart. Now that I've heard their magnum opus, I'm wondering what the hell ever happened to them. Though they weren't alone in their chamber rock niche, I've seldom heard a band of that style that brought a goodhearted humour to what they did. I imagine it's probably fruitless to wish it, but I hope one of the band members conjures some manner of necromancy, and brings Taal back for another record. Skymind is a damned fine contribution to modern progressive rock, and it's a shame they've never taken their sound further than this.

 Inside Van Der Graaf Generator by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.13 | 24 ratings

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Inside Van Der Graaf Generator
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The inside series of DVDs are an interesting snapshot of prog history for the progressive rock fan. It is worth noting that there are a series of "Inside" DVDs available, including Pink Floyd, Yes, Supertramp, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and of course "Inside Van der Graaf Generator". Each DVD is in Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS so the sound is incomparable.

The Inside series is an independent critical review featuring rare archive footage much of which has been previously unavailable on DVD. VDGG clips from their golden years are always a sheer delight and there's a lot to indulge in from their early albums including "Pawn Hearts" gem A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers. I've seen many performances of this but here is a treat from the best version recorded. These performances have seen the light of day previously but I can never get enough of Hammill's voice and Jacksons' Saxophones.

Musicologists of varying backgrounds critically assess the music to discover the essence of the band. It is a very brief look at the band as are all of these DVDs of the "Inside" series, clocking just over one hour in length. Therefore it is more of a taster for those new to VDGG or for those who just want to look back at the golden years of this powerhouse prog rock band.

 Real Time by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR album cover Live, 2007
4.09 | 145 ratings

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Real Time
Van Der Graaf Generator Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Hamill, Evans, Jackson and Banton make a formidable lineup in this lengthy concert document on the awesome Van der Graaf Generator. The live stage was custom made for such inventive genius and this Cd captures every dark moment of this performance. So many treasures are here; Killer, Scorched Earth, Lemmings, Nutter Alert, Man Erg and Darkness epitomise all that is great about VDGG. Hamill's voice suffers here though, having been scorched by the surgeons knife recently so the songs suffer. The music is wonderful as one might expect but the vocals simply infest each song. I was very disappointed that the band would release such a tarnished product. Live, the band would have sounded great I am certain and the crowd love each moment, however under the close scrutiny of a Cd earphone session it doesn't cut it. you would be far better off getting the incredible live Cd "Vital".
 Mister Green by TAAL album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.91 | 74 ratings

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Mister Green
Taal Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Mister Green' - Taal (71/100)

Some bands have trouble finding a style on their debut. On Mister Green, Taal plunged into several. Taal is what happens when a rag-tag group of prog rock lovers meets an avant-garde flair for the eclectic. Although their second, final album Skymind dawned to the world way back in 2003, I would associate them with the modern trend in so-called 'traditional prog'; that is, the sense that no possible outcome was left unturned. Proggers tend to be eclectic listeners by nature, and many of the bands that have carried the torch of the 70s' reflect that in their work. On this (mostly instrumental) album, Taal explore most of the great schools of progressive rock. This is including, but not limited to: Genesis-type symphonic prog, Pink Floydian chillouts, jazz-rock, avant-prog, and even progressive metal of the Dream Theater variety.

For starters, I don't think Taal quite managed to seamlessly fuse these styles together. Mister Green gives the impression of musical window shopping; Taal take their listener on a survey through so many of these styles, but don't seem to come out of it with a sound of their own. There's not much about the bombastic hard rock of "Flat Spectre", for example, to tie it to the jazz-metal of "Ragtime", much less the King Crimsony explorations on "Super Flat Moon". Although the diversity isn't so far-fetched as to make these songs incompatible with each other, I can listen to the entire album without knowing feeling a characteristic style about them.

Taal bit off more than they could chew with a debut, but in the end, I'm not complaining. Whether it's metal or ragtime, the styles they incorporate on Mister Green are all handled with the expertise I'd associate with a band that had specialized in them. "Barbituricus" is a progressive epic in the image of the 70's greats, and "Coornibus" follows it up with a beautifully pastoral nostalgia. Taal have dipped their wicks in a number of the old greats' styles, and I don't think they follow any band better than King Crimson. The more sprawling parts of "Super Flat Moon" remind me of the infamous instrumental noodlings on "Moonchild", albeit with a far greater impression of momentum. While Taal spend the majority of the time exploring traditional progressive sounds, I think they sound most at home on the avant-garde end. "No Way!", "Mister Green" and "Mister Grey" form the album's single centrepiece, a weirdly theatrical jaunt with vocals that sound a greater part tongue-in-cheek than sincere. Nonetheless, getting avant-garde and sporadic with their sound affords Taal the opportunity to fit all of their ideas on the album. Saturating their composition with ideas is something they try to do regardless of style. Understandably, this has the effect of making the 68 minute runtime feel even longer than it should.

Although I've had no preconceptions of Taal's music going into them, it's still hard for me to believe this was the band's debut. Mister Green may not sound like the work of a band who know what they want to do, but each of their little stylistic expeditions enjoys the aura of expertise I'd associate with well-seasoned veterans. Mister Green is too self-indulgent for its own good, and it's questionable that the band did anything entirely fresh with any of their styles. Regardless, each of their sounds are a result of clear love on the band's part, and likeminded proggers should love most, if not all of the colours Mister Green has to offer. For my part, I'm impressed by Taal's exploration of prog conventions, and I'm looking forward to see how they developed with their second, final album Skymind.

 The Root, the Leaf & the Bone by MANNING album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.78 | 53 ratings

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The Root, the Leaf & the Bone
Manning Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very dificult album to review, this one. After no less than 4 masterpieces in a row, I was not that excited when I listened to this new Manning CD. So I decided to wait a little longer and listen some more so I could give it more chances. But, alas, my first impression didn´t change much. Don´t get me wrong: this is a very fine work. As usual you´ll get a lot of 70´s references and sounds, tasteful arrangements, a near perfect modern production, stunning performances and lots of good melodies. It is just that those songs didn´t captivate me with the same power as his previous works.

There area no real lows, but also neither there are anything that stood out as well. Like if a little something is missing, you know? Maybe a more uptempo tune of sorts? Something simpler and more direct? On the other hand, all tracks are of merit and have good moments. Some are excelent like Old School. I really can´t put my finger on it.

Maybe I was expecting too much, specially after the ambitious and more symphonic Margaret´s Children. I still like The Root, The Leaf & The Bone a lot, but clearly this change of musical direction didn´t strike a chord with my tastes as much as Number Ten (2009) for exemple. Maybe next time. However, even if I didn´t appreciated it that much I still do recomend you listen to this CD carefully. Manning is one of those rare cases when an artist so prolific never released a bad album.

Final rating: 3.5 stars.

 The Muse Awakens    by HAPPY THE MAN album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.55 | 85 ratings

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The Muse Awakens
Happy The Man Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Virginia band Happy the Man released only two studio albums before changing tastes pushed them rudely off the map at the end of the 1970s. But they didn't vanish entirely: a sporadic selection of archival music would appear over the next few decades, keeping the memory of a unique band alive and paving the way toward this unexpected reunion project in 2004.

The core of the group, minus only Kit Watkins, was still intact. And the survivors resumed more or less exactly where they left off a quarter-century earlier, when Arista Records pulled the financial plug after the failure of the band's career peak "Crafty Hands" album. The new music was the same quirky, instrumental Prog, freshly energized by all the time off and no less eclectic than before: not Symphonic Rock; not Jazz Fusion; and certainly not the retro-copycat sound favored by too many latter-day proggers.

What's missing of course is the zeitgeist itself. Progressive Rock was mainstream in the middle '70s, but in our tame new millennium the style (actually more an attitude than a formal style) has been reduced to a healthy fringe movement for musical outsiders. Which makes new albums like this one, tied to a shared creative heritage but still completely original, all the more welcome, offering discriminating listeners a double rush of both discovery and recognition. Compare the results here with the half-baked efforts of other Golden Age Progressive refugees to hear the correct method for recharging a long-dormant musical battery.

A few of the song titles speak directly to the change of circumstances: "The Muse Awakens"; "Stepping Through Time"; and of course the tongue-in-cheek "Contemporary Insanity". The latter opens the album on a blast of pure Prog adrenalin comparable to the best of Gentle Giant, but in truth making the Shulman brothers sound like constipated sleepwalkers. Frontloading the strongest track may have cost the album some momentum, because little of what follows can match it (although the perfectly-titled, off-kilter spasm of 'Barking Spiders" comes close). And sometimes the music drifts uncomfortably close to something not unlike smooth jazz, in "Slipstream", "Adrift', and elsewhere.

But never without being redeemed by a typically playful touch of Prog Rock vigor and intricacy. Only truly creative, totally disciplined musicians can think in such odd meters and still write melodies sounding so unforced and natural: an HTM specialty, then and now.

The reunion was brief, however, and the band has since moved on to other projects. But if this was the last we'll ever hear of Happy the Man, at least they quit on their own terms, fulfilling the potential denied them by a narrow-minded music industry once upon an earlier time.

 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.79 | 1395 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wow, the reviews for this one are all over the place. It was not very well received by most reviewers when it was released, and here in the Archives, the reviews are really mixed. Personally, I love the album, maybe it's not as good as the first 2 albums, but it's close, and it is better than "Lizard" (except for the amazing title track) which was ruined by the worst vocalist hired by Fripp. Thank goodness they had Jon Anderson sing part of the epic title track, and even Haskell did a decent job on his part of that track.

For "Islands", Boz Burell was hired on as vocalist and as bass guitarist. At least he is a better singer, more dynamic, but still far from the best. Apparently, Boz wasn't that good of a bass guitar player when he was brought into KC, at least not as good as Fripp thought he was when he hired him on, but instead of searching for someone else, Fripp worked one on one with him, and got him up to snuff. The band however, pretty much had decided to all go their own separate ways after this record was finished, but they afterward agreed to stay together at least until the tour was over. The tour must have gone well because they all decided to tell Fripp that they were going to remain with him, but Fripp had already moved on. Burell of course, went on to help form Bad Company and ended up in a good way for that.

So, for this album....it is not quite as chaotic and crazy as the previous efforts, it is more mellow for the most part, but don't let that fool you because it is quite a study in contrasts. You have to be careful with this one because you will turn up the volume to hear the minimal and quiet sections, but you'll suddenly be blown away by bursts of heaviness coming from either the brass or the guitar, so be ready. That, to me, is what makes this album so unique compared to their others, the dynamics are amazing here, but it can get rather quiet, and those bursts can be quite surprising, but they are very effective. Better control over these bursts in loudness will happen on later albums though. Dynamics will be handled better, but in the meantime, that doesn't make this a bad album, not at all. I kind of like the surprises hidden throughout this album.

"Formentera Lady" is a 10 minute track that is quite mellow all the way through. It is quite a well composed song for being so soft and pensive, but there is plenty to keep it interesting. Towards the end, Boz improvises with wordless vocals and his voice goes soaring off into places it probably shouldn't have, but it does kind of add to the psychedelia of the piece anyway. At the end of the track, you hear the click-ity click of the cymbal as the next track "Sailor's Tale" takes over, and it suddenly jumps right onto the previous track in a sudden contrast of sounds. This is a completely instrumental track in 3 distinct parts. The first part is a bit reminiscent of "...Schizoid Man" and concentrates on strings in a wild frenzy of sound. After this the track changes to a new harder rhythm and you get crazy strumming and guitar sounds being coaxed out of Fripp's guitar. I love the intensity here, and it builds into beautiful chaotic heaviness. The last section concentrates on the mellotron, but even then, the intensity doesn't give in at all and this works out very well overall. This is a masterpiece of a track and on any other album, the piece would have gotten the recognition it deserves. After this is a vocal track called "The Letters" which is one of the studies of contrasts that I was talking about. It starts out almost folky and barely discernible with a slight build, but not much. Even with me telling you that the sax is going to come in a blow out your speakers, you still won't be ready for how truly intense and how "opposite" this sound is to what you had been hearing. Dissonant sax from Collins will melt your eardrums if your not careful. I'm warning you in advance, so be ready.

"Ladies of the Road" comes next, and despite the x rated lyrics, it's still a better composed song than the previous one, even though it is quite similar, that crazy contrast is there again, dissonance, short bursts of chaotic beauty from the sax mostly, but still far from being avant garde, more like a warped jazz than anything. The next track is "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" and continuing in the contrast theme, this one is an extremely beautiful track all instrumental and all strings. I mean this is so stunningly lovely that it might bring a tear to your eye, quite the opposite from the previous track. The last track is another long track and is the title track "Islands" This one is once again quite mellow like the first track, but with a more traditional sounding melody, one that is easy to pick up quite quickly. The vocals are soft and the instruments are mellow and consist of flutes and guitars and keys etc. but is more of a pastoral sound. The music does build a bit and becomes fuller, but the main feeling stays throughout the song. It has a lovely and understated climax.

I imagine many KC listeners were a little disappointed with this album because it doesn't contain as much substance in the way of hard sounds like previous endeavors, this album still concentrates on contrast, but relies more on the softer side of things. But this also brings your attention to the complexity of KC's music and the harsh passages are even more harsh when contrasted to the minimalism of the album. I can easily give this one 4 stars and feel good about it, because I still appreciate the music and the sound and I could easily consider it's highest points (namely "Sailor's Tale" and "Song of the Gulls" with "Ladies of the Road" being a runner-up) as some of KC's best music. It is overall quite an under rated album, and unfortunately one that gets ignored because of the subsequent albums which now overshadow it, and rightfully so, but that doesn't mean this one should be ignored. It has it's gems and if you have explored KCs music, then you should eventually come back to this one.

 Electric Shock Therapy by BARRACUDA TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.87 | 4 ratings

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Electric Shock Therapy
Barracuda Triangle Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

5 stars What can we expect from members of Flower Kings? Some Flower Kings kind of music. Not quiet, while there's symphonic music here that remind us of the legendary band in the song "Electro Shock Therapy", the music is all instrumental and very different a part from the sound of keyboards and the bass of Reingold. The music is showing a large range of moods and atmosphere. On most of the songs the heavy keyboards create a dark atmosphere that is tempered with that typical, not to say addictive jazz bass sound of Reingold, which gives a nice balance to the music. The drums and the keyboards are very busy with many twists in the songs that succeed to maintain the melody and reach a high emotional level. There's some unusual sound and effects in the song "Caressing the Moment in tranquilized ecstasy". The keyboards are screaming in the song "Too much Therapy". There is some melancholic intro with the piano and a few new age passages with the keyboards. In the final song "The Last One", the bass of Reingold remind us of the jazz sound of Weather Report. So, let's say that all of their songs demonstrate some strong songwriting value, it's just not your cold instrumental music, it's warm with a touch of a breeze coming from the bass. While Reingold is credited to use guitar here, this is bass/drums and keyboards music and the drums are also displaying some creative patterns. What is amazing about this album is that every listening experience his bringing some new things. This is not background music, listen with full attention and enjoy!
 Robert Fripp & The League of Crafty Guitarists - Intergalactic Boogie Express by FRIPP, ROBERT album cover Live, 1995
3.97 | 15 ratings

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Robert Fripp & The League of Crafty Guitarists - Intergalactic Boogie Express
Robert Fripp Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album is an aural, guitar lovers delight. This album also demonstrates the reason why so many people and artists consider Robert Fripp a guitar God. It's nothing but a bunch of guitars playing with each other in some amazing ways.

Fripp took 10 of his best students and put together a tour with them that featured music mostly taken from "Show Your Hands" and "Live I" and travelled all over Europe. If it wasn't enough to put together a series of shows and fund it by selling some of his own rare guitars, then think about how much of a crazy organizational nightmare it must have been to put this together. That in itself is a feat of wonderment. But listening to how these amazing musicians can pull this off in a live setting is simply astounding. This album has no percussion, no keyboards, no vocals, nothing but guitar, and for the most part, it holds up very well and manages to not get boring at all. There is quite a variety of musical styles here, from baroque music to traditional to rock to avant garde. You can hear this amazing group of people tackle Bach and then suddenly switch to "Wabash Cannonball" with the greatest of ease. You also hear the bare bones of what would be future King Crimson classics such as "Thrak" and "ConstruKction of Light" and even the basis for the "Discipline" album.

The group of guitarists play complimentary or contrasting arpeggios against melodies and they sound like an orchestra of guitars, because that is what they become. It is amazing to listen to and marvel at how they can do it and be so precise, in time with each other. There are so many artists here with their own individual styles and personalities, that it is quite a dizzying prospect to think of how they can so effectively pull of such a concise and excellent team effort.

Quite an amazing and sometimes even dizzying listen, this is an album that seldom gets boring except when there are a few tracks back to back that sound similar, but this happens seldom. It does tend to weaken the overall power of the album and some of the slower tracks lose their impact, but the lower points of the album are few and over quite quickly. Also, ideas and concepts are not dwelt upon for too long because the tracks only last from just over a minute to not quite 4 minutes, so the music is almost always moving forward.

Because of some similarities between tracks, this is not exactly a masterpiece, but it is still quite excellent and any lover or student of guitar should hear this. KC fans and RF fans should also hear this to understand the master's contribution to music and to also hear how the transition between incarnations of KC actually came about, it makes the period of time between "Red" and "Discipline" make a lot more sense, and may make some of those who were lukewarm as far as enthusiasm towards the sound of the KC from the 80s appreciate that era of KC's discography better. Easily an important time in Fripp's history and also an excellent addition to your prog rock collection, especially your King Crimson/Robert Fripp collection.

 Glass and Breath by FRIPP, ROBERT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Glass and Breath
Robert Fripp Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Recorded in 2007 and still available as a free download from the DGM website, this enigmatic experiment by the once and future Crimson King borrows a card from the oblique strategies of his colleague Brian Eno, and not for the first time (it was Eno who patented the Frippertronic tape-delay technique). The music here is a far cry from the more symphonic approach of other Fripp soundscape installations, presenting instead an hour of purely intuitive minimalism, played on guitar but hard to distinguish from the automated ambient doodles generated by Eno with synthesizers.

The long piece was built around a series of treated bell-like chimes, the same handful of tones alternating with quiet, occasional electronic filigrees over the lightest sheen of irradiating guitar sustain. The total was then arbitrarily separated into three almost equally timed, twenty-minute segments, each one exactly like the others, and every minute of performance identical to the next.

Active listening can make it almost insanely irritating: a Dorset water torture of repetitive bleeps and squiggles. But like the best ambient albums (by Eno and others) it wasn't meant to be processed in the forebrain. This is music intended for near-subliminal assimilation into the natural background of noise around us, blending into the environment instead of isolated from it.

I've just now reduced the volume to almost zero while writing this, and the effect is obvious: the music plays better when you barely notice it. Consider it the aural equivalent of light mist on a window pane, evaporating before it reaches the sill.

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Eclectic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
16 DEADLY IMPROVS United States
17F Switzerland
4/3 DE TRIO France
8 DAYS IN APRIL Germany
A.C.T Sweden
ABRETE GANDUL Chile
ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE United Kingdom
ABSURDCUS Romania
ACADEMIE OF FARSIDE Indonesia
ACINTYA France
ADVENT United States
AFFINITY United Kingdom
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