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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)

Current Team as at 23/10/2018

Ian (Tapfret)
Simon (Mascodagama)
silly Puppy (Mike)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Kevin (Magnum Vaeltaja)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.62 | 3953 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.54 | 3135 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.48 | 1905 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 2674 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.42 | 2030 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.35 | 1558 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.31 | 1526 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.30 | 1799 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.30 | 1460 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.29 | 1406 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.31 | 789 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.28 | 1388 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 1402 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 1297 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.26 | 522 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.25 | 458 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.25 | 388 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.20 | 679 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC - PART TWO
Beardfish
4.13 | 2000 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.15 | 813 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

ASTRID PRÖLL
Astrid Pröll
ZEALOTRY STERBLICHEN SCHIZOPHRENIA
Seamus
LE JOUR OŮ LES VACHES...
Booz, Emmanuel
DIAGONAL
Diagonal

Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Overloading by ANAKDOTA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.06 | 22 ratings

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Overloading
Anakdota Eclectic Prog

Review by ZappaBowie

4 stars I must say, this easily deserves 4 stars. Strongly rooted in jazz but perhaps more deserving of the Prog designation than almost anyone i can think of in that regard (jazz roots). Stunning piano work and tasteful and well considered arrangements. This is a must listen. Plenty of Gentle Giant influence in the jagged phrasing. Vocals are very nice and strong. Clearly a great deal of thought has gone into this work, far more than 90%+ of Prog music these days. Perhaps what keeps it from being an all time classic is the familiar hurdle most artists succumb to and that is having that special union of vision and voice creatively. It will dazzle you and please you but you may not remember the music as much as the dazzle. Still, it turns me on! Great album.
 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.81 | 1737 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

5 stars Fripp's creature still changes skin, and produces another epochal album, which marks the story, the third in three years (Poseidon was not remarkable). Fripp changes the singer (out Haskell, inside Boz Burrell, voice with a similar tone but more beautiful timbre and better sensitivity) and the drummer (out the talented overflowing jazzman McCulloch, inside the sober, talented Ian Wallace), holds Sinfield to the lyrics, Mel Collins on flute and saxophone, and produces an album where he is the author of all the music. This is Fripp's record more than any other Crimson's record.

The Lp starts with the double bass (Harry Miller) and the flute, which depict an impressionist painting ("Formentera Lady", ten minutes, vote 7,5/8) that already tends towards the abstract: a slow progression almost free-folk introduces the whispered voice of Burrell; after three minutes arrives the bass and percussion and Burrell sings: "Formentera Lady", a sort of slow-motion refrain. Then the flute and the double bass return for a while, then the "Formentera Lady" refrain again; after that, comes the saxophone, which in dissonance, with percussive and lyrical background, climbs into landscapes never heard before. Lizard's liquid jazz seems light years away. Here we are on the edge of avant-garde. The song fades into the next ("The Sailor Tale", seven and a half minutes, vote 8+); it has a jazzy rhythm and an oblique, menacing sound, with Fripp's guitar that anticipates the abrasive sound of "Larks Tongue in Aspic". We move in ever more abstract forms, in astral landscapes like the photo of the cover, where the voice is only an occasional appearance, a sign of life inside a mysterious cosmos. The song is as beautiful as it is demanding. The melody is completely absent. The only elements are rhythm, and dissonance. By spreading more and more the development of the songs, Fripp anticipates the post-rock in slow-motion of "Talk Talk": the music will have to overcome a strong inertia to move forward. The listener is in awe, he can't relax, he feels approaching something looming, mysterious, formless that with the passage of time becomes more and more looming but remains formless. It's like being inside a completely dark tunnel where light never comes. In the third song ("The Letter's", four and a half minutes, vote 7,5) the voice of Burrell returns, always whispered (what Haskell could not do), accompanied by the saxophone, which remains the main instrument of the album. The track is hard, solid, angular, quite the opposite of the liquid and soft consistency of "Lizard" (in fact in the whole Lp the piano, played by Tippet, is almost missing). End of first side.

Side B continues the angular and rocky sound of the last song, with "Ladies of The Road" (five and a half minutes, vote 8), which takes on a sarcastic tone already heard in the two previous albums. The arrangements are thin, the guitar of Fripp proposes that oblique and abrasive sound never heard in previous records. The song leaves room for some melodic chorus reminiscent of the Beatles (it's inspired by "Come Together", written by Lennon). Mel Collins's saxophone, never so much protagonist , closes the song (it's the only piece on the album that looks like a real conventional song) with a virtuosistic solo. It follows an instrumental symphonic piece ("Song of the Gulls", vote 7,5), almost angelic, which breaks the homogeneity of the album, but arrived at this point, perhaps it is good. Fripp inserts an atmosphere worthy of Bach, almost eighteenth century, as if to recover the melody so far lost. The piece with the oboes (Robin Miller) is particularly beautiful.

The record ends in a romantic way because after the symphonic and calm "Song of the Gulls" comes "Islands" (twelve minutes, vote 8; but there is an hidden symphonic track after a minute of silence), an atmospheric piece, where you can finally hear the beautiful voice of Burrel singing here with taste, without whispering, and you can finally hear the piano played by Tippet! The melody is beautiful, but not very developed, it remains an evocation and perhaps the arrangement, in this case, is lacking. To enhance a melody that touches epic vertices like this one, it would take a more consistent arrangement and a greater rhythm. Who knows what a masterpiece would become this song with McDonald on keyboards and Lake on lead vocals! Anyway, "Islands" is the final worthy of this great album thanks to the instrumental progression led by Mel Collins, which is the real factotum of the Lp: Fripp is the composer, he is the main performer.

"Islands" is an austere, sober, dissonant, timeless album, completely out of every classification. It requires a different listening from the one reserved for rock songs, because it has no rhythm, it proceeds by expanding every passage of sound. "Islands" is not dated at all, in fact is a seminal album because it has free-folk, free-jazz, avant-garde, post-rock moments. Masterpiece.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,83. Vote album: 9. Five Stars.

 Adventures at the Babooinumfest 2017 by ROZMAINSKY & MIKHAYLOV PROJECT album cover Live, 2019
4.13 | 4 ratings

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Adventures at the Babooinumfest 2017
Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Rozmainsky and Mikhaylov Project' is a band comprised of the title members Ivan Rozmainsky keyboardist (also from 'Roz Vitalis') and Vladmir Mikhaylov, guitarist and bass guitarist. Also on this album are Leonid Perevalov taking the bass line on the Bass Clarinet for most of the tracks, and Yuri Goiser on drums. All of the tracks, except for the last one, are recorded at 3 different Babooinumfest shows in 2017 in Saint Petersburg and Vladimir, Russia. The tracks are comprised of some live interpretations of existing tracks taken from their 'For the Light' album, and new structured and improvised performances. The music is a psychedelic, jazz fusion that are sometimes inspired by early Pink Floyd improvised tracks and other times very unique sounding, especially with the bass clarinet playing an important part in much of the music.

'Dedication to the Floydian Sun' is definitely a homage to 'Pink Floyd'. After a mid-tempo beat is established, the bass takes on a similar bassline to 'Run Like Hell' and the bass clarinet takes on the improvisation spotlight, later followed by guitar and keyboards taking turns and then playing together.

'A Flower in the Smoke' uses a plodding and heavy basis to begin a more dirge-like track. The organ takes over and drives the music forward as the percussion stops all together, but returns later, this time with wild guitar effects. 'Coming of the Troubled Water' uses what is usually a light-hearted meter of 6 / 8 to created a waltz-like atmosphere for a mostly dark guitar led excursion. This later changes to a 4 / 4 meter and later a free meter, as things get atmospheric and a bit experimental.

'The Thing in the Light' begins with a solo keyboard. Later a foundation is established in a complex 7 / 8 meter. A psychedelic feel swirls around as guitars take the lead around a single note organ drone as drums and bass clarinet hold the foundation. 'My Soul Melteth for Heaviness' sees a return to a Floydian style with an organ playing in the style of older PF music but soon a churning guitar creates some intensity. This sort of reminds me of the last movement of 'Saucerful of Secrets', but that bass clarinet always comes across as a pleasant surprise that makes the sound unique for this band.

'A Dedication to the Babooinumfest' is specifically improvised track for the musical festivals that this album is recorded from. This one is a jazz fusion improvisation that works out quite well. The free form feel of this track makes it go wandering of into some very interesting directions at times, sometimes the keys, guitars and percussion increasing or decreasing in tempo together with hardly any warning. It is pretty amazing how all of the musicians can stay on point with all the changes in tempo. Some places get rather chaotic too as the stretch boundaries into avant-prog territory.

'A Flowered Withered' returns to a more structured track starting off led by an almost calliope sounding keyboard. Suddenly some really strange effects come in and later the keys start to plunk out some strange harmonies and melody lines. 'Return of the Troubled Waters' visits PF sounding psychedelia, again sounding like 'Saucerful' again. Things soon turn to a more tightened sound as keys take over. 'The Light of Things' sees the guitar taking a more melodic line this time, but later the clarinet takes over the spotlight.

'And a Heaviness Fell from My Soul' starts out giving the clarinet the spotlight again while the guitars and keys chime along making for a glittery atmosphere. Later, the steady percussion falls off and things become more free jazz and psychelic- like. 'Forsake Me Not' is the last track and is the only one not recorded at any of the Babboinumfest shows, although it is still a live track. The bass line is again inspired by early Pink Floyd psychedelia. Shimmering keys support the guitar and the clarinet that keep taking the improvised, melodic line from each other.

Overall, I find this album quite enjoyable and unique, even with the sometimes heavy leanings on early Pink Floyd sound. For live performances, these tracks are surprisingly tight as far as how the band plays. The first several tracks are well done and seem to be full performances, but I couldn't help but feel during some of the later tracks, that they were only partial performances, especially on the shorter tracks. This is a fairly minor issue however. The music is quite well done, and so is the recording, plus the album cover is really beautiful and colorful, for the most part, everything is quite well put together and should appeal to lovers of psychedelic, free form jazz fusion with a lot of experimentation and interesting effects.

 Old Money by RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ, OMAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 45 ratings

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Old Money
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid

4 stars Being a massive fan of the Mars Volta, I've wanted to look into Omar Rodriguez Lopez's solo career for quite a while, but became slightly daunted upon the realisation that his studio discography was one of the most absurdly large ones I was aware of, only surpassed by 'Buckethead' (Note: That I am aware of). After much deliberation about where to begin, I decided to pick from his higher rated works at random, and fell upon his 9th effort, 'Old Money'. This album was apparently written to follow up 'Amputechture', which is quite clear in terms of the very strong resemblance to 'The Mars Volta' heard throughout the majority of the tracks. This to me sounds like an instrumental, more jam focused take on 'The Mars Volta', with more experimentation in the area of soundscapes and atmosphere, having more moments that become extremely chaotic, along with songs that progress very minimally, instead made to capture a particular tone or mood. This is essentially the 'Mars Volta' without Omar being tied down to the notion that his music needs to be liked by a slightly wider audience, in turn allowing for some great creative freedom.

The album starts off very strong with 'The Power of Myth', which if I'm being honest, I actually like more than a large number of Volta songs. The drumming throughout is incredible, with great fill after great fill, being able to so easily slip into brief bursts of energy before falling back onto the beat, constantly keeping time along with energy. This is further made better by the amazing riff that switches from guitar to bass throughout, and is all around a great track. 'Population Council's Wet Dream' is the next notable track, being quite chaotic, yet having the beat constantly return to a triple cymbal crash or bass drum hit on the 4th bar, providing the listener with something to be able to latch onto. Because of this, no matter how chaotic the song becomes, it never becomes too chaotic, as the improvisation of the other instruments is still closely linked to this motif. This allows things to go really far off the rails without it sounding dull or unbearable, as there is always something the listener can pick out, and this interesting little thing makes it one of my favourite songs on the album, along with the overall great groove that the song has. 'Family War Funding (Love Those Rothschilds)' is a faster paced song with a really great climax that makes the fact that the rest of the song is slightly subpar quite tolerable. 'I Like Rockefeller's First Two Albums, But After That...' is a really great track with the kind of danceable groove that could be found on 'Bedlam in Goliath'. Combine this with the stronger Spanish music influence that the band and Omar are known to have, complete with samples of a conversation, spoken in Spanish, further accentuating this identity. 'Old Money' is by far the highlight of this album, having extremely strong melody combined with guitar playing even more excellent than usual with Omar. The fact that it has those slower, spacier sections flesh this song out quite a lot, making it feel like an actual song, rather than an experimental noodling session, and in general sound amazing.

Speaking of experimental noodling session, those aren't necessarily a bad thing, as can be seen in the songs not talked about yet. 'How To Bill The Bilderberg Group', 'Private Fortunes', 'Trilateral Commission as Dinner Guests' and 'Vipers in the Bosom' all fit this description very well, but are mostly worthy compositions. 'How To Bill the Bilderberg Group' isn't anything particularly special, but I do like the eerie tone created by the heavily edited voices and heavy use of various effects, and find it to be interesting, even if not necessarily anything great. 'Private Fortunes' utilises world music instruments and has a much calmer tone to it when put up against the rest of the album, focusing on the really pleasant atmosphere set up, with even the impressive soloing sounding much nicer than usual. 'Trilateral Commission As Dinner Guests' has a structure similar to that of 'CAN', having a simple, repetitive groove or melody, and then simply jamming over it for a few minutes. The big difference here is that this is infinitely more bombastic than anything 'CAN' has done, although it doesn't have the same sort of feeling as 'CAN' does, as you don't feel like the songs could simply go on forever, and is definitely inferior to quite a bit of their work.

There are definitely a couple of weaker aspects to the album, the biggest being the filler tracks of '1921' and 'Vipers in the Bosom', both going basically nowhere and serving no real purpose, ultimately taking me out of the experience briefly. My other issue is that I feel like a few of these songs could have been developed a bit further, as some of them, while sounding good, are kinda underbaked when compared to the amazing heights this album reaches, although if taking away the perspective of this album, just focusing on the tracks themselves, they prove to be quite interesting and good, it's just that it can make the album feel slightly inconsistent at points.

Despite having no vocals and getting somewhat inconsistent in the middle section, this album is genuinely great, being better than both 'Octahedron' and Noctourniquet' in my opinion. While it took me much longer to get into this, due to the stranger qualities of the album, and also because I'm usually not an avid listener of purely instrumental music, I definitely find many songs on this to be of extremely high quality, and have been convinced to look through some more of Omar's gargantuan discography at some point as a result.

Best Songs: The Power Of Myth, Population Council's Wet Dream, Old Money

Weakest Songs: 1921, Vipers In The Bosom, How To Bill The Bilderberg Group

Verdict: More out there than most Mars Volta releases, but definitely has strong resemblances in terms of sound. I'd recommend this to any fan of Amputechture or with the Mars Volta in general, but would definitely recommend you check them out before delving into this one, unless the vocals were your issue with the band.

 Alpha Ralpha by ALPHA RALPHA album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.07 | 39 ratings

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Alpha Ralpha
Alpha Ralpha Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Every now and then I browse through the PA database to find rare but interesting albums to listen to from YouTube, preferably from the classic era. This time I stumbled upon this French one-timer. We're really talking of an obscure rarity. Released by Warner Bros, the vinyl is pretty hard to find, especially outside France or Canada, although its prize isn't very high (according to the first reviewer Progfan97402). No re-releases have been made. My review is only the third one here.

Guitarist Claude Alvarez-Pereyre came from the folk-oriented MALICORNE, and there are some connections to TAĎ PHONG as well. The music is instrumental with some occasional wordless singing. It's very melodic and quite accessible too, pretty much in the symphonic prog style of the mid-/late 70's, with an emphasis on guitars and keyboards. Their countrymen PULSAR had rather similar spacey sound. Some tracks have a light and breezy fusion flavour comparable to the Rain Dances era CAMEL. In my country (Finland) this type of instrumental progressive music was recorded in the late 70's by e.g. FAROUT and SUKELLUSVENE that are easy to place under Jazz Rock / Fusion. But once you've heard the whole album, the Eclectic Prog subgenre for Alpha Ralpha makes more sense, as for example the degree of jazziness alternates between the tracks, and also the arrangements have variety. First of all, sounds like there's a large selection of various synths such as Elka String, ARP and Moog.

The electric guitar on 'Nova' sounds a bit like Mike Oldfield. Mellow 8-minute track 'Genese' features Hackett-like guitar and marimba, the latter making a great reappearance on 'Lagune Ouest' (which, as Tszirmay said, has a strong reminiscence to Pierre Moerlin's GONG). 'Rez' proceeds from Camel-like synth intro to a tight fusion groove ŕ la JEAN-LUC PONTY. 'Gothic' is a half- minute interlude for that wordless singing featured on a couple of earlier tracks. Perhaps the proggiest piece is 'Magellan' that has an epic sense within 7+ minutes. Ending with a cathartic 'Hymn', this album is a big positive surprise, a rarity definitely worth seeking out -- if only from YouTube -- for listeners enjoying the melodic Symph/Fusion -oriented instrumental prog of the era.

 [The Early Recordings] by A.C.T album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2002
3.21 | 10 ratings

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[The Early Recordings]
A.C.T Eclectic Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here are the early recording from one of my favorite prog bands from Sweden!

This album is hard to find these days, but I bought it legally on MP3 in a fine site on the Internet. It's a compilation of early recordings of the band along with some preliminary versions of songs which were included in the excellent first album of the band.

The quality of the sound, especially the live tracks, is not the best. But the music shows the great potential that this band had which would later materialize itself in a bunch of splendid records, specifically the first two releases of the band, which are still the best of their career.

Best Tracks: the best tracks are maybe Recall and Abandoned World. But as this songs were included in Today's Report, I would say that His Voice and Warsong are the most valuable songs of this collection of rarities.

Conclusion: if you are new to A.C.T., this early recordings are definitely not the best place to start. But if you like this fine band's music, you will find this compilation very interesting, because it shows the early ideas and style which make A.C.T. great in posterior releases.

My rating: ***

 Snegs by SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 71 ratings

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Snegs
Som Nosso De Cada Dia Eclectic Prog

Review by spleenandcigars

5 stars This is one of the best sounding progressive rock from Brazil, in my humble opinion. Most of the bands from that period, for me, seems to be heavily influenced by ELP and Yes, but SNEGS went into another path that resembles more what i like to hear. Sinal da paran'ia (Paranoia Sign) has an awesome lyric and instrumental execution, by far one of my favorite Brazillian songs of all time:

"This obsession of arriving... The terror of not being what expected

The eternal thinking in eternal things that won't last more than one day

The torture seeking for the essence The noise terrify, close, shut the chest

Paranoia sign"

Sounds like Symphonic Progressive Rock with Brazillian regional influences. Highly recommended for those that, doesn't feel too compeled by Os Mutantes or Bacamarte.

 Proxy by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 123 ratings

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Proxy
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by M27Barney

5 stars If you buy one CD in the next 12 months make sure it is this one. Quite simply brilliant from the first second of "Proxy" to the last second of "Suppers Off". This CD blew my grunties off and I reckon sent them skittering off down the street where they are now terrorising scousers 30 miles to west of where I live...This has got to be the best release of 2018, and any symphonic prog fan who doesn't think this is the dogs bollocks on toast is a mountebank cad brother of a soap dodgers dog! I love the lyrics and the musicianship is tight and powers the quirks till they sneak inside your scalp and your hair will never stand diwn again. This album has everything, brill bass, scintilating keys and even brilliant wind instruments. Guitar to kill for and a cheeky nod to the music that the three man Genesis could have produced ("suppers off" has a sound of ATTWT but is a billion times better). Just buy this and strap your undies on guys and gals...
 Adrian Belew Power Trio: E by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 33 ratings

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Adrian Belew Power Trio: E
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars 4.5 stars. This sludgy guitar heavy album should be of interest to all fans of Belew's tenure in King Crimson. All the songs here are Crimsonesque and Belew and his cohorts churn out one awesome melody after another. The listener is treated with no vocals as the guitar sounds wail and the bass and drums keep the time. I'd recommend this to guitar fans of all types, metal fans looking for an alternative, or just people curious about musical legend Adrian Belew. I'm so glad I discovered his music and the general music listening public is missing out by not giving him more exposure. I love this record and you will too. Belew keeps putting out exciting, lively music forty years into his career.
 Proxy by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.12 | 123 ratings

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Proxy
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Modern proggers The Tangent return in 2018 with `Proxy', actually their tenth album to date, and damned if they haven't delivered the greatest of musical goods all over again, although they always set such a high standard that this shouldn't be a surprise! Andy Tillison, one of the most energetic and diverse keyboardists in modern prog as well as a hugely charismatic and distinctive vocalist, is joined once more by The Flower King's skilled bassist Jonas Reingold, talented young guitarist Luke Machin, modern Canterbury sound legend Theo Travis with his classy sax, flute and clarinet, ex-Godsticks drummer Steve Roberts and Karmakanic's Göran Edman on backing vocals, and they offer a first-rate collection of Canterbury-flavoured prog, electronic and jazzy extended pieces. `Proxy' is described as `a protest, a reflection, a couple of regrets and a rant', so it means that in addition to all the vibrant and enthusiastic playing, you get a stream of thoughtful lyrics, proving once again that Andy is one of the rare few in modern prog that prizes weighty and smart words of actual depth equally as much as all the instrumental showboating.

The opening sixteen minute title track proves that you can never predict which directions a Tangent piece will dart in, and big corporation tirade `Proxy' is all snappy drumming, humming keys, fiery guitar soloing, pumping sax and purring bass tearing in and out of brisk tempo changes back and forth that spring out of nowhere. Its opening Canterbury-modelled intro slinks into darker smoky grooves, Seventies jazz-fusion mellowness and rumbling heavier bursts, all peppered with Andy's condescending sneer. The Canterbury embracing maintains throughout the vocal-free `The Melting Andalusian Sky', where the band all get gorgeous improvised soloing showcase moments in between exotic reprising themes, and there's everything from nimble fingered late night/early a.m jazzy piano ruminations, tasty Latin touches and chill-out ambient interludes, making it truly one of the best instrumental pieces to pop up on a prog album in 2018.

`A Case Of Misplaced Optimism' is a mellow funky groover with an infectious chorus that will lodge itself in your brain for days (lovely restrained electronic slivers throughout this one too), but it's the frantic and deliciously schizophrenic `The Adulthood Lie' that proves to be the album highlight! A constantly up-tempo sprint of high energy with a welcome sense of sly humour and self-deprecating reflection, it's constantly driven by a peppy mix of programmed and clicking live drumming, jazzy sax blasts and flighty flute trills, pulsing bass and endlessly glitching electronics. How the colourful sixteen minute epic all manages to hold together brilliantly (as well as keeping your foot tapping and head bouncing!) is a miraculous miracle that speaks volumes about the skill of Andy and the players! `Supper's Off'' might kick off with punchy Asia-esque anthem-like guitars, but the ten-minute closer is loaded with bursts of angry ranted bile delivered with Andy's snarl, but it also settles into peppy little Canterbury touches and big synth themes too.

A perfect introduction for newcomers to what The Tangent do so well, as well as an endlessly satisfying disc for long-time fans, part of `Proxy's strength lies in the fact that it always remains endlessly melodic without simplifying the eclectic music styles and constantly improvised passages, meaning the disc is always surprisingly accessible. In `Proxy', the Tangent have not only delivered their most colourful and vibrant disc of their career to date, but one of the best progressive rock albums of 2018.

Five stars!

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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
AKO DOMA Slovakia
AKRITAS Greece
AKT Italy
JEAN-PIERRE ALARCEN France
ALBATROS Germany
ALCO FRISBASS France
ALEXL Brazil
ALGERNON United States
ALLOMERUS Australia
ALON United States
ALPHA RALPHA France
ALQUILBENCIL Spain
ALQUIN Netherlands
ALTABLANCA Argentina
ALTAIR Spain
ALTERNATIV QUARTET Romania
ALTERS Poland
MICHEL ALTMAYER France
AMPLEDEED United States
ANAKDOTA Israel
APERCO Israel
COSTE APETREA Sweden
APPLE BELLS Poland
ARBATEL Mexico
ARDO DOMBEC Germany
AREKNAMÉS Italy
ART AND ILLUSION Italy
ARTCANE France
PETER ASHBY United Kingdom
THE ASHQELON QUILT Israel
ASTRID PRÖLL Puerto Rico
ATHELSTONE Malta
ATLANTIDE France
AUDIENCE United Kingdom
AUDIO VISIONS United States
AUNT MARY Norway
AVE ROCK Argentina
AVIATOR United Kingdom
ÁVORA DI CARLLA Brazil
AXON-NEURON United States
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
BARRACUDA TRIANGLE Sweden
AL BASIM Iraq
BASTA! Italy
BATABEAT Canada
BEAR IS DRIVING United States
BEARDFISH Sweden
ADRIAN BELEW United States
SERGIO BENCHIMOL Brazil
IL BERLIONE Japan
MICHAEL BERNIER United States
BIRDS AND BUILDINGS United States
BLOQUE Spain
THE BOB LAZAR STORY New Zealand
BOOTCUT Sweden
EMMANUEL BOOZ France
BORDERLINE SYNDROME Greece
EDUARDO BORT Spain
BRAINSTATIK United States
VYTAS BRENNER Venezuela
BRIGHTEYE BRISON Sweden
BUBBLEMATH United States
BUBU Argentina
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RAW MATERIAL United Kingdom
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SBB Poland
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SKY United Kingdom
SLEEPY PEOPLE United Kingdom
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TCP United States
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TIME United Kingdom
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TU United States
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