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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

4.59 | 2970 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.52 | 2292 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.50 | 1360 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 1461 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.40 | 1924 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.35 | 1118 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.36 | 541 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.31 | 1108 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.28 | 1004 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.26 | 1273 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.27 | 1012 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.26 | 1005 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.24 | 995 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.21 | 906 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.29 | 289 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.27 | 333 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.24 | 328 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.19 | 520 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO
Beardfish
4.16 | 569 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.18 | 351 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO AND STĹLE STORLŘKKEN: THE DEATH DEFYING UNICORN
Motorpsycho

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

DIAGONAL
Diagonal
KOROWOD
Grechuta, Marek
DADARUHI
Replikas
LE JOUR OŮ LES VACHES...
Booz, Emmanuel

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Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 USA by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1975
4.00 | 349 ratings

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USA
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Asbury Park

King Crimson's second official live album was originally released in 1975 and constituted a huge improvement over the disappointing first live record Earthbound from three years before. The line-up at the time included John Wetton, Bill Bruford, David Cross, and Robert Fripp. Extra violin and piano by Eddie Jobson was added later in the studio. The original vinyl release featured six tracks (with the introduction Walk On . . . No Pussyfooting being included into Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 2). The 30th Anniversary edition included two extra tracks in Fracture and Starless.

With the sole exception of the classic 21st Century Schizoid Man, all the songs here are from the Wetton-era; three from Larks' Tongues in Aspic, two from Starless And Bible Black, and one from Red. Asbury Park is an improvisational piece named after the venue at which they were playing that night. I normally dislike improvisations but this one is ok and thankfully not overlong.

While the Wetton-era is not my favourite period of the band, I do enjoy this live document. The performances are mostly good and so is the sound. Of particular interest is the addition of violin to some songs that didn't feature that instrument in their original album versions, most notably on 21st Century Schizoid Man.

 The Power And The Glory  by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.27 | 1012 ratings

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The Power And The Glory
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars Many have written about this album and this band before me so I am not breaking new land, but for me Gentle Giant isn't directly new but still unexplored. Gentle Giant has been one of these bands I recognize as important even if I have been more into other bands. That is perhaps changing now. I decided to begin review records from the magical year of 1974, now celebrating their fortieth birthday.

In ten years this English band released eleven studio albums of which the most are worth hearing. "The Power and the Glory" was their sixth album and followed "In a glass house". GG's music is essential for prog listeners because their music explains without words exactly what prog is. They defined it(together with others) and they got successors. On "The Power and the Glory" the band had refined their sound and become a bit more straight. To be honest I think some earlier records are more interesting with a bigger variety of instruments. Though is it too much to say Gentle Giant had compromised with their sound. That began with "The missing piece". Still cello, saxes and violins were in use together with crazy guitars and keyboards.

An extraordinary cover hides extraordinary music, nine songs of huge interesting. "Proclamation" is a typical Gentle Giant fanfare which shows the beginners a fantastic world but my favourites here are "Aspirations", calm and harmonic and "No God's a Man" which is more crazy. Listen to the record carefully and enjoy every note, it is worth that. Let the music make you believe you are the king on the front page. As so many others have said this is a very good record!

 On N'a Pas Fini D'avoir Tout Vu by TRIODE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.98 | 26 ratings

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On N'a Pas Fini D'avoir Tout Vu
Triode Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Short-lived quartet from Paris, gathered around flutist Michel Edelin, guitarist Pierre Chereze, bassist Pierre-Yves Sorin and drummer Didier Hauck.Triode were around since 1970 and they recorded their debut at the Studio Europa Sonor in Paris sometime in 1971.The album was titled ''On n'a pas fini d'avoir tout vu'' and was released on the Futura label.

With no singer in the picture Triode played an attractive instrumental Progressive Rock, which was equally showered by psychedelic and jazzy influences, fronted by a tireless Michel Edelin on flute and the effective, accompanying team of Chereze, Sorin and Hauck.The music is trully interesting, sometimes loose and sometimes pretty tight, with many flute solos in the vein of JETHRO TULL and some furious guitar plays, while the rhythm section is especially great during the fast paces.There are even some mellow parts with a bluesy sound and a more apparent folky color in the flute lines, which sound a bit outdtated.The focus here is on the dense pieces with the solid instrumental interactions, the freedom of Jazz in the accurate and well-executed solos and the complicated, very technical rhythm section.Incredible bass work by Sorin and frenetic drumming by Hauck complete a splendid effort of passionate instrumental Rock exhibition.Plenty of Chereze's guitar moves have a definite JAN AKKERMAN touch and certain references to FOCUS' more jazzy moments, but I guess the man had never heard of the Dutch neighbours then, we are talking about early-70's here after all.Especially nice are also some sweet interplays with a bit of melodious leanings in the process, a different side of an otherwise quite jamming band.

Triode disbanded in 1972 with Edelin releasing some personal efforts and establishing the Michel Edelin Trio/Quartet, Chereze released numerous singles and albums as a solo artist, while Pierre-Yves Sorin played as a session man next to huge names of Jazz Music and eventually teamed up again with drummer Didier Hauck on Jazz Sextet.

Freaked-out Jazz/Psych Rock with tons of flute and electric guitar moves, sounds pretty jamming for today's standards, but this was certainly a pretty fascinating album back at the time.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins) by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.56 | 380 ratings

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A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

3 stars King Crimson reformed for a brief tour in 2008, and I took the opportunity to go see one of the Chicago shows. The lineup consisted of Fripp, Belew, Levin (Gunn and the band had agreed to part ways), Mastellotto, and an additional drummer in Pat Harrison, who had made his bones as the drummer for the prog band Porcupine Tree. I had hoped that the band had come out of hibernation with some new material that they wanted to try out on the road, but the show, while very enjoyable, was distressingly conservative. The band primarily relied on its 80s material (as well as a sprinkling of material from the 90s onward), with a couple of nods to long ago in "Red" and "The Talking Drum"/"Larks 2," and there was no new material at all. I somewhat got the sense that the band was touring primarily for the purpose of getting its feet wet and to see if it could find a creative spark that would make it want to go through the process of creating new material. Well, the tour ended and the band once more dissolved, and I wondered, given the age of the various members, if anything of note would ever come from them again.

A few years later, an interesting collaboration emerged which ultimately grew into this not-quite-but-kinda- sorta-King-Crimson album. While the Fripp/Belew/etc lineup had made a point of avoiding material from the earliest incarnations of King Crimson, another group had sprung up to fill the niche. 21st Century Schizoid Band emerged in 2002 with a lineup of the brothers Giles (Michael on drums, Peter on bass), Ian McDonald (yup, that one) on woodwinds, Mel Collins (yup, that one) on his own set of woodwinds, and a guitarist/vocalist by the name of Jakko Jakszyk. While this band only lasted for a couple of years, it essentially made Jakszyk an honorary alumnus of King Crimson, and through this and other connections he ended up striking up a friendship with Robert Fripp. In 2010, Jakszyk and Fripp got together to record a bunch of semi-ambient noodlings based around guitar, keyboards and Fripp's soundscapes, and Jakszyk decided to adapt them into songs. Collins decided that he wanted to add some saxophone parts, and eventually the trio was able to get Levin and Harrison to serve as the album's rhythm section.

As a collection of songs, this album isn't especially impressive; it didn't surprise me to learn that these pieces were retro-fitted into songs only after the fact, and in those stretches where the material becomes more tune- centric, it rarely reaches a level much beyond decent. The material is also often very sleepy and subdued on top of not being especially memorable, and neither Levin nor Harrison do much on the whole to try and liven things up. Despite these downsides, though, I find that the atmosphere is usually interesting enough to compensate for the shortage of memorability and surprising length of the tracks (the album is 42 minutes long over the course of only 6 tracks). I find it very interesting that, despite the album not fully committing itself to an ambient approach (which would have geared it 100% towards establishing interesting atmosphere, as opposed to the 50/50 approach of this album), and thus making me have to face it as a song-based album without many distinct ideas and with those ideas stretched out over long periods of time, I don't find myself losing patience with the material. I find this especially fascinating in the closing track, "The Light of Day," where the band bathes in soundscapes and quiet guitar/sax noodling (with bits of vocals here and there) for nine minutes without going anywhere discernable, but where I also find myself feeling a little surprised that it lasted nine minutes and a little sad that it couldn't go longer. The final guitar/keyboard textures of this track are especially fantastic.

Another track that I find myself drawn to for similar reasons is "Secrets." It gets a little silly when it gets into old man slow prog boogie mode in the middle, but the droning passages at the beginning, with Jakko singing, "I don't sense the time is passing ..." and the like, with Collins occasionally punctuating the low-pitched growling soundscapes, are just beautiful. Along similar lines, "This House" starts as wordless vocal harmonies over more soundscapes, and it morphs into having some very lovely parts (with a lot of alternating gentle guitar passages) that never quite congeal together but that circle around each other in a way that sounds just fine.

The other three tracks are a little more explicit in trying to be song-based, but I can't help but think that they sound like inferior versions of similar material done with Belew on vocals in the 90s and 00s. Yes, the presence of Collins adds a new element that hadn't been present in the Belew era, but it's not like Jakszyk sounds tremendously different from Belew as a singer, and the songs only really take off in the parts where the vocals go away for an extended period of time. The opening title track is a slow ballad, "The Price We Pay" is mid- tempo with poppy bits, and "The Other Man" has elements of being a noisy menacing rocker, but all of them kinda bore me until they get the parts that were probably from the original sessions that spawned the album. Fripp and Jakszyk show great chemistry in these, with Fripp mostly sitting back and providing a backdrop but sporadically emerging to play in a more typical manner, and there are some marvelous moments to be found on here. It's too bad that they're buried in songs that are otherwise just ok.

It's probably for the best that this wasn't officially called a King Crimson album; an actual King Crimson album would have contained input from all involved parties from the beginning, as opposed to this album's process of putting together the album one layer at a time. As a side ProjeKct, though, this is perfectly reasonable, and the presence of fresh creative blood is certainly welcome. It didn't lead to an immediate tour or reforming of the band (and in fact Fripp briefly officially retired from the music industry a year later), but it did lay the groundwork for a great live tour three years later, and if nothing else this project should get credit for that.

 Destruktive Actions Affect Livings by DAAL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.97 | 94 ratings

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Destruktive Actions Affect Livings
Daal Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The second Daal effort ''Destruktive actions affect livings'' came out in 2011 in two different versions: One coming with the bonus CD ''Echoes of falling stars'' in an extremely limited edition of around 60 copies and a more regular one, featuring only the album.Again the whole sessions took place in two different studios with a nice number of famous guests helping out: Guglielmo Mariotti and Ettore Salati from The Watch on bass and sitar respectively, Alessandro Papotto from Periferia del Mondo and Nodo Gordiano on sax/clarinet, violinist Riccardo Paltanin, Germinale's Salvo Lazzara on guitar and Roberto Aiolfi of Prowlers and Tilion on fretless bass.

The presence of all these guests does not mean that Daal have removed from the experimental, Avant-Garde and electronic soundscapes of their debut.The musicians appear separately in specific moments of specific pieces and the music is still grounded on Davide Guidoni's heavy percussions and Alfio Costa's depth on a keyboard manifest and samplers' possessing.Take equal beats from Electronic Music, Industrial and Progressive Rock and throw them into a mix to imagine what this whole project is all about.Sonic soundscapes, distorted instrumentals, vintage refrences in a Film Score mood ala GOBLIN and some extremely haunting prog stuff with a slight KING CRIMSON edge due to the strong use of Mellotron and the sparse presence of electric guitar.There are even references to Eastern-Asian and Ethnic Music as well as some horrifying, symphonic tunes in the vein of IL BALLETO DI BRONZO.Vocals are very limited (as on the 17-min. ''The dance of the drastic navels part II'') and the album is obviously directed to experimental forms on using keyboards and samplers as a guide, balanced by other changing instruments.It's some sort of an Avant Prog release with emphasis on cosmic electronics and sinister keyboard themes, which surprisingly works quite nice, despite the exhibition of many loose executions and semi-improvised acoustics.

Solid work for the mystified community of Experimental Prog.Lovers of Avant-Garde Music ala FRANCO BATTIATO or ALAN SORRENTI as well as those into mysterious Soundtracks will love this one as well.Recommended.

 Please Don't Touch! by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.58 | 393 ratings

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Please Don't Touch!
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

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

2 stars Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's first proper solo album after leaving the band, a follow-up to his album, `Voyage of the Acolyte' that almost works as a default Genesis album, 1978's `Please Don't Touch' is a fairly unconvincing, frequently overtly commercial eclectic rock/pop album devoid of much in the way of consistency or cohesion. The fact that Hackett himself barely sings any lead vocals himself, instead bringing in a bunch of guests, only adds to the confusion. But most disappointingly, there's not much that actually drifts close to proper prog-rock that it drives home even more of what a letdown it is compared to its predecessor. It's not without a few nice moments, mostly in the second half, and there's no denying Mr Hackett was trying many new sounds and styles, but it rarely completely satisfies.

Hackett's instantly recognisable chiming guitars, jangly piano and a guest vocal from Kansas frontman Steve Walsh are the highlight of album opener `Narnia', an upbeat pop/rocker with a melody that wouldn't have sounded out of place on an Alan Parsons Project album. It's pleasant and undemanding at best. The quirky and whimsical `Carry On Up The Vicerage' drifts closest to his old band, especially due to the nice organ, but the wind-up-toy vocals will be loved and loathed in equal measure. It seems like a silly joke that slightly raises a smile the first time, but is grating and unfunny from then on. If it were to have appeared on a Genesis album, it would have been a hugely divisive track. `Racing In A' darts through a range of fragments of themes back and forth, even some classical music snippets, but despite a lovely acoustic guitar passage near the end, the piece seems thrown together, and another Steve Walsh vocals dates it rather badly.

I can't shake the feeling that `How Can I?' occasionally nicks some of the melody from the Beatles track `Across The Universe'. Steve's acoustic guitar chimes are nice, and it certainly is romantic, but the scratchy and stuffy vocal from soul singer Richie Havens drags it down, and the rhyming lyrics make me cringe. I think Steve's own voice would have meant a lot more to the track. Worst of all on this album, `Hoping Love Will Last' is a commercial orchestrated soul pop number sung by Randy Crawford that sounds like one of those overly sentimental ballads you'd find on a Michael Jackson album (I don't exactly mean that as a criticism, though). Of course it's exquisitely performed by her, but it's so lost here, almost seeming like it was accidently included on the album from another artist. I'm sure Steve had a great respect for these two soul artists he brought in to sing lead on these tracks, but when I think of English progressive rock, I damn sure don't see much connection to the rich history of black American music. Their vocals sound completely out of place here, even though I'm sure they offer plenty of character and warmth in their own music.

Much better is the classical guitar and drifting flute instrumental `Kim', simply beautiful. But best of all are the frantic prog workouts (finally!) `Land of a Thousand Autumns' and the title track `Please Don't Touch'. Classical guitar mystery, darting prancing flute, backwards effects, thick punching bass, spectral keyboards, nightmare Mellotron and snarling guitar menace, with plenty of bombast, power and tension throughout. `The Voice of Necam' is a childlike circus-style ditty with dark electronic glitches and eerie droning sighing wordless harmonies soon joined by more ravishing classical guitar. `Icarus Ascending' is a dramatic and classy closer, with quite a spacey and ethereal atmosphere, plus quick little boppy bass and jazzy piano twinkling diversions, but another smooth vocal from Richie lets it down for me.

Those who can admire Mr Hackett at this early point in his solo career experimenting, attempting sounds away from progressive rock and trying to work out what directions to head in, as well as those who can appreciate more straight-forward rock music with a lot of variety, will likely enjoy this album most. I'm really glad there are others who rate it much higher than I do. But those wanting a more complex, involved progressive work will only find fleeting moments throughout to satisfy them. It bugs me a little that, for all the thought that Steve Hackett was the keeper of the `true' Genesis/prog flame as his former band was drifting towards more commercial sounding in the later 70's, there are average pieces on this album that are far and away more blatantly commercial than anything that band had offered at the same time. The follow-up album `Spectral Mornings' was an improvement (but still not the classic to my ears that many people regard it as being), and `Defector' in 1980 was even better, but `Please Don't Touch' is a frustrating, disappointing experience, despite little glimpses of that proper progressive magic sometimes shining through.

Two stars.

 A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins) by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.56 | 380 ratings

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A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Scarcely miraculous, but pretty good

A Scarcity Of Miracles is not strictly speaking a King Crimson album but a "King Crimson project" (or ProjeKct as they insist on calling it) by Jakko Jakszyk, Robert Fripp, and Mel Collins. All three men are strongly associated with King Crimson and at the time of writing they are among the current members of that band. Jakszyk and Collins also previously played together in the 21st Century Schizoid Band, an excellent King Crimson alumni group which also featured founding Crimson members Ian McDonald and Michael Giles as well as other ex-Crimson members in Peter Giles (and later on Ian Wallace). The line-up on the present outing is completed by Tony Levin on bass and Chapman stick and Gavin Harrison on drums.

Not releasing this as a King Crimson album was probably wise given that the style of the music is more mellow and laid back than much of King Crimson's music. Fripp's soundscapes, Collins' saxophones, Jakszyk's lead vocals create a rather tranquil atmosphere and there is almost nothing heavy or aggressive about this music. Nonetheless one can hear the affinities with the calmer and less aggressive sides of King Crimson. Jakszyk probably had a strong influence on this music as I can hear similarities in style with his solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club - an album to which both Collins and Fripp as well as Gavin Harrison also contributed (together with Ian McDonald and Ian Walace and many others).

Personally, I find A Scarcity Of Miracles a very pleasant listen and I actually enjoy it more than anything that King Crimson proper has put out since 1974's Red. (But then again I have never been a fan of 80's, 90's, or 2000's King Crimson.) However, even if it starts out great with the opening title track it does not keep the same quality throughout. The album is thankfully not very long, but still it tends to get a bit samey towards the end. It would have benefited from a couple of tracks in a different, perhaps less mellow style, but I suppose we have to wait for that until a new King Crimson album is released. The fact that Collins and Jakszyk are now part of King Crimson is promising for the future.

 Un Segundo by CABEZAS DE CERA album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.20 | 17 ratings

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Un Segundo
Cabezas De Cera Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Cabezas De Cera had come really close with their sound engineer Edgar Arrelin.In fact they considered him to be the fourth ''hidden'' member of the group, the man who took their sound to another level.An example of his stunning work can be heard on the band's second album ''Un segundo'', released independently in 2002.This was yet another work by the Mexicans with a wide instrumental armour.

Imagine if KING CRIMSON were actually a Latin-American group, influenced by Mexican Folk Music to get the picture of this high-octane trio from Mexico City.''Un segundo'' is an innovative and deeply challenging album, where short but extremely rich instrumental pieces are carefully split by the interruption of themes, mostly based on sound effects, narrations, samplers and electronics.Music is complex but always charming, led by scratching electric guitars and pounding drums, surrounded by a vast palette of traditional instruments like the violin, the clarinet, the saxophone and the archaic flutes.The compositions start from powerful, groovy parts to go through folky enviroments with a Latin-spiced atmosphere and get back into loose, almost improvised performances with a jazzy background.Of course. it's not always about dominant, complicated music in here, some displayed acoustic textures sound more down-to-earth and less emphatic but not uninteresting at all, surrounded by the sax or flutes.An amalgam of Folk, Jazz, Fusion, Rock and Electronic Music, delivered with an experimental attitude, producing atonal moments, passionate solos, punchy rhythms and atmospheric innovations.

A winner by all means.Not the main priority of lovers of more melodic offerings, but a must-have for anyone searching for dense and intricate contemporary Prog Rock.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Groundswell by MORAINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.64 | 5 ratings

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Groundswell
Moraine Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US band MORAINE was formed back in 2005, and has quickly been established as a quality band for those in the know with an interest in music that ventures outside of the proverbial box, a reputation that landed them a spot at the new defunct festival Nearfest a few years back. "Groundswell" is their second full length studio recording, and was released through the US label Moonjune Records in the fall of 2014.

Moraine's second studio album "Groundswell" comes across as a breath of fresh air for me. Vibrant and engaging instrumental music that explores the contrast between frail, light toned and delicate instrument details and dark ominous motifs quite nicely, and does so within a jazz rock or fusion framework that allows for room to add some unexpected twists and details here and there. Strong moods and atmospheres are key features, and those who enjoy instrumental fusion liberally flavored with foreboding atmospheres and a touch of the unexpected here and there should take the time to give this CD an inspection.

 Aviator by AVIATOR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.39 | 17 ratings

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Aviator
Aviator Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Goodness me, I have been trying to get a CD copy of this lost piece of prog glory for such a while now (30 years by last account), my vinyl becoming a sandbox of gritty snap, crackle and pop pebbles. The story of Aviator is a classic scenario of a hugely talented band that wilted under the anti-prog stance of the late 70s, pounded mercilessly into oblivion by a media frenzy dominated by punk and new wave bands. Mick Rogers is , in my humble opinion, the most underrated guitarist in Progland, his contributions to Manfred Mann's Erath Band are stuff of legends (check out his sulfurous axe solos on "Visionary Mountain", "Martha's Madman", "Solar Fire", "Father of Night/Father of Day" and many more) , former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker is outright legendary , while John G. Perry is , perhaps the most underrated bass player ever, a fretless stylist of great repute (Gordon Giltrap, Anthony Phillips, Caravan and Quantum Jump , plus two magical solo albums). Throw in Jack Lancaster of Blodwyn Pig and Colosseum on sax and lyricon and you have the makings of a prog super group. The artwork on this debut 1979 album (ooh, bad year for prog!) is still among my all-time faves, being an SR-71 Blackbird aficionado. All great ingredients except for the poor timing, this album basically went nowhere, as the demands of the market were clearly anti-prog, which meant more commercial constraints that artists had to follow (ELP, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Gentle Giant and many more were guilty of such outside pressures) and ultimately wound up being counterproductive in every single way.

The set list is comprised of 3 distinct attitudes, the dashingly progressive jewels such as the magnificent "Keep Your Heart Right", the brooding "Country Morning" (sounding a lot like Italian prog/fusion band Nova) and its companion "Morning Journey". These are absolute prog classics that still stand the test of time and are entirely worthy of attention.

Then there are the outright rockers like the exuberant "Silver Needles" and its extended instrumental platform, "Greed" and the brash "Cleveland Ohio" (great loopy synthesizer riff) which veer near Spooky Tooth/Foreigner- like territory, but graced by some monstrous guitar playing.

And finally the poppy in-betweens such as the rambling and jagged opener "Your Loving Is My Home", "Evil Eye" , "Time Traveller" , all positive ear-candy but far from progressive , outside of a few twists and turns that keep things interesting.

Obviously, Aviator is more of a footnote than a sheer prog accomplishment but its scarcity make it a valuable addition to a progressive rock collection.

3.5 Supersonic jets

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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
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
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 PROLL 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
BAD ALCHEMY United States
VLADIMIR BADIROV Uzbekistan
BAG France
DAVID BAGSBY United States
BAKU LLAMA United States
FRANCK BALESTRACCI France
BARBARO Hungary
AL BASIM Iraq
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
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