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Sanguine Hum


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Sanguine Hum A Trace of Memory album cover
4.06 | 93 ratings | 8 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. New Light (3:04)
2. The Yellow Ship (13:08)
3. Pyramids (4:50)
4. Thin Air (4:45)
5. Unstable Ground (4:10)
6. Still as the Sea (3:22)
7. Automaton (8:49)

Total Time 42:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Joff Winks / guitar, vocals, piano (3), string arrangements (2)
- Matt Baber / keyboards, synths, drums (4), field recordings
- Brad Waissman / bass, Chapman Stick, upright electric bass

- Paul Mallyon / drums (2,5-7)
- Andrew Booker / electronic percussion (1), drums (3)

Releases information

Label: Bad Elephant Music
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
Release date: November 20, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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SANGUINE HUM A Trace of Memory ratings distribution

(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SANGUINE HUM A Trace of Memory reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Since some years SANGUINE HUM are a trio (guitar, keyboards, bass) in a strict sense. For some time the collaborating drummers Paul Mallyon and Andrew Booker both already had been regular band members in the past, concerning studio sessions as well as their live gigs. Should this be one meaning of Trace Of Memory? Eh, this constellation, well, we don't necessarily have to understand that. A really minor issue anyhow. The chemistry obviously fits, the result is convincing, that's important in the end. SANGUINE HUM are not offering something totally different to the predecessor albums. No, they are trying to refine things again. And it's wonderful again. Simple as that. Yep, still on a high level.

'A Trace Of Memory' is the fifth album recorded under this moniker. But actually their story started with the predecessor outfit named Antique Seeking Nuns, worth it to be explored in the same way. Not really classifiable stylistically. Here we have a balanced blend of short songs and extended pieces, who feature some improvisational attitude. Short wins 5:2 by the way. Roundabout fourty vinyl fitting minutes in total. Whilst starting with the opener New Light, a looping synth intro ... wait, this somehow reminds of the 2015 album 'Now We Have Light'. Another Trace Of Memory? The Yellow Ship then shows some nice jamming minutes in between, embedded in a fantastic relaxed flow overall.

Recognition value immediately, I'm speaking of Joff Winks' acoustic guitar and unique gentle voice. And then surprise, keyboarder Matt Baber is even taking the drum seat on Thin Air. Concerning the closing Automaton his impact is very engaging. The song is partially backed by swirling looping synths, just a proper band trademark. But there's a jazzy electric piano given too, wow! Nice dreamy balladesque moments again and again, and the canterburyesque vibe all over. Another really fascinating SANGUINE HUM appearance. I'm delighted. Over a long period now, just like the US combo Ovrfwrd for example, they are constantly delivering high quality albums. Bravo once again ...

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Once more the boys from Oxford release an album of excellent musicianship, engaging sound, and wonderful production covering a bunch of banal songs that fail to grab or keep a hold.

1. "New Light" (3:04) An instrumental to open the album containing one of the most interesting and completely engaging sound palettes I've ever heard from this band. (8.75/10)

2. "The Yellow Ship" (13:08) opens with a RADIOHEAD sound and feel until the vocals enter, then it's all STEVEN WILSON. It then slogs delicately along for the entirety of its mostly-instrumental thirteen minutes despite several failed attempts to break the chains (at 6:15, 7:55, and 10:35). (21/25)

3. "Pyramids" (4:50) opens with a very strong similarity to STEVEN WILSON's latest more-poppy song styles; though it's still quite definitely prog, it's got that RADIOHEAD simple-feeling complexity. Interesting and different. I like it. (8.75/10)

4. "Thin Air" (4:45) an instrumental with an odd mixture of faded in and out synthesizer sequences over which low notes of a guitar are plucked before bass, electric piano and programmed-sounding drums (Matt Baber) play. Nice build and bridges take us to the three-minute mark where a reverse-noted electric guitar solo is let loose before switching into jazz chords. Nice acoustic guitar and electric piano arpeggiated chord sequence leads us into the Post Rock (Monobody)-like finish. (9/10)

5. "Unstable Ground" (4:10) ominous chords and arpeggi woven together within a syncopated, odd time signature over which Joff sings. The music again reminds me of Chicago avant jazz/Math Rock band MONOBODY. Great section in the third minute. Return to the ominous mood for the final minute. Good stuff. (8.75/10)

6. "Still as the Sea" (3:22) piano and guitar arpeggi interwoven with piano-right hand and Joff's vocal melody-making. At 1:20 we transition into a powerful LYLE MAYS-like jazz piano motif--by far my favorite motif on the album! This is what I've been wanting from SANGUINE HUM ever since then threw away the Antique Seeking Nuns! (9.5/10)

7. "Automaton" (8:49) an instrumental to end the album. A little more interesting and unusual than the rest but still nothing to get too excited about much less quite home about. (17/20)

Total Time 42:08

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. The song "Still as the Sea" is, for me, worth the whole price of the album.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars The core trio of Joff Winks (guitar, vocals, piano, string arrangements), Matt Baber (keyboards, synths, drums, field recordings) and Brad Waissman (bass, Chapman Stick, upright electric bass) are back with their fifth studio album, alongside drummers Paul Mallyon and Andrew Booker, who have both previously been involved as well. I was impressed with their last release, 2018's 'Now We Have Power', and was looking forward to hearing this one and I was not going to be disappointed. What makes this album work so very well indeed is the quality of the arrangements, with the guys somehow making their instruments seem much more than they are, with the bass tone, in particular, being incredibly wide and permeating through the songs. This gives the guys a wonderful framework to build on, so the drums hang off the side doing their thing while Joff and Matt twist through multiple styles and phases.

Nowhere is this truer than on the epic "The Yellow Ship", which is more than 13 minutes long. In this we have some wonderful staccato moments, others where it is way more relaxed and drawn out, with the melodic lead switching throughout. There is a delicacy within their music, a restraint which seems almost fragile on the surface, and it is only as the songs progress that one can hear the strength within. "Pyramids" is a precious thing which sounds almost as if it is going to disappear with the acoustic guitar and keyboards providing just the right amount of support for the vocals, and it is only when the bass and drums come in that the listener starts to realise the power. This is one of the highlights of the album, really bringing us deep inside and allowing us to understand what is going on.

Someone asked me yesterday if people undertook active listening anymore, and although I replied in the affirmative, I do know there are many who no longer do so. This is an album which really benefits from the listener paying close attention, as otherwise much of what they are doing will wash right over, so when you have the time to really listen, sit and play this while concentrating on what is going on and you will be surprised just how much there is in there for you to discover. There is a beauty within this which is an absolute delight, and while not the most in your face progressive rock you will come across, it is certainly worth investigating.

Latest members reviews

5 stars SANGUINE HUM is releasing its best album to date: starting with good neo-prog la Genesis revisited, a little electro, a touch of pop, I saw prog a little crazy and singular in itself. Here it is rapid evolution with its own sound, now drawing more towards RADIOHEAD and Steven WILSON. "Ne ... (read more)

Report this review (#2525786) | Posted by alainPP | Wednesday, March 17, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album of Sanguine Hum, encounters me in the middle of lockdown, in a time where we put several things under revision. I've listened to the album in several ocassions (loving Spotify right now, and hating guys like Neal morse, Transatlantic who don't manage to put their music there). Thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2501904) | Posted by santisoux | Wednesday, February 3, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My first listen of this release was underwhelming. What did I miss, was I not focusing? It was good, solid but mellow, sounding familiar. "The Yellow Ship", the available song before the album came out, was awesome. So fast forward to several listens later and I can say, I was so wrong w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2479419) | Posted by Grumpyprogfan | Monday, November 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This one took a few listens for me. It is definitely in the same general mold as their others, but was just enough different to cause a little shock to the system. I feel like there is a little more movement in the guitar, just slightly heavier sounding as well. There are three outright instrumental ... (read more)

Report this review (#2478335) | Posted by Tull Tales | Sunday, November 22, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars SANGUINE HUM is a trio resulting from the ashes of JOFF WINKS BAND and the formation ANTIQUE SEEKING (mixture of ZAPPA and Canterbury). This British group offers us a fifth draft, "A Trace Of Memory" with a cover for the less disturbing ... how would I say ...? Hmmm ... very bloody and a little dist ... (read more)

Report this review (#2474770) | Posted by RelayerFr | Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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