Fata Morgana (Remaster)

SKU: 094638538424
Label:
EMI/Intercord
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The band's last album was really a forgettable effort best saved for completists. The label forced them to sing in German and the music took a decidedly commercial twist. It was a sad end for a great band. Remastered edition with four demo bonus tracks.

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  • Chon are a (mostly) instrumental prog band based out of San Diego.  Their music is very intricate twin guitar, bass and drums stuff that reminds a bit of Gordian Knot, At War With Self, Scale The Summit and some of the Crimson related side projects.""On the back of three albums in two years, Chon have found themselves nestled into a curiously underpopulated pocket of instrumental prog-rock that you can relax to. Though not particularly big names yet, their debut full-length album, Grow, makes great inroads to rectify such injustice. 12 tracks clocking in at a deceptively paltry 35 minutes may discourage some, but it’s worth noting that this is from a band that think very little of suspensive introductions – what the album offers instead is an unperturbed and persistently tight medley of poetic guitar noodling.That is not to say Chon chug along obstinately with the raw, earthy power of Animals as Leaders, a band they have supported on tour. Grow instead emits an overarching sense of polished calmness, one that lays a solid foundation for an album speckled with brief moments of mischievous, virtuosic bedlam.A very brief and airy introductory track is punctured by an immediate cutting guitar solo in the opening moments of ‘Story’, before all instruments fall into a synchronised rhythm. The two guitars swap periodically between unison and polythymic riffing, something that is impressively replicated by the drums later on. These moments are peppered throughout the album and appear sporadic in nature, when in reality they’re incredibly well calculated and stand as a testament to Chon’s amazing compositional capacity.Following track ‘Fall’ exhibits much of the same, with a searching chordal structure and tonal modulation that adheres to a more progressive jazz context, the kind peddled by bands such as Phronesis. This, ‘Book’ and ‘Splash’ display a distinct melodic prowess that is hammered home with constant repetition, underpinned by Nathan Camarena’s unfathomable dexterity on the drums.Drew Pelisek comes into his own in ‘Can’t Wait’ and ‘Echo’, both of which employ his vocals with such grounding assurance that it’s a wonder why only one sixth of the album features them. These tracks, along with ‘Suda’ and ‘But’, are reminiscent of Scale the Summit and Vasudeva during their most contemplative passages. ‘Knot’ and ‘Perfect Pillow’ offer the exact opposite, a distortion-laden procession, reminiscent of those bands in full flow.Most tracks in Grow follow a similar pattern and personal preference eventuates as the tune that sticks most potently in your head. But from an album that offers a plethora under the direction of a truly competent band, they’re likely to stick for a while." - Counteract
    $12.00
  • "The music here is a hypnotizing blend of intricate, locked-in interaction and red-hot energy that will remind you that sometimes the letters 'L-O-U-D' can spell 'jazz'. Zevious will also remind you that sometimes the most influential jazz is controversial.According to the band, the goal on Passing Through the Wall is to induce a trance-like state in the listener through repetition, non-conventional melody and challenging song structure. The compositions are based around large cycles of layered poly-rhythmic patterns against octave displaced melodies; the individual parts working together to create dense, pulsating textures."
    $15.00
  • Second album from this Italian band that actually goes back to the 70s although they didn't record until recently.The roots of the band's sound is quite obvious.  Il Cerchio D'Oro are proponents of "Rock Progressive Italiano".  With the necessary Italian vocals in place, the music has a nice balance of keys and guitar but there are plenty of guests introducing flute, sax, mandolin.  It should be noted that these guests are sourced from classic bands The Trip, PFM, and Delirium.  Dig the 'tron?  Its here!  The synth work in particular is going to remind you of Flavio Premoli.  
    $16.00
  • The original version of Rïah Sahïltaahk that was recorded in 1971 is featured on the album 1001° Centigrade (vol. 2). But at the time, its composer, Christian Vander, was unhappy with the arrangement written by the group. This radically new version, adapted to suit the group’s current line-up, is more faithful to the spirit of Magma’s music and its uniquely weird and wonderful prog-rock style."
    $13.00
  • White Willow mastermind Jacob Lupo-Holm has been threatening to unleash a solo album for years now and it has finally arrived. There has always been a lighter, poppier side that has turned up on each White Willow album. The Opium Cartel displays this through out. The music has a dreamy, laid back quality that is quite gorgeous and serene. Plenty of prog elements are present - Mellotron and multi-keyboards are the backbone of the album. There is a good reason for this - the album reads like a who's who of Scandinavian prog. Mattias Olsson (Anglard) plays drums and tons of keys. White Willow members (past and present) are featured - Lars Fredrik Froislie (keyboards), Ketil Einarsen (flutes) - even former rhythm guitarist/bassist Johannes Saeboe is on a track. Current WW vocalist Rhys Marsh is featured as is Rachel Haden (how Jacob pulled that off is anyone's guess). Although not an album of super-complexity it is a very involving listen that demands your attention. HIghly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Flaming Lips fandom in the 21st-century requires agreeing to the terms of this transaction: in exchange for receiving a non-stop stream of new, consistently adventurous music from your favorite band, you have to put up with Wayne Coyne’s Instagram skeeziness, and all the #freaks hashtags, exclamation-point abuse, and Miley Cyrus tongue-wagging selfies that go with it. Seems like a fair enough trade-off, but even those fans who are most tolerant of Wayne’s social-media madcappery had to be thinking “really, dude?” last spring when some especially ill-advised photos led to accusations of racism, and the extremely acrimonious ousting of long-time Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock (the fallout from which continues to spread).In light of this, the debut of the Lips’ prog-inspired alter-ego act the Electric Würms couldn’t have come at a better time. By promoting redoubtable multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd to bandleader and reducing Coyne to background noisemaker (with Nashville psych-rock outfit Linear Downfall playing the role of an absent Michael Ivins), the new project effectively doubles as a form of damage control, redirecting our attention back to the ongoing evolution of what has been a remarkably productive and intriguingly unpredictable phase for the band. Even that Teutonic album title—which apparently translates as “music that’s hard to twerk to”—offers the guarantee of a Miley-free zone.Given that Drozd has long been the de facto musical director of the Flaming Lips, the Würms unsurprisingly stick to the post-Embryonic playbook, to the point where the new band name is practically immaterial, and Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk could just as easily be the (slightly) sunnier follow-up to the blood-red-skied electro-psych of 2013’s The Terror. And when you consider how much Coyne’s voice was fused into the textural mist on that album, Drozd’s soft, childlike coo doesn’t have much opportunity to distinguish itself amid the shock-treatment synths, radio-static guitar fuzz, and stellar-drift drums. Oddly, for an album that cheekily presents itself as a long-lost ’70s prog cut-out bin artifact, Musik, die Schwer zu Twerk’s most notable characteristic may be its 29-minute brevity, offering a tasting-menu sampler of the various modes the Lips have been exploring for the past five years. It’s almost as if the Lips have formed a cover-band-medley version of themselves.So in lieu of prog’s multi-sectional intricacy, each of the six tracks here lock into discrete themes, from the mirage-like space-age bachelor-pad smear of “Futuristic Hallucination” to the Live-Evil-era Miles (by way of Yoko Ono’s Fly) psych-funk shriek of “Transform!!!” However, these four-minute spurts are too free-ranging to establish a melodic logic, yet too steady in execution to achieve maximal freak-out potential; with its creeping rhythm, quavering vocal, and steampiped-synth exhaust, “The Bat” is very much sonically of a piece with The Terror, but feels insubstantial outside a similarly elaborate context.Ironically, focus arrives in the form of a cover of Yes’ hyrda-headed dinosaur-rock colossus “Heart of the Sunrise,” which simply lops off Vincent Gallo’s favorite build-up and the arpeggiated closing act and condenses it into a pure and simple four-minute star-gazing ballad, with Drozd doing an eerily spot-on Jon Anderson. (That said, the attempt at writing a modern-day Yes song—“I Could Only See Clouds”—is less satisfying, with a placid central melody that never fully adheres to the intrusive Howe/Squire-worthy contorto-riff.) But it’s not surprising that the Würms find their greatest success the further they venture from the Lips mothership and the longer they stay the course. With the Neu! hypno-rock pulse of “Living,” the band turn in both their headiest jam and most dramatic song, with Drozd’s ghostly voice sounding like a final transmission to mission control before he and Coyne thrust themselves into the coldest, darkest reaches of outer space—or, at the very least, somewhere with no smartphone reception." - Pitchfork
    $9.00
  • New Italian prog band that makes most of the right retro-prog moves. Ubi Maior is heavily influenced by bands like Il Balletto Di Bronzo and Biglietto Per L'Inferno (on the heavier end of the spectrum) as well as displaying a lighter touch a la PFM and Genesis. Keyboardist Gabriele Manzini was also a member of The Watch so I guess that's where that influence comes in. All in all it's a well done nostalgia trip that any fan of Italian prog from the classic era will rightfully embrace. Comes housed in a nice mini-lp sleeve.
    $20.00
  • "Art pop collective The Opium Cartel return after their much-acclaimed debut with their sophomore effort "Ardor". Featuring a stellar cast including No-Man/Henry Fool's Tim Bowness and Stephen Bennett, White Willow/Änglagård drummer Mattias Olsson, as well as members of Wobbler, Jaga Jazzist and Pixel, not to mention two of Norway's foremost vocal talents; Venke Knutson and Alexander Stenerud. The project is helmed by White Willow guitarist/songwriter Jacob Holm-Lupo. While continuing the atmospheric, slo-mo proggy pop sound of the first album, this new album is a somewhat different beast, taking inspiration from 80's art pop icons like The Blue Nile, Japan, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, as well as drawing on the contemporary electronic pop of bands like M83. This will also appeal to fans of adventurous indie acts like Field Music, Everything Everything, Sunset Rubdown and The Week That Was." 
    $16.00
  • "After 4 studio albums, Papir unleash their first live album. It’s surprising it took so long, since the band’s shows have long been revered amongst fans.The music-biz has also noticed Papir’s stellar live performances: like when Mojo Magazine singled them out from the hoards of bands at danish music-showcase Spot 2012 as THE show of the entire festival - as well as the holy rite of passage for any cosmic Stoner Rock band: The Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, where Papir was asked not to perform no less than 3 times during the festival in 2014! It’s the first and finest of these shows in full that Papir havde chosen for this release, and it’s all here: Christoffer Brøchmann’s jaw-dropping drum chops, easing from delicate jazzy drumrolls one second into deranged math-psych explosions the next - creating a diving board for Nicklas Sørensen’s vast array of guitar-styles, blending post-rock drones with majestic wah-drenched soloing. With Christian Becher keeping it all together with his bouncing and booming bass lines, as well as utilizing his groovemaker to make blistering ethereal soundscapes.While Papirs albums have always been based on live performances during intense studio sessions, there’s still a different element present at Live at Roadburn - maybe due to the drunken barks from the ecstatic crowd, or the fact that the band is not just playing for the tape machines. There’s an extra layer of adrenaline present - the added aggressive tone of fluttering fuzz and sizzling cymbals, an extra punch and and grit of their build ups. From the first note, Papir show just how far they’ve travelled over the span of a few years, catapulting a motoric track off their self produced DIY debut release into new soaring heights. The show also reworks “Monday” and “Sunday #2” from Stundum - their first El Paraiso-release, as well as drop a highlight from last year’s “IIII” into the equation. As if this wasn’t enough, they premiere two brand new tracks with the same stamina, making sure that Live at Roadburn is not just a roadmap of where they’ve been, but very much an up to date snapshot of one of Europe’s hardest working instrumental outfits.The album was mixed and mastered by Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk from a 24bit multitrack recording."
    $18.00
  • “You can expect a beefy rock album, freak style. I think that Cooking with Pagans finally has the sound and energy of Freak Kitchen live; the energy and rawness. It is anything but overproduced, stripped down, drums, bass and guitar. To the point.” – Mattias “IA” EklundhIt has been 5 years since Freak Kitchen graced us with a new album.  Since the release of 2009’s Land Of The Freaks, the band has toured the world – making stops in Europe, USA, and Asia along the way.  Finally the band was able to settle down in their home base of Sweden to record the long awaited follow up Cooking With Pagans.The album finds the band collaborating with Blacksad comic book creator and former Disney animator Juanjo Guarnido.  In addition to creating the amazing packaging for the album, Mr. Guarnido has created an incredible animated video to support the album release.Freak Kitchen consists of world renowned guitarist Mattias “IA” Eklundh, bassist Christer Ortefors and drummer Bjorn Fryklund, The trio offers an intense blend of progressive metal and rock, often served up with a wicked dose of humor.  RIYL Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, and Bumblefoot. 
    $14.00
  • "Death.Taxes.Ozric Tentacles.Since 1984 this loose collective have been releasing reliably great music from the mind of leader Ed Wynne. Their margin of error is enviably tiny – there is no such thing as a bad Ozrics album. Sure, some are better than others, but the body of work is as inescapably consistent as mortality and societal contributions. Technicians of the Sacred is their fifteenth studio album, second double album and the first release in this format since Erpland in 1990. It is also one of the best they have ever recorded.The blend of electronica and inner-space rock is instantly recognisable with ‘The High Pass’. World music and gently undulating synths take their time to ease us back into the required frame of cosmic consciousness. It takes almost 6 minutes for the secret weapon, Wynne’s signature lysergic lead guitar, to be deployed and that is the modus operandi of the whole album – nothing is rushed, each track unfolds lotus-like.‘Changa Masala’ distils all the band’s ingredients into a spicy side-dish. Sequencers, vocal samples and a reggae skank provide the base while acoustic guitar rips like a John McLaughlin solo, interjecting a nod to their past, a musical in-joke for the fans, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet heard it.The Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7 and sometime Ozrics collaborator) influence is foregrounded in the first disc’s closer, ‘Switchback’. Tap-delay guitar slithers over a web of ambient keyboard washes. Portamento bass notes slide and glide their way through the patchouli-scented psychedelic haze.f the first disc was an aromatic treat, then the second is manna. ‘Epiphlioy’ recalls the classic ‘Saucers’. Its serpentine twelve-string acoustic riffs employ Eastern modes to evoke a scene that is paradoxically earthy and otherworldly. Staccato strings conjure Kashmir while a celestial orchestra of whooshing keyboard pads threatens to levitate us into the stratosphere and beyond. We are back in the bizarre bazaar, folks. Brandi Wynne pins down the ethereal mix with a heavy dub bassline. The track changes constantly. This is the most compositionally complex music the band has ever produced.While there are references to Ozric history and a more organic feel similar to early classics with the occasional use of non-electric instruments and ethnic voices, the album as a whole is a step forward. The painstakingly crafted symbiosis of synthesised sounds and rock instrumentation, coupled with a slick production, lend Technicians of the Sacred a holistic integrity not heard since Jurassic Shift (which incidentally entered the UK charts at a very respectable number 11 in 1993). The whole gels together and flows with the multi-layered sophistication of a symphony while retaining some of the jam-band aesthetic of the free festival days.‘Smiling Potion’ features interlocking sequences even Tangerine Dream would be proud of and a tribal metronome-sense beat straight out of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ.As ‘Rubbing Shoulders With The Absolute’ throbs along on a blissed-out dub rhythm artificially generated voices ensure the weirdness meter is kept firmly in the red.Hungarian drummer Balázs Szende makes his first studio appearance and throughout the album he proves to be a superb addition to the group, whether approximating the tight programmed style of The Hidden Step era or, as on the closing track, ‘Zenlike Creature’, tackling elusive prog time signatures with ease and finesse. As Ed Wynne winds up a solo worthy of fusion maestros Mahavishnu Orchestra he introduces a shimmering Hillage-esque repeating motif that stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.Technicians of the Sacred, for all its dynamic shifts and intricacies, is a very chilled-out release, one for relaxing to and for transportation to the other, wherever that may be. There are no jarring wig-out rock guitar hero sections or all-out sonic attacks like ‘The Throbbe’. Rather this is Ozric Tentacles’ most cohesive and accomplished effort in almost 20 years and a highlight of a long and peerless career." - Echoes And Dust
    $13.00
  • Quite simply one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time. This album is very dear to me and many of you will remember that some years ago we released the 3 SFF albums on a 2CD set. Its been out of print for many years and through the efforts of Esoteric Recordings they are back in print, as individual releases.Symphonic Pictures was recorded in 1975. The trio of Eduard Schicke (drums), Gerd Fuhrs (keyboards), and Heinz Frohling (bass/guitar) was formed from the remnants of Spektakel (another one of our out of print releases). The band was signed to Brain Records. Originally Frank Zappa was going to produce their debut but because of scheduling commitments he had to back out. Instead the band worked with Dieter Dierks who was the rising star producer at the time. The album is all instrumental. It consists of the four shorter tracks and then culminates in the side long epic "Pictures". This is one of the great Mellotron albums...ever. One can easily hear how deeply Anglagard was influenced by this album. Three virtuoso musicians creating amazing symphonic rock. It just doesn't get better than this one...or does it? Esoteric has included a bonus disc containing parts of an archival live recording from Papenburg, Germany in 1975. This features two tracks that are not on the album and clearly demonstrates that SFF could pull it off live as well. Perhaps I'm too close to this album but from my perspective its BUY OR DIE! Highest recommendation possible.
    $15.00
  • Brilliant first album featuring Phil Collins, Robin Lumley, Morris Pert, John Goodsall, and Percy Jones. One of the greatest statements in the history of fusion!
    $10.00