Live At R.I.O. Festival 2014

October Equus are one of the more interesting bands on the so-called "avant-prog" scene.  Their music has a dark energy that often evokes the spirit of Present and King Crimson.  A lot of this is due to the angular stylings of guitarist/leader Angel Ontalva.  The clarinet, sax and keys infuse jazz rock elements.  This is their complete live performance at the R.I.O. Festival 2014.  Apparently this was a controversial performance among the attendees.  Not sure why.  Listening to this I hear a band burning with fire.

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    $5.00
  • Third album from this superb Dutch band.  Laser's Edge has a long standing relationship with the band, having released their debut, Hallway Of Dreams, in North America.Take equal parts Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and Within Temptation and you've got the basic sound of Kingfisher Sky.  The band was formed by ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf and is fronted by his wife Judith Rijnveld.  Judith is an incredible vocalist - her voice will transfix you.  The lineup features two guitarists, cello, keys, bass, and drums.  Everyone in the band is first class but you will always be drawn back to Judith.  The music takes on a mystical, ethereal quality in places.  It never really crosses over into the metal realm but the guitars can get crunchy in a nice way.  One notable guest on this album is Kristeffor Gildenlow who handles all the bass parts.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • This superb Swedish band follow up their white hot performance at Nearfest with the release of their fifth album and its their best. The band really has developed their own identity. There is an underpinning of humor but at the same time the lyrics don't deal with unicorns and magical forests - in fact there is plenty of heavy duty swear words through out so if that is offensive to you stay clear. Its a musical monster with devastating organ work - check out the closer "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" (my dreams ARE made of this stuff!). In general the musical talent is mega-high and full on display here. Oh yeah - for about 10 seconds the Cookie Monster rears his head so watch out!!One of the finest (if not THE finest) example of contemporary progressive rock. Beardfish give a wink and a nod to the old timers but clearly have carved out a path of their own that ANY fan (with a strong heart) should endorse. This will make everyone's top 10 list at year end. BUY OR DIE!!
    $11.00
  • Second album from this superb Italian instrumental prog band.  The quartet mine the heavier end of the prog spectrum but never hit the metal end.  King Crimson, Rush and perhaps even a band like Liquid Tension Experiment come to mind.  The band serves it up hot and heavy with plenty of interplay between keys and guitar.  If you are looking for subtlety this album won't do it for you.  If you want to get slammed in the face with something that screams out THIS IS PROG...have I got an album for you.  Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Second album from this US psychedelic band features Dug Pinnick on bass and vocals.  If you like space rock/psych jams along the lines of Ozric Tentacles, Quantum Fantay, and Gong you need to these guys.  Wicked stuff.
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  • For reasons beyond my comprehension this German six piece band is being lumped in with Graveyard and Witchcraft.  Yes this is a retro sounding band and hard rock is one of their primary influences and yes there is an occult theme running through the album.  I hear much more of a 70s hard rock sound.  Think in terms of Uriah Heep, Lucifer's Friend and Deep Purple but also some undercurrents of bands like The Devil's Blood.  There is Iommi-type riffing that turns up so I guess that's the Sabs influence and the connection to those Swedish bands.  I'm digging the swirling organ sounds. "Orcus Chylde are a band with a sound that is very hard to categorize. Parts Doom, Pysch, Prog Rock, Proto-Metal mixed in with a delicious 70's Occult Rock feel.They are part of the new breed of Doom Rock/Metal that is starting to make waves through the rock world. They have just released their astonishing debut S/T Debut album. An 8 song and 48 minute blast of out of this world psychedelic riffs.The album is expertly produced and played by everyone involved.If your a fan of 70's Hard Rock Bands such as Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple then your going to love this. It takes the music from that era but adds some cool modern Doom Rock riffs to truly stand out from the crowd.This album feels like a greatest hits collection of this great band rather than their debut album. All of the songs  are great especially - The Day The Seventh Angel Came, Valley Of Thorns, Over The Frozen Rivers.All showing what this great band does so well. Paying homage to great bands past and present but putting their own spin on things. Such as the sublime vocals of vocalist Tobias and the Organs. The organs add a dream like quality to their music. Some times unsettling but altogether original and fucking superb.This album is receiving a whole lot of praise all over the place. And rightly it should. As it's Orcus Chylde's callling card to the world of Hard Rock/Doom Metal that a truly important band has arrived on the scene. And that they are here to stay for a long, long time.Long May It Continue. An outstanding album by a great band from our German Brothers.If you want a truly operatic theatrical doom rock/metal album full of original ideas and riffs then I recommend you check this excellent band now. You would be mad to miss out this excellent album." - The Sludgelord Blog
    $15.00
  • "The debut recording from the Dixie Dregs (The Great Spectacular is considered a demo) stands as one fusion's high-water marks. This music is wholly original and played with a freshness and vigor that had begun to wane in a genre that was becoming a model in self-parody. The influences here are plentiful, but it is the country roots that provide the music with its vitality. Founder/guitarist Steve Morse proved to be an important new guitarist, offering an inimitable style with the technique the music demands. The music is complex and challenging, but that's easy to overlook due to the band's sunny approach. While they would go on to create more fully realized recordings, this one proved that fusion had a soul." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hardly be called fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.White hot set from this quartet led by flautist/saxophonist Kenji Mori.  Kazumi Watanabe stars on guitar, and the rhythm section consists of Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and Steve Jackson on drums.  The album consists of 3 blazing tracks including the sidelong, two part "Firebird".  Mori and Watanabe trade furious solos back and forth.  While firmly entrenched in jazz, this set takes on a rock energy level.  When you see the cover of "A Time For Us" (Theme from "Romeo And Juliet") you might wince, but it turns out to be a killer interpretation with gorgeous flute/guitar interplay.  A total smoker of an album - one of my favorites from Three Blind Mice.  Highly recommended.
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  • "A tremendously popular act at home in the UK, their last album, Sensible Shoes (their first with Cuneiform) was a 2009 'Album of the Year' winner with the prestigious Mercury Prize. Led Bib regularly play large-scale festivals and concert halls in the UK as well as festivals and shows elsewhere in Europe. So, in the wake of the huge press attention lavished on them due to the Mercury, and having appeared on UK's Channel 4 News, performing their version of the theme music to literally millions in front of the telly, did the mighty Bib decide to tone it down? Turn it back a notch? Definitely not. If anything, Bring Your Own contains some of their hardest rocking material to date, mixing the full throated cry of the dual saxes over loudly amplified Fender Rhodes and heavy bass and drums. Those familiar with the Led Bib sound will recognize the trademark hooky melodies and idiosyncratic improvisation on this album. The raw energy and style remains, but it has never sounded so confident or accomplished, so genre-crossing and definition-defying. Here eastern melodies tumble into rock and roll grooves, there jazz phrases open up pastoral overtures, and elsewhere crescendos rise and disappear into whirring kraut-rock wormholes. I don't want to play up the association too much because Led Bib absolutely have their own sound, but their alto sax/Fender Rhodes/bass/drums sound will bring to mind the classic Soft Machine sound updated 40 years and with a big dollop of punk/jazz. The group has been playing together for over 7 years – and it shows. There’s an electricity here, a ‘group mind’ built out of a confidence in each of the member’s playing that means risks can be taken and their unique sound world cracked open and reassembled time and time again. The band has come a long way from their humble beginnings as Holub’s college music project! Led Bib were formed in 2003 and have had the same formation since their beginnings; Mark Holub, drums; Liran Donin, bass; Toby McLaren, Rhodes and Chris Williams and Pete Grogan, alto sax. "
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  • "Henry Fool's Men Singing is an ambitious four track instrumental album featuring members of No-Man, I Monster and Roxy Music. Equal parts dynamic drums, spiky guitars and atmospheric washes of fluttering flutes and vintage keyboards, the album was produced and arranged by Stephen Bennett (keyboards) and Tim Bowness (guitar), and mixed by Jarrod Gosling (I Monster/Regal Worm), who also contributes Mellotron, glockenspiel and artwork. Appearing on two of the four tracks, Phil Manzanera's legendary guitar skills can be heard in the context of long-form instrumental music for the first time since his celebrated stint in 1970s mavericks Quiet Sun. Other contributions come from Peter Chilvers (bass), Michael Bearpark (guitar), Andrew Booker (drums), Myke Clifford (sax/flute) and violinist Steve Bingham. A vibrant and instinctive contemporary take on Progressive, Psychedelic and Jazz Rock styles, Men Singing is available as a limited edition cd in vinyl replica artwork. Mastered by Pink Floyd sound engineer, Andy Jackson."
    $15.00
  • "The second installment of our 20th Anniversary celebration, "Off the Floor 02" continues with more live-in-the-studio performances of staples from our live sets. Taken from the same sessions as "Off the Floor (01)," the track list draws from each of our five studio albums and includes a healthy dose of improvisation, a bit of re-imagining and even a little new music in the form of a bass & drums interlude.We won't repeat the "Brief History of Tiles" from the OtF (01) liner notes, but will take a moment to revisit the basic 'off the floor' concept. After much discussion about our "platinum" milestone (unfortunely not for sales!), we decided to do a live album using the somewhat non-traditional approach of recording live in the studio. This is actually what the phrase 'off the floor' means in recording lingo: to record a song as a complete performance without adding more parts (overdubs) later. We recruited a few friends to be our audience – for inspiration and to keep us on our toes.Having the controlled environment of a private 'soundstage' allowed us to focus on the music. We didn't have to haul a bunch of equipment into a club and deal with recording technicalities, show promotion and other business distractions. Although we were in a studio, "OtF 02" is still "live" – complete with the occasional less-than-perfect note and other minor imperfection. We did, however, take advantage of the relaxed setting and usually played each song twice, picking the best version for the CD. Occasionally we didn't need a second take, but a couple of times we needed a third take ("Patterns" oddly enough!).To offer a little something different, "OtF (01)" had a couple special guests plus an expanded arrangement of 'The Wading Pool.' For "Off the Floor 02" we dug into our archives and dusted off a few tunes from our appearance at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival (ROSfest). We had recorded our entire 2-hour set, but filed the hard drive away with little thought it would see the light of day. Technical problems had dogged us the moment we hit the stage and left us feeling unsatisfied with our performance. Sampler and keyboard sounds would mysteriously reset and the bass amp would cut in and out. Figuring out why these intermittant problems were happening was made even more challenging by Jeff's state of exhaustion; even though it was a good kind of exhaustion caused by the birth of his daughter just four days before the show. Since the problems were on his side of the stage he had to play detective and keep up with the songs! Eventually, the issue was discovered and duct tape strategically applied to a loose electrical wall outlet – which worked just fine unless someone happened to use the side-stage walkway.Although tempted by the 12-minute "venting" version of "Capture the Flag," we didn't want to repeat any songs already included on either Off the Floor disc. Fortunately, "Facing Failure," "Ballad of the Sacred Cows," "Paintings" and "Window Dressing" were in all-around good shape. We only needed to drop in a couple missing samples and a keyboard part. By including selections from ROSfest as part of the Off the Floor project we get to acknowledge Pat Deleon, our drummer from 1997 to 2005, and present a complete live history of Tiles." - Chris Herin/TilesDisc One: Off the Floor 021. Patterns (4.38)2. Hide & Seek (8.09)3. Taking Control (5.14)4. Remember To Forget (5.00)5. Analysis Paralysis (5.18)6. Cactus Valley (7.01)7. Sacred & Mundane (6.30)8. Dancing Dogs (5.45)9. Safe Procedures (7.31)10. Another's Hand (6.26)Mark Evans: Drums & PercussionChris Herin: Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPaul Rarick: Lead VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsDisc Two: Live at the 2005 Rites of Spring Festival1. Intro/Facing Failure (6.48)2. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7.24)3. Paintings (5.04)4. Window Dressing (17.03)Paul Rarick: Lead VocalsChris Herin: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsJeff Whittle: Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing VocalsPat DeLeon: Drums, PercussionBonus Videos (from the Off the Floor sessions):1. Landscrape (4.27)2. Remember To Forget (5.00)
    $15.00
  • Love the Mellotron?  Well have we got an album for you...Many years ago we reissued the 1971 release from this British progressive band.  Originally released on the RCA Neon label it achieved mythic status because there were 3 Mellotron players listed (turned out to be one Mellotron and a few of the band members played it).  Prices for original albums soared into the stratosphere.  We set out on our quest to bring Spring into the digital age.  As it turned out it was actually quite easy and we had the full participation of the lead singer Pat Moran.  For many years it was one of our most succesful releases but ultimately went out of print.  Since then it has reappeared on various labels - all using our CD as their source materials.Now we have a new visitiation by Esoteric Recordings who have not only gone back to the original source tapes but have successfully done what we were unable to - they have uncovered the tapes for the unreleased second album.The second album featured a slightly different lineup.  The Mellotron was gone and largely subplanted with organ.  Even still it was obviously Spring through and through.  So you now have the complete works of Spring: the first album, three non-lp tracks, plus a complete second album.  Of course expect the usual great booklet filled with all kinds of unknown facts culled from the late Pat Moran's diaries.Highest recommendation.  BUY OR DIE! 
    $15.00
  • Here's a band that has the potential to blow up big.  Purson is the latest signing to Rise Above Records. Lee Dorrian has a real affinity for sniffing out bands that fit the retro-British sound.  Purson is led by vocalist/guitarist Rosie Cunningham.  This quintet is obsessed with a pure early 70s sound.  Think of a mash up of Black Sabbath, Trees, Julian's Treatment and King Crimson.  Keys are dominated by organ and Mellotron with dual guitar leads.  Pastoral folky passages marry doom laden riffs all whipped together with a Abominable Doctor Phibes feel.  If Hammer ran a recording studio in 1972 it would sound something like this.  Highly recommended."Straight out the gate, UK doom rock newcomers Purson’s debut album achieves something awfully impressive: its own sound. ‘The Circle and the Blur Door" dabbles in the same oh-so-au courant 1970s hard rock circles as Ghost and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, but the similarities end there, as the band takes an unexpected turn towards 60s pop, loopy prog, and vintage horror. A jaunty, carnivalesque organ guides “Well Spoiled Machine”, as Rosie Cunningham’s throaty, knowing voice glides through a thicket of fuzzy riffs, fiery leads, and jumpy drum fills. It’s an eerie, toothsome morsel, and one of a strange album’s strangest moments. Overall, the band’s whimsical, folk-influenced approach is very English (think dark country roads and haunted manors), and not a without a slight undercurrent of menace." - Pitchfork 
    $13.00
  • "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