Sun Square Dialect

Sun Square Dialect

BY Upsilon Acrux

(Customer Reviews)
$11.00
$ 6.60
SKU: NA-CD-019
Label:
New Atlantis
Category:
Avant Garde/RIO
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Upsilon Acrux is amazzzzzzzzing. --Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

"New Atlantis Records is thrilled to announce the release the seventh Lp from legendary avant-prog unit Upsilon Acrux, titled Sun Square Dialect! This band will pillage your stereo field, butting coruscating, contradictory lines of unequal measure against explosive percussion, compelling resolutions, and intricate melodies. Boasting a revamped lineup of dual drums, dual guitars, and Fender Rhodes, the group delivers a massively propulsive, wildly asymmetric takedown of conventional rock structure. Longtime fixtures of the Los Angeles experimental music community, their approach to instrumental rock is unique, stellar, and sweeping. These sounds are burning, stoked by angularity, mania, and profound mastery of the balance between beauty, tension and release."

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  • "Too many people mislabel “technical” or “math” for “progressive”. The vast majority of the bands in the djent movement are, at best, technical. The only prog-like changes in the music are from a riff to a breakdown. Elsewhere, some noodly math band is labeled “progressive” because the guitars make pretty twinkle noises. That is hardly the stuff of prog legends. Enter The Omega Experiment, whose debut helps re-define a genre that really needs clarification.I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, as The Omega Experiment is no classic. These Michigan natives have the story of a djent group, but the sound of a bygone era. The group consists of multi-instrumentalist Dan Wieten and keyboardist Ryan Aldridge. The group is, in essence, a bedroom project, one of the many disciples of the prophet Misha Mansoor. Yet, The Omega Experiment treks down a different sonic road than Periphery.While the latter worshiped at the altar of Meshuggah, these gentlemen prefer to take heed from the success of Rush, Dream Theater, and most evidently, Devin Townsend. The band’s particular brand of progressive metal is light on the metal, favoring towering vocals to screamed sentiments. Also, half of the group is the keyboardist, so you bet your sweet ass that the keyboard plays a heavy role on the proceedings here. The blazing solos aren’t too shabby either.The album tells the story of Dan Wieten’s struggles over the past ten years and his search for a way out of his own mess. The music helps tell the story of transcendence; each melody seems to come from a place of light as Dan fights off his inner demons. Like any concept album, The Omega Experiment is best enjoyed in one sitting. Because of this, the album lacks absolute highlights and lowlights. If you are a fan of the throwback prog style, surely each new track will uncover something pleasing to your ears. The entire album is laden to the brim with vocal melodies, guitar pyrotechnics, and enough keyboards to please any Styx fan. The record is such a treat that the band even named its first track “Gift”.With an album like this, it’s not easy to point out complaints, but two become evident upon multiple listens. While the drum programming is certainly adequate, there is no substitute for live drums. For the most part, the kicks and snare sound good enough, but the programmed nature of the percussion occasionally irked me. The other complaint is really a matter of preference. The album’s standout track, “Furor”,  is also the only track where the band seems to really unleash the metal they're clearly holding in. I wish the band let loose a few more times throughout The Omega Experiment; however, too much gusto might detract from the sound the band has cultivated.Overall, The Omega Experiment has reminded this reviewer how progressive music can be when it’s actually progressive. If the mention of Devin Townsend or Rush makes you want to run to the hills, then The Omega Experiment will not change your viewpoint. However, if you’re looking for a sampling of a new crop of progressive metal acts, then take a careful listen to The Omega Experiment." - Decoy Music
    $15.00
  • Produced by Billy Cobham, Forest Of Feelings is the first solo album from David Sancious, originally released in 1975.  It was recorded after his exit from the E Street Band.  Its an incredible blend of prog rock and fusion.  Its a trio format with the rhythm section held down by his former bandmate Ernest "Mad Dog" Carter on drums and Gerald Carboy on bass.  As proficient as he is as a keyboardist, most people overlook his attributes as a guitarist.  The man can play!This was briefly available on CD in 1992, and if I recall the story correctly, was withdrawn for sale due to legal threats by Mr. Sancious.  Its always been a tough disc to find.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Brilliant second album from Mahavishnu Orchestra Mk II. Highly recommended.
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  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • "Skewered blasts of noisome, Red metal shatters through rough and tumble landscapes of shuddering percussion, ominous, gravelly basslines and wheezing synths. An all-instrumental bulldozer of an album..." – i/eHappy Family first appeared in the early 1990s as part of the explosion of exciting, underground bands that came roaring out of Japan at that time, such as Ruins, Bondage Fruit, Tipographica and Boredoms.An instrumental quartet of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, they released two albums of over-the-top, metal, King Crimson & Magma influenced avant-progressive rock for Cuneiform Records in 1995 (Happy Family) & 1997 (Toscco) and then fell silent...until now!Reforming with 3 of the 4 members of the group who appeared on Tossco:Kenichi Morimoto - keyboardsTakahiro Izutani - guitarKeiichi Nagasse - drumsand with new bassist Hidemi Ichikawa, 15 years later, they are back with a fantastic new release, Minimal Gods, and just as heavy and intense as they ever were and they still sound like no one else except Happy Family!
    $15.00
  • "To avoid any lingering confusion right from the outset,  you may already be aware of this band because AudioPlastik began life under a different name or names to be more precise. Both Alpha Flood and Brave New Sky were trialled before the trio settled on the name AudioPlastik. Whatever the name though, it’s a musical collaboration which will more than prick the ears of fans of progressive rock or metal music. The trio is fronted none other than Dec Burke, the vocalist for Darwin’s Radio and Frost* as well as being a well thought of solo artist in his own right. Dec also plays the guitar and is joined by the impressive duo of Simon Andersson (Darkwater, ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s keyboardist Richard West. Being a fan of all of the names mentioned in the preceding sentences, I have naturally been very excited to hear the final product ever since a debut album was announced to see the light of day early this year.The album is due out in the very near future and goes by the title of ‘In The Head Of A Maniac’. With a title like this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the content of this record might be a bizarre, challenging or even a wild schizophrenic beast. However, you’d be wrong, at least to a certain extent anyway. This is progressive music and as such, it does blend many ideas into its collective whole. But it is far from being impenetrable or a difficult listen.To be honest, the most difficult thing is to accurately describe the musical direction on ‘In The Head of a Maniac’. In itself it’s an absorbing listen full of wondrous aspects, one that is instantly likeable but ever more addictive as the number of spins increases. But to be more exact in order to offer a worthwhile review? Ok…If I was to try and sum this album up in a few words, I’d say it’s an absorbing blend of melodic progressive rock, metal and pop with rich cinematic overtones.Dealing with the latter aspect first, the cinematic, symphonic flavour can be heard right from the outset via the relatively brief instrumental opening. This is Richard West at his best, creating a piece of music which is subtly dramatic, emotive and pure film soundtrack fodder. In fact, much the same can be said of the even more dramatic ‘Traveller’ which is equally as enthralling and which could easily fit a suspense or action thriller.That said, West’s stamp is all over each of the thirteen compositions, bringing a rich elegance to proceedings just like he does with Threshold. Whether it’s via more subtle layers of atmospheric synths or more in-your-face modern-sounding embellishments, of which there are several (‘John Doe’) it always fits the song perfectly, providing a foundation of real depth and richness upon which all else is built.Next there’s the guitar playing of Burke and Andersson which is actually surprisingly heavy. Occasionally it is reminiscent in tone of numerous djent artists, particularly when the riffs chug in step with a rumbling bass (also courtesy of Andersson) and powerful drumming. ‘It Matters So Much’ illustrates this perfectly and is also a track that also greatly benefits from a rare and decadent lead guitar solo. This being prog, naturally many of the riffs play around with interesting, complicated tempos and time signatures but they are never complex for the sake of it and never detract from the essence of the songs. A prime example being ‘The Sound Of Isolation’ which contains a riff which befuddles my brain but which works in and around the simpler aspects of the song.One of the biggest strengths on this record however is its melodic sensibility. I mentioned earlier about the pop influences and its in the choruses that this is most noticeable. Just about every song has a hook or a melody that’s memorable. Some are immediate and others take a bit longer to work into the psyche. Regardless, they are there and many of them, alongside those modern programmed flourishes, lend the music that more mainstream feel. ‘Leave Me Here’ and the beautiful ‘Now’ for example, might not be out of place on mainstream popular radio. Elsewhere, ‘Bulletproof’ offers one of the most gorgeous choruses I’ve heard in recent times, ironic given that it’s also one of the heavier, busier tracks that packs a lot of light and shade as well as apparently disparate elements into its relatively short length. Oh and then there’s the stunning closer, ‘Distant Skies’ which pushes ‘Bulletproof’ very close, almost beating it depending on my mood when I listen.Then, to top things off, you’ve got the vocals of Burke. Those familiar with his other work with Frost* or Darwin’s Radio will know exactly what to expect and he doesn’t disappoint. Burke has a tone that’s very melodic and almost soothing but which also has a slightly rough, gritty edge to it that I really like. It means that the vocal delivery can fit both the softer, more introspective parts but which can also do justice to the heavier moments that require something a bit edgier vocally.As you can probably tell, I’m completely enamoured by this album. Almost imperceptibly, it has burrowed into my head and my heart and it refuses to let go. If your tastes dictate that you enjoy music that is rich and varied, deep and thoughtful, beautiful and genuinely unique, look no further than ‘In The Mind Of A Maniac’ by AudioPlastic. You won’t be disappointed." - Man Of Much Metal  
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  • A great archival score from this relatively new label out of Poland that is concentrating on Eastern European jazz and rock.  Previously unreleased live recording from 1975."SBB haven proven that there could be a world-class band in Poland. Sent on tour to Sweden in May 1975 to open for the second-rate British act Jack the Lad, SBB quickly stole the show and brought the house down. Contracted for the Roskilde Festival in 1978 as the first group from Poland ever. In their native country they were capable of playing as many as four concerts a day at one venue, and still all the tickets were sold out. They were big. Thanks to the previously unreleased live recording from 1975 we can prove it once again.The memorable performance at the „Jazz nad Odrą” festival in March 1975 was one of the very first to feature the band’s completely new setlist used (with a few alterations) during the next twelve months. The musicians performed the tracks from their second (not yet released) and third (not yet recorded) album, including the biggest hit up to date, „Z których krwi krew moja”. All the songs were merged in one long suite, incrusted with fierce and powerful improvisations. In 1976 the band began to expand the variety of instruments used and, as a result, never returned to the progressive (and aggressive!) formula so typical of 1975. Thanks to the Wrocław recording, however, we are lucky to experience once again the energy that radiated from the three extraordinary musicians.The material has been remastered from the original tapes in pristine quality."
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  • “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. 
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  • In 1994, The Laser's Edge had a short lived sister label called The Labyrinth.  Sailor Free was part of the roster and released a beautiful psychedelic hard rock album called The Fifth Door.  After that the band went silent.  19 years later, vocalist David Petrosino and guitarist Stefano "The Hook" Barelli have reactivated the band and it sounds as though nothing has changed.  Spiritual Revolution is a concept album influenced by J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Silmarillion".  Sailor Free's music has a hard rock feel but due to Barelli's wicked soloing there is a psychedelic energy imbued in the music.  Petrosino is simply a great singer.  In an obtuse way he reminds me of Jim Morrison.  He doesn't really sound like him but he channels a dark spiritual energy into every word he sings.  There are some nice keyboard embellisments along the way but really this is a guitar driven album.  Welcome back old friends.  You were missed!
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  • Esoteric Recordings is going to do an overhaul on the Rick Wakeman catalog.  They are kicking it off with a very good one.  Out There is a concept album and one of Rick's most overtly proggy albums (meaning its sounds like the good stuff from the 70s).  Its been out of print for years now (never understood why).  It features Damien Wilson on vocals which is a huge bonus.  This new edition features remastered sound and an illustrated booklet with essay.  Highly recommended.
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  • The Yes Album is the second in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.Presented in a mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve (with protective inner sleeves) with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.The CD features a new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson, the studio version of Clap and an extended version of A Venture.The blu-ray features:- 5.1 PCM Surround Sound and High Resolution Stereo mixes (24bit 96khz).- the original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source (24bit/192khz).- a complete alternate album running order drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix.- exclusive instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).- exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.The ultimate way to enjoy the album that helped establish Yes's reputation as a creative force to be reckoned with.CD - New Stereo Mixes:1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeAdditional Tracks:7. Clap (Studio Version)8. A Venture (Extended)Blu-Ray (Region 0, NTSC):Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio- Album mixed in 5.1 Surround- New Album mix- Original Album mix (flat transfer)- New Album mix (instrumental version)- Alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mixPlus further audio extras some exclusive to the Blu-Ray edition.NTSC, all regions, LPCM playable in all Blu-Ray players & Blu-Ray drivesBlu-Ray - Full Track Listing:New Stereo Mixes 24/96 MLP Lossless:1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeSurround Mixes (24/96 MLP Lossless):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeOriginal Stereo Mixes (Flat Transfer from original master 24/96 MLP Lossless):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeAdditional Material:The Alternate Album :1. Yours Is No Disgrace (Live, London 1971)2. Clap (Studio Version)3. Starship Trooper (single edit)Life seeker4. I've Seen All Good People (Live, London 1971)5. A Venture (extended mix)6. Perpetual Change (Live, New Haven 1971)Blu-Ray Exclusive:Single versions, edits & live:1. Your Move - single version, stereo2. Clap - single version, mono3. America - Live, London 19714. It's Love - Live, London 19715. Your Move - single version, monoNew Stereo Instrumental Mixes (24/96 LPCM):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual ChangeNeedle-drop (A1/B1 UK vinyl transfer 24/96 LPCM):Original stereo, archived master transfer (Flat Transfer 24/96 LPCM):1. Yours Is No Disgrace2. Clap3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People5. A Venture6. Perpetual Change 
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  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • Fourth album from this incendiary Swedish trio finds them hooking up with Landberk/Paatos/Dungen guitarist Reine Fiske and chaos ensues.This heavy organ dominated trio are modeled around Tony William's Lifetime but the prog rock influence of ELP is undeniable.  Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken really rips it up.  I found Fiske's playing complements the band well, adding another dimension to their sound.  This is music that is immersed in the 70s but it has extreme vitality and doesn't sound dated at all.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Debut release from this Australian quartet that is part of the Bird's Robe collective of artists/labels. Crushing progressive metal with a touch of djent/technicality. The band seems to draw from the atmospherics and world weariness of Tool but the heaviness of Meshuggah is definitely present. Vocals are pretty much all clean with the occasional coarseness. A conceptual album dealing with birth, I found this to be a very compelling listen. Highly recommended.
    $15.00