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SKU: ALTROCK009
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Altrock
Category:
Avant Garde/RIO
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What the bearded one sez:

"This is going to be one of the CDs of 2009 for me personally. This is the first full length by a great California sextet consisting of dual guitars, dual woodwinds, bass and drums with a small amount of vocals and some guests. It mixes comtemporary stylings (i.e. the guitars are often crunchy) with stop on a dime avant-progressive influences such as Picchio dal Pozzo, Miriodor, Blast, Henry Cow, Frank Zappa, etc. There's really not much more to say other than if Picchio and Miriodor really float your boat and you want to hear complex, modern rock music that touches on the influences I have mentioned but that already have their own sound. In addition to this, the booklet is really nicely designed and fairly bizarre and involved. Highly, highly recommended." - Steve Feigenbaum

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  • Hiromi Uehara is the petite Japanese pianest that has been shaking up the jazz world for a number of years. With each passing album she has added more electric instrumentation and the music has taken on some fusion overtones. Time Control is a new project that moves her even further into fusion realms. While she mainly concentrates on acoustic piano she does play some synths. Her rhythm section is electric bassist Tony Grey with Martin Valihora on drums. The real star is noted electric guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski. Fuze is probably most known for his use of fretless guitar (which appears here extensively) as well as fretted guitar. Hiromi gives him plenty of space to work his magic. There is lots of energy on this disc and the interplay between Hiromi and Fuze is dizzying - as they trade solos back and forth as well as play in unison. The juxtaposition between Fuze's distorted guitar versus Hiromi's fluid and clean acoustic piano is startling but it works...particularly when you hear them blazing away. Hopefully this is not a one off project and we'll hear more from this lineup. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Remaster of the band's third album comes with 5 bonus tracks. This one has some of their best toons...
    $5.00
  • "Four years after their first, the mighty band of Oakland, led by guitarist / vocalist Wally Scharold, presents its new production, with a renewed line-up that keeps faith with its distinctive style reaching a full maturity in avant-garde rock. The complexity of the melodic lines, broken and involving the whole ensemble (with a substantial role for the wind section), the incessant rhythm characterized by continuous changes of measure, the “dirty” vocals by Scharold alternating to that of saxophonist Jamison Smeltz, make this release a new milestone for lovers of RIO and the avantgarde."
    $18.00
  • Remastered edition of this classic progressive hard rock album from the British twin axe attack.  Comes with three bonus tracks.
    $5.00
  • Digital remaster of one of the greatest live progressive rock albums of all time. Stunning renditions of material culled from Inside through Ocean. The 21 minute version of "Atlantis' Agony at June 5- 8498, 13 P.M. Gregorian Earthtime" is worth the price of the disc alone. They all play their stones off particularly drummer Jurgen Rosenthal who in imbued with manical fury. I bow down in reverence...
    $15.00
  • "As band histories go, Skyharbor‘s is somewhat unique. Debut album Blinding White Noise was a bit of a (nevertheless beautiful) Frankenstein’s monster – bolted together gradually onto the skeleton of guitarist Keshav Dhar’s home studio demos. With members spread across three continents, live performances have been few and far between, limited to one-off festival appearances and just a couple of short tours – probably fewer than twenty shows in total. With the line-up solidified and a very successful crowdfunding campaign under their belts, Skyharbor have delivered their second album Guiding Lights.Right from the start it is clear that Guiding Lights is a more focused affair than its predecessor. Possibly with the benefit of having a better idea of what they are aiming for together as a band, it sounds much more cohesive and sure of its own identity.Guiding Lights is also slightly more restrained than Blinding White Noise. The guitars are more driven by texture than out-and-out riffing, and there are fewer djentisms. There’s also barely a vocal scream to be heard throughout its duration, which may be a disappointment to those for whom that kind of thing is important.Obviously, a significant chunk of the spotlight will fall on singer Dan Tompkins, especially because of his recent decision to re-join TesseracT – but Dan has used the time he spent apart from the band in which he really made his name to show how capable he is at managing multiple projects simultaneously. Since the summer of 2013 alone, as well as Skyharbor and TesseracT we’ve seen him record and perform with In Colour, White Moth Black Butterfly and Piano, not to mention a host of one-off guest appearances – yet it is clear that Guiding Lights received his undivided attention, and the result is potentially his most captivating performance to date. There is a shift in his approach in the direction of Maynard James Keenan, particularly in his phrasing, which both suits his voice and compliments the music.This is especially apparent on “Halogen“. Falling around halfway through the album, the song is very probably the best Skyharbor have written. A genuine masterpiece, with no fewer than three sections vying for the position of chorus. It is one of those rare tracks that practically demands skipping back for a second listen the moment it has finished. Glorious.Whilst there are some more uptempo passages, particularly in “New Devil“, the majority of the album is mid-paced. It carries a vibe that seems to draw inspiration from the likes of Tool, Karnivool and the dreamier parts of the Deftones‘ discography. Anup Sastry’s inspired drumming also has similar flavours to Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, which provides a subtle sense of urgency under Keshav and Devesh Dayal’s intertwining guitars.Guiding Lights feels particularly well-named. It shimmers, glistens and sparkles throughout its near 70 minute run-time with an uplifting feel that is frequently close to euphoric. But more than this, Guiding Lights is Skyharbor coming of age. Blinding White Noise showed what enormous potential this collection of musicians had together, and the album is all the stronger for having them all working together on the material from day one.Guiding Lights is an enthrallingly beautiful album that should help warm the hearts of progressive metal fans as the winter nights draw in. It would be easy to see Skyharbor as a kind of side-project supergroup, but that feels like it sells them short. We can only hope that with all the various commitments the members of Skyharbor have on their collective plates, they are able to carve out the time to keep the band as a going concern." - The Monolith
    $15.00
  • New BGO reissue combines both albums from this seminal UK prog band from the early 70s. "Lady Lake" is their real masterpiece.
    $20.00
  • "The brand new studio album by the legendary Van Der Graaf Generator. Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of the new Van Der Graaf Generator album, “A Grounding in Numbers”. The stunning new album is the band’s 12th studio record by the band and is their first since 2008. In April 2010 Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans met up for intensive tracking sessions in Cornwall, arranging, rehearsing and recording the album in a week. Some of the pieces were already fully-formed songs; others, even at this stage, remained more sketches than fully realised works. Over the next months the tracks were overdubbed, edited and adapted by the band in their own studios. By September the project was ready to be mixed. Legendary producer Hugh Padgham agreed to take on this part of the process - the first time anyone outside the band had been entrusted such responsibility. After three weeks in Hugh’s London studio, Sofasound (which shares its name with Peter’s original home set-up), “A Grounding in Numbers” was completed. With a fantastic clarity and depth of sound and a helter-skelter stretch of tunes, “A Grounding...” sees VdGG pushing ever further forward into the twenty first century. Clearly, they know they’re a group with a certain history - but they are also an emphatically modern one."
    $15.00
  • "November 2006 saw a highly successful UK tour by John Lees' Barclay James Harvest. Featuring founder BJH members John Lees & Woolly Wolstenholme, the tour featured some of the finest music from the BJH canon. Perennial classics such as "Mockingbird", "Poor Man's Moody Blues", "Child of the Universe" & "Hymn" were joined by definitive versions of "The Great 1974 Mining Disaster", "The Poet" / "After the Day" and "Poor Wages", none of which had been performed live for over 30 years. A film crew & mobile recording unit for a DVD & CD release captured the London concert on November 5th. Cited by John Lees as "The best live album I've ever made", "Legacy" is a superb audio document of a legendary band."Valhalla (Introduction) / For No One / Child Of The Universe / The Iron Maiden / The Great 1974 Mining Disaster / Poor Man's Moody Blues / Suicide? / Medicine Man / In Search of England / Poor Wages / Mocking Bird / The Poet / After The Day / Hymn
    $17.00
  • The band's third album finds them recording in London as they fell under the guidance of ELP's Manticore label. This is the original Italian language version of The World Became The World (there are some notable differences between the two versions besides the language). With better production this is considered by many to be the band's best effort.
    $15.00
  • "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
  • "The first Mahavishnu Orchestra's original very slim catalog was padded out somewhat by this live album (recorded in New York's Central Park) on which the five jazz/rock virtuosos can be heard stretching out at greater length than in the studio. There are only three selections on the disc, all of which were to have been on the group's then-unissued third album -- two of them, guitarist John McLaughlin's "Trilogy: Sunlit Path/La Merede la Mer" and keyboardist Jan Hammer's "Sister Andrea," are proportioned roughly as they were in their studio renditions, while the third, McLaughlin's "Dream," is stretched to nearly double its 11-minute studio length. Each develops organically through a number of sections, and there are fewer lockstep unison passages than on the earlier recordings. McLaughlin is as flashy and noisy as ever on double-necked electric guitar, and Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman are a match for him in the speed department, with drummer Billy Cobham displaying a compelling, raw power and dexterity to his work as well, especially on the CD edition, which also gives bassist Rich Laird a showcase for his slightly subtler work. Yet for all of the superb playing, one really doesn't hear much music on this album; electricity and competitive empathy are clearly not enough, particularly on the 21-minute "Dream," which left a lot of fans feeling let down at the end of its side-two-filling run on the LP. In the decades since this album was released, the studio versions of these three pieces, along with other tracks being worked up for their third album, have appeared as The Lost Trident Sessions -- dating from May and June of 1973 -- thus giving fans a means of comparing this repertory to what the band had worked out (or not worked out) in the studio; and Between Nothingness and Eternity has come up a bit in estimation as a result, benefiting as it does from the spontaneity and energy of a live performance, though even that can only carry this work so far -- beyond the personality conflicts that broke up the band, they seem to have been approaching, though not quite reaching, a musical dead end as well." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • The Laser’s Edge is pleased to announce a release campaign of the entire Freak Kitchen back catalog, beginning with 2009’s Land Of The Freaks. Although extremely popular around the world, access to Freak Kitchen’s music in North America has previously been limited to expensive imports through specialist dealers. Europe’s best kept musical secret is a secret no more! Freak Kitchen is a progressive power trio consisting of three renowned virtuoso musicians: Mattias “IA” Eklundh (guitar/vocals), Christer Ortefors (bass), and Bjorn Fryklund (drums). The band was formed by IA in 1992 and since then they have conquered audiences around the world with their high energy performances. The members of the band are road dogs, performing constantly as Freak Kitchen and individually as clinicians. Freak Kitchen’s music is an amalgam of styles – equal parts hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock blended together with a healthy dose of Zappa-esque humor. Land Of The Freaks finds the Indian influence of the Art Metal project crop up in a couple of tunes due to the participation of V. Selvaganesh and Neyveli S Radhakrishna. Strings also come into play at times just adding another dimension to the band's usual craziness. It goes without saying that you can expect stellar playing through out. Land Of The Freaks is cerebral guitar driven progressive music that is essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai.
    $14.00
  • This is the CD/Blu-Ray version of Steven Wilson's remix of the 1974 classic.  Track listing is as follows:CD - 2014 Steven Wilson Stereo Mix:1. Proclamation (6:48)2. So Sincere (3:52)3. Aspirations (4:41)4. Playing the Game (6:46)5. Cogs in Cogs (3:08)6. No God's a Man (4:28)7. The Face (4:12)8. Valedictory (3:21)Bonus Tracks:9. The Power And The Glory10. AspirationsBlu-Ray (NTSC, Region 0):Mixed by Steven WilsonAlbum with VideosAudio Formats:96/24 Stereo LPCMDTS 5.1 Master AudioProclamationSo SincereAspirationsPlaying the GameCogs in CogsNo God's a ManThe FaceValedictoryBonus Track:The Power and the GloryInstrumentals -Album with screen saverAudio Format:96/24 Stereo LPCMProclamationSo SincereAspirationsPlaying the GameCogs in CogsNo God's a ManThe FaceValedictoryBonus Tracks:The Power and the GloryAspirations (out-take)Extra:Original 1974 Studio MixTransferred Flat - 96/24 LPCMProclamationSo SincereAspirationsPlaying the GameCogs in CogsNo God's a ManThe FaceValedictory"The group's first U.S. release in two years featured ornate playing from Kerry Minnear on keyboards and Gary Green's loudest guitar work up to that time. The Power and the Glory is also a fairly dissonant album, yet it made the charts, albeit pretty low. There seems to be a unifying theme having to do with one's place in the social order, but it's very vague in contrast to Pink Floyd's re-creations of the post-'60s drug experience, Yes' sweeping album-length suites, and ELP's sci-fi epics. "No God's a Man" is an infinitely more challenging piece of music than anything on Jethro Tull's Aqualung, but that wasn't a commercial virtue; nor could the electric violin break on "The Face" or the rippling electric guitar passages throughout cover the effort involved in absorbing these songs. The Power and the Glory vaguely resembled Genesis' early art-rock albums, but without any presence as charismatic as Peter Gabriel. "Playing the Game" and "So Sincere" were the most accessible tracks and ended up as key parts of their concert set." - Allmusic
    $19.00