Notes From The Past

SKU: IOMCD097
Label:
Inside Out Music
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Wonderful new reunion album from Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt that recaptures the flavor of their first 3 albums from the mid-70s. If you first instinct is to ask yourself what the difference is between this release and a Flower Kings disc you should know that all the material was written by Hans Lundin. Roine is the guitarist but it's pretty much Lundin's show here. Drums are handled by Morgan Agren (ex-Zappa) and Jonas Reingold of Flower Kings plays all basses. This is pure Kaipa in execution - loads of Mellotron, organ and analog synth sounds. 79 minutes of prime epic prog.

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  • Second album from this incredible fusion trio from North Carolina will blow your skull off.  Trioscapes consists of Between The Buried And Me bassist Dan Briggs and Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute), and Matt Lynch (drums).  Don't let the absence of keys or guitar throw you.  This is mild altering, high energy fusion. You get the chops from hell, tripped out soundscapes, and head throttling melodies.  And that's just the first tune!!!  Utterly lethal.  BUY OR DIE!!"Much of what can conceivable be written of Trioscapes‘ most recent album Digital Dream Sequence is exactly what could be written about their previous offering Separate Realities.Musicians, jazz musicians particularly, may spit their coffee all over their keyboards on reading that, apopleptic and petulant – pointing out that where the previous album was underpinned by Ionic mode progressions, that this one is rooted in the Chromatic (or somesuch muso guff). Suffice to say that, as with Separate Realities, Digital Dream Sequence does not cling to homely pentatonic melodies or major chord, 4/4 song structures.It is a surprising and joyful departure from the predictable, which would be easy to describe as mind-expanding if it did not so closely follow its predecessor in structure and feel.As it is, there are a few physical embellishments to the formula worth noting, but not many. Keyboard fills (or what sounds like keyboards – what Dan Briggs can do with a bass guitar and effects pedals can be confusing at times) bring an extra accent to the pieces, as well as atmospheric depth on, say, the opening sequence of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. On that track, the use of keyboard wash with a glockenspiel voice is foregrounded in something that tips a hat to Pink Floyd’s exploration of moon themes, before it takes off into something more definitely Trioscapes in its saxophone/bass/percussion attack. The track goes on to finish with an outro that co-opts much of the main theme from Tubular Bells.Keys, elsewhere on Digital Dream Sequence, play a role more to do with sound dynamics than with song structure – they fill a gap in the lower mids that is left between Walter Fancourt’s flute and alto saxophone moments.To state outright that this album sounds like Separate Realities is misleading though – there is much in the way of progression to note, and a gelling of roles between band members who have, onstage and in the studio, found a way to fit their individual talents into a group dynamic. Although there were moments of more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts alchemy on the earlier album, they were rarer than they are on Digital Dream Sequence. The latter has more raw groove, embeds moments of individual technical dexterity into the compositions less abruptly, and overall displays a more comfortable fusion (arg – that word!) between the funk and metal aesthetics that comprise the Trioscapes recipe.Of that curious mix, the mention of both Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield above may offer some clue – there is a smattering of prog rock reference on Digital Dream Sequence (the intro to final track ‘The Jungle’ particularly) which opens a world of musical territory to the trio. Particularly the rhythms of Mali, which fascinated prog musicians for much of the 80s. Or perhaps that is too fanciful (jazz and funk have, historically, a more direct conduit to African rhythms than anything channeled through prog, after all).Nevertheless, that final track, once one has re-accustomed the ear to the Trioscapes tag-team approach to rhythm, tension and controlled saxophone madness, throbs with a primal, sweaty and utterly invigorating energy that transcends jazz, funk, metal or rock and is its own glorious creation.Which is something that never quite happened on Separate Realities (and bear in mind that Separate Realities was chosen by this reviewer as the album of 2012). This time Trioscapes have thrown off the anxiety of influence, have coalesced their individual contributions into a smoother whole, and have dug deeply to find an immense gravitronic groove.It’s a throbbing monster of an album." - Trebuchet Magazine
    $14.00
  • Early German prog band that shared a somewhat similar sound to their Bacillus labelmates Nektar. In fact Taff Freeman guests on Mellotron. If you like the first couple of Nektar albums you would totally dig this one.
    $16.00
  • Third album from this Swedish stoner rock band takes equal parts Mastodon, Pink Floyd, and Baroness and jumbles it together.  Toss in a touch of retro-folk in places (I guess that would make it unequal).  It can get a bit sludgy at times and then turns around and blasts off into space.  All I know is I want what they're smoking!"New Keepers Of The Water Towers are a Stoner Metal Band who have been going since 2006 and have a loyal following within the Stoner Metal scene. They have released two well-received albums – 2009’s Chronicles and 2011’s The Calydonian Hunt.Their blend of high voltage Stoner Metal riffs mixed with Fuzz and a slight hint of Sludge Rock made these hugely talented Swedes a band to look out for. Well things are about to change big time for the band thanks to their stunning new album – Cosmic Child.For the 3rd album – the band have went under a spacey transformation of sorts. Cosmic Child sees the band incorporating huge elements of Progressive Rock and Space Rock into their already set great sound.So if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and Mastodon then your surely going to dig this like I did. Cosmic Child is the band’s creative and most daring work to date. They are a band reborn. This is New Keepers Of The Water Towers like you have never heard before. The band has reflected this in the 47 minute running time. An almost epic length by their standards.First track – The Great Leveller – is the perfect 6-minute introduction to show you the bands new sound and outlook on all things Stoner Metal. Blending Progressive Rock riffs with Space Rock shows you this band have taken a more direct Sci-Fi vibe to their music. What else would you expect with the excellent album cover and cool title?Imagine if NASA wanted the world’s finest Stoner Metal bands to record an album about Space Exploration then The Cosmic Child would be that awesome result. New Keepers have created an astonishing album that will take you to different galaxies and dimensions without ever leaving the comforts of your own home.2nd track – Visions Of Death – might start as a cheerful Space Rock opera but listen to the lyrics and you find something dark and mysterious lurking in the background. Before the album takes you off for an epic journey into the cosmos. 9 mins on show here feel like light-years instead of mins. However, you will not know the difference as you will be enjoying the ride too much. Just more action-packed riffs to show you that New Keepers Of The Water Towers have evolved as musicians and writers since their last release. Wait until the 5:30 minute mark before an amazing Space infused Stoner Rock riff comes out of nowhere.3rd Track – Pyre For The Red Sage – is another magical epic journey through Time and Space. Well 12 minute to be precise but you get another outstanding track, which takes time building the listeners emotions before letting rip with more top-notch Space Rock riffs. Throw in great vocals and lyrics and this album is now firmly in the realm of brilliance. This is a love letter to Pink Floyd as it contains some highly recognisable rock passages that legendary band were known for.I had the feeling when listening to the album that the band had been reading or watching 2001 – A Space Odyssey or other philosophical sci-fi classics as some of their ideas on the album might actually need a degree of some sort to fully understand. However, the riffs contained on the album will keep fans happy for many years to come.The last 3 songs follow the same path as the first 3 songs. More epic progressive space rock riffs blended with sublime Stoner Metal riffs. 18 more mins to keep you transfixed from start to finish.Best track of the remaining 3 is the 12:32 minute instrumental epic – Lapse – which showcases some of the bands finest instrumental work to date. Ambient noises have been beautifully added to create a world that is unnerving as it is exciting. Damn – this track is a work of art at times. Moods and atmospheres collide with intent and purpose. Just close your eyes and let the riffs take you on another great journey into the vastness of space.All in all – The Cosmic Child – is a wonderful album for everyone to experience. It has soul and heart like you would never imagine. It’s expertly produced and played by all involved.The Cosmic Child is going to launch New Keepers Of The Water Tower onto another level within the Stoner Metal scene.Excellent and Highly Recommended." - The Sludgelord Blogspot
    $14.00
  • "Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a newly re-mastered and expanded edition of the classic 1975 self-titled album by KESTREL. Hailing from Newcastle, the band featured Tom Knowles (lead vocals), Dave Black (guitar, vocals), John Cook (keyboards, mellotron), Fenwick Moir (bass) and Dave Whitaker (drums), who had previously been with Newcastle trio GINHOUSE.Signing to Cube Records in 1974, Kestrel recorded their sole eponymously titled album in 1975, with the majority of the compositions written by Dave Black. A fine example of melodic Progressive Rock, the album featured some outstanding tracks, including the gorgeous "The Acrobat” and the stunning epic "August Carol”. Inexplicably the album failed to sell in significant quantities and within a short time Kestrel dis-banded, leaving just one album and a single as their recorded legacy.Four decades later, "Kestrel” is now rightly regarded as a true over-looked classic of the Progressive Rock era, with original vinyl copies being impossibly rare and changing hands for huge sums, particularly in Japan.Newly re-mastered from the original tapes, this reissue of "Kestrel” has been expanded to include six bonus tracks, with four of them previously unreleased in the UK, and also includes a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay.""Obviously, prog does come in all shapes and sizes. There are the pompous ones, the low-key, the larger-than-life ones and the small, the complex and those easily likeable. Everything in between and all things put together makes up the world of prog. Sometimes prog can be sort of poppy aswell. Nothing wrong with that. It can be very enjoyable. I would like to put forth a likeness and draw inspiration from the pub. After several sturdy Guinesses (think of Magma or some other complex band as Guiness) the pallet craves something refreshing, like a cool lemonade or just a sip of water. In this case the lemonade is Kestrel. Light, refreshing yet with a bite to it.Kestrel is one of those obscure bands that did not make it. Not because they were bad, as often the case with some obscurities, but maybe because they simply fell through the net and escaped the record buyer's hands. Who knows? The fact, however, is that the sole album by Kestrel is a very enjobale mixture of pop and prog, sort of a Supertramp meets Chicago and has a child by Genesis and nursed by Nektar added. If that is not all I'd say that Chris Squire babysat at times, considering the sound of the rumbling bass. Or something like that. It holds enough keyboards to make me happy and that says something.The tracks varies in length, the longest being 7.31 minutes, the shortest 4.09. I like all of the songs but "Wind cloud" with it's beautiful and dreamy web is fantastic. So are "Last requests", the epic "In the war" or (the more accessible) Gentle Giant-ish "August carol". All of the tracks are very well produced, performed and thought through. Nothing is left to chance.I think prog is the greatest genre due to it's variety and width. The severely complex at the one end and the very accessible and poppy at the other. All that gives me as a listener the chance to really ease my muscial hunger. If you are looking for something british, something complex yet accessible I would recommend this little overlooked gem. I would not call it a masterpiece but it is a fantastic album, full of ideas and enthusiasm which I really enjoy listening to. Well worth checking out." - ProgArchives
    $15.00
  • Gentle Knife is a new band from Norway that will definitely bring a wide grin to the face of any prog fan.  This is a huge 10 piece ensemble that features both male and female lead vocals, tons of keys (yup - you get your Mellotron right here), reeds, guitar, bass and drums.  Male vocals seem to predominate but even still I'm reminded quite a bit of White Willow's debut Ignis Fatuus - even more so when the female singer comes on board.  There is a dark and mystical quality to the music.  Not surprising - I did say they are Norwegian.  When the instrumental jams kick in there are jazz overtones blending with Crimsonoid evil.  This just arrived at Casa Laser's Edge so it needs more plays to really sink in.  The first few times through the album I'm liking what I'm hearing...a lot!  Highly recommended."Gentle Knife is a Norwegian progressive rock band counting 10 members. With both male and female vocals, guitars, synths, mellotron, woodwinds and everything else you would or would not expect, the band combines the mood of the ‘70s with a modern take on the genre. The band has a clear visual identity based in the artworks of Brian Talgo. The band has a long time perspective.Gentle Knife’s eponymous debut recounts the tale of an ill-fated wanderer lost in the depths of a haunted forest. An 8-part suite rooted in the classic rock concept album. Recorded/premixedby Øyvind Engebretsen at Sound Lab Studioes, with final mix by Neil Kernon. Mastered by Morten Lund at Lunds Lyd."
    $14.00
  • "A brand new 2CD release by one of the most interesting German art/prog rock bands - Features a special show recorded earlier this year at Wyspianski Theater in Katowice, Poland, which was also the last complete performance of their most recent album Beyond Man and Time" in Europe - Thoughtful, abstract, and with a tint of the grotesque, the show testifies to RPWL's immense artistic prowess - Feat. A guest appearance by ex-Genesis singer Ray Wilson - Also includes: interview, the band’s commentary track and more!"
    $18.00
  • Roine Solt reconquers the symphonic rock world 20 years after Kaipa!
    $11.00
  • Third album from this fine Polish prog band finds them stepping up their game even further. Believe is led by former Collage/Satellite guitarist Mirek Gil. Those bands had a decidedly symphonic sound, but with Believe a more modern sound is achieved, moving the band more in the direction of bands like Riverside. One of the key elements of the band is the use of violin and flute, adding a classical dimension and a nice counterpoint to Gil's Gilmour-esque guitar lines. Oh yeah - there is a new vocalist in place. His name is Karol Wróblewski and he's great. His expressiveness reminds me a bit of Mariusz Duda. This is the limited edition digipak that comes with one bonus track. How limited? I don't know but experience with Metal Mind tells me that eventually it will be gone....
    $15.00
  • Third album from this Spanish power metal band. Solid if you cling to that overblown Rhapsody meets Symphony X style.
    $9.00
  • "Problems with the Mushroom label delayed the release of Magazine, which eventually went platinum and peaked at number 17 on the album charts. Only the hard-rocking "Heartless" made it into the Top 40, and the album didn't really live up to Heart's last few efforts. 1976's Dreamboat Annie showed stronger songwriting, while Little Queen had a lot more bite to it. Magazine lacks in energy and, to a much greater extent, fluency. The songs sound careless and scrambled together, and while some of the blame can be placed on the label controversy, it's apparent that the Wilsons seem unconcerned, for the most part. "Here Song," "Just the Wine," and the predictable "Without You" all have weak seams in both the writing and the articulateness of the tracks as a whole. 1978's Dog & Butterfly shows more interest and rock & roll vitality than its predecessor, making Magazine an album even the band likes to forget about." - All Music Guide
    $6.00
  • Sixth and easily best album from this long running UK based prog band. The core band is Andy Poole and Greg Spawton. The new vocalist is ex-Gifthorse member David Longdon who interestingly enough was one of the finalist as Phil Collins replacement in Genesis (Ray Wilson got the gig). He sounds remarkably like Collins. Lots of interesting hired guns on this disc: Nick D'Virgilio (Spocks Beard), Dave Gregory (XTC), Francis Dunnery (It Bites, Robert Plant), Jem Godfrey (Frost*). The album was mixed by Rob Aubrey who has worked with IQ, Transatlantic and Asia. If you dig Phil Collins era Genesis this album is going to send you into fits of ecstasy. This couldn't be characterized as anything but British progressive rock - they've got the sound nailed down pat. Grandiose neoprog with an obvious nod to Genesis and a real maturity about it. This is the good stuff. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Although Jeff Lynne found fame and fortune in the later years of ELO, it was the early albums that featured some great and innovative progressive rock. Originally conceived as an offshoot project of The Move, ELO featured Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne (of The Idle Race). The two had a falling out over the direction of the band and Wood split to form Wizzard. After the mixed bag that was ELO II, Lynne found firm footing with On The Third Day. It's a fantastic fusion of classical, pop, and prog. The Beatles are an obvious influence but it was ELO's use of cellos and violin within the context of rock music that made them stand out (OK - they were not the first to do this but they were the best). This is a remastered edition that features a number of bonus tracks including unreleased material. Perhaps I'm nostalgic about this album as it was part of my formative years of listening to progressive rock. File under highly recommended.
    $5.00
  • Argia is the third album from this female fronted band from the Basque region of Spain.  The band has been reconstituted with only founding members Zuberoa Aznárez and Gorka Elso returning.  There aren't a lot of "beauty and the beast" metal bands around any more with most of them either breaking up or moving on to all clean vocals.  DiM still do it and do it well.  This album sounds absolutely massive, reminding of the glory days of After Forever.  Monolithic keyboards, layers of choir-like vocals, and crushing riffs are the order of the day.  Occasionally a wicked keyboard solo will pop in for good measure.  Complementing the great vocals of Zuberoa are two guest appearances - Thomas Vickstrom (Therion) and Ailyn Gimenez (Sirenia).  If you like the style this one is highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • Let me preface my observations of the CTTE remix by saying that I don’t put these classic albums on a pedestal.  If they can be sonically improved while remaining faithful to the original mix and maintaining musicality and the emotional content then I’m all for it.  In general I liked what Steven Wilson did with the King Crimson catalog.  I was particularly impressed by his reconstruction and resurrection of Lizard.  When I heard he was tackling the Yes catalog I was hopeful because if there was ever a band that could use some sonic wizardry its Yes.  Eddy Offord was never able to bring the magic to their mixes that he was able to give to ELP.So how did Steven Wilson do with CTTE?  I can only use one word to describe the new mix: “transformative”.  CTTE was an album cobbled together from various bits and pieces.  Its widely acknowledged to be the band’s best album (its certainly my opinion) but in terms of sonics it fell victim to the “too many cooks” syndrome.  The original mix was a bit of a mess.  Its all changed now.The one thing that is immediately apparent is the foundation provided by Chris Squire’s bass.  It reaches the pits of hell and if Mr. Wilson is going to take this approach with TFTO and Relayer he’s got my vote.  In general there is a veil of schmutz that has been wiped away.  All the instruments have more clarity and focus in the soundstage.  “I Get Up I Get Down” was chilling.  I found the soundstage consistently extended beyond the boundaries of my speakers.  The mix is warm, involving and there is a balance among the instruments that I found lacking in the original mix - primarily because of Squire’s bass being given a shot of adrenaline.  Jaw dropping stuff.  The bonus track of “America” had exceptional, dare I say audiophile sound.So the obvious question is - what sounds better - this mix or the SACD?  I dunno.  I can’t find my bloody SACD to compare…but here is my memory of the SACD.  When I got it I played it through.  It didn’t overwhelm me or disappoint me.  My thought was “its fine...it is what it is - this is the best it will ever sound in the digital domain”.  I was wrong.  BUY OR DIE!  FORMAT: 1 x CD/1 x Blu-RayCD:1  Close to the Edge2  And You And I3  Siberian KhatruBonus Tracks:4  America5  Close to the EdgeBlu-Ray: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)– America original, new & instrumental stereo mixes & 5.1 Surround + further audio extras some exclusive to Blu-Ray edition• Close to the Edge is the first in a series of remixed & expanded Yes Classics• The classic album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) & is fully approved by Yes.• CD features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson• CD also features a new mix of America• CD also features an early mix/assembly of Close to the Edge• Blu-Ray features 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24bit/96khz) mixed from the original multi-channel recordings.• Blu-Ray features the new stereo album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also features the original album mix & America in a DTS-HD Master Audio flat transfers from the original master tape source. (24bit/192khz)• Blu-Ray exclusively features instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).• Blu-Ray also exclusively features a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.• Numerous audio extras appear in high-resolution stereo including single edits & studio run throughs of album tracks• Original artwork by Roger Dean who has also overseen the artwork for this new edition• Presented as a mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve with booklet containing new sleeve notes, rare photos & archive material.“Close to the Edge” is the first in a series of expanded Yes editions including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes & High-Resolution stereo mixes of the original music along with a wealth of extra material. Acclaimed musician/producer Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band, while Roger Dean reprises his role as art director/designer of the newly issued edition, making this the definitive edition of the album.When Yes entered the studio with Eddie Offord to record the band’s fifth studio album in mid-1972, their second with this line-up, the band was on something of a roll. “Fragile”, the band’s previous album, had taken Yes to a new level of international popularity with Top Ten chart placement on both sides of the Atlantic & yielding a hit single in the USA with ‘Roundabout’. The band was now established in the major music markets to an extent that was, perhaps, unexpected given the complexity of the music Yes performed. But with that popularity came a confidence that the expansive material of the two previous albums could be taken a stage further with the new recording. Rather than consolidating, Yes chose to innovate.Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, “Close to the Edge” is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities. The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of  4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades. The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release, with the 2013 Yes line-up currently in the middle of a world tour stretching into the middle of next year that sees the album performed in its entirety.The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.Since this release of “Close to the Edge” was confirmed, the various websites dedicated to Yes, Progressive rock & high-resolution audio have been very active with discussions among fans keen to hear the new mixes & the existing material in its purest audio presentation. 
    $21.00