I probably should have my Progarchy.com credentials revoked as I not only missed the Stick Men’s concert here in Eugene, Oregon, last Friday, I wasn’t even aware of it until Saturday (which explains why I missed it, but…). Anyhow, the band, which consists of prog giants Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto, along with another virtuoso, Markus Reuter, have produced some really inventive, complex, and accessible music in their most recent album “Prog Noir”, which Levin reflected upon in an interview with The Register-Guard:
Anathema, elo, ELP, Frost*, Galahad, Glass Hammer, Insideout Music, IZZ, Jason Rubenstein, Jethro Tull, Kscope, Neal Morse Band, Radiant Records, Sam Healy, SAND, Space Cossacks, The Fierce and the Dead, The Gift
Our first show since Halloween! Lots of great music on this one. Four thirty-minute sets with only minimal talking on my part. A restrained DJ am I! Promise.
- The Fierce and the Dead, Parts I-III
Konstant Singularity’s second studio album “Randomnicity” was released in December 2016, and being a) a late release of the year, and b) an album from an unknown artist are two things that will do a total injustice to this record. Konstant Singularity is a brainchild of a multi-instrumentalist, but mostly guitarist, Konstantin Ilin, a musician from Saint Petersburg in Russia, who currently lives and works in Dublin. “Randomnicity” brings eleven songs of quality instrumental fusion /progressive rock. Producing complex material with such a sophisticated execution is what makes Konstantin’s work on the album amazing.
Progarchy talked with Konstantin, and here is what he had to tell us about his work.
Hey Konstantin. How are you doing?
Brilliant! Thank you. It is a great feeling after the release. Relief and accomplishment. I can relax, take a sort-of deep breath and choose what I will do next. It is also very pleasant state – ‘before you start something new’. An anticipation of an interesting project coming up.
When the Polish band newspaperflyhunting released Iceberg Soul in 2014, to my ears it was a shot across the bow of prog, which maybe needed a little hard striving to bust out of the templates. The album was an original in a widening landscape littered with knockoffs, so while their sound skimmed Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground, Mazzy Star and modern metal, their song structures, melodies, and presentation were a strong reminder of prog’s roots: a playground for the far out and unexpected, combining psychedelia, improvisation, and musics new and old, with a focus on riffs and the straight-up sonic power of rock’s stomp. This was not a music to be sequestered unto itself, and reminds me how the Soft Machine cut their teeth opening for Jimi Hendrix, and Yes was as likely to be paired with Iron Butterfly, or Rush with ZZ Top, as with strictly like-minded souls.
“Through the Lurking Glass” is representative of the rest of Iceberg Soul, which is unfussy and melodically rich, a dark stage lit by accents like Fender Rhodes piano and an innocent, plaintive vocal approach which is improved by its Polish tilt. It’s an utterly unique record. Along with the work of Gazpacho, newspaperflyhunting is the best argument I can find for the continuing vitality of progressive rock.
soundstreamsunday presents one song or live set by an artist each week, and in theory wants to be an infinite linear mix tape where the songs relate and progress as a whole. For the complete playlist, go here: soundstreamsunday archive and playlist, or check related articles by clicking on”soundstreamsunday” in the tags section above.