Two from the Elephant

Bad Elephant Music are picking up where they left off last year, releasing amazing music from a diverse range of artists, and with new releases coming from bands like Syncage, The Fierce and the Dead and Schnauser their schedule looks really exciting for the rest of the year. Here I have a look at two wonderfully off beat and eclectic albums that recently arrived from Elephant HQ

topessphere

Topes Sphere 2 by Orange Clocks

Bad Elephant Music BEM039

https://orangeclocks.bandcamp.com/

  1. Tope’s Sphere Intro (Original Recording) 00:342.
  2. Just Kickin’ Back 02:01
  3. Fun In The Stars 01:00
  4. 4.SOS 01:30
  5. Unknown Planet 00:55
  6.  Ambush 01:53
  7.  Sphere Malfunction 00:53
  8.  Trouble With Chode 02:12
  9. Tope’s Hope 00:30
  10.  Darkside 03:03
  11.  Magical Fields 03:45
  12.  Cogs, Brackets and Chains 00:42
  13.  Big Track 02:49
  14.  A Father’s Return 00:59
  15.  Stromp’s Stomp 00:50
  16.  Chode’s Down 00:43
  17.  March of the Psilicybins 01:37
  18.  Out of the Aether 01:05
  19.  Utopean Dream 00:55
  20.  Theme from Tope’s Sphere 02:28

running time 30:33

Is Rushdenbeat now a thing?

Continue reading “Two from the Elephant”

Harken to the Night Siren

hackett1

Steve Hackett The Night Siren

 

Now I’ll be honest the latest Steve Hackett album I have heard is 1994’s Blues With a Feeling, which is not your typical Hackett record, and whilst I have the premonitions set, with the lush 5.1 remastering of his early solo works, despite having heard him guest on other albums, and seen him live several times, cost and life getting in the way have stopped me getting some of his more contemporary work.

Still, he is the only former member of Genesis who is putting out new material on a regular basis, advancing and expanding his sound, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarist in prog, and this album, as it should be is a mighty impressive contemporary prog record.

Continue reading “Harken to the Night Siren”

Let me bring you strings from the crypt

JT1

Jethro Tull: The String Quartets

 

No stranger to classical arrangements and the fuller sound that an orchestra or string quartet can bring to his music, former Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson and long term collaborator John O’Hara having seen the Carducci Quartet decided to get together with them and rearrange a selection of classic Tull songs for string quartet, with Ian Andersons instantly recognisable flute weaving through some of the tracks, and John O’Hara playing piano on a couple of them, Ian even adds his distinctive vocals to a few of the tracks as well.

JT2With the striking artwork this splendid addition to the canon is released on 24th March.

Some of you out there might think that releasing an album of old material slightly rearranged is a holding exercise (or a cynical exploitation exercise), after all Ian’s last album Homo Erraticus was released in 2014, and whilst he’s taken his Ian Anderson/ Jethro Tull live show on the road, there’s been no new material since then.

Continue reading “Let me bring you strings from the crypt”

Vangelis Delectus

Delectus: A book of passages from Greek or Latin authors used for study.

When you hear the name Vangelis, depending on your age and musical affinity, you think of different things.

You think of the keyboard player of Aphrodite’s Child whose astonishing album 666 has to be heard to be believed, you think of the pioneer of electronic music whose albums were all groundbreaking in their own way, you think of the soundtrack king, in particular the unforgettable Chariots of Fire, or you think of the fact he was once invited to join Yes, and then produced three fantastic albums with Jon Anderson.

Continue reading “Vangelis Delectus”

Tim Bowness Lost in the Ghost Light

Years ago, when I was 16 I found an organization that helped with my curiosity about progressive rock, it was called the Classic Rock Society, they were based in Rotherham (a short bus ride away from the small village I lived in at the time) and they met on a Wednesday night in a pub. Beer and prog, all within a short distance from my front door, what was not to like?

One night at the pub talking about prog music in 1995 a friend lent me an album by a band I’d never heard of called No-Man, the album was Flowermouth, and it’s mix of shifting sounds and emotive vocals was my first introduction to the works of Mr Steven Wilson and Mr Tim Bowness, and I was hooked.

Luckily I got to see Porcupine Tree not so longer afterwards, but despite following No-Man and Tim Bowness solo work, it took me slightly longer (nearly 20 years in fact) to see Tim live, with Henry Fool at Eppyfest in 2014, followed quickly by seeing him at the Louisiana in Bristol in 2015.

Continue reading “Tim Bowness Lost in the Ghost Light”

Two more from the Elephant


Finally I have unpacked the trunk of album reviews that backed up last year, and this reviews catches up on two albums Bad Elephant released back in October last year, and which are worth having a listen to, before they unleash the new Tom Slatter album on the unsuspecting world.

bem035-album-cover

The Far Meadow: Given the Impossible

 

Formed back in 2014 this is the first album on Bad Elephant from London based 5 piece, The Far Meadow and was released back in October last year.

As is common with so many of the wonderful artists signed to Bad Elephant, the band defy categorisation, veering from traditional progressive sounds to folk and back with a dazzling array of performances and sounds that make this an excellent album to listen to.

Continue reading “Two more from the Elephant”

Patchwork Cacophony Five of Cups

patchwork-2

 

Patchwork Cacophony is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Ben Bell, (keyboard player with Fusion Orchestra 2, and now keyboard player with Gandalfs Fist) in fact it was Stefan Hepe (Fist drummer) who passed my details onto Ben who dropped a nice little note asking if I’d be kind enough to listen to this, his second ‘solo’ excursion under the Patchwork Cacophony name.

I duly downloaded the album, and was blown away by what I heard.

Bit of background first, Ben, as a multi-instrumental plays pretty much everything on here, apart from a couple of guest guitarists (more about them later) and in a small genre like ours, it’s easier for albums like this to slip out unnoticed and slowly build up their reputation by word of mouth, particularly if bigger bands have new releases out there.

Continue reading “Patchwork Cacophony Five of Cups”