Looking East: Gazpacho’s Soviet Saga

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Gazpacho’s 10th Album, SOYUZ.

Gazpacho, SOYUZ (Kscope 2018).  Tracks: Soyuz One; Hypomania; Exit Suite; Emperor Bespoke; Sky Burial; Fleeting Things; Soyuz Out; and Rappaccini.

To be sure, every release from the Norwegian art rockers extraordinaire, Gazpacho, is not just another moment in a progger’s life, but an actual event—filled with meaning and significance, marked by the awareness and heighten-ness of all five senses.

For those of us in the United States, we wait that extra week for the package from Burning Shed to arrive. Then, we carefully remove the rectangular sticker from Kscope (this one, Kscope607) and, then, the cellophane.  I have the strange habit of collecting every one of these cellophane stickers, placing each within the front or back cover of whatever book I’m reading at the time.  Today, when the mail came, I was re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s Book of Lost Tales, Part I.  Hence, the Kscope607 sticker sits nicely behind the front cover.

Opening the booklet releases a smell every bit as satisfying as that of a brand new car.  It’s a bit sweet and a bit pulpy.  And, then, we dive into the pictures and, most importantly, the lyrics.

The only disappointing thing about a Gazpacho release is knowing that the next one is most likely at least two years out. Real art takes time, especially in the northern parts of the world.  I’ve now gone through this ritual exactly 13 times (counting studio, live, and re-releases) since I first purchased NIGHT in 2007.  It’s always healthy, and it’s always inspiring. As much a release as it is an inspiration.

Continue reading “Looking East: Gazpacho’s Soviet Saga”

New Gazpacho: SOYUZ

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Image taken from the Burning Shed website.

Great news today from Burning Shed.  The forthcoming album from Gazpacho: SOYUZ is now available for pre-order.

I didn’t realize this would be coming so soon.  I’m in the middle of a retrospective of all of Gazpacho’s albums.  This, of course, will be coming to a progarchy website near you.

For now, though, pre-order SOYUZ.

And, now, to wait patiently. . . .

 

The Traffic of Gazpacho

Dream Gerrard
1974.

Purely by chance (if such a thing as chance exists), Fidelia played Traffic’s “Dream Gerrard” from WHEN THE EAGLE FLIES, then Gazpacho’s “Vera” from LONDON.

From such “chances” emerge the stuff of dreams.

What hit me hard–in fact, for the first time–is how similar the style of the two bands is.

Separated by decades as well as countries of origin, Traffic’s epic “Dream Gerrard” blended stunningly into Gazpacho’s “Vera.”  Same style of bass, keyboard swells, and atmospherics.

Cool.

Stardust

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Unapologetic hippie prog!

The older I get, the more I love the past, even as I’m profoundly enjoying the present.  2017.  It has a nice sound.  2017.  Looking back over the years of which this current one is an important anniversary (ok, not the best writing in the world), I can’t help but think of several important years and albums that spring to mind immediately.

Continue reading “Stardust”

Progarchy Radio–Halloween 2016

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From 1985: Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s Party

An appropriately bizarre episode of progarchy radio–featuring only SPOOKY songs!  Featuring Oingo Boingo, Glass Hammer, Matt Stevens, Japan, Gazpacho, Black Vines, The Cure, Steve Rothery, Steve Hackett, U2, Rush, Steven Wilson, Spock’s Beard, Advent, Mazzy Star, Cosmograf, and Simple Minds.

Enjoy!

 

soundstreamsunday: “I’ve Been Walking (part 2)” by Gazpacho

gazpachodemonIn 2014, Gazpacho’s Demon  was to progressive rock what, in that same year, Hozier was to pop and Sturgill Simpson was to country — voices that raised the bar, made others take notice and take stock.  Demon was Gazpacho’s eighth album, and many would argue they’d been producing classic, 5-star records since 2007’s Night.  This is true, but the organic, earthy power in Demon marked a new high.  Possessed of one of the most articulate, disciplined songwriting teams I can think of, Gazpacho’s fantasies are psychological, unsettling, symbolic, while their musical fire is in the restraint of their performances and a deep melodic sensibility that is immediately recognizable.  There are no baroque runs here, or an interest in shredding.  Everything is in service to the song.  I never get the sense Gazpacho is attempting to make PROGRESSIVE ROCK; they’re just trying to create the coolest music they can think of, and to share it with sympathetic audiences, much as prog’s first generation did.  And so Demon for me reads more like a folk opera, like Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog or Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, and like those records too the production is simple, naturally spacious, working dynamics as if all the instruments were acoustic and the songs traditional, even when the electrically crashing guitar/organ power chords could be straight outta Deep Purple.  In “I’ve Been Walking (part 2)” the best of Gazpacho is on view: Jan Henrik Ohme’s voice floats as a second melodic center over Thomas Alexander Andersen’s piano, and as the first part of the song blossoms with the added rhythm and violin, the texture and mix of the instruments convey the message as much as the lyrics.  There is a reflective reprise of the first track of the album before a segue into one of the more beautifully heavy, baffling songs I’ve heard this side of Fragile-era Jon Anderson, building its arpeggios into mellotrons and a stormfront of guitars. And then it’s over, and even at 12-plus minutes, this song ends too soon.

Gazpacho website

soundstreamsunday playlist and archive

*Above image is a detail from the liner notes to Demon, designed by Antonio Seijas.