Progtoberfest: Day 2 Report

by Rick Krueger

The sun shone warmly again on the south side of Chicago as Progtoberfest III kicked off its second day.  Taking in the view as I exited the ‘L’, it was amusing and welcoming to see a familiar screaming face painted on the exterior of Reggie’s:

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Hoping to get Alphonso Johnson’s and Chester Thompson’s autographs in the VIP Lounge the night before, I’d struck up a delightful conversation with members of the North Carolina Genesis tribute band ABACAB.  In 2016, festival organizer Kevin Pollack had given them “homework” for this year: to play all of Genesis’ live album Seconds Out on the 40th anniversary of its release.  You could tell the band was nervous (they focus on 1980s Genesis to get bookings, so they had to learn half the album in the past year) but also absolutely thrilled to bring it to the Rock Club stage.  And on Saturday afternoon, they nailed it, to the joy of an enthusiastic, supportive crowd and rave reviews from other acts.  They’re already planning to return to Reggie’s in April as a headliner, and for Progtoberfest IV next October.  Check out why below:

Continue reading “Progtoberfest: Day 2 Report”

Support this fall’s Tangent/Karmakanic tour!

From Jonas Reingold via Facebook:

Hello everybody,

I´m very pleased to present the next Karmakanic/Tangent output. It will be a live CD from the upcoming European/US tour this fall. To be released Jan 2018.

So let me start bitching about this even before the tour has started and nothing is recorded yet. Why? That’s a valid question and I will try to answer it to the best of my knowledge.

WE NEED THE MONEY!!!! PERIOD!!!

We lost a well payed gig in Boston that was one of the anchor gigs to finance this tour. We run into totally overpriced VISA application costs. Do you know how much a application cost for a band like us? 2500 US dollars, just to get in. Then add flights, accommodation, hiring a van, gas, hiring a rehearsal room, paying salary for the band members, domestic travels prior the rehearsals and all other little things that I´ve forgotten right now and you´ll probably understand that the numbers are totally in the red.

So why even think of doing this? Why just not cut the whining and throw this project right out of the window? I´ll try to answer that too.

To run a band is probably the worst business idea you can have. No money coming in a lot of money going out, poor attendance, over the years I´ve also felt lack of support from band members, although, with the current line up I´ve never heard a bad word, yet. And you all know how to make a musician complain don’t ya??? Give him a gig!! But even though with all this in consideration you do it anyway. Why?????

I LOVE MUSIC!!! PERIOD!!!

I also love the people that actually supporting the scene, buying the albums and are attending the shows. That means the world to me. To see a person actually getting moved by something you wrote or played on a recording in a shabby studio somewhere when presented on a stage in another shabby and funky club somewhere in the world is the actually payment for all the hassle, you feel connected, you´re part of something bigger.

So that’s why we, Tangent and Karmakanic reaching out to you guys and giving you all a chance to support this tour but also even more important, support the scene. You can support the tour in two different ways.

Option 1: Pre-Order this live recording just like a normal CD for 15:95 Euro

Option 2: Be one of 200 that will get their full name on the actual front cover of the CD. 34:95 Euro.

Your choice!!!

And of course, if you think that this tour support is just a big chunk of bogus we’re totally fine with that as long as you attend one of this shows on the upcoming tour.
Sincerely

Jonas Reingold

 

Note from Rick K.: you can preorder “TangeKanic Live” at Reingold Records.  I did!

Andy Tillison/The Tangent News

Andy posted this two days ago on Facebook.  My apologies for not getting it up on Progarchy sooner.  My excuse: I’m on spring break!

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So here’s where we are right now.

“All is safely gathered in” as the great English harvest hymn proclaims. Just over a week ago Theo Travis was up here in Yorkshire having a lot of tea and recording all his parts for the new record… the final bass sections arrived from Austria where Jonas is currently recording and the record is now in the mixdown stage.

This time it’s gonna be completely different in procedure. I decided that it was time to have a change in how we produce our records and after Luke’s excellent work for us on “A Few Steps” decided that it was time to hand over the reins to a guy who has been a colleague and friend of mine for nearly a decade now. Luke threw himself into helping me with the production of “Comm” and in the years since then I think that his talents in the production department have advanced so much that it would be senseless to ignore them in favour of satisfying my own desire to do the work myself.

Rather than do a kind of “shared” production, I decided that Luke should totally “have the Conn” as they say in all good submarining films and “Star Trek.” That was, of course, if he accepted the job – and I’m very pleased to say he did.

The album has been composed for months now and was all put together here in Yorkshire on my PC system (other than guitars, basses and Marie’s vocals) A couple of months ago, everything was normal… but then came the major task… we had to migrate the whole session, lock stock and barrel from a PC in Yorkshire to a Mac in Brighton running a totally different recording system. I’ll just take some time to explain what this involves….

One way we COULD have approached this was by me submixing a Drum track, bass track, keys track and guitars track etc… so that Luke could do a mix of – well… er… what i had already mixed. After a few discussions we decided that this isn’t what we wanted to do – we wanted Luke to have the whole enchilada available to him so he could actually do a real mix as is if had the whole multitrack archive..

So – the procedure started – of taking every single instrument, every sound, every vocal line, every drum, cymbal, hi hat and sound effect an making a full stereo or mono file of just that. In the case of Slow Rust this meant generating a 26 minute long 24 bit wav file for more than 60 instruments or microphones. Then sending these 60 half gigabyte files over the internet.

This would have all been a lot easier if I’d been a Mac user, but that’s not the case, so this way was the only way to give Luke the true freedom of the mix.

For me it’s been a weird and unsettling experience. It’s the first time that I have ever taken my hands off the wheel in one of our projects. But now, as the results start to come in, I am delighted with the way it’s all sounding – and indeed am forging a relationship with the music of this album that isn’t as tainted by my frustrations of having had to mix it. Luke understands my ideas so well, knows what I’m after yet introduces new techniques and ideas that were beyond my normal experience.

Of course I am still involved in the mix – I suggest tweaks, modifications, like ideas, reject ideas… ask for things to be done etc… but this is more of an “executive” role than the one I have played since the beginning. It’s allowed me to spend more time on the composition and playing and keep my head clear right to the end of the process.

Couple of weeks from now it will be all done.. and in July – hopefully you’ll hear the fruit of our labours. The content of the album is very much “an album I wanted to make” rather than a career move or an attempt to solidify our position in global rankings. I started writing it in 2014 while on tour with The Tangent and Karmakanic. A lot has happened since then – both to me and to the world. When it’s finally done. I’ll tell you more.

2016 – A Year of Joy and Sadness

To say 2016 was a turbulent year would be an understatement.  For good and bad, the events of 2016 are going to ripple for years, if not decades to come.

Fortunately, one area in which 2016 was not a turning point was in the trend of excellent prog releases, which kept coming without any letup from 2015 … or 2014 … or 2013 … you get the picture.  Like those years, 2016 saw a bumper crop of excellent releases, and in a few cases, saw bands hitting new highs.  Truly, this was one area where we can be unequivocally thankful for what 2016 brought.

Continue reading “2016 – A Year of Joy and Sadness”

Best Prog of 2016, Part III

Ok, so I’m taking a bit to get through my best of 2016.  It was a GOOD year.  Certainly not when it came to violence or politics, but music.  It soothes my upset soul.  Thank you, fellow proggers.

stranger-things-cdOne quick note before I dive into part III.

I must mention an album (two parter) that brought immense joy to me this year: the soundtrack of STRANGER THINGS.  I’ve had the opportunity to sing the praises of this glorious 8-part nostalgia trip of a Netflix series elsewhere, and I’m terrible at trying to describe and review electronic music.  Regardless, this soundtrack captures the mystery of the series just perfectly.  I’ve seen the series three times, and I’ve listened to the two-CD soundtrack a million more.  Few things will define 2016 as much as this series did.

Ok, back to regular programming. . .

Continue reading “Best Prog of 2016, Part III”

Progarchy Radio Episode 9

I’m back!  After two months at 10,000 feet above sea level and almost no internet, I have high speed!  So, what do I do with my access. . . I record progarchy radio episode 9.  Music from The Tangent, The Ben Cameron Project, The Pineapple Thief, Frost*, Oceansize, Riverside, SAND, Karmakanic, Simple Minds, Nosound, Roswell 6, Tool, Threshold, Jason Rubenstein, and Cosmograf.

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Getting Physical with Insideout: Riverside and Karmakanic

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2016 special edition

Two unexpected beauties arrived in the mail today–the latest releases from Riverside and Karmakanic.  Well, I write unexpected because 1) I had completely forgotten that I’d pre-ordered the Riverside; and 2) I wasn’t expecting it to show up with Karmakanic, which I’d also forgotten was a two-disk affair.  Truly serendipity.

The Riverside release is really a re-release of last year’s LOVE FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE.  This special edition includes a second disk, a DVD, with the album presented in hi-res stereo as well as 5.1 surround (mixed by Bruce Soord).  It also includes a hi-res version of five tracks from the recording sessions, and the videos made to accompany the album.  From what I can tell, the booklet that comes with it contains no new information from last year’s release except for an update on who mixed the DVD.

Not surprisingly in the least, everything here is outstanding–from the packaging to the re-released music.  If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out Erik Heter’s review as well as his interview with the band last year.

I’m especially taken with the five additional tracks labeled as “day sessions.”  These add up to nearly 28 minutes of extra music.  If you remember how The Pineapple Thief often released bonus material of their jam sessions a decade or so ago, you know exactly what to expect from these “day sessions.”  Frankly, they’re stunning, sounding as much like Lunatic Soul as Riverside.  The atmosphere created and presented by these tracks is really exceptional.  It’s worth ordering this new package just for these five songs alone.  I’m sure I will be spending many hours listening to these songs.

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DOT.

When I pre-ordered the new Karmakanic (already reviewed–several days ago), I didn’t remember having ordered the special edition.  While the artwork–provided by Rush’s Hugh Syme–is simply stunning, I can’t say the same about the packaging.  Mostly plastic, my new case came pre-crushed!  The booklet is in good shape, but the innards that hold the two disks are just lots and lots of flaky pieces.  Ugh.  Thankfully, the disks are ok, but the packaging is weak and poor.  Too bad, as this release deserves the highest treatment possible.  The extra disk is also a DVD.  It has five songs recorded at RosFest 2012, a “making of” documentary, and several interviews.

Both albums come from Insideout.

Scando-Anglo Hippiedom: A Karmakanic Album in Six Parts

Really, who doesn’t admire wild Scandinavian hippies?  One can only imagine those Viking lovers of peace returning in their long boats to establish a loving order upon all the conquered, asking for forgiveness!  Even the clever name of the band, Karmakanic reveals much about the very intentions of ever-amusing Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, The Tangent).  The band’s outstanding 2008 album, WHO’S THE BOSS OF THE FACTORY, especially exemplified the best ideals of the late 1960s.

IN A PERFECT WORLD (2011) did as well, but despite the opening track, “1969,” the album didn’t cohere as well as the previous one.

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Karmakanic’s best, DOT.

Whatever the case might have been, Reingold has just released the best of the Karmakanic albums, DOT (officially out from Insideout on July 22, 2016).   It is an extraordinary release in every single and imaginable way.  Not only its structure and flow, but its lyrics, especially, are quite moving.

Continue reading “Scando-Anglo Hippiedom: A Karmakanic Album in Six Parts”

Prog nobility in my old hometown, Kungsbacka!

Earlier today I searched YouTube for some suitable music to post on Sally Collyer’s Facebook timeline since it’s her birthday and all. What would be more suitable than a nice piece of footage from a Tangent gig, I thought! 🙂 And really perfect it would be if I could find a clip from the gig I attended, the one in my old hometown Kungsbacka, south of Gothenburg, Sweden. Imagine my joy when I actually found these two clips from the absolutely fantastic Monday evening, when The Tangent and Karmakanic joined forces for the last time on the short but intense tour they were out on in the last week of May and beginning of June. They started out with two gigs in Sweden, continued with three shows in Germany and The Netherlands and played, what first was meant to be the end of the tour, for an apparently ecstatic audience at Celebr8.3 in London. But, alas, the festival gig wasn’t the last, so they actually flew back to Sweden again to finish the tour at Kungsbacka Teater! Which, naturally, I’m so very happy they did!  And so, watching the clips this morning made me again feel the happiness to be here, now, in this very time, being able to enjoy all the wonderful music being played by fantastic bands like The Tangent and Karmakanic. And soon, oh soon it’s time for the highly anticipated gathering of friends, also known as Big Big Train Live at King’s Hall, which probably will be The Pinnacle of my life as a music lover. 🙂