The Big Fall Prog Preview!

What new music, live albums, and reissues (deluxe and otherwise) are heading our way between now and Black Friday?  Check out the exhaustive (and possibly exhausting) sampling of promised progressive goodies — along with a few other personal priorities — below.  Pre-order links are for CDs or combo packages; vinyl editions are frequently available from the same website.

  • September 21:
    • Marillion, Happiness is Cologne and Popular Music.  Limited edition live reissues from Racket Records and earMusic.  Pre-order at Amazon or other online retailers.
    • Nosound, Allow Yourself.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
  • September 28:
    • Blackfield, Open Mind (The Best of Blackfield).  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
    • Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin, Star Clocks.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
  • October 5:
    • Steve Hackett, Broken Skies – Outspread Wings (1984-2006).  Esoteric Recordings reissue box set (6 CDs + 2 DVDs).  Pre-order autographed copies from Hackettsongs.
    • King Crimson, Meltdown: Live in Mexico.  3 CDs + 1 BluRay.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
  • October 12:
    • Glass Hammer, Chronomonaut.  Pre-order autographed copies or the deluxe bundle from Glass Hammer’s webstore.  Pre-order deadline: October 11.
    • Sanguine Hum, Now We Have Power.  Pre-order from Bandcamp.
  • October 19:
    • Greta Van Fleet, Anthem of the Peaceful Army.  The first full-length album from Frankenmuth, Michigan’s young Zepheads.  Pre-order at GvF’s webstore.
    • iamthemorning, Ocean Sounds.  Live in the studio; audio/video bundle.  Pre-order at Burning Shed.
    • In Continuum, Acceleration Theory.  With Dave Kerzner and an all-star line-up.  Pre-order bundles from Bandcamp. Pre-order deadline for special bundles: September 30.
    • Frank Sinatra, Only the Lonely: 60th Anniversary Edition.  Yes, really.  The greatest concept album of the pre-rock era, with Sinatra and arranger Nelson Riddle at their most gorgeous and devastating.  “Make it one for my baby … and one more for the road.” More info at Super Deluxe Edition.
  • October 26:
    • Anathema, Internal Landscapes.  The best of the band’s Kscope albums.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
    • Haken, Vector.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
    • Procol Harum, Live In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.  Esoteric Recordings reissue with bonus tracks.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
  • November 2:
    • Opeth, Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Various audio & video formats/bundles available.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
    • Steven Wilson, Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.  Various audio & video formats/bundles available.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
  • November 9:
    • Jethro Tull, This Was — The 50th Anniversary Edition. Steven Wilson remix included, on 3 CDs + DVD.  Pre-order from Burning Shed.
    • Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly, Friendship.  Pre-order from Rikard’s webstore.
  • November 16:
    • Marillion, Brave Live and Live in Glasgow.  Limited edition live reissues from Racket Records and earMusic.  Pre-order at Amazon or other online retailers.
    • The Tangent, Proxy.  Pre-order special bundles from The Tangent webstore.
  • November 23:
    • Marillion, Clutching at Straws Special Edition.  4 CDs + 1 BluRay.  Pre-order autographed copies from Marillion or Fish.
  • TBA:
    • The Beatles, White Album 50th Anniversary Edition?
    • Big Big Train, Merchants of Light Blu-Ray
    • King Crimson, The ReConstruKction of Light (40th Anniversary reissue) and Heaven and Earth (Crimson ProjeKcts box set)

— Rick Krueger

New Nosound Announced (Video)

 

KSCOPE605-6pp-Digi-v2
Forthcoming from KScope.

The ever-fascinating and brilliant Giancarlo Erra just released the new video on social media.  This from Erra:

I’ve never been so nervous and excited about a new Nosound album, probably not even for the first one!

During the last few years a deep changing process happened, with my voice and my music and everything around my career. I somehow started seeing much more clearly who I am and where to go, ‘allowing myself’ to do so.

This album is the closest I’ve ever been to my own musical vision, and Don’t You Dare is one of the outstanding tracks for me, brilliantly interpreted in the full video by Manuel Lobmaier.

You can preorder the album here.

Giancarlo Erra’s NOSOUND Update. And, it’s good. Very, very good.

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Erra’s view.

There’s not enough space in the world to praise the efforts and successes of Giancarlo Erra.  If you hit the tag “Nosound” on this post, you’ll see what I mean.  We write about Erra a lot, as he never is uninteresting.

The new direction of Nosound sounds wonderful (as described in his post, below), and I’m more than eager to see where Erra takes the band.

Over the last several years, he has progressed from a rather Floydian vision to a rather Mark Hollis-ian vision of music.  I’m guessing–but I do not know–that he’s moving toward an even more minimalist vision, perhaps something akin to Arvo Part.

Continue reading “Giancarlo Erra’s NOSOUND Update. And, it’s good. Very, very good.”

Meditative Prog: The Genius of Nosound’s LIGHTDARK

Lightdark Nosound
Listening to this album is more of an affair than an adventure.

Ten year ago this fall, the brilliant Giancarlo Erra was in the studios writing, recording, and mixing what would become his magnum opus, LIGHTDARK, one of the first releases from the then-brand new KScope Records.  Nothing Erra writes and records is unimportant, of course, but nothing he has done has quite matched the flawless LIGHTDARK, in its composition, its harmonies, its reach, and its flow.  Never could this be wallpaper music.  It is music that demands full immersion.  As with T.S Eliot’s Four Quartets, Erra’s LIGHTDARK demands that we the listener stand within the art itself, seeing the world form the perspective of the art.  As such, Erra is a genius, bringing us fully into his music.

As with some of the best composers of the past century, Erra eschews all forms of bombast as he whispers longingly toward the true, the good, and the beautiful.  He is not afraid of silence, knowing that the notes that surround silence, do so affectionately and even passionately.

Imagine Mark Hollis writing music for Pink Floyd while serving as the backup band to Arvo Part, and you might get close to the genius and talent of Giancarlo Erra.

Best Prog of 2016, Part II

continued from last night. . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAndy Tillison Diskdrive, MACHTE ES DURCH.  Sadly, this release has gotten very little press, and, yet, as with all things Tillison, it’s simply genius and extraordinary.  When thinking of Andy and The Tangent, think intensity and integrity.  When thinking of Andy Tillison Diskdrive, think of taste and integrity.  On his solo albums (at least this one and the previous one), Andy has been exploring–rather expertly–jazz-rock-fusion.  He is a natural and a master.

ghost communityGhost Community, CYCLE OF LIFE.  I’ve been rather joyously following the trajectory and art of Matt Cohen for almost a decade now.  The guy is simply put–the kind of guy you really, really, really want to support.  Whatever tragedies the man has experienced, he comes out on top and with an infectious joy.  Not only is his bass playing on this album gorgeous, but the album itself is just joy made manifest.  Imagine a truly progressive and non-cheesy Styx of 1975, and you have Ghost Community.  Probably more rock than prog, it’s what prog needs right now to keep some balance. (Notice, please, that I used some form of “joy” three times in this mini-review!)

Continue reading “Best Prog of 2016, Part II”

Backstage with Iris! Interviews with Nth Ascension & Giancarlo Erra of Nosound! — Grendel HeadQuarters

Ninth episode of Backstage with Iris! Not one, but two interviews! The first interview you will hear is with the band Nth Ascension. They will release a brand new studio album named In Fine Initium this month. Iris and the band talk about the making of the album, a possible tour and more! The second […]

via Backstage with Iris! Interviews with Nth Ascension & Giancarlo Erra of Nosound! — Grendel HeadQuarters

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.

prog radio.001

RochaNews: Nosound

 
NOSOUND LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO FOR “SOGNO E INCENDIO” FEAT. ITALIAN SINGER ANDREA CHIMENTI
Fifth studio album “Scintilla” out September 2 on Kscope
ROME, Italy – Ahead of the release of its fifth studio album Scintilla on September 2 via Kscope, Nosound has launched a new video for the song “Sogno E Incendio” featuring acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti. Stream the clip on YouTube at:
Nosound’s Giancarlo Erra explains: “The video was directed by Erika Errante. She was introduced to me by Andrea [Chimenti] via his son, as she had produced a few videos for his band and I wanted a video done by someone else for once, not myself. For this reason I wanted to give her full freedom. All we knew is that we didn’t want to go too literal with the lyrics in the song, but instead expressing the concept in another way. So the concept is explained through the idea of lost and found people and feeling, and transformation from one into the other. It is a more loose and artistic connection, and I liked it a lot for that reason.” 
Giancarlo Erra co-wrote the song with Andrea Chimenti: “Working with Andrea was extremely easy; we discovered we have a common emotional ground, so the theme of my album immediately vibrated with him and together we quickly arrived to the meaning this song was meant for. The song is all about the spark (scintilla) that can ignite a fire, but for that to happen there’s a need for dead dried leaves, or branches, or old paper, so the old and dead stuff that seems useless is what is really needed for the fire to start again.”
 
On the collaboration and creative thought process Chimenti adds: “Giancarlo Erra had long ago sent me an instrumental song to listen to. It struck me immediately and I liked very much the idea of working with him, but as often happens we were busy with various things and that tune remained in the drawer for a while … maybe it was not the time to deal with it because everything happens when it has to happen. At the beginning of this year, after a series of events that have transformed my life, the text and singing for that song were born. The extraordinary piano sequence of Nosound, with its perpetual motion, rolled out the words, one after another like a string of pearls and the album title ‘Scintilla’ was the thread on which they walked. 
 
“The crescendo of the second part suggested to me fire as a purifying element that from a spark turns into a real fire. I love music when it manages to be evocative, calling into dreams and images. The music of this song has in it all that strength and not just that of the dream, but that of the spark, the fire prelude.”
Inspired by personal upheaval and a desire for change, Scintilla is an emotionally complex and musically direct work, presenting a stripped-down set of compositions that mark a major departure from Nosound’s trademark symphonic lushness and production precision. Taking in influences from post rock, shoegaze and alt-singer-songwriters, the album imaginatively utilizes a mostly organic and acoustic sound palette.
In addition to Andrea Chimenti, Anathema’s Vincent Cavanagh lends his distinctive vocals to two of the album’s tracks, and cellist Marianne De Chastelaine returns once more to the Nosound fold (this time in a more free-flowing and improvisational capacity).
An additional Scintilla track and video, “Short Story,” can be streamed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLtfb-HcTz8&feature=youtu.be and Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/167108079.
Scintilla is available to pre-order via the Kscope webstore at: https://www.burningshed.com/store/nosound as a deluxe CD/Blu-Ray in Mediabook (with 24 page booklet and Blu-Ray containing HD stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes, plus additional video content) and audiophile double 180g vinyl edition (mastered at 45rpm to ensure quality) in a gatefold cover with booklet and poly-lined inner bags. Download and streaming versions will be available to pre-order at: http://smarturl.it/SCINTILLA_DIGITAL with instant downloads of “Short Story” and “Sogno E Incendio.”
1. Short Story [02:24]
2. Last Lunch [07:00]
3. Little Man [04:38]
4. In Celebration of Life [05:34]
5. Sogno E Incendio [04:44]
6. Emily [03:19]
7. The Perfect Wife [07:27]
8. Love is Forever [02:51]
9. Evil Smile [04:33]
10. Scintilla [06:27]
Regarded by critics and fans alike as one of the most interesting up and coming alt/art rock bands in Europe, Nosound inventively combines influences from ’70s psychedelia, ’80s/’90s ambient and contemporary alternative, progressive and post rock. The project started as a one man studio project in late 2002 by Giancarlo Erra, but has since grown into a five piece band, evolving into something unique, focused and powerful. The music is evocative and intense, with personal songwriting.
A cathartic album of emotional extremes, Scintilla marks the brave beginning of the second phase of Nosound’s fascinating career. Stay tuned for more information on Nosound and Scintilla, out this September on Kscope.
-###-
Nosound is:
Giancarlo Erra – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Marco Berni – keyboards, vocals
Alessandro Luci – bass, upright bass, keyboards
Paolo Vigliarolo – acoustic/electric guitars
Giulio Caneponi – drums, percussion, vocals
Nosound online:

Nosound to Release 5th Album in September

 
NOSOUND ANNOUNCES NEW STUDIO ALBUM “SCINTILLA” ON KSCOPE; NEW SONG/MUSIC VIDEO “SHORT STORY” STREAMING ONLINE
Fifth studio album out September 2; features guest appearances from Anathema’s Vincent Cavanagh, acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti
ROME, Italy – After a decade of crafting a very particular type of widescreen melancholia and wistful imagery, Nosound has announced its fifth studio album, Scintilla, to be released via Kscope on September 2.
Inspired by personal upheaval and a desire for change, Scintilla is an emotionally complex and musically direct work presenting a stripped-down set of compositions that mark a major departure from Nosound’s trademark symphonic lushness and production precision. Shifting from the uncharacteristic sarcasm of “Love is Forever” and potent anger of “The Perfect Wife,” to the dreamy sensitivity of “Emily” and the unusually uplifting “Celebration of Life,” Scintilla represents the boldest statement of Nosound’s career so far.
Founder Giancarlo Erra comments: “The intention with Scintilla was to do something a bit more different than previously and illustrate more vigorously what Nosound is today.”
Taking in influences from post rock, shoegaze and alt-singer-songwriters, the album imaginatively utilizes a mostly organic and acoustic sound palette. Musically looser and more sonically intimate than the band’s previous releases, Scintilla’s emphasis is placed firmly on feeling rather than technique.
“During a decade of activity, my listening tastes have shifted gradually towards a simpler, more direct music with an intimate character that still retains a certain richness and detail in sound,” adds Erra. “Northern folk and alt singer-songwriter music are possibly the stronger influences, but, generally speaking, everything that is simple, direct and minimal but with rich sound is what I like, and what I hope this album is.”
Scintilla also includes guest appearances from Anathema’s Vincent Cavanagh and acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Chimenti. Cavanagh lends his distinctive vocals to two of the album’s tracks, “In Celebration of Life” and “The Perfect Wife,” while Chimenti co-writes and sings on the serene “Sogno E Incendio.” Cellist Marianne De Chastelaine returns once more to the Nosound fold (this time in a more free-flowing and improvisational capacity).
To celebrate the new album announcement, Nosound has launched a new track and video, “Short Story,” on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLtfb-HcTz8&feature=youtu.be and Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/167108079.
Giancarlo Erra comments of the song and video: “This is one of the shortest and less structured Nosound songs, both musically and lyrically, and yet one that perfectly sets the mood to ‘different’ and prepares for the album. A statement of intentions, so much that it is the opening of the album and the one we choose to be the first single.
“The video was shot specifically for this song, introducing the places where the album was partly written and recorded, and at the same time illustrating the emotional extremes present on the whole album, being at the same time delicate and thunderous without very much for the in-between.”
Scintilla is available to pre-order via the Kscope webstore at: https://www.burningshed.com/store/nosound as a deluxe CD/Blu-Ray in Mediabook with a 24 page booklet and audiophile double 180g vinyl edition (mastered at 45rpm to ensure quality) in a gatefold cover with booklet and poly-lined inner bags. Download and streaming versions will be available to pre-order at: http://smarturl.it/SCINTILLA_DIGITAL with “Short Story” as an instant download.
1. Short Story [02:24]
2. Last Lunch [07:00]
3. Little Man [04:38]
4. In Celebration of Life [05:34]
5. Sogno E Incendio [04:44]
6. Emily [03:19]
7. The Perfect Wife [07:27]
8. Love is Forever [02:51]
9. Evil Smile [04:33]
10. Scintilla [06:27]
Regarded by critics and fans alike as one of the most interesting up and coming alt/art rock bands in Europe, Nosound inventively combines influences from ’70s psychedelia, ’80s/’90s ambient and contemporary alternative, progressive and post rock. The project started as a one man studio project in late 2002 by Giancarlo Erra, but has since grown into a five piece band, evolving into something unique, focused and powerful. The music is evocative and intense, with personal songwriting.
A cathartic album of emotional extremes, Scintilla marks the brave beginning of the second phase of Nosound’s fascinating career. Stay tuned for more information on Nosound and Scintilla, out this September on Kscope.
-###-
Nosound is:
Giancarlo Erra – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Marco Berni – keyboards, vocals
Alessandro Luci – bass, upright bass, keyboards
Paolo Vigliarolo – acoustic/electric guitars
Giulio Caneponi – drums, percussion, vocals
Nosound online:

Nosound’s Teide 2390: Profoundly Delicate

nosound teide
Nosound.  Kscope, 2015.

Of all the bands I love and review, the hardest to review—without question—is Nosound.  At least for me.

This post is a perfect example to illustrate my failings.  I’ve had a copy of Nosound’s 2015 live album, TEIDE 2390, for nearly a year, and I’ve still not written a review.  And, if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with writing, and I’m especially obsessed with writing about what I love.

I was recently told as a criticism: in my writing, I “fling superlatives.”  My response to this is: “why, yes, I absolutely and most certainly love to fling superlatives.”  It’s true.  Just imagine what I’m like when I’m lecturing to forty 19-year olds.

With Nosound, however, it’s really, really (sometimes outrageously!) hard to fling superlatives.  Why?  Because everything glorious about Nosound is understated, tasteful, and minimalist.  As a 48-year old Kansan, I just don’t do minimalist well.  At least when it comes to writing.  Yet, I know and appreciate minimalism—especially when it comes to the computers and gadgets designed by Steve Jobs (rest in peace) or the music so lovingly crafted by Mark Hollis or Arvo Part.

Enter Giancarlo Erra.  His Nosound is profoundly delicate.  Not effete.  By not means, effete.  Never.  But, certainly delicate.

As I’ve written before, Erra is a genius, plain and simple.  This is as clear in his photography as it is in his music and his lyrics.  Again, far from effete, he approaches art and the world of art and creativity with an extreme sensitivity.  His creativity in his photography is as much about what is not there as it as about what is there.

The same is even more true of his music.  Nosound is as much about silence as it about notes.

Throw in Erra’s somewhat mystical lyrics and dream-like vocals and you find yourself—as a listener—fully immersed in his world, drifting along some radically natural psychedelic dream state.

His lyrics deal with frustration, loss, desire, hope, depression, joy, and everything that matters in this world and, perhaps, in the next.

A little over seventy-five minutes in length and recorded in September, 2014, on a Spanish island, TEIDE 2390 demonstrates that Erra’s genius is not merely in the studio.  As he’s demonstrated before—his live version of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” is possibly better than the original version from the early 1970s (heresy, I know!)—he knows exactly how to create a full minimalist sound, even on stage and away from the hyper-controlled environment of a professional studio.  This is no small achievement, as the music demands the full attention of an audience that probably would not mind head banging.  No one head bangs to Nosound.  Instead, one swirls, and rides, and flies, and soars, and dips, and drifts.

I think it’s probably fair to state that many proggers like their music heavy and fast.  Erra reminds us so importantly that we need to breathe as well.