Sound of Contact Drama Continues

I loved Sound of Contact’s first album, but this band seems to be surrounded by some sort of unknown drama. Simon Collins (son of the mighty Phil) and Kelly Nordtrom both announced that they have left the band. Since Simon was both drummer and vocalist, it really isn’t Sound of Contact without him (there’s no way they have another drummer that happens to sound exactly like him). This is certainly a very strange turn of events, especially considering Dave Kerzner left the band and rejoined a few years ago.

More over at the good folks at Prog mag: http://teamrock.com/news/2018-01-20/simon-collins-and-kelly-nordtrom-quit-sound-of-contact.

 

Album Review: Dave Kerzner, Static

Dave Kerzner is back! Static is his second full-length solo album. New World established his prog bona fides, with its sprawling sci-fi concept album deployment of Pink Floyd-esque music. On Static, Dave again deploys his uncanny ability to sound like David Gilmour, and there are even moments when he sounds like Roger Waters shrieking away.

But even though it’s easy to imagine if Pink Floyd were still making great albums today they would sound exactly like this, the amazing thing is that Dave is not a copycat. Although he has mastered vintage sounds — not just our favorite vocal stylings, but also the coolest keyboard sounds you will ever hear — he is not a purveyor of prog nostalgia.

The most remarkable thing about Kerzner’s impressive new album, Static, is Dave’s songwriting abilities. He has every detail perfected: melody, harmony, orchestration, developmental dynamics, and emotional impact. His excellent songs are truly a cut above the competition and they unmistakably show how true musical talent, shaped by all the best musical influences, can be put in the service of stunning original compositions. Above all, the song is the thing of note here.

Every track is outstanding, although the album really should be considered to be a ten-track opus. “Prelude” is nothing but a wispy introduction to the magnificent album-opening progfest, “Hypocrites,” which introduces a theme that will return at the end of the disc on the epic 16:52 finale, “The Carnival of Modern Life.” And “Quiet Storm” blends nicely into the rip-roaring “Dirty Soap Box,” where Steve Hackett and Nick D’Virgilio show up to set things ablaze. I also think that “Right Back to the Start” and “Statistic” are brief enough that they may be taken as two preludes joined to set up the superfunky “Millennium Man.” But however you do the math, whether ten or fourteen, the result is the same: the album is perfect prog pleasure, with incredible variety and richness.

Dave’s quieter piano ballads (like “Static” or “Trust”) best display the subtle charms of his sophisticated songwriting skills. And they don’t really deserve to be called “piano ballads,” because they never stay still in one genre for long, but rather slowly soar into another musical dimension. So much surprise and delight is offered by this album, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Trust me, you have many, many hours of listening pleasure ahead.

It’s hard to pick any track as a favorite, because they are all so good. But early loves of mine (in addition to the epic bookends of the album opener and closer) include “Reckless,” which has a jaw-dropping instrumental section that sounds like 1980s King Crimson, and “Chain Reaction,” which sounds to my ears like 100% Fun-era Matthew Sweet.

Dave Kerzner, Static
Progarchist Rating: A+   10/10   ★★★★★

Dave Kerzner – Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Drums, Bass
Fernando Perdomo – Guitar, Bass, Drums, Backing Vocals
Derek Cintron – Drums
Randy McStine – Guitar & FX
Durga McBroom – Vocals
Lorelei McBroom – Vocals
Ruti Celli – Cello
Steve Hackett – Guitar on “Dirty Soap Box”
Nick D’Virgilio – Drums on “Dirty Soap Box”
Matt Dorsey – Bass on “Reckless”
Colin Edwin – Bass on “Static”
Ewa Karolina Lewowska – Vocals on “Static”
Alex Cromarty – Drums on “Chain Reaction”
Stuart Fletcher – Bass on “Chain Reaction”
Chris Johnson – Guitar on “Chain Reaction”

Produced by Dave Kerzner
Mixed by Dave Kerzner and Rob Aubrey
Mastered by Dave Kerzner

CD Cover and Booklet Artwork by Ed Unitsky
Artwork Concept by Dave Kerzner and Ed Unitsky
Graphic Design and Layout by Ed Unitsky

Album Review: @DaveKerzner — Paranoia EP and New World Live LP ★★★★★

Dave Kerzner continues to amaze. His new Paranoia EP starts off with two new tracks. Don’t underestimate these. The more you listen to them, the more they take hold of you. Dave is an underrated songwriter. This EP proves it. These first two tracks are incredibly finely crafted songs, but unlike most prog they do not draw your attention to that fact. Instead, they are subtle, and your appreciation of them will only grow. Absolutely stellar tracks, they leave me wanting more. I can’t wait for Dave’s next full album.

Also on the EP are two live tracks that are taken from the extended 2015 Deluxe Edition of New World. “Secret” was never a favorite of mine, but here in this live version the song is much enhanced. It works so much better live, and Dave even drops an F-bomb to liven up the saccharine Barry Manilow vibe that I always thought ruined the song. Well, I understand the track much better now. The sappy atmosphere is actually meant to be totally ironic. Listen to the lyrics, and you’ll get it. I now love this song. I guess it needed to be abstracted from the two-hours-plus version of New World in order for me to finally appreciate it. Well, I really love it now.

As for “Recurring Dream,” I always really, really liked the song. The way it starts is so cool, and the whole harmonious structure is so beautiful, graced with one of Dave’s very best melodies. I can understand why it seems to be being played as an encore here. Bravo! This is a rock solid EP, and a real gift to the fans.

Continue reading “Album Review: @DaveKerzner — Paranoia EP and New World Live LP ★★★★★”

February First Impressions…

As Winter gives way to another Spring, new album releases are finding their way onto my radar in ever increasing numbers. Three new CDs dropped onto my doormat in rapid succession a couple of days ago and each, in its own way, is making a big first impression.

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First up, we have Please Come Home, by Lonely Robot, John Mitchell’s new solo project. This is a disc that grabs you immediately – melodic and catchy as hell, with superb guitar playing throughout. If you enjoyed Sound Of Contact’s debut, or the recent release from former SoC member Dave Kerzner, there’s a strong possibility that you will fall in love with this. A proper review will follow soon…

psb

Next is Public Service Broadcasting‘s second full album release, The Race For Space. If you’ve not heard this band, you really should give them a listen. They expertly blend sampled clips from various audiovisual archives with a unique musical style that is very difficult to pin down, leaping between pop, dance, ambient & electronic. Imagine if Kraftwerk played conventional instruments as well as synths… and were English… and wore tweed. It isn’t prog but it is innovative and highly entertaining. This album scores bonus points with an unashamed space geek like me simply because of its subject matter: the ‘golden era’ of space exploration, from Sputnik through to Apollo 17.

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Finally, we have Sanguine Hum’s double-CD magnum opus, Now We Have Light. Confronted with this sprawling, ambitious epic, I can imagine just how a Genesis fan must have felt back in 1974, expecting another Selling England but faced with the intense, bewildering genius of The Lamb. On the strength of just two listens, it’s already clear that this is an altogether darker, more mature and more subtle offering than its excellent predecessor, The Weight Of The World. Dare I say an early candidate for Album Of The Year? Time will tell. It’s going to take me a while to untangle the complex musical threads of this album and make sense of it all, but it’s an adventure I look forward to with relish…

Dave Kerzner, STRANDED–forthcoming

tumblr_inline_nbn4ieQSpa1qec1d7September 9th, 2014, Miami, Florida – Dave Kerzner, former member of the Progressive Rock band “Sound of Contact”, is gearing up for a late October release of his debut solo concept album, “New World”. The first single off the album, “Stranded”, has just been released as a digital download from iTunes®, Amazon®, Google Play® and other on line stores. “Stranded” is a 10 minute “rock opera” comprised of 5 parts. It features Kerzner on vocals and keyboards with special guests Steve Hackett of Genesis, Durga McBroom of Pink Floyd, Nick D’Virgilio of Spocks Beard, Jason Scheff of Chicago and it was mixed by legendary engineer Tom Lord-Alge.

A shorter edited version called “Stranded Part 1 – Isolation” has been made as a “mainstream radio-friendly single” and will be available as a free download to anyone who signs up on the mailing list at davekerzner.com this month. Additionally, the full length album version will be made available through Kerzner’s bandcamp page: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com/

Stream Stranded (Single) On Sound Cloud.

Lyric Video On YouTube 

Download Full Press Package. Includes Photos/Mp3 Download of track:

“Stranded” in a New World with @DaveKerzner

Keith Emerson is your DJ…

“Stranded” is the first release from Dave Kerzner, former member of the progressive rock band Sound of Contact and co-writer/producer of “Dimensionaut”. The song is a 5-part “rock opera” that starts off Dave’s forthcoming concept album called “New World” (Expected to be released in October through his independent RecPlay label). It features special guests Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Fernando Perdomo on guitars, Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd, Jason Scheff (Chicago) and Ana Cristina on backing vocals, Nick D’Virgilio (Tears for Fears, Genesis) on drums with Dave Kerzner on lead vocals and keys. The song was mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and mastered at Lurssen Mastering.
All lyrics and music by Dave Kerzner. Lyric video created by Christine Leakey. Produced by Dave Kerzner.

“Stranded” is now available as a single on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/stranded-single/id916951355?ls=1 , Amazon, Google Play and other download sites. The full-length album version, instrumental mix and more is available as a downloadable “single/EP” in mp3 and FLAC from Dave’s Sonic Elements Bandcamp:https://sonicelements.bandcamp.com/

Dave Kerzner previews “Stranded” from his New World

Dave Kerzner is previewing the totally awesome track “Stranded” from his forthcoming album New World over on his Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/davekerznerband/stranded-squids-mix-full-version

“Stranded”
Part 1: Isolation
Part 2: Delirium
Part 3: March of the Machines
Part 4: Source Sublime
Part 5: The Darkness

You will hear many wonderful influences in this stellar track, most obviously Pink Floyd and Genesis.

Dave writes on FB:

Legendary keyboardist/composer Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer premiered “Stranded”, the first song from my album, on Planet Rock this past Sunday! Per his request, they played the entire 10 and a half minutes of it on the radio! Keith told me this today:

 

“…they played the whole of ‘Stranded”. I haven’t known that to happen since Scott Munie of WNEW played all of ELP’s “Pictures…” – Keith Emerson

 

Now that it has been introduced to the public in the most deluxe Progalicious way possible, I’d like to share it with you!

 

This is an early mix of “Stranded” on my Sound Cloud (the final mix is being done by Tom Lord-Alge now).

 

The song features guests Steve Hackett (Genesis), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Nick D’Virgilio (Kevin Gilbert), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Fernando Perdomo, Ana Cristina and myself on lead vocals and keys.

No wonder it sounds so incredible!

Top Ten Prog Over Ten Minutes Long ★★★★★

In order to meet the challenge of listing my own Top Ten Prog Albums EVER, I imposed upon myself an additional requirement over and above the ones Brad specified.

Each album on the list, I insist, must contain at least one song that is over ten minutes long.

And so, given that sonnet-like constraint, here is my list:

★★★★★

Big Big Train — The Underfall Yard (H/T: “The Underfall Yard” [22:54] and “Victorian Brickwork” [12:33])

Kate Bush — Hounds of Love (H/T: “The Ninth Wave” [= Side Two of the LP, clocking in at 27 minutes])

Flying Colors — Flying Colors (H/T: “Infinite Fire” [12:00])

Genesis — Foxtrot (H/T: “Supper’s Ready” [23:06])

Haken — The Mountain (H/T: “Pareidolia” [10:51] and “Falling Back to Earth” [11:51])

King Crimson — Red (H/T: “Starless” [12:26])

Rush — A Farewell to Kings (H/T: “Xanadu” [11:12] and “Cygnus X-1” [10:26])

Sound of Contact — Dimensionaut (H/T: “Möbius Slip” [19:36])

Transatlantic — The Whirlwind (H/T: The entire album is one song 78 minutes long! Or take “Dancing With Eternal Grace” [12:04])

Yes — Fragile (H/T: “Heart of the Sunrise” [11:33])

★★★★★

If I were allowed doubles then maybe I would substitute Yes’ Close to the Edge for the Haken and Big Big Train’s Far Skies Deep Time for the Sound of Contact.

But can I instead invent a new challenge?

How about the “Top Ten Rush Albums EVER”, ranked not alphabetically but in order of preference?

Top Ten… or Top Thirteen?

For my personal Best of 2013 list, I have just posted (over the last few days) an alphabetical listing of my Top Ten:

Big Big Train: English Electric Part Two

Deep Purple: NOW What?!

Dream Theater: Dream Theater

Haken: The Mountain

Holy Grail: Ride the Void

Kingbathmat: Overcoming the Monster

Sound of Contact: Dimensionaut

Spock’s Beard: Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep

Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused to Sing and other stories

The Winery Dogs: The Winery Dogs

But, as promised, I am now going to add three more to the list, as three bonus additions, and thus make this a Top Thirteen list.

Why? Well, because this is the year 2013, and also because Black Sabbath released 13 this year (which also happened to be one of Mike Portnoy‘s favorites).

So, stay tuned for #11 on my Top Thirteen of 2013…