Thursday, 30 January 2014

Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope


First album of the year. A biggie too! Well, big as in by progs supergroup, Transatlantic. Messrs, Stolt, Morse, Portnoy and Trewavas get together again for another epic outing. To be honest nothing too far from the usual formula, maybe a tad harder edged than previous albums. But I am a fan of Stolt and Morse so not much criticism from me. Yes, it may be pretty formulaic in terms of symphonic prog, but sometimes I like my prog to be something a bit cosy, a bit predictable. Its all wonderfully recorded and played as usual, with plenty of excellent melodic songwriting. It ain't gonna change the world, but it makes my world a happier place!


Sunday, 19 January 2014

David Sylvian - A Biography The Solo Years

I am working my way through Christopher Young's biography on David Sylvian's solo years. It is work as someone of my advanced years is struggling with the the print size! Look at this.

I can just about manage that. But not this.

Is there a paper shortage? Anyway, it is a fascinating read. I am particularly looking forward to the Blemish years and beyond. Here, I admire Sylvian's work more than I enjoy it. Some might say he lost the plot here. So it will be interesting to see if Young throws some light on why Sylvian made such a radical shift in his songwriting to embrace such uncompromising sounds and structures as he has.

For me the "trilogy" of his first three song based albums are his creative peak. This is where he utilised the distinctive sounds and playing of Fripp, Nelson, Hassell, Czukay, Torn, Sakamoto amongst others to such blinding effect. The pic above shows the recently released Japanese SHM papersleeve editions of those.

I know he no longer is interested in the Virgin years, but I wish someone would release an expanded edition of his collaborative album with Fripp, "The First Day" as there was so much bonus stuff recorded, only available as single b-sides. It would be great to have all that packaged together. Maybe someday.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Yes Year

As we head into a new year, the last was quite a one for Yes product. Not only the SACD box set, Steven Wilson's CTTE remix, the studio album box set, but also at last Jon Kirkmans weighty book of interviews of band members past and present. The book is very limited and expensive, but it is packed with lots of very insightful interviews and photographs which I have never come across before.