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CD/DVD Releases: Musea's Summer Starts With These June Releases

Posted on Monday, June 09 @ 17:46:12 UTC by nightowl

June's crop of offerings to kick off summer (though the season doesn't officially begin for a few weeks yet) includes Musea Records's distribution of Änglagård's new live release, Prog På Svenksa - Live In Japan, recorded at Club Citta, Tokyo in March 2013 (one of the tracks recorded from the soundcheck). Here's Musea's write up to accompany the album: "Änglagård is probably the first band of the Nineties to have become a legend of Progressive rock, and to have been considered at the same level as the Seventies giants. And this didn't happen by chance! It's probably one of the best Swedish bands, and constitutes a dark counterpart to the resolutely optimistic The Flower Kings.

"Now mythical, this line-up unfortunately split-up, because the musicians thought they had said everything they had to say musically speaking. Its fast-track career was however built 'only' on two incredible albums (Hybris in 1993 and Epilog the following year) and some memorable tours. We'll just mention two simply huge stage performances at the 1993 and 1994 editions of the most famous modern festival dedicated to this forgotten style, the Los Angeles ProgFest. Buried Alive is an album that was issued after the split-up and that consists of the almost complete show there, (about) one hour fifteen minutes of 100% instrumental and breathtaking music! Let's just say that the audience could feel privileged to witness such a memorable moment... And this shows on the album!

"The art of Änglagård can be characterized by a touch of Genesis-like arpeggios, Yes-like virtuosity, some soft flute melodies, a few bits of local folk, sudden Mellotron apparitions and unexpected, violent King Crimson-like moments (always beautifully controlled and performed). All of this also shows a paradoxically well defined personality mainly due to its quite Scandinavian and immediately recognizable melancholy. Add to this a perfect, not at all show-off musical interpretation that is subservient to the compositional skills and you can get the picture. The compositions themselves develop mostly with instrumental tracks that include sudden but always melodical rhythm changes.

"If Änglagård had appeared twenty years ago, we could think that they could be equals to the bands that they acknowledge as influences: first King Crimson, but also Genesis and Yes. How strange! It's then not surprising that those six musicians have now managed to influence a lot of other groups such as their compatriots Anekdoten, Landberk, Book Of Hours, and Sinkadus (but also Deadwood Forest in the United States of America and NeBeLNeST in France). You should then (re-)discover the only available live album by Änglagård: [until now], it will probably blow up your pre-conceived values about Progressive rock!...

This third album [Viljars Öga] was surely the most awaited in today's Progressive rock scene! Among the numerous grandiose projects delayed ad infinitum, it had to be the most mythical. But what can you expect from the most legendary band of the Nineties, almost twenty years after the release of the milestones Epilog and Hybris? The same recipe, reproduced a million times by a devoted Scandinavian School since? Or quite the opposite, with a total change in the basics, that made its glory in the microcosm? If we had to rely on the first of the four long compositions of Viljans Öga (2012), we'd probably say that the first option has been chosen. Then come here and there the first elements of the vintage Änglagård sound: a typical Scandinavian melancholy, genuine keyboards parts, enchanting flute bits, a guitar rough and mellow at the same time... And of course, here comes King Mellotron! What conclusion has to be made, then? If you're looking for continuity, this album is a must-have. If, on the other hand, you're searching for a change, this piece of work is designed especially for you. And if your intention is simply to listen to one of the best Progressive rock albums out there, you knocked on the right door!"

This then leads to the live album released this past May (a double-vinyl version will be released June 20 via Record Heaven, which includes the following tracks: Introvertus Fugu (Den Asociala Bl&asing;sfisken) Part 1 / Höstsejd / Längtans Klocka / Jordrök / Sorgmantel / Kung Bore / Sista Somrar.

Änglagård are: Anna Holmgren (flute, sax, Mellotron, recorder, and melodica), Johan Brand (bass, Moog Taurus bass pedals, and atmospheric sound), Tord Lindman (guitar, vocals, gong and atmospheric sound), Linus Kåse (Hammond B-3 organ, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes piano, Moog Voyager, piano, soprano sax, and vocals), and Erik Hammarström (drums, cymbals, vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, cran casa and gong).

Also on the live front, there's Il Castello Di Atlante and their live release Capitolo 8: Live. "Il Castello Di Atlante, a quintet (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards-vocals & violin) born in the mid-Seventies, only issued their first album in 1992. The line-up performs an airy symphonic rock, ethereal and pastoral, completely influenced by the romantic, lyrical and dreamy tradition of the Italian Progressive rock masters of the time (Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Locanda Dell Fate, Le Orme...). The music is characterised by the preeminence of the vocals and the keyboards, and by a violin strongly influenced by classical music. A kind of Progressive rock strongly marked by classical music, with delicate and natural atmospheres, sung in Italian. Recorded in 2000, Come Il Seguitore Delle Stagioni benefits from the production of Beppe Crovella (Arti + Mestieri)."

Capitolo 8: Live covers the band's material over the last 40 years...

Living Stilts - Shipwreck - Living Stilts is a musical project conceived by the composer Luca Mavilia with the intention of creating evocative soundscapes and letting the listener’s imagination roam. The project brings together artists, musicians and friends who share the same feelings and a love for the most visionary music. The compositions of Living Stilts are inspired by the fantastical, by the most imaginative art, by fiction and by poetry. The influences range from prog rock and hard rock to Classical music from the Romantic, Baroque and Renaissance periods. Living Stilts’ creations don’t exhaust themselves over the course of the individual song but should be thought of as suites, and for this reason they favour the concept album form. Voices and instruments are chosen in relation to the colour to be given to the music, and so recited pieces, instrumentals and multiple male and female voices abound.

Eric-Maria Couturier / Emmanuelle Somer / Henri Roger / Bruno Tocanne - Parce Que! - From Musea's website, the following from Henri Roger: "The idea of this collective improvisations album around Pierre Soulages's Outrenoir came by playing primarily with bass piano arpeggios and a series of held notes, causing dense harmonic and deep sound 'immatière.'
I invited Eric-Maria Couturier, cello; Emmanuelle Somer, English horn, oboe, bass clarinet, saxophone; and Bruno Tocanne, drums, to visit and experience these paintings on the Internet then join my piano sounds by bringing their own nuances and reflections for a recording session at Studio 26 in Antibes, November 18, 2013.
Interacting with this idea and music artist Anne Pesce created the album cover.
Mixing: Maïkôl Seminatore at The Border Studio. February 2014.
Mastering: Marwan Danoun at Studio Galaxy. Web site: henriroger.com.
'Why black?' The only response, including reasons unknown, lurking in darkest of ourselves and the powers of the painting is: 'Because' ('Parce que' in French)" (Pierre Soulages, 1986)

And a few jazz releases also: Romain Clerc-Renaud / Geoffroy Gesser - Bribes, Fred Schneider - Voyage, and in folk, La Yne - La Grande Illusion.

[Source: Musea Records (in some cases, also the artists' website]

Posted in Album Release News

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