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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Von Zamla

1983

Review by Gary Hill

A compilation of live performances from 1983, this disc is a great prog jam type of album with definite King Crimson leanings. It is also very jazz oriented, and has some considerably strong material on it.

The lineup on the CD is Lars Hollmer, Märten Tiselius, Hans Loelv, Michel Berekmans, Wolfgang Salomon and Eio Haapala.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ten Tango
Nice melodic sax begins this cut. Piano takes over for a short time, and as the rest of the instruments join, the mode is almost in the vein of an orchestral King Crimson for a time. Next the cut shifts directions to a pleasant jazz form before moving into territory that is very much in the style of early '70's Crimson, meandering and reinventing various musical lines as the composition evolves. This one is a great quirky prog groove. It dissolves into chaos after a time, then moves into a very weird jam dominated by bass guitar. More melodic forms eventually emerge to end the piece.
Forgeetyde
After an intro consisting of sounds resembling hammers striking metal, this one emerges in potent jazz fusion styles, that are quite fast pace and energetic meanderings. This jam is all over the place.
Harujanta
Light hearted tones with a funny textured vintage jazz sound make up this cut. The vocals in French feel almost playful. It evolves into solid prog modes with the flavors of a French café over top. This mode holds the composition for quite some time. It eventually returns to the earlier mode before shifting to a vocal and chant sort of style. This gives way to a jam a bit reminiscent of The Yes Album era Yes, but as jazzy elements are added on the, the cut becomes a fun jazz oriented jam. This segment feels a bit Caribbean at times. It drops to a short instrumental segment that feels a bit like a prog take on Fiddler on the Roof. This movement ends the piece.
Temporal You Are Here
Starting in an enigmatic, almost Floydian "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" mode, this one builds very slowly, much as that song does. The cut suddenly shifts gear, becoming a noisy cacophonic pounding sort of piece, before moving into adding non-lyrical vocals to impart a certain dramatic flair, feeling a bit Russian in style. The noise, pounding sort of mode continues after these vocals end, becoming an unusual and powerful prog jam.
Antsong
Very quirky and intermittent, this is Crimsonian weirdness based primarily on reed instruments. Noisy and a bit harsh at times, it is a very dynamic piece that should please fans of the King Crimson type of progressive rock. It becomes more melodic as it carries on. The number features some odd vocals and a fast paced jam, and has a dramatic conclusion.
Fur Manju/Indojazz
This cut is nice melodic and rather bouncy prog with an Old World European flavor. It gets quite dramatic and very powerful. This is one of my favorite tracks on this CD.
Glassmusic
"Glassmusic" is a brief composition based in atmospheric tones.
Rainbox
Fairly classically oriented, but quite accessible, this one is based in gentle, yet uptempo, tones. It wanders into more dramatic prog territory, but retains its catchy nature. This one is definitely another favorite.
Doppler
Sedate tones begin this one, and the cut begins to build in mysterious, almost eastern modes as the guitar enters. It begins a very strong buildup from that point, becoming a considerably strong and fast paced progressive tune. Getting considerably powerful and dark before its conclusion, it leaves one asking himself, "does this disc just keep getting better, or what?"
Akarondo (Partial)
Hand clapping and chanting make up the early segments of this one. Instruments join in and continue the themes in very strong ways.
Dancing Madras
This is a very brief and humorous, spoken piece.
Clandestine
Starting as a good jumping sort of jam with very traditional jazz texture, it turns to a more standard hard edged prog mode later. This is another considerably strong piece. It includes some vocals toward the end and a very triumphant sounding melody.
Odet
A hard edged dramatic prog build leads to a segment that feels a bit like jazzy James Bond movie music. This gives way to a fast paced, dramatic jazz oriented prog jam, and then to more Bond material. This one is full of intrigue, and is a strong ending to the disc.
 
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