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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Gak Omek

Nonrenormalizability

Review by Gary Hill

The alien musical entity known as “The Gak Omek” has produced a new CD of thrilling instrumental progressive rock. Much of this reminds me a lot of Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe, but to stop there in the description would only capture part of the music. You’d need to include King Crimson, jazz music, fusion and a whole lot more to really get everything in to the description. Whatever you want to call it, it’s exciting and captivating.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Tunguska Event

Sound effects and white noise and other elements lead this off and hold it in seemingly random fashion for a time. Then the cut shreds out into a King Crimson-like jam that’s also got some healthy helpings of Hawkwind like space built into them. This instrumental definitely has plenty of Crimson in it, but also some more jazz oriented sounds.

The Pythagorean Lambdoma
This is more melodic and still more jazz oriented. It calls to mind Yes in a lot of ways, but with that noisy Crimsonian texture still present. As this moves out later the guitar soloing is quite Steve Howe-like, but classical elements emerge over the top, too. This combination of sounds continues, carrying the piece forward nicely. Later we’re taken to a segment that calls to mind music from a spaghetti western, but delivered with a prog sensibility. It’s playful and quite tasty with more of that classical music element overlaid upon it.
Galaxia Nuncius
The Howe-like guitar soloing is here, along with a new age meets fusion sensibility. There is an almost Middle Eastern element to the melodies, too.  A melodic sort of symphonic rock structure takes over as this continues. It feels like a more classical and progressive rock styled version of The Beatles. It turns more to Yes-like territory later and then becomes more symphonic further down this musical road. 
Nonrenormalizability
A soaring, swirling sort of melody calls to mind Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe, but with a little bit of a jazz edge to it. This is quite cool and would have been at home on the self-titled disc by ABWH. We’re taken through a number of changes, but it never really seems to lose sight of that ABWH sound. 
Bagudzinishinabe
Another that has a lot in common with the sounds of Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe, this is also quite classical in nature and yet it’s got some real fusion built into it, as well. It’s an active and intriguing piece, even if less epic than the one that preceded it. The keyboards especially grab some real attention at times, feeling very Wakeman-like. There’s an interesting percussive section, too. 
Fifteen Billion Nanoseconds In Hell
This is just a section of music played backwards. It’s less than twenty seconds long and it’s noisy.
Alien Television
Starting with sedate tones, this turns to faster paced music later. At times the ABWH leanings show up, but this is also rather jazz-like at times. It’s got a percussive movement, as well. It’s one of the more dynamic cuts here. 
Into The Fourth Density
This is much more textural in a lot of ways. It reminds me at times quite a bit of some of Steve Howe’s solo music and yet there are parts that make me think of Rick Wakeman, too.
 
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