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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Klassik

In the Making

Review by Gary Hill

Since a lot of this is basically hip hop, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it earns a lyrical warning. What might be a surprise, though, is that this almost fits under progressive rock. The blend of musical styles here is pretty amazing, often times landing it near jazz and prog. There is even some psychedelic rock here. Whatever you call it, though, this is quite a cool set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
GrandSchemeOfThings

This comes in with very classical elements. It builds up with an almost progressive rock feeling as bits of keyboards come over the symphonic sounds. There’s an abrupt stop for a one line rap. Then the cut goes back to the same section. It drops back to just piano for the next rap and the other elements return as that rap continues. This is really very much a rap turned progressive rock.

Running2

This seems to come right out of the previous track and continues the progressive rock sound, but with more of a psychedelic texture. Still, parts of this fall in closer to typical hip hop, but it’s far removed from anything “typical,” really.

*OhYeah...Ntro

After a very symphonic proggy intro, this drops to a stripped back pounding arrangement that’s more traditional hip hop. The rap really drives this thing. While the proggier elements return for a couple short stints, this stays more in the rhythmically dominated standard hip hop mode.

NotWhatUrUsed2

Jazz is merged with more standard hip hop sounds on this cool tune. It’s got a lot of class.

AllDay. (featuring Toni Martin)

Here the motif has more of a pop rock vibe infused within it. The piano is one of the dominant factors here, but the rap is also captivating.

MoonRock

With a lot of rhythmic texture, this seems to combine the jazzy proggy sounds with more electronic or even techno ones.

Enemy/InnerMe

The arrangement here clearly falls closer to progressive rock territory. This is driving and has a lot of energy. It’s also get plenty of melody and there are even some cool distorted vocals at times.

Escape

Take the raps off this and you’ve got an energetic jazzy prog rock tune. This is a great piece of music and the raps add drama and “oomph” to it. There’s a killer instrumental movement later in this that’s 100 percent fusion.

ForeverWhatever

Jazz piano starts things off here. It grows out from there into a progressive rock meets jazz arrangement. This is another cool one. That piano eventually takes it out.

WhoElse? (featuring Blizz Mcfly)

Piano starts this one, too, more in a progressive rock style. From there it gets into more standard hip hop territory, but the keyboard soaring over the top lends a proggy vibe. This is soulful and very tasty. It’s more like other hip hop, but with a lot of extra sounds and styles added to the mix. It certainly gets intense later.

BlowMyHigh (featuring Prophetic & Toni Martin)

I love the driving bass line on this thing. It’s clearly got plenty of that progressive rock vibe built into it and really jams. There are some great sung female vocals on this cut. The arrangement has so much cool sound built into it.

FakeOut

While the rhythm section really drives this, there are some bits of keyboards lending other bits of magic to it.

Stay
This starts off in a decidedly jazz-like motif, complete with jazz vocals. That section returns later, but as counter point to a more typical hip hop sound. I love the lyrical references to classic slasher films in the cut.
UrNextMove. (featuring Oye!)

Quite rhythmic, there is still some melodic keyboard work elevating this and it has a great groove.

Waiting4aminute. (featuring Rtystic & Evan Christian)

The vocals bring a cool groove to this. There is some great jazz sound in the backdrop and the whole piece just feels tasty.

KuttinKlass
Jazz and progressive rock are merged on the arrangement to this tune.
 
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