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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Dictionary 1

Review by Gary Hill

Take healthy helpings of King Crimson and Djam Karet. Stir in some Frank Zappa. Add some Zeppelin and some Dixie Dregs. Deliver it all on a platter of solid instrumental work and you’ll be pretty close to this great album. It is mostly noisy, but it’s all strong. There’s a real groove to most of it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Bliker 1

This starts with a fairly mellow, but still sort of ominous and dark sound. This really makes me think of King Crimson quite a bit. As the rhythm section powers in, it gets heavier and that KC element is reinforced. Djam Karet will also be a valid reference point on this thing at times. It’s gets pretty involved and rather chaotic at times, too. There’s a short drum solo on this, too.

Green Powder
There is almost a funky groove to this thing. It still has the King Crimson vibe a bit, too, but tempered with something perhaps a bit more like King’s X. At times this makes me think of the Dixie Dregs, too. It’s definitely got a bit of a southern fried edge to it.
Radio Aktif
As this starts it has a bass element that really makes it feel a lot like Primus. After the introduction it works out to a killer groove. It’s got a lot of funk, but also some King Crimson-like sound at play. It drops way down after a short bit, though and the rhythm section continues to drive at high speed. It climbs back up after a time, though. I’d have to say that for me, this almost feels like a cross between Primus and Djam Karet to a good degree. There’s another drop back around the three-minute mark, but it powers back out again quickly. There’s a cool fusion-styled bass section later with drums serving as the only backdrop. This thing just keeps evolving from there, turning towards world music by around the six minute mark or so. Then it works to something closer to funky fusion. After several more shifts and changes it turns towards a Jimi Hendrix kind of thing. Then another shift gives us a Zappa-like sound that takes the piece towards a little atmosphere to end.
Fusion starts this off with a fast paced and somewhat off-kilter jam. It gets quite funky as it continues. Then it dissolves to some space music from there. It seems pretty freeform as it evolves. Percussion dances around as some noisy instrumental work weaves a psychedelic kind of sound from there. Space music merges with a Southern rock kind of vibe as this moves out from there. That Southern rock thing takes over as it continues. This gets pretty well tied into fusion. Then the bass takes it into pure funk. More proggy elements emerge over the top as it continues. The changes continue and this is a real free form fusion jam before it ends.
Garba Biru
Fusion meets King Crimson and Djam Karet as this tune leads off. It keeps shifting and evolving. At times it’s almost Zeppelin-like. At other points it seems like Zappa. Then it drops way down and gets into a space meets fusion movement. The Zappa elements rise up again before it drops down once more. Then the drums really drive the whole thing for a while. It eventually (after developing for a while) drops to mellow space music with more of that Crimson-like sound. It builds back out again and some of the guitar soloing gets extremely intense. This thing gets almost metallic at times. The Crimson merged with Djam Karet reference becomes valid again. But there are also some Zappa-like moments as it works out.
Saman Spot
Percussion opens this. The group jump in shortly and it’s more of a fusion kind of jam that emerges. King Crimson and Frank Zappa both seem to be valid comparisons at time as this jam evolves. It just keeps working through various changes within that sound until around the six and a half minute mark. There it goes out into some funky fusion. That Primus kind of thing comes to play later.
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