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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Agitation Free

Last, Fragments and Live '74

Review by Gary Hill

This new box set includes three CDs that have been reissued. Additionally there is a live DVD. The CDs are all from the 1970s, while the DVD was recorded in this century. Personally, I like their new sound better than the older one, but it's all pretty good. The DVD is a solid video, and this is worth having. I have done this review as the box set, but also have done each album individually.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD 1; Last

I really dig the trippy space sounds on this set. It's perhaps closer to something like Hawkwind than any of their other sets I've heard are. There are plenty of other things here, too, though.

Soundpool

Trippy space rock elements start things out in style. This is somewhat short, less than six minutes, and very spacey and freeform. It turns to more rocking stuff later. 
Laila Ii
Here we get another cool space rocker. I love the Hawkwind meets space and more sound of this. Tbere is some great trippy psychedelia at play here. I really love the jamming on this cut. 
Looping IV
This comes in fairly mellow and very trippy. It's quite sparse. It has gradual building. It's an odd, but intruiging piece of music. It does get into more rocking territory later in the number. There is a long period of silence at the end of this. 
Schwingspule
Trippy atmospherics open this and move it forward. This thing gets pretty freaky. Some cool, more rocking stuff emerges later as this piece continues its exploration. It dissolves into some really spacey weirdness later in the piece.
CD 2: Fragments

This album brings more psychedelia and even some jazz to the table. It's still got a lot of space rock, though. I really like this one quite a bit. It's a rarity in that it has some vocals. 
Someone's Secret
Jam band sounds meet jazz and prog on this cool tune. The space elements rise up, as well. This has some rather psychedelic rock vocals later in the track. There is a hard rocking movement, too.
Mickey's Laugh
Here we get another classy psychedelic rock jam. This is cool stuff. There are jam band elements and a lot of psychedelic rock is built into it, too. 
We Are Man
Here is another cool jam. It is really very much space rock meets jam band sound. There are some classic sounding bits here. In a lot of ways this makes me think of The Doors. 
Mediterranean Flight
A shorter, mellower cut, this is solid and intriguing. 
Crashending
This is a pretty crazed jam. It's rather bizarre, but works pretty well. There are mellower moments later. In a lot of ways this makes me think of early Pink Floyd. 
CD 3: Live 74
This live set is strong. It's not a huge change from their other music, but there are some great instrumental segments, 
Through The Moods
There is definitely a Pink Floyd kind of vibe underway here - early Floyd, perhaps mixed with the Dead. We get some smoking hot jamming later. 
First Communication
If the last tune had some Grateful Dead in the mix, this one is very much based on their sound. It really feels like a Dead space jam. 
Dialogue & Random
Percussion and weirdness makes up this piece. 
Laila
This is another healthy slab of space music and jam band sounds. 
In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise
They don't reinvent the wheel here, but this has some great jamming built into it. 
Big Fuzz
This comes in after some silence and rises up in textural, spacey ways. There is some killer jamming on this piece.
 
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