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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Zurich / Lausanne

Review by Gary Hill

This set features two different recordings, one from 1983 and from 1984. It's all instrumental and quite electronic in nature. It's also quite cool stuff. The music here has psychedelic along with fusion and other electronic musical forms. Comparisons to things like Synergy and Tangerine Dream are appropriate. This gets quite freeform and experimental at times, but really does work well. It should be mentioned that most of the booklet is in German, so those who can read that language will get more out of it than I did.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Flight in the Rings of Saturn

Fast paced electronic prog opens this. It grows gradually with other layers of sound coming over the top. At the same time the musical concepts seem to work onward in intriguing fashion. This works through a number of shifts and changes with some cool psychedelia meets prog sounds on display. By around the 13 minute mark, the cut has moved into almost fusion territory. As it works its way outward from there it continues to shift and change. There are definitely moments that call to mind things like Synergy. It turns into some pretty trippy stuff around the 26 minute mark. A more percussive element takes it at the end.

Seventh Dance to Relativities / for Papa
This is shorter than the previous cut, but still more than 25 minutes in length. The cut comes in tentatively and works outward from there with some world music in the mix. As it grows it definitely has some fusion in the mix. It also has some rather sparse and freeform things that show up at times. The horn playing adds a lot as the continues to grow. It drops way down and then starts to build back upward around the seven minute mark. As it evolves from there parts of this feel like classical music while other sections have definite jazz tendencies. As it approaches the 11 minute mark it works to strictly percussion with a definite tribal vibe. Eventually trippy prog elements with a jazzy horn come over the top. Freeform fusion becomes the order of business for a while, but it still has tribal elements in the mix. It evolves to something not far removed from Rock In Opposition as it moves forward. It drops to trippy keys with the sounds of squabbling dogs and other oddities in the mix. It becomes decidedly percussive for a while, but then the trippy stuff takes control again. Eventually more percussive things take over again, but there is plenty of trippy music over the top of that backdrop.
Dark Star

The percussive type of textures we heard on the previous piece start this one. At less than eight and a half minutes of music, this is the shortest piece of the first CD. Louder, more intense music emerges after a time, leading this into some intriguing, albeit strange, music. Keyboards move it in some trippy directions in the closing sections of the piece.

Disc 2
Bali Loop
Ambient sounds with a real percussive bent open this number and move it forward. I dig the percussion on this. It's rather tribal. There are some pretty crazed spacey keyboards at times on this cut. It gets pretty trippy as it works onward. There are jazzy elements that come in over the top as this works onward. By around the ten minute mark it has worked through some other changes, creating some pretty freeform sounds, and then dropped to near silence to continue. Weird bits of percussion and things create the concept as it gradually works onward. Eventually some cool space keyboard elements are heard, creating a cool psychedelic vibe to carry the piece. It continues to evolve before it ends.
Matter Matters
Seeming to come out of the previous piece, a cool rhythm section groove emerges, driving this forward in style. This eventually gets into some killer freeform fusion as it is built into some smoking hot sounds. It gets into more restrained and freaky stuff as it continues.
Markus' Interlude
The first two minutes plus of this is a smoking hot drum solo that works really well. It gets keyboards added to the mix as it makes its way forward from there. The keyboard soloing gets into some almost jazz territory as it continues.
Starting in percussive ways, this grows in some cool directions. It becomes more melodic as it continues, but the percussion remains prominent and driving. There is some really soaring and intense jamming later in the piece. This gets into some seriously fusion linked territory.
Black Sand
Keyboard lines packed with style open this. There is either flute or keys that sound like flute in the mix as it grows. There are some trippy melodic sections as this continues to evolve. A cool rocking groove eventually takes control, making this one of the most accessible pieces here. It seems to combine space rock with jazz and more. I love the jamming around the nine minute mark on this. It works through with one of the most mainstream segments of the entire set to fulfill itself.
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