Various Artists — Progfest '94: Variety Arts Center - Los Angeles
(Musea FGBG 4154.AR, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
When it finally appeared at Progfest '95, the ink was still drying on the booklet of this two-CD retrospective of the show a year before. Each of the nine featured bands (Halloween, Kalaban, Änglagård, Episode, Echolyn, Giraffe, Anekdoten, Minimum Vital, and the reformed Sebastian Hardie) are given about fifteen minutes give or take on this set (though Echolyn seems to have gotten a little shortchanged). Anyone who was there will definitely want this for a keepsake — as well as those who missed the event altogether. The sound quality is excellent, better than the actual live performances (your ears won't bleed during the Kalaban set, and the relentless screeching feedback during Sebastian Hardie's "Four Moments" is conspicuously absent). And if you fell asleep during the Änglagård set because you partied too hard the night before, here's your chance to catch at least a part of it. Note also that Musea has released two full length videos of Progfest '94 — one for the performances on each of the two nights, and that the selections on the video are in many cases different than those on the CDs.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more