Vulgar Unicorn — Under the Umbrella
(Cyclops CYCL 018, 1995, CD)
by Alain Lachapelle, Published 1995-11-01
The trumpet, saxophone, and strings add a nice coloration to what is basically a guitar-oriented music, with plenty of riffs in the vein of Hawkwind and the like. Vocal themes are easy-going: this is music you can instantly hum along on first listen, if not improvising vocals on your own. This is not to say it's blatant. Rather, the long-developing themes give this recording an aura of welcomed space rock, and there's a definite feeling of fun amongst the musicians that makes the music rise above plain jams. It is nice, it sounds nice, it goes on smoothly. One long above-the-40-minute mark piece just about makes the album. As good as it is in its flowing way, one may fear how can it last. If the band continues exploiting exactly the same recipe, it may very well become redundant in no time. Let's hope VU will sustain the feeling, will retain – as corny as it sounds – the freshness, the almost naive approach which makes their music so delectable. A rather strong release in its very own way, to be classified under 'space rock', under 'sunny groovy prog rock.' Not bad.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more