Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Steve Hillage Remastered

Taken from www.planetgong.co.uk

Steve's solo albums from the 70's are scheduled for release in remastered, bonus-tracked and expanded booklet form this Autumn. They are to be released in chronological order, 4 in September and 4 in October. And the best news is that it's all being done with his blessing and hands-on input. As soon as I have any info on the bonus tracks I will let you know.”

This is most welcome news indeed. Hillage was one of the perennial guitarists of the 70’s, initially as part of Gong but then through a series of successful solo albums. The first “Fish Rising” included members of Gong, Hatfield and the North and other Canterbury styled outfits. His second “L” was produced by Todd Rundgren and really broke Hillage into the mainstream. His style became more fluid and funky which was represented on albums like “Motivation Radio” and “Green”. These releases will be most welcome and and it is good seeing Hillage involved in this music again, something he has shunned for many years.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Early Ultravox Remastered

Ultravox’s first 3 albums with John Foxx are to be re-released on 8th May. Remastered with extra tracks, lyrics and sleeve notes, I am particularly looking forward to the very excellent “Systems of Romance”. This is a classic of late 70’s synth pop, when Bowie and Eno’s “Low” opened the way for cool Euro pop chic. Co-produced by the legendary Conny Plank, this was the peak of creativity for the band in my opinion. Foxx left the band after this and made some great albums including “Metamatic” and “The Garden” and is still active today.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pure Reason Revolution ~ The Dark Third

There does seem to be a definite upsurge in interest in prog rock. Not the usual smug battering the genre usually gets, but something more positive and acceptable is abound. With the likes of The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria and Oceansize all getting attention in the mainstream rock press, bands are clearly embracing the likes of Rush, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd with relish. Latest new kids on the block are Pure Reason Revolution from London. This, their debut full length album is full of youthful energy and clearly a band for the future. These guys love harmonies and they are in abundance all over this album. “Bullitts Dominae” is a perfect example. Gorgeous melody and ecstatic chorus propel this song into the stratosphere. The lengthy, “The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning” also has some beautifully arranged vocals spread out over its 12 minutes with most of the vocal duties carried out by guitarist John Courtney and bassist Chloe Alper throughout. Both work wonderfully together. Opener “Aeropause” is a spacey instrumental in the best Floyd tradition with lots of typical Gilmour slide guitar. It’s a slight pity that a few of the tracks here date from their previous mini-album “Cautionary Tales From The Brave”, but as a finished work this album gels nicely as a cohesive whole.

This is a very assured debut from a very promising young band, whether you embrace prog rock or not. This is fresh and exciting rock music and this band should gain the recognition which “The Dark Third” indicates they truly deserve.
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