27 June 2008

Looking back at my NEARfest acquisitions

Here's a quick look, one week later, at how I am faring with the new music acquired at NEARfest 2008:

Le Orme - Live in Pennsylvania 2-CD/1-DVD set. Sound quality is excellent. Video is also very very good...of course, I had a 20 minute tease of this on the NEARfest 2005 DVD. UNFORTUNATELY, this is not their full set, as it excises the material from Collage as well as their rendition of Rondo. Still, a wonderful reminder of seeing this great Italian progressive band.

The Red Masque
- Fossileyes. Very good stuff. A bit shocking, actually...their last release had several expansive tracks. The material here is shorter, punchier, more metallic...and every bit as edgy and avant as their past efforts. This is a long awaited album indeed...

Pure Reason Revolution
- Live at NEARfest. Post production helped boost what was an energetic set marred by level issues. Harmonies sound richer, thanks to the ability to bring Chloe's voice up in the mix. Are they prog? Who cares! They were energetic, trippy, and very cool.

- Live at the Calderone on Witchwood Records. With yesterday's surprising yet not overly so announcement that John Hawken was leaving the Strawbs again, buying this live release (which does not feature him) seems almost...prophetic. Sound quality is a bit rough, as I think this was sourced from a multiple generation off air recording...but this is Strawbs at their rocking best. Well nigh essential.

- Work in Progress Live and 4th. Haven't gotten in as many listens to these, but I like what I am hearing so far. Mostly instrumental Italian prog with a bit of a jazzier bent.

Progday 2001
2-CD set. Only one listen in, and there's a lot to swallow here. Only really familiar with the Muffins and Ars Nova, so there's some work to do here.

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
- Di Terra and Canto di Primavera. Two totally different sides to Banco. Di Terra is all instrumental and an unmitigated classic of the genre, while Canto di Primavera is shorter, song based vocal music, almost verging on pop. But both are excellent, and easily reward multiuple listens.

Kingfisher Sky
- s/t. Haven't listened to yet :-)

- Sighs of the Water. Again, no listens yet. But I liked them when they played live at NEARfest 2002.

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