Monday, November 24, 2003

PROGMETHEUS UNBOUND: THE RETURN

Well, I feel I should apologise for Progmetheus Unbound. At the end of the day, it was simply far too cursory.

Via an intermediary (he doesn’t have email or even a computer, in fact the Billboard Progressive Music Guide was written on a typewriter) Bradley Smith has made his feelings known: “not thorough,” “sloppy”, “uninformed”. Noam tried his best but couldn’t quite hide his disappointment. Other correspondents (see below) haven’t been nearly so concerned about sparing my feelings.

My only excuse really is that the whole undertaking, while based in genuine curiosity about ‘progressive’, is practically speaking an exercise in seeing how extensively you can map a sonic terrain with only the most minimal first-hand (first-ear?) acquaintance with it.

Any, for what it’s worth, here is Progmetheus 2, an attempt to make amends by rounding up the most blatant ommissions and egregious category errors. To start off, some comments from my blog peers and e-correspondents.

^^^^

In as kindly a tone as he can manage Luc Sante notes numerous sins of omission:

NYC JUILLARD-HIPPIE PROTO PROG
Ars Nova
New York Rock & Roll Ensemble

BEAT GROUP LEAN PROGWARD
The Move

PROG 50S-NOSTALGIA
Roy Wood as Eddie & the Falcons

GARAGE-PROG
Electric Prunes--Mass in F Minor

ZAPPA-SONDHEIM HYBRID PROTO-PROG
Chrysalis

NONE DARE CALL IT PROG
Love (well, Four Sail and Out There, anyway)

DUTCH-SCANDINAVIAN DIVISION
Focus

NO WAVE PROG
Dark Day
Circus Mort (future Swans)
that Don Giovanni-based concept album perpetrated by members of Mars [John Gavanti? Don King?]

SF NEW WAVE PROG
Tuxedomoon
Sleepers

NYC MINIMALIST PROG
Glenn Branca (20 guitars!)
Rhys Chatham (100 guitars!)

^^^^

Audibly (legibly?) rubbing his hands together with glee, Sébastien Morlighem draws attention to a series of blunders:

POSTPUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
The Work
Family Fodder (in fact all the Cold Storage connection)
Door & the Window
Flying Lizards*
Bits in The Fall discography (Live at the Witch Trial, The Unuterrable's Ketamin Sun -mock-prog ?)

*(The Flood/Trouble/Events during Flood on the side B of first LP ; most of the second LP, plenty of Fripp in it !)

FROG PROG
Early Pascal Comelade*

* minimal electroprog, big influence of Fripp/Eno, Pinhas, of course (check 'Allez Theia' by Heldon!!!)

COMEDY PROG/POETRY PROG FUSION
Lady June*

* ‘Linguistic Leprosy’ has bits of early TG in it?

^^^^

Outwardly genial but spiced with undertones of schadenfreude, Stanley Whyte points out the bleeding obviousness of such absent categories as:

WHEELS OF STEEL PROG
DJ Shadow*
Kid Koala

* Bonus prog points for releasing discs that are enhanced by listening to them through headphones.

NUGGETS PROG
Amboy Dukes - Journey to the Center of Your Mind*

*This should ALMOST be disqualified for including anything by Ted Nugent, as definitely-not-prog as I can think of.

1ST-TIER BRITISH INVASION PROG
The Kinks (1968-75)*

* this encompasses Village Green Preservation Society, Muswell Hillbillies, Lola Vs The Powerman, Acts 1, 2 and 3, Soap Opera - Concept
Albums ALL!

CZECH PROG
Plastic People of the Universe/Pulnoc

JAZZ-PROG
Keith Jarrett

^^^^
Matthew Ingram, barely able to stifle his glee,
points out the absence of French synth prog outfit Space Art from the PROG DISCO category, seeing as they were the same crew responsible for Space’s "Magic Fly," while also noting that Tom Moulton's Kebekelektrik album (a Kraftwerk Homage apparently) features a disco cover of Ravel's "Bolero," and in a final encyclopaedic flourish points out the presence of future Police guitarist Andy Summers as drummer on Deep Purple organist Jon Lord’s 1975 album Sarabande (“which was moving into Axelrod-y territory via covers of Ravel”)

^^^^

Rather testily, Scott Woods chips in with

PROG SOUL
Marvin Gaye

RURAL PROG
The Band's "Chest Fever"

AYERS PROG
Kevin Ayers
Roy Ayers

And further suggests that limiting this thing to music is, frankly, parochial-minded given the existence of:

PROG CINEMA
Ken Russell
Oliver Stone
Stanley Kubrick

^^^^

Verging on belligerent, Eli Bingham berates: “Where's Manuel Goettsching and E2-E4 then?! I mean, shit, he WAS in Ash Ra Temple”. He’s right: a shocking omission in the PROTO-TECHNO PROG CATEGORY

^^^^

Co-founderBruce Adams appreciates the inclusion of Kranky in the list of prog labels but objects to the Eurocentric bias resulting in the absence of:

JAPANESE PROG and JAPANESE SUB-PROG {blue cheer damage}: Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, Boredoms, Keiji Haino/ Fushitsusha and the PSF label.

Bruce is also keen to advance his pet theory about the influence of ECM Records on American left field rock of the 1990s (see Appendix 3)

^^^^
Too nice to actually call me an ignoramus to my face, Wallace Winfrey is dismayed by the non-appearance of Voivod in the METAL IS PROG INNIT PROG category. He also suggests that Grateful Dead merit some kind of category (JAM PROG?) for their Weather Report suite, Blues For Allah, Terrapin Station (“all with the signature prog trappings of one long song composed of several parts”) and notes that bassist Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin's electronic 70s outing, Seastones “specifically mentions use of Buchla instruments--a hallmark of any good
prog outing”.

^^^^
Jonathon Dale
tartly indicates the embarrassing absence from HUNGARIAN PROG of prog-metal band The Galloping Coroners (a/k/a Vagtazo Halottkemek) and the non-appearance in FINNISH PROG of Circle (who “hide it behind these stoned circular riffs a la Loop or whatever, but the organ playing (Jon Lord, good Lord!) and the squealy dramatic (almost cod-operatic) vocals are a dead giveaway”.

^^^^

Francesco Brunetti reckons I need my head examining if I can’t see the righteousness of the following lineage:

MAGICKAL MYSTERY PROG/ALEISTER
CROWLEY IS PROG)

Graham Bond -- Holy Magick
Psychic TV -- Force the hand of chance
Nekrophile Rekords -- The beast 666 and the archangels
of sex rule the destruction of the regime
Current 93 -- Christ and the pale queen mighty in
sorrow
Coil -- Moon's milk (in four phases)

^^^^

Alan Murphy comes up with an embarrassment of glitches
whose lowlights include:

BIG BAND CONCEPT JAZZ PROTO-PROG
Miles Davis (& Gil Evans) - Porgy & Bess, Miles Ahead, Sketches Of Spain

FREE-JAZZ PROTO-PROG
Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz (A Collective Improvisation), The Shape of Jazz to Come
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme, Ascension, Interstellar Space

WIDESCREEN 80’S STADIUM PROG
U2
later Simple Minds
Disintegration-era Cure
Talk Talk*

* even if they never made it to stadium size, they sounded like they did

NEO-HAWKWIND DRONE PROG
Spacemen 3
Loop

^^^^^

In tones more sorrowful than scornful Matthew Maragno hints that it was possibly a bit of colossal fuck-up not to have addressed the existence of

TURNTABLIST PROG-HOP
Q-Bert
Radar
Rob Swift
Eddie Def

To which I can only feebly retort: you forgot DJ Faust, and suggest that while Matt’s contention that “pretty near all of them” are proggish is broadly true, most in fact lean more to Yngwie Malmstee/Satriani technoflash/showboating than yer actual full-on progrock concepts/fantasia pretentiousness

Matt also suggests adding Captain Beefheart to COMEDY PROG, adding Sun Ra and Mahavishnu Orchestra to JAZZ PROG, adding Widespread Panic to DIXIE PROG, and throwing Phish in their somewhere. Good points all.

^^^^^^

With an exquisite blend of asperity and condescension Michael Carty draws attention to the non-inclusion of Chapterhouse and the appropriate category: SHOEGAZE PROG-LITE (DECAFFEINATED & SUGAR-FREE), observing en passant the nice irony of the fact that “the name is even only one letter off Charterhouse, school of Genesis origins”.

^^^^

Aaron Goldberg practically jumps up and down on the spot with delight upon spotting the manifest failure to recognise the 80s-progness of midperiod Tears For Fears: “I mean a guy doing a guitar solo to Nature and the Gods on the cliffs of Scotland or wherever is so PROG I can't believe you missed it!!”. There was also of course their Pepper’s/Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles homage Sowing the Seeds of Love. Aaron further proposes Ween as “masters of post-prog”.

^^^^
Adam Sobolak advances persuasively the thesis that art-rock began when Klaus Voorman met the Beatles. “The pre-Hamburg proto-Beatles fundamentally were still just kids and fanboys sowing their
wild oats, it wasn't like rock'n'roll was going to be their career or anything. Besides, if there was any "higher pretense", the pre-1960 high-art embrace of American popular musics like jazz and rock always had a certain "noble savage" disconnect. The most radical outcome of the Beatles' contact with Voorman's bohemian circle is that the disconnect vanished; "art" and "rock" effectively fused. “ One notes also Voorman’s bass playing on the great Yoko Ono records (PRIMITIVIST PROG?)

^^^^

Rob Geary reckons any fule kno that latter day Warp is pure PROGTRONICA--“Aphex Twin and Squarepusher's recent efforts both the hallmark of prog- the dreaded DOUBLE ALBUM. Squarepusher's even came with the boast/warning sticker for the second disc, "Alive in Japan." Hello Budokan.” (One might go further moot the entire genre of IDM as intrinsically prog). Rob also notes that Spring Heel Jack “once cheered the PROG ‘N’ BASS bass movement from the sidelines but seemed to have successfully escaped late prog hell for the different hell of the academy”

^^^^
Ben Wolfson takes no small delight in pointing out that Univers Zero belong in BELGIAN PROG not FROG PROG; that Cuneiform is a shameful absence from the PROG LABELS list; that the ITALO-PROG subsection is pathetically underpopulated (he cites Stormy Six, Area, Picchio dal Pozzo as particularly notable); that’s there a vast subgenre of Rock in Opposition-style Eurorock mostly in the mold of Henry Cow; that DIXIE PROG really ought to include the Dixie Dregs and PROG-FOLK could probably include Richard Thompson (he was in the "supergroup" French Frith Kaiser Thompson, after all). He controversially nominates Television as prog (claiming that Fripp wanting to join the group while he was living in New York; Eno also produced some early Television demos). He adds that “it's not just the case that Laswell was in NYC Gong; the band was essentially Daevid Allen + Material” and in a penultimate flourish of encyclopaedic knowledge notes that Andy Summers’s prog credentials extend beyond Spooky Tooth to include “not one but two albums with Fripp--guitar synth duets”. Finally, “why aren't the Ruins in PROG’N’BASS?”. Crushing.

^^^^

Ex-girlfriend Suzanne Spiers emerges from over 16 years radio silence to heap fresh insult upon ancient injury with the observation that I somehow forgot to put Sven Vath in PROG TECHNO despite having extensively slagged him off for progward tendencies in Energy Flash. For an extra twist of the knife she mentions Clock DVA and The Cure as startling omissions.

^^^^

Marc EC Morris feels that Wu-Tang Clan’s non-appearance in PROG HOP is bizarrely wrongheaded, given their “obsession with maths, conspiracy theories, etc plus escalating pomposity circa the second Graveidiggaz album and then the utterly prog Wu-Tang Forever”

^^^^
Freshman-year crush Rebecca Rosengarde (who I recall only having a worn, scratched copy of a Rolling Stones compilation and possibly something by the Clash but what the hey) emerges from the digital ether to propose the category:

EIGHTIES WET’N’WIMPY INDIE-MAVERICK ESOTERIC PROG-LITE
Cindytalk
Sad Lovers & Giants
The The
Eyeless in Gaza

And further suggests that Arto Lindsay’s post-DNA outfit Ambitious Lovers fit somewhere on account of their series of albums based around the seven deadly sins.

^^^^

Damon Nguyen reckons Kak and Bubble Puppy both fit the category of LATE PSYCH/PROTO-PROG, and is downright insulting about the failures to incorporate Skin Yard, Sado Nation, and “all Amebix-inspired punk metal” somewhere in the list. It's all Greek to me.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Okay, that was the hard part. Now for the errors and omissions that occurred to me independently concerning the first list of prog subgenres.

BRASS SECTION PROG
The Flock*
Electric Flag [misfiled]

* favorite of Phil Oakey pre his conversion to pop aesthetic

SUB-PROG
Budgie
Three Man Army
Dust

COMEDY PROG
Grimms

MORLEY PROG
Van Der Graaf Generator

JAZZ PROG
Anthony Braxton
Miles Davis post-Bitches Brew

PROG-SOUL
Isaac Hayes
Isley Brothers

DISCO PROG
Cerrone *
Donna Summer--“State of Independence” **

* every album has approx four 10 minute songs on it and some kind of overall concept

** cover of a Jon Anderson song


MUTANT DISCO PROG
Thomas Leer
Arthur Russell
Faze Action

SYNTH POP PROG
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yukihiro Takahashi--Neuromantic
Eurythmics--In the Garden *
John Foxx--The Garden
Thomas Leer -- Contradictions
Thomas Dolby
Dramatis


* involved Holger Czukay, Conny Planck, and Robert Gorl, and if memory serves some flutes

POSTPUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
Metaboliste
The Lemon Kittens/Karl Blake/Danielle Dax
The Passage
Biting Tongues
Family Fodder

NEW WAVE PROG
Joe Jackson -- Big World/Will to Power/Blaze of Glory
Men At Work

SKA PROG
The Beat -- Wh’Appen
Madness--The Rise and Fall*

* gatefold sleeve; almost a concept album; suffused in nostalgia; used David Bedford# to do a brass band arrangement on ‘Primrose Hill’; excessive use of keyboards

# the prog arranger, worked on Roy Harper’s Stormcock, did at least four extended instrumental albums on Virgin including Instructions for Angels “the first LP ever in BBC Matrix H Quad/Stereo”, recorded partly at Worcester Cathedral (with Mike Oldfield producing) and based on the poems of Kenneth Patchen

PROGCORE
Minutemen
Meat Puppets
Birdsongs of the Mezoic
Tools of Ignorance
Tragic Mulatto
Blind Idiot God

METAL IS PROG INNIT PROG
Blue Oyster Cult
Electric Sun

PROG-HOP
DJ Shadow *

* Greil Marcus noted the following in a recent Real Life Rock Top 10 column:

“DJ Shadow, Diminishing Returns Party Pak (bootleg) For the second of two discs drawn from BBC jockey John Peel's March 29 show: a 40-minute collage of apparent examples of 1965-73 California pop, Fairport Convention-style folk rock, and British post-Beatle-isms. It's all so stylistically third-hand and discographically obscure that you imagine only Shadow can still name the tunes--even if anyone can hear the desire and idealism that seem coded in their forms”

GRUNGE PROG
Smashing Pumpkins

POST ROCK IS PROG INNIT PROG*
Brise-Glace
Gastr de Sol


* see appendix 5 for essay on post rock as anti-New Wave as the prog-redux

PROG LABELS: OMISSIONS
Passport
Manticore
Janus
Ektroverde
Brain
Ohr
Spalax
Sky
Spiegelei
Opal
Marmalade
E.G.
Extreme
Cuneiform
CMP
Akarma
Futura
Antilles
CBS *

* supposedly cornered the market at one point

DEFINITELY NOT PROG NOT ONE LITTLE BIT OH NO: OMMISSIONS
Marshall Crenshaw, the Vaselines, John Hiatt, Graham Parker, Voice of the Beehive, B52s, Creedence Clearwater, Brian Selzer, John Cougar Mellencamp, Springsteen, J. Geils Band, Mott the Hoople, Nils Lofgren, Bob Seger....

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Here’s some all-new categories that I missed last time round:

LATE PSYCH/PROTO PROG POP
Bee Gees circa Odessa
The Zombies circa Oracle and Odyssey
The Appletree Theatre
Kaleidoscope (UK)
Ill Wind
The Millenium
The Mandrake Memorial
Jude Henske & Jerry Tester
Euphoria
Gandalf
The Insect Trust
Open Mind
The Outsiders
Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit and Greenhill
JK & Co. Vernon Haddocks.

LATE PSYCH/SOUND LIBRARY/PROTO-TRIPHOP PROG
The Electric Prunes (later albums)*
David Axelrod

* Release of an Oath and Mass in F Minor --essentially David Axelrod records

“BREL CANTO”/ORCHESTRATED EXISTENSIALIST PROG
Scott Walker 1, 2, 3, 4

PROGRESSIVE BLUES/HEAVY-ROCK PROG
Cream
Mountain*
Vanilla Fudge
Beck Bogert & Appice
Baker-Gurvitz Army
Groundhogs
Al Kooper
Leon Russell
Blodwyn Pig
Atomic Rooster
Steamhammer
Masters of Reality **
Anything with Jack Bruce in it
Anything with Ginger Baker in it
Most anything with Jeff Beck in it

* key sonic architect Felix Pappalardi (former Cream producer) pioneered studio technique of close-miking different parts of the drum kit; second most famous song the keyboard laced “Nantucket Sleighride” about the 19th Century whaling industry and known to older UK readers as theme song of World In Action.

** second album features Ginger Baker on drums, he also sings a quite amusing song about how Yanks can’t brew a decent cuppa tea -- sfunny cos it’s true!

LATIN-FUSION PROG
Santana

PROG-LEANING SINGER-SONGWRITER
Shawn Philips

RUSTIC SUB-PROG
Greenslade
Strawbs
Meriweather *

* band fronted by Steve Sutherland of MM/NME/IPC fame

SPOOF PROG
Heavy Jelly

FUSION PROG
Mahavinshnu Orchestra
Colosseum
Return to Forever
Stanley Clarke
Brand X
Tony Williams Lifetime
Last Exit
George Duke

FUSION PROG LITE
John Klemmer

COSMIC BUFFOON PROG
Eric Burdon & War
Todd Rundgren
Verve/Richard Ashcroft

COMEDY PROG-LITE/POMP
The Tubes

LADY PROG
Sally Oldfield
Kate Bush
Annie Haslam
Vicki Richards
Constance Demby
Laurie Anderson
Danielle Dax
Bjork
Lisa Gerrard

PROG-FUNK
Rufus

PROG-FOLK
The Roches *

* produced by Robert Fripp

PROTO-PUNK PROG
Simply Saucer
Sproton Layer*

* First and Floyd-like band of Roger Miller of Mission of Burma--who're quite prog really come to think of it.

PROTO-NEW WAVE PROG
Split Enz *

* pre-skinny tie new wave phase they were outright prog, apparently

“JUST LIKE PUNK NEVER HAPPENED” PROG/NEW WAVE? WHAT NEW WAVE? PROG
U.K.

PROGGERS PASSING AS NEW WAVE PROG
Peter Gabriel circa III/Shock the Monkey *
Anthony More
Bill Nelson
Fripp-Exposure/God Save the Queen-Heavy Manners
King Crimson circa Elephant Talk
Golden Palominos **

* banned use of cymbals at the III sessions for that Joy Division/Comsats-like tom-tom panning drum sound

** as well as lydon, stipe, anton fier etc, actually featured people like jack bruce, fred frith, nicky skopeletis, richard thompson

MANZANERA PROG
Quiet Sun *
Go **
801

* This Heat’s Charles Hayward was in this group I think

** supergroup featuring Stomu Yamashta, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schultze and Phil M amongst others


FUCKING OBSCURE THESE, IS HE MAKING THE DAFT NAMES UP NO HONESTLY PROG
Chilliwack
Kraan
Klaatu

CUTLER PROG
Chris Cutler *
Ivor Cutler **

* Henry Cow, Art Bears, Residents Eskimo, the Wooden Birds, Cassiber etc etc.

** Ivor Cutler appeared in the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film 1967 (his character was called Buster Bloodvessel!); his song
"I'm Going In A Field" featuring the line "I lie beside the grass" much loved by McCartney and possible influence on “Mother Nature’s Son”; John Peel favorite circa a time when Peelie played weird tapes by the likes of Ron Geesin; Cutler sings on Wyatt’s Rock Bottom; he put out records three albums on Virgin in the pre-punk mid-Seventies and one on Harvest; appeared on 1975 Virgin sampler alongside Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Kevin Coyne, Beefheart, Henry Cow, Tom Newman, Clear Light, Hatfield & the North, White Noise and Steve fucking Hillage; also did an album for Rough Trade in the Eighties produced by David Toop & Steve Beresford. He’s prog prog prog prog PROG but actually hates rock music--indeed all amplified music--and is a member of the Noise Abatement Society!

OLDFIELD PROG
Mike Oldfield
Sally Oldfield
Paul Oldfield

SHELLEY PROG
Pete Shelley--Sky Yen*
Tiller Boys **

* electronic composition recorded in 1974, released circa 79/80
** Shelley + Eric Random + ???; Neu/Cluster-like

POMP (WITH LATENT PROG TENDENCIES)
Queen
Meatloaf/Steinman

POMP POP (W. L. P. T.)
City Boy

NEW WAVE POMP (W. L. P. T.)
Boomtown Rats

SINOPHILE PROG
Andy MacKay--Resolving Contradictions
Vangelis--China
Japan--Tin Drum

SAN FRANCISCO POST-PUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
MX-80
Factrix
Chrome
Tuxedomoon

PROTO-POSTCARD PROG
Onyx*

* Glasgow schoolboy progressive rock group in which Edwyn Collins once played ukulele

POST-PROG PROTO-RAVE
Cosmik *

* Tyrol-based scene of late Seventies/early Eighties (Tyrol being Northernmost Italian, formerly part of Austria, interesting mix of Germanic and North Italian culture, and the birthplace of Giorgio Moroder) based around psychedelic dance music, lakeside proto-raves, hallucinogens. The soundtrack, so I'm told, somewhere between Krautrock and Moroder/Cerrone. I like to imagine it as sounding a bit like Manuel Gottsching/E4-E8.

DULCIMER PROG
Laraji
Constance Demby
Dead Can Dance

FLUTE PROG
Jethro Tull
Northwinds
Jean Cohen-Solal*
Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock
Men At Work
Mercury Rev

* check his Flute Libres/Cpatain Tarthoporn reissue on Mio Records, distributed in the US by Forced Exposure -- really ace, no serious, made a flute-believer outa me and that’s really saying something

NEW AGE PROG
Romantic Warrior*
Steve Roach
Ash Ra
Deuter
David Parson
Kitaro

* Pete Namlook’s early band

ECM PROG
John Abercrombie
Terje Rypdal
Steven Micus
John Surman
David Torn
Morning Glory *

*not actually on ECM but most of these folks in it

PROGZAK
Roxy Music--Avalon

SOLO AXE HERO PROG
Jan Akkerman
Phil Manzanera
Bill Nelson
Robin Trower
Adrian Belew

FORCED EXPOSURE PROG
Cochise
Magic Bus
The Scene is Now/Fish N’ Roses
Glass Eye

NEO-SUBPROG
Saint Vitus

NEO-PSYCH PROG
The Legendary Pink Dots
Porcupine Tree

4TH WORLD/NEO-GEO PROG
Osamu Kitajima
Winwood/Kabaka/Amao
Tibetan Bells
Don Cherry
Ryuichi Sakomoto
Paul Schutze
Jon Hassell
John Surman
Dead Can Dance
Holger Czukay
Byrne/Eno
Loop Guru
David Toop
Burnt Friedman
Jah Wobble--oeuvre entiere
Bill Laswell--oevure entiere
Aksak Maboul*


* the irrepressible Sébastien Morlighem says: first LP is really one of the crossovers between 'Prog' & 'Pre-World Music'. Second LP features Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Catherine Jauniaux

INDUSTRIAL PROG
Foetus
Laibach
Psychic TV
Coil
Skinny Puppy/The Tear Garden
Nine Inch Nails

NEW WAVE CAREER “SECOND ACT” PROG-RELAPSE
The Armoury Show
Luxuria

AGIT-PROG (AUSTRALIAN NEW WAVE SUBDIVISION)
Midnight Oil pre-Diesel and Dust

PARODY PROG
Spinal Tap -- “Jazz Odyssey”

PERFORMANCE ART/MODERN DANCE PROG
Blue Man Group *
La La Human Steps

* the music that accompanies the malarkey is kinda sub-Krautrock

OCEANIC PROG/BLISSED OUT PROG
Talk Talk *
Hugo Largo
Saqqara Dogs
Orang
Bark Psychosis **
Drowning Pool/Mumbles

* “this sounds like the music on fucking Pogles Wood”--Dominic Stud Brother. Possibly features bassoons (see Appendix 2 on Classic Prog Instruments)

** once listed The Enid in a ‘what we are listening to this week’ thing in Melody Maker, Graham Sutton now claims this was a joke but ain’t fooling nobody

BLONDE PROG
Darling Buds--Crawdaddy
Wendy James*

* for the concept album with songs that Costello wrote in one weekend

BLACK ROCK PROG
Living Colour
Burnt Sugar

90s NEO-PROG
Dream Theater
Voice Of Eye
Alboth
Rake
Iceburn
Cerberus Shoal
In the Labyrinth
Glass
Buckethead
Tractor Hips
Miriodor
Boud Deun
Ensemble Nimbus
Echolyn
Volapuk

LO-FI PROG
Truman’s Water
Timber
Thinkin’ Fellers Union Local 282

PROGRESSIVE HARDCORE
Rising High

CANTERBURY PROG-TECHNO
Ultramarine *

* Samples of Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers on Every Man and Woman Is A Star; later collaborations with Wyatt; avowed fondness for Mike Oldfield’s Hergest Ridge

CANTERBURY PROG-RAP
The Brotherhood *

* prod by Trevor Jackson who sampled all those Canterbury groups like Egg

NINETIES AFRO-PROG NYC CHAPTER
We
DJ Spooky
Sub Dub
Wordsound
Spectre

NEW MILLENIUM NEO-NEO PROG AND CRYPTO-PROG
Avey Tare & Panda Bear/Animal Collective
Guapo
Rapider Than Horsepower
Sigur Ros
Mars Volta *
Ephel Duath *
Stars Like Fleas **

* these two courtesy of Mostly Weird, Some Normal

** check their excellent Sun Lights Down on the Fence for electro-acoustic quirktronica, instrumental palette includes bass clarinet, copper bells, zurka, pedal steel, flute, clarinet, accoridan, toy xylophone, harp, prepared guitar, bassoon, cello, banjo, rhodes piano, and egg shaker

NINETIES/NOUGHTIES AGIT-PROG
Godspeed You Black Emperor

MISCELLANEOUS
I had problems filing these adequately:
Add N To X
Gerry Rafferty
Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co.
Bonfire
Bobby Beausoleil
Flash and the Pan
Sadistic Mika Band
Klaatu
Shylock
Giles, Giles & Fripp
Kingdom Come
Automatic Man
Mu/Merrill Fankhauser
Mark-Almond
Faith No More/Mr Bungle
Laughing Clowns
No Means No
Manfred Mann
Steve Tibbetts
Tom Newman
Pinski Zoo
Nucleus
Happy the Man
Between
Motor Totemist Guild
Pavlov’s Dog
Yeti

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: PROG MOVERS SHAKERS & PLAYERS
Pete Jenner
Giorgio Gomelsky
Jonathan King
Uwe Nettelbeck
Simon Draper
Andrew Lauder
Nick Mobbs
Jean Carakaos
Miles Copeland*
David Cunningham

* apart from the Police connection, he earlier managed Curved Air or something

APPENDIX 2: CLASSIC PROG INSTRUMENTS
Mellotron*
The Gizmo**
Chapman Stick
Fairlight
Symphony Orchestra
Flute
Koto
Electric Violin
Gongs
Moog
Flugelhorn
Brass Band
Choir
Bassoon
Wordless female vocals
Arp
Worcester Cathedral organ***
Welsh male choir ****

* comprehensive-seeming list of every band that ever used a mellotron
** contraption invented by ex-10 CCers Godley & Creme and used on their triple album rock opera Consequences
***8 David Bedford, Invitation to Angels
**** Man’s “C’mon” features the Gwalia Choir


APPENDIX 3: ECM AND AMERICAN 90S LEFTFIELD ROCK

Kranky’s Bruce Adams: “During the mid 80s ECM switched major label distribution and a flood of albums showed up in stores as cutouts. I remember buying tons of albums at $1.99 or $2.99 a piece [SR: same thing happened in the UK] as do several of the kranky musicians I've spoken with over the years. I think it's the influence of those albums has filtrated down. The same thing happened with EG releases. I remember the entire Eno and 4th World catalogs being available at dirt cheap prices on vinyl. It always interested me how economic/distribution events, seemingly random, can have an aesthetic result. Consider the influence that the flood of bootleg krautrock CDs had in the mid-90s. For a long time Neu, Harmonia, Popul Vuh titles were all available as German and French bootlegs only…. [In re. ECM] In addition to the blurry guitar sounds from John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell [the first albums he did solo were on ECM as well as appearances in the Paul Motian and Paul Bley groups]. Terje Rypdal and Steve Tibbetts you can factor in releases on the New Series/ Classical wing of ECM by Arvo Part, Paul Giger and others as influences. And of course, the use of ethnic and unusual instrumentation and techniques by artists on the label from the Art Ensemble forward…. “

APPENDIX 4: POSTROCK

essay on post rock as anti-New Wave as the prog-redux

APPENDIX 5: AFRO-PROG

Afro-Prog Resource: Kosmigroov


APPENDIX 6: MISCELLANEOUS PROG RESOURCES

Gibraltar Encyclopaedia of Progressive Rock

Gnosis

ProgressoR

Axiom of Choice

Ground and Sky

Aural Innovations


Best progressive rock albums of all time

progressive ears
http://www.progressiveears.com/

Gong

Man

Heldon:

Heldon article at Angbase

Richard Pinhas article

Heldon official site

APPENDIX 7: UNITED NATIONS OF PROG

A fuller but very far complete breakdown of prog by nationality:

KRAUT-PROG
Passport
Spermull
Puhdys
2066 And Then
Zarathustra
Epidermus
Spacebox
Grobschnitt
Tyndall

CZECH PROG
Modry Efekt
Plastic People of the Universe
Umela Hmota

POLISH PROG
Test

ROMANIAN PROG
Phoenix

SWEDISH PROG
Samla Mammas Manna
Lucifer Was
Trad Gras Och Stenar
Trettioariga Kriget
International Harvester
Algarnas Tradgard
Kebnekajse
Arbete Och Fritid

FINN PROG
Pekka Pohjola
Circle
Wigwam
Haikara
Hoyry Kone
Kroko

NEIL AND TIM FINN PROG
Split Enz

ITALO-PROG
Cherry Five/Goblin
Premiata Formeria Marconi
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Theatre
Le Orme
Stormy Six
Area
Picchio dal Pozzo
I Teoremi
Il Balletto Di Bronzo
Libra
New Trolls
Il Rovescio Della Medaglia
Museo Rosenbach
Osanna
Osage Tribe
Arti & Mestieri
Confusional Quartet

HUNGARIAN PROG
Fermata

FROG PROG
Lightwave
Jean Cohen-Solal
Etron Fou Leloublan
ZNR
Bernard Szajner
Ragnar Grippe
Perception
Pataphonie
Potemkine
Shub Niggurath
Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock

BELGIAN PROG
Univers Zero
Arkham
Art Zoyd

DUTCH PROG
Focus
Savage Rose
Solution
Kracq
Persephony
Willem Breuker Kollektief

GREEK PROG
Socrates Drank The Conium

SOVIET PROG
Eduward Artemiev
Zvuki Mu

WELSH BOOGIE-PROG
Man

KIWI PROG
Split Enz

Thursday, November 20, 2003

More good publicity for the 'sphere (funnily i was kinda feeling it had gone a wee bit quiet on the rhizome-vibe front, hopefully just a lull or real-world preoccupations taking some of the main voices out of ciruclation). Hope this latest dose of praise and attention doesn't have the seemingly self-consciousness inducing effect the last double-whammy (Kodwo/McLellan) did.

Must disagree with Mr Young on one point though, where he quotes in apparent agreement someone's remark to the effect that blogging's a "hermetically sealed and potentially borderline-autistic pursuit"... sure this is the land of 'spotters and savants and data-hoarding obsessives, but no actually for me one of its major appeals is the sociality (or do I mean sociability?). The way conversations occur in near-real time; people take the baton of argument and run with it, then pass it on. That's why it reminds me a bit of the old music weekly press when writers would engage with each other, have debates across the pages and weeks--usually within one magazine, sometimes across the whole inkie-weekly terrain.

Seems like there's a tiny wee contradiction in accusing (not that Rob Young did this but others have) the 'sphere of being both solipsistic and cliquey (those are opposites, right?).
(Incidentally many of the diss metaphors that blogworld attracts--""circle jerk"--strike me as implicitly prudish and puritanical cf. the concept of "intellectual masturbation". But then i'm just a wanker so what do i know.).

Anyway enough meta-commentary. Hello Guardian Readers.

(I suppose I better post a bit more regularly then eh?)
luka with a micro-essay on the phenomenology of aesthetic perception. absolutely firin'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Dave reactivates World of Stelfox, which had been dormant to an almost cryogenic degree, with a frenzied burst of discursive activity. Nick of Fabric/Michael Mayer mix-CD illustriousness
has started a blog. And there's a few more new-ish ones of note added to the linx down there on the right.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Tufluv with amazing evocation of Wiley’s “Ground Zero” (at the bottom of Tuesday’s entry). Desperate, absolutely clamoring, to hear that tune.

Re. Wiley going down to London’s world music emporium Sterns, nice to be able to slot him into that 4th World/neo-geo/ethnological forgeries continuum: Czukay/Canaxis & ‘persian love’, Byrne/Eno/Hassell, 23 Skidoo’s Urban Gamelan, Toop, Wobble, er, Loop Guru, er er Transglobal Underground.. um, never mind…

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Disconcerted, passing the massive Salvation Army building in the West Village, to note that their slogan is “Blood and Fire”. Well, Rastafarianism is a form of fundamentalist Protestantism, and not even the most loopy sect. Apparently along with homophobic invective, at the big dances in Jamaica, the DJ sometimes goes in for a bit of anti-papist ranting-- which recalls all those anti-Catholic secret societies in the 19th Century South, who actually thought the Pope was going to arrive at the head of a modern day Armada and invade America! Wonder if this is why Lee Perry did a track called “Bafflin’ Smoke Signals” which is apparently about Vatican election procedures. Always wanted to hear that track since Ian Penman (where has he gone?) referenced it in the Wire. “Salvation Army” even sounds a bit like the title of a roots track (something by Burning Spear maybe), it would even make a good band name.

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Progmetheus Unbound: the Relick still in preparation; complaints, rebukes, and emissives pointing out sins of ommission or misfiling continue to accumulate.

On which subject: Suspiria. Totally lives up to expectations. (Thanks Mr. Jim Clarke). Funnily enough Two Boots over the road was showing the movie for Halloween but literally haven’t had a spare 90 minutes to go see it.

And in further eerie synchrony got an e-flyer for this:

SpaceBar #3, a night dedicated to Science Fiction, Horror, Italy and Disco.

featuring:

horrorshow analog keyboard/prog rock drumset duo ZOMBI,
live soundtrack reconstructionists MORRICONE YOUTH
and DJ DAN SELZER playing nothing but 70s and 80s italo.

The flyer further says:
ZOMBI's love of the music that often accompanied these films pours over into obsession. The works of filmmakers like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter, accompanied by eerie, driving, relentless musical scores by the likes of Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and Carpenter himself, set standards for the use of rock music as original film scores as well as furthered the cause of electronics as compositional tools for soundtracks. The use of analog synthesizers and progressive musicianship brought about an alien quality that bridged the gap between the 70s prog-rock juggernaut and the icy simplicity of early new wave and industrial music in the 80s. Zombi rock so hard they will make your mind numb. Don't miss this. www.zombi.us

while

“… Morricone Youth promises to play us an entire night of sci-fi soundtrack covers… DJ Dan Selzer will be playing an incredible set of italo disco that should be hotter than the interior of Georgio Moroder's
customized Lamborghini”.

Info:
SpaceBar
Slipper Room
167 orchard street (and stanton st.)
5 dollars
Tuesday, November 11th, 9pm


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feeling

charalambides, unknown spin (kranky)

heroin, orthlorng musork

sun ra, space is the place DVD

smoove presents ‘street beats’ mixed by slimzee & femme fatale, featuring mc'ss b-live & god’s gift (Smoove/Ministry ach spit of Sound spit spit grime mix-cd)

david toop, black chamber (sub rosa)

really feeling

bright eyes, “one foot in front of the other” (off saddle creek 50 comp)

michael mayer, fabric 13 (fabric mix-cd)

grievous angel soundsystem vol 1: nervous ragga

pyrolator, ausland (ata tak, reissue)

josef k, crazy to exist (live) (LTM)

Big up to Bedekar Pickles--virtually a food group for me at this point, esp. mango chilli. If Patak are the Reprezent of indian condiments (excellent, but...), then Bedekar are like Ganja Kru or Congo Natty ya get me. Hardcooooore.
Tiny wee discussion (been transcribing for the Postcard chapter, can you tell?) on Tuuuuuuune of the Nineties "Renegade Snares" at ILM--which reminded me I meant to post on Rob Haigh's pre-breakbeat/'industrial' era music. A feller named Marc Gascoigne responded to my public pleading and wheedling, and burned it up for me. (Big up Marc!). 'S pretty good 'n' all. Particularly like the later-Eighties stuff like Valentine Out of Season, A Waltz in Plain C, which is just pure tinkling on the old joanna (the earlier stuff has a few more gestures in the direction of avant-garde). Definite Satie-damage, and shades of Harold Budd now and then (no bad thing--those albums he did w/ Eno among my absolute all-times). Of course one listens to those little borderline-twee piano motifs and keep expecting a breakbeat to tear out any second. And of course it sent me to the Moving Shadow stuff. The Deepest Cut/Music For the Millenium is even better than I remember. The tracks that seemed a bit filler just seem like majesty now: "Together", "Alien Creed", "Shadowplay". The latter is one of the soul-flaying Amen-tearouts of all time. (I was surprised how much of the album was Amen-limned, but then a lot of the intelligent/ambient stuff back then featured Amens. Indeed Bukem was one of the first with "Demon" and even on the super-serene "Atlantis" there's an Amen in there. It was like the fundamental rhythmic grammar of jungle, in the way that the jacknife/onebarloop thing has been with post-97 d&B). Someone on the ILM thread gave mad love to Nookie's repro of "Soul Promenade", I second that E-motion: what a great push-me pull-you clip-clop giddy-up beat.

My favorite line about Haigh's music is Kodwo Eshun's phrase "the kindness of Omni Trio." You really get this feeling that the music cares for you, it's a healing or a blessing or something.

(Of course, along with the openhearted tenderness, the aura of benediction and benevolence, the other, totally contradictory aspect of Omni is the aggression of the music, the sheer attack, the raging furore.
The smiting might of the drops ‘Renegade Snares (Foul Play VIP)’; those shearing-metal Amens in ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘Thru The Vibe’; the snare breakdown in the second version of ‘Soul Promenade’ on Vol 5 with its amazing alloy of mayhem and elegance, poise and pathology. This is violent music, it really has the same wrecking effect on me as The Stooges, something of that order.)

I actually think Mr. Haigh might be my #1 musician of the Nineties in terms of the sheer amount and duration of pleasure he's given me. The only one who really comes close is Aphex Twin. "Amount of pleasure" is an interesting criterion because it's not about "best", it's about what delights, and it automatically empties the field--if you've done more than one great album you're already a front runner. And Omni's done about two and half, effectively--Deepest Cut, another album's worth of tunes scattered across the EPs Vol 2 to 5, and a little less than half of Haunted Science (underrated record--once i got over the initial disappointment of it not being exploding-divas as before, really grew to like the widescreen atmospheric approach [he said he was trying to go for a more "fat" sound] which really pays off on 'Who Are You?'. "Soul of Darkness" and above all "The Elemental", one of his most magical tune and picking up off the eerie enchantment vibe of "Alien Creed' on Deepest.

I vow again to buy the two or is it three post-Haunted albums--I owe ya big Mr. Haigh. God bless and big up ya chest wherever you are (probably somewhere in Hertfordshire).