I’m starting a new vein of posts whose purpose is to share the most interesting new songs & sonic experiements available. This first post in this new series will explore some remarkable avant-garde & experimental gems from this year’s February Album Writting Month challenge.
To start off, here are three great tunes that are the result of collaborations between two great FAWMers: Fuzzy & Mosley.
On the heals of the album Blood Moon Wolf Head, Jim Demos has released a new track via his solo project Hellenica. A Gentle Fire is a mellow, almost introspective track. It begins with a simple chord arpeggio which is the rhythmic foundation of the track. A rumbling bass synth enters accompanied by a passionate drum track & suddenly the listener is taken on a journey. It seems as if we are travelling through time, through some ancient ruins found on the hellenic coast. There is a sense a majesty & ancient power here – as if those Greek heroes & gods of legend look down upon us now: inciting us to rise above our mundane lives.
Jim has had a varied career as a musician. He has toured Canada, the US & parts of Europe with a number of bands including Ham & National Monument. He grew up in Winnipeg & was a high profile member of that city’s avant-garde music scene in the late nineties & early two thousands. He now lives & works in Montreal & has integrated himself into that city’s diverse musical culture.
One of the wonderful things about Bandcamp is that you are able to discover new music by independant & little known artists. Just the other day I came across this great Label out of Los Angeles: Fluttery Records. They call themselves the “bright home of modern classical, ambient and post-rock”. I must say, this tagline certainly describes the label perfectly.
Currently, Fluttery Records has thirty seven artists on their roster. These artists come from all over the world & have one thing in common: they all create passionate music that pushes the bounds of what you would expect for rock and ambient bands. If you listen to the Label’s Free Sampler Record – an album featuring tunes from twenty four of the label’s artists – you will hear what I mean.
Progressive Rock has had a strange history. From its early days in England in the late ’60’s, its arena-rock success of the early 70’s to its cultish status since its heyday; Prog Rock has seen a lot of changes. Some of the Prog Rock bands have had a lasting influence on music, whilst others are so obscure even the most knowledgeable music guru takes pains to think of one of their songs. There has been much criticism of Prog over the years – both negative & positive. That the musicians are talented & highly skilled has never been in doubt. That they can be seen as pretentious and flamboyant, perhaps. But Prog Rock has always enraptured my imagination because of its artistry – the way it uses music to tell stories & build pictures in the listener’s head. Plus, I’ve always liked the idea that some songs just need to be longer then four or five minutes.
I used to play a bit of a game with some friends of mine – something to just pass the time. We would imagine we were stuck on a deserted island with a single ninety minute mix tape as our only musical solace. The game was to pick the songs that we would put on that Deserted Island Mix Tape. I always laughed that mine wouldn’t hold all of my “must have” songs – since most of them were beyond the six minute mark. Well, the below list is my Prog Rock Desert Island Mix – if I could only have ten Prog Rock songs, these would be them.