June 22, 2016

Gypsy Sun Revival is a US trio hailing from Fort Worth, Texas that comprises Lee Ryan on vocals, bass and organ; Ben Harwood on drums and percussion and Will Weise on guitar and Theremin. According to their Facebook profile the band caters to “listeners who prefer long distance trips through space.”

Indeed, on this, their self-titled debut album, things do get off to a spacey start on the opening track Crimson Eye, with drones, cymbal swells and mysterious space bleeps, before exploding into a sizzling space blues jam. Heavy psych number Solar Breeze is another blues inflected rocker that takes a left turn into deep space in the middle with some fantastic guitar playing, tribal drumming and waves of interstellar or...

June 22, 2016

Darkships is the brainchild of UK musician Jon Chinn. Chinn uses loops and found sounds to build a framework for him and other musicians to add too, creating rich, textured and quite varied psychedelic music. Hiraeth draws in part from previously released works by Darkships, while adding new parts and material to create a collection of pieces that flow together naturally, despite their eclectic nature.

The opening track, Play the Light, shifts from electronic drone to mesmeric Krautrock to drifting ambient sections, all while remaining highly listenable. To You. From Where? Is a vaguely unsettling, off-kilter electronic pop song, with a bit of an early 80’s vibe to it. Similarly, Silver Wheel capitalizes on that ea...

June 3, 2016

Over the years I’ve had the chance to meet many well-known musicians from Robert Fripp to Richie Havens (see the picture) to Damo Suzuki to Nik Turner, and many others. But those, by and large, were planned or semi-planned meetings. I was interviewing them, or met them after their show, or met them at a record signing, etc. But I’ve also had a few totally random encounters as well, and what follows is the stories of some of those encounters.

 

In the mid-80’s I had the opportunity to see avant-garde classical composer Philip Glass in concert a couple of times. The first time was when I was barely out of my teens. I went with my friend Dave to a performance in Toronto. We knew that Mr. Glass would be doing record sig...

June 2, 2016

UK’s Nick Toone is a multi-instrumentalist who’s been producing ambient and electronic music since the turn of the millennium. With modular and digital synths, guitars, monochord, handpans and pretty much anything that makes noise (as he says in his liner notes), Toone explores, on his latest album Low Earth Orbit, vast, electrifying, and deeply atmospheric realms.

Those who think ambient music is boring need to listen to Nick Toone. Far more than just a collection of drones, Toone’s music swirls and pulsates with life, each piece having its own unique vibe. It can be breathtaking and profoundly deep like the opening space voyage Frozen Hydrocarbon Seas Prelude (and it’s epic 14-minute continuation later on the alb...

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Jeff Fitzgerald

is a writer, musician and broadcaster. He formerly hosted the radio shows

Electronic Realizations on CKMS-FM and Prog World and  River Gibbs FM. He wrote for 15 years for the webzine Aural Innovations. He is also one half of the space prog duo The Star Diaries, one half of the electronic music duo Systems of Wonder, and is part of the Arcturus Strange collective.

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© 2018 by Jeff Fitzgerald