2024 01-09: Melodic Revolution Records Presents A Year in the Revolution 2023

 KMXT is live broadcasting the Kodiak City Council work session which may run past 9 pm.  

The show will begin as soon as the work session ends or 9 pm if the meeting ends early.

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Every year since 2012 we have released a series of various artist's compilation albums and this year is no exception. We are thrilled to announce the release of our Twelfth Edition simply titled “A Year In The Revolution 2023” 

Every year since 2012 we have released a series of various artist's compilation albums and this year is no exception. We are thrilled to announce the release of our Twelfth Edition simply titled “A Year In The Revolution 2023”

The new album is the most comprehensive and diverse compilation we have released in years featuring a staggering 30 artists and tracks clocking in at over 2.5 hours of genre-bending ear candy and “music you didn’t know you would love”.

“A Year In The Revolution 2023” features music by Bands and solo Artists from both Melodic Revolution and PeacockSunrise Records released in 2022. That said…we always feel this may be our best and most diverse annual sampler to date, but we let you be the judge.

On behalf of our artists at Melodic Revolution and PeacockSunrise Records family, thank you for your continued support.

credits

released January 5, 2024

Artitst Bandcamp Links below:


 


















































































































































Aethellis
aethellis.bandcamp.com

Babal
babalmrrartist.bandcamp.com

Ellsworth Hall
ellsworthhall.bandcamp.com

Distressed
distressedfinland.bandcamp.com

Steve Bonino
thesteveboninoprojects.bandcamp.com

The Steve Bonino Project
thesteveboninoprojects.bandcamp.com

Stanislav and The Lion
stanislavandthelion.bandcamp.com

Colouratura
colouraturamrrartist.bandcamp.com

Gayle Ellett & The Electromags
gayleelletttheelectromags.bandcamp.com

Terry Newman Project
terrynewmanproject.bandcamp.com

Days Before Tomorrow
daysbeforetomorrow.bandcamp.com

T. A. P
tapprog.bandcamp.com

Colin Carter
colinflashcarter.bandcamp.com

Tony Romero's Vortex
tonyromerosvortex.bandcamp.com

Atom Stone
atomstone.bandcamp.com

Forever Twelve
forevertwelve.bandcamp.com

Edison Suit
edisonsuit.bandcamp.com

The Gardening Club
thegardeningclub.bandcamp.com

Kurt Michaels
kurtmichaels.bandcamp.com

RED32
red32.bandcamp.com

Ten Jinn
tenjinn.bandcamp.com

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius
joedeninzonstratospheerius.bandcamp.com

Leon Alvarado
leonalvarado.bandcamp.com

Ifsounds
ifsounds.bandcamp.com/album/mmxx

Kinetic Element
kineticelement.bandcamp.com/album/chasing-the-lesser-light

Don Mularz
donmularz.bandcamp.com

Album layout by Nick Katona
For more information about these and other fine artists visit us at: mrrmusic.com
© + ℗ 2023 Melodic Revolution and PeacockSunrise Records

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02 January 2024: Bruce Soord: Mostly Autumn; Joel Giladini

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The music you hear on tonight's show is available on the artists' Bandcamp pages and websites. (links below) 

We urge you to support the musicians you hear on FreeForm Radio. 

I will also be hosting "Songs Celebrating the New Year" on the Rural Electric show 

right after the Island Messenger at 7 pm until 9 pm.  Rural Electric Spotify Playlist

Tonight's FreeForm Playlist on Spotify 



Review of the new Bruce Soord album ‘Luminescence’

Prolific singer/songwriter and frontman for The Pineapple Thief, Bruce Soord, returns with a new solo album titled ‘Luminescence.’ While Soord’s music has always been largely melancholic and mellow, the tracks on this intimate collection are slightly even more subdued then his last solo release, 2019’s All This Will Be Yours.’ But that is not a negative here as these songs are beautiful, contemplative, and still very engaging. Soord proves once again he is one of the today’s best storytellers.

The album begins with the gorgeous “Dear Life” a thought provoking track about how delicate life is singing, “don’t wish it away,
don’t wish that it will all be over.” Built around his voice, an acoustic guitar, and a simple drum loop, the song captures what the album is about in a brief 3 minutes.

“Lie Flat” provides a little more tempo and atmospheric synth sounds around a Soord’s reverbed vocals. This is another enchanting song. But the song that has perhaps the best hook on the album is the 3rd track “Olomouc.” The song starts with just Soord and an acoustic guitar, but the chorus pops out of nowhere and is simply breathtaking. This is a really great track. Other outstanding tracks include “So Simple” the title fits perfectly, and the second single “Nestle In” which is the albums most upbeat song by a slight margin. The album closes on the orchestral “Find Peace,” a wonderful way to conclude.

Soord doesn’t reinvent anything on this album, but rather does what he does brilliantly. He creates a mood and an atmosphere with his music as only he can do. The songs here are beautiful and make for a great listen. While many fans might still be on edge for the next Pineapple Thief album, this is a great collection to get you through that period.

Released on Sept. 22nd, 2023 on Kscope

‘Luminescence’ track list:
Dear Life [03:03]
Lie Flat [03:51]
Olomouc [03:55]
So Simple [02:05]
Never Ending Light [04:13]
Day of All Days [03:23]
Nestle In [03:15]
Instant Flash of Light [03:36]
Rushing [03:03]
Stranded Here [03:41]
Read to Me [02:07]
Find Peace [04:45]

Order the album here: https://BruceSoord.lnk.to/Luminescence

LAZLAND Review:

A browse of the hundreds of album reviews I have posted on this wonderful little website (self-praise being a virtue) will show the reader that there are very few reviews of live albums. There is a reason for this – I prefer to listen to, and review, new music. It is rare that bands introduce new music in the live arena, and it can be commercial suicide to do so. Further, a recording of a gig does not often mirror the sheer joy and emotion the live experience brings.

I have, though, made an exception for Back In These Arms, the new live double CD issued by one of my favourite acts, Mostly Autumn, a band who continue to provide discerning music fans with thoughtful, emotional, powerful, and above all intelligent rock music. The CD was purchased for me as a birthday present in late December.

I first saw the band live at Patti Pavillion in Swansea, a tiny roundhouse of a venue and, as Bryan Josh subsequently said to me in a conversation in Cardiff, utterly unsuited to the band. That was on a tour following the release of The Last Bright Light. We then saw them a couple of years later in Cardiff on The Passengers tour, when I had said discussion with the great man. We very rarely get to live shows these days, and it has been a wee while since the band came remotely close to us in West Wales, so this live release chronicling the band’s return to live music after the impact of Covid was both welcome and really my only realistic opportunity to enjoy the live MA “experience”. I was also extremely curious to see how one of the finest releases of recent years by any band dealing with said pandemic, Graveyard Star, would translate to the live arena. The album does not disappoint.

The setlist is a treat, well over two hours which includes bona fide MA classics such as The Last Climb, Nowhere to Hide, Spirit of Autumn Past, Passengers, Mother Nature and thence through to a strong showing for recent works. There are also a couple of rather pleasant surprises such as the exceptional Gaze, a track you will have needed to have purchased the bonus CD version of 2006’s Heart Full Of Sky to have heard before (take a listen below and enjoy) and In for the Bite, a track from the spinoff Josh & Co Ltd Transylvania album.

For all the classics and the surprises, it is, though, to these ears the later Autumn tracks which shine and are played with a vitality and urgency. I really enjoyed 2017’s Sight of Day, and in my review of the album described it as an album of light in direct contrast to the bleakness of Dressed in Voices (which I still regard as being one of the top five albums I have the pleasure to own). Opener Tomorrow Dies is a rollicking way to start a set, with Olivia Sparnenn-Josh beginning as she would continue throughout the gig, in exceptional vocal form – what a set of pipes she has. Changing Lives features the vocal talents of Chris Johnson and he, Bryan Josh, and Angela Gordon provide for a group of vocalists bringing words alive with feeling. The album provides the final encore in Forever and Beyond, and by this time they can do no wrong. A sensitive anthemic track, listen with sheer joy at Angela Gordon’s whistle introducing the lovely mid-section love song of Bryan & Olivia before the closing section lifts your spirit and fills you with joy.

The longest epic piece is the superb title track from White Rainbow at over 19 minutes, with a deeply brooding opening sequence before Bryan makes his vocal entrance. The rendition of this is cracking (with nods to other heights), not once losing the interest of the listener and what helps, by the way, is the crystal-clear sound which is a feature of the entire performance.

To me, though, it is the band’s wonderful paeon to the dreadful Covid period which takes centre stage for much of the gig, and live they do this fine album justice. Spirit of Mankind races along with Olivia belting out the tribute to our indefatigability and Jennings especially strong on keyboards. Its warmth is strongly replicated on this live performance, and how nice it was to have the band continue to surprise us with something so completely different after all these years. This Endless War drips with emotion and takes you right back to the time when you felt that it really would never end. Back in These Arms, a song of freedom, starts with a gorgeous key and guitar duet and as Bryan & Olivia start singing, the musical backdrop is fresh and vital, a piece of music for the 21st century. When the main riff kicks in, the urgency is felt keenly. The pipes are gorgeous. A video is embedded below – if you have never heard anything of Mostly Autumn, or gave up in the past, take a listen to this track below and rush out and buy the fantastic music you have been missing.

I only really have one very minor quibble with this album, and that is the surprising quietness of the audience in the mix. Mind you, you could also say that about many of the “classic” live albums such as Genesis Live et al, so this is nothing new in the world of prog, but they do seem subdued and I am pretty sure that was not the case in the flesh, so to speak.

Pettiness aside, Back In These Arms is I believe the definitive live record of Mostly Autumn, surpassing to these ears the exceptional That Night in Leamington, and I say this because this is the sound of a band who nod to the classics, but also continue to drive their art forward.

Available at all the usual outlets, this album comes highly recommended.


 Black Programs Facility is a project by Zerok label featuring albums from four label veterans: Joel Gilardini, Lars Bröndum, Mombi Yuleman, and Vongoiva - "Nocturnal" by Joel Gilardini
- "Wall Of Darkness" by Lars Bröndum
- "Abductee" by Mombi Yuleman
- "The Fabric Of Space and Time" by Vongoiva
NOCTURNAL
Recorded live at Exil Club, Zürich/CH, 13.06.2022, Montags 915
Mixed and mastered at Nowhere Studio, Zürich/CH, 14.06.2022
Joel Gilardini is an experimental guitarist and sound designer, based in Zurich (Switzerland).
He’s known for his live ambient duties as an opening act for Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin in Zurich’s clubs, besides being the mastermind of the experimental-doom-sludge project The Land Of The Snow and member of the noise-industrial combos such Mulo Muto (with Attila Folklor/CH) and Psychic Drones (with Kazuyuki Kishino/JP).
Furthermore, Joel works as a soundtrack composer for theater and dance performances. In this context he has collaborated with ensembles such as the Junior Ballett Zurich, Swiss dancer Benoît Favre, and the collective House Of Pain. 

Joel Gilardini plays: baritone guitars, guitars pedals, electronics & live-looping.

released November 16, 2023

REVIEWS

Avant Music News
avantmusicnews.com/2023/12/01/amn-reviews-joel-gilardini-lars-brondum-mombi-yuleman-vongoiva-black-programs-facility-2023-zerok

This Is Darkness
Black Programs Facility is a project by the ever awesome ZeroK label and features albums from of their four label veterans: Joel Gilardini, Lars Bröndum, Mombi Yuleman, and Vongoiva. The music here includes dark ambient, looping drones, electro-acoustic soundscapes, and experimental noise ambient. Each of these 28 tracks is of the highest quality, and each of the 4 albums here would be worth getting individually, they are all that good – getting all 4 albums together is simply incredible!


Mastered by Raffaele Pezzella (Sonologyst)
Design by RhaD
Cat. Num. ZK08
© 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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26 December 2023: The Very Best of FreeForm Radio 2023

Be sure to follow KMXT FreeForm Radio on Facebook and Bandcamp.  

Please support FreeForm Radio and KMXT by going to KMXT.org and pledging your support.

The music you hear on tonight's show is available on the artists' Bandcamp pages and websites. (links below) 

We urge you to support the musicians you hear on FreeForm Radio. 

I will also be hosting "The Best of Country Music 2023" on the Rural Electric show 

right after the Island Messenger at 7 pm until 9 pm.  

Best of FreeForm 2023 Spotify Playlist               The Best of Country Music 2023 Spotify Playlist

 The Very Best of FreeForm Radio 2023

Kurt Michaels 

Album: Stones From the Garden 

"Trouble", "Relax...Nothing's Under Control"

Gayle Ellett & the Electromags 

Album: Friends  

"Viewer Discretion Advised"

Subsignal 

Album: A Poetry of Rain 

"A Poetry of Rain", "The Art of Giving In"

The Fierce & the Dead 

Album: News From the Invisible World 

"Non-Player", "Golden Thread"

Dengue Fever 

Album: Ting Mong 

"Over the Handlebars", "Touch Me Not"

Bruce Soord 

Album: Luminescence 

"Instant Flash of Light", "Never Ending Light"

Tu-Ner 

Album: T-1 Contact Information 

"On the Other Side"

 RPWL 

Album: Crime Scene 

"Life in a Cage"

Jethro Tull 

Album: RokFlote 

"Voluspo"

Yes 

Album: Mirror to the Sky 

"Mirror to the Sky"

Benge 

Album: The View From Vega 

"The View From Vega, Part IV"

Ian Boddy 

Album: Modulations III 

"Boddy Love"

Steven Wilson

Album: The Harmony Codex

"The Harmony Codex"

 Sonologyst

Album: Shortwave Spectrum

"Spectrvm"


19 December 2023: A Very FreeForm Radio Christmas with Chris Squire, California Guitar Trio, Kurt Michaels, and Markus Reuter

 

Be sure to follow KMXT FreeForm Radio on Facebook and Bandcamp.  

Please support FreeForm Radio and KMXT by going to KMXT.org and pledging your support.

The music you hear on tonight's show is available on the artists' Bandcamp pages and websites. (links below) 

We urge you to support the musicians you hear on FreeForm Radio. 

I will also be hosting a Twisted Christmas Christmas on the Rural Electric show 

right after the Island Messenger at 7 pm until 9 pm.  

Parodies and original songs presenting a more humorous and satirical side of the holidays.


From Wikipedia:

Chris Squire's Swiss Choir is the second and final solo album by Chris Squire. An album of traditional Christmas music, it was released in 2007 and includes former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, future King Crimson drummer and keyboardist Jeremy Stacey and the English Baroque Choir.

All tracks were arranged by Chris Squire and Gerard Johnson

AllMusic Review by

Not that there is an abundance of progressive rock-tinged acoustic guitar trios among the ranks, but this aggregation stands tall among its peers as the guitarists' inventiveness surges forward with this altogether warmhearted reckoning of Christmas carols and other pleasantries. The guitarists' nimble yet at times forceful approach is wholly evident during their highly rhythmic spin on "Jingle Bells." They perform the classic "Greensleeves" with a sensitive, chamber-like approach while also tackling the Lennon/Ono favorite "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)." However, part of the magic resides within the trio's ability to delve into the inherent frameworks of each song, while also reformulating themes and rhythms into personalized statements. Essentially, the artists have produced a rather poignant Christmas outing, awash with interweaving lines and lilting harmonies, as they complement their superior artisanship and forward-thinking deployments with a cheerfully rendered collection of holiday favorites.

 

This is a soundscape I put together a LONG time ago....the title, “ Midnight On Christmas Eve (A Child Dreams) says it all. Good sleep music to help excited kids drift off to sleep so Santa can do his (or her) thing. Was recorded originally in 2003 immediately following the release of my debut cd, Inner Worlds part one, along with a few others that we never got around to releasing. Better late than never....Merry Christmas to everyone!

Winter Solstice:  Soundscape versions of traditional songs usually associated with this time of year, at least here in Germany. In addition to the meditative soundscapes (which are based on the series of pitches of each tune) I've also overdubbed straight versions of the original melodies. Enjoy this parallel universe... It's strangely hypnotizing. Only available from December 1st to December 31st.

 
5.1 surround mix available here:
surroundmusic.one/album/winter-solstice/

credits

released December 17, 2018

05 December 2023: Benge; A Prog Rock Christmas; Sonologyst

Be sure to follow KMXT FreeForm Radio on Facebook and Bandcamp.  

Please support FreeForm Radio and KMXT by going to KMXT.org and pledging your support.

The music you hear on tonight's show is available on the artists' Bandcamp pages and websites. (links below) 

We urge you to support the musicians you hear on FreeForm Radio. 

I will also be hosting a (Mostly) Country Christmas on the Rural Electric show 

right after the Island Messenger at 7 pm until 9 pm.

Rural Electric Playlist on Spotify                                                  FreeForm Radio Playlist on Spotify

The View From Vega

Benge

Ben Edwards, better known by his pseudonym Benge, has been exploring the sonic possibilities of electronic instruments since he was a young boy, in the1970s. After graduating from art school in 1990 he set up his own music studio and started recording his unique blend of experimental electronica, culminating in his debut album "Electro-Orgoustic Music" and the formation of Expanding Records in 1995. Since then he has released dozens of albums as Benge, as well as collaborating with various luminaries from the electronic music world on many other album projects. He has formed several notable and ongoing bands such as John Foxx & The Maths, Wrangler (with Stephen Mallinder / Cabaret Voltaire and Phil Winter / Tunng), Fader (with Neil Arthur / Blancmange), and his most recent project Creep Show (Wrangler + John Grant). Benge's creative output now centres around his Memetune Studio Complex, located in one of the UKs remotest moorland locations, writing and producing his various music projects as well as making video art and TV programmes about his activities.

“The View From Vega”, his debut solo album on the DiN imprint, is primarily an ambient suite of tracks inspired by the space-music typically produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It uses a selection of vintage synthesisers, sequencers and FX units to provide a fertile sonic landscape to explore. The idea was to use simple sequences (using both analogue and digital units), sustained synthesiser pads and electronic piano improvisations, alongside various ancient delay, flange and reverb units. The beautiful, warm quality of the tones that exude from such instruments are very evident on the six tracks that slowly unfold their oscillations in organic, melodic soundscapes.

An unashamedly vintage sounding album in all its analogue glory, “The View From Vega” is released both as a 180g Vinyl edition and a Digipak CD with stunning artwork from Wendy Carroll that matches the music perfectly.
 

credits

released October 6, 2023

Written and recorded by Benge at Memetune Studios, England, February 2023.
Mastered by Benge April 2023. 
Our thanks to DiN label owner Ian Boddy for providing us with a copy of this release.

Studio blog: myblogitsfullofstars.blogspot.com

"This is a primarily ambient suite of tracks inspired by the space-music typically produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It uses a selection of vintage synthesisers, sequencers and FX units to provide a fertile sonic landscape to explore. The idea was to use simple sequences (using both analogue and digital units), sustained synthesiser pads and electronic piano improvisations, alongside various ancient delay, flange and reverb units”.

The equipment used was as follows:

Synthesisers:
Moog Modular IIIC
Polyfusion Modular
Roland SH5 / System 100 / Piano-Plus-70
Yamaha CP30 / SS30
EMS VCS3
ARP Chroma

Sequencers:
Roland MC4
Moog Dual 960 (Cloned)
EMS TKS

FX Units:
Dynacord TAM21 Stereo Flanger/Doubler
Dynacord DRP16 Reverb
Dynacord DRS78 Reverb / Delay
Polyfusion Modular Phase unit
Electro-Harmonix Smallstone Phaser
 
 
 
We'll be playing various tracks from the 2019 release, A Prog Rock Christmas.
 
 
 We'll end tonight's shows with a track from this new release from Sonologyst.

The new Sonologyst "sonic documentary" delves into the secretive realm of shortwave transmissions; a chronicle of clandestine shortwave transmissions culled from a span of nearly four decades (1982-2021). These mysterious transmissions - repetitive voices, signals, sound pulses, short pieces of music - were collated and edited to compose the tracks of the main album.

Immersed in an isolating fog of dark ambient, deep drone music and cinematic sound art, it provides an auditory exploration of the ongoing Cold War. Originating from covert radio stations engaged in military and espionage endeavours, the tracks unveil a hidden sonic landscape of strategic communication.

The second disc, in its extensive presentation, provides a deeper immersion into these enigmatic broadcasts. Each recording remains unaltered, accompanied only by a ghostly drone. It offers an unfiltered glimpse into the world of clandestine communication, where words are transmitted beneath the radar and in the shadowy confines of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Double CD in a matt-finish gatefold ecopak with graphic design by Abby Helasdottir.

Watch album teaser (YouTube) by Abby...  more

credits

released November 23, 2023 
Our thanks to Raffaele Pezzella for providing us with a copy of this release.

REVIEWS

Nine Circles
ninecircles.co/2023/12/03/rainbows-in-the-dark-sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum

Vital Weekly (excerpt review)

Raffaele Pezzella's musical project Sonologyst doesn't need much introduction. I reviewed several of his works and liked it a lot. You can find an indication of the source material in the title, shortwave sounds, and, in particular, from what is called number stations. This takes us back to the days of the Cold War when secret services worldwide used radio transmissions to communicate with agents in the field—voices reading groups of numbers, Morse codes or otherwise random bleeps and hard to intercept and block. The Cold War may have ended, but the information notes that in recent years, Chinese, Korean and Indian Numbers Stations have been picked up, and I assume these are at the core of the music here and not the 4CD set released by Irdial in the 1990s. It would make a damn good book to describe the use of radio (waves) as a musical instrument and the history thereof, as I believe that, next to the mouth, the radio is one of easiest accessible instruments available for any would-be musicians (if you already wrote such a book, then let me know). That is not to say that it's easy to play great music based on radio waves, but Sonologyst is a true master in crafting deep, dark, and highly ambient music with that ghostly atmosphere lingering in the background. As much as Number Stations are mysterious, so is this music. Oddly enough, maybe, there are six tracks on the first CD, somewhere between five and fifteen minutes, and the oddity is that these are more minimal than the forty-two-minute piece on the second CD. Each of these six stays in stasis and move within the given parameters. The long one, 'Shortwaves', is a piece that moves between many stations, picking up spoken word, classical music, pop music and whatever else along the way, against a backdrop of drones. It shows that one can do many things with radio waves, which is why I'm still fascinated by it. (FdW)

Avant Music News
avantmusicnews.com/2023/11/18/amn-reviews-sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum-2023-cold-spring-records

Luminous Dash
luminousdash.be/reviews/sonologyst-shortwave-spectrum-cold-spring/

This Is Darkness
Well, this is very cool – an album of dark ambient / deep drone, inspired by and using edited shortwave radio broadcasts from the mysterious ‘number stations’ that during the cold war (and beyond) transmitted coded messages for agents deep undercover in enemy nations. The resulting album is a collection of haunting and otherworldly tracks unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time. As a bonus, Sonologyst has included a 7th track that is less filtered – it contrasts beautifully with the six expertly crafted tracks that came before it, and provides an even deeper experience of these ghostly broadcasts. Highly recommended!




Published by Cold Spring Records
Sound, sampling, processing and mastering by Sonologyst.
Equipment: analogue synthesizers, shortwaves radio receiver, analogue tape recorders.
Mastered by Sonologyst.
Graphic design by Abby Helasdottir.

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28 November 2023: Steve Hackett, "Foxtrot at 50"

 KMXT is live broadcasting the Kodiak City Council work session which may run past 9 pm.  

The show will begin as soon as the work session ends or 9 pm if the meeting ends early.

Be sure to follow KMXT FreeForm Radio on Facebook and Bandcamp.  

Please support FreeForm Radio and KMXT by going to KMXT.org and pledging your support.

The music you hear on tonight's show is available on the artists' Bandcamp pages and websites. (links below) 

We urge you to support the musicians you hear on FreeForm Radio.

I had the privilege of seeing this show at the Moore Theatre in Seattle; it was one of the best concerts I have attended.  The band was having a great time and feeding off the crowd's energy.

Review of the new Steve Hackett live set ‘Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton’

By Nick Tate

You might think Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited juggernaut has run its course, after more than a decade of reprising the band’s 1970s heyday. But you’d be wrong. Hackett’s latest live retrospective album, “Foxtrot at 50 + Hackett Highlights: Live in Brighton,” confirms there is much yet the former Genesis guitarist can bring to this satisfying project.

Like the prior eight live Genesis Revisited releases, “Foxtrot at 50” transcends nostalgia and sentimentality. It captures Hackett and his talented band of musicians delivering a crackling-good performance that updates 1972’s classic “Foxtrot” album — the band’s fourth and the first to chart in the U.K. (No. 12). It also showcases a handful of well-chosen solo works the multitalented guitarist/composer/bandleader has produced since leaving the band in 1977.

As usual, these performances are the next best thing to seeing Genesis live back in the day. But what’s most striking is the degree to which each band member brings a new sheen and shine to these timeless prog masterworks. The combined result takes these well-known pieces in surprising new directions, while remaining loyal to the originals. Perhaps more than any other Genesis Revisited release, this double-disc set demonstrates how well Hackett’s individual works hold up against the older Genesis material. As if to emphasize the point, this rich collection ends with an inspired mashup of the jazzy Genesis instrumental “Los Endos” and Hackett’s own “Slogan’s” from his 1980 “Defector” solo album — perfectly marrying the two halves of this live release. The upshot: This is a satisfying 50-year overview of one of prog’s most prolific and engaging elder statesmen that honors his past yet also confirms he is still breaking new ground at age 73.

The first half of album showcases a best-of collection of Hackett’s solo works, dating to his 1975 debut, “Voyage of the Acolyte,” recorded while he was still in Genesis and the same year Peter Gabriel departed the band. This set includes three tracks from that brilliant debut —the wildly eclectic prog-fusion instrumental “Ace of Wands,” the haunting “A Tower Struck Down” and “Shadow of the Heirophant,” featuring vocalist Amanda Lehman (an epic suite initially proposed to, but rejected by, his Genesis bandmates for inclusion on 1976’s “Trick of the Tail”). Hearing these tracks side-by-side with the “Foxtrot” material, a strong argument can be made that “Acolyte” just might be the best Genesis album that Genesis never made.

The first set also features more recent material, including “The Devi’s Cathedral,” a gothic story-song from his 2021 album “Surrender of Silence” that plays like a soundtrack from a Wes Craven horror film. Roger King’s churchy organ backdrop and Hackett’s ghosty fretwork provide the perfect backdrop for Nad Sylvan’s chilling baritone vocal. In addition, the setlist includes the jazzy title track from Hackett’s third solo album, 1979’s “Spectral Mornings,” the sprightly “Every Day” (from the same record) and the driving “Camino Royale” from 1982’s “Highly Strung.”

The second half of the release features Hackett and Friends’ replication of the groundbreaking “Foxtrot.” There’s no point in analyzing why this was the transitional album that brought Genesis international acclaim. It’s probably enough to simply say that the music here stands on its own merits and still manages to sound fresh and original after all these years. But it’s worth noting that classic tracks like “Watcher of the Skies,” “Get ‘Em Out by Friday” and the 23-minute seven-part suite “Supper’s Ready” can still raise gooseflesh in these new live versions.

A close listen reveals new textures and liberties the band takes that gives these tightly orchestrated pieces a new freshness. In particular, Sylvan stands out, channeling both Peter Gabriel’s quirky ancient-mariner croon and Phil Collins’ elfin tenor, yet somehow bringing something uniquely his own to his vocal delivery. His dramatic interpretation of Gabriel’s shape-shifting vocals on “Supper’s Ready” approaches Broadway-like theatricality and the result is nothing short of remarkable; it’s a true tour-de-force. Roger King also shines on keyboards throughout. He masterfully reworks Tony Banks’ symphonic intro to “Watcher of the Skies” (matching the original, which was performed on a mellotron famously bought from King Crimson). His classical-piano turns on “Time Table” (this being the first Genesis Revisited take on this track) and the rarely performed “Can-Utility and the Coastliners” bring a new luster to these high-water marks in the early Genesis cannon. And noteworthy performances are delivered by reedman Rob Townsend — whose sax and flute lines add new depth and tonal color to the proceedings — and the thunderous rhythm section of bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Craig Blundell. (Reingold even gets his own solo bass spot and Blundell unleashes wildly unhinged melodic drum fills in the closing coda of “Hierophant” and during the “Apocalypse 9/8” interlude of “Supper’s Ready.”

Throughout, of course, Hackett’s searing and emotive fretwork cut like a foghorn through the darkly turbulent storm of sound that defined “Foxtrot” and some his best post-Genesis efforts, both anchoring and pushing the band to new heights. Highpoints include his resplendent Bach-like acoustic etude, “Horizons,” a staple of his live shows and fan favorite, and the jawdropping electric-guitar solo he unleashes on the classical-prog-rock “Firth of Fifth.” Worth noting: If you’re a Genesis fan who feels you just don’t need to hear yet another version of “Supper’s Ready,” you should reconsider — if only to take in the wildly unhinged solo Hackett unspools at the triumphal conclusion of this transcendent epic: This new version is a keeper and worth your time.

For audiophiles, the sound production throughout is crystalline, featuring gem-like clarity. Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge and mastered by Ted Jensen, it is available in various formats, including a four-LP edition and two-CD/Blu-ray and two-CD/two-DVD sets, all loaded with bonus extras and 5.1 surround sound mixes.

With “Foxtrot at 50,” Hackett has reached a bit of a milestone — producing live Genesis Revisited recordings of half of the eight albums he originally recorded with the band from 1971 to 1977. Which begs the question: Might Hackett tackle next the one album many fans and critics regard as Genesis’s finest hour (plus 34 minutes) — 1974’s “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” which has not received the full start-to-finish Genesis Revisited treatment? What say ye, Mr. Hackett?

Released on Sept. 15th, 2023

Tracklist:

1. Intro / Ace of Wands
2. The Devil’s Cathedral
3. Spectral Mornings
4. Every Day
5. A Tower Struck Down
6. Basic Instincts
7. Camino Royale
8. Shadow of the Hierophant
9. Watcher of the Skies
10. Time Table
11. Get ‘Em Out by Friday
12. Can Utility and the Coastliners
13. Horizons
14. Supper’s Ready
15. Firth of Fifth
16. Los Endos/Slogans

Personnel:

Steve Hackett — guitars
Roger King — keyboards
Jonas Reingold — bass
Rob Townsend — saxophones, flutes
Craig Blundell / drums & percussion
Nad Sylvan — vocals
With: Amanda Lehmann — guitar, vocals

 

31 October 2023: The Annual FreeForm Halloween Show - Expanded to Five Hours!!!!

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This year's Halloween show expands to a full five hours of fun, creepiness, and horror!

Here's the breakdown:

7-7:15:  The Island Messenger Spooky Edition

7:15-8:00:  Witch-themed Halloween Music

8:00 - 9:00:  A locally produced Halloween radio play:

A local theater group, Kodiak Stage Craft, have recreated a 1940's Radio Drama called That Thing in the Window written by Lucille Fletcher. This suspenseful auditory experience features local voice actors and original music compositions.

2️⃣ Another chance to listen live on KODK 90.1 @ 9pm
 
9:00 - 11:00:  Spooky, horrific, creepy, fun Halloween music including dark ambient sounds from The Necronomicon Pages.

11:00 - Midnight:  This American Life Halloween Special


Does Abdul Alhazred’s cursed Necronomicon, the best known of the 'forbidden books', really exist?
Is it really part of the so-called "pseudobiblia" (books that do not exist) or did Howard Phillips Lovecraft, (the "Loner of Providence") base the Mythos of Cthulhu and all the vast, incredible Pantheon that pervades his fascinating and disturbing literary adventures?

In February 1937, in a letter written to his friend Harry O. Fisher, Lovecarft wrote, ‘The term Necronomicon (from the Greek "nekros", corpse; "nòmos", law; "eikon", image, i.e. "Image, or Representation, of the Laws of the Dead") came to my mind during a dream, including the etymology “.
Despite this, the belief that the Necronomicon is a real book persist. In reality, of course there are many magical books that have vanished and that are very sought after. Some do resurface. In Renaissance Florence the translations of Plato were put on hold when the legendary writings of Hermes Trismegistus were rediscovered, and their translation was deemed more important. They actually weren’t lost; they just weren’t in Europe. We can also add The Steganographia of Trithemius to the list, a book that was deemed blasphemous, black magic and in reality, turned out to be a canon of cryptographical techniques. We also have the very strange and compelling Voynich Manuscript, that still hasn’t been decoded but attempts to do so have driven people insane, allegedly. It seems that magical works need translating from either dead languages or codes and that the world of the dark arts is surrounded in mystery, secrets and blasphemy as underground esoteric groups attempted to avoid the wrath of persecution.
The Necronomicon, like the books mentioned above, has its own legends and the waters have been thoroughly muddied through hoax, creative invention and rumour. My first understanding of it was that Lovecraft’s grandfather was an occultist who had a vast library of occult books that young Howard used to engulf himself in, reading all of them with fervour and becoming a black magician. The Necronomicon was amongst this library as were many of the books that he mentions throughout his writing. By creating the Necronomicon and alluding to the contents without revealing them, has he not invented something that carries weight and mystery to such an extent that readers believe it to be real, because the other books he describes are? And there we have it. The mad, Arab Abdul Alhazred was Lovecraft himself. The Necronomicon does not exist and yet it does and is living and breathing. Long may it continue in the writings, movies, games, comics, music and all future media to come. This is precisely what Lovecraft wanted.

In this collection of music pieces and soundscapes, Eighth Tower Records and the musicians involved tribute their homage to the Necronomicon and expand the enigmatic mythology with the same passion for the subject as all the other ‘Mythos’ creators. What’s more, for your perusal, the artwork is beautifully designed by Mr Zarono.
 

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Our thanks to Raffaele Pezzella for providing FreeForm with a promotional copy of this release.

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