27 Sept 2011: FreeForm Progressive Goes Elk Hunting on Afognak Island

Tonight's host may or may not be playing progressive music - see you next Tuesday!

20 Sept 2011: Children of the Bong & King Crimson

Children of the Bong was an electronic band formed in the early 1990s by Rob Henry and Daniel Goganian. They signed to Planet Dog Records in 1994 and released one album, Sirius Sounds, as well as a couple of tracks on Planet Dog compilations. The band recorded a Peel Session for DJ John Peel on BBC Radio 1 on 26 April 1994 [1]
The group split up shortly after the release of the album. Rob Henry went on to form a band called Euphonic and now plays in a band called Neech. Daniel Goganian went on to study at the National Film and Television School and now works in the film and television industry for Savalas Audio Post Production in Glasgow, Scotland. He also plays samba percussion for the Paraiso School of Samba in London.

Larks' Tongues in Aspic is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock group King Crimson, originally released in 1973. This album is the debut of King Crimson's third incarnation - arguably their most forward-thinking thinking version yet, featuring original member and guitarist Robert Fripp and new members John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar), David Cross (violin, Mellotron), Jamie Muir (percussion), and Bill Bruford (drums), as well as lyricist Richard Palmer-James. Bruford had just left his previous band, Yes before they embarked on their "Close To The Edge" tour. Bruford felt that he had done all he could with Yes at this point and thought the more jazz oriented King Crimson would be a more expansive outlet. The album sees the band incorporate into its sound violin and also various exotic percussion instruments, including sheet metal and mbiras, all courtesy of the newly arrived Muir.
The album opens with a long experimental instrumental piece titled "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One." After that there are three vocal pieces, "Book of Saturday", "Exiles" and "Easy Money." These are followed by two more instrumentals, "The Talking Drum" and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two." The instrumental pieces on this album have strong jazz fusion influences, and portions have an almost heavy metal feel.
The album spawned the concert staple "Exiles", whose Mellotron introduction had been adapted from an instrumental piece called "Mantra" the band's original line up performed throughout 1969. At that time, as well as in late 1972, the melody was played by Fripp on guitar.
It is the only studio album with this 5-man line up. Muir left the group while on tour promoting this album in 1973. Attrition took this incarnation of King Crimson through the next several albums until Fripp's "retirement" in 1975.
In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came #22 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". (from Wikipedia)

13 September 2011: Invisible Opera Company of Tibet (Brazil) & Greylevel

Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet (Brazil) biography
INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET is a code name created by Daevid Allen (Gong), which original idea is, as he says, 'an international ideological/spiritual/aesthetic communications network for artists of all kinds who share the common vision of warm hearted, pan-stylistic, inclusive art forms which serve the drive towards conscious evolution'. Subsequently different band versions originated whilst picking up this spirit with more than 50 members and ex-members around the globe.

The Brazilian branch, initially provided with the suffix 'Tropical Version Brazil', manifested around 1988/89 when guitarist Fabio Golfetti of the psych prog band Violeta De Outono contacted Allen with the intention to collaborate. They recorded the first single 'Numa Pessoa Só' in 1989 and two years later their debut 'The Eternal Voice' came out, musically a mix of ambient, glissando and ethno/world element.  Glissando Spirit is the album we will hear this evening, released in 1993.
Hailing from the wild west coast of Canada, Greylevel crafts a unique blend of progressive and emotional rock music.
From humble beginnings as a solo studio project, Greylevel has since evolved into a full-fledged band. Brought together by shared passion for creating original music that aims to transport the listener into worlds of sound.  Opus One was their first album.

06 September 2011: Celebrate the 70s: Beggars Opera & Bo Hansson

Bo Hansson - Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings
Bo HANSSON (born 10 April 1943 in Gothenburg, Sweden, died 24 April 2010) is famous for his 1972 concept album "Lord of the Rings" which came out decades before Hollywood ever made any noise about Tolkien's trilogy. The music was taped on a remote island off Stockholm, on an 8-track recorder, in a summer house studio with the help of a few friends and musicians. It received Gold Record awards in England and Australia. Licenced by Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma label in England and America, it was also the subject of an extensive TV ad campaign that turned it into a hit in progressive rock circles at the time.

"Lord of the Rings" is a beautiful, timeless album of instrumental psychedelia worth hearing, even if it does sound rather 70ish production-wise. It doesn't feature any "fantasy/medieval" themes à la AYREON but captures the otherworldly, pastoral feel of Tolkien's work, like a Nordic album should.
 Beggars Opera - Pathfinder
This band was from Scotland, their name is derived from a novel by the poet John Gray in 1728. The musicians of BEGGARS OPERA were Martin Griffiths (vocals), Rick Gardiner (guitar and vocals), Alan Park (keyboards), Gordon Sellar (bass, acoustic guitar and vocals), Virginia Scott (Mellotron and vocals) and Raymond Wilson (drums and percussion). BEGGARS OPERA made a lot of records but remained acting in the shade of most progressive rock bands.
 On their third LP "Pathfinder" BEGGARS OPERA seems to have reached its pinnacle: strong and alternating compositions with lush keyboards (Mellotron, organ, piano and harpsichord), powerful electric guitarplay and many shifting moods (even Scottish folk with bagpipes).