venerdì 8 febbraio 2019


Collegium Musicum were founded by Slovak composer and keyboard player Marián Varga in 1969. 
The band was entirely built around his virtuoso style, influenced by classical composers (especially from the baroque era and Eastern Europe) and coeval rock musicians such as Keith Emerson. 
That said, the Emerson comparision, although quite fair, is often exaggerated, since Varga had a very original style and a "Slavonic sense of timing, coming in that millisecond early or late, similarly to traditional folk music" (this is a definition given by a ProgArchives user, which I endorse).

"Konvergencie" is the second album of the band, and it is composed by four long suites, with lots of Hammond organ fugues, piano and pseudo-harpsichord parts, intricate rhythms, and guitars with folk and blues influences.

"Piesne z kolovrátku" is the only track actually sung by members of the band, whilst "Suita po tisíc a jednej noci" and "Eufónia" are both instrumental, and "P. F. 1972" contains two short parts with a children choir.
Most of the music has no lyrics, since the band was trying to find a way around the strict censorship.

Collegium Musicum:
Fedor Frešo - bass guitar, mandobass
František Griglák - guitars, mandolin
Dušan Hájek - drums
Marián Varga - organ, piano, synth, bells

Vocals on "Piesne z kolovrátku": Fedor Frešo, František Griglák, Pavol Hammel

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venerdì 1 febbraio 2019


S Vremena na Vreme are one of the most important folk bands in Serbia. They became famous for mixing the Balkan tradition with the Western world sound, influenced by Simon & Garfunkel and the American West Coast. 
This is their debut album, which also reflects a strong progressive rock approach, due to some unusual song structures and to the presence of electric and electronic keyboards (Hammond organ, Roland synthesizer).

S Vremena na Vreme:
Miomir Đukić - acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, prim, šargija, backing vocals
Vojislav Đukić - acoustic guitar, prim, backing vocals
Asim Sarvan - vocals
Ljubomir Ninković - vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, synthesizer, organ, šargija, congas 

Robert Nemeček - bass guitar
Nikola Jager - drums
Ivo Umek - organ (tracks 6 and 10)
Bato Popović - congas (track 7)
Maja Elman - flute (track 9)
Studijski Orkestar RT Ljubljana (tracks 4 and 10)

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venerdì 30 novembre 2018


One of the most popular Hungarian bands of the Seventies, Locomotiv Gt were founded in the spring of 1971 by former Omega member, Gábor Presser.
They've had a remarkable career, while their unquestionable artistic integrity has been a constant throughout their numerous changes of style.

This debut album contains a mix of blues rock and melodic progressive rock, with intense vocal harmonies. Arrangements incorporate powerful guitars, electric organ, flute, saxophone, and jazzy drum patterns. 
Some of the highlights include the slow, tragic refrain of "Egy dal azokért, akik nincsenek itt", the crystal sounding piano on the semi-acoustic ballad "A kötéltáncos álma", the wonderful groove of "Hej, én szólok hozzád", and the swing-like tempo of "Sose mondd a mamának".

Tamás Barta - guitars
Károly Frenreisz - vocals, bass, wind instruments, additional guitars 
József Laux - drums, congas
Gábor Presser - vocals, keyboards, vibraphone

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sabato 10 novembre 2018


Buldožer were the most critically acclaimed band from Slovenia. A huge part of their myth was built around their debut album, "Pljuni istini u oči" (1975). To be honest, I don't like it very much, since it was heavily influenced by Frank Zappa and featured too many comedy sketches and spoken parts.

"Zabranjeno plakatirati" is their second studio effort and their real masterpiece, looking at Captain Beefheart instead of Zappa, and mixing his influence with a rigorous, mathematical approach to guitar riffs and rhythm tricks. You can give it a try if you like avant-prog, but also if you like blues rock... something you can't say about many other albums.

Boris Bele - guitars, vocals
Vili Bertok - bass
Marko Brecelj - vocals
Borut Činč - keyboards
Tone Dimnik - drums 
Uroš Lovšin - guitars

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martedì 30 ottobre 2018


Piramis was the most popular rock band in Hungary during the late Seventies.
This is their debut album, their only one that I would classify as progressive rock, just before switching into a more conventional hard rock sound.
The band had a strong appeal on male rock music listeners, thanks to their powerful and elaborate arrangements, but also among the female audience, with frontman and singer Sándor Révész being considered a sex symbol. 

Their lyrics had to satisfy the authority, avoiding subversive slogans and political suggestions, but this didn't prevent them from producing great music, incorporating in their songs funk, jazz fusion, and classical elements, but also local influences from the likes of space-prog legends Omega
Every member helped during the songwriting process, with keyboard player Péter Gallai being the main composer. He also provided lead vocals in songs such as "Ki tudja, hol van", with its adorable cabaret atmosphere.

The album sold more than 100.000 copies at the time, and the ballad "Ha volna két életem" is still one of the most popular Hungarian songs ever.

Péter Gallaivocals + keyboards
Lajos Som: bass
Závodi János: guitars
Miklós Koves: drums
Sándor Révészvocals (and some guitar, I suppose, since he's credited as one of the composers of the instrumental jam "A fénylő piramisok árnyékában")

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