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Eclectic Prog • Israel

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Anakdota biography
Out of Tel Aviv, Israel comes the stylistically diverse prog group, Anakdota. Primarily driven by the piano heavy compositions and arrangements of keyboardist Erez Aviram, the band was formed in 2013 as a quartet. Prior to the 2016 release of their first full length album, Overloading, the band was joined by a second vocalist. As of 2016 the lineup consisted of: Ray Livnat - Vocals, Ayala Fossfeld - Vocals, Erez Aviram - Piano, Keyboards, Guy Bernfeld - Bass, Yogev Gabay - Drums.

Each member of the ensemble has deep roots in musical education, involved in both Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv as well as Berklee College of Music.

Livnat made a name for himself in Prog Rock circles as part of the Project RnL, an ensemble that is best known for their multi-frame iPad YouTube videos; a style that would be incorporated in Anakdota's The Girl Next Door video. His range and clarity combined with an innate quirkiness give his vocals a unique character.

Together, Anakdota is a very expressive project that uses that incorporates a broad spectrum of styles much in the vein of Gentle Giant with quirky social commentary lyrical story lines. Avarim's compositions that are rich with piano that incorporate jazz chord modulations in the spirit of Chick Corea or Vince Guaraldi along with the rhythmic structures and percussiveness of Keith Emerson.

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ANAKDOTA discography

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4.16 | 13 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Overloading by ANAKDOTA album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.16 | 13 ratings

Anakdota Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars An album of refreshing, theatric, acoustic piano-driven, GENTLE GIANT-like songs delivered in a Broadway musical- like style with a male lead vocalist who sounds and styles like XTC's Andy Partridge (or THE GABRIEL CONSTRUCT's Gabriel Lucas Riccio) and a female lead that sounds like Amy Darby (THIEVES' KITCHEN) and Amanda Plummer (AXON-NEURON)! Exceptional songwriting here is met by musicians who are every bit up to the task. The song constructions are deceptively complex while the sound engineering and production are among the best you will ever hear. Unfortunately, I thing this one sailed under everyone's radar because it was released so late in 2016 (mid-November by AlrOck Productions).

1. "One More Day" (7:03) The first half is like an Andy Partridge song gone Broadway! The second half is so gorgeous and life-affirming. It's full of amazingly engaging pop-jazz melodies and sound and construction that sound as if they've been lovingly borrowed from those of the great songwriters of the 1940s like Gershwin and Porter. (9.5/10)

2. "Different Views" (5:42) with its great drumming/percussion work. (8.5/10)

3. "Late" (4:20) reminds me of a HUMBLE GRUMBLE song. (8/10)

4. "Mourning" (5:28) is definitely the prettiest, most emotional song on the album. It's mostly a piano song with lead singing from the eminently capable female lead, Ayala Fossfield. Highlight: Ayala's duet of wordless vocalise with the piano. This is the song that most bears the comparisons I've read to Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's work together. (8.5/10)

5. "Overloading" (7:08) is quite the piano dominant, though Ray Livnat's voice, Guy Bernfeld's bass, and Yogev Gabay's drums get their turns to shine as well. (8.5/10)

6. "Staying Up Late" (8:24) opens with Yogev's bass but it's really the vehicle for the beautiful, thoughtful vocal stylings of Ayala Fossfield. This is a great song--my favorite on the album--that sounds a lot like a THIEVES' KITCHEN (Amy Darby) or AXON-NEURON (Amanda Plummer) song done in a GENTLE GIANT way. The jazzy electric piano-led excursion mid-song (3:55 to 6:35) is especially sweet--even when it gets "dirty" with distortion--but it is the return and finish of Ayala's part that is most welcomed. (9.5/10)

7. "Girl Next Door" (5:01) has a Vince Guraldi-like piano with DEREK SHULMAN-like singing (8.5/10)

8. "End Of The Show" (5:58) the album's finale is an end-of-Disney-movie sound-alike (8.5/10)

A bit of an acquired taste--kind of like GENTLE GIANT and HUMBLE GRUMBLE were for me, and yet the STEPHEN SCHWARTZ-like theatricity of it is quite interesting and, if you give it a chance, engaging.

January 2017 re-assessment: The remarkably clean production, complex, proggy composition style, virtuosic performances, and thoroughly enjoyable melodies kept drawing me back to this one despite the flurry of other activities (and albums) over the course of 2017. This is so close to being a masterpiece of progressive rock music-- definitely one that should be heard by anyone who professes themselves a prog lover.

A 4.5 star album; B+; an excellent addition to any prog rocker's music collection.

Thanks to epignosis for the artist addition.

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