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PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Progressive Electronic definition

Born in the late 60's after the expansion of avant-gardist, modern, post-modern and minimalist experimentation, the progressive electronic movement immediately guides us into a musical adventure around technologies and new possibilities for composition. As an author or a searcher, the musician often creates his own modules and electronic combinations, deciding his own artistic and musical action. The visionary works of Stockhausen, Subotnick, John Cage ("concrete" music, electro-acoustic experimentation), La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Terry Riley (minimal, micro-tonal music) express a vision of total reconstruction in the current musical world. Luminous works such as "A Rainbow in Curved Air" (1967) and "Silver Apples of the Moon" (1967) bring an inflexion on opened forms and new ways to explore the essence and the physical aspects of sounds (through time and space). "Static" textures, collages & long running sounds, the power of technology previously exposed in ambitious classical works will have a major impact in "popular" electronic music.

After the artisan & innovative uses of magnetic tapes, feedback, microphones, etc., the instrumental synthesis, the elaboration of global sound forms and the psycho-acoustic interactions will be sublimated thanks to the launch of the analog synth. A great improvement happened in 1964 with the appearance of the first modular synthesiser (Moog). This material (or "invention") brings the answer to the technological aspirations of many musicians, mainly after the release of the popular "Switched on Bach" (Walter Carlos) and Mother Mallard's portable masterpiece (pieces composed between 1970-73).

At the beginning of popular essays in electronica, the pioneering technologies (in term of recording and sound transmission) will not be abandoned. For instance, "Tone Float" (1969) by Organisation (pre-Kraftwerk), "Zwei Osterei" & "Klopzeichen" (1969-70) by Kluster and "Irrlicht" (1972) by Klaus Schulze will carry on the domestication of the electric energy and the use of refined harmoniums, organs and echo machines. During the 70's decade, European groups & musicians such as Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream will make their name in the music industry thanks to an abundant use of analog synthesisers and original electronic combinations. After weird, mysterious experimentation on conventional acoustic & electric instruments, Kraftwerk enjoyed huge success in popular music thanks to "mechanical electronic pop music". "Trans Europe Express" (1977) and "The Man Machine" (1978) figure as two commercial classics. The German spacey electronic scene launched by Tangerine Dream with their outstanding "Alpha Centauri" (1971) and Cluster "I" & "II" (1971-72) will have echoes everywhere, starting from the Berlin underground electronic scene (the Berlin School) with Klaus Schulze ("Timewind" 1974), Michael Hoenig ("Departure from the Northern Wasteland" 1978), Ashra ("New Age of Earth" 1976), Conrad Schnitzler's buzz-drones and repetitive electronics ("Zug", "Blau", Gold" 1972-74) . After several innovations always from Germany we notice the dark, doomy atmospheric manifests of Nekropolis (Peter Frohmader) in "Le culte des Goules" (1981), Asmus Tietchens in his colourful and engaged "Biotop" (1981) and the semi-ambient "Hermeneutic Music" (1988) by Lars Troschen (sound sculptor and synthesist).

In France, the "hypnotic" and "propulsive" electronic essays of Heldon ("Electronic Guerrilla" 1974) and Lard Free ("Spiral Malax"1977) introduce an inclination for industrial, urban and post-modern sound projections. The French "avant gardist" Philippe Besombes takes back the inspiration of " concrete music" (Pierre Henry.) and mixes it to a hybrid rocking universe (published in 1973, "Libra" figures as a true classic). Bernard Xolotl in "Prophecy" (1981), "Procession" / "Last Wave" (1983), Zanov (Green Ray, 1976) and Didier Bocquet (Voyage cerebral, 1978) will follow the musical path anticipated by Klaus Schulze in his kosmische electronic symphonies.

At the end of the 70's until the debut of the 80's Albums as "ambient 1: Music for Airports" (Brian Eno), "Cluster & Eno", "Deluxe" (Hans Joachim Roedelius side project called Harmonia) will announce the emergence of the famous ambient movement, musically characterised by gorgeous shimmering atmospheric textures.

During the 80's, Maurizio Bianchi will be in search of the absolute industrial "post-nuclear" sound tapestry. His visionary musical experience is based on cyclical loops, abrasive concrete noises and vertiginous piano dreamscapes. ("Symphony for a Genocide" 1981 and recently the mesmerising "A.M.B Iehn Tale" 2005). Before M.B and the industrial-bruitist wave, the 70's Italian specialists of electronic experiments had been (among others) Francesco Cabiati (Mirage, 1979), Francesco Bucherri (Journey, 1979), and Francesco Messina for representative, lyrical and spacey orchestrations and also Futuro Antica (D'ai primitivi all'elettronica, 1980) or Telaio Magnetico (Live' 75) for tripped out minimalism.

In the early 1980s and after following the kosmische path of classic Klaus Schulze, The Bay Area / Los Angeles school of electronic created the so called "alchemical" / "Sacred" space music. The music offers a dynamic combination between ancient-traditional music of the West and synthesised sonic soundscapes. The most representative artists of this movement are Michael Stream (Lyra Sound Constellation, 1983) Robert Rich (Numena, 1987) and Steve Roach (Dreamtime Return, 1988).

In the early 80s Ian Boddy (Spirits, 1984 / Phoenix, 1986) and Mark Shreeve (Assassin, 1983 / Legion, 1984) unique spacedout synthesised sagas represented the british answer to the challenging Berlin kosmische school. Their music embodies timbral drone sequences, systematic arpeggiations and synth-pop textures.

Young contemporary bands and artists in electronic experimentation took their inspiration from the 70's "kosmische" analog synth psychedelica of Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Tangerine Dream, etc. In the spaced out synthesisers spectrum, modern Japanese artists as Yamazaki Maso (noisy avant garde experimentor who contributes to the Kawabata's projects named Andromelos, Christina 23 onna and Father Moo & the Black sheeps) or Takushi Yamazaki (Space Machine) are key figures. The minimal, moody / lysergic epic soundscapes of Omit (Clinton Williams), Cloudland Canyon, Astral social club or Zombi also contribute to the renewal of the "cosmic" synth genre. Many modern electronic artists have taken an original musical direction, surfing on post-krautrock ambient waves (Aethenor), on spherical "abstract" ambient minimalism (Pete Namlook, Biosphere, Robert Henke) or on trancey, (post) industrial drone hypnosis (Alio Die / Amon / Nimh for the italian side and Andrew Chalk with his respective projects Mirror, Monos and Ora).

To sum up things, the progressive electronic subgenre is dedicated to intricate, moving, cerebral, intrusive electronic experiences that get involved in "kosmische", dark ambient, (post) industrial, droning, surreal or impressionist soundscapes territories.

Philippe BLACHE


The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree


Progressive Electronic Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Progressive Electronic | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.25 | 795 ratings
RUBYCON
Tangerine Dream
4.26 | 239 ratings
MIRAGE
Schulze, Klaus
4.21 | 233 ratings
TIMEWIND
Schulze, Klaus
4.56 | 26 ratings
CATCH WAVE
Kosugi, Takehisa
4.14 | 676 ratings
PHAEDRA
Tangerine Dream
4.18 | 123 ratings
EPSILON IN MALAYSIAN PALE
Froese, Edgar
4.11 | 210 ratings
X
Schulze, Klaus
4.26 | 42 ratings
AN ELECTRIC STORM
White Noise
4.35 | 27 ratings
IN COURSE OF TIME
Zanov
4.26 | 31 ratings
ALIO DIE & LORENZO MONTANA: HOLOGRAPHIC CODEX
Alio Die
4.04 | 155 ratings
AMBIENT 4 - ON LAND
Eno, Brian
4.16 | 45 ratings
INTEGRATI... DISINTEGRATI
Leprino, Franco
4.22 | 33 ratings
LUCIFER RISING (OST)
Beausoleil, Bobby
4.14 | 47 ratings
FILAMENTS
Rich, Robert
4.01 | 160 ratings
NEW AGE OF EARTH
Ashra
4.54 | 13 ratings
ARCHITEXTURE OF SILENCE
Alpha Wave Movement
3.98 | 399 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Tangerine Dream
3.99 | 277 ratings
ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Eno, Brian
3.94 | 326 ratings
THE MAN-MACHINE [AKA: DIE MENSCH-MASCHINE]
Kraftwerk
4.09 | 41 ratings
GREEN RAY
Zanov

Progressive Electronic overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Progressive Electronic experts team

TIME REPLICATED
Bownik, Adam Certamen
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE
Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale
HELDON IV: AGNETA NILSSON
Heldon
HATHOR
Wakhevitch, Igor

Latest Progressive Electronic Music Reviews


 All The Pieces Fit Forever (2017) by BRÜCKNER, MICHAEL album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 1 ratings

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All The Pieces Fit Forever (2017)
Michael Brückner Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars Modern eclectic progressive-electronic artist Michael Brückner has a couple of releases currently out, the first being the dark vintage Berlin School instrumental stunner with Alien Nature entitled `The Dark Path' distributed through the Syn-Gate label, and this one `All The Pieces Fit Forever 2017', a collection that actually dates back ten years earlier. It was initially a series of unrelated pieces awaiting contributions from other musical guests, but although this never happened at the time of their creation, a decade later six very different musical artists all offered their own input and completely reworked the original recordings in a variety of fascinating ways! It now stands as one of the most unique works released from Brückner to date that offers a definite modern approach and contemporary electronic sound mixed with a range of rich worldly flavours and also includes some unexpected instrument choices.

Although the focal point is the properly finished new version, it's important to see where the original recordings were at in the first place, and they're included here as a bonus on the second disc of the set. Around its pulsing and gurgling rising/falling programming, opener `Jigsaw Riksha' slinks (perhaps accidentally?!) into a Canterbury sound-flavoured laid back jazzy saunter with its sparkling electric piano, quite an unexpected style to hear on an album from Mr Brückner! The lightly melancholic `Pole Connector' is gently dark electronica that glides into the slyest of grooves, `Broken Mirrors' is a low-key trip-hopper that teases a cool dub sound with the most subtle of Hammond organ, and the eclectic `The Big Division' is almost psychedelic with plenty of fuzzy electronics bubbling around a variety of strident beats. The mellow `Puzzled' floats with sparkling electronics, and the fifty-one minute title track is equal parts a mysterious humming drone and unhurried glacial drift that carefully introduces the most minute of rhythmic elements.

But it's with the new contributors for the pieces that completely rework the material in many vital and adventurous ways! Emerging Portuguese artist and Prog Archives website's own esteemed wunderkind Samuel Cadima aka Meltdowner truly recreates the opener `Jigsaw Riksha' with a subtle coating of eerie treated guitar drones, almost revealing a Pink Floyd-like dreaminess (apparently there's kazoo buried in his contribution as well, which will please Corporal Clegg). Soprano singer Clare Butterfield-Elséy aka Rosmerta adds both a wordless vocal full of an aching longing and a striking spoken word passage to `Pole Connector', Kemal Deniz's ravishing Bağlama (a traditional Turkish stringed instrument, something of a variation of the lute) replaces the trip-hop cool of `Broken Mirrors' with a heavy eastern-flavoured drama, and Ben I Sabbah's sparkling electric phin guitar chimes calm down `The Big Division's' bouncing unpredictability and gives it a shimmering ambience. E.U.P.R.P.I, the alias of Bulgarian guitarist Mirian Kolev gives `Puzzled' a graceful serene ambient makeover, and Australian artist Suzannah Moon aka MegaMoonMaiden (who was a key influence in encouraging Michael to recommence these recordings and project overall) not only enhances the fifty-one minute title track with crystalline chimes, meditative flute and tribal percussion, but her ethereal voice and haunting spoken word recitations call like a siren's cry weaving in and around the extended piece.

Some editions of the collection come with bonus tracks - the twenty-one minute `Collecting the Shards' is a dreamlike drone crossed with the spectral expanse of early Klaus Schulze and reaching landscapes of Steve Roach, and a further 2017 instrumental mix of `All of the Pieces Fit Forever' adds just a bit of liveliness and more prominent rhythmic details to give the piece more momentum, making it the superior vocal-free version.

Some listeners may find some of the original album a little lightweight, and diverse collections such as this - essentially three albums worth of material - and especially ones that mix both vocal and instrumental pieces, are always difficult to constantly win everyone over all the time. But if you appreciate constantly experimenting and exploring artists that continuously challenge themselves, don't feel the need to adhere to the style of the vintage masters, who hone their sound and deliver something different with each release, then Michael Brückner's `All The Pieces Fit Forever 2017' is a winning, evocative and colourful musical statement well worth investigating, made even more enchanting by its fine range of guests.

Four stars.

 Eolian Reflections by ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.98 | 7 ratings

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Eolian Reflections
Alpha Wave Movement Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Alpha Wave Movement's Gregory Kyryluk is already establishing himself as one of the modern prog-electronic masters with a large back catalogue of superb and atmospheric titles of great variety. Some perfectly fuse vintage Berlin School mystery with modern deep-space ambience like the classic `Architexture of Silence' from 2013, `Yasumu' and `Harmonic Currents' are deeply meditative and others are more obviously melodic such as `Horizons' or the recent `Kinetic'. Then there's 2014's `Eolian Reflections' that blends many of those styles into one exquisite work, containing six unhurried electronic pieces that rarely drifts into more static drone territory, instead offering endless subtle graceful movement, sometimes with just the lightest of grounded earthy tribal elements and never actually resembling `cosmic' music for even a second.

A gentle twinkling melody flits around opener `Canyon Reverie's dreamy and placid sighing ambient washes, the most subtle of didgeridoo groans quietly beside Kitaro-like electronic breezes and permeating exotic ethnic flavours throughout the quietly dramatic `Cliff Dwellers Dominion', and the low-key `Dune Reflections' comes the closest to a Steve Roach-like piece with its pristine and sustaining fuzzy hum that continually approaches and falls away. The shorter `Full Moon At Window Arch's languid shimmerings are teeming with life and wonder, `Natural Geometry's eerie ripples drowsy float over a subtle variety of percussive elements and acoustic guitar-like chimes, and luxurious pools of heavenly electronic caresses glisten throughout closer `The Crossroads Of Time & Silence'.

`Eolian Reflections' is a beautiful progressive-electronic work that just might be one of Gregory's most quietly defining Alpha Wave Movement releases to date. It retains a very warm humanity, something that's not easy to achieve when solely utilising electronics, and is ideal for newcomers who want a good representation of intelligent ambient/prog-electronic music that remains colourful, inviting and artful from a smart and varied modern composer.

Four stars.

 Dream by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.61 | 6 ratings

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Dream
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Symphony of dreams

Noticing that Kitaro was added to Prog archives recently, I recalled this album that I first heard years ago which features Jon Anderson on vocals. Being an absolute Yes maniac, I am always interested in hearing anything that a Yes member is involved in. Giving it a more serious listen now, I am enjoying it more than I remembered.

Since Dream is so far my only experience of Kitaro's music I cannot relate it to his other works, but it can be compared to some of Jon Anderson's solo stuff as well as with Anderson's contributions to the works of Mike Oldfield and Vangelis. One year before the release of Dream in 1992, Yes had released Union - an album that included some "New-Age"-like pieces such as Angkor Wat and Take The Water To The Mountain. These numbers might also give you an idea of what the vocal tracks on Dream sound like.

Anderson wrote the lyrics and contributed lead vocals to three tracks on this otherwise instrumental album. The vocal tracks are Lady of Dreams, Agreement, and Island of Life. His voice can also be heard on Dream Of Chant, which is as the title implies a chant. My favourite track is Agreement.

Dream is a nice addition to a comprehensive Jon Anderson and extended Yes-related collection.

 Born Again Pagans (released under the name Coil vs ELpH) by COIL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Born Again Pagans (released under the name Coil vs ELpH)
Coil Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars In addition to the numerous albums released from the unique experimental electronic entity known as COIL, the band also released many albums under aliases as side projects such as Black Light District, Time Machines and Sickness of Snakes. BORN AGAIN PAGANS (EP) is the first release that introduces their alter ego ELpH which was name of the invisible member that created random musical compositions from their equipment as a by product of their recordings or just unsolicited noise. This is the first of the ELpH releases credited as COIL vs ELpH (a full-length ELpH vs COIL would come out the next year) and continues the wild world of experimentation that John Balance, Peter Christopherson, Drew McDowall and Danny Hyde were conjuring up with their bizarre alien sonicscapes that take the listener into totally new musical dimensions. This one has also been referred to as the "Protection EP."

This short 21 minute and 34 second EP consists of only one COIL track and three by ELpH. The COIL track is basically a hyper psytrance type of house music with all the appropriate counterpoint noise effects to make it weird but when the dance beat kicks in it's time to hit the dance floor! The three ELpH tracks are the complete opposite and for the most part are meandering ethereal ambient tracks. "Glimpse" sounds like some sort of hidden chant buried underneath a sea of ambient effects and electronic haze with occasional burst of percussive bubbles emerging from the underworld. "Crawling Spirit" is a more sinister dark ambient stroll into a tube of horror with a terrifying tension creeping along like a possessed caterpillar from below hell. The ethereal swirling of synth noises only adds to the horrific mood. "pHILM #1" consumes nearly half the EP and lightens up the mood with a more ambient display of synth noises ushering in the chants that were heard in "Glimpse." Actually this is the same track only augmented and extended and given the proper creepiness injections.

BORN AGAIN PAGANS is a testament to the demented imagination of COIL being weird even by their own standards (and that's saying something). Ultimately this is an interesting piece of experimental electronica but not the best these guys dished out. I much prefer the following ELpH vs COIL "Worship The Glitch" to this one, but even so, this is one wild electronic ambient ride that fits in with the weirdest of the weird. Unfortunately this and many other COIL releases are out of print and can be a little tricky to find. While this is available on YouTube for your listening pleasure, i must say that this and most COIL albums are so intricately designed that for maximum enjoyment one should employ the use of the highest quality stereo system or headphones to be found for the ambient effects are worth the price of admission alone.

 Discreet Music by ENO, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.45 | 97 ratings

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Discreet Music
Brian Eno Progressive Electronic

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Brian Eno is often thought of the thinking man of progressive music. Although many thinking men exist in the genre, Eno was the one who thought the hardest, particularly in both the abstract and the minimalist. The way he perceived music as a whole both in how it's psychologically defined and how it exists in space were paramount in bringing a new mindset to the pop music world.

However when you take all this and compress it down into one album, it garners a different look. Specifically, one tagged as "ambient". In recent years this term has a stigma attached to it, and generally will cause a quick dismissal from those who you bring it up to. Sure, countless very simple projects have also called themselves ambient, but as Eno has stated, what ambient really means is practically impossible to pin down these days. Mr. Eno may be a bit forgetful however, as he seems to have forgotten that he practically created modern ambient electronic music back in 1975. Discreet Music is one of the most unadulterated expressions of noise and vibration, a sound that seems disembodied from human thought and is something that just purely....exists. Of course Kraftwerk often experimented with ambient/avant-garde electronics before Eno even began working with Robert Fripp in 1973, but what Kraftwerk either didn't care to or failed to realize at the time that ambient music is what Eno created; sprawling, hour-or-more- long, meandering behemoths of various rhythmic tones and electronic fluidity that do well to not branch off uncomfortably by being overly dynamic. This not only creates a pleasant sound, but also removes the chance of having any slip ups if you go off the avant-garde deep end, which even Eno has done in the past. Kraftwerk understood the meaning of this quite well even before Eno did, with 1974's Autobahn epic replete with vehicle imagery, but it took another year for another musician to perfect it, and that just so happened to be Eno.

The rest of the album aside from the title track epic is three different variations of Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel. While not being the centrepiece, Eno's interpretations of the classic 'Pachabel's Canon' which, while being in basic terms the same Canon you've heard for years, are indeed testaments to Eno's mixing of industrial music with the classical. 'Fullness of the Wind' I believe is the best of the three.

What I think Discreet Music represents is a wholesome and unbroken part of Eno's career, which both represents a then stepping stone but also a timeless element in one of the most prolific electronic musician's music. That, and it's a signal for other artists even today to expound on it to find the deepest crevasses the human spirit can travel to. Either that, or I'm just blowing it out of proportion. Part of me, though, thinks I'm right.

 Asia (Live in Asia) by KITARO album cover Live, 1984
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Asia (Live in Asia)
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by tdfloyd

4 stars Asia is my introduction album to Kitaro. I had originally seen the video for Cloud on VH1's show named New Visions. The show had world, solo piano, and New Age music. In the wide band of New Age music was a musician named Kitaro. Never heard of him before but that is why I liked the show. Anyway, Cloud was not like 95% of the music being played. It was soothing to start but gradually built into a powerful instrumental song. Thundering drums and a guitarist who had spent some time listening to David Gilmour plus Kitaros soaring keyboards. Not very New Age like to me, but it's just a label.

I have many of his albums and the live ones usually have more muscle than the original versions of the songs. Asia is no exception. I still return to this album often as Kitaro strikes a balance between instrumental rock, symphonic prog and contemplative New Age.

A strong 4 stars.

 Dream by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.61 | 6 ratings

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Dream
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars My first approach to Kitaro. It happened when, many years ago, as a YES fan I read about Jon ANDERSON singing in this album. The day after I had the CD in my hands and I liked it since the first listen. I was actually a bit into Newage and I knew of Kitaro as a newage artist, but from the albums that I know, if there's one progressive it's this one. Let's not forget that Kitaro has been in Far East Family Band, so he knows how to make prog and psych music.

Dream is a concept album, even if most of it is instrumental. There's of course a lot of keyboards and you have to reach the third track to listen to Jon's voice. "Symphony of the Forest" is a perfect intro. Not properly an ouverture, but sets the mood which is then carried on by "Misterious Island". I don't know what the concept is about, really. The two recurring elements are the "Lady Of Dreams" and the "Island".

What I know is that the album is very good. In particular, the guitar of Hiroshi Araki sounds very Floydian. The riff in the middle part of "Lady of Dreams" which also features an ascending sequence of chords similar to "In The Flesh", could have found a place on "The Wall".

Add to this the vocals of Jon Anderson at his best, even if on three tracks only, backed by his daughter Deborah. In brief, this is for what I know the most symphonic album of this keyboards mastermind. One of my favorites at the time it was released and still the one that I prefer in the huge Kitaro's discography.

 Ten Kai (Astral Voyage/Astral Trip) by KITARO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.91 | 3 ratings

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Ten Kai (Astral Voyage/Astral Trip)
Kitaro Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars So you've got it all figured out that Japanese composer Kitaro is merely a soft New Age artist, eh? Wrong - his roots lie in Seventies prog-rock band Far East Family Band, and his first several years of solo albums starting with 1978's `Ten Kai' are mostly full-blown space-music discs, very much comparable in parts to Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and even moments of Eloy and Pink Floyd. But it all started with this superb and eclectic instrumental debut, loaded with deep-space electronic soundscapes with light Eastern flavours and drifting ambience, but it's also frequently experimental and maybe even a little trippy!

Opener `By the Sea Side' is an unhurried twinkling and bubbling electronic contemplation of drowsy panning synths over gentle rushing waves, and `Soul of the Sea' slowly grows to life with exotic percussion, relaxing acoustic strums and fanfare- like Eastern-flavoured trilling synth and Moog themes. Gurgling Moog, droning electronics and ringing sitar strains groan throughout the psychedelic `Micro Cosmos', a piece that would have been right at home on the Krautrock-lite early Deuter albums, the cool `Beat' lurches with slinking sequenced programming and trailing wisps over Klaus Schulze-like atmospheres, and first-side closer `Fire' eventually reveals Pink Floyd and Eloy-like powerful spacey lead synth themes dominating hazy guitar strums and pounding drums.

`Ten Kai's second side more-or-less forms a continuous extended suite, starting with `Mu's dreamy mandolin trickles over panning pulses, `Dawn of the Astral's contemplative and delicately spacey drifts that grow in stature around rumbling drums, `Endless Dreamy World's floating sustained ambience and `Kaiso's tranquil ringing acoustic guitar and joyful humming organ. The first half of sumptuous album closer `Astral Voyage' (sometimes listed as `Astral Trip', with some versions of this album itself alternatively called either of these two titles) is a low-key placid meander permeated with Eastern mystery, but as it slowly rises in the second half it once again lightly calls to mind German proggers Eloy, as well as a few of Jean-Michel Jarre's more serene `Oxygene' moments.

Although it goes a little further, `Ten Kai' is a sublime example of deeply immersive space-music full of wonder and coming from a place of love, not the isolating and suffocating darker works of the earlier Berlin School of progressive-electronic music, even if they proved to be an initial inspiration to the artist. It's accessible and melodic without being simplistic or remotely commercial, and Kitaro's exquisite musical skills and keen ear for tasteful, atmospheric compositions is completely evident throughout the entire album. Listeners only aware of his "New Age" status who connect with vintage prog-electronic sounds should definitely take a chance on discovering just how much Kitaro has to offer, and there's no better place to start than `Ten Kai'.

Four stars.

 Shh! by SPERM album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.89 | 6 ratings

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Shh!
Sperm Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Two years after their bizarre experimental noise and free improvisation EP "3rd Erection" the Finnish band SPERM release their first and only strange and left-field full-length album with the amusing title SHH! (long before Chumbawumba thought of it!) This one was actually released as a double album on LP in 1970. SPERM may have only released a couple rarities in their day but they stirred up quite the scene in Finnish society and reined supreme in the underground scene. They were notorious for their outlandish performances and concerts that exhibited excellent psychedelic light shows to accompany their divorced-from-reality sonicscapes. Don't let the oft used term "drone" scare you away. This is much more sophisticated than just a repetitive tape loop unfolding to infinity. Each track has its own personality and yes indeed it is experimental but careful listens reveals underlying logic. While the members basically created all of the sounds incorporating samples and experimentation with guitar feedback and effects, it's quite amazing how diverse the soundscapes unfold

"Heinäsirkat I (Locusts)" delivers an extreme echo effect of guitar and tape manipulation. Sounds like listening to an alien invasion concert underwater! Guitar feedback is particularly tripped out with fuzz and reverb that creeps in and out. Reminds me of dolphin echolocation at times. The parts that have what sounds like a swarm of locusts is really scary and utterly alien

"Korvapoliklinikka Hesperia (Ear outpatient clinic western land)" sounds like a heavily distorted bass line of some sort with droning fuzz. This one might actually qualify for the drone label as it plucks away a single note repeating. The buzzing sounds like an amplified electric razor or something and strange ethereal ambience swirls around behind it. Towards the end are some samples of voices that sound as if they are being received on a primitive walkie talkie

"Jazz Jazz" imagine Ornette Coleman playing sax after smoking it out with the caterpillar in "Alice in Wonderland" and you're getting close :P

"Dodekafoninen talvisota (Dodecaphony winter war)" reminds me a bit of Karlheinz Stockhausen as it takes an pointillistic approach of burying an actual composition with layers of syncopated noise counterpoints that are deliberately jolted off key and out of timing to gain the desired effects. This one gets quite violent and probably the most disturbing sounding track on the album. It sounds totally chaotic at first but towards the end emerge the closest beats that could sound like a regular rhythm and a composition bubbles up from the darkness if you listen for it. Very strange track

This is a wild ride recommended for only the hardcore trippers who seek total escape from reality and want to enter an alien soundtrack that they have never experienced before. SPERM proved with their two releases that the most lysergic sounds didn't start with Krautrock and that psychedelic improv through electronic means during this period was merely an extension of the experiments that began in the 50s and then banished to alien world where they were allowed to evolve in totally unearthly manner. Personally i love this kind of stuff and SHH! has some interesting ways of keeping it busy and my attentive ears pricked up throughout its entire run

Like "3rd Erection," this is the rarest of the rare and was only released in limited supply once back in 1970 however it has been released on the compilation "Works 1968-1976" and is readily available on YouTube

4.5 but rounded down

 3rd Erection by SPERM album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.02 | 3 ratings

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3rd Erection
Sperm Progressive Electronic

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Something happened once the floodgates of musical freedom opened when established bands like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix gave permission to expand the musical boundaries wherever they may lead. Some bands stuck to the pop world with psychedelic frosting on their cake but other bands really went for it with free improvisation taken to unthinkable new arenas. In Canada there was the Nihilist Spasm Band, in the USA was Red Krayola, England had AMM and in far flung places like Finland was THE SPERM. No SPERM isn't a Finnish word for picnic basket or anything of the sort. It's very much the English word. You know the milky liquid your dad squirt into your mama so you could squirm into the world and listen to this stuff. This band was all about true psychedelic freedom and noisy proto-nowave and on their first offering 3RD ERECTION they dropped one of the strangest and noisiest albums in 1968.

This was only an EP and lasted a mere 11 minutes and 24 seconds but it feels much longer as your brain has a hard time comprehending just exactly what in the world is going on. The title track begins with an atonal untuned guitar chaotically strumming with deranged vocals accompanying like a zombie folk song from the grave. This is so whacked out it almost makes me wonder if this sort of stuff was the inspiration for Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" except this has no connection to traditional music whatsoever. It's also made all the weirder by the fuzzy production that makes the whole thing feel like it's happening in another dimension that is only getting partially transmitted to ours. The second track "Hero" is actually half way positioned into some kind of folk song only the guitar is quite erratically strummed and the vocals sound like a 20th century schizoid man tripping on LSD at a candy store or something. "Pillow" has spoken word story about something while random notes jangle on with it. "Staffstaff" is weirder than all the rest combined! It amounts to a bunch of noises like a buzzing sound, and i think some strange guitar abuse techniques but i'm not really sure. It sounds like nightmare music! The vocalist sounds like he's trying to chant. Sounds like a very bizarre ritual.

This is truly some of the weirdest random sounds ever laid to tape and released to the public, at least what i've heard and i've listened to lots of totally out-there music! This is only for the free improvisation and noise lovers out there. Everyone else stay away. If you want this be prepared to shell out over 1000$ USD for it. This is the rarest of the rare and was only released in limited supply once back in 1968 however it has been released on the compilation "Works 1968-1976" and is readily available on YouTube which is good enough for me! Personally i love this kind of stuff. 4 fully erect stars from me ;)

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Progressive Electronic bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
12 FOLLOWERS United States
6LA8 Pakistan
ACI Germany
AEON France
AETHENOR Multi-National
AFTERLIFE United States
ILDEFONSO AGUILAR Spain
PEKKA AIRAKSINEN Finland
AIRSCULPTURE United Kingdom
ALBERGO INTERGALATTICO SPAZIALE Italy
ALIO DIE Italy
ALLEGORY CHAPEL LTD United States
DAEVID ALLEN MICROCOSMIC United Kingdom
ALLUSTE Italy
ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT United States
ALTO STRATUS United Kingdom
AMBER ROUTE United States
AMON Italy
PETER ANDERSSON Sweden
ANDROMELOS Japan
ANNA SJALV TREDJE Sweden
ARC United Kingdom
ARPANET United States
EDWARD ARTEMIEV Russia
ARZATHON Sweden
ASCOIL SUN Finland
ASHRA Germany
THE ASTROBOY Portugal
ATOMINE ELEKTRINE Sweden
AUBE Japan
AUTOMAT Italy
AWENSON France
MARVIN AYRES United Kingdom
HARVEY BAINBRIDGE United Kingdom
AIDAN BAKER Canada
SIMON BALESTRAZZI Italy
BAFFO BANFI Italy
BASS COMMUNION United Kingdom
PETER BAUMANN Germany
BAUMANN/KOEK Germany
BEAR BONES LAY LOW Venezuela
BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL United States
CARLOS BELTRÁN Mexico
LÁSZLÓ BENKő Hungary
PHILIPPE BESOMBES France
BETWEEN INTERVAL Sweden
MAURIZIO BIANCHI Italy
BIG ROBOT Norway
BIOSPHERE Norway
BLACK UNICORN United States
TIM BLAKE France
BLUE MOTION Switzerland
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT United States
WOLFGANG BOCK Germany
DIDIER BOCQUET France
IAN BODDY United Kingdom
GASTON BORREANI Italy
ADAM CERTAMEN BOWNIK Poland
OLIVIER BRIAND France
MICHAEL BRÜCKNER Germany
FRANCESCO BUCCHERI Italy
HAROLD BUDD United States
MICHAEL BUNDT Germany
FRANCESCO CABIATI Italy
ROBERTO CACCIAPAGLIA Italy
CALDERA United States
TOM CAMERON United States
DALLAS CAMPBELL United States
CELLULOID United States
CELLUTRON & THE INVISIBLE United States
ANDREW CHALK United Kingdom
JOHN CHRISTIAN United Kingdom
CHRISTINE 23 ONNA Japan
THE CIRCULAR RUINS United Kingdom
CLOUDLAND BALLROOM Ireland
CLOUDLAND CANYON United States
CLOUDLAND CANYON/LICHENS United States
COIL United Kingdom
COMA VIRUS Germany
PASCAL COMELADE France
COMPUTERCHEMIST United Kingdom
CONTRASTATE United Kingdom
COSMIC DEBRIS United States
COSMIC GROUND Germany
COSMIC HOFFMANN Germany
CRAWL UNIT United States
CREMATOR United Kingdom
CROP CIRCLES France
CROWS LABYRINTH Netherlands
CULTURAL NOISE Austria
FRANCESCO CURRÀ Italy
CYBOTRON Australia
DEAD VOICES ON AIR United Kingdom
NICOLAS DICK France
DIN A TESTBILD Germany
DIONNE - BRÉGENT Canada
DOLULUS Switzerland
HEINRICH DRESSEL Italy
E-MUSIKGRUPPE LUX OHR Finland
EARTHSTAR Multi-National
EDEN France
ELEKTRIKTUS Italy
ELICOIDE Italy
EMERALDS United States
J.D EMMANUEL United States
ENDOPLASMIC FLOW Multi-National
BRIAN ENO United Kingdom
ENVENOMIST United States
EXPO 70 United States
F.G EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY Switzerland
FRANCO FALSINI Italy
FANGER & SCHÖNWÄLDER Germany
FARBFELDE United States
FASER Germany
FATHER MOO & THE BLACK SHEEP Japan
FFWD United Kingdom
FHIEVEL Italy
FIVE THOUSAND SPIRITS Italy
FLAMEN DIALIS France
FOVEA HEX Ireland
FREE SYSTEM PROJEKT Netherlands
FRIPP & ENO United Kingdom
EDGAR FROESE Germany
PETER FROHMADER Germany
KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN United States
FUTURO ANTICO Multi-National
GALACTIC EXPLORERS Germany
MICHAEL GARRISON United States
MORT GARSON Canada
GRAHAM GETTY United Kingdom
SACHA GIBSON United Kingdom
BRUCE GILBERT United Kingdom
GIRÓN Spain
MATHIAS GRASSOW Germany
GRAUGLANZ Germany
GREGOR CÜRTEN & ANSELM ROGMANS Germany
RANDY GREIF United States
RAGNAR GRIPPE Sweden
HARALD GROSSKOPF Germany
SVEN GRÜNBERG Estonia
GEORGES GRÜNBLATT France
JEAN GUÉRIN France
CARLOS GUIRAO Spain
BRUCE HAACK Canada
HALL OF MIRRORS Italy
PETER MICHAEL HAMEL Germany
HARMONIA Germany
STEVE HAUSCHILDT United States
HEADSHOCK United Kingdom
TIM HECKER Canada
HELDON France
HEMMELIG TEMPO Norway
ROBERT HENKE Germany
JACK HERTZ United States
MICHAEL HOENIG Germany
HOLLAN HOLMES United States
HORSE PALACE Canada
HARUOMI HOSONO Japan
PETER HOWELL & THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP United Kingdom
EPPIE E. HULSHOF Netherlands
HYDRAVION France
HYDRUS Italy
GIUSEPPE IELASI Italy
INVOLVED United States
IVERSEN Norway
JAZZCOMPUTER.ORG France
JESDAT Spain
JIHEL France
GUSTAVO JOBIM Brazil
EDDIE JOBSON United Kingdom
JONATHAN Germany
ARIEL KALMA Australia
JÜRGEN KARG Germany
KASHMIR Switzerland
KHA - YM France
BERND KISTENMACHER Germany
KITARO Japan
KL(AÜS) Australia
KNITTING BY TWILIGHT United States
KOROIEV Spain
KÖSMONAUT United States
TAKEHISA KOSUGI Japan
ESA KOTILAINEN Finland
KRAFTWERK Germany
MIHA KRALJ Yugoslavia
KLAUS KRÜGER Germany
RICHARD LAINHART United States
LAMBWOOL France
PASCAL LANGUIRAND Canada
LAOZI Georgia
TEDDY LASRY France
STÉPHANE LEMAIRE France
IGOR LEN Russia
FRANCO LEPRINO Italy
LEROUGE France
NED LAGIN & PHIL LESH United States
CECIL LEUTER France
LIGHTWAVE France
LIIR BU FER Italy
LILIENTAL Germany
JOHN LIVENGOOD France
LOGIC GATE United States
LONG DISTANCE POISON United States
LOOM Germany
BERTRAND LOREAU France
RÜDIGER LORENZ Germany
LORQ DAMON United States
LULL United Kingdom
LUNAR MIASMA Greece
TOR LUNDVALL United States
LUSTMORD United States
LYDHODE Norway
BJORN LYNNE Norway
IAN MACFARLANE Australia
MAEROR TRI Germany
MAGINA Portugal
PEPE MAINA Italy
MAJEURE United States
ERIC MALMBERG Sweden
MARIBOR Italy
RUNE MARTINSEN & ØYSTEIN JØRGENSEN Norway
ANDREA MARUTTI Italy
MEERKAT Italy
METATAG Norway
EMERSON MEYERS United States
MICKIE D'S UNICORN Germany
CLAUDIO MILANO Italy
DIETER MOEBIUS Germany
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CLARA MONDSHINE Germany
MONOTON Austria
GEN KEN MONTGOMERY United States
MOORE / MYERS United States
KEN MOORE United States
STEVE MOORE United States
MORA-TAU Japan
SCOTT MOSHER United States
MOTHER MALLARD'S PORTABLE MASTERPIECE CO. United States
MOUNTAIN OCEAN SUN Japan
MOUNTAINS United States
THE ALMAN MULO BAND United Kingdom
MUSHY Italy
IAN NAGOSKI United States
PETE NAMLOOK Germany
NAUTILUS Germany
NAZI UFO COMMANDER Italy
NEPTUNE TOWERS Norway
NEURONIUM Spain
NEVER KNOWN Italy
NEWCLEAR WAVES Italy
NIMH Italy
NIMH + M.B Italy
NISUS Belgium
NODE United Kingdom
NUMINA United States
OMIT (CLINTON WILLIAMS) New Zealand
OÖPHOI Italy
OSCILLOTRON Sweden
OSE France
P'COCK Germany
PALADIN United Kingdom
STEPHEN PARSICK Germany
PEAK Australia
PETER M. Italy
PHROZENLIGHT Netherlands
RICHARD PINHAS France
CHRISTOPHE POISSON France
POLE France
BRENDAN POLLARD United Kingdom
TJ PORTER Canada
COLIN POTTER United Kingdom
NIC POTTER United Kingdom
ROGER POWELL United States
DAVID PRESCOTT United States
THE PRESENT MOMENT United States
DAVID PRITCHARD Canada
PROPELLER ISLAND Germany
PRZEMYSLAW RUDZ Poland
PULSE EMITTER United States
PYTHAGORON United States
QUARKS Chile
RADIO MASSACRE INTERNATIONAL United Kingdom
LUTZ RAHN Germany
NIK RAICEVIC United States
RAINBOW GENERATOR Australia
RAINBOW SERPENT Germany
RAISON D'ETRE Sweden
RAPOON United Kingdom
REALTIME Germany
TOM RECCHION United States
REDSHIFT United Kingdom
JONAS REINHARDT United States
ALEJANDRO VILLALÓN RENAUD Mexico
ROBERT RICH United States
RICHARD WAHNFRIED Germany
CHRISTIAN RICHET France
WOLFGANG RIECHMANN Germany
STEVE ROACH United Kingdom
HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS Germany
ROGUE SPORE Ireland
THOMAS RONKIN United States
SAB Japan
SAFIYYA United States
SANGIULIANO Italy
SANKT OTTEN Germany
SATAN ALFA BEEL ATEM Japan
SAYER United States
GÜNTER SCHICKERT Germany
SCHLOSS TEGAL United States
CONRAD SCHNITZLER Germany
EBERHARD SCHOENER Germany
ROBERT SCHROEDER Germany
KLAUS SCHULZE Germany
SEESSELBERG Germany
SEQUENTIA LEGENDA France
SERGE RAMSES France
SHOGUN KUNITOKI Finland
MARK SHREEVE United Kingdom
FREDERICH SHULLER Romania
SIJ Ukraine
SIL MUIR Italy
THE SILVERMAN United Kingdom
SINIAALTO Finland
SINOIA CAVES Canada
JAKOB SKØTT Denmark
SOFTWARE Germany
SONISK BLODBAD Multi-National
SOUNDS OF NEW SOMA Germany
SPACE ALLIANCE Italy
SPACE ART France
SPACE MACHINE Japan
SPACECRAFT France
SPERM Finland
STARDRIVE United States
MICHAEL STEARNS United States
STELLARDRONE Lithuania
SUBINTERIOR Italy
SURYA KRIS PETERS Germany
SYRINX Canada
JUTA TAKAHASHI Japan
TANGERINE DREAM Germany
TANGRAM Hungary
TELAIO MAGNETICO Italy
DR. FIORELLA TERENZI Italy
THOUGHT GUILD United States
THREE SUNS Austria
THROBBING GRISTLE United Kingdom
ASMUS TIETCHENS Germany
TIPU SABZAWAAR Multi-National
TOMUTONTTU Finland
TONTO'S EXPANDING HEAD BAND United Kingdom
TORTURE GNOSIS Multi-National
TOTAL STATION Russia
TRANCE United States
TRANQUILLITY Germany
TRANSPARENT ILLUSION United Kingdom
ROLF TROSTEL Germany
UDDER MILK DECAY United Kingdom
MATTEO UGGERI Italy
UNATTA United States
URNA Italy
VAKO Spain
VANDERSON Poland
JOEL VANDROOGENBROECK Switzerland
PATRICK VIAN France
VIDNA OBMANA Belgium
VIETGROVE United Kingdom
VOICE OF EYE United States
VOLT Netherlands
ADELBERT VON DEYEN Germany
VON HAULSHOVEN Netherlands
ADRIAN WAGNER United Kingdom
IGOR WAKHEVITCH France
WAVESTAR United Kingdom
PHILLIP WERREN Canada
WHITE NOISE United Kingdom
PATRICK WIKLACZ France
TERJE WINTHER Norway
WINTHERSTORMER Norway
WO0 Serbia
BERNHARD WÖSTHEINRICH Germany
RENÉ VAN DER WOUDEN Netherlands
X-TG United Kingdom
XIU Italy
BERNARD XOLOTL France
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA Japan
YEN POX United States
YETI RAIN United States
YOU Germany
ZA SIÓDMA GÓRA Poland
EDWARD M. ZAJDA United States
ZALYS France
ZANOV France
ZED France
ZOLTAN United Kingdom
ZOMBI United States
ZORCH United Kingdom
ZOVIET FRANCE United Kingdom
ZYGOAT United States

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