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MoonJune Records: A Decade of Progressive Rock Documentation

Mark Redlefsen By

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DFA is a fusion quartet hailing from Italy. This recorded live performance captures its first American live show, at the NEARFest 2000 in Pennsylvania. This was the group's first disc to be distributed in the US. The passionate proficiency projected by this group is astounding. The keyboards, guitar, bass and drums played by these musicians paint an aural collage throughout seven compositions with vocals appearing on the eloquent "Caleidoscopio." The blazing riffs from keyboardist Alberto Bonomi are wonderful. His tragic accidental death by auto crash in Italy ended a very promising career. Work In Progress Live is an opportunity to hear DFA's truly great music in full flight.


simakDialog
Patahan
2005

The Indonesian group simakDialog formed almost twenty years ago. Patahan, a live album recorded at the Goethe Haus in Jakarta in 2005, is its first international release and its first for MoonJune. Keyboardist, primary composer and founder, Riza Arshad, provides an overall melodic feel that would not be out of place on an ECM release, however the clever attack of guitarist Tohpati Ario Hutomo ( Tohpati Ethnomission ) and the rhythmic way in which the rest of the group pushes the music seems to embody the MoonJune ethos of creating music that is not easily identifiable. The percussive quality that pervades the entire disc may seem towards the world music end of the spectrum, but it is Arshad and Tohpati that maintain a complexity that speaks of something else. This is a recommended start for listening to this group.

Soft Machine Legacy
Live Adventures
2010

Soft Machine Legacy has contained original Soft Machine members since it was created earlier this century. Live Adventures is a product of the latest lineup and was recorded live shortly after the 2009 passing of bassist Hugh Hopper. Bassist Roy Babbbington, another Soft Machine alumnus, joins drummer John Marshall and guitarist John Etheridge, along with saxophonist Theo Travis, who was recruited in 2006 after the passing of Elton Dean. No matter how much change in personnel has occurred, a very identifiable and distinct sound is maintained all around.

The balance in this music, as with the original different versions of Soft Machine, has always been about having just enough jazz fusion, grounded by very rock-like rhythms, that follow stated recurring and melodic themes. Add the right amount of soloing and the resulting music is what continues to appeal to fans of cerebral, instinctive instrumental music on the modern jazz, rock and jamband scenes. Live Adventures provides a nice listen back to the past, along with present suggestions of even more new promising music still ahead.


Tracks and Personnel

Storybook

Tracks: In Limine; Orizzonte Degli Eventi; Hispanica; Altaloma; Macinaaqua, Macinaluna; Asia; Phaedra; Canto Antico

Personnel: Fabio Zuffanti: bass, vocals; Stefano Marelli: electric and acoustic guitars, vocals; Boris Valle: keyboards; Sergio Grazia: flute; Andrea Orlando: drums.

Bar Torque

Tracks: Bar Torque; Sylvan; Merilyn

Personnel: Elton Dean, saxello, alto saxophone; Mark Hewins, samplers, Casio PG 380 synth guitar, Y Tatay Thomas acoustic guitar.

Drop



Tracks: Neo Caliban Grides; All White; Slightly All the Time: Drop; M.C.; Out-Bloody-Rageous; As If; Dark Swing; Intropigling; Pigling Bland.

Personnel: Mike Ratledge: Lowrey organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano; Elton Dean: saxello, alto saxophone, Fender Rhodes electric piano; Hugh Hopper: bass; Phil Howard: drums.

Floating World Live

Tracks: The Floating World; Bundles; Land of the Bag Snake; Ealing Comedy; The Man Who Waved at Trains; Peff; North Point; Hazard Profile (Part One); J.S.M.; Riff III; Song of Aeolus; Endgame; Penny Hitch (Coda).

Personnel: Mike Ratledge: Lowrey organ, electric piano, synthesizers; Karl Jenkins: oboe, soprano saxophone, recorder, electric piano, acoustic piano; John Marshall: drums, percussion; Allan Holdsworth: electric guitar, violin; Roy Babbington: bass guitar.

The Unbelievable Truth

Tracks: Seven For Lee; Millennium Jumble; Baker's Treat; The Unbelievable Truth; A Cunning Catastrophe; Cunnimingus Redux; The Basho Variations.

Personnel: Elton Dean: saxello, alto saxophone; Laurent Delchambre: drums, assorted percussion; Fred Delplancq: tenor saxophone; Michel Delville: guitar, voice; Jean-Paul Esti venart: trumpet; Damien Polard: bass.

Numero D'Vol

Tracks: Numero D'Vol; On The Spot; Earwigs Enter; Free Bee; Get That Tap; Bootz; Shovelfeet; Bees Knees Man; Straight Away; Twilight; Some Other Time.

Personnel: Simon Picard: tenor sax; Steve Franklin: keyboards; Hugh Hopper: bass; Charles Hayward: drums.

First Live in Japan

Tracks: Tilt Suite: Gravita 9, 81; Strips; Corrosione; Positivo/Negativo; In Cammino. Giro Di Valzer Per Domani Suite: Valzer Per Domani; Mirafiori; Nov Luna Prima; Mescal/Mescalero; Nove Lune Dopo; Aria Pesante; Dimensione Terra. Kawasaki; Glory; Marilyn; Arcenciel; Alba Mediterranea; 2000.

Personnel: Beppe Crovella: Hammond organ, piano, mellotron, Moog synthesizer; Furio Chirico: drums, percussion; Marco Roagna: electric and acoustic guitar; Iano Nicolo: vocals; Roberto Cassetta: bass, vocals; Lautaro Acosta: violin; Alfredo Ponissi: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute and clarinet.

Conspiracy Theories

Tracks: Conspiracy Theories; Press Find Enter; Flashpoint; 5s & 7s; End Of The Line; Freudian Triode; Orinaca; Crackpot; Lydiotic.

Personnel: Phil Miller: guitar, synth guitar (1-9); Pete Lemer: keyboards (1-9); Fred Baker: bass (1-9); Mark Fletcher: drums (1-9); Simon Finch: trumpet, flugelhorn (2-4, 8, 9); Annie Whitehead: trombone (1, 2, 4 6, 8, 9); Didier Malherbe: soprano sax, alto sax, flute, doudouk, ocarina (1, 2, 4-8); Simon Picard: tenor sax (1, 3, 4, 8); Doug Boyle: guitar (4); Richard Sinclair: bass (9); Dave Stewart: tuned percussion (4); Barbara Gaskin: vocals (4).

Work In Progress Live

Tracks: Escher; Caleidoscopio; Trip On Metro; La Via; Pantera; Ragno.

Personnel: Silvio Minella, guitars; Luca Baldassari, electric bass; Alberto Bonomi, keyboards, vocals; Alberto De Grandis, drums, vocals.

Patahan

Tracks: One Has to Be; Spur of the Moment; Kemarau; Worthseeing; Kain Sigli.

Personnel: Riza Arshad: acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, synth; Tohpati Ario Hutomo: electric, synth and acoustic guitars; Adhitya Pratama: fretless bass; Endang Ramdan: Sunda kendang, toys; Emy Tata: Makassar kendang, ceng-ceng, kethuk, vocals, Bahasa Indonesian poetry reader; Nyak Ina Raseuki Ubiet: vocals (2, 5); Marla Stukenberg: German poetry reader.

Live Adventures

Tracks: Has Riff; Grapehound; Nodder In The Back Room; Song Of Aeolus; Relegation Of Pluto / Transit; Gesolreut; Facelift; Last Day.

Personnel: John Etheridge: electric guitar; Theo Travis: tenor and soprano sax, flute; Roy Babbington: bass guitar; John Marshall: drums.


Photo Credit All Photos: Courtesy of Leonardo Pavkovic, MoonJune Records.

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