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Sirkis/Bialas IQ: Our New Earth

Read "Our New Earth" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Established in 2014, when this band released its first album Come To Me (Stonebird Productions, 2015; limited distribution by MoonJune Records) it called itself The Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet. It has shortened the name to Sirkis/Bialas IQ, but it's still international: Asaf Sirkis (drums) is an Israeli living in England; Sylwia Bialas (vocals) is a Pole living in Germany; Frank Harrison (keyboards) is English; and Scot Kevin Glasgow (six string electric bass) replaces American Patrick Bettison (electric bass/chromatic harmonica).

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Mark Wingfield & Gary Husband: Tor & Vale

Read "Tor & Vale" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Before receiving widespread exposure as the keyboardist with John McLaughlin's The 4th Dimension band, Gary Husband's notoriety was firmly centered on his polyrhythmic progressive rock and jazz drumming, rising through the ranks by accompanying prodigious guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Robin Trower, amid stints with Level 42, UK and other notables. Moreover, idiosyncratic guitarist Mark Wingfield's notoriety has skyrocketed since joining Moonjune Records several years ago. On this outing, Husband (piano) and the guitarist delve into improvisational and experimental constructions, where ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Wingfield & Gary Husband: Tor & Vale

Read "Tor & Vale" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Virtuoso guitarist Mark Wingfield was last heard leading a trio on Tales From The Dreaming City (MoonJune Records, 2018). He and pianist Gary Husband may have never played duets together before, but the results sound like it was inevitable--a fated meeting. Opener “Kittiwake" is the first of Wingfield's compositions, a lyrical legato guitar line over a vaguely martial rhythm on the piano. Wingfield lays out for Husband's lovely piano solo, which leads seamlessly into a guitar solo. The piece ends ...

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Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks

Read "Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Swiss guitarist-composer Stephan Thelen (leader of the band Sonar) released his first solo album Fractal Guitar (Moonjune Records, 2019) to great acclaim. This remix album offers a dramatic new look at four of the original five tracks--only “Radiant Day" is skipped--as well as adding three new tracks from Thelen and two collaborators. The remix album begins as the original did, with “Briefing for a Descent into Hell." Thelen's remix makes a more direct statement, cutting almost immediately to ...

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Soft Machine: Hidden Details

Read "Hidden Details" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Hidden Details celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Soft Machine's 1968 eponymous debut, a seismic event in the British psychedelic, jazz and rock music landscapes that still reverbates as the Canterbury scene/sound. This anniversary studio celebration also brought about Soft Machine's first tour of North America since 1974, with several 2018 shows featuring Gary Husband as guest performer on either drums or keyboards. First assembled in 1966, Soft Machine has become a landmark British (if not global) progressive musical ...

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Various Artists: La Casa Murada MoonJune Sessions, Volume 1

Read "La Casa Murada MoonJune Sessions, Volume 1" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Magic seems to happen routinely at Spain's La Casa Murada Residential Recording Studio, a converted 12th century farmhouse, at least during the MoonJune Records recording sessions. For listeners who have not been following the label's releases, this generous 80-minute sampler offers a delightful overview. For those who have, it includes one track released in advance of Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic's forthcoming 2019 album If You See Me. The MoonJune musical family frequently operates as a kind of repertory ...

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Yagull: Yuna

Read "Yuna" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The duo's third album is an unquestionable treat for the aural senses. Think of fragile lullabies, drifting melody lines, temperate undercurrents and a few tuneful up-tempo numbers, as these piano-guitar duets are organic and wistful, yet not overly sedate or monolithic akin to commercial New Age mall music.Pieces like “Dawn" spark imagery of a faraway land via a simple melody, tinted with drifting qualities. Here, pianist Kana Kamitsubo renders elegant block chords, placing emphasis on the primary theme ...


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