Whatever happened to the Festive 40?

The festive 40 will be revealed in ACID DRAGON magazine round about Easter time- yes, it’s a crazy old world! Additionally, the three main contributors to the magazine will reveal their picks of the year. In the last issue I looked back on 30 years of the magazine by choosing the most memorable releases I had reviewed over that time. If you want to find out more head on over to the ACID DRAGON website where you can also access an excellent progressive rock radio show hosted by Lyon progger Thierry Sportouche.

black vinyl record playing on turntable

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SPACE ELEVATOR released on Bandcamp

‘Fahrt Ins Blau’ is Phil’s latest project.

The name comes from Phil’s German text book at school and is somehow appropriate for the electronic, experimental rock music contained within the concept EP based on Arthur C Clarke’s idea for a space elevator. Time spent listening to the likes of Egg, Area and Keith Jarrett (No-one can come close!) has helped shape a second project inspired by reading Dmitry Glukhovsky’s ‘Metro’ books. This is designed for a vinyl release that will most likely never happen with two side long multi-part pieces with keyboards, guitar, bass, various percussion instruments, drums, voice, kitchen sink and all. My friend and collaborator Richard Gorman (who has his own Bandcamp page) plays a little electric guitar but it is mostly a solo effort just like the old days of Paradox One. Anyway, ‘Metro’ should be ready to add to Bandcamp soon.

landscape photography of factory during daytime

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This Fragile Peace

This Fragile Peace seemed the perfect title for my first full on collaboration with other musicians. These three words say a lot about mental fragility and political and spiritual instability and, in the case of the latter, a wrongheaded elevation of financial considerations above all else.

It ook twenty years to get to this point. As the pun in the title might suggest the album emanated from the risky but intriguing possibilities of building music from the rhythm up, literally starting from Paddi’s drums and Tim’s bass with ‘bridges’ by John Simms of Clear Blue Sky whose 1970 Vertigo album (and much subsequent music) I so admire. Add in Maxine’s gracious vocals and an adept piece of musical engineering by Tim Jones and what emerged is what many reviewers have accepted as an ambitious and coherent work. So, rather than being a long distance project ‘This Fragile Peace’ proved to be a meeting of minds.

Thematically the music is intended to convey the sense of isolation inherent in trying to understand and come to terms with Earthly evils that threaten our humanity: depression, war, inequality, mediocrity, the manipulation of the masses and the manic pace of modern life in which it is harder than ever to define what our identity and purpose is.

All I ask of you is to listen with an open mind. If the music challenges the listener and provokes thought, emotion and reaction then our purpose will have been fulfilled.