TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce their fifth studio album ‘The Absolute Universe’, set for release on February 5th, 2021. Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.
As Mike Portnoy explains: “We’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.” Pete Trewavas adds: “We did write some new music for the single CD,” adds Trewavas. “What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”
Each album will be available on CD, LP & Digitally. But there will also be what has been called ‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals & a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard. The full list of formats is below, and pre-orders start on the 20th November:
‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’
Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster
Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: “Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs. Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That’s the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD.”
“What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding,” recalls Stolt. “Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one…But we were already recording, and it didn’t seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn’t want to lose. That’s when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward.”
This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. “Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won’t shock anyone, right?” laughs Portnoy. “What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.”“We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” admits Stolt. “The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”
So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic’s previous four albums?
“I always try not to compare albums as much as possible,” insists Morse. “It’s very difficult when you’re trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with ‘The Whirlwind’ album (the band’s third, from 2009) than others that we’ve created.” For Trewavas, ‘The Absolute Universe’ is a momentous project.
“I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we’ve done. As the others have said, it compares very well to ‘The Whirlwind’, which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it.”
Transatlantic were originally formed in 1999, releasing their debut album ‘SMTPe’ the following year as well as its follow-up ‘Bridge Across Forever’ in 2001. Following a 7-year hiatus, the band reconvened to record and release the much-acclaimed epic 77-minute, single-track album ‘The Whirlwind’ followed by a world tour in 2010 which included an appearance at High Voltage Festival in London where they were joined by legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. The band’s fourth album ‘Kaleidoscope’ arrived in 2014, going on to win ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Progressive Music Awards.
6th November 2020: Dyble Longdon recently released their highly acclaimed album Between A Breath And A Breath,a collaboration between iconic vocalist the late Judy Dyble (ex Fairport Convention, Trader Horne) and Big Big Train multi-instrumentalist frontman David Longdon.
Two additional Dyble Longdon tracks are also to be digitally released as free downloads via Bandcamp and streaming services.Crossbones is released today and is available at https://dyblelongdon.bandcamp.com/track/crossbones.The Daguerreotype will be available from 11th December 2020. Listeners will be invited to make a donation for these tracks to Judy’s favoured charity, the Barley Greyhound Sanctuary http://www.barleykennels.co.uk/
“Judy and I set out to make a vinyl length album. Happily we ended up with more material than we needed,” David explains. “The seven songs that we ultimately selected for the album were all intensely personal lyrics for Judy. By contrast Crossbones and The Daguerreotype are outliers thematically. Judy and I were equally proud of them in their own right and agreed before her death that they needed to be heard, hence the digital releases today and in December.”
“I had discussion with my good friend, Jackie Morris, a writer of enchanting words and an illustrative artist of exquisite paintings, about where magic happens. She gave me the title and the rest of the song came from wherever words hang about and wait to find their new home…’Between a breath and a breath is where the magic lies.’” These are the words of the late Judy Dyble, talking about the album’s title track.
There is indeed a magic in this marriage of musical generations. Judy Dyble was part of the original line-up of folk rock legends Fairport Convention in 1967, before turning her back on the music business, while over 40 years later David Longdon’s arrival changed the fortunes of Big Big Train, now one of the leading names in the rock genre.
There is also a deep poignancy. The songs were written, Dyble’s words and Longdon’s music, before Judy was diagnosed with cancer, an illness borne with great courage to see the project through. Her death, in July of this year, has added a sad note to an artistic triumph with Judy’s performances possibly the finest of her career.
“(Judy’s) cool, clear vocals and his richer tones, combine beautifully in inspired arrangements.” Mojo – Mike Barnes
The album contains seven original compositions with all lyrics by Judy Dyble and music by David Longdon. The songs are, at times, haunting and, at others, beautifully fragile.
This collaboration with David Longdon is something Judy Dyble had hoped for for some time. “I first heard David sing with Big Big Train at King’s Place in 2015 and immediately decided that I really wanted to sing with him someday. And here we are with a collaborative album, which I think is wonderful!” she said.
David Longdon reflected: “Judy and I became friends during the writing and making of this album. Along the way, there was much laughter and joy – but also challenging moments. She was a woman of a certain age and she wrote articulately and unflinchingly about the autumn phase of her life.”
“She dealt with her illness with incredible courage and fortitude. She suspected this album was her swan song and she gave it her all. Judy reassured me that she’d had a great life. Which indeed she did. And I miss her greatly.”
“Between them David andJudy have gifted us with a graceful poignant and touching record that is a fine testimonial to the unique gentle talent of Judy Dyble and one that is brought to life by the great skills of David Longdon, the members of Big Big Train and a few others. This is an album that you must listen to or you miss it at your peril.” Progradar – John Wenlock-Smith
Between A Breath And A Breath was recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire and Playpen Studios in Bristol. The album was produced by David Longdon and mixed by Patrick Phillips (Elbow, Kate Bush and Sir Paul McCartney). The artwork for the album is by Sarah Ewing.
Track listing for Between A Breath And A Breath – vinyl and CD versions:
3. Tidying Away The Pieces
4. Between A Breath And A Breath
Judy Dyble (vocals, autoharp) and David Longdon (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, piano and keyboards) are joined by Jeff Davenport (Jade Warrior, drums) and Longdon’s Big Big Train bandmates Danny Manners (double bass), Rikard Sjöblom (accordion), Rachel Hall (violin), Greg Spawton (12 strong electric guitar, bass guitar and Moog Taurus pedals) and Nick D’Virgili (drums). Other featured musicians are Dave Gregory (ex-Big Big Train and XTC, guitar), Andy Lewis (Paul Weller, bass guitar), Luca Calabrese (Isildurs Bane, trumpet), Dave Sturt (Gong and Steve Hillage, fretless bass).
About Judy Dyble
Judy Dyble intended to be a librarian but got side tracked into joining with many bands in their infancy, and became one of the pioneers of the English folk-rock scene in the sixties, most notably as a founding member of Fairport Convention and vocalist with cult band Trader Horne.
Judy largely withdrew from the music scene in the early seventies to concentrate on her family and business interests before being invited back to the Fairport fold in 1997 for the 30th anniversary reunion at Cropredy. To Judy’s great relief, her worries, ahead of the event, disappeared as ‘suddenly the years fell away.’ Further anniversary appearances reassured Judy and showed that her passion for music had remained through the years and she made three albums with Marc Swordfish, of Astralasia, as she began a revival of her solo career.
This included numerous guest appearances on albums by a host of artists including, in 2017, Big Big Train, forming a close working relationship with Big Big Train’s multi-instrumentalist frontman David Longdon.
About David Longdon
David Longdon is best known as the vocalist for multiple award-winning progressive rock band Big Big Train, whom he joined in 2009. Since then David has recorded six studio albums with Big Big Train, including 2019’s Grand Tour, and has fronted the band for a series of acclaimed live shows in the UK and Germany.
Prior to joining Big Big Train, David pursued a variety of musical avenues. These included leading Nottingham based band The Gifthorse, playing within Louis Philippe’s band alongside future Big Big Train member Danny Manners, reaching the final two in the auditions to replace Phil Collins in Genesis and performing on The Old Road, 2008’s farewell album by former IQ keyboardist Martin Orford, which brought him to the attention of Big Big Train.
An accomplished producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and arranger, David has also previously released a solo album, 2004’s Wild River.
4th November 2020: Iconic guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new acoustic album Under A Mediterranean Sky on 22nd January 2021 as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-booklet and Digital Album via InsideOut Music. Under A Mediterranean Sky is Steve Hackett’s first acoustic solo album since Tribute in 2008 and takes inspiration from Steve’s extensive travels around the Mediterranean with his wife Jo.
Working closely with long-time musical partner Roger King, Hackett has used his time during 2020’s lockdown to take us on an extraordinary musical journey around the Mediterranean, painting vivid images of stunning landscapes and celebrating the diverse cultures of the region. Famed for his rock roots with Genesis, and through his extensive solo catalogue, Hackett demonstrates the exquisite beauty of the nylon guitar at times venturing into the exotic ethnic and often supported by dazzling orchestral arrangements.
“A lot of acoustic ideas had been forming over the years, and it felt like the perfect time to create this album,” notes Hackett, “a time to contemplate the places we’ve visited around the Mediterranean with the kind of music which evolved from the world of imagination.
“Because we can’t really travel, substantially at the moment, I hope that the album will take people on that journey. Whether you sit down and listen to it or drift off to it with a glass of wine…”
Our journey around the Med begins on the island of Malta, in Mdina – The Walled City. It’s imposing strength is portrayed by Roger King’s dramatic orchestration while Hackett’s guitar weaves through the atmospheric streets describing the creativity, love and strength that held Malta together between all the waves of conflict.
With Hackett’s delicate guitar work, Adriatic Blue paints an enchanting view of stunning scenery as tall cliffs of forested mountains plunge into the deep blue sea along the Croatian coastline. Sirocco is altogether more atmospheric, inspired by the winds playing through the imposing structures of Egypt.
The lively Joie de Vivre expresses the unique sense of joy the French have through their wine, food and folk music, with paintings reflecting family gatherings, spectacular vistas and the vibrant colours of their cities. The art of dreaming is embodied in their sensual love of life.
“At first hand, I’ve marvelled at the mystical whirling Dervishes,” says Hackett. Along with otherworldly beings such as the Djin (Genie) they sprang from Persia’s dreaming past. The Dervish And The Djin captures the extraordinary atmosphere of this most exotic of civilisations with the help of Hackett’s touring band regular – Rob Townsend’s soprano sax, the tar of Malik Mansurov (from Azerbaijan) and Armenian Arsen Petrosyan’s duduk. “Of course, those countries are virtually at war with each other,” Hackett adds, “and there has been something like a thousand casualties (at the time of writing) on both sides. Again, it’s a case of music being able to do things that politicians fail to do – something constructive.”
The Memory of Myth embodies the deep and rich history of Greece and features the violin of Christine Townsend (no relation) while Lorato – ‘love’ in the language of the African Tswana tribe – is a pretty folk tune. Love is the force that heals and links all disparate peoples of the Mediterranean.
Hackett and his wife Jo were enchanted by the little Faun statue in the House of the Faun, Pompeii. “The villas there seemed to come back to life as we walked through those wonderful atriums and gardens,” inspiring Casa del Fauno and featuring the light and airy flute of Hackett’s brother John and Rob Townsend on flute.
The only non-original piece is Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata. This embodies the Baroque music of Italy, a sensitive interpretation embellished with cross-string trills, a technique introduced to Hackett by the fine classical guitarist, the late Theo Cheng.
Hackett also expresses his admiration for the flamenco guitarists of Andalucía who are celebrated on Andalusian Heart. “One of the flamenco guitarists was showing me the extraordinary things they are able to do,” Hackett explains. “Seeing the gypsies playing and dancing in caves there, you get the feeling that these people are dancing for their lives.”
Our journey comes to an end with The Call Of The Sea, a gentle and peaceful reflection of the vast body of water that unites the many civilisations both ancient and modern.
Under A Mediterranean Sky features Steve Hackett playing nylon, steel string and twelve string guitars, charango and Iraqi oud. Keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements are by Roger King. Featured musicians are John Hackett and Rob Townsend, flute (Casa del Fauno); Malik Mansurov, tar and Arsen Petrosyan, duduk & Rob Townsend, Sax (The Dervish And The Djin); Christine Townsend, violin (The Memory of Myth and The Call Of The Sea). All tracks were produced by Steve Hackett and Roger King with all tracks recorded and mixed by Roger King at Siren.
“I had a great time doing this album, seeing it take shape, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m very proud of it,” says Hackett. “The nylon guitar has a very individual sound but, within the compass of what the nylon-strung guitar can do, there are a lot of different tones. You can do the full-on attack, the kind of salvo that you expect from the flamenco players but, at the same time, it can also be very gentle, gentle as a harp. It’s shades of black and white. It’s also exciting to play alongside instruments from around the world, as well as a wide range of orchestral sounds.”
About Steve Hackett Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Steve’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the classic Selling England By The Pound.
After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Steve’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Steve is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.
Steve’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his later studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Steve has explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Steve celebrate his time with Genesis including a spectacular 2018 tour in which Steve realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra. He recently released Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of his hugely successful 2019 tour that saw him celebrating that Genesis classic, as well as the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums.
Argentinan composer and progressive rock / symphonic soundscape artist Andres Guazzelli has released his first ep on October 31st, 2020 the last day of National ADHD Awareness Month. Atypical is a 20-minute musical journey of a man who has come to terms with the battle of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. ADHD often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It may contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work. Symptoms include limited attention and hyperactivity. Treatments include medication and talk therapy.
“Making an album amidst a pandemic is hard. Making an album amidst a pandemic while having ADHD is harder. Making an album ABOUT ADHD amidst a pandemic while having ADHD was one of the toughest yet most gratifying things I’ve done.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 12. That was almost 24 years ago. I had 24 years to come to terms with the diagnosis. Back in the 90s, ADHD was incredibly poorly understood. Today, things have gotten better, but we still have a long way to go.
ADHD is real. Millions of people worldwide struggle with the disorder. Most of them, unaware of their condition, struggle in silence, not knowing what’s happening to them, not knowing why everything is so hard. This album was made for them, so they can identify and feel represented. This album was made for their family, so they can understand their loved ones better.
This album was also made for EVERYONE ELSE, so the general population can get a better glimpse of what we ADHDers experience and how we perceive the world around us, and how our particular brain works.
October is ADHD Awareness Month. Let’s do our part to raise awareness about the condition. I tried my best to put my symptoms into music.
ADHD is a part of who I am. It does not define me, but it is a part of me. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but sometimes it is a superpower. Accept it, embrace it. We are a tribe. You are not alone.
I am proud to call myself Atypical.”
After going public about his ADHD diagnosis in his blog entry “Living With ADHD“, Andres Guazzelliannounced the release of a brand new album, “Atypical” to aid treatment for the disorder and donate its profits to ADHD charities.
“Atypical“, conceptually conceived as “A Day Inside An ADHD Brain“, conveys the disorder’s symptoms into musical pieces: inattentiveness, impulsiveness, hyperfocus, excessive mental and motor activity, restlessness, sensory overload, and others.
ADHD is poorly understood by the general population, and the album’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness and understanding of how the ADHD brain works, how it processes random thoughts and how it perceives its surroundings.
The album features six tracks, each one portraying a symptom of the disorder. The first four named after the acronym of ADHD: Attention, Deficit, Hyperactivity and Disorder. The following two are named Hyperfocus and Neurodiverse.
Progressive in nature, “Atypical” dances between genres, textures, odd time signatures, atonal synths, sweet lullabies, sound design and overall controlled chaos.
Since his public outing and as a highly functional ADHD adult, Andres has become a local spokesperson for the disorder and its struggle, while raising understanding and comfort for ADHD parents.
Once the expenses of his own ADHD treatment are covered, all album profits will be donated to different charities and organizations and who raise awareness and do research about ADHD.
The Album, explained:
● 1 Attention: Short attention span, distractability, frequently switching from one activity to another. ● 2 Deficit: Those periods of calm between bouts of hyperactivity or hyperfocus. ● 3 Hyperactivity: Excessive mental and motor activity, restlessness. May be physical, verbal, and/or emotional. ● 4 Disorder: Sensory overload (the overstimulation of one or more of the body’s five senses), and the interpretation or fixation on patterns that may or may not exist, and if they do exist, may or may not be intentional. ● 5 Hyperfocus: the ability to focus so intensely on a single element while blocking everything else. ● 6 Neurodiverse: A day inside an ADHD brain: all symptoms together, combined and or/layered.
Music by Andres Guazzelli Recorded at REDRUM, Estudios DCI, Estudio Aléa, Estudios Rotar (Mar del Plata, Argentina), and Habitación Espacial USA, Carolina, Puerto Rico. Mixed by Andres Guazzelli at REDRUM, Mar del Plata, Argentina. Mastered by Fernando Richard at Genoma Mastering, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Produced by Andres Guazzelli.
Progressive rockers THE FLOWER KINGS new double album “Islands” is out today, Oct. 30th, 2020, just a year after the group’s much celebrated “Waiting For Miracles”. With an epic length of 92 minutes, “Islands” offers all trademark sounds and melodies, the band is renowned for including vintage keys, brilliant guitar solos, odd drum patterns and symphonic elements. Rounded off by artwork courtesy of the legendary Roger Dean (Yes, Asia, Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Uriah Heep), THE FLOWER KINGS present a dynamic and complex record that is bold, bombastic and beautiful.
“‘Plenty to keep us coming back to dig deeper with repeat listens’ – Prog Mag
“Islands is at once sublime, sophisticated, soulful and spontaneous.” – The Prog Report
“The Kings display their creativity, quirkiness, skill and performance throughout this double album.” – Sonic Perspectives
“they once again deliver another brilliant record.” – Stargazed
Disc One (49:40) 1 – Racing With Blinders On 4:24 2 – From The Ground 4.02 3 – Black Swan 5:53 4 – Morning News 4:01 5 – Broken 6:38 6 – Goodbye Outrage 2:19 7 – Journeyman 1:43 8 – Tangerine 3:51 9 – Solaris 9:10 10 – Heart Of The Valley 4:18 11- Man In A Two Peace Suit 3:21
Disc Two (43:01) 1 – All I Need Is Love 5:48 2 – A New Species 5:45 3 – Northern Lights 5:43 4 – Hidden Angles 0:50 5 – Serpentine 3:52 6 – Looking For Answers 4:30 7 –Telescope 4:41 8 – Fool’s Gold 3:11 9 – Between Hope & Fear 4:29 10 – Islands 4:12
New Remastered & Expanded Release Of The Second Solo Album By Jon Anderson From 1980 With Two Bonus Tracks Previously Unreleased On Cd
Featuring Guest Musicians Jack Bruce, Simon Phillips, John Giblin, Clem Clempson & Johnny Dankworth Fully Restored Artwork And Notes
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a new remastered and expanded edition of the 1980 solo album by JON ANDERSON, SONG OF SEVEN.
The album was recorded during Jon’s first hiatus from YES, with whom he had become an internationally known vocalist and songwriter and followed on from his 1976 solo album OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW. Working with keyboard player RONNIE LEAHY, Anderson created an optimistic album of varying influences and he gathered together a fine ensemble of musicians to assist him such as celebrated bass players JACK BRUCE and JOHN GIBLIN, guitarists CLEM CLEMPSON and IAN BAIRNSON, saxophonist JOHNNY DANKWORTH and percussionists MORRIS PERT and SIMON PHILLIPS.
SONG OF SEVEN was a UK top forty hit upon its release by Atlantic Records in November 1980 and spawned a solo tour which established Jon Anderson as a regarded artist in his own right. This Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly remastered from the original Atlantic Records master tapes and is expanded to include two rare US single edits previously unreleased on CD and restores the original album artwork in a digipak. The booklet also features a new essay with an exclusive interview with Jon Anderson.
So great to listen again to where I was musically 40 years ago…still dreaming the same dreams, and in my early years of orchestration ideas…very gentle reminders to stay cool…don’t hurry, all will be well, ‘take your time’…wonderful bass work, and all the wonderful friends and musicians just came into my life for a couple of months…Jack Bruce even!!! Everybody Loves you, but I love you a little bit more…sweet lyric, and then the wild and crazy Song of Seven lyric..most of it was spontaneous and feeling very open about life…and the mystery of it all…still do….
As always I’m here in my studio still juggling lyrics and music and songs..I’m excited that this can be heard again..
Best wishes to everyone…be well be safe…Love and ‘Light’…Jon Anderson
Track List: 1. FOR YOU, FOR ME 2. SOME ARE BORN 3. DON’T FORGET (NOSTALIGIA) 4. HEART OF THE MATTER 5. HEAR IT 6. EVERYBODY LOVES YOU 7. TAKE YOUR TIME 8. DAYS 9. SONG OF SEVEN
BONUS TRACKS 10.SOME ARE BORN (US SINGLE PROMO EDITED VERSION) 11.HEART OF THE MATTER (SHORT VERSION)
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.