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Yanek (GLASGOW, Scotland)

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24 Tales
24 Tales
Price: 11.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Adventure., 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: 24 Tales (Audio CD)
This is an incredible piece of music. Even the concept is amazing - in that, all music is composed around a 51-minute drumsolo! There is a personal note on the album sleeve, which reads, "The music on this CD is composed to a Marco Minnemann drum solo, which he recorded in one take. There are no edits on the drum tracks hence no gaps between the songs. Enjoy!"

The first track is called "On your marks..." and works as a beautiful introduction for what is to come. The music is very abstract, which I like. The drumming is simply breathtaking, while remaining very musical.

Alex plays guitar (and all other instruments), and in doing so produces an awesome musical adventure, as he weaves his way through the complex maze of the incredible drum track. His style of guitar playing constantly changes, depending on the mood of the track. However, I would have to say that there are traces of Allan Holdsworth, and Zappa in his playing, which is not a bad thing at all!

I would say this is magnificent example of what can be achieved if you have a load of talent, and a hugely expansive imagination. This is probably one of the finest, and unique musical works I have heard in a very long time. As a drummer - Minnemann's incredible drumming overawed me. Alex Machacek is clearly an inspired virtuoso musician and composer.

Fans of Frank Zappa will certainly love this work of musical genius. Indeed, I'm sure Zappa would have approved of such a monumental musical creation. If you are looking for music that's very different, and totally engaging, then buy this album.

Pohjonen: Uniko
Pohjonen: Uniko
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 14.40

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY EPIC!, 1 Mar 2011
This review is from: Pohjonen: Uniko (Audio CD)
I was fortunate enough to see a live performance of "UNIKO" on the SkyArts channel a while back, and it caught my attention instantly. The music is indeed truly EPIC!

The Kronos Quartet is a group I was already familiar with, and a fan of their music. On this recording, they are joined by two remarkable musicians from Finland - Kimmo Pohjonen (accordion and voice), and Samuli Kosminen (string and accordion sampling, programming). Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen write all the music on this album.

The Kronos Quartet deserve great credit too for their wonderful performance. There are times when they sound like a full orchestra. It's astonishing. This is difficult music, but in keeping with their reputation, the Kronos Quartet play perfectly. There are also some wild solos too, which sound like Jimi Hendrix! There are many more tender, reflective moments in the music too, which create beauty and balance. This is a brilliant collaboration between fantastic, innovative musicians.

This music is an extraordinary mix of experimental Classical music and modern sampling, which blend seamlessly to produce a unique and breathtaking sound. Samuli samples the accordion and strings, and then plays them on an electronic percussion pad as rhythmic patterns. He also creates more abstract sounds and effects to add even more to the music.

Kimmo Pohjonen is like no other accordion player I have seen! Yes, there is a slight gypsy style in his playing, but he goes much, much further. His accordion playing is amazing. He also incorporates effects into his sounds, which take the familiar sound of "an accordion" into highly experimental territory. Imagine an accordion through a phaser or distortion pedal. He is also an extremely emotive musician - whether while playing electro-accordion or using his voice as an instrument. His solos are dramatic and edgy.

The audio quality of this CD is excellent, and through a good hi-fi, there is so much going on. Even although I watched a live performance of this work, this album continues to reveal so much more. It is impossible to categorize this music, but if you like something different and adventurous, then I recommend this album highly. "UNIKO" is a beautiful piece of music.

Allan Holdsworth And Alan Pasqua - Live At Yoshi's [2007] [DVD] [2008]
Allan Holdsworth And Alan Pasqua - Live At Yoshi's [2007] [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Alan Pasqua

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Holdsworth gig, 31 Dec 2009
I haven't seen Allan Holdsworth live for well over ten years, so this DVD was a real treat. I've watched the concert several times now, and have to say that the DVD has finally managed to capture the experience of seeing the great guitarist "live". In fact, the band's performance and the excellent quality of sound and camera work brings the viewer even closer to the musicians - and their music. These things are crucial when seeing such a band.

This is the first time I've seen Alan Pasqua with Holdsworth, and have to say his keyboard work and musicality are sublime. Indeed, Pasqua provides the perfect complement to AH's music. He really knows how to get the best from that NORD keyboard, and produces a never-ending array of weird and wonderful sounds. His solos are full of surprises, and you can see he's really getting into it. It's worth remembering that Pasqua composed many of these tunes.

Chad Wackerman is on drums, and as a drummer myself, it's great to "see" what he's doing. This is where the camera position works brilliantly. The kit is well recorded too, and has a lovely natural tone [the way a kit should sound]. Of course, Chad's drumming is par excellence, as you would expect; and it's not just the solos, his time-playing and interaction with the band adds a huge dynamic.

Jimmy Haslip (from "Yellowjackets") on bass is a big surprise. I already knew he was a fantastic bassist, but Holdsworth's music is quite different from the stuff he played with Yellowjackets. Nevertheless, he rises to the occasion brilliantly, and plays some impressive solos. He locks in well with Chad too, which is a challenge in itself, as Chad likes to play around with time and meter. Great bass sound too.

It's easy to run out of superlatives when talking about Allan Holdsworth's guitar skill. He is a master musician afterall. His performance here is among the finest I've seen. He seems to be more relaxed on stage, and I was happy to hear him play those wonderful legato lines he plays so well. I've always loved his guitar tone. It sounds earthy and full, and always makes me think of a tenor sax. His solos are beautifully constructed and full of emotion.

If you are a Holdsworth fan, you will want to add this DVD to your collection. There is also a CD available called Blues for Tony which he recorded during this tour. I'd highly recommend that album.


Price: 14.18

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the spirit of Zappa, 18 Mar 2008
This review is from: Document (Audio CD)
What can I say?

If you are a fan of Vinnie Colaiuta, you really must buy this album. His drumming on this live recording is spectacular - to say the least! The music allows him to be at his most adventurous, twisted, and mind-blowing. Indeed, his playing on this album far surpasses his own solo album.

The whole band are pushing their skills to the limits, and the interplay between them is dazzling. The music certainly has a Zappa feel about it, as they explore each composition to the full, and take it to the most unexpected places. The band has a heavy sound too, and energy levels are high. Yet, all four musicians work brilliantly as a unit. Each tune is like a piece of precision engineering, that has a rather psychotic side.

This recording captures a stunning performance, which leaves the listener in a state of awe. Highly recommended.


Resident Evil 3: Extinction [2007] [DVD] [2008]
Resident Evil 3: Extinction [2007] [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Milla Jovovich
Price: 2.70

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie, 28 Feb 2008
Having watched and enjoyed the first two Resident Evil movies, I was keen to see this third instalment, and am happy to say it is brilliant development of the story. I am a fan of Milla Jovovich, and think that she plays the role of Alice perfectly, and becomes a strong focal point throughout the Resident Evil series. If you enjoyed the first two movies in the Resident Evil series, you will love "Extinction".

In contrast to the previous movies, "Extinction" takes place in daylight, and in a sweltering desert landscape. This immediately gives the film a new dynamic. The scare factor is still evident, although presented in a far more subtle way. There are some clever twists in the storyline, which are good to see.

This movie looks visually stunning, and features some great camera work and editing. Unlike its prequel (Apocalypse), this new movie doesn't feature as much of Milla's Martial Arts skill - although her blade work in the fight scenes will still impress.

It is a shame that Milla Jovovich is criticised so much about her acting, because she does produce a great performance in the lead role. The supporting cast are also excellent. This helped to develop a bond between the characters, which certainly engages the viewer far more.

If you were not a fan of "zombie" movies, I would still recommend seeing "Extinction". It is an entertaining watch, and the movie soundtrack is great too.

I loved this movie and am now looking forward to the next one!


Big Swing Face
Big Swing Face
Price: 7.27

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Classic" Buddy Rich album, 30 Jan 2008
This review is from: Big Swing Face (Audio CD)
"Big Swing Face" is one of Buddy's more popular albums, and I would certainly describe it as a classic. I first heard Buddy Rich when I was a kid when an older cousin of mine played me some of his LPs. Needless to say, I was mesmerised, and spent the next four decades of my life as a drummer.

This CD version also contains tracks that are not on the original LP release, which I still own. Even today, this recording remains one of my all-time favourite Rich albums. You can really feel the atmosphere of the gig, and the band just groove so well. His music crossed categories, and attracted a huge audience, and even if you're not into jazz, or drumming for that matter, you will love this album.

I was fortunate enough to see the Buddy Rich Big Band on two occasions back in the 80's, and even met the great man at the second gig. He was, and still is, my drumming hero, and I feel honoured to have seen him play live. The guy was a genius. He could play things on a drumkit that were incredible, and leave even today's top Session players (Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, etc.), shaking their heads in disbelief.

One of the many highlights on this recording is when Buddy introduces his 12 and a half-year-old daughter Cathy, onto the bandstand to sing "The Beat Goes On". It is here that you start to appreciate how much of an "entertainer" Buddy was, and audiences always loved when he got out front. Often known for his wonderful sense of humour, Buddy could charm any audience with his great wit and warmth of character.

"Big Swing Face" is a fantastic album. If I had to choose just one Buddy Rich CD that everyone should buy, this would be the one. You will be tapping your feet throughout this recording, and the music and feel of this recording just gets to you. This band is hot man! Buddy could swing like no other.

Buy it today.


Offered by HANG LOOSE Records
Price: 9.90

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUBLIME! * Classic Album *, 3 July 2006
This review is from: Polytown (Audio CD)
If it was groundbreaking guitarist David Torn's idea to combine the unique talents of these extraordinary musicians, it was an act of genius! I am surprised no one else reviewed this recording because it is quite simply a Masterpiece. This recording expands and transforms the way we think about music - indeed, it is impossible to find the genre best suited for this new and innovative sound. Such music is difficult to review, so forgive me if I "ramble" on a bit!

If you have never heard any of David Torn's music, he is very much into experimentation and this album continues with that trend. His style of guitar playing is unique, in that he seems adept at creating the most atmospheric sounds. The actual tone of his guitar is also distinctive - containing that warm and earthy tone, I would normally associate with Allan Holdsworth's legato sound. Yet, there is far more to Torn than these qualities alone - these are the trademarks of a consummate genius composer, who always provides the listener with adventurous and very "different" music.

While his earlier works are more ethereal and ambient - this album does have a much harder edge, but still keeping that surreal, and sometimes disturbing atmosphere Torn is renowned for within this genre. His solos are wonderfully crafted and full of emotion - demonstrating yet again his ability to say so much simply using that unique guitar tone, in concert with playing exactly the "right notes". (As well as guitar, Torn also plays some keyboards and harmonica). The inclusion of Terry Bozzio (ex "Zappa") and Mick Karn (ex "Japan") in this particular recording is a masterstroke - indeed, they compliment Torn's surreal atmospherics perfectly by adding their own distinctive input.

I heard this album when first released and with the first notes of the opening track, "Honey Sweating", I was captivated. If you are unfamiliar with the weird and wonderful style of Terry Bozzio's drumming his playing on/with "Polytown" displays his trademark sound and inspiring approach to rhythm and drumming. His earlier work with the legendary, Frank Zappa, obviously played a major role in shaping Bozzio's playing, as he ventures into new and intriguing areas of exploration. Bozzio's highly creative and precise rhythms lock in so well with Mick Karn's inventive and virtuosic bass work, providing Torn with a solid rhythm section for his musical excursions. "Red Sleep" is a perfect example of a Class rhythm section at work. Karn's bass playing is just awesome.

"Exploration" is the key point in this music - with each musician given a free reign to experiment. All three musicians interact beautifully and the soaring fretless bass sound provided by Mick Karn remains a focal point throughout the album. Listen out for his excellent bass work on "Res Majuko". His smooth tone contrasts, yet blends wonderfully with the harsh, and sometimes "industrial" sounding drumming - while Torn creates a somewhat dark yet mesmerising atmosphere using his trademark guitar tones and stunning effects. Karn also plays some bass clarinet briefly, adding to the overall strangeness of this music.

This is a "classic recording", and one that will surprise and delight, whatever your taste in music. If you were looking for something "different", then I would recommend "Polytown" as being the album to purchase. The musicianship is exemplary and the compositions are varied - covering a wide spectrum of musical influences - especially those with a Mid-Eastern feel - most noticeable in "Snail Hair Dune". The "surrealism" so obvious within the actual music, continues onto the CD artwork as well - suggesting that "Polytown" is an actual place (as well as the band's name). This enhances the Artistic imagery and presentation - thus, providing us with a complete conceptual package.

I should also add that if you are a drummer, then it is worth buying for the strength of Bozzio's playing alone. It is not all "drums" though - Torn and Karn fans are also in for a treat - it is a "group effort" after all and a brilliant one at that! There is a strong "chemistry" between these exceptional virtuoso musicians, which gives the album its strength. This is certainly the David Torn album I tend to listen to most often. I find it has a strong hypnotic affect. A high-end hi-fi or a good set of headphones are necessary to get the best from this astonishing album.

To conclude - if you are new to experimental music and a little reluctant to "step outside the box", I would class "Polytown" as being a great introduction to the music of David Torn et al. The drumming acts as rhythmic glue, and gives this recording a more accessible feel. I only wish I were present during the recording of this masterpiece because I feel there must have been an air of "magic" in the studio. I would love to hear more music by this amazing group - "Polytown". This is one of those rare albums, which send shivers of delight down the spine. Without doubt, this is a contemporary Masterpiece without compare - a great band and a stunning album.

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Into The Sun [DVD] [2005]
Into The Sun [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Steven Seagal
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: 2.30

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST BUY for Martial Arts' fans!, 29 May 2005
This review is from: Into The Sun [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Great action film in keeping with Seagal's unique style. I've watched many films that are in other languages, so I certainly didn't mind having the "English Captions" feature on. It didn't spoil the film in any way. In fact, it added realism to it. Seagal does actually speak fluent Japanese anyway, so why not use it in his films?
Being into Martial Arts myself, the sword fighting scenes were superb! I'm no "spring chicken" either, having spent over 20 years in Martial Arts. There's a lot of excellent fight scenes in fact - which display Sensei Seagal's 7th Dan Aikido expertise perfectly. Not just Aikido though - The Sensei is highly trained in many Arts.
Good soundtrack and visuals also kept me glued to my seat. Very moving story too, which gives a great insight into both the Chinese and Japanase Cultures. The only thing I missed were the extra features. I felt they should have been included in the DVD. I'd love to have seen them working out those great fight scenes.
It so easy for everyone to debase this man's films. Well, I for one actually love what he does, and if you're a Seagal fan you should definitely check this out!
Overall verdict - ignore the doubters and at least rent it first. Classy, well produced movie, good storyline and full of loads of action. Excellent!

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose in NYC [DVD] [NTSC]
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose in NYC [DVD] [NTSC]
Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: 23.79

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruford - "The Composer"., 17 Aug 2004
It's very rare to hear music written by a drummer that's both harmonically and rhythmically complex, yet so well crafted. This is a wonderful example of Bill Bruford's much ignored brillance as a composer. What is perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that he is not formally trained in this area. In his witty and insightful interview he mentions his "teachers" as being all those musicians he has worked with over his long and distinguished career.
In typical Bruford style, the music is full of twists and turns, interlocking melodies and fantastic counterpoints. The interplay within the whole band is simply a joy to behold! His music is difficult to play, yet the band are so tight - and you can just tell they're loving it! Bruford seems to have captured a particular "sound" as well. This is evident throughout all his compositions. To me, his melodies have an almost Eastern element to them - very distinctive. Once again, for an "un-trained" composer, this is quite brilliant.
Of course, his drumming is great. His music gives him full reign of the kit, and all his trademark little drumming tricks playing with the beat. His kit is set up oddly too - with all the drums laid out flat, curving around him. It kind of looks like a Classical percussion set up! Many associate Bill with his progressive rock drumming with the likes of YES and KING CRIMSON, but, in actual fact he's an exceptional jazz musician.
I actually prefer this edition to the original EARTHWORKS - though that was also a great band. He's brought the overall dynamics of the music down quite considerably in this line up, without losing any of the intensity. It really is a great performance. The poor picture quality in no way detracts from this fact. I think it may even have meant to come across as "grainy", thus adding to the overall atmosphere of sitting in a small jazz club listening to world class musicians.

Live (and Very Plugged in): 2cd Set
Live (and Very Plugged in): 2cd Set
Price: 18.65

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUDDY WOULD BE IMPRESSED!, 3 Aug 2004
It always angers me the amount of criticism Dave Weckl has had to endure throughout his long and distinguished career in music. Admittedly, this has come from those who are simply not qualified enough to offer any opinion! It is more a case of "sour grapes" - because, those who criticize are simply jealous of the man's obvious talent. Shame on them!

I have always loved his playing. As a drummer myself, I feel more able to appreciate his sheer genius and command of the kit - even more than non-drummers perhaps. In some ways he reminds me of Buddy Rich. They both shared a passion for drumming and dedicated their lives to stretching the instrument to its full. Of course, Buddy is gone now, but I feel his spirit lives on today in many drummers - Weckl especially.

I had never heard "The Dave Weckl Band" till I bought this double cd live set. And what an introduction! He seems to be playing more relaxed than before. His overall feel and groove are also a little more laid back. Of course, he can still play all the "Weckl drum licks" catalogue with ease, but on this recording he plays totally differently than you might expect. More accessible a style I would say. He also has fun interacting with his band. You can just feel that he has arrived on a new plateau of musical expression.

All in all, a great recording. It really does show Dave Weckl in a new light. A fantastic achievement. Great stuff Dave!


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