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Thread: Featured album: Circus - Movin' On

  1. #26
    ^ Island's Pictures.

    It's extraordinary because it's a very rare example of a theoretically educated music composer (Peter Scherer) who does NOT resort to the overt avant-garde in rock but rather builds further upon a formula adopted through later years (1970-77) and expands on that. Schicke-Führs-Fröhling tried the same in West-Germany, Solaris in Hungary, Happy the Man in the US, Ruja in Estonia etc. But generally there wasn't much initiative to drive developments further within this branch of progressive rock.Yeah, HenryeCow's Western Culture was 14 times more intricately challenging, but Island weren't "revolutionaries" - they were youngsters seeking a musical expression of their own, and a piece like "Herold and King/Dloreh" - with its magnificently abstract piano opening - effectively delivers an impression I don¨t think I heard any other place in rock music.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    TBH, I can't see what peaple hear in Islands( Pictures album. It's good, but I don't find it extraordinary....
    I can. I don’t really agree with it, but I get it. If the whole album was like “Zero” (i.e.: totally instrumental), I’d probably give this a full five stars. Unfortunately, they had to stick in vocal passages, with completely laughable English lyrics (“Gastric juices!”) and cringeworthy mispronunciations (“Ee-loo-mee-nates da cen-nitt”). Also, Benjamin Jäger is far too prissy a vocalist to pull off the murky tone the band seem to be aiming for. As a result, the only vocal track I really enjoy from beginning to end is “Empty Bottles,” the bonus track, and that may be in part because it sounds like it was recorded on a dictaphone in someone’s duffel bag, thus I can’t hear how silly the lyrics are or how badly Jäger is mangling the English language.

    I prefer this Pictures, but I seem to be in the minority, at least here:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  3. #28
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    A track from Island that was only released on a sampler:


  4. #29
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    By the way many years ago I had some eMail exchanges with Roland Frei and Stephan Ammann from Circus,
    and they have at least an unrealeased recorded Long track still to be discovered.

  5. #30
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    A rare track by Circus (B Side of their only 7") (weird live stuff)


  6. #31
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    A track from Island that was only released on a sampler:

    Less embarrassing than Battles Of The Leaves, but still cringey vocal-wise

    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    By the way many years ago I had some eMail exchanges with Roland Frei and Stephan Ammann from Circus,
    and they have at least an unrealeased recorded Long track still to be discovered.
    Yup, the guy fro Galileo had heard it and this was supposded to be part of his (aborted) plan to reissue everything about Circus

    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    A rare track by Circus (B Side of their only 7") (weird live stuff)

    weird to release such lo-fi on a single - even as a b-side.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  7. #32
    I gave Movin' On a fresh listen tonight. A couple of things struck me. First, I guess I'd forgotten what a heavy VDGG vibe this album has, partly due to the flutes/saxes and partly due to the vocals. And like VDGG, the music isn't especially intricate, but the moods and rhythms keep you guessing. The second thing that struck me was how good the bass playing is. The acoustic guitar provides rhythm and effects, so the bass has a much more prominent role and really carries a lot of the lead lines and drives the music.

    I still don't love the vocals, or all the lyrics which seem a bit forced to me at times, but I'm glad I dug this out for a fresh spin. It really is a unique record with a lot of good points. I may leave it out for a while and give it a few more spins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Island's Pictures.

    It's extraordinary because it's a very rare example of a theoretically educated music composer (Peter Scherer) who does NOT resort to the overt avant-garde in rock but rather builds further upon a formula adopted through later years (1970-77) and expands on that. Schicke-Führs-Fröhling tried the same in West-Germany, Solaris in Hungary, Happy the Man in the US, Ruja in Estonia etc. But generally there wasn't much initiative to drive developments further within this branch of progressive rock.Yeah, HenryeCow's Western Culture was 14 times more intricately challenging, but Island weren't "revolutionaries" - they were youngsters seeking a musical expression of their own, and a piece like "Herold and King/Dloreh" - with its magnificently abstract piano opening - effectively delivers an impression I don¨t think I heard any other place in rock music.
    Well said, I agree with all of this. I think Island's Pictures is a near masterpiece, even with a few flawed moments in the vocal and lyric department. A really unique and interesting band.

    Bill

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I prefer this Pictures, but I seem to be in the minority, at least here:
    Well, that's another beast and cannot really compare it to the Swiss "Pictures"; a different approach, more electronic layered and experimental, with a nod to the more advanced new wave efforts of its era. However, it has a similarity to the Jäger & Co offering in its resulting dark/obscure atmosphere, the somewhat twisted complexity and the overall disturbing aura of the recording.

    Great album as well.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    One of my top synphonic Prog Albums of all time.

    Be aware that the only plugged instrument here is the bass guitar. With Island this one of the two Swiss Prog Albums
    that is really important.

    Sadly it's easier to get hold of an original LP than the only legit CD release.

    If I would be asked to recommend something not from the Uk or Italy this one would be surley among it.
    Wouldn't the bass pedals be plugged in as well?

    Sounds interesting.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Wouldn't the bass pedals be plugged in as well?

    Sounds interesting.
    Of Course, should have said that the Bass Player is the only plugged guy.

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