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Thread: How would you say prog evolved in the past 20 years?

  1. #51
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It should be said that Toby Driver was pretty much the only guy who made genuinely progressive prog rock in the 21st century without taking direct cues from the ol' prog tradition.

    The guy basically despises prog rock and grew up on old school obscure metal, yet still gave us wicked, original stuff like Part the Second and Plastic House in Base of Sky. Not derivative at all.
    ^ I dont know all of his music, but I would think both Bob Drake and Albert Marcoeur also make/made extremely original music that sounds like nothing I've ever heard.

  2. #52
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    ^ I dont know all of his music, but I would think both Bob Drake and Albert Marcoeur also make/made extremely original music that sounds like nothing I've ever heard.
    Albert didn't emerge or evolve as it is being used here, in the last 20 years. He's a 70s and 80s guy/relic.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  3. #53
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    I think it is impossible to make music that doesn't have some similarity to something else. There only so many notes and keys. And yes you can make music with no-key signature or music theory, but at some point, that is just noise. So a band like Lost Crowns has some Gentle Giant tinges, but they are doing really unique things. Yet they get very little love out here. It reminds me a little of when Land of Chocolate was on the scene. Just different enough to be unique, which equals just different enough to be ignored. I look for evolution more than revolution. I could name many, but you know what I'm getting at. Listen to the new LeSoir. Nothing startling or super fresh. But the way they put it together is a forward movement.

  4. #54
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    The modern world bundles garage band with iPhones and artists can upload music instantaneously to streaming platforms for listeners around the world to enjoy. Back in the day there were less bands, less (but more powerful) record labels and no internet. It seemed like if you had a band and had some talent you would get signed. And with fewer bands, the talent was thus consolidated. The best players could group together and conquer the world. Talent now is diluted and spread across the continents. Bands file share now. They used to jam and brainstorm. So much is different. But here's the thing: the quality has rebounded nicely. Artists find new equilibriums and businesses find alternate revenue sources. The earth spins on its axis and YES is still the greatest band ever.
    Prog's Not Dead

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    The modern world bundles garage band with iPhones and artists can upload music instantaneously to streaming platforms for listeners around the world to enjoy. Back in the day there were less bands, less (but more powerful) record labels and no internet. It seemed like if you had a band and had some talent you would get signed. And with fewer bands, the talent was thus consolidated. The best players could group together and conquer the world. Talent now is diluted and spread across the continents. Bands file share now. They used to jam and brainstorm. So much is different. But here's the thing: the quality has rebounded nicely. Artists find new equilibriums and businesses find alternate revenue sources. The earth spins on its axis and YES is still the greatest band ever.
    The only thing I'll counter, and this is because I'm old, is that in the 70s, before Dance Clubs, DJs, and Disco, local bands were everywhere and you could see very, very good unsigned artists jamming in small bars across America. That all changed when the DJ's took over and Disco turned everything into "if I haven't heard it before, it must be bad" mentality. I feel like the internet is that way now. We went through a phase where people were excited to discover that diamond in the ruff, but with streaming, we are back to "it has to be popular or I won't like it" mentality.

  6. #56
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Albert didn't emerge or evolve as it is being used here, in the last 20 years. He's a 70s and 80s guy/relic.
    Yeah I guess you're right - but he is still the fuckin best ever!
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

    "And it was wicked of you big dead boy
    Suddenly just went to sleep
    Well here we are..." - Tim Smith (1961-2020)

  7. #57
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Yeah I guess you're right - but he is still the fuckin best ever!
    I'm right and you're right!!

    WIN! WIN!
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by LidaUnaBass View Post
    So a band like Lost Crowns has some Gentle Giant tinges, but they are doing really unique things. Yet they get very little love out here.
    Actually here is the one place they do get love https://www.progressiveears.org/foru...ht=lost+crowns

    But I see your point, and agree with it.

  9. #59
    Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Toby Driver is a most obvious candidate. Not because he "[…] despises prog rock" - I've read highly positive comments on artists like KC, HCow, VdGG and Magma by him - but simply due to his commitment and dedication to his own idiosyncratic vision. Titles like Dowsing Anemone, Coyote and Blue Lambency make for some of the most unique and challenging sound coming out of contemporary progressive and/or rock in general, and I'm extremely glad I caught up with him in his time.

    His later work (i.e. post-Hubardo), including solo and stuff like the Vaura project, is a bit more hit'n'miss for my tastes, yet there's some fine music to be had on those as well.

    Never seen his comments on KC/HC/VdGG but I'm sure I've seen him saying that Magma was a big no in his book; more than once. Didn't stop him from mentioning them when making comparisons for album promotion purposes, though.
    bass player and singer in an occult heavy prog band called Papangu. Sung entirely in Portuguese.
    https://papangu.bandcamp.com/

  10. #60
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    So what is so special about Toby Driver? I have heard some of his albums and mostly enjoyed them but did not found anything that felt particularly groundbreaking in them. Btw. this is a honest question. What did I miss?
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  11. #61
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I'm right and you're right!!

    WIN! WIN!
    Ill take that

  12. #62
    Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    So what is so special about Toby Driver? I have heard some of his albums and mostly enjoyed them but did not found anything that felt particularly groundbreaking in them. Btw. this is a honest question. What did I miss?
    Arrangements, compositional structure, approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. It's all undeniably progressive yet very far removed from 20th century prog rock.
    bass player and singer in an occult heavy prog band called Papangu. Sung entirely in Portuguese.
    https://papangu.bandcamp.com/

  13. #63
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Arrangements, compositional structure, approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. It's all undeniably progressive yet very far removed from 20th century prog rock.
    Stunning! Everything is new!
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    Stunning! Everything is new!
    Why don't you listen to Choirs of the Eye and tell us what is not new? And elaborate please. Tell us where they are grounded, or ripping off other artists.

  15. #65
    Re: Toby Driver

    I'd never heard of him before the mentions above. I just listened to some things I found on Spotify. I would have to listen a few more times and when I was in the right mood for the slower stuff. I did rather like the song "470 Nanometers".

    Of course someone will now tell me that this song I like is the only time he's ever done something like that.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Never seen his comments on KC/HC/VdGG but I'm sure I've seen him saying that Magma was a big no in his book; more than once. Didn't stop him from mentioning them when making comparisons for album promotion purposes, though.
    Precisely; I've noted that apparent irony myself, prompting a speculation of mine that perhaps he a) doesn't like Magma yet still sees them as a fruity refereance to draw in a certain segment of potential listeners, b) hasn't really heard much Magma to begin with except for maybe seeing them as "jazz-rock" or something - and "jazz" being a field which driver has consistently tried to avoid any possible reference to. Although he studied under and was seriously influenced by Yusef Lateef and everything.

    The other references (KC and so on) I recall quite clearly from interviews around the release of Dowsing and Lambency. Of course, as with Charlie Looker, Driver still might see it as an unfortunate cultural bias to be baggaged with as long as "prog" also implies a Dream Theater or "Dust In the Wind". Who knows?
    "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

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Arrangements, compositional structure, approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. It's all undeniably progressive yet very far removed from 20th century prog rock.
    This is true. And this is where the Magma reference does apply; just like them, Driver invented a whole new instrumental expression (or "language") for his vision, one in which detail always serves a sense of contemplation and where dimensions such as time/duration are actively sought aschewed from that focus on detail. In his mind, immediate moment appears to be the clue - and unity or coherence emanates or generates from not a succession of such moments but from their interaction.
    "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

  18. #68
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Albert didn't emerge or evolve as it is being used here, in the last 20 years. He's a 70s and 80s guy/relic.
    Albert evolved out of a 70's band called Nemo (not the 90's/00's french neo-prog band, though), along with François Bréant., but he also released his first album that same year


    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Arrangements, compositional structure, approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. It's all undeniably progressive yet very far removed from 20th century prog rock.
    Stunning! Everything is new!
    Why don't you listen to Choirs of the Eye and tell us what is not new? And elaborate please. Tell us where they are grounded, or ripping off other artists.
    Well, I'm currently busy checking his solo stuff out (the album of 2017) and on first contact, he's nothing to write home about, though it is quite enjoyable. But his stuff is hardly reason to diss many of those prog bands.Surely his Kayo/Maudlin stuff is no reason to be feeling so superior to others, because I don't hear other-wordly arrangements & structures, either from the 20th or 21st C

    But, I'll be certain to check out for more, but Gnosis has only got his Library Loft album, not much-rated (5 times) and not well-rated either (8.99) ... probably an oversight from the crowd.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  19. #69
    ^ In the L..L..Library Loft is not a "rock" album.

    As for the "not otherwordly" character of Driver's music, I'd say on the contrary his vision is one of extremely few in today's 'progressive' domain which would most definitely fit that tag. And from what I can hear, his band - no matter the lineup - is capable of reproducing every aspect of the studio finesse in a live setting. "Right Hand Is the One I Want", "Wayfarer", "Immortelle and Paper Caravelle", "And He Built Him a Boat", "Amaranth the Peddler", "The Sow Submits" and more - these are through-composed works in the true sense of the term, a non-linear model concept in which the fullness arises from a preconceived, exact perception of its given intention. The only other act from which I heard that trait in modern times were Extra Life.
    "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

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Precisely; I've noted that apparent irony myself, prompting a speculation of mine that perhaps he a) doesn't like Magma yet still sees them as a fruity refereance to draw in a certain segment of potential listeners, b) hasn't really heard much Magma to begin with except for maybe seeing them as "jazz-rock" or something - and "jazz" being a field which driver has consistently tried to avoid any possible reference to. Although he studied under and was seriously influenced by Yusef Lateef and everything.

    The other references (KC and so on) I recall quite clearly from interviews around the release of Dowsing and Lambency. Of course, as with Charlie Looker, Driver still might see it as an unfortunate cultural bias to be baggaged with as long as "prog" also implies a Dream Theater or "Dust In the Wind". Who knows?
    I am not a musician, and therefore lack the special vocabulary to put in words what is going on with Toby Driver's writing. But it always strikes as something new and unfamiliar in relation to all other music I know. There is a highly original contrast in his music between emptiness and denseness - he's using background textures and noise that almost suffocate the melodic content (if that makes sense). The rhythm sounds disjointed to my ears, there is not really a rhythmic continuum but a very peculiar rhythmic association, coming through long pauses and sudden changes. I am not even going to go into external traits, like the originality of arrangement and the use of metal and growls in a chamber music frame.
    It's hard to put to words, hard to digest and still makes me wonder what the f is going on every time I listen to his music.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    There is a highly original contrast in his music between emptiness and denseness - he's using background textures and noise that almost suffocate the melodic content (if that makes sense).
    Makes perfect sense. Driver works as elaborately in texture as in structure. But what's truly new with his approach, in "rock", that is - is not only the function but the very purpose of contrast and coherent dynamic. To him it's not an effect or a means to play off varying impressions of integral wholeness, it's rather like a blocked space of isolation to serve that immediacy which I tried to describe earlier. And neither does it appear to be based much in improvised trickery or meditation, as with Talk Talk, for instance - it's all meticulously planned into a total web of momentous impressions. Whereas much other "expressionist" or pseudo-abstract ideas in music - rock or other - often have the "snapshot photographic" impact to them, Driver's soundworld is incredibly close and up front. Immensely intimate and "real". It's more of a moving window through the wall than a still picture or portrait hanging on that wall.
    "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

  22. #72
    Thanks for this great post Richard. The concept of "momentous impressions" clarifies a lot of Toby Driver's objective when composing. It also explains my own
    perplexity as a listener, when I enter his universe - since by default I search for this sense of organic coherence, which is being achieved in a whole different level than the usual.

    I just listened to Coyote and stuff like Abyss Hinge partii is truly accomplished and untouchable for me. I still think that his recent work does not even come close to what he did in the '00s

  23. #73
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I listened today new improvisation album Black Feather Under Your Tongue by Toby Driver and Nick Hudson. It was partly melancholic and pretty but mostly it was just boring.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  24. #74
    ^ I'm really not interested in hearing Driver conduct improvisations. Much of the NY Downtown scene (to which he initially belonged) burnt out on that already - for "rock" I mean.
    "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

  25. #75
    Listened to Toby Driver and though I like the music, in some way I don't feel comfortable with it having vocals. To me it would work better without vocals.
    Even then, I think I prefer Johann Johannsson.

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