The captain and his sound machine
This week we got a nice selection of music from the past and present. From space-rock hero Robert Calvert (Hawkwind), American boyband 'N SYNC to the hardcore punk of Vision of Disorder and heavy metal masters Machine Head. For the likes of Gentle Giant we got their precursor Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Bill Frisell is back with his first solo album in 18 years.
Machine Head can be seen as one of the biggest names in the contemporary heavy metal scene. They have been shifting through styles different times during the last decades. On The Burning Red they incorporated rapping vocals in an musical experiment with disco drums, crooning vocals and funky basslines. Listen to a song like "The Blood, the Sweat, the Tears" and you still hear their progressive sound. They're combining the heavy sound with subtle melodies and some groovy rhythms, but there are also rapping structures as in "Desire to Fire". The pressing of The Burning Red is limited to 3.000 individually numbered copies on red and black mixed vinyl.
After 18 years of recording mainly with other artists the American musician Bill Frisell is back with a brand new album. The focus on Music IS lies in the telling of musical stories from his own perspective. The musical direction changes from solo compositions to orchestrated layered approaches. With the production of longtime collaborator Lee Townshend the pieces range from his earliest jazz to excerpts from recent collaborations. The end result of the album is Bill Frisell at his most distilled and fully realized.
As former singer of the space-rock band Hawkwind Robert Calvert pushed himself on to the more conceptual albums. His solo debut Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters is a satirical concept album in which songs are alternated with spoken interludes. The story is based on the poor quality of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter planes during the second world war. It's the effective combination of rock and Monty Python skits where the true power of the album lies. The different sides of the album changing musically from psych and space-rock to some folk songs. On the album you'll find appearances by Brian Eno, Lemmy and Arthur Brown. The release of Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters includes a 4-page booklet with extensive liner notes.
Back in the 90's, the era of the boy and girl bands, a lot of bands were stepping into the music scene hoping to take their part in the massive album selling among teenagers. The American boyband 'N SYNC brought dreamy pop melodies in their harmonized songs. Their self-titled debut album from 1997 became a big success with singles like "I Want You Back", "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Here We Go". To celebrate the 20th anniversary, 'N Sync is now available on vinyl for the first time. The limited edition package includes a 4-page booklet with liner notes, lyrics and pics as well as an exclusive poster. To top it off, the first pressing is a strictly limited edition of 2.000 individually numbered copies pressed on blue vinyl.
The days of the hardcore punk music were changing from day to day during the 90's. Vision of Disorder is a band who approached a lot of different musical directions, but are mainly linked to their hardcore sounds. On their second album Vision of Disorder they present a band who's aggressiveness can be found in the strong political stance. The music is raw and intense with technical passages from the drums, impressive vocal performances and some great guitar riffs. The album is available as a limited first pressing of 1.000 individually numbered copies on solid yellow & transparent green mixed vinyl.
As the precursor of the band Gentle Giant, Simon Dupree & The Big Sound were searching for a way to incorporate different music styles in their psychedelic music. Just before entering the chart with their one big British hit "Kites" they released their album Without Reservations. The albums shifts from blue-eyed soul to ska and pop and alternates between own material and covers of songs by Albert Hammond and Ben E. King. Their creativeness can be found in the more experimental cuts, like "I See the Light"(originally by The Five Americans) and "Love".
'N SYNC is the self-titled debut studio album by American boy band 'N SYNC (also written as N SYNC and NSYNC), originally released in 1997. 'N SYNC consisted of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass.
Music IS marks the first solo album from Bill Frisell since the release of Ghost Town, 18 years ago. The focus of the album is on the telling of musical stories from Frisell's original and inimitable perspective: some of the interpretations being naked, exposed and truly solo, while others are more orchestrated through overdubbed layering and the use of his unparalleled approach to looping. Music IS has debuted at #1 on the US Jazz Albums Charts.