The current issue / eclipsed No. 216 / 12-2019/01-2020

DIE 80s - Loved and hated - a polarizing decade

Probably no other decade polarises musically as much as the 1980s. It was the decade in which pop music, after having already become big business in the 70s, found its commercial heyday, performed in full awareness of its potential to banish the masses. A decade of strange clothes, synthetic sounds, but also an ironic play with the meaning of pop itself, in which numerous styles mutually fertilized each other and treaded new paths. In a multi-part series, we recall a time that was more complex and multi-layered than many remember.

The chameleon NEIL YOUNG remains true to himself in the end

It has been 50 years since Neil Young, previously celebrated singer and guitarist with the hippie band Buffalo Springfield, founded a completely new musical concept with the trash band Crazy Horse. On the whitecap of the virtuosity mania, he was simply interested in energy. The partnership between Young and the band certainly has some holes in it, and yet there are few projects where the old poet is as convincing as with Crazy Horse.

THE FLOWER KINGS - Back to the old Spirit

It's not that easy to get Roine Stolt on the phone. The 63-year-old is too busy with his various bands and projects. Recently he recorded new plays with Transatlantic. When the phone call finally comes off, he is - of course - in his studio in Stockholm.

BRÖSELMASCHINE - Psychoactive vegetable stew

According to the "German Dictionary" of the Brothers Grimm, "Gebrösel" or "Brösel" in the Lower Rhine region means mixed vegetables. However, the name of the Folk-Kraut-Prog-was-imm-immer- Formation crumbler, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 with the box set "It Was 50 Years Ago Today", is due to a cannabis crushing apparatus. After the Duisburg cult band had only given sporadic concerts between 1985 and 2005, they were much more active again in the last few years and presented "Elegy" 2019, perhaps the strongest work in their long history.

VOYAGER IV - Music ambassador in the matter of prog

In August and September 1977, the space probes Voyager 1 and 2 launched their missions to explore the outer planets of the solar system. Also on board: one gold plated copper data disc each with analogue picture and sound information, including classical and ethnic music, pieces by Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong, which are intended to give any extraterrestrial explorers in the distant future information about human culture. As early as 1971, ELP created a milestone in prog with their live album "Pictures At An Exhibition", based on Modest Mussorgski's piano cycle, which repeatedly encourages musicians to rework their music.

SWANS - Quiet is the new sound

Since 1982 - with a break between 1997 and 2010 - Michael Gira and his band SWANS stand for experimental Noise-Rock in deafening volume. But on the 15th studio album "Leaving Meaning", the 65-year-old suddenly strikes at very quiet, restrained tones - a change of heart for which he has a simple explanation.

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO - Return to Space

It's his second spring: Since Jeff Lynnes great live shows have triggered an ELO renaissance of unexpected proportions, the multi-instrumentalist has also started to produce new albums of his project again. Alone In The Universe" 2015 was followed by "Out Of Nowhere" in November 2019, on which the man in the sunglasses almost acts as a one-man orchestra. Even if the music is less symphonically opulent than in the 70s, the ELO sound invites you to set off into space again.

DREAM THEATER clearing up the misunderstandings around the past gigs

After the controversial summer open-airs, Dream Theater will return to Europe at the beginning of 2020 for indoor concerts to finally present the opulent three-hour "Scenes From A Memory" shows on the old continent. In January/February the Progmetal-Kings want to use the opportunity at seven concerts in the German-speaking area to reconcile their fan community. We talked to singer James LaBrie in advance.

HENRY KAISER - explorer of underwater worlds and ocean sounds

The American music market is ticking differently than the European and especially the German one. Quite a few musical greats there find little or no attention in the Old World. Guitarist Henry Kaiser, for example, is only known in Germany to absolute connoisseurs of the niche between rock, jazz and avant-garde. He combines the best sides of Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin.

NO-MAN's album "Love You To Bits" turns 80's synthie pop into new prog

Tim Bowness, singer of the artpop duo No-Man, whose other creative half is known as Steven Wilson, expects that their new album "Love You To Bits" could cause controversy: "One of the most interesting things about it is that I can't at all estimate how the reactions to it will be," admits the Brit and adds: "I hope, however, that it will be perceived as a work that is as accessible as it is ambitious and one of the most courageous and extraordinary No-Man albums. Hopefully people will give him a chance and hear it as a whole. Where it leads and how it ends cannot be determined from the first five minutes."

THE WALL - Pink Floyd's best-known album turns 40 - but nobody celebrates

The Wall", Pink Floyd's eleventh studio album, was released at the end of November 1979. It is the most famous album of the British art rockers. It is the most successful double album in rock music history. Along with "The Dark Side Of The Moon", "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals" it belongs to the four big albums on which the superstar status of the band is based. But "The Wall" is more than just an art rock album. It's stylistically singular. There's hardly anything like it. It's also Roger Waters' soul striptease. It is timeless and has expanded its importance over the decades.

RPWL singer YOGI LANG gives deep insights into his inner life

The second solo album after "No Decoder" from 2010 was a long time coming. Of course, Yogi Lang, his character's singer, songwriter and keyboardist the art rocker RPWL is a busy man. In the meantime, the Freising team started with several concept albums. "I didn't really want to wait that long, but I had to hand in songs for RPWL albums again and again. I really had to do the solo work and keep the songs," admits Lang in retrospect. The question of where the differences to the RPWL material are is obvious. "The beauty is that I can be more radical and build my own world here because I don't have to stick to a band concept." But isn't there also an overriding theme on "A Way Out Of Here"? "But yes," laughs Yogi Lang, "the subject is me! That's the radical."

At MUSIC & STORIES Uriah Heep, Nazareth and Wishbone Ash do the honours

Whoa! The Classic Rock heart was literally overturning when the first announcements of the January live event "Music & Stories" were released: Uriah Heep, Nazareth and Wishbone Ash, three bands of almost the same age, all around 50 years old in the Rock Earth orbit, actually come together at the same concert event! That's the "music" part, but what's with the "stories" component? Sweets Andy Scott, the host of this classic rock show of superlatives, gives us a first insight. And also points to sweet prospects for the future.

Foreigner mastermind MICK JONES turns 75 in December

The Englishman, born on 27 December 1944, started his musical career at the beginning of the sixties. At first he was mostly a session musician in France, from 1971 he was back in England, first with Wonderwheel and later with Spooky Tooth. The Leslie West Band went from London to New York City for Jones. Shortly before that he played on albums of Peter Frampton and George Harrison. In 1976 he founded Foreigner with Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood and Ian McDonald, among others.

The BLIND GUARDIAN TWILIGHT ORCHESTRA publishes its mammoth work

For over 20 years the phantom of Blind Guardian's orchestral album has been haunting the metal scene. Announced again and again, postponed again and again, "Legacy Of The Dark Lands" is now not only the most ambitious composition project ever undertaken by metal musicians in Germany, but also the (temporary) logical endpoint of a development already hinted at on an early album like "Somewhere Far Beyond" (1992). We spoke with the two makers Hansi Kürsch and André Olbrich.

ERIK COHEN wants to tread completely new paths in the future

Under the name Erik Cohen, the Hamburg musician Daniel Geiger has attracted attention with three outstanding albums that develop a new vision of German-language rock music: hard, uncompromising, dark - but also very classical and paying homage to the great rock gods of the 70s. This approach was unusual from the start and served Cohen - also known as Jack Letten, frontman of Smoke Blow - as a playground for experiments.

...and much more!

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