1. BIG BIG TRAIN - The Florentine (8:15) Album
: Grand Tour (2019) Label/Distribution
: English Electric/RSKwww.bigbigtrain.com
BIG BIG TRAIN invite with "The Grand Tour" to the big retroprog journey. "The Florentine" begins like a feather-light piece by Fairport Convention or the late Dubliners, but then develops into a highly concentrated progressive folk excursion that takes the listener into wonderfully surreal worlds.
2. CHANDELIER - Timecode (8:25) Album
: Timecode (2CD) (1997/2019) Label/Distribution
: GAD/Broken Silencewww.chandelier.de
The title track of the third and last CHANDELIER album - again remastered by Eroc - lives primarily from the keyboards and the dynamics associated with them. This is Neoprog of the upscale type in the spirit of the early Marillion and Pendragon. But the song also has almost light-footed pop borrowings, before a crunchy guitar sets the end point.
3. FORS - Room Number 6 (5:48) Album
: Before (2019) Label/Distribution
FORS from Switzerland focus on epic-atmospheric prog, which gives the guitar as well as the keys enough space to unfold. Rhythmic, melodic or dynamic punch lines maintain the tension factor. The furious "Room Number 6" even brings together the worlds of Wall Of Sound and Prog, Monkey3 goes Genesis.
4. DILEMMA - Openly (5:56) Album
: Random Acts Of Liberation (2018) Label/Distribution
The Dutch-British formation DILEMMA serves on "Random Acts Of Liberation" mostly catchy prog, which never drifts into the shallows. "Openly" combines emotional songwriting with fabulous drum grooves by Collin Leijenaar (ex-Neal Morse Band), who gives everything in dramatic finish.
5. OKTA LOGUE - Part Of The Show (4:46) Album
: Runway Markings (2019) Label/Distribution
: Clouds Hill/Warnerwww.octalogue.com
OKTA LOGUE from Griesheim in Hesse have become even more melodic after the change to the indie label Clouds Hill, and their songwriting seems even more detailed. Their new album focuses on the sound of the 70s, with songs like "Part Of The Show" sounding both contemporary and timeless.
6. LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE - Light Receiver (5:13) Album
: Align In The Fourth Dimension (2019) Label/Distribution
: Sulatron/Broken Silence
New Zealander Craig Williamson has been LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE for 20 years now. He celebrates this gentle, meditative, Indian-inspired psychedelic for 20 years. Sitar, mellotron, tablas, guitars and his floating voice are the essential ingredients, and everything is packed into ethereal melodies.
7. WELCOLME INSIDE THE BRAIN - Baptist Preacher (4:56) Album
: Queen Of The Day Flies (2019) Label/Distribution
Isn't the organ magnificent right at the beginning of "Baptist Preacher"? Yes, she is. And isn't the whole song a brilliant piece of retro rock? Yes, it is - like the whole second album of WELCOME INSIDE THE BRAIN. The Leipzig Quintet may appear light-footed, but it also has its progressive sides.
8. KARAKORUM - Smegmahood (13:51) Album
: Fables And Fairytales (2019) Label/Distribution
With almost 14 minutes the five-part "Smegmahood" isn't the longest track of the current KARAKORUM release (because "Fairytales" loosely tops it with 23 minutes), but it's the one with the most turns. The piece about the lactose intolerance of a mouse is just as wacky as it seems. Zappa and Gentle Giant rules!
9. FREEDOM TO GLIDE - When That Day Comes (6:07) Album
: Seed (2019) Label/Distribution
: Freedom To Glide/Just For Kickswww.freedomtoglide.com
Sounds like from the David Gilmour era by Pink Floyd, sensitive vocals, rousing melodies, thoughtful lyrics. Also the third and last part of the anti-war trilogy of the British duo FREEDOM TO GLIDE will convince fans of well done New Artrock - to listen to "When That Day Comes".
10. ARK NOIR - ArKomplex (6:07) Album
: Tunnel Visions (2019) Label/Distribution
With "Tunnel Visions", the Munich quintet ARK NOIR has succeeded in creating an exciting debut work between jazz and electronica sounds, whereby the pieces are characterized by a great depth of sound. Some groove shifts - like the track "ArKomplex" - even show a proximity to prog or math rock.