BEN CRAVEN creates prog epics in widescreen format

There are not so many singing multi-instrumentalists who have recorded entire albums without other musicians - Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Prince and Mike Oldfield are certainly the best-known representatives of this species. The Australian Ben Craven, who has just released his third album "Monsters From The Id", also belongs to this illustrious group, because the studied electrical engineer from Brisbane is not only a good singer, but also impresses on various instruments, whereby his highly melodic guitar solos sometimes remind one of Steve Hackett.

In the eclipsed interview, Craven not only talks about his difficult path to becoming a "one-man-band", but also about his manifold influences and the Australian prog scene. Even Sigmund Freud's "structural model of the psyche" comes up

ELBOW - The healing power of music

Conventions change with the times. This is especially true for music: before the Corona crisis, the motto "the more insignificant, the more compatible with the masses" seemed to have prevailed. 18 months later, most songwriters have piled up so much that they now want to make themselves heard with content. In doing so, two camps can be distinguished: Some need to shake off the lethargy of stagnation first, while others embrace the new post-Covid lifestyle - not least in the quiet fear that it might be short-lived. Among the latter is the band Elbow. Their new album, Flight Dream 1, is a passionate declaration of the beauty of life

The new normal

STING - One for all

He's not a rock-animal and doesn't fit into any other pigeonhole either. Even more: Gordon Sumner aka Sting does everything to remain unpredictable. This includes musicals, reggae albums, duets, Vegas engagements and endless tours, but also entertaining statements on various topics. To mark the release of his 15th studio album, "The Bridge," we caught up with the former chief cop. Here's Sting on ..

"I feel great. Seriously, I enjoy my age and would never hide it. Plus, I'm fit, which is helpful. Singing keeps me in shape. It keeps my mind young. At the same time, I enjoy the fact that I'm a little wiser than I used to be."

"I haven't run in years, but I swim every day. Running is bad for the body - for the joints. I see people running who should be in the hospital. All I can say is, 'Stop it!'"

POPOL VUH - An eternally searching visionary

After five groundbreaking albums by the Krautrock project Popol Vuh around the spiritual visionary Florian Fricke were re-released two years ago in the LP boxset "Vol. 1: The Essential Collection", a second one now follows with "Vol. 2: Acoustic & Ambient Spheres", which contains four more works by the music collective: two soundtracks for films by Werner Herzog ("Herz aus Glas" and "Cobra Verde"), plus the classic "Seligpreisung" as well as the lesser-known album "Agape - Agape". Reason enough for eclipsed to take a closer look at the phenomenon Popol Vuh: What makes Florian Fricke's music so unique?

ROBERT REED - A musician with 1000 faces

Rob Reed is one of the most versatile and prolific progressive sound tinkerers of our time. He recently released the album "The Ringmaster: Part One", which follows his Mike Oldfield bows, which he has been releasing since 2014 under the project title "Sanctuary". However, he is best known to the prog community as the founder of the neo-prog band Magenta, whose debut "Revolutions" was released in 2001. Other projects include Cyan, Chimpan A and Kompendium. How does this man do it?

This year, multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed commemorated his musical beginnings with the band project Cyan with a new recording of the debut album "For King And Country" from 1993. With Chimpan A (two albums since 2006) and his homage to the electronic pioneers of the 70s "Cursus 123 430" (2020), he also mixed in the electronic cosmos. The project Kompendium (2012/13), in turn, involved stars of the prog rock scene such as Steve Hackett, Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins.

BRÖSELMASCHINE - From Folk and Protest Song to Krautrock

Peter Bursch has helped generations of guitarists get started in making music with his books, which have been printed in millions of copies (completely without sheet music). Back in 1968, he and friends in Duisburg founded BRÖSELMASCHINE, one of Germany's first progressive rock bands. In 2021, their highly acclaimed debut album celebrates its 50th birthday; this summer it was re-released in a sonically reworked form. Together with the band leader, eclipsed looks back at the early years of the now re-active group to shed light on the genesis of one of the most interesting musical productions of early German rock history.

eclipsed: In 1968, the year Bröselmaschine was founded, you were 19 years old. But it was not your first band?

ELECTRIC ORANGE - "sounding" of the neo-krautrock kind

Electric Orange, active since the early 90s and with many releases on their credit side, are an integral part of the German neo-psychedelic and neo-krautrock scene that can no longer be imagined without. The quartet from Aachen, consisting of keyboarder Dirk Jan Müller, guitarist Dirk Bittner, drummer Georg Monheim and new bassist Werner Wieczorek, plays big with the current album "Psi-Hybrid" and reveals the background.

eclipsed: In contrast to your last albums, you constructed "Psi-Hybrid" less improvised and more piece by piece. Why the different approach?

Dirk Jan Müller: After many years of more or less improvisation, we had the feeling that we had to do something different and work more or less the way we did before the "Netto" album. There have always been phases in our history where we changed our way of working.

MASTODON - Martial sound medicine

Rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher is a tree of a guy you shouldn't compete against in arm wrestling or finger hooking. Although he seems rather grumpy at first glance, he turns out to be a charming conversationalist. Unlike Tool frontman Maynard Keenan, for example, he doesn't hide behind dripping irony and artistic aloofness, but talks at length about the eighth Mastodon opus "Hushed And Grim" and the personal experiences and feelings that underlie it

eclipsed: As on "Emperor Of Sand", "Hushed And Grim" is also about an emotional coming to terms with a death in the band's environment. Is it therefore a sequel?