2nd LP by French instrumental progressive folk outfit, blending Celtic: Bréton, Irish and other cultures. Originally untitled, it is also known as "Joe Cant's Reel" or wrongly in some catalogues as "Joe Can't Reel". This 1975 recording combines traditional Irish tunes like "Galway Bay" and "Galway Hills" with progressive folk originals by Gwendal. Fiddles, whistle, mandolin, and acoustic guitar are the main instruments, but that doesn't necessarily translate to folk or traditional playing. Gwendal exhibits a real desire to play jazz and swing on this album and frequently sets aside the conventional way of performing folk music in favor of the esoteric. "Galway Bay" might be the first bagpipe (cornemuse) tune put to a funk arrangement, and "Douze Degrees" boasts some wailing free jazz saxophone by Youenn Leberre.
Esoteric have produced a remarkable transfer that preserves beautifully the hall sound, spatial information and detail. The brass and mass strings have excellent detail, revealing a lot of subtle harmonies and variation – a boon for anything Wagner. This contributes to an overall impression of sophistication and restraint and goes perfectly with Karajan's Wagner.
2009 album from the acclaimed British vocalist and former member of Japan. David Sylvian is a man apart. In a thirty-year career that spans the New Romantic movement, ambient works and Progressive Rock, and mature and esoteric Pop, Sylvian has tested popular styles and bent them to his own vision. On Manafon, Sylvian pursues "a completely modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical." In sessions in London, Vienna, and Tokyo, Sylvian assembled the world's leading improvisers and innovators, artists who explore free improvisation, space-specific performance, and live electronics. From Evan Parker and Keith Rowe, to Fennesz and members of Polwechsel, to Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, the musicians provide both a backdrop and a counterweight to his own vocal performances.
Crystal Ball wasn't as successful as Equinox, but it was a better album, showcasing Styx's increased skill for crafting simple, catchy pop hooks out of their bombastic sound…