Over the years, trying to determine what is true "prog rock" and what is not has become an increasingly tricky proposition. In the early '70s, it was easy – any band that performed "suites" that extended across entire album sides and dressed in capes and/or cloaks was a dead giveaway…
Focusing on the brilliant cellist Jay Campbell, soon to be a new music superstar, along with the equally masterful Michael Nicolas, Chris Otto and Stephen Gosling, these three powerful compositions take chamber music to a whole new level of intensity. Three realizations of Zorn’s infamous composition for two celli “Ouroboros” (two featuring guest percussionist Tyshawn Sorey) along with his canonic puzzle “Occam’s Razor” and the ten metaphysical ambiguities comprising the piano trio “The Aristos,” this is chamber music as you have never heard it before— visceral, intense and powerfully emotional.
Octane Twisted, the first album by Porcupine Tree in three years, is a double-live disc recorded at Chicago's Riviera in 2010 during The Incident tour. It also includes highlights from the band's concluding concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Recording a concept album is fraught with danger as well as possibility; a touring one is an exponentially greater challenge – especially when the studio recording is a chart success. The Incident went Top 30 in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
At the time of Frank Zappa's passing in late 1993, he left a number of projects in varying stages of completeness. Some of these had gotten no further than the so-called "build-reel" stage. It was at this preliminary phase that the artist had done little more than set aside various and sundry audio on the back-burner in his Utility Muffin Research Kitchen home studio. One Shot Deal (2008) is a single-CD compilation taken from a number of disparate sources – including a pair of tunes from Zappa's "build reels." As the set's co-producer Gail Zappa explains in her inimitable style in the brief liner notes essay "…the guitar was the main element for me…." With that as an unofficial mandate, the 5-plus minutes – which cover the meaty nine-year span of 1972 to 1981 – is undeniably fret-centric.