Blast, formed in 1989 by Dutch guitarist Frank Crijns and saxophonist Dirk Bruinsma, with a line-up that included up to ten elements, released Purist Sirup (Vonk, 1992), that took as inspiration the orchestral Frank Zappa of Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970) or the later Orchestral Favourites (1979).
Do Make Say Think has been widely celebrated as one of the preeminent instrumental rock bands of the 90s-00s. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is the group’s first album in eight years – and a brilliant addition to one of the most consistently inventive and critically praised discographies in the ‘post-rock’ canon. The band has been acclaimed as “the supernova in Constellation’s stellar network…arguably the finest back catalogue of any currently operating instrumental rock band” (Drowned In Sound), creating “some of the most honest, unpretentious, group-oriented rock of their time” (Popmatters).
Johnny Winter returns to major-label distribution for the first time in eight years with The Winter of '88, released by Voyager Records via MCA. This is a project produced and engineered by Terry Manning, who also contributed some keyboards, and Manning's intent seems to have been to move Winter in a more commercial direction, specifically toward the synth-enhanced boogie of ZZ Top. That effect is particularly notable on the lead-off track, "Close to Me," and on "Show Me"; otherwise, Manning is more subtle. Still, after three straight blues albums for the independent Alligator Records label, Winter had established a pure blues pedigree, and a move back toward the mainstream may not sit well with his more purist fans. It isn't really that overt, for the most part, but this is clearly a more highly produced, more commercially intended record than any Winter has made since he left the CBS Records subsidiary Blue Sky after Raisin' Cain in 1980.