SNAPPER MUSIC ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW DEAL WITH PORCUPINE TREE TO REPRESENT THEIR TRANSMISSION LABEL WORLDWIDE
Snapper Music have held a close relationship with Porcupine Tree since the release of the 1999 album ‘Stupid Dream’ on their Kscope imprint. The label acquired the band’s early work on the Delerium label in 2006 and later the Warner ‘Lava’ years material in 2017.
The first Transmission release on the new deal in November will be a deluxe 13 CD box set chronicling the evolution of Porcupine Tree, bringing together all of the band’s recordings issued by the Delerium label between 1992-97. A deluxe multi-disc edition of the band’s 2005 acclaimed album ‘Deadwing’ will follow in 2021.
Snapper Music MD Frederick Jude comments “20 years on we greatly appreciate the successful working relationship we have maintained with the band.” Porcupine Tree founder and frontman, Steven Wilson comments: “Myself and the band are very happy to have all our work united on our Transmission imprint through Snapper Music, a label we’ve had a long and extremely positive relationship with. We are discussing many exciting possibilities for the catalogue going forward, plans that will take in definitive special editions of existing albums, but also open the vaults to archive material.”
“The Archaeology Project” is a compilation of prog music artist Tim Morse’s music from 2005-2020. There’s no real concept for this release, given that it is a compilation album, however the title and the artwork ties the music of different eras together.
Says Tim, “It seemed like a good time to reflect on the last fifteen years of being a recording artist. It was fun revisiting these songs and choosing what I consider to be the best examples of my songwriting to feature on this collection. I’ve remastered the older songs with Craig Long and I have to say the music has never sounded better. I was so pleased with the work that I ended up remastering more music than could fit on one CD and so I’m offering five extra songs as a download for no additional charge. There is also a new solo guitar instrumental, a remix/new vocal for the Mangoes song ‘200 Yards’ and my cover version of the classic Pink Floyd song ‘Dogs’ on ‘The Archaeology Project.’ I especially like the imagery that Jay Leek came up with for the project – it has a nice ‘Hipgnosis’ feel to it.”
It was an interesting experience for Tim compiling the album and noting his growth as a singer/songwriter. He felt it was nice to be able to offer a cross section of his music and include a real rarity as a bonus download (the first demo he did with Mark Dean – an early version of “Present Moment”). Says Tim, “The Guitar Etude that opens the album includes a bit of a melody that I wrote in my first song. I was never really happy with my vocals on the original version of ‘200 Yards’ and so it was nice to redo the vocal and remix the song. Lastly, the cover version of ‘Dogs’ is something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve always loved that song and it was a fantastic experience to put my stamp on it with a fantastic group of musicians: Bret Bingham, Andrew Glasmacher, Charley Langer and Hope Rogers.”
Tim Morse began his instrument instruction at a young age and started composing immediately upon picking up the guitar. He later moved onto the piano and studied as a music composition major, writing extended pieces such as a string quartet and two piano sonatas. During this time Tim performed with various rock and fusion bands and played on many recording sessions. Tim’s first album of original music was entitled “Transformation” and was released in 2005. The album was well received by the Progressive Rock community and recognized as an original voice, in the tradition of Yes and Genesis, yet recorded and performed with a modern edge.
His second album “Faithscience” was released in 2012 and musically it picked up where “Transformation” left off, continuing to explore the best of Progressive Rock. In addition to this release Tim became a member of the Jerry Jennings band and formed The Mangoes with Bret Bingham. The Mangoes released their debut album in 2014 and it was appreciated for its pop sensibility and quirky humor. His latest solo release “III” was also warmly embraced in 2018 by critics and fans alike.
Tim’s recent cover version of the classic Yes song “Awaken” has received the ultimate compliments from members of Yes – Rick Wakeman enthused, “Best YES cover I’ve heard …well done to everybody” and Jon Anderson said, “Great job with ‘Awaken’…the fact you sat around and decided to perform it is a treat….not an easy work!” Composer/musician Adam Holzman was so impressed by this performance of it that he offered to do his own remix of the song (both versions can be found on Tim’s Youtube channel and website).
Here’s what the press has said about Tim Morse’s previous albums:
(Tim Morse III) “Tim Morse III is an engaging, appealing album that seamlessly bridges melodic rock and progressive influences.” – Anil Prasad, Innerviews
“There’s no doubt fans of symphonic prog will find much to enjoy. Recommended.” – Jerry Lucky, The Progressive Rock Files
“Musically, III is enjoyable – occupying the lighter end of the Yes style spectrum.” – PROG Magazine
“Recommended for fans of melodic rock with some progressive touches.” – Jon Davis, Expose
(Faithscience) “Tim Morse deserves to make it into the mainstream, as he surely one of the greats of the genre.” – John Bollenberg, iO Pages
“A smartly arranged, melodic-symphonic opus.” – John Collinge, Progression Magazine
“Probably the biggest surprise of the year…and highly recommended to fans of classic prog.” – Kinesis
(Transformation) “Transformation is a work truly realized, an impressive work of creativity that grows on one even more after repeated listening.” – Andres Valle (Mellotron)
“An interesting and expansive collection of symphonic prog songs…it not only rewards repeated listening, it demands it.” – DPRP
Tim is also a published author and his book “Yesstories” has sold over 20,000 copies worldwide. His book “Classic Rock Stories” was published by the St. Martin’s Press and was featured on the Howard Stern show. He has also written for music magazines over the years including Mix, Guitar World, Keyboard and Bass Player.
Tim will be doing videos and PR to support the release of “The Archaeology Project.” He’s also working on a Mangoes EP with Bret Bingham that should be released in the New Year. As for live performance, that is completely up to what happens with the pandemic and the interest/demand for shows.
In closing Tim has this to impart, “I hope that everyone is safe and healthy in these uncertain times. Also, I’m always grateful when anyone takes the time to listen to my music, even if they didn’t like it or were critical of it. In this modern age of endless distractions it is a lovely thing when someone will truly listen to music.”
Devin Townsend will release ‘Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1’ on 23 October 2020, a document of his Winter 2019 European tour that saw him taking on possibly his most ambitious live show to date.
Today sees the launch of the second clip from the release, and you can watch Devin and the Empath Volume 1 live band performing the track ‘War’ here:
Devin comments: “Hello folks, here’s another song from the Order Of Magnitude Blu Ray. Amidst the chaos of recent times, I look back at this concert as being another world in a lot of ways, and although the DVD has many different feels throughout the concert, this song, ‘War’ is indicative of the beginning vibes of the show. The whole idea with this concert was to experiment with playing songs from my catalog that didn’t rely on backing tracks or clicks, so assembling 10 people onstage to do this was no small feat. I wanted to create an experience for band and audience alike that was creative and without boundaries (to the best of our abilities), and I am very proud of it. The next song we will release will be a different vibe, but for now, please enjoy this take on a song of mine from the Infinity era. It was originally about fighting back against your own self destructive mechanisms and thoughts, so maybe that’s appropriate for what has been going on recently. Again; Thank you for the support and I hope you are finding the strength to get through this chaotic year.”
Watch the previously released clip for ‘Genesis’ here:
Recorded in December 2019 in London, UK on the penultimate night of the tour in support of his latest album ‘Empath’, this run of shows saw Devin joined by an incredible line-up of musicians. The band was made up of guitarists Mike Kenneally (ex-Frank Zappa) and Markus Reuter (Stick Men, The Crimson Project), drummer Morgan Ågren (Kaipa, Mats & Morgan, Frank Zappa), bassist Nathan Navarro, Haken keyboard player Diego Tejeida, and guitarist/vocalist Ché Aimee Dorval, as well as vocalists Samantha & Anne Preis and Arabella Packford.
Devin’s plan for the Empath touring cycle was to divide it up into three ‘Volumes’, and this was Volume 1. The idea behind the shows was a simple one: none of the backing tapes or click tracks that had long been necessary to bring the kaleidoscopic cacophony in his head and on his records to life in the flesh. This would just be Devin Townsend and a band of genius-level musicians getting up there and trying to keep it from spinning off into outer space. Or maybe just letting it spin-off into outer space for the sheer hell of it.
“The whole objective was that I wanted to make that statement: This is by the seat our pants,” he says. “Because it’s important to me to represent this hyper anal-retentive music that I’ve made over the years, but in a human way. Rather than it just being, ‘Well, here it is, perfectly done.’”
“I was overwhelmed by the fact that all these brilliant people that I have so much respect for were willing to come together and play this weird shit with me,” says Devin. “I had these unique players and this interesting instrumentation that allowed us to interpret the music in different ways. It was clear to me that I could just have fun and be me and know that they would be effortlessly be able to follow that.”
That sense of fun and freedom was evident to anyone who was there on the night. Visually, it was an assault on the senses in the best possible way. A digital screen projected vivid images throughout the show. A giant gleaming mirrorball hung from the ceiling. There were multiple costume changes and a tiki bar onstage (a tiki bar!).
‘Order Of Magnitude – Empath Live Volume 1’ will be released as a Limited Deluxe 2CD+Blu-Ray+DVD Artbook (including expanded artwork & photos), Limited 2CD+DVD Digipak, Standalone Blu-Ray, Gatefold 3LP+2CD vinyl box-set & as a Digital Album. The Blu-Ray disc includes a bonus behind the scenes documentary, and both DVD & Blu-Ray feature a 5.1 surround sound mix. Pre-orders are now available here: https://Devin-Townsend.lnk.to/EmpathLiveVol1/
The track-listing is as follows:
Borderlands Evermore War Sprite Gigpig Jam Coast Gato Heavens End Ain’t Never Gonna Win Deadhead Why? Lucky Animals Castaway/Genesis Spirits Will Collide Disco Inferno Kingdom
Neal Morse has announced the release of Sola Gratia, his new solo progressive rock concept album, on the 11 September 2020. Originating from a seed planted in his mind about writing a record based on the apostle Paul, Sola Gratia quickly came together at the beginning of 2020. The album sees Neal working with long-time collaborators Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer and Gideon Klein.
The title Sola Gratia of course has echoes of Morse’s 2007 epic Sola Scriptura, about the life of Martin Luther, but was in fact originally the result of a simple marital misunderstanding: “I was talking to my wife Cherie about debuting this new piece at Morsefest 2020 (Morse’s annual fan convention in Nashville) and she said she thought it would be good for me to do a solo album. However, I thought she said ‘Sola album’ and – because some of the new ideas involved Paul’s aggressive pursuit of the early Christians, I could see a link to some of the themes of persecution in Sola Scriptura.”
The music was recorded ‘virtually’ in April 2020 at the height of the Coronavirus lockdown with long term collaborators Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass): “It’s the first album we have ever made remotely: I sent them the basic tracks and asked if they wanted to rearrange things, but they just said ‘No, it’s great!’, so they just played to it and sent their parts back over. It wasn’t an easy way to make an album, but creating always has its challenges, no matter how you do it.”
As Morse explains, it was this process that decided that Sola Gratia was to be a Neal Morse album, rather than being credited to The Neal Morse Band: “With the Neal Morse Band, the whole band works together on the writing, and while Eric Gillette plays some guitar and Bill Hubauer has added some keyboards on this one, neither of them wrote – or is singing – on this album.”
Sola Gratia will be released as a limited CD/DVD Digipak (featuring a ‘Making-Of’ documentary), Gatefold 2LP + CD, Standard CD Jewel Case and as a Digital Album. The cover art was created by another longtime collaborator, Thomas Ewerhard.
The full track-listing is as follows:
1. Preface 2. Overture 3. In The Name Of The Lord 4. Ballyhoo (The Chosen Ones) 5. March Of The Pharisees 6. Building A Wall 7. Sola Intermezzo 8. Overflow 9. Warmer Than The Sunshine 10. Never Change 11. Seemingly Sincere 12. The Light On The Road To Damascus 13. The Glory Of The Lord 14. Now I Can See/The Great Commission
Neal Morse will debut Sola Gratia live at his annual Morsefest convention on 18 and 19 September 2020. A very limited number of people will be able to attend in person, with the event also being streamed online. More details and tickets are available here: https://nealmorse.com/tc-events/morsefest-2020/
Look out for the first track release and pre-order opportunities starting on the 17 July.
The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, recently announced the release of their 11th studio album Auto Reconnaissance on 21 August 2020. The follow-up to 2018’s Proxy, sees them continuing the band philosophy of celebrating the golden age of prog, whilst bringing it to the present and exploring new paths for the music to take in the future. On Auto Reconnaissance, they bend that philosophy to their will, taking in prog rock foot stomping, sublime Jazz, humour, narrative, a modern R&B love song, funk/soul and a 28 minute long emotional epic about the band’s home country of England.
On 26 June they launched the first track, titled Life On Hold, and you can listen now here:
Andy comments: “Life On Hold is the cheerful up-tempo Prog Rock foot-stomper we chose to kick off our album. It sits alongside pieces we’ve done in the past like GPS Culture and Spark In The Aether, Crisis In Midlife etc and it’s a flavour we do like to return to now and then. This one is influenced by things like that first Asia album, stuff like Kansas and Boston, and the kind of thing that Transatlantic might bang out at you. It’s part of our genetic makeup, but of course only one part. Although there’s a fair amount of accessible tunes on the new album, there’s some seriously deep water around too. And no, Life On Hold has nothing to do with Lockdowns. It mentions Jean Paul Sartre, which is not normal in foot-stompers. Get it ON!! Bang, and the dirt is gone!”
Andy comments: “I utterly refuse to accept that Progressive Rock Music is some kind of museum piece. It is actually a living and breathing movement that has a past, a present and above all, a future. It once had an album-chart-topping golden age, but the genre was never about that. It has subtly and virally kept itself alive for decades where many new musical genres have risen to glory and faded away.”
For this release, Andy is once again joined by long-time collaborators Jonas Reingold, Luke Machin (who co-produced the album with Andy), Theo Travis, and Steve Roberts. Together they bring to life an album that has been influenced by the likes of ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return To Forever amongst others.
Andy comments of the current line-up: “In the past 6 years the line-up of The Tangent has become more stable than at the beginning. I think that the identity of the Tangent as a “Group” rather than a “Project” started to come together on the album A Spark In The Aether in 2014. Essentially Luke, Jonas, Theo and myself have appeared on the last four albums, and we added Steve Roberts for the tour that supported Slow Rust in 2017 and we’ve settled on this line-up. I hope for a while because I find this unit to be productive, in tune with the band’s purpose and manifesto and a lot of fun to boot. The new album Auto Reconnaissance is the first time that the core band has been identical in structure to its predecessor. For the first time I feel that everyone is totally onboard with the fusion of Jazz, Prog, Punkishness and electronica that The Tangent likes to cook up. We are a good group of friends and although we don’t meet up often, it’s a real blast when we do. I’ve always considered Ed Unitsky the cover artist to have been a recurring member of the cast – his artwork has been a huge part of our story and although we move away, we always return.”
Auto Reconnaissance will be available as Limited CD Digipak (incl. bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP booklet & as Digital Album, all featuring the artwork of Ed Untisky, whose visuals have not been seen on a Tangent album since 2014’s A Spark In The Aether.
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjöblom is pleased to announce his new album under the Gungfly moniker, Alone Together. Set for release on 4 September 2020, it follows an extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly.
Rikard comments: “I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!”
Alone Together saw Gungfly recording as a trio, with brothers and previous collaborators Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. “It was a lot of fun playing both keyboards and guitar because I had come up with a lot of nice parts but I knew early on that I wanted to make the album with the brothers on drums and bass – luckily they were very up for it!” This ‘power-trio’ have focussed on the rock this time, and you can hear that loud and clear: “I didn’t want to smother the production with layers upon layers of keyboards and bells and whistles but instead tried to keep it prog rock with the focus on ROCK. I wanted every instrument to mean something in the mix.” This is evident on tracks like Happy Somewhere In Between and the 13-minute epic Traveler, where Gungfly have never hit harder.
Alone Together will be available as a Limited CD Digipak (with 2 bonus tracks), Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. The album cover features a painting by American artist Kevin Sloan (The Flower Kings). Rikard comments of the piece: “I had just written lyrics for the song ‘From Afar’ and was looking at Kevin’s paintings when I came across this one and I couldn’t believe the connection, particularly the lyric “A million eyes watching glimpses of each other’s lives”.
1. Traveler 2. Happy Somewhere In Between 3. Clean as a Whistle 4. Alone Together 5. From Afar 6. On The Shoulders Of Giants 7. Grove Thoughts (Bonus Track) 8. Shoulder Variations (Bonus Track)
Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their recent studio albums.
With their latest and most accomplished album to date Inescapable due out on 7 February, Godsticks present their second single and video “Surrender”.
Godsticks mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling and with Inescapable, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage.
Inescapable will be released on CD, LP & digitally on 7 February through Kscope and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE NOW
(“Denigrate” is available as an instant download on digital pre-orders – “Surrender” will be available on 31 January)
Spanish instrumental rock band Toundra, are in the preparation for the February 28th release of their new album ‘Das Cabinet Der Dr. Caligari’, an original soundtrack based on the German silent horror film of the same name that turns exactly 100 years old in 2020.
The band have just premiered a new single and video, available in all platforms that can be watched here: