Jeff ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: EK86941
Label:
Epic
Category:
Fusion
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""If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.

The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear." - All Music Guide

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  • German import arrives in a mediabook with a patch."Our anticipation levels had maxed, as four years passed by since Sanctuary announced that they were releasing a new record. It is easy to imagine that the only going through their fans' minds was whether their new material will resemble the work they did 25 years ago. I was rather reluctant and ultimately, I was right.First things first, let's get some things straight. Is "The Year The Sun Died" close to the feel of their two emblematic records? Nope. Does it sound like Nevermore? Yeah, as Dane's vocals are closer to that type of delivery, without that being a bad thing. He wouldn't risk going back to his old type of delivery, even if he could achieve such levels with pro tools magic. Modern production trends have also played a significant role to the final cut of this album. On the other hand, the composition approach is quite different to that witnessed on Nevermore albums, as musical themes are much more approachable. On the other hand, even though we don't have the outbursts we were used to, there are a number of theme and tempo changes in many of the tracks which make them very interesting indeed.In general, if we were to analyse its style, we would conclude that we are dealing with a rather heavy record that incorporates bulky guitars in mid-tempo layouts, without that meaning that there are no tracks with a faster pace. Lyrically, it is quite dark and a constant claustrophobic atmosphere is always present, as there is no abundance of melodic guitar themes. It's multifaceted compositions do provide a rather "proggy" feeling, but nothing more than that. Sheppard and Budbill's rhythm section is poignant and to the point, but lacks the ingenuity we were used to them providing.Opening tack "Arise And Purify" is clear evidence of the two contradicting elements that comprise this record. The intro riff is heavy and modern, whereas the chorus uses backing vocals that reminds us of their past. Solos by Rutledge and Hull are unleashed from the get go, and are as precise and technical as required. "Let The Serpent Follow Me" is on the up-tempo side of things but winds down during the chorus, followed by a wonderful, nostalgic bridge. The first slow track is "Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)", which starts off with a calm intro and follows with an awesome riff. Dane also performs really well in this track. "Question Existence Fading" follows a similar path of interchanging musical themes. It sets off with a fast, edgy and fierce riff, includes great solos, awesome vocals and thrilling drumming."I Am Low" is one of the calmer moments of the record, which slowly builds up to a rather heartfelt climax. Another highlight would be "Frozen" which again starts off strong and dials things down during the chorus whilst guitar solos are flying around left, right and centre. The weakest moment of the album would be "One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)", whilst "The World Is Wired", which at first won me over with its groovy attitude, ultimately let me down after multiple listens. The strongest moment is definitely the self-titled track (introduced by the wonderfully acoustic "Ad Vitam Aeternam") which concludes the record. Words don't really give it justice. It is slow, heavy and very memorable. Everything from the Latin chants in the beginning of the track to the despair in Warrel's vocals during the chorus and inspiring guitar work makes this song great. A truly great composition.With this release, Sanctuary did what they had to do. They evolved. Now, because it took them 25 years to do so might not go down well with many people who were expecting a second "Into The Mirror Black", which is totally understandable. Having Nevermore in the meantime might have substantially reduced the shock factor anyway. Let us not forget though that one of the reasons why we loved this band is because of their progressiveness (for lack of a better word). It would be silly to assume that they would not have changed tones even if they hadn't disbanded in 1992." - Noisefull
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  • Second album from this incredible fusion trio from North Carolina will blow your skull off.  Trioscapes consists of Between The Buried And Me bassist Dan Briggs and Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute), and Matt Lynch (drums).  Don't let the absence of keys or guitar throw you.  This is mild altering, high energy fusion. You get the chops from hell, tripped out soundscapes, and head throttling melodies.  And that's just the first tune!!!  Utterly lethal.  BUY OR DIE!!"Much of what can conceivable be written of Trioscapes‘ most recent album Digital Dream Sequence is exactly what could be written about their previous offering Separate Realities.Musicians, jazz musicians particularly, may spit their coffee all over their keyboards on reading that, apopleptic and petulant – pointing out that where the previous album was underpinned by Ionic mode progressions, that this one is rooted in the Chromatic (or somesuch muso guff). Suffice to say that, as with Separate Realities, Digital Dream Sequence does not cling to homely pentatonic melodies or major chord, 4/4 song structures.It is a surprising and joyful departure from the predictable, which would be easy to describe as mind-expanding if it did not so closely follow its predecessor in structure and feel.As it is, there are a few physical embellishments to the formula worth noting, but not many. Keyboard fills (or what sounds like keyboards – what Dan Briggs can do with a bass guitar and effects pedals can be confusing at times) bring an extra accent to the pieces, as well as atmospheric depth on, say, the opening sequence of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. On that track, the use of keyboard wash with a glockenspiel voice is foregrounded in something that tips a hat to Pink Floyd’s exploration of moon themes, before it takes off into something more definitely Trioscapes in its saxophone/bass/percussion attack. The track goes on to finish with an outro that co-opts much of the main theme from Tubular Bells.Keys, elsewhere on Digital Dream Sequence, play a role more to do with sound dynamics than with song structure – they fill a gap in the lower mids that is left between Walter Fancourt’s flute and alto saxophone moments.To state outright that this album sounds like Separate Realities is misleading though – there is much in the way of progression to note, and a gelling of roles between band members who have, onstage and in the studio, found a way to fit their individual talents into a group dynamic. Although there were moments of more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts alchemy on the earlier album, they were rarer than they are on Digital Dream Sequence. The latter has more raw groove, embeds moments of individual technical dexterity into the compositions less abruptly, and overall displays a more comfortable fusion (arg – that word!) between the funk and metal aesthetics that comprise the Trioscapes recipe.Of that curious mix, the mention of both Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield above may offer some clue – there is a smattering of prog rock reference on Digital Dream Sequence (the intro to final track ‘The Jungle’ particularly) which opens a world of musical territory to the trio. Particularly the rhythms of Mali, which fascinated prog musicians for much of the 80s. Or perhaps that is too fanciful (jazz and funk have, historically, a more direct conduit to African rhythms than anything channeled through prog, after all).Nevertheless, that final track, once one has re-accustomed the ear to the Trioscapes tag-team approach to rhythm, tension and controlled saxophone madness, throbs with a primal, sweaty and utterly invigorating energy that transcends jazz, funk, metal or rock and is its own glorious creation.Which is something that never quite happened on Separate Realities (and bear in mind that Separate Realities was chosen by this reviewer as the album of 2012). This time Trioscapes have thrown off the anxiety of influence, have coalesced their individual contributions into a smoother whole, and have dug deeply to find an immense gravitronic groove.It’s a throbbing monster of an album." - Trebuchet Magazine
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  • "By the time Aerosmith's sixth studio release was issued, 1979's Night in the Ruts, guitarist Joe Perry had finally left the band after years of drug-fueled bickering with singer Steven Tyler (forming the Joe Perry Project by year's end). Most of the tracks were completed before Perry's departure, with replacement Jimmy Crespo filling the few empty spaces. And while the band looks back upon this period as hazy and frustrating, Night in the Ruts is a surprisingly coherent and inspired album. Although it's not up to par with such classics as Toys in the Attic or Rocks (although it could have been if the band weren't in such a state of turmoil at the time), it was definitely leaner and more focused than their last studio release, Draw the Line. Highlights include the striking opening rocker, "No Surprize," which recounts the band's early history, as well the driving yet melodic "Chiquita," the jamming "Three Mile Smile," the furious "Bone to Bone," and a pair of covers -- the Yardbirds' "Think About It" and the novelty number "Reefer Head Woman." The only lowlight is a weak cover of the Shangri-Las' "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," which was inexplicably issued as a single and included on 1980's Greatest Hits. While the album performed respectfully on the charts, the ensuing tour did little to boost sales -- it was marred with canceled dates and lackluster performances brought on by Tyler's substance abuse." - Allmusic. Guide
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  • I can't speak for their later albums (since I never heard them) but the band's early work for Bellaphon was very well crafted classical progressive rock.“Pell Mell – The Entire Collection“, the complete work of Germany’s most famous classic rock band around violin devil and bandleader Thomas Schmitt is being published now like never before - in a sophisticated package bearing vaporized gold foil. The collection contains seven albums on four compact discs, five by Pell Mell and two of their follow-up Skyrider covering the complete period from 1971 until 1981 which is the era of “Deutschrock” from beginning to end. It took more than a year’s work, a lot of commitment and a great deal of energy to clear the rights, gather all tapes and material. The collection presents the original albums of symphonic rock along with their own compositions and superb singing. Both critics and audience were filled with enthusiasm by the familiar classical themes and motifs reworked by Pell Mell in their own typical style. A premiere to be heard is the “late” version of “Die Moldau” from 1981 in the correct key and tempo – which has never been released in this form because of a mistake in the first recording. Except for two parts by guest musicians, Thomas Schmitt is playing all instruments - like Mike Oldfield did in a way. A little sensation is the album “Skyrider 2” – not only has this rare gem never been released before but also marks the musical highlight of the development of the exceptional artist Thomas Schmitt. All material has been thoroughly digitally remastered. A 24 page booklet with unpublished photos and new liner notes by Cornelius Hudalla completes the package. Hudalla has not only taken great part in putting this collection together but as the former manager and producer of two of these albums possesses unsurpassed insider knowledge. We wish to stress the high value of this box and the high standards of the band Pell Mell. This CD-box has been registered by GEMA as “art” or “classical music” and is limited to 1.000 units worldwide.  CD 1 „Marburg“ & „From The New World”01. The Clown And The Queen 08:5102. Moldau 05:3003. Friend 07:1104. City Monster 08:4205. Alone 09:2606. From The New World 16:0307. Toccata 04:0408. Suite I 08:0209. Suite II 11:24      CD 2 „Rhapsody“ & „Only A Star”10. Frost Of An Alien Darkness 09:2111. Wanderer 02:3212. Can Can 03:3713. Prelude 03:1714. Desert In Your Mind 06:1715. The Riot 06:0716. Paris The Past 08:0717. Count Down 04:5218. Daydreamer 04:3419. Only A Star 04:2020. Across The Universe 06:1421. Disillusion 08:4322. Trailors In Movie Halls 03:4423. Phoebus Is Dead 07:11      CD 3 „Moldau”24. Moldau Part One 05:3525. The Farmers Wedding 03:2826. The Nymph Dance 03:1827. Moldau Part Two 07:4428. Gliding 02:4129. Dark Valley Part One 03:3230. Dark Valley Part Two 02:2331. Dark Valley Part Three 04:3332. Dark Valley Part Four 04:39      CD 4 „Skyrider” & Skyrider 2”33. On My Line I 00:1834. Skyrider 02:0835. Great Beautiful Crime 04:3036. Time Of The Season 04:0737. Written On A Granite Hill 03:5138. I Don`t Wanna Leave You Now 04:1339. On My Line II 04:0340. Up To Sky 03:0541. Love`s In My Eyes 03:4342. Save Two Birds 05:0743. Fighter Of The Sun 04:0344. Looks Like Rain 04:4245. Loadie 04:2846. Rock'n'Roll On The Highway 03:0547. Broken Harmony 06:2748. Right In Your Hands 04:3349. Song For Rosalie 03:5250. Hello Angel 03:5851. I'm In Love 03:4952. Heart On Ice 04:06
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  • Justin Greaves continues to churn the lineup but the core sound of Crippled Black Phoenix remains the same.  Vocals are now helmed by Daniel Änghede and he's quite good.  Not sure why no one can hold down the fort at the microphone for more than one album but Greaves keeps finding quality voices.The sound of CBP is a modern twist on vintage Pink Floyd.  A mash up of post rock and old school prog rock.  No Mellotrons here but lots of splashes of organ at just the right time that will remind you of Richard Wright.  Contemporary but old all at the same time.  That's the enigma of Cripple Black Phoenix and what keeps me coming back for more, album after album.  Highly recommended.(Oh - apologies about the price.  The band is signed to Mascot Records, who for reasons unknown to either the band or their management, do not give CBP's albums a US release.  This is an expensive imported digipak)
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  • Remastered edition with 3 unreleased demos."Although punk rock's furious revolution threatened to overthrow rock's old guard in 1977, bands like Foreigner came along and proved that there was plenty of room in the marketplace for both the violent, upstart minimalism of punk and the airbrushed slickness of what would be called "arena rock." Along with Boston, Journey, Heart, and others, Foreigner celebrated professionalism over raw emotion. And, looking back, it's easy to see why they sold millions; not everyone in the world was pissed off, dissatisfied with the economy, or even necessarily looking for a change. In fact, for most suburban American teens, Foreigner's immaculate rock sound was the perfect soundtrack for cruising through well-manicured neighborhoods in their Chevy Novas. The album spawned some of the biggest FM hits of 1977, including the anthemic "Feels Like the First Time" and "Cold as Ice," both of which were anchored -- like most of Foreigner's songs -- by the muscular but traditional riffing of guitarist Mick Jones, the soaring vocals of Lou Gramm, and the state-of-the-art rock production values of the day, which allowed the band to sound hard but polished. As pure rock craftsmanship goes, Foreigner was as good as it got in the late '70s." - All Music Guide
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