e-Progeny CD Reviews

NR 21 - 2000 (Compilations Special)
Rating: * * * 1999, LUNA NEGRA CDLN-10 Time: 73:43
Tracklist: 1. Dan J. Schulte 'Sacrifice' (7:02); 2. Bjorn Lynne 'Awakenings' (8:14); 3. Ozone Player (Otso Pakarinen) 'Also Starring Zarathustra' (5:49); 4. Alfonso Vidales (special guest) 'En Espera del Tiempo' (6:37); 5. Count Zero (Tony De Laender) 'Cold Coffee' (6:53); 6. Edo Spanninga 'Cathedral Green' (6:18); 7. Vortex (Peter Abusamra) 'Chase' (3:19); 8. Luke d'Araceno 'Day Off' (8:02); 9. Facade 'Dancing with Skeletons' (9:03); 10. RAM 'Fantasia No.1' (7:36); 11. Mark Jenkins 'Wagnertron' (4:51).
The Luna Negra e-Progeny compilation CD was released just before Christmas 1999. E-Prog are a Website and mailing list focusing on keyboard-oriented progressive rock. The musicians on this CD are all e-Prog list members: Dan J. Schulte, Bj?n Lynne, Ozone Player, Alfonso Vidales, Count Zero, Edo Spanninga, Vortex, Luke d'Araceno, Facade, RAM and Mark Jenkins. The tracks on this CD are all previously unreleased. The main part of the songs are all instrumental and very beautiful. The highlights are the Norwegian Bj?n Lynne's "Awakenings", Ozone Player's "Also Starring Zarathustra", Cast keyboard player Alfonso Vidales "En Espera Del Tiempo", Count Zero's "Cold Coffee", Edo Spanninga's "Cathedral Green", RAM's "Fantasia No1" and the closing Mark Jenkins track "Wagnertron". Not much to say about this release other than it is recommended if you like keyboard-oriented progressive rock.
-Reviewed by Greger R?nqvist-

E-Progeny: This is a compilation of keyboard artists who came together through the Internet via producer Mark Fonda. Each artist contributes a track featuring keyboards. The styles run the spectrum of progressive rock with some well-known players and some very interesting newcomers. All are exceptional players and have contributed to a very interesting new project. The contributing artists are: Dan Schulte, Bjorn Lynne, Ozone Player, Alphonso Vidales (from Cast), Count Zero, Edo Spanniga, Luke D'Aranceno, Facade, Ram, Mark Jenkins and Vortex. Vortex is Boston area band that we have seen playing live in the Boston area many times. Pete Abusamra (keys), Rick Steineau (bass and guitar) and Martin Boisvert (drums) are a great band that have been leaders in the area prog scene and will received with enthusiasm by the international prog world.

E-Progeny: E-Progeny (CD 73:45) Luna Negra, CDLN-10. Import. This tribute to "keyboard-oriented prog-rock" features work by such recent keyboard luminaries as Cast's Alfonso Vidales and Bjorn Lynne. The tracks are available nowhere else, recorded exclusively fior this CD. The danger inherent to such project is that, even if only subconsciously, a given artist will tend to hold back, save their hottest stuff for their own recording. That is, except for artists who have not yet established their presence, who might be tempted to give it their best shot to put themselves on the map. Well, the new kids on the synthesized block do seem to pull out some stops, while the veterans (if they can be called that) are generous enough so that taken together, this is one of the better multi-artist tributes I've come across. Among the more striking contributions are "Also Starring Zarathustra" by Ozone Player and "Cathedral Green" by Edo Spanninga, the keyboardist for the Dutch group Flamborough Head. "Zarathustra" features several exhilarating transitions and "Cathedral Green" wins the competition for best mellotron moves. Influences from the keyboard pioneers are present everywhere, none more so than Tony Banks in Alfonso Vidales' "En Espera del Tiempo" which could almost have been snuck onto Banks' A Curious Feeling with none being the wiser. In the more general sense, Keith Emerson casts the longest shadow here. Don't expect any one track to totally blow you over, but this is still a recommendable romp.- David Taylor.

VA - "e-Progeny" (Luna Negra CDLN-10, 1999, CD) This interesting compilation is the result of a collaboration between members of an Internet mailing list called "e-Prog", which is dedicated to the discussion of keyboard-led progressive rock. There are some "celebrity" guests here as well, such as Alfonso Vidales of Mexican neo-progressive group Cast, and Swedish solo artist Bj?n Lynne. This compilation serves as a tribute to keyboard-driven music, and is almost entirely instrumental. Most of the keys used are digital, and other instruments, particularly drum tracks, tend to be programmed. Lots of "aaah" choruses, synthesized guitar and bass, and so on. Most of it, as a result, sounds like later output from artists such as Klaus Schulze, or like instrumental neo-prog. Exceptions include the track "Cold Coffee" by Count Zero, which is in a more prog- metal vein and features a rather sudden fade-out, a lengthy track from heavy prog power trio Fa?de, which has vocals and sounds somewhat out-of-place here, and finally Mark Jenkin's tribute to Wagner and Bach entitled "Wagnertron". This last is a kind of Emersonian romp through the Tannh?ser Overture and Beethoven's Ninth, which is miscredited. Many of these tracks seem to serve as calling cards from the various performers, perhaps seeking to gain wider recognition. While there is some engaging material here, the overall homogeneity makes it difficult to get too excited about any one track over the others. Much of it reminds me of later Jean-Michel Jarre circa Rendez-vous, with a capacity to stimulate, but not much of a lasting effect. - Sean McFee

Various Artists "E-Progeny" Luna Negra CDLN-10 Here's one for all you progheads out there, a compilation compiled by E-Prog, a mailing list devoted to keyboard oriented progrssive music. Whilst a majority of these artists seem content to play it safe, style-wise there's no doubting the musicianship that every track exhibits with guitars, piano and fluid analog synthlines all playing their part, and an extra bonus point is that if you don't like one part of a track it doesn't matter because it will change shortly afterwards. Indeed, nearly every track on this compilation has something to recommend it, and parts that are less successful (although all this is strictly objective, of course!). Certain artists stray from the tried and tested proggy formulas, most noticeably Dan J. Schulte from America whose "Sacrifice" opens the album with a nearly totally electronic offering that is bombastic rhythmicaly with ample synth and sequencers backing. One strange track comes from the Finnish act Ozone Layer with their track "Also Starring Zarathustra". The notes say they're aiming towards a style combining prog and ambient techno, which sounds interesting, but as the track progresses, it's clear that the two are not being mixed but each is given its head aternately. Ambient techno opens the track before a more pastoral middle and then an OTT symphonic ending, not that this is a criticism of the artist as his style does stand out greatly. From here on each track more or less fills the same criteria until we get to track ten, "Wagnertron" by that well know prog keyboardist Mark Jenkins (he gets everywhere!). Although wholly keyboard based his offering fits in well with the other tracks, being particularly symphonic and spritely, even going so far as to feature a rendition of J.S. Bach's "Ode To Joy", although the style employed sounds uncomfortably akin to "I Do Like to be Beside The Seaside"! Still he's getting himself noticed, that can't be denied! As far as ordering goes, you'll need to go to their website, so try; www.e-prog.net Postal address; Luna Negra. S.c. Apardado 27, San Juan Del Rio, Qro, Mexico 76800.  by Carl Jenkinson

E-PROGENY "Same" E-prog is an Internet mailing list dedicated to prog, especially keyboard-oriented prog. A few months ago, they decided to publish a compilation of unreleased songs featuring the members of this forum. Here it is. Published by the Mexican label, Luna Negra, it's a collection of purely instrumental music (except one) of musicians from the whole planet (or almost): Mexico, Finland, UK, the Netherlands, USA... Dan J. Schulte's 'Sacrifice' is pure cosmic music close to Schulze's. Well, well... Bjorn Lynne's contribution ('Awakenings') is nice: a more contrasted track featuring guitars. A great moment by this now famous prog artist. Ozone Player's track ('Also Starring Zarathustra') is more electronic than cosmic. Very dynamic but not outstanding. Alfonso Vidales of Cast fame (Mexico) plays a music very close to Cast precisely, with classical influences ('En Espera Del Tiempo'). Great job! Count Zero 'Cold Coffee' uses drum programming and plays with a bassist. His music has an ELP touch then. Edo Spaninga is Flamborough Head's keyboards magician (see AD#25). His track ("cathedral Green') is a romantic gem, a true jewel of contrasted progressive rock with mellotron, acoustic guitars... Vortex is a trio. Although they first worked in a Jethro Tull tribute band, their track, 'Chase', shows no influences of the British combo. It's just an ordinary pop song. The following track is excellent. Luke d'Arceno's 'Day Off' will please to all contrasted prog lovers. What is Facade and its 'Dancing with Skeletons' doing here? Prog metal with vocals... And not a very inspired one. Ram's 'Fantasia No.1' is a nice composition, not gorgeous but nice by its violin sounds. Mark Jenkins ('Wagnertron') comes finally; his music is ELP-like (even by the classical quotes) despite automatic rhythms. He already published 8 CD's of ambient and space music. Generally speaking, this compilation will please to Emerson, Wakeman, Schulze, Banks (...) addicts. Prog metal aficionados, go away! (RR)

The general philosophy used to produce this CD looks suspect, even largely thin. Progressive with a keyboard orientation? What is that discovery? Who got that derisory idea? The progressive finds all its strength in the collaboration/challenge between keyboards and guitars, sometimes reinforced by bringing in others instruments like violin, flute ... Trying to reduce this matter to keyboards, it is like cutting it, neglecting a whole side of it. Moreover, on this CD, the "Tony Banks" syndrome hits again. When an Alfonso Vidales (Cast) or Edo Spanninga (Flamborough Head) performs out of their respective group, it looks like something is missing, that the plenitude is not for them. May be only Bjorn Lynne seems to escape from the reef but he is used to perform alone. But for the others, we either navigate in the troubled water of the electronic music (Dan J. Shulte) or in the tomfoolery "postemersionniene??" (Mark Jenkins). In another context, some tracks would have some interest, but compiled like that in a project without spinal column, it doesn't promote enthusiasm. And we are not sure that that kind of project will promote the cause of progressive music.  by Phillip Gnana

KURZ & B?DIG "e-progeny" nennt sich der Labelsampler von Luna Negra Records in San Juan del Rio, Mexico. Das Label ist auf Progressive Rock verschiedenen Ausdrucks spezielisiert. Dieses Sampler gibt einigen Keyboardgr?sen des Genres eine B?ne. Unter anderem geben reine Tastenst?ke zu h?en: Bjorn Lynne (Norwegen), Dan J. Schulte (USA), Alfonso Vidales (Mexico) und viele andere. Zwischen hefting rhythmischen Samples fliegen sph?ische T?e, flirren elektronische Splitter, schweben Melodien von Tasten getrieben durch die Geh?g?ge. Der Sampler gibt einen interessanten ?erblick ?er die heutige elektronische und Keyboard -(Rock)-Szene.

VARIOS ARTISTAS E-Progeny Luna Negra, 1999, 73:45
Muy interesante proyecto del sello Luna Negra, que incluye temas de diversos tecladistas del mundo progresivo.  E-Progeny es una buena idea del sello mexicano Luna Negra, y se trata de "un tributo a los teclados orientados al rock progresivo" en palabras propias del Sr. Par Lindh, tal como lo cuenta el libro interno del disco.  Son once temas de tecladistas progresivos renombrados y talentosos, realizando versiones no grabadas anteriormente, algunos utilizando solo teclados y otros con bandas o instrumentos de apoyo.  Se destacan dentro de un nivel alto los trabajos del noruego residente en inglaterra Bjorn Lynne titulado "Awakenings", de tono ?ico, con grandes l?eas de teclados orquestales. Alfonso VIdales (de Cast) con "En Espera del Tiempo" de influencias cl?icas (barrocas); Edo Spanninga (de Flamborough Head) con su progresivo "Cathedral Green", el estilo moderno del holand? Luke D'Araceno con "Day Off" o el ingl? Mark Jenkins con su trbuto cl?ico "Wagnertron" con una original improvisaci? sobre el "Himno a la Alegr?" muy lograda.  Acompa? el librillo interior, una minibiograf? de cada int?prete, con datos de sus grupos o trabajos anteriores, as?como tambi? datos para un contacto directo.  En definitiva, un disco con un seleccionado de tecladistas, brind?donos cada uno dentro de su estilo, en el marco del progresivo (en sus muchas facetas), una muy original y buena expresi? de lo m? granado del estilo hoy en d?, Muy disfrutable.  Gustavo Bolasni, Mellotron. Argentina

V.A. - E-PROGENY (1999, 73:45, Luna Negra) We mentioned this disc already in last issue's news-section. Who can't remember: e-prog is an Internet-mailinglist dedicated to keyboard- oriented prog. The compilation disc "e-Progeny" features contributions by list-members. We finally managed to get hold of a copy of the CD (which seems to be limited) and here's a short impression from all contributions. Worth mentioning is, that most tracks range between 6 and 9 minutes. First up is Dan J. Schulte with a typical piece of electronic music with repetitive patterns. Nice starter. Bj?n Lynne of course is a rather well known name. His "Awakenings" is a great orchestral piece of work with a somewhat sinister tone in it. Ozone Player is the one-man project of Finnish Otso Pakarinen. His "Also starring Zarathustra" is a dark and complex piece with interesting rhythm changes. With Alfonso Vidales (Cast) another wellknown name follows. A piece more joyful compared to its predecessor, and typical for Alfonso's work. Count Zero is a Belgian duo/project, which delivers a great piece of work that starts off beautiful and dreamy, turns into jazzy work and features some strange changes in tempo. Interesting! Edo Spanninga may be known to some as the keyboarder of Dutch neoproggers Flamborough Head. His solo-piece sounds inspired by Tony Banks, but with a slightly chaotic (and thus not Banks-like) ending. US-trio Vortex contributes the shortest piece (3:19). Nice untypical e.m. with some good ideas. Luke D'Araceno is another Dutchman, who now plays in progmetal band DaManual. I've heard some of his solo-work before, his "Day off" is very classical with an ELP flavor, but also contains other almost soundtrack-like elements. US group Fa?de contributes the most unusual track, which almost sounds like progmetal. RAM is the keyboarder and central member of NY-progmetal band Heavy Reign. His solo-piece is pretty upbeat and joyful electronic music. Finally, British electronic musician Mark Jenkins also contributed a piece, called "Wagnertron". As it happens, this is the piece I like least on the CD. Still it has some great moments as well, like the ELP-like fanfares, its Mediterranean flair and some great organplay, but it also features some of the most dreadful drums I've ever heard played over Beethoven's (beats me why the piece was named after Wagner) 9th Symphony. Summarizing: a great initiative with some good music. Fodder for keyboard freaks. ***+ (Carsten) http://www.e-prog.net Luna Negra S.C., Apartado Postal 27, San Juan Del Rio, Quertato CP 76800, M?ico

E-prog is a mailing list dedicated to progressive and symphonic rock that uses keyboards as the main instrument. The album "e-Progeny", released by Luna Negra, is made by members of this mailing list exclusively for this compilation. The style is keyboard-oriented prog. Here are some known artists involved, like Alfonso Vidales from Cast and Bjorn Lynne. There's even one Finnish contributor: behind Ozone Player is Otso Pakarinen, who was also on the Mellow Records ELP tribute. Most of the tracks are computer-assisted, rather synthetic-sounding pieces - so there's plenty to listen for anyone liking this style of music."