Dweller at the Threshold - Generation Transmission Illumination. 1998 USA

Dweller at the Threshold - Generation Transmission Illumination. 1998 Eurock (CD)

Intriguing album from Dweller at the Threshold who, despite possessing a full 3 piece unit and two guests, sound somewhat like a one man electronic album. In particular, I hear strong hints of Edgar Froese, and the album comes across like a cross between Ages and Pinnacles minus the psychedelic guitar (unfortunately). A band can do worse than that. A fine album for the style, though those looking for more active sequencing will need to move on to the next album in the stack. This is for EM fans who enjoy moody melody lines, and atmospheric sequences.

Aardvark - Tuntematon Sotila. 2006 Finland

Aardvark - Tuntematon Sotila. 2006 Mellow (Italy CD)

Finnish band Aardvark are the true modern group, since they all were living/working in various parts of the globe, and yet managed to record a cohesive band effort through the magic of the Internet (and once again, raise a glass high to The Rascal Reporters, who pioneered this idea in the cassette tape / snail mail era). Aardvark were originally presented to me as an amalgam of all things 70s Finnish rock, calling out Kaamos, Nova, and Nimbus as reference. And since I'm an obscure band kinda guy, I was already enthused. Now, to be honest, I was hoping only one of these references would truly check out. Kaamos were pretty middle of the road, and Nova (of Atlantis fame) could be quite boring in reality. But Nimbus - ah yes, now we're talking! Organ rock! Nothing fancy, just good ole' hard rock with plenty of juicy thick organ and loud lead guitar. And doggone if Aardvark didn't do just that, and zoom in on the ghost of Nimbus. Or Sweden's Rag I Ryggen (sure, we'll throw in Blakulla since I'm in name-drop city here). Not sure if this is a one time event, as the group doesn't seem to have any active online presence*, but let's hope they get the itch to send megabytes to each other again. 

* I first wrote these notes in 2007, and it appears this was in fact a one time event. The band also recorded one track for the Kalevala epic compilation CD (2004). 

Planeta Imaginario - ¿Qué Me Dices? 2004 Spain

Planeta Imaginario - ¿Qué Me Dices? 2004 Margen (CD)

Out of nowhere in 2004, arrived Planeta Imaginario, a band who seemed to not be aware of the last 25 years of music before entering the studio. Lucky us. Sounding every bit like a second generation Canterbury band from the late 1970s, Planeta Imaginario absorbed and filtered the best parts out of Soft Machine and Nucleus. The 8 piece band - including 2 sax players, trumpet, trombone, Hammond Organ, Rhodes electric piano and the usual rock band plus guests on flute and percussion - created a most beautiful album from a most beautiful form of melodic jazz rock (Canterbury). And the amplified guitar recalls the greats from the 70s past. I also love the horn charts, well composed and played. It's hard not to think of National Health while listening to this fine debut. Spain had no Canterbury tradition prior to this album, and Planeta Imaginario more or less imported it for the first time (and followed also later by the great Amoeba Split). A superb album, that still sadly appears to be off everyone's radar. Let's see if we can get it a bit of recognition anyway. The band later signed to the prominent Cuneiform label where presumably more fans migrated their way. Their two albums (so far) for the imprint are awesome as well, but don't overlook the debut either.

The Word of Life - Dust. 1995 Sweden

The Word of Life return with their sophomore, and ultimately last effort, Dust which is somewhat different from the predecessor. There'...