CHEVALIEN – Moonglasses EP

According to French performer Chevalien, he sees no black or white, just a world of grey. A similar vagueness could be applied when attempting to categorise his music, as this EP brings together elements of heavy electronica, rap and rock-ish flourishes creating something that is hard to define, beyond slating it as an intense noise.

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Deluxe edition of Tangerine Dream ‘Live At Coventry Cathedral’ available for pre-order

Tony Palmer’s legendary film of Tangerine Dream’s 1975 UK visit has a troubled history.  What should have been a fantastic document of a unique event ended up being a bit of a botch under the watchful eye of Richard Branson, when an executive decision was made to pair the visuals with (then) previously unreleased music, regardless of what was played at the show itself.

A new ‘Director’s Cut’ DVD finally married the images to the correct soundtrack, but a super-deluxe box set for 2019 goes a step further.

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JET BLACK SEA – The Overview Effect

The work of producer/multi-instrumentalist Michel Simons and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Jones, Jet Black Sea was originally conceived as a side project to Jones’s prog rock band Nine Stones Close. A vehicle for experimentation, their debut release ‘The Path of Least Existence’ mixed elements of prog rock, ambient music, electronica and post rock with fantastic results. A follow-up ‘Absorption Lines’ was almost five years in the making. Absorbing more mellow prog rock sounds than before – presumably since Nine Stones Close had, by that time, veered towards a more prog metal sound on their 2016 LP ‘Leaves’ – the album was well received among online prog fans.

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DARTO – Fundamental Slime EP

Formed in Seattle in 2010, experimental electronic act Darto have spent years carving themselves a niche in the musical underground. Their music, while always interesting, isn’t always completely accessible; that said, somewhere within its darkness – for those able to invest the time – haunting songs eventually emerge. Don’t expect big hooks, though, since Darto are all about the overall mood. On their 2018 EP ‘Fundamental Slime’ (recorded by the legendary Steve Fisk), the songs take many cues from the darker and artier side of the late 70s – a period after Roxy Music had all but abandoned art for pop sheen and Ultravox were not the worldwide hit makers known to millions, but a Roxy/Eno obsessed synth band.

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Listen: Smoke Season release cover of Don Henley’s classic ‘The Boys of Summer’

Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’ is one of the most enduring songs of the 80s.  There’s something in the narrative that seems to resonate with so many people.  Maybe it’s the thoughts of summers past; maybe it conjures memories of lost friendships.  Whatever it is, so many people love it and over the years it’s been covered in a variety of styles.

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