Monday, June 30, 2008

Prog Mix CD: the green light

“the green light” is a mix disc of dark, modern Scandinavian Prog, heralding from Sweden and Norway specifically. It is totally appropriate to serve as my first Prog mix disc posted at R8CM. Last fall and winter I lived, ate, and breathed this stuff on long nocturnal walks, and while I sat at night on my lawn chair recliner on the back deck, with the snow and magic all around me. The ancient trees of my back yard swayed as if the haunted chords of the mellotrons themselves were blowing through the massive boughs. This is Prog of a different kind. It is very dark, like long winter nights, with melodies and musical accents dancing in air like the Aurora Borealis. The ghost of Crimson can be found here, as well the space time continuum of Floyd, and a secret, darker take on old mellotronic Genesis. But the heart that beats on “the green light” is very Nordic, and is much older than the Prog Gods who influenced these mysterious, young musicians. To me, this music is pure genius, and pure melancholy bliss. Listen to this late at night, in the dark, and with the winter in your heart.

Here is the track listing, with the band name linked to a web page where you can learn more about 'em, and possibly hear some more songs. The download links are after the track list.


1. Paatos – Tea 5:50 – “Timeloss” <2002> (Sweden)
2. White Willow – Snowfall 6:31 – “Ignis Fatuus” <1995> (Norway)
3. Anekdoten – Longing 4:56 – “Vemod” <1993> (Sweden)
4. Opeth – Hours Of Wealth 5:20 – “Ghost Reveries” <2005> (Sweden)
5. Anekdoten – A Sky About To Rain 6:30 – “A Time Of Day” <2007> (Sweden)
6. Anekdoten – Every Step I Take 3:06 – “A Time Of Day” <2007> (Sweden)
7. Kvazar – Dream 9:49 – “Kvazar” <1999> (Norway)
8. Sinkadus - Ulv I Fårakläder 9:56 – “Cirkus” <1999> (Sweden)
9. Wobbler – Clair Obscur 15:34 – “Hinterland” <2005> (Norway)
10. Anglagard – Skogsranden 10:49 – “Epilog” <1994> (Sweden)

Download Part One

Download Part Two

The disc starts off with “Tea” by Paatos, a haunted, subtly propulsive number chilled by lead singer Petronella Nettermalm’s evocative vocals, along with sharp and jazzy drumming, and a blanketing wall of sad mellotrons. “Snowfall” by White Willow takes you to the northern climes of Norway, with antiquated folk melodies, and proggy synth and flute accents. The snow is not in your head. Anekdoten then further ices the landscape with the frightenly sad acoustic warmth of “Longing,” where tears and cello melt the bleakest of hearts. “Hours Of Wealth,” with its bluesy chill and regal keys, show just how perfectly Opeth fits in with these cool Nordic Prog cats. Anekdoten shows up again like a bookend, this time with vocals, and their perfect blend of cosmos, heavier riffs, melancholy, fat bass, and acres of mellotron. “A Sky About To Rain” slides right into its instrumental coda, “Every Step I Take.” The synth at 4:29 of “Sky” is to die for!

The second half of the disc starts to veer to slightly more traditional proggy landscapes, with Kvazar providing the all important bridge. “Dream,” is another night sky canvas, unfolding like a moonflower at dusk. Sinkadus and “Ulv I Fårakläder” takes us deep into the dark forest, where we can smell the moist, mulchy earth, and hear the wind howl through the upper limbs, inciting an incantation of dark Swedish fear. “Clair Obscur” by Wobbler, starts of somber with its stoney keys, bittersweet melody, and ghostly piano. It then evolves into a full Prog workout, a stew and slew of themes and sad bits, all bubbling to the top. “the green light” is then extinguished by the “Fathers” of the dark modern Scandinavian Prog scene, Anglagard, who’s precise and emotive musicianship seals the deal on any return of day, light, and the scent of spring. The nocturnal forest is victorious in its forlorn seclusion, and the listener can only hope that its inner “green light” burns as bright the next time you play the disc!

I post this disc for two reasons: 1) to share the listening experience 2) to expose you to these bands, and their music, which is far, far, far from the mainstream. SUPPORT THE BANDS! BUY THEIR MUSIC! Follow the links to their web sites! They deserve your attention! Here’s a link to the great online "Synphonic" Prog store where you can buy their music!


Give Me 8 Cents,

P.S. The cover photo was taken by me with my 8 cent phone cam!

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