Wednesday, April 28, 2010

two more masterpieces...

Steven Feigenbaum and Tom Scott - Things are more like they are now than they ever were before 1980
Akropolis - Half a million hours symphony 1979

Two more stunning unknown works of classical prog. By classical, I'm not referring to classical music but instead to the classic british style as perfected by Genesis, or for ex. Jethro Tull's Passion Play, symphonic rock full of chord and tempo changes, good songwriting, utterly fascinating switches in style from one minute to the next. Akropolis is sung in English but is Danish, gorgeous hooks and melodies make this very accessible to even the average music fan.

Feigenbaum and Scott is a little more challenging but it's really worth the effort to understand. Basically we get intelligent composition at its best, with various mixtures of acoustic guitar and chamber instruments, flutes, clarinets, some electric guitar, in a style that could be described as similar to canterbury-zappa except it's very different. A slow opening ("And night into day") leads to a surprising a cappella passage like gentle giant ("the earbenders") then an experimental piano piece with some gorgeous hopper-style sustained fuzz bass and guitarwork. It ends with a handful of flutes playing a superb chamber piece a la egg (why isn't this stuff played in the local symphony hall????), then comes some canterbury style singing ("cirrus mist") with electric piano. "Sunday drive" is a bizarre throwaway jazzy beat sax song. In "morning thrash" we get a crazy soprano sax soloing on top of acoustic guitar. Like the other progressive masterpieces, you can listen a hundred times and every time find something new you hadn't noticed before.

Title track is very zappaesque in instrumentation but I dare say more composed than average zappa, less jumpy. Continues on into the oddly titled "egress gnome odd" which is perfection in chamber rock, mixing bassoons, clarinets, flute, in a really interesting little cantata, then "guitar orchestra" with an acoustic guitar duet in the default key of E weaves some really unusual harmonies and dissonances together.

The stunner of the album is the closer, "One's day." Starts with a screeching sax, then henry cow-like blasts of electric guitar, moves on to flutes and reeds on quick strummed acoustic chords, then suddenly stops dead and a beautiful flock of woodwinds plays a gentle melody over an acoustic guitar's A minor chords to close out the work.
And, again, to think that this was put out in 1980!!!

A1 And Night Into Day 3:00
A2 The Earbenders 6:43
A3 Cirrus Mist 2:18
A4 A Sunday Drive 2:33
A5 Mountain Thrash 4:43
B1 Things Are More Like They Are Now Than They Ever Were Before 2:25
B2 Egress Gnome Odd 6:52
B3 Guitar Orchestra 2:40
B4 One's Day 8?

I have trouble finding info on the artists and their work. Any contribution is welcome. Again, a lost treasure of musical composition.

Akropolis - Side A...
Feigenbaum and Scott...

31 comments:

Tristan Stefan said...

http://flameupload.com/files/E7VXXBK6/Feigenbaum___Scott.rar

http://flameupload.com/files/0D60ZRPA/Akropolis_-_Half_a_Million_Hours_Symphony_79.rar

Anonymous said...

AMAZING !!!!

DanP said...

As for information on the artists...I actually know Steve Fiegenbaum, a little. He and I both live in the Washington DC area, and his wonderful project for many years has been the record label he founded and runs, called Cuneiform Records, which includes artists from The Muffins to Univers Zero in its catalogue.

http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/

mlivshin said...

Tom Scott is a member of The Muffins, I believe.

ushaped said...

the muffins were america's henry cow, all their albums are fantastic!

Tristan Stefan said...

wow I feel like an idiot-- the founder of cuneiform and one of the members of the muffins, no wonder the record is so amazing!! I wonder why he didn't release it to his label, with all the other muffins stuff then?

Misongod said...

Amazing posts, Tristan.
So greatful...and happy!
Dom

Anonymous said...

he did; but then it was called random radar records...

http://www.united-mutations.com/recordlabel/random_radar_records.htm

Tristan Stefan said...

thanks anon, I'm talking about a cd on cuneiform obviously

Anonymous said...

Hi
Congratulations really !
AKROPOLIS is splendid !
I am waiting for a piece like this since a long time ! And it' s there !
Still 3 pieces like this and I will be able to do a great compilation !
Music isn' t mathematics !The goal is beauty and not difficultie !
Thank you very much !!!!!

sosgotcha

Dairos777azz said...

The Acropolis work, apart the bad front cover, offered very good progressive music mixed with jazz rock wefts. Particularly great and adventurous are the voice and the singing parts, sometimes theatral, especially in the first track, where they remind me of the great US band Mirthrandir.

Burning thanks

Dairos777azz said...

Hi Tristan, my personal infos on Feigenbaum And Scott, translated in english for you and the blog. A nice album but i don't go mad for this type of avantgarde.

Duo composed by ex-The Muffins Steven Feigenbaum (guitars, multi-instrumentist) and Tom Scott (winds, keyboards, multi-instrumentist), and originated in Silver Spring, Maryland. Like a duo, they recorded only this album, self-produced in 1980 on the private label Random Radar, owned by Feigenbaum. It contains a mix of avantgarde, canterburian jazz, space sonority and elements of sinfonic rock. They were connected also with Chainsaw Jazz and Mars Everywhere.

DISCOGRAPHY
LP - Things Are More Like Now Then They Are Now Than They Ever Were Before (Random Radar 1980)

Steven Feigenbaum (voice, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, Glissando guitar, wind guitar, piano, synthesizer, bass); Tom Scott (piano, organ, wind guitar, sax alto, sax baritone, sax soprano, clarinet, flute, piccolo flute, bassoon, electronics, tape loops, environmental sounds, conch shell, voice (on 3)).
Guests: Colleen Scott (voice, percussion), Liz Enagonio (french horn), Paul Sears (drums (on 2)), Barney Jones (effects), The Guitar Orchestra (Greg Yaskovich , Pepe Abbondanza , Peter Hoepfner).

A1 And Night Into Day
A2 The Earbenders
A3 Cirrus Mist
A4 A Sunday Drive
A5 Mountain Thrash

B1 Things Are More Like They Are Now Than They Ever Were Before
B2 Egress Gnome Odd
B3 Guitar Orchestra
B4 One's Day

Dairos777azz said...

The only infos on Akropolis i've found on the net:

Circle Recording CLP-4206 1979

Formed by Jim Templeton (Grand piano, keyboards & composer). In 1980 he created the Cosmic Dust Fusion Band.

Tristan Stefan said...

yeah the cover of the akropolis album is hilarious, is it the record company forcing them to do this, maybe to trick people into thinking it's pop rock?

Dairos777azz said...

Yes is possible what you are saying. The background is elegant (Roxy Music suggestion). But two members of the band are clearly in an erotic pose. They are not females, though. At least Fireballet's second was funny.

But in general this cover is not a true problem. Probably will change for the CD version and would be a very nice thing.

There are very terrible examples in rock history if you look at german Brainstorm or the first April Wine. No one can't think at pop realms looking these.

Anonymous said...

I knew Steve Feigenbaum was a very gifted music producer, I didn't know he was involved in such interesting music work as a musician!

Thanks for your posts,

Armute

Anonymous said...

Akropolis is amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

No links. Flameupload don't work. Please

isabelbc said...

Feigenbaum > http://www.megaupload.com/?d=G2HDY6PI
Akropolis > http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WIPEMAOI

Filip said...

Is it possible to reup this? Please

isabelbc said...

new links
Feigenbaum > http://netkups.com/?d=b42d8c51dcf80
Akropolis > http://netkups.com/?d=44b5986bfcf18

Anonymous said...

I last re-up if able.. Super please. <3

isabelbc said...

Feigenbaum > http://depositfiles.com/files/wwv5xwk5t
Akropolis > http://depositfiles.com/files/yigmji42e

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the up. These are gems. Just wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Can you update the link? PLEEEASE

Sergey said...

please re-up this gem

Sergey said...

please re-up this gem

Unknown said...

Re Up Please..!!!!!

Norm said...

Akropolis http://musicmp3spb.org/artist/akropolis_1.html

Still looking for the other one

Norm said...

Some Feigenbaum and Scott, may not be all of it, but some

https://archive.org/details/FeigenbaumAndScott
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPRrsbDL-SQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcFsdqWUfOw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfLdZXUgFY0

Norm said...

I do believe the one "archive" link I just listed is the whole thing.

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