New Review and News

Thanks to Amplified magazine for the review:

SHECKLEY
SUNBURST
INDEPENDENT
Sheckley are basically a duo, created by Phil Jackson (keyboards, percussion, also in Paradox One) and Richard Gorman (guitar, vocals, percussion), although they are joined by Thierry Sportouche (Silver Hunter) on one song where he provides keyboards and vocals. This is music with a great deal of space within it, and a rawness that one rarely finds within progressive rock. At times I am reminded of Gong, at others Robert Wyatt, while Hawkwind have also been an influence. It also has a lot in common with the more ambient workings of Brian Eno, but never falling into the trap of New Age. This isn’t always easy music to listen to, with songs such as “Solar Flares” channeling a RIO feel to proceedings with repetitive and contradictory musical themes, with drums that make an appearance here and there almost as an afterthought, but having an important part to play. By the time I had finished playing it the first time I couldn’t actually say that I enjoyed the album, possibly more “endured”, but there was something about it that did make me go through it again. There really is something quite compelling about this, even though it is hard to put it into words. With this one it really is a case of listening to it and everyone making their own decision. Available as a cut-price CD, it is also possible to stream through Bandcamp where you can hear the songs.

ALSO SOME NEWS:
Richard and I have made some progress with the ‘Liveships’ project- haven’t decided on a title yet. It should be released around Easter time. This will be the second Sheckley release. Any reviewers interested in a copy please e-mail phil@paradoxone.co.uk

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Paradox One Festive 15

FESTIVE 15

I can’t remember a year that has ever been so quiet for reviewing. Rising postal costs seem to have been a factor in that not many CDs come through the letter box these days. Some of my regular sources seem to have forgotten about me or have become exceedingly irregular. What record labels need to understand is that downloads are all very well but I do not get paid for reviewing, it is very time consuming, a labour of love yes, but all done in my own time amidst a never ending sequencing of competing demands. Indeed I have now taken the decision not to review files. I like to see the physical product in front of me. I don’t want to have to shift back and forth on the computer, print off sleeves etc. I don’t think that is too much to ask. My own music always goes out to review in physical CDs at personal cost. This year I decided to restrict my festive recommendations to music send to me for review rather than music I have purchased myself. So it is with regret that I now publish not a festive 50 or 40 but a festive 15. The way things are going it could be that this is the last festive list after- how many years is it, Stuart? (* – see bottom of page for the oldest one I have – SAH) Anyway, here goes:

REISSUES:

BILL NELSON: CHANCE ENCOUNTERS IN THE GARDEN OF LIGHT (Esoteric)

NIRVANA: LOCAL ANAESTHETIC (Esoteric)

FUCHSIA: FUCHSIA (Fruits de Mer LP)- also ‘SONG’ (2 x 7”) (Fruits de Mer)

PATTO: MONKEY’S BUM (Esoteric)

CLEAR BLUE SKY: CLEAR BLUE SKY (Esoteric)

NEW MUSIC:

MACHINE MASS PLAYS HENDRIX (Moon June)

SHAMBLEMATHS (Self released)

THINKING PLAGUE: HOPING AGAINST HOPE (Cuneiform)

MAGIC BUS: REAWAKEN YOUR THIRD EAR WITH PHILLIP THE EGG (Self released)

SIDDHARTHA: TRIP TO INNERSELF (Trail)

CHEER ACCIDENT: PUTTING OFF DEATH (Cuneiform)

MINAMI DEUTSCH: MINAMI DEUTSCH (Sulatron)

ELECTRIC MOON: STARDUST RITUALS (Sulatron)

OLD/ NEW

SIDEWALK SOCIETY: STRANGE ROADS: THE SONGS OF ROLLED GOLD (Fruits de Mer LP)

 

*

THE FESTIVE 40 – The Best Of 2007!

In no particular order and omitting ones I haven’t heard yet but have heard good things about like Robert Wyatt’s ‘Comicopera’ and Ben Weaver’s ‘Paper Sky’. Come to think of it I haven’t heard The Flower Kings latest opus yet either!

ANEKDOTEN “A Time of Day” (Possibly their best to date).
GWYN ASHTON “Prohibition” (Some great blues rock)
BIG SLEEP “Bluebell Wood” (originally released in 1971 but new to me!)
BOB BROZMAN “Post Industrial Blues” (Amazing guitar sounds!)
CARPTREE “Insekt” (Continue to develop as one of the top prog rock bands)
ROGER CHAPMAN “One More Time for Peace” (A return to form)
CLEAR BLUE SKY “Gateway to the Seventh Dimension” (Nice package!)
D’ARCANA “Premonitions” (double CD) (Amazing presentation, amazing music!
RAY DAVIES “Working Man’s Café” (Amazingly a give away with a Sunday newspaper! His Electric Proms concert wasn’t half good either!)
DR WILL “Itching Again” (Thanks to Tim and Terri for introducing me- sorry I didn’t get around to reviewing it. One of the best albums of 2007 to me invoking the spirit of Beefheart, Waits, Mississippi John Hurt and most of all Dr Will’s unique take on life and music!)
DUTY FREE AREA “Kaleidoscope” double CD (Two albums with live bonus- bafflingly good progressive rock! (Talking of Kaleidoscope, their –the psych band that is- vinyl reissue of ‘Beacons from Mars’ is a highlight)
EGG “The Civil Surface” Another of my all time favourite bands resurfaces on Esoteric Recordings
FAR CORNER “Endangered” (Challenging but also heartwarming).
SUE FOLEY, DEBORAH COLEMAN, ROXANNE POTVIN “Time Bomb” Three of Ruf’s finest blues ladies together!
FROMUZ “Audio Diplomacy” (CD/DVD) (Stunning concert from brilliant Uzbekistan group)
HAMFATTER “What Part of Hamfatter Do You Not Understand?” (A hit single at last!)
HUGH HOPPER “Hopper Tunity Box” (Another oldie but goodie!)
JUST JACK “Overtones” (Not my usual thing but cleverly done and nicely satirical take on modern life)
PETER LACEY “Permanent Waves” (Brian Wilson fans know where to go!)
MAGIC PIE “Circus of Life” (Becoming a top prog rock band)
MAN “Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?” +3 (originally released in 1971)
MAN “Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth” (double CD) (another oldie brought back to live with bonus)
ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE “The Black Tomato” (Their best yet)
PALADIN “Paladin” (Another oldie that was new to me)
RARE BIRD “As Your Mind Flies By” (Esoteric reissue) (An oldie, more familiar to me but as Rare Bird is one of my all time favourite bands I couldn’t resist!)
REVEREND AND THE MAKERS “The State of Things” (Satirical take on modern life, saw them on Jools Holland)
ROOT DECO “Rain, Steam, Speed” (Timely reminder of what a good band they are)
SHAY TAL “Tambourina” (Something a bit different!)
THE SHINS “Wincing The Night Away” (not sure this is an improvement on previous impressive releases but the best bits are among their finest)
SIGUR ROS “Hvart/ Heim” (double CD) (Soundscapes that would only fail to move a statue!)
SILVER LINING “The Inner Dragon” (By way of a belated apology to Thierry Sportouche- have been promising to review his band’s melodic prog concept opus for two years. Its moment will come!)
JOHN SLADE BAND “Broken Finger” (Zappa fans will drool. Clever stuff!)
SPACE DEBRIS “Three”/ “Live at Burg Herzberg Festival” (OK, the latter is a DVD but as always a great nostalgia trip!)
SPACE RITUAL “Otherworld” The spirit of Hawkwind returns!
UNDERGROUND BALLROOM “Contradictions” Their ‘Drawing The Line’ has remained on my MP3 player for most of the year.
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR “Transmissions” A live performance of the entire ‘Godbluff’ album and the whole of A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers live as a bonus- bliss!
VARIOUS ARTISTS “As Good As It Gets: The Best of British Jazz 1951-1957” (I discovered a new name- Cy Laurie!) (Also superb linked releases featuring the talents of Humphrey Lyttleton, Chris Barber and Ken Colyer)
VARIOUS ARTISTS “Stone Island Records” (Welcome to a new label featuring old friends Census of Hallucinations, Clear Blue Sky and new acts)
WILCO “Sky Blue Sky” (double CD) (The album I always knew they were capable of!)
STEVE WILSON “Sideshows and Fairytales” Some great songs on there.

Sheckley review by Kev Rowland

Sheckley review by Kev Rowland :

Sheckley are basically a duo, created by Phil Jackson (keyboards, percussion, also in Paradox One) and Richard Gorman (guitar, vocals, percussion), although they are joined by Thierry Sportouche (Silver Hunter) on one song where he provides keyboards and vocals. This is music with a great deal of space within it, and a rawness that one rarely finds within progressive rock. At times I am reminded of Gong, at others Robert Wyatt, while Hawkwind have also been an influence. It also has a lot in common with the more ambient workings of Brian Eno, but never falling into the trap of New Age.

This isn’t always easy music to listen to, with songs such as “Solar Flares” channeling a RIO feel to proceedings with repetitive and contradictory musical themes, with drums that make an appearance here and there almost as an afterthought, but having an important part to play. By the time I had finished playing it the first time I couldn’t actually say that I enjoyed the album, possibly more “endured”, but there was something about it that did make me go through it again. There really is something quite compelling about this, even though it is hard to put it into words. With this one it really is a case of listening to it and everyone making their own decision. Available as a cut-price CD, it is also possible to stream through Bandcamp where you can hear the songs. https://paradoxone.bandcamp.com/album/sunburst-full-album-by-sheckley

Paradox One retrospective – Aural Innovations review

Jerry Kranitz at Aural Innovations has reviewed the new reworked retrospective.  He says;

“All of this music is new to me but it’s very much in the spirit of Reality Quake and Dimension Of Miracle and once again there’s lots of interesting variety and thematic development. We’ve got high intensity rumbling Space Rock, fun freaky alien Psychedelic loop and effects bits, darkly melodic Progressive Rock with wailing fuzz keys, floating yet rhythmic space electronica, a funky grooving soulful jam, 70’s styled Prog and Jazz infused Hard Rock, a cool spacey Jazz-Psych jam, a hip shakin’ Space-Rave, and more. Fun stuff!”

Read the full review here.

Paradox One artwork

Paradox One – This Fragile Peace – review

Paradox One – This Fragile Peace

PROGRESSIVE ASPECT WEBSITE

Article by: Roger Trenwith

Starting out as long ago as the start of the century, Paradox One was initially a solo project by Scottish keyboard player and spacerocker Phil Jackson, who over the intervening years became friends with Tim Jones of Census Of Hallucinations fame – find my reviews of four of that band’s albums HERE. To cut a long story short, the idea was floated of reimagining the project from the bottom up, that is from the grooves created by the CoH rhythm section of Tim Jones melodic bass in tandem with Paddi’s drums.

Central to this spacious cosmic trip is the recognisable soaring guitar style of John Simms, now firmly in the CoH camp, but once known to those of us long enough in the tooth as the teenage prodigy behind the marvellous Vertigo “spiral” band Clear Blue Sky. Also adding a top line is Maxine Marten with her soulful voice. The whole is a wonderful amalgam of semi-improvised music that works very well, imbued with trademark CoH psychedelics, and mixed and mastered with his usual ear for clarity by Tim Jones.

Like a gently rising sun, Wheat In The Fields slowly spreads its warmth amid gentle strummed chording and Maxine Marten’s multi-tracked voices. The dawn mist clears to the accompaniment of rhythmic intent and a distant preaching voice…”mushrooms in the dark” is a phrase that drifts by on the ether as John Simms lets rip waaay down in the mix with some searing notes, bent up the fretboard. This contrast between the cosmic ur-rock and the solid grounded rhythm will be an ongoing feature of the album.

Linking the tracks is the three part Ethereal Soldier, which as its title implies is an impressionistic piece, firstly built around Maxine’s beguiling tones, the second part then mirroring her melody line with John Simms’ liquid and lonesome guitar, joined in the final part of the trilogy by Phil’s organ, slowly drifting away, evoking strangeness and charm.

Giving “power in the darkest hour” during Darkest Night is the first hearing of Phil’s soulful piano playing, adding a layer of humanity to the otherwise cosmic vibes swirling around. These are much to the fore on the dreamy Waiting At Airports, a song that makes that most tedious aspect of travelling seem like something to look forward to.

All The Way, while built on a solid rhythm has a loose jamming feel, and Phil contributes some nice jazz-soul piano and organ that puts me in mind of Brian Auger. Here, we also get to hear Phil’s bluesy vocals for the first time, lending proceedings a good earthiness. Bluesy folk guitar licks shoot through the spacerock vibe of the title track, while another disembodied voice mostly out of reach is “never denied” and “signified”.

The album ends with an upbeat spacerocker, The Unknown Unknowns drives along in a fashion not a million miles from the punk-inspired Here & Now, with more great guitar and keyboard work atop the solid rhythm section.

Anyone familiar with Census Of Hallucinations, or the aforementioned Here & Now, Gong, Hillage, etc, should give this a go. You won’t be disappointed.

Comments on This Fragile Peace by Paradox One

paradox1advert“I don’t claim to be a acid rock aficionado by any means… but I do have an ear for melody and arrangements I think and you certainly excelled on both fronts there. You have put together an impressive band with Maxine, John Simms and Clear Blue Sky.I enjoyed all the album and found more to discover with each play… but I was especially grabbed by ‘Waiting at Airports’.  I mean this as the utmost compliment, but I could hear echoes of Gary Numan in there.  I’ve seen him a few times live in recent years and love the way he’s reinvented himself and his music, with his industrial/electronic sound… I could definitely hear him having a crack at ‘Airports’.  Likewise, Berlin-era Bowie… it has that human/machine/nihilistic quality that is hard to explain, but very appealing. Thanks for rekindling my interest in prog.”

(Simon Felton- Garfield’s Birthday and Pink Hedgehog label).

Download and CD available at Bandcamp

Paradox One – This Fragile Peace – video review

paradox1advertJust managed to have a quick listen to “Paradox One” “waiting in airports” (on-line in the library with my pound shop headphones)…Big congratulations to all involved, it sounds absoloutely great ! ! !….Totally love all of the playing / singing and instrument sounds etc (especially the hammond organ), some lovely mood changing musical shifts in there.

Max’s video is Completely Mind Blowingly Amazing !….I had a flashback to aprrox 1 year ago when I flew from The Toon to Ireland, then Ireland to Portugal, and then Portugal back to The Toon all in one weekend ( first flights since 1996 by the way, and none since ). There was a scene in the vid which took me right back to the view of Faro as we were preparing to land at the said airport….Once again very impressive stuff !

kev hodge

Paradox One – This Fragile Peace review

Peter Jolly has reviewed the new CD on his website, and you can read it over at; http://www.peterjolly.co.uk/musicb_098.htm Thanks to everyone for their positive comments on ‘This Fragile Peace’ and please considering purchasing it from Stone Premonitions.

If you do please let me know at phil@paradoxone.co.uk and I will ensure you get informed of future projects and that you are able to buy them at cost price- that means P&P plus +50p, no more than £3!

These include a reimagining of the Neurosis years (the ‘Reality Quake’, ‘Dimension of Miracles’ and ‘Alternative Reality’) and also a space rock side project as Coronal Mass Ejection. I have been supporting artists through Kickstarter projects recently but this is more of a thank you for purchasing ‘This Fragile Peace’ which features the playing of gifted ex Clear Blue Sky and Vertigo label guitarist John Simms. The more interest and messages of support there is the more impetus there is for us to get on with what we love doing- producing progressive and thought provoking music!