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viernes, 29 de mayo de 2015

Van der Graaf Generator - Merlin Atmos: Live Performances 2013 (2015)

Artista: Van der Graaf Generator
Álbum: Merlin Atmos: Live Performances 2013
Año: 2015
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 142:12
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
CD1 (70:59):
1. Flight
2. Lifetime
3. All That Before
4. Bunsho
5. A Plague Of Lighthouse-Keepers
6. Gog
CD2 (71:13):
1. Interference Patterns
2. Over The Hill
3. Your Time Starts Now
4. Scorched Earth
5. Meurglys III
6. Man-Erg
7. Childlike Faith In Childhood's End

Alineación:
- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitar and keyboards
- Hugh Banton / organ, bass pedals and bass guitar
- Guy Evans / drums


Y ahora vamos con la frutillita de la torta. Nosotros, en general, no publicamos discos del este mismo año en curso salvo expresa autorización del autor o músico, pero en este caso vamos a hacer una excepción porque creo que lo vale, y la ocusión se presta para ello (y además no hemos tenido problemas con los anteriores discos de la banda)...
Antes que nada, les aclaro que es un discazo y que acá los viejitos se zarpan...
En junio de 2013, Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton y Guy Evans recorrieron Europa para presentar una serie de conciertos basándose en el material clásico de la bandas pasado, así como de sus álbumes más recientes, como una conexión a "A Grounding in Numbers", mientras que la banda había decidido que era el momento de presentar su épica y clásica pieza "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" en su totalidad en el escenario por primera vez.
Afortunadamente, y como política que vimos de la banda posteriormente a su regreso en el 2005, algunos de estos espectáculos se registraron para la posteridad y que ahora se han reunido para formar "Merlin Atmos". Y aún sin la magia de su histórico saxo haciendo brillar cada nota, es posiblemente el mejor álbum en vivo de la historia de la banda.
"Merlin Atmos" confirma a VDGG como una fuerza musical que continúa activa hoy en día y explica la lealtad y el respeto que le siguen brindando sus devotos seguidores de todo el mundo.

La verdad es que VdGG son prolíficos en cuanto a directos. Además parece ya una tónica en ellos, grabar un álbum en estudio y seguir con uno en directo: Real Time (2007) siguió al álbum de su vuelta en 2005, Present; luego, Live at the Paradiso (2009) vino justo después de su Trisector de 2008; Live at the Metropolis Studios (2012) a su otro álbum en estudio Grounding in Numbers (2011) y, ya por último este Merlin Atmos, recién lanzado sigue a ALT que vio la luz en 2012.
Desde luego, hay que reconocer que con la edad que tienen energía no les falta a este trío. Fijaos que digo trío ya que el saxofonista David Jackson dejó el barco tras Real Time. Realmente una pena que no esté el saxofonista más original que te puedes haber encontrado en tu vida.
Solo una pista; en Merlin Atmos encontramos nada más ni nada menos que A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers. Ahí queda eso.
Y es que la experiencia de escuchar la desgarradora e impresionante voz de Peter Hammill arropada por el resto de miembros fundadores Hugh Banton y Guy Evans es una experiencia que puede calificarse de mística.
Benet

En este listado de discos vandergraftianos, o como se diga, dejamos algunas placas afuera, quizás porque su calidad distaba de la de otras obras o porque no eran representativas del grupo. De esta última etapa dejé afuera a "Alt", porque es el disco que, junto con el bonus track de "Present", más se acercan al R.I.O., un disco con tracks sin lírica tomado de improvisaciones que resulta tan diferente a otros trabajos de la banda que estamos presentando que decidí dejarlo afuera de esta presentación. Pero en todo caso debemos tenerlo en cuenta al tratar de definir el espíritu experimentador y vivo de la banda, que parece seguir tan temerario, radical y experimentador que no tienen miedo de patear completamente el tablero y reinventarse una vez más con un disco que de antemano se sabrá que será escabroso y por el cual muchos le darán la espalda... pero pareciera que su honestidad musical es a prueba de balas y resistente al tiempo. Aquí una pequeña descripción de esa obra:

¿Se imaginaban a estas alturas del guión que Van der Graaf Generator nos presentara un disco así? Un grupo que, como es sabido, murió en el comienzo, en su tierna infancia, dejando un legado bestial, al borde de los años 1980, pero que regresó en 2005 con sabores renovados. Cuando uno espera desde 1977 a 2005, 28 años, podía esperar cualquier cosa, como un regreso comercial para hacer caja. Pero no: todos los que sabemos de qué mieles comen estos cracks de la música como son Peter Hammill, Guy Evans y Hugh Banton, nos esperábamos algo genial.
Y así fue. Un regular pero agradable disco ‘Present’ en 2005, un abrumador ‘Trisector‘ en 2008 y un notable pero algo inferior al anterior ‘A Grounding in Numbers‘ (2011). Y lo que nadie podía pensar es que se sintieran tan a gusto como para, sólo un año después, regresar con nueva entrega, este curioso y talentoso ‘ALT’.
Y volviendo a la pregunta inicial... ¿se imaginaban a estas alturas del guión que Van der Graaf Generator nos presentara un disco así? Pues no. Yo al menos, no. El grupo de Hammill siempre ha destacado por su estilo esquizoide, alocado, de música del alma y atormentada, jazzística y caótica. No era propio pensar que ahora nos vendrían con este álbum enteramente instrumental, alejado de cualquier meta comercial y notoria. Lo que han querido hacer estos 3 genios de la música es poner rienda suelta a sus ideas y alocados experimentos sonoros, sin más coherencia que el disfrute de la propia música...
Pablo M. Beleña

Pero digamos que este es un disco que solamente resultará imprescindible para los fans del grupo y aquí no aportaría demasiado. Del disco, el propio Hammill ha presentado así su música: "No es un disco más de Van Der Graaf Generator (...) Las improvisaciones instrumentales y experimentales son la clave; la mayor parte de la música de ‘ALT’ fue realizada sin buscarlo, o quizás sólo mientras estaba funcionando el hemisferio izquierdo de nuestro cerebro (…) El álbum es una mezcla de improvisaciones grabadas como pruebas de sonido y también es estudio, y se le puede considerar más como un disco de creaciones sonoras que de música concreta".
Pero estoy hablando demasiado de "Alt", experimento donde confirman que continúan con ánimos de experimentar aún a pesar de la edad, y no estoy diciendo nada de éste, donde confirman su fuerza en el escenario a pesar de la edad y de la falta de Jackson.

Todas las encarnaciones de VDGG son de lo más cercano a la definición que yo entiendo por "progresivo", si bien los entendidos aún no saben con exactitud bajo qué términos definir las características de una banda progresiva aunque se la reconozca cuando se la escucha, yo lo entiendo, más allá del virtuosismo instrumental y vuelo compositivo y lírico, y de la mezcla de rock, música clásica y jazz, sobretodo lo entiendo como la capacidad de innovar, arriesgarse a pesar de las modas y lo económico, a sobrepasar sus propios límites para emprender viajes musicales más allá de la imaginación, y los huevos que tiene que aquel músico que se anime a semejante tarea. Y los VDGG han demostrado, de sobra y a lo largo de toda su trayectoria, que no se apartan ni un poquito de esas premisas.
Claro que su temprana versión de los años 70s demostraba un brillo enteramente auténtico que los ubicaba a la vanguardia de la escena musical underground en desarrollo que luego pasó a ser conocido como "rock progresivo", y que luego desarrollaron algunos de los discos más extraordinarios de toda la historia del rock (eso es así ya sea que te gusten o no), pero hoy en día parte de ese fuego sigue ardiendo y les alcanza como para volarte el marote con este discazo en vivo... y sin su histórico Jackson al que tanto extrañamos!.


Un disco donde podemos ver el hilo que une a las canciones clásicas de la banda con sus nuevas creaciones, gracias a una buena selección de canciones de todas las épocas, sus himnos de soledad y paranoia siguen indemnes y estremecedores como siempre lo han sido y como lo serán aún luego de que esta banda deje de existir.
Los viejitos se zarpan y quedan grabados a fuego en los oídos, porque a pesar de su edad avanzada se siguen arriesgando como cuando pebetes se lanzaron a innovar la forma de hacer música y dieron los primeros pasos de lo que luego se terminó llamando "rock progresivo". Y se siguen arriesgando y les sigue saliendo bien!. Este itinerarios de temas que forma una de las epopeyas poéticas-musicales más felices de la historia (aunque aquí podemos mostrar nuestra buena cepa con Charly o al Flaco).
El disco es imperdible y termina de coronar nuestro festival cabezón homenajeando a esta épica y talentosísima banda que tiene pocos parangones en la historia de la música.

Comentarios hay pocos, el disco es demasiado reciente, y menos en castellano... pero... ¿para qué?... el disco es una joyita, te lo digo yo, te dejo algunos comentarios en inglés de algunos sorprendidos ayentes y a disfrutar el disco, que para eso estamos.

Even though Van Der Graaf Generator have by now released quite a few live recordings, none of them has struck a chord with me like Merlin Atmos. Recorded during the band's 2013 European tour and featuring complete performances of Flight and A Plague Of Lighthouse-Keepers, the album is a mix of music taken from 1971 and onward. Featuring two tracks from Pawn Hearts, one from each of Godbluff/Still Life/World Record, two tracks from Peter Hammill's solo records and a total of six tracks from Trisector/A Grounding In Numbers. There is clearly something for every Van Der Graaf Generator fan to be enjoyed and some of the less familiar material might just surprise you!
The opening 21-minute Flight was quite a surprise for me since I've only once previously heard it on Hammill's 1980 album A Black Box and this version is a much more modern sounding hence omitting the dated sounds of synthesizers and sequencers. Hammill's voice sounds older but it really doesn't bother me, in fact, some of the moments throughout the opening track actually sounds more potent with his nuanced vocal approach.
The next three compositions are all taken from the current lineup's albums Trisector and A Grounding In Numbers. Lifetime has not been a favorite of mine from the studio recording but this live version has more power to the performance and engages me much more. Bunsho follows in the same suit while All That Before gives the album some much needed energy.
A Plague Of Lighthouse-Keepers is considered by many to be one of the greatest Van Der Graaf Generator compositions, which is why it's surprising that this is the first complete live version of this 24-minute suite. The performance keeps most of the highlights in tact and organ layers actually manage to make up for the absence of David Jackson. Gog is another highlight since the track has always been considered an unofficial Van Der Graaf Generator classic, even though it was originally recorded as a Peter Hammill solo number.
The so-called bonus disc adds quite a few great performances like the energetic version of Interference Patterns where Hammill clearly makes a strong effort in his vocal delivery. Over The Hill is another memorable Trisector number while the opening track from A Grounding In Numbers, Your Time Starts Now, makes much more sense on this setlist compared to it's role on the band's 2011 release.
The album concludes with almost 50 minutes of classics from the '70s with a lovely performance of Scorched Earth, the slightly trimmed down version of Meurglys III still sounds a bit too excessive for my tastes, Man-Erg makes me wish that David Jackson was still in the lineup even though the keyboards do try to make up for his absence. Childlike Faith In Childhood's End sounds pretty much in line with the studio counterpart but somehow this version doesn't really do as much for me.
As mentioned in the beginning of my review, none of the previous Van Der Graaf Generator live records have managed to grab my attention as much as Merlin Atmos. Yes, there are a few tracks that sound better on the studio recordings and some might even argue that a couple of these performances are overshadowed by the band's previous live offerings. Still, I'd definitely recommend you to give this one a go. Hopefully there will be a video release of these performances since we haven't got enough of those.
***** star songs: Flight (21:30)
**** star songs: Lifetime (5:11) All That Before (7:46) Bunsho (5:48) A Plague Of Lighthouse-Keepers (24:05) Gog (6:39) Interference Patterns (4:28) Over The Hill (12:36) Your Time Starts Now (4:14) Scorched Earth (10:14) Man-Erg (11:40) Childlike Faith In Childhood's End (12:37)
*** star songs: Meurglys III (15:24)
Alexander Peterson

Never averse to taking risks, all incarnations of Van der Graaf Generator were and are as close to the dictionary definition of “progressive” as any other band you care to mention. It goes without saying, but I will, obviously; the 70s versions were at the forefront of the rapidly developing underground music scene that came to be known as progressive rock, and as with all bands of the original era their current guise cannot live up to the earlier versions, and indeed why should it even try? However, Van der Graaf Generator do still make music of great complexity and originality that when added to the incomparable lyrics of Peter Hammill make the band by far the best, and dare I say it, most progressive of the originals who are still extant. VdGG produce an instantly recognisable music that goes beyond comparison, and today they keep up the challenge of the new with this live document of their 2013 European tour.
While their studio output in this century might be beginning to show occasional signs of the law of diminishing returns, it is in a live context where the band are more than willing to sail along on the edge of a self-made precipice. In this instant Mr Cliff Edges is represented by their tackling of two 20-minute epics from the golden era.
The album kicks off with the first of these, Peter Hammill’s Flight from his 1980 solo album A Black Box. Although Hammill has played this piece as a solo artist, both with and without a backing group it has never been played by VdGG. Drummer Guy Evans had prior experience, but keyboard player Hugh Banton had to learn it from scratch. Considering the complexity and sheer cinematic scope of the song, an epic Milton-esque poem about all aspects of “flying”, literally and otherwise, anyone would think that Hugh had been playing it for years listening to this. That can only serve to highlight Banton’s skill as a musician.
Although my and no doubt others’ interest in Merlin Atmos was sparked by the inclusion of the two “new” epics, one must not forget that this is a representation of a setlist, and the other songs do not disappoint. Hammill’s favourite theme, particularly over recent years, as it would be with anyone approaching their twilight, is the passing of time, and the next two tracks take up this gnarly torch and run with it. The introspective Lifetime is followed by the defiant All That Before, the latter with its “Kinks riff put through a prog blender” is one of the better modern-era VdGG songs, and the way that riff is turned inside out always makes me smile. It really gets me every time…ha!
The set is a good spread of songs from all eras, from 1971’s Pawn Hearts epic right up to Bunsho, the only track from the last studio album proper, 2011’s A Grounding In Numbers. That song in this live setting grows wings and becomes something much more than its comparatively rather tame studio forebear. Here, it sounds as if it would fit on to Still Life, which is high praise indeed.
Of course, what we VdGG fans were paying the entrance fee for is the first live performance of A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers, the prog epic to end all prog epics. “I prophecy disaster” sings Peter, but the trio’s performance of this classic piece of music, before this tour only performed once in a Belgian TV studio (available on DVD), is a triumph of ensemble arrangement. So much so that the still missed David Jackson with his double honking saxes is barely noticed by his absence. Hugh in particular, and Peter’s second keyboard and spiky minimalistic guitar plug most of the gaps. Most, but not all, and it is still a bit of shame that they couldn’t persuade Jaxon out of retirement to play this piece, even if only for one gig.
Nowhere does Peter’s declamatory style suit the song more than on this paean to loneliness and paranoia. Unlike some other “non-singers” who claim a parallel to Hammill, The Thin Man can actually sing, and not only that hit the right note. Having perfect pitch, wayward singers are a particular bugbear of mine, but wayward Peter Hammill most certainly is not.
The trio fly along with a sense of danger you would not expect from three guys whose total age must be around 200! Led by Guy Evans muscular drumming, the band careens along in a carefree manner that reflects the obvious fun they are having. Plague…‘s cacophonous Kosmos Tours, leading into the anthemic mid-section of (Custard’s) Last Stand and then way out into the angular and avant The Clot Thickens is extraordinary and quite thrilling, a musical triumph indeed.
With Jaxon’s absence we must consider the ground that Hugh Banton has to cover with his keyboards in this song. As well as operating bass pedals, and if memory serves all without a laptop present to fill in the complicated bits, it is a reminder of his astonishing and oft under-appreciated skills. The last word can go to Guy Evans: “Any doubts we might have had about the wisdom (of playing Plague…) were rapidly dispelled by the audience reaction”. Apparently fans in Dresden brought their own lighthouse – I’m glad I wasn’t sat behind that!
The main CD ends with a great version of Gog, which has been played live by past incarnations of the band. This comes from Peter’s wilfully strange and marvellous 1974 solo album In Camera, which was, in style at least, essentially VdGG in all but name.
If you can, get hold of the 2CD version of Merlin Atmos, as the second disc is an even broader trawl through the discography than the first, and just as enjoyable as the main course. Opening with two songs from 2008’s Trisector, firstly Interference Patterns, and then Over The Hill, the latter a typical and seemingly effortless mini-epic in the grand tradition of mid-70s VdGG, one is again soon swept away into the vivid world of Hammill’s highly personal but simultaneously everyman imaginings, borne aloft by the band’s consummate musical skill.
The first CD is mixed by Hugh Banton, and his more musical ear has produced a warmer sound than Peter’s rougher and more immediate mix on the second disc, the differing mixes reflecting the personalities methinks.
Guy Evans’ superb rhythms come to the fore on a barnstorming version of Scorched Earth, and in the following rendition of Meurglys III… his sense of swing is to the fore as the slow shimmying groove towards the end of the song takes it above being what could have sounded like a reggae pastiche. The stentorian tones of the wonderful Man-Erg again take us back to Pawn Hearts territory and we end with what continues to be a live staple of the current version of VdGG, and a song that would make my personal “Best Of VdGG”, the poetic epic that is Childhood’s Faith…, an example of the highly individual but excellent songwriting skills of the band, and a vehicle for some of the best lyrics from one of the best lyricists these islands have produced in the pop era, regardless of genre.
If you were lucky enough to catch Van der Graaf Generator on their 2013 tour, then you probably already have this, and if not, why not? For those who missed the tour, if you appreciate progressive music, it’s a no-brainer!
It is synchronous that the other truly and consistently progressive band of the original era has also released a great live album this year, and both bands remain at the top of their game, and it will be more than interesting to hear new studio work from both. Watch this space…
Roger Trenwith

Van der Graaf Generator, should by now be a household name in progcircuits!? Even though their musical style and approach is an acquired taste. For newcomers to the prog world VDGG could be very difficult to digest and/or even understand! Granted, it takes time to get into the realm of VDGG, but once you do, you will love and cherish their quirky, strange and even wonderful music!
We are not talking high powered themes and/or thundering guitars with perfectly pitched vocal arrangements here!! We are talking very original music and delivery, with front figure and mastermind Peter Hammill (Piano/Guitar/vocals)! Hugh Banton (Organ & Bass pedals) & Guy Evans (Drums and percussion) at live performances during June and july 2013!
For friends of great vocals and the like, I really must say: enter with caution, as Hammill often, more than singing, recites the (brilliant) lyrics!!
Enuff said about the band! These concert takes, are really brilliant and as opposed to their former studio release (Instrumental) this is VDGG as I know and love them!!
VDGG have created some 12 studio albums over the years, thus carving their own special niché in progmusic, with a great following!
My favorite albums: "Still Life"/ " Pawn Hearts"/ "Godbluff" / " H to He..Who Am The Only One" / "The Least We Can Do...." !!
And now I can add this absolutely fine live album!!
Oh I must add, the many solo albums by Peter Hammill : would you believe some 35 solo albums?!! NO?! Well i is so!
As mentioned before, this is not to everyones taste, it takes time to digest the wonderful world of Hammill and VDGG, but once you do, you´re hooked!!
My final words: If you really are a prog friend, searching for the ultimate progressive experience, you might find it worth to examine VDGG and Hammill!!
For hardcore fans, this is a must own!!
Tonny Larsen

For a group that has released only three studio albums since reforming in 2005 after a quarter-century hiatus—longer when considering the "classic" lineup with singer/pianist/guitarist Peter Hammill, keyboardist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans was last heard on World Record (Charisma, 1976), and forgetting about 2012's atypical ALT (Esoteric), an album of improvisation-driven instrumentals—Van der Graaf Generator sure has released a lot of live albums in the past few years.
Since the spectacular Real Time (Fie!, 2007)—which documented the group's comeback tour on the heels of its first studio record of the new millennium, Present (Charisma, 2005), and the only pair of records to feature the fully manned classic lineup with soon-to- depart saxophonist/flautist David Jackson—VdGG has released no fewer than two additional live recordings, one each after their subsequent studio albums as a leaner but strangely more effective trio: Live at the Paradiso (Voiceprint, 2009), in support of Trisector (Virgin, 2008); and the CD/DVD set Live at Metropolis Studios (Salvo, 2012), behind the release of A Grounding in Numbers (Esoteric, 2011), the group's best studio album since reforming (though Trisector comes a very close second).
So, with no new studio release since A Grounding in Numbers, why Merlin Atmos, a live album culled from VdGG's 2013 tour and curiously released as both a single-disc edition (with an even more reduced one-LP vinyl edition) and a deluxe two-disc set? Especially since all but two tracks have shown up on Live at the Paradiso and/or Live at Metropolis Studios?
Well, the answer lies in those two tracks, both running in excess of 20 minutes and, therefore, being perfect for the single-LP version while, at the same time, worthy of inclusion in longer CD editions featuring additional material. The first, "Flight," occupied the entire second side of Hammill's 1980 solo album A Black Box (Charisma) and, while Evans played it live with Hammill's K-group back in the day, this is the first time that Banton (and VdGG) has performed the piece. An epic worthy of the VdGG treatment, it shines a spotlight on just how different the material Hammill wrote for his solo albums was—which began while VdGG was together with 1971's Fool's Mate (Charisma) and has continued throughout the decades to last year's career-defining ...All That Might Have Been (Fie!)—to music he composed with VdGG in mind, and just how important Banton is to defining the Van der Graaf sound.
Having seen VdGG in 2009 at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, if it wasn't clear before just what a force of nature Banton is, it became instantly clear then, as he constantly shifted tones and textures with his keyboards while, at the same time, fulfilling the role of bassist with his feet and demonstrating what has been largely unappreciated virtuosity with his hands. Organists who self- accompany with bass pedals are hardly novel, but few are also tasked with meeting the diverse textural responsibilities demanded of Banton, and while his role is largely relegated to organist on the nearly 22-minute "Flight," the demands are almost exponentially increased for the other epic included on Merlin Atmos: "A Plague of Lighthouse-keepers," perhaps VdGG's finest moment from its finest record, Pawn Hearts (Charisma, 1971), and a piece the group had only performed once before for Belgian television in 1972.
So complex is this multipart suite with its numerous meter and tempo changes—along with Banton's most significant exploration of both mellotron and synthesizer (a personally modified organ was his usual instrument of choice)—that the television performance was, in fact, recorded in two halves and, like the album version that was recorded in even more discrete segments, spliced together in post-production.
And so, beyond "Flight"—performed with more of the nightmarish elements that so defined VdGG back in the day—this version of "Lighthouse-keepers" represents the first time the group has ever figured out how to perform the piece in its entirety live, and trumps the Belgian television version thanks to modern technology allowing Banton to more accurately reproduce many of the sounds from its far broader sonic palette.
Hammill's voice is still as capable of melodramatic sweeps as it ever was, and if his range has been somewhat reduced by age his lower register is even stronger than ever—and his ability to effortlessly shift from singing to near-spoken word particularly effective—making it possible to forgive the fact that live, he is a voice alone rather than the oft-times multiple layers he would resort to in the studio. He managed to retain his reputation when the rawer elements of Punk began to signal the demise for at least some classic progressive bands in the mid-to-late-'70s, with The Sex Pistols' John Lydon a longtime fan, and for good reason: few singers in any subgenre of rock music have ever demonstrated the emotional breadth, haunting fragility and visceral rawness of Hammill's vocal delivery. And if he is a more than capable pianist who can handle the complex, two-keyboard interlocking "Interference Patterns" which opens the second disc, Bonus Atmos, after playing electric guitar for decades, Hammill has still managed not to lose his unfettered rawness on the instrument... so unschooled— sometimes so on the verge of being out-of-tune—that few but Hammill could make it work...but he does.
Evans is an unsung progressive rock hero who has only become better with age; now equally disposed towards locking into a groove when required, he is still just as capable of the energetic bursts of thunderous power and almost elegant sense of swing that have so defined him from the very beginning.
And so, Merlin Atmos' primary raison d'être is most certainly "Flight" and "A Plague of Lighthouse-keepers"—the latter building to such a relentless climax of nightmare-inducing chaos that it's almost impossible to believe it's just three people playing—but there's plenty to recommend with the rest of the material, even though this is not the first time any of it has been performed since VdGG reduced to a trio. Bulletin boards are already alight with complaints about the sound of the second, bonus disc, but one look at the production information and it all makes sense.
Banton mixed the main disc that, in addition to "Flight" and "Lighthouse- keepers," includes perhaps the group's most incendiary look at "Gog"—first heard on Hammill's 1974 solo album In Camera (Charisma)—along with music from Trisector (a particularly fiery "All That Before" and "Lifetime") and Grounding (a similarly nuclear "Bunsho"). With the keyboardist's perfectionist tendencies, it's no surprise that it's a cleaner, sleeker mix.
Hammill assembled and mixed the bonus disc, which more fully covers the group's entire career, culling music from all but its first three '70s Charisma albums— ranging from Pawn Hearts ("Man-Erg") and 1975's Godbluff ("Scorched Earth," in a new and perfect segue from A Grounding's "Your Time Starts Now") to 1976's Still Life ("Childlike Faith in Childhood's End") and, from later the same year, World Record ("Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild")—in addition to music from Trisector ("Interference Patterns" and the mini-epic, "Over the Hill"). Given Hammill's personal predilections, it's no surprise that his mix is rawer, dirtier and less polished.
Taken as a whole, Merlin Atmos not only finds the current Van der Graaf Generator gaining strength and power, it finds the group demonstrating previously unheard confidence as it tackles not one but two extremely challenging long- form compositions, including one that is, for many fans, its creative zenith. Still, with studio records like A Grounding in Numbers and now sweeping live albums like Merlin Atmos, it's clear that these three musicians in their mid-sixties are as distanced from "dinosaur" categorization as the recently revived King Crimson—and if nobody knows what the future holds, one thing is certain: their best years are far from behind them.
John Kelman

Creo que ya lo dije pero lo repito, no saben lo que me costó hacer este especial de VDGG, pero termino altamente satisfecho si es que ustedes lo saben apreciar como se debe, y espero que sí.
Por último les dejo "Merlin Atmos" que es una declaración musical impresionante de una banda increíblemente innovadora, inquieta, talentosísima, temeraria, valiente, honesta y juvenil, más allá de los años que tengan encima.
Y uno de los discos más imperdibles de todos los discos que hay en el blog cabezón.



4 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE - No Log + Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/cX7K67y6

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  2. Muchas gracias por el especial de VDGG, realmente se aprecian todos estos discos de esta enorme banda que poco conocia

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    Respuestas
    1. De nada, y es justamente porque muchos no lo conocen que hicimos el especial. saludos!

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Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).