Rob Walker    12-August-2002 Progres 2 - Dialog S Vesmirem

Progres 2 - Dialog S Vesmirem
(Monitor 010213-2331, 1979/1993, CD)

This is a solid 76 minute live set from one of the better Eastern European prog bands. Progres 2 recorded several albums in the late 70s/early 80s featuring a rather dark and aggressive symphonic sound with spacious keyboard-laden songs flowing into one another forming album-length continuous pieces. Dialog S Vesmirem proves that they could recreate their complex studio sound in a live setting. With a two-guitar, two-keyboard lineup, the band navigates through their typical menagerie of styles; spacey and mysterious instrumental sections; vocal sections with an exotic, almost Euro-techno feel, and more open jam sections with guitars soloing over heavily processed analog keyboards recalling some of Zappa's mid- 70s work. There are a few less than stellar moments of boring pseudo-pop, but they are quickly replaced by the unique progressive sound of Progres 2. This is not quite on the same level as their double-album jewel Treti Kniha Dzungli, but it is definitely worth a listen.

(Originally published in Exposť #5, p. 33, Edited for Gnosis 4/23/01)

Mike McLatchey 12-August-2002 Barnodaj - Maugli

Barnodaj released their album Maugli in 1975, a fact that makes their music seem a bit anachronous. Maugli is an album that easily could have hailed from the late 60's. Although it really couldn't be considered of the psychdelic ilk, there is a distinct Beatles influence, especially in the Sgt. Peppers-like orchestration in "Kamarad Gramofon," at 4'30, the album's longest piece. The music seems to be the base for a lot of vocals, both solo and ensemble, and there is almost no room at all for any instrumental excursions of any kind. Many would consider this a beat or pop album, although it doesn't comfortably fit into either category. Perhaps understanding the lyrics would give some base to the context; however, without this understanding, I found this album pretty forgettable.

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