Monday, January 3, 2011

Band in the Spotlight: Phlox (Estonia; fusion/avant)

Estonian band playing fusion but isn't afraid of going beyond and experimenting.
After the Jump read about the band and listen to their music

Here's their PA bio as written by their keyboards player:

'Phlox' is a fusion/prog rock band from Tallinn, Estonia, formed in 1999 by Kristo Roots (g), Raivo Prooso (perc), Rainer Kapmann (dr) and Priit Holtsmann (b). Although the line up has gone through numerous changes over the years, most of the members have close ties with 'MKDK', a jazz-rock/avant garde record label, non-profit organization and movement of artists and musicians, who frequently switch from one band to another, especially between 'Phlox',' BF' and 'Lippajad'. The first album, "Fusion", was recorded in late 2000, shortly after that Priit Luming (sx, cl), Allan Prooso (perc) and Pearu Helenurm (kb) joined the group. During that period the band's music became more improvisational, from just completely deconstructing their own compositions to having shows where they tried to avoid anything resembling rhythmic structures or harmony. In May 2004 the band's second album "Piima" ("Milk") was recorded in the MKDK Studio, with Margo Pajula on drums and Kalle Klein on sax, using vintage analogue equipment. In 2007, with Madis Zilmer of fusion group 'BF' on drums, 'Phlox' completed its latest album to date, "Rebimine + voltimine" ("Tearing and folding"), which saw the band's return to straightforward, tight structured hard fusion and was well received by audiences and critics alike, both home and abroad.
Currently the band is recording its fourth album, which will be released hopefully before the end of 2009.
Phlox in 2009 is: Kristo Roots (g), Raivo Prooso (b), Pearu Helenurm (kb), Kalle Klein (sx), Madis Zilmer (dr), Allan Prooso (perc)
===Pearu Helenurm===


Two reviews by my friend John:

Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion
Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PHLOX are a Jazz Rock/Fusion band out of Estonia of all places.I've been waiting for the followup to their last album which was pretty close to being 5 stars for me. "Talu" continues in the same style although there's not as much distortion.Cool cover art and when you open up the cover you see the same girl only her eyes are sewn shut.Yikes ! "Voib-Olla Dresiiniga" is so impressive to start with the electric piano and amazing drumming.Vibes too and it's uptempo.It settles some after 1 1/2 minutes with sax standing out.It settles even more 2 1/2 minutes in.Nice drum work as it picks back up.Sax is back.Great tune. "Hullelu" opens with drums,bass and electric piano.Sax joins in.This is so good.Lots of horns.Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in.Nice.It settles after 3 minutes then builds. "Monokkel" opens with electric piano as sax then violin join in.It kicks in around a minute.Nice drumming once again.The guitar is incredible after 2 minutes as it goes on and on.Violin takes it's place before 4 minutes.Keyboards lead as it settles 5 1/2 minutes in,they get crazy around 7 minutes.Sax is back. "Ooode" is catchy with some good bass.Sax joins in then the tempo poicks up.Piano 3 minutes. "Loomaaed" is kind of experimental early.Check out the guitar 2 1/2 minutes in as it grinds away.A calm a minute later with piano and sax.It starts to build 5 minutes in. "In The Wood" features piano and light drums.Horns join in then the sound gets fuller.Guitar around 2 1/2 minutes.Distorted keys after 4 1/2 minutes. "Siil" is uptempo with keys,drums,bass and horns.The keys become distorted after the drums get heavier.Oh my ! Incredible section.It settles back after 5 minutes then picks up a minute later. "Istu. Viis" opens with drums as bass then piano join in.Sax too.Synths before 4 minutes as the bass throbs and drums pound. "Augstin'" opens with electric piano as gentle guitar joins in then a full sound.The sax plays over top of the rather heavy rhythm section.It settles with electric piano only as contrasts continue.Cool tune. "Binokkel" is the one minute closer.It's mellow with violin later on. I miss that Canterbury flavour with all the fuzz but man this is good.A solid 4 stars without a doubt.

Rebimine and Voltmine
Phlox Jazz Rock/Fusion
Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars PHLOX are a six piece band from Estonia of all places,and they play a blend of Canterbury and Fusion.I've said this before and i'll say it again,Canterbury music is the hardest for me to describe because of how much fuzz(distortion) there can be.I mean the bass is fuzzed out,the keys,organ, heck even the guitar is distorted, making it difficult at times to tell what i'm hearing.I love it though,and i love this album.The title of this album means "tearing & folding" in English.By the way the keyboardist had a hand in composing every track. "Rahn" features these relentless drums and distorted keys.I have to say this drummer really stands out on this recording.Some guest flute on this track as well.Lots of energy and we get some prominant sax as well.The distorted keys are lighting it up before 2 minutes.Guitar and bass sound excellent 4 1/2 minutes in.Check out the drum work before 6 1/2 minutes.Great opening track! "Kraap" is a live track that i'm sure doesn't mean "crap" in English.This is a short experimental tune with noisy sounds.Ok maybe? "Habe" is uptempo with drums and keys leading the way.Electric piano and sax join in as it settles some.It's intense again as the contrasts continue. "Hunt" is the longest track at just over 10 minutes.Sax and electric piano to open.Bass and drums join in before 1 1/2 minutes.This sounds so good.It kicks into gear after 2 1/2 minutes with chaos and distortion.Amazing! It settles again 4 1/2 minutes in.Check out the keyboards before 7 settles again.These guys play so incredibly well whether it's fast paced or a relaxed soundscape.Some guest tablas in this song as well.This song really contrasts these two styles well. "Juulius" opens with some impressive guitar and drumwork.I love when it settles in though with the fuzz as the bass and drums support. This has to be heard. "Kaavjas" has more of a Jazz vibe with intricate drumming,throbbing bass and electric piano.Gorgeous sound 4 minutes in as it settles.Sax follows. "Uhe Poja Toit" is pastoral with liquid keys and sax.Drums and a fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes.Amazing sound 2 minutes in! Ths drummer is so good. "Sojajalgne" turns powerful before a minute with lots of distortion and guitar.Just one big fuzz-fest! Haha.The song calms right down before it kicks back in with a wall of sound 5 minutes in. "Kurehirm" is live like the last track.It seems like the three live songs are the more adventerous and "out there" songs on this album.This one features smooth sax melodies and piano until it turns avant-garde 2 minutes in and stays there until it changes after 5 minutes back to the sax and piano. I can't say enough about this album.A must for fans of adventerous Canterbury and Fusion music.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any comments?