Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Ghost Like Me ~ The New Paradigm

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: instrumental, progressive, space rock
Label: self-released
Year: 2011
Home: North Carolina

Members: Brad Rogers ~ guitar/loops
Key Andrew ~ bass/flute
Eric Ernst ~ drums
Dave Milan ~ keyboards/guitar

A few minor line-up changes & a lot of hard work sees instrumental space rock/prog-rockers AGLM completing their first full length album. I reviewed AGLM a year ago & was honest in my thoughts about the difficulty of instrumental rock albums. I also described their EP as a missing Hawkwind instrumental album with Bill Laswell in the producer's chair. I noted how AGLM tackled the difficulties of instrumental prog-rock by aiming for under-playing rather than focusing on heavy flashy guitar solos. At the time they were also in the midst of discovering new musical directions with a new line-up, since changed, so I was reviewing a band in change. It's interesting to now return to their side & see how the trek through the time tunnel was. The outcome is an unexpected musical walk through the soul of the world with cosmically inspired songs as "lucis ressurectio", "The Cleansing", "Japan", "Duality", "omnimadus divinus navitas", "Threshold", "Song For Gaia" & "Awakening". The New Paradigm is more than a catchy title as the paradigm in question is the state of the Earth on a spiritual level ... not just social which is the common focus of bands these days. Of course, being instrumental the details are left to the listener to ponder. Is there such a thing as space rock left, particularly space rock with a cosmic message? If so, what is space rock three decades on since prog-rock ceased to rule the airwaves? It's a welcome mix of groove rock, alt rock, funk, dub, jazz & electronica ... it's also the experience of a band that started as a recording project & moved to a live band. It's a tight funky affair that gets rid of wandering moments. AGLM have grown up since the last time we all met. They've honed in their sound & also pushed themselves musically into new directions & audio experiments. If my description of a socially conscious space rock band puts you off I can only blame myself for not having the vocabulary suitable to properly describe the AGLM experience. They still under-play but have also put more guts into their music. There's lots of guitar solos (for example "Bridging The Gap", "Hi Phi", "Japan") but they are more a part of the bigger musical collage than a fanfare of notes with a boring rhythm to play over. Also, don't expect to music to be a wierd esoteric mix. They may call themselves space rock & they are without a doubt modern prog-rock but this is grooving space rock, think Hawkwind not the moody wanderings of Yes or Pink Floyd. AGLM create a hypnotic atmosphere without sounding too technical or forcing the mood which is often what happens with prog-rock while the songs meander & change never getting boring or pointless, with the dub influences as backgrounds not the focus. While there's also bits of world rhythms in here (i.e. "Song For Gaia", "lucis ressurectio", "omnimodus divinus navitas") & an array of sounds tinkling away that will take lots of listens to fully discover.



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