Ichthyander Dad's Only Dolphin is not a name you might remember after you have heard it the first time. I guess only a few people in the progressive rock scene know this band from the Ukraine. They were founded in 1994 in Kirovograd and an improvised play on words resulted in this very original band name. Despite extensive live activity and several line up changes, the formation broke up at the end of the last millennium. As with most bands they separated before even recording an official album. Strangely enough they managed to reach this goal fifteen years later after they disbanded. They named it At One Music Fest 2014.
At One Music Fest 2014 features the recordings of their comeback concert in their home town in December 2014. This can be found on an audio disc and a video disc. The line up during this concert included people from the original-up, featuring Dmitry Dorosh on guitar, Olena Yeremenko on violin, Viktor Sirotin on drums, Oleg Vorona on bass and Sergei Kadenko on keyboards. They were assisted by a long list of guest musicians. The reunited band performed old material, completely rearranged. Furthermore new compositions were put together and even a cover was done.
The songs on the live CD are almost the same as on the live DVD. The difference is the last track on both discs. The audio disc has an excellent cover of King Crimson's Starless. One of the band's musical influences. The song was recorded during a live-studio experiment and through internet they invited a singer from England to sing the vocal lines. This version is very close to the original one which appeared on Red (1974) for the first time. Leading roles are of course for the guitarist, but also the people on the violin and saxophone know how to play their instruments properly. Another musical influence of the band can be heard on the live DVD. The band does a very good version of Gentle Giant's The Boys In The Band, which originally was released on Octopus (1972).
The concert was filmed rather well, but the use of a few more cameras would have made it an even better video production. As for the audio I certainly don't have any complaints. This is very good and so is the mix. All instruments can be heard properly in the overall sound and when they get a solo spot.
The concert starts with an audio fragment between Yuri Gagarin and Sergei Korolev before the first human being went on a journey into space in 1961. It is followed by the longest piece they performed. Through The Gates Of The Universe is mainly a track on which the influences of acts such as King Crimson, Jean Luc Ponty and the Mahavishnu Orchestra can be heard. You will also hear the influences of the last two names on the next track Biometry. On the following two compositions Opus 16 and Castles Of Birmingham the band moves more into the direction of classical music. This is mainly because of the frequent use of string instruments such as cello, viola and violin. Sometimes the flute parts even made me think of Jethro Tull. Unmeasured Spaces brings the listener back to King Crimson. But also Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant can be heard as possible influences. Some fast up tempo jazz rock parts are next on Countdown. It also has some nice gypsy music and classical music kind of parts that made me think of Gentle Giant once again. Gentle Giant might also be an influence on the following Epiphany. Half way through the composition the classical style of the band returns into the music for a short moment before they return to the possible Gentle Giant influences. Japanese music in the style of Kitaro can be heard on the rather mellow Comeback To Life. There are nice solos on the flute, electric guitar and synthesizer in this piece before the band ends their performance on the DVD with the already mentioned cover of The Boys In The Band.
All in all this was a very surprising release of a very good band performing music that features elements of progressive rock, classical music, jazz rock and fusion. The way they included their possible influences of King Crimson, Jean Luc Ponty, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd into their own compositions felt really good. I just had a really good time watching and hearing the music performed by Ichthyander Dad's Only Dolphin. So thumbs up for them!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2016