I really started listening to progressive rock when I was 15 years old and learned to play the flute. In that time Jethro Tull came with albums like Stand Up and Benefit and they were, of course, a great influence for me. But also the jazzrock by Dutch flautist Chris Hinze and then the more experimental records by Soft Machine and Matching Mole, that was the music I loved to listen to. Hatfield And The North were an eyeopener and I couldn't stop listening to the solo album Rockbottom by Robert Wyatt. I loved the Canterbury scene. And in Holland we had bands like Alquin and Solution. It was a great era for the music I still love so much. Music that I thought would never come back again.
And then I got the new album Krasná Hora by Blank Manuskript, a band from Austria. And this album took me back to the time, long, long, ago when I was discovering this adventurous music. Music that means a lot to me. Don't think this is old fashioned stuff. Certainly not! To say it quite bald: Blank Manuscript is one of the few bands that makes prog a relevant kind of music again!
There are two albums (three to be honest, but the solo album by Jargon of Verbal Delirium, isn't released yet) that are fighting for the number one position on my year list. This album by Blank Manuskript and Kaprekar's Constant's Depth of Field (see review). Two absolute masterpieces!
I'm not going to describe every song on Krásná Hora. It's not doable because there's so much of beauty going on. Besides the amazing music, the production of this album is brilliant. It sounds great! The music skills of the band members Peter Baxrainer (acoustic, Classical & electric guitars, vocals), Dominik Wallner (piano, electric piano, synthesizer, organ, clavinet, celesta, Mellotron, vocals), Jakob Aistleitner (saxophone, guitar, bass, flute, glockenspiel, percussion, vocals), Alfons Wohlmuth (bass, flute, bottles, vocals) and Jakob Sigl (drums, percussion, vocals) are fantastic. Not to forget the guests on the album.
For the album, the band went to a farm in “Krásná Hora (beautiful mountain) in the Czech Republic. The inspiration they got there, resulted in this absolutely stunning album.
So buy this album, sit in a chair, put your headphones on, close your eyes and experience something utterly special.
***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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