I would like to congratulate the Belgian outfit Quantum Fantay, because in 2012 the band celebrates their tenth anniversary! The musicians can look back upon a rather successful period during which they released four studio albums namely Agapanthusterra (2005), Ugisiunsi (2007), Kaleidothrope (2009 see review) and Bridges of Kukuriku (2010 see review). All these albums contain a fine mixture of space rock and progressive rock, but also elements of psychedelic rock, electronic music, world music, reggae and dub.
Over the years the band learned how to perform a good live show on stage not only in Belgium, but also abroad. They performed on well-known festivals as NEARfest (USA), Symforce (The Netherlands), Burg Herzberg (Germany) and recently on the first edition of the Progdreams Festival in The Netherlands (see review). If you want to know how they sounded on the Burg Herzberg Festival you should listen to the live album From Herzberg To Livingroom (2007). On this album the band, consisting of Pete Mush (keyboards), Charles Sla (flute), Gino Bartolini (drums), Jaro (bass) and Dario Frodo (guitars), proved to be a strong live unit more or less influenced by bands like Hawkwind, Ozric Tentacles, Tangerine Dream and Steve Hillage.
When you have something to celebrate you're mostly get presents, but sometimes you give them away. Well, I guess Quantum Fantay felt that way too and therefore they recorded Bridges Of The Old Fishingmine, a live album to please their fans with. The album was recorded in Lokeren (Belgium), the musicians' hometown, and contains almost eighty minutes of live music. The content proves once more what Quantum Fantay are capable of on a live stage. Unfortunately the flautist had already left the band when they recorded the eleven tracks. However, you can still hear his wonderful playing on large parts of the album, since they used samples of the original studio recordings in order to keep the songs intact. By adding some more musical elements the songs sometimes get the feeling to be improvised. This works very well and gives the music a strong live feel. Most pieces are mainly grooving controlled by Mush's spacey keyboard and synthesizer contributions and propelled by the excellent drummer Gino Bartolini. Guitarist Dario Frodo gets enough room to show that he's an excellent musician. His solos are outstanding giving the music a progressive rock sound. Bassist Jaro provides some fine rhythms; he can play all kinds of musical styles: rock, reggae, dub, prog and even improvised music. He's used to play them all after being a member of Quantum Fantay for ten years!
In my opinion the band performed even better on this album than on their first live release. In general the music tends more in the direction of progressive rock music. This means that Bridges Of The Old Fishingmine certainly is an album that will be liked by many prog heads, especially those who enjoy the music of the above-mentioned bands. This concert was also filmed for a DVD. The band intend to release it later this year. I'm looking forward to see the images of this wonderful concert of this great Belgian band!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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