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Elephant Plaza

От Michael Baryshnikov (2:5023/24.3243) к All

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Hello All!

Залит Elephant_Plaza/(2016)_Momentum

Сайд-проект клавишника группы Мэджик Пай - Гилберта Маршалла.
Альбом с нелёгкой судьбой - после того, как он был почти готов, пожар полностью уничтожил студию вмнесте со всеми мастерами... Восстановление заняло ещё почти 5 лет, с учётом того, что все участники были заняты на других проектах.
По музыке он не слишком напоминает Мэджик Пай, в первую очередь по вокалу (и нельзя решить, который из них лучше), по музыке - похоже, отзвуки Пинк Флойд (ну, это - как полагается). В общем и целом - альбом меланхоличный, временами есть "взрывные" моменты, но взрывы какие-то приглушённые. Вполне годится в качестве фоновой музыки.

Elephant Plaza biography

Norwegian Progressive Rock band ELEPHANT PLAZA's debut album 'MOMENTUM' began as a 2-piece project in 2006. Espen MIKARLSEN (Guitars) and Gilbert MARSHALL one day started loosely jamming an idea for a song in our studio, Progstock Studio, and this should later turn into our first song "NAKED". After arranging the songs, drums and bass, additional guitars and vocals also were added in spite of various setbacks over the next years (amongst them, a great fire which burned down the whole studio in 2010).

In several sessions both 2012, 2015 and early 2016, we were able to gather guest singers and musicians for individual vocal and instrumental sessions in Cakehouse Studio (in which we were granted free studio time as a most generous gesture after the fire) and Gilbert MARSHALL's and Kim CHRISTIANSEN's private recording lairs. These sessions were absolutely marvellous and wonderful. We had asked the singers and musicians years ago and still everyone was still enthusiastic and willing. Absolutely fantastic generous people with absolutely stunning performances.

The album was mixed during February, March and April 2016, and is finally mastered by Hoffe Stannow at Cosmos Mastering in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2016. Stockholm is also the home of Progress Records.

The music was made simply by wanting to spontaneously pour our hearts out musically and lyrically. Just to see what came out with no specific agenda or style. From the moment of jamming those first simple riffs, throughout the massive production that this turned out to be, we have really only wanted to create something that we felt resonate with the musical longings and cravings within ourselves, to make good music and lyrics with emotions and stories that both others and ourselves can relate to.

(c) Biography provided by Black Diamond and used with permission, PA

Elephant Plaza
Crossover Prog, 2016
(c) Review by prog_traveller!!, PA

In 2006 the then Magic Pie keyboardist Gilbert Marshall and Espen Mikarlsen got together and in their "Progstock" studio in jam sessions composed the first fragments for a song that would end up on this album as the opener 'Naked' many years later . Everything developed very slowly at first due to various other activities of those involved, until finally some suitable musicians were found for this project. Then something happened in 2010 that threw all plans overboard: the entire studio and its equipment burned down. At the end of 2011, the activities started again, but Mikarlsen left in 2013. Over time, the line-up stabilized and the compositions were finally recorded with the following line-up: Gilbert Marshall - electric & acoustic guitars / keyboards / lead vocals, Kim Christiansen - lead electric & acoustic guitars / vocals, John Kamphaug - bass / vocals, Olav Rygg - drums / percussion / vocals, John Petter Sæterdal - keyboards / vocals, Jan-Fredrik Heier - keyboards / vocals.

Although the five-part title song promises almost twenty minutes of longtrack power at the end, Elphant plaza do not play complex, break-intensive progressive rock. Instead, the band around the former Magic Pie guitarist Gilbert Marshall moves between melodic, symphonic prog with a hearty hard / classic rock list and a weakness for buttery ballads. And yet, almost miraculously, "Momentum" is a solid album that constantly sails between muscular prog and soft metal, even flirting with AOR as it does on the opening track, 'Naked', powerful and melodic. Despite the many keyboards credited in the line-up, it is the guitars that take the lion's share, whether solo, riffs or arpeggios. Bass and drums are perfectly balanced, present but never overwhelming. But Elephant Plaza's signature resides in the impressive number of singers featured on this record: no less than nine men and women, lead singers or backing vocalists, who give the album a full side and a most enjoyable variety.

Musically, the album is presented by this alliance between muscular interpretation and softness melancholy, intertwined in an inseparable way, there is also some Pink Floyd on the quieter, almost atmospheric tracks, like 'Southwest' (the keyboard layers, the guitar straight out of "The Division Bell") or 'All The Way' whose acoustic guitar refers to 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Pigs On The Wing'.

The whole album takes the listener between hard music and moments of sweet tranquility, intense crescendos and delicate melancholy, distilling melodies that are neither too simple nor too complex.

WBR, Michael Baryshnikov.

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