Showing posts with label World Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Music. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Prog Ensemble Cymbalic Encounters Featuring Drummer Mark Murdock To Release African Inspired New Album “Afrika Mandalika”

Cymbalic Encounters displays its ‘world music’ side with the release of “Afrika Mandalika,” which features nine original progressive rock songs with an African twist of classic tribal and healing chants with rhythmical drums samples to offer authenticity to the tracks. Including titles like; “Rains of Waimba,” “Voodoo Supermarket” and even “Black Magic.”

Along with drummer Mark Murdock, guitarist Fernando Perdomo appears on a few songs like the upbeat opener, “The Fire Merchants” and “Festival of Miracles,” an instrumental which also features Joe Berger on guitar.

Also contributing are vocalist Tim Pepper from the U.K., who was also greatly influenced by Peter Gabriel’s work with Yassou N’Dour. Further accompanying Mark are Japanese bassist, Kenta Shimokuni and Mark’s son, Preston on guitar.

Watch “Afrika Mandalika” Promotional Video:

Afrika Mandalika” track list:
The Fire Merchants
Rains of Waimba
Black Magic
Sacred Trees
Shadows from the Past
Festival of Miracles
Voodoo Supermarket
Windows and Skies
Surrounding Shadows

Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Mark Murdock at Off-Shore Recordings Tokyo
Eventide Reverb, Delay, EQ and compression settings by Beam Audio N.Y.C, Joe Berger

All words and music composed by Mark Murdock - Copyright 2024

To purchase:


Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA),

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal Release A Vibrant New Musical Collaboration "Across the Evening"

“Across the Evening,” by ambient experimental guitarists Jon Durant and Robert Jürjendal, further extends the ambient/jazz/world crossover music both musicians have traversed throughout their diverse careers. Featuring appearances from Colin Edwin (UK) on bass, Aleksei Saks (Estonia) on trumpet, and Andi Pupato (Switzerland) on percussion, “Across the Evening” is a multi-dimensional, trans continental delight.

With sounds that caress and envelop, rhythms that percolate and inspire, the two guitarists nimbly play off each other and their guests, rarely allowing the listener to imagine that they are hearing guitars.

From the sublime “Reflective Sea” to the deep middle eastern vibe of “Beguiling Eyes,” the album crosses multiple stylistic boundaries. The final two tracks, “Return to Russia” and “Balkan Blue” are live recordings from the ensemble's live performance in Tallin, Estonia in 2019.

Says Jon, “Robert and I had known each others' work for some time - I'm really fond of his group Uma (with Aleksei Saks), and between my collaborations with Tony Levin and Colin Edwin, he'd been following my work as well. But we hadn't connected personally until recently. When the idea of collaborating was floated, we met it with great enthusiasm. We are both very interested in the textural possibilities with guitar but approach it differently, both in terms of tools and techniques. In the end, the two approaches blend wonderfully, and it's often hard to believe that what you’re hearing is guitar. When we began working, we realized that while it's great to be able to work remotely, there was a strong desire to also work together in the same room. I arranged a trip to Tallinn, and Robert organized a concert at Philly Joe's Jazz Club in Tallinn. We were very fortunate to have Aleksei Saks join us on Trumpet, and Inna Kovtun came up from Kiev to sing with us. It was an incredibly inspiring evening, and two tracks on the album are from the recording of that show. The album includes ideas and concepts born out of our few days of rehearsing and improvising together, and flushed out with fantastic performances from Colin Edwin (bass) and Andi Pupato (percussion).”


Jon Durant - Guitars

Jon Durant brings a unique sense of texture and melody to his instrument. His unique “cloud guitar” soundscapes and engaging lead work have graced numerous CD recordings and film soundtracks and his very distinctive use of fretless guitar has been widely admired. He has previously released 9 solo albums and three Burnt Belief records (with Colin Edwin). Durant's acclaimed 2018 solo release “Parting Is” was his first “solo guitar” recording and the follow up solo guitar album “Alternate Landscapes” continue to stretch the boundaries of what a guitar record can sound like. Both solo CDs have been nominated for “Best Ambient Album” in various US new age radio publications, while “Alternate Landscapes” also spent multiple weeks at the top of the NACC Chill Charts.

Robert Jürjendal - Guitars

Robert Jürjendal is an Estonian guitarist and composer who studied classical guitar and composition (Anti Marguste) at Tallinn Georg Ots Music School. In 1992-1997 he participated in Robert Fripp Guitar Craft Courses. He has written music for classical and contemporary guitar, cembalo, mixed ensembles, choirs; documentaries, art exhibitions and theater. His compositions include both traditional and contemporary elements, from folk music to post-rock and ambient-jazz. Robert Jürjendal is working as a freelancer composer / artist / lecturer. He is also the curator of the music program SOOLO at Tallinn Art Hall. Recent albums include “Source Of Joy” (Unsung Records 2013), “Balm Of Light” (iapetus - media 2014) and “Simple Past” (Strangiato Records 2016). “Another World” (with Colin Edwin) (Hard World 2018), “Five Seasons” (Albany Records 2018), With Noya and Godwin, “Samliku” (New Dog Records 2019), with Sandor Szabo “Electric Poetry” (Greydisc 2019).

To purchase:

Burning Shed:


Jon Durant's official website:
Robert Jürjendal's official website:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158,

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Progressive Rock Review: Steve Hackett-At The Edge of Light

Steve Hackett Website:
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Label: Inside Out/Sony

Steve Hackett just released At The Edge of Light on the Inside Out (Sony) label. I was sent the CD/DVD but decided to purchase the LP for additional listening pleasure. I am glad that I did. The album is a two-LP 180-Gram set with a CD included. This is something you get from most of the Inside Out vinyl so you get the best of both worlds and it's worth the price tag.

Hackett is a legendary figure in progressive rock and has a lot of music out there to dive into. With his Genesis days (while brilliant) long behind him, he is always moving forward and creating interesting music for longtime fans and new disciples to consume. I personally have not gone too far into his catalog, although I feel it is time for that to change.

I think Mr. Hackett is extremely underrated because his music has never been mainstream or commercial in any way. That is just fine with his audience in the prog sphere. 

At The Edge of Light is two platters, 3 sides of music, and the fourth side has the etching of the lighting on the cover with the man standing there looking at it with the inscription “Turn and Face Whatever You Fear Most.” Keep that in mind as you listen to the music and read the lyrics found on the inner sleeves of the album jacket (yes food for thought).

Side one opens in grand style with epic sweeping music and some fine vocals offered by Hackett. I have always looked at him as a guitar hero but the man is equally adept with the vox humana. This is a very eclectic group of songs ranging from prog rock, flat out rocking segments, blues, and world. It has it all and very well done I may add.

Side two starts off with “Underground Railroad.” Hackett’s tribute the trials and tribulations of slaves. It starts off bluesy then leads into a spiritual/gospel type sound and feeling then transforms into an all-out rocker. The changing tides of the music in a sense must have fit the all-encompassing emotions a slave had reaching freedom at last through those dangerous passages. “Shadow and Flame,” is one of the more colorful tracks with world music infused into rock featuring the Duduk, which creates a drone, and the very recognizable Sitar. 

Side three opens with “Hungry Years.” The track features some great harmonies and catchy runs that sound radio ready, however, that leads to some strong stinging leads from Hackett and some sturdy bass lines to keep that train rolling down the line. After all of that, it fades out then you move on to the next two tracks, which are significant instrumentals musically and thematically.

“Descent” has the resounding and rhythmic beats of marching soldiers off to war or making the “Descent” into that literal hell. Then all of that driving force folds into the “Conflict,” which is earmarked with a whirling dervish of sounds and more masterful lead guitar by the maestro Hackett. Then the fitting curtain closer “Peace,” after the “Conflict.”

So, you see there is a definite theme here that Hackett is presenting. I think what he is saying through music and words is what we are seeing worldwide. The wars, confusion, and atrocities of man that continue to this day are thought of while reading the lyrics and listening to the music push those words to the forefront of your mind. And perhaps for those tortured souls among us, who are raging their own wars with internal emotions that nobody knows but them. 

But yet we all stand At The Edge of Light, a few steps away from that dark chasm that surrounds us. The true nature of man is at the center of the light and that thought gives us all hope as we listen to the musical prophets of the world. Steve Hackett has created a beautiful album that is diverse musically and lyrically. I do not think fans could have hoped for a better album. This work speaks highly of a man with superlative talents and a message to deliver.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Prog Rock Music Talk
February 3, 2019

Founder of:


Side 1:
1. Fallen Walls and Pedestals
2. Beasts In Our Time
3. Under The Eye of the Sun

Side 2:
4. Underground Railroad
5. These Golden Wings
6. Shadow and Flame

Side 3:
7. Hungry Years
8. Descent
9. Conflict
10. Peace

Side 4 :
Etching - “Turn and Face Whatever You Fear Most"