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Dieter Fischer

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Member since: 12/25/2004 • Forum posts: 513 • Last visit: 5/15/2017 2:10:08 AM EST
Location: Germany

Progressive Biography

So this is the usual place here to tell the people who you are, how you came to progressive music and what are you favorite artists/bands. Well the first part is very easy to be done, I've grown up in the so-called golden age of Prog and like this I was primed with the type of rock music that was very common during late 60's and early 70's. I've got a brother who is 8 years older than me and he kindly introduced me to bands like Uriah Heep, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and so on but not that much the real sophisticated ones like VDGG, Gentle Giant, Yes and Vintage-era Genesis. Those ones became many years later my favorites, namely after I've discovered this lovely website here. Meanwhile after collecting and listening to more than 1200 bands listed here and rating over 6500 albums (at RYM site) from various music genres I've got to say that it's time to separate the wheat from the chaff and the more different stuff I listened to the more certain I became about which type of Prog I do not need necessarily. So instead of listing up my favorite bands like everyone is doing here usually I'll follow the opposite approach and make a list of what I actually rather dislike. So that would be Prog which is (with examples in brackets):

- Too bombastic / dramatic / emotional or romantic (Renaissance, Camel, ELP and many of Japanese bands)
- Too cold and numb (Tool)
- Containing too much of narcissistic soloing and showing off musician's technical skills (Dream Theater, LTE)
- Containing too much aimless noodling (Can, Ash Ra Tempel, TMV)
- Too trippy, mesmerizing, droning, repetitive or ethereal and enjoyable solely under psychedelic drugs (Indo-Prog, No-Man, Brainticket, Popol Vuh and stuff from the previous point)
- Too experimental and pretentious (Fantomas,TMV)
- Having concepts behind that are more sophisticated than the music itself (most of Neo Prog)
- Too much based on electronic instruments (Faust, Neu, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Heldon)
- Too much centered on keyboards (ELP, Ars Nova, Gerard, Ayreon)
- Using too much of synthetic and squeaking keyboard tunes (most of Neo Prog / Metal Prog and some of Retro Prog like i.e. Rocket Scientists, Tisaris, Ajalon)
- Is very similar to movie score music or having orchestral arrangements sounding like romantic movie score tracks (like many of Japanese Symphonic Prog)
- Is too noisy or thrashy sounding (Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Death, Voivod, Kekal)
- Has too much of bad and disturbing or enervating vocals (Amon Düül II, Magma, Art Bears, TMV, Robert Wyatt)
- Containing too many political statements, protests and complaints (Floh de Cologne, Eulenspygel), Franz K.) although most of these German bands aren't listed here anyway
- Sounding too pop-ish and airplay-friendly (Blezqi Zatsaz, Atlantis (US), Glass Hammer, Pilgrym, newer Spock's Beard or newer Porcupine Tree)
- Sounding too harmonic and just "beautiful" (BJH, Oldfield, Bellaphon, Harmonium)
- Sounding too disharmonic, dissonant and "ugly" (Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica", Absolute Zero, Ahvak, Picchio Dal Pozzo)
- Defined as Prog but reflecting rather Alternative Rock for me (Radiohead, Oceansize, Dredg, OSI, Pineapple Thief, Archive, Secret Machines)

After reading this quite long list of bad examples most of you will quite rightly ask themselves: What is this never to be satisfied and cranking bellyacher doing on this wonderful site here when he can't appreciate what is considered as the "best of the best" by many prog lovers?

Well to answer this question rather briefly: certainly it's very often dependent on the right mood and situation whether one likes certain type of music but actually I checked out all the mentioned artists under different conditions and came to the conclusion that they're just not "my cup of tea".

Nevertheless this site here is one of my favorite ones and compared to every other music genre with the only exception of jazz Progressive Rock is still the only one having enough to offer even for an old sourpuss like me.
So after all these negative examples let me now mention what is the best in Prog according to my taste (which is always a subjective and personal thing anyway). Since in almost every sub-genre (apart from Indo-Prog and Progressive Electronic) there are some artists/bands that I like I'll take examples from each (in order of my favorite sub-genres).

Fusion / Jazz-Rock:
Aera, Terry Bozzio, Brand X, Colosseum, David Cross, Dreadnaught, Embryo, Frogg Café, Gongzilla, Jonas Hellborg, Maneige, Mar De Robles, Mindflowers, Ohm, Out Of Focus , Pekka Pohjola, Secret Oyster, Spaced Out, Tryo, Wigwam

Prog Metal:
Age of Silence , The Gathering, Green Carnation , In The Woods, Indukti, Isis, Maudlin Of The Well, Noekk, Pain Of Salvation, Riverside, Sieges Even, Subterranean Masquerade, Winds

Symphonic Prog:
After Crying, Amagrama, Anglagard, Carpe Diem, Chaos Code, Clearlight, Genesis (Gabriel-era), Gentle Giant, Grobschnitt, Hands, Isildurs Bane, Marsupilami, Nil, White Willow, Wobbler, Yes (CTTE-era),

Italian Prog:
Amanita, Apryl, Balletto di Bronzo, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Biglietto Per L'inferno, Buon Vecchio Charlie, Cherry Five Deus Ex Machina, Dunwich, Germinale, Jumbo, Maschera Di Cera, Maxophone, Metamorfosin, Museo Rosenbach, New Trolls Atomic System, Le Orme, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Il Volo

Art Rock:
2066 And Then, 4/3 De Trio, Anekdoten, Atomic Rooster, Audience, Circus [SWI], Djam Karet, Gordian Knot, Gypsy, King Crimson, Liquid Scarlet, Lucifer's Friend, Nebelnest, Nemo, Van der Graaf Generator

Progressive Folk:
Amarok [ESP], Artsruni, Calix, Ergo Sum, Flor de Loto, Errobi, Garmarna, Grovjobb, Haizea, Hoelderlin, Ougenweide, Ruphus Zuphall. Saint Just, Uzva

Canterbury Scene:
Caravan. Gilgamesh, Khan, Mother Gong, Moving Gelatine Plates, National Health, Quiet Sun, Soft Machine

Between, Dzyan, Eela Craig, Gila, Guru Guru, Thirsty Moon, Virus, Yatha Sidhra

Psychedelic/Space Rock:
Hidria Spacefolk, Steve Hillage, Island, Nektar, Negative Zone, Omega, Ozric Tentacles, Pink Floyd (WYWH-era), Streetmark

RIO/Avant-Prog + Zeuhl:
Akineton Retard, Alamaailman Vasarat, Discus, Dün, Ensemble Nimbus, Far Corner, French TV, Höyri-Kone, Kultivator, Machine And The Synergetic Nuts, Miasma & The Carousel Of Headless Horses, Miriodor, Samla Mammas Manna, Taal, Volapük, Von Zamla, Frank Zappa

The Album Leaf (not listed here!??), Explosions In The Sky, Kammerflimmer Kollektief (great innovative German band, should be here in fact!), Magyar Posse, Mogwai, Phoenix and the Turtle (though not listed here yet an excellent promising band I'm waiting already more than 2 months to get their CD), Sigur Ros (only: Agaetis Byrjun + Takk), Ulver

Neo Progressive (not much good to be found there, nevertheless I'm enjoying once in a while those ones):
Cast, Cliffhanger, Discipline, Shaun Guerin, IQ, Marillion (Fish-era), Metaphor, Osiris, Matthew Parmenter, Thieves Kitchen, The Watch

Finally just one thing I still like to mention:
Generally I prefer the little unknown bands to the big progenitors and well-known names. Not because I do not like that much the seminal ones but for some reason they're finding not that often their way into my player and rather rest in peace on the shelf.

That's it (well that thing became much longer than I intended)!

Keep on proggin'!

Reviews distribution by sub-genre

 Sub-genreNb of reviewsAvg rating
1 Symphonic Prog953.09
2 Jazz Rock/Fusion473.38
3 Eclectic Prog463.43
4 Crossover Prog402.70
5 Progressive Metal403.13
6 Prog Folk353.43
7 Heavy Prog313.03
8 Psychedelic/Space Rock252.80
9 Prog Related222.64
10 Neo-Prog212.52
11 Rock Progressivo Italiano202.90
12 Experimental/Post Metal183.17
13 RIO/Avant-Prog173.76
14 Krautrock162.81
15 Canterbury Scene94.00
16 Tech/Extreme Prog Metal63.50
17 Indo-Prog/Raga Rock33.33
18 Proto-Prog23.00
19 Post Rock/Math rock22.50
20 Progressive Electronic21.50
21 Various Genres12.00

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