The second effort from this obscure prog band is much better than the first, featuring a huge variety of sounds and styles. In fact they abandoned the electronic tendencies of the first album; self-titled 3-7 K; and I think levgan was right on the money with his statement of 'high dynamic' which is applied for the first (and of course only) time to this record. I disagree with some of the more critical comments because I think this is really out and out progressive -- it don't get more prog than this. You will hear Dauneresque free piano solos, melancholy ditties, experimental sounds, odd tempo changes, mashed up chords, everything you need for diverse aural positive praxis. It never ceases to amaze me how different opinions can be in this field, because I can listen to this record a dozen times and still hear something totally new and unexpected in it, but others will state it's only worth one or two. At least they must concede as a concept album this truly succeeds in evoking the dream-state of shifting and drifting sounds and images without repetition or concrete footings.
From the mighty osurec files of course, I'm very grateful we have this rip to get a taste of this music. Tracklists kindly added in comments section. I expect a new rip might surface soon because it's just such a great album -- a fabulous cover painting obviously evoking the dream state. And why exactly do we sleep? Well, surprisingly we don't know, we sleep because we have to -- we die if we are sleep deprived sufficiently long. A very rare inherited syndrome of progressive sleeplessness leading to death is currently being studied to unearth some possible genetic causes. Some of the mysteries are that no compound or factor or process has been found requiring regeneration during the quiescent state despite considerable study, and there is no correlation between sleep duration and metabolism, body size, or cerebral wet weight (through species). So a recent interesting evolutionary theory has it that sleep is simply to double an organism's lifespan -- since all animals are either nocturnal or diurnal, we can conserve energy by becoming inactive temporarily each day when there are no survival chores to be done as in food-seeking or shelter-building. A simple test of the hypothesis would be to study deep-sea fishes to see what their circadian rhythms are... This is a classic example of science thinking outside the box for solution-seeking... It goes without saying dreaming is even more of a puzzle, pace the Freudian interpretation of dreams as wish-fulfillment, most neuroscientists believe REM dreams are the random actions of a brain busy doing something else biochemically restorative or synapse-adjustment automatic -- but what? well with this record, we can discover what the brain is up to while you're asleep...
Now, from the back cover, I'm able to include the descriptors which the artists placed after each song:
1. While You're Asleep - Richard Bugg
For Alecia, this is what I do late at night when you are off in dreamland
2. Portrait of the Universe as a Thursday Afternoon - Richard Bugg
This started life as a piece for synth and trombone but somewhere along the way I lost the trombone
3. Bema - Dennis Borycki
The story of life in the jungle as told by a mountain goat
4. Matriculation - Richard Bugg
Joel and Dennis engage the piano in a discussion of new diversions (or was that nudie virgins?)
1. Five Minute Attack - Dennis Borycki
"The fire of the dragon is but the breath of time"-H. Lepton
2. From the Corner of My Mind, part 1 - Richard Bugg
3. Spider Barks at Sun - Dennis Borycki
4. From the Corner of my Mind, part 2 - Richard Bugg
During the preceding three sketches come dance in your mind
5. The Dance Within - Richard Bugg
Earth 8 June 1867 plus 117 years (ask Sam Clemens)
6. Distances - Richard Bugg
where do you think we keep the dragon? (look aside for correct distances)
7. Chanson de Dennis - Dennis Borycki
for the song in each of us....
Instrumentation: Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flutes), Dennis Borycki (Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600), Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit), John Powell (acoustic percussion, vibraphone, marmimba, tabla & drum kit), & Bil Richards (Guitar)
Original Cover Artwork by G. John Dudley
We did our first video at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre. It was a live performance and the location recording engineer was Barry Stramp. We shot it on 3/4 in and in the time before MTV about the only place it showed was on the local cable public access channel.
Taken from here:
Notice that the group was very much active until the early 2000s, when 'health problems' led to them semi-retiring. What almost made me fall off my chair was, if you read the history, an indication the group recorded two other works, a juvenilia or proto-first release (only on cassette) called "23-4-79" and a live work recorded directly to digital called "On the Shores of a Different Time" from 1986.
And a few quick notes about this record since, as I mentioned before, I really feel it's a home run when it comes to progressive music-- out of the ballpark stuff, as the triple-D chef Guy Fieri would say on food network. Notice on the Song about "Portrait of the Universe" (which appeared on the first release from 1979) the depth of composer Bugg's classical musical education, as he uses a sustained D major note to play various colors using different tones from the synths and keyboards, much like Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe opening (which actually was done verbatim by synthesizers by the wonderful Japanese artist Tomita.
As I said before, the depth of ideas, the versatility, the invention, the breadth which includes jazz, avant-garde, classical, electronica and even poetry, the interest, the overall theme of sleeping which runs though the record, as well as the gorgeous album cover painting (which is by G. John Dudley as mentioned above) all contribute to making this an absolute classic of the genre, from 1981, the United States of America... love live prog... hey, hey, my, my, prog'n'roll will never die... I think...
Track B5, "The Dance Within (Richard Bugg)" reminds me a lot of European prog, e.g., the Baba Yaga ST album that was so fantastic too... I can't believe that was 2.5 years ago now!