Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Abstract Aprils

Warm spring greetings to all my fellow progheads!  As April begins to thaw the calendar a bit, I thought it might be appropriate to take the Concert Closet down a tangent route in my search for all things prog.  I wanted to stay domestic one more week, making it fourteen days without need for a passport.  Setting the GPS for all things prog, I do a little searching in the clouds for music to cleanse the mind and soul...and suddenly I am in the mountains of Montana...welcome to the ambient world of Abstract Aprils.

Self-defined as "sounds for daydreaming..." Abstract Aprils takes the Concert Closet far from the metal and heavy undergrowth section of the prog garden.  Abstract Aprils prefers to occupy a section where sun is required--but not the scorching, earth-burning variety; rather the soothing, carried on a breeze, melt the morning dew variety.

Cozying up to the notion that the following seven days will be vastly different than the previous seven, I walk the prog buffet carefully and deliberately.  My first take-away is a tranquil piece called "Breathing Sculptures."  All at once I am adrift on a crystal clear lake with nothing clogging my thought process...just serenity and peacefulness.  Very strong top notes of Robert Fripp a la Frippertronics and  Soundscapes...and strong aromas of Brian Eno's ambient days.  Abstract Aprils paints with a varied pallet; the colors are not dark at all--but there aren't any neon yellows or day-glo limes either.

Serving number two is a bit stronger; a bounce-around-your-head piece called "At This Point."  I sense a strong influence of Eluvium with hints of Helios...and dare I say a tinge of Syd Barrett?  I get just the faintest hint of "Mr. Floyd's" artistry and madness floating through the calming salve that oozes from this piece.  The song title seems a bit tongue-in-cheek as I feel myself being pulled back in time by the clatter rushing through my headphones.  The sounds you hear on the fringe are absolutely captivating...Abstract Aprils is a minimalist's dream--luring you in with pure simplicity.

Liner Notes...hailing from Missoula, Montana, Abstract Aprils is Collin Welner...that's it; just Collin Welner.  Apart from being an exceedingly humble human, Collin seems to have a firm grasp on the art of tranquility.  His ability to milk maximum effect from minimal sources is astounding, and his evident appreciation of the world around him and its ties to the inner being are laid bare for all to hear.

I move slowly back to the buffet for serving number three--I really don't want this to end--and I come away with a full portion of  "Daring Remedy."  Lying on a blanket at the beach, walking through a field at sunset, holding the hand of a loved one...all these emotions and more are nudged while listening to the sounds of inner peace cascade over my mind.  Imagine being tugged in several directions while feeling as vulnerable and delicate as cotton candy at a state fair.  Abstract Aprils allows you to fall into yourself without getting lost in some surreal, 1960's existential conversation about nothing...the only reality for the immediate here and now is a calmness that is the Ying to Liquid Tension Experiment's Yang.

This is the point in my blog where I usually post a clip for you to listen to so as to get a feel for what I am experiencing...but not so this week.  Abstract Aprils has released but one album, "blossom ends." and the only music I was able to download and post here would have been the entire LP.  I would much prefer you order the disc or purchase a download...believe me you will use this as a
go-to at some point in your life.  Abstract Aprils is the kind of prog you can showcase to those who "don't get it" and watch them melt from the inside.  Dig deeper and hear more from Abstract Aprils at  http://abstractaprils.bandcamp.com/releases and soundcloud.com/abstractaprils.  You can also follow Abstract Aprils on Twitter @AbstractAprils and the ever popular Facebook https://www.facebook.com/abstractaprilsmusic?fref=ts

 An interesting week; I hope the escape was a nice respite for you...it was undeniably a pleasant "cranium cleanser" for me.  Progressive music has many sides, facets, emotions, and temperaments...but the underlying connection throughout the genre is its ability to reach the listener on so many different levels.  I was struck this week by Abstract Aprils' interpretation of prog and the subsequent approach to exposing that to the world.  Let the music flow slowly and steadily over you; like molasses cascading down the side of the jar...

...and just like that 2015 is seven days shorter...time to continue my search for all things prog.  The Concert Closet has logged many a mile on this exquisite journey and I have yet to scratch the surface! Not sure where this prog adventure will lead to but of this I am sure; the excursion will be well worth the time spent...prog is that good.  Until next week...

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