– 15th Anniversary Compilation Album (Lynx)

This isn’t a band, but a radio show, broadcast from Poland by Artur Chachlowski, and concentrating on progressive and neo-progressive rock music. Starting on Radio Krakow in 1991, and then moving on to Radio Alfa Krakow in 1994, Artur has been broadcasting the best in prog rock to Europe for fifteen years, and this 3 CD set is a celebration of both the radio show and the music that he plays. The title translates as ‘A Small Lexicon Of Great Bands’, and that is exactly what it is, consisting of contributions from some of the biggest names of the genre alongside bands that we in the UK would never have heard of. Mixing in demos, unreleased tracks, live recordings and remixes amongst the donations, it all makes for a fascinating collection of the great and the good in progressive rock. Starting out with one of the great we have ‘Guardian Of My Soul’ by Pendragon, which is twelve minutes of classic prog rock, followed swiftly by Agents Of Mercy featuring Transatlantic’s Roine Stolt, Poland’s Riverside and Quidam, Abel Ganz, Parallel Or 90 Degrees, Solstice, Galahad, Shadowland, Damian Wilson, and Moon Safari – and they are just the names that I recognised from a quick glance at the tracklisting. Other bands that impressed on actually hearing the music include UK’s Final Conflict with an unreleased MLWZ mix of ‘The Harlequin’, Dial from Holland with their ‘Green Knees’, Roswell Six and their homage to ‘Kashmir’ on ‘Here Be Monsters’, Norway’s Airbag with the superb, unreleased ‘Speed Of Light’, and the Gabriel-era Genesis sounds of Italy’s The Watch. This disc was passed on to me by Kev Rowland, who has been in contact with Artur for many years, and who was invited to write the English sleevenotes for this set, which he kindly agreed to do. The booklet is packed with pictures or Artur with some of the biggest names in prog rock, as well as a detailed history of the radio show, which unfortunately is in Polish. But it is the music which really concerns us here, and it is top quality from start to finish. This CD set might be a bit difficult to track down, but as a primer to what is going on in the world of progressive rock it is invaluable, and for those still hesitant about dipping a toe into the waters of this still somewhat demonised genre then it will be well worth the effort.
The Watch