Within certain genres of music if you aren’t one of the upper echelons then it is difficult in the present climate to make your mark. With what many know as Prog or Prog Rock it began with E.L.P. Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis
and King Crimson. Their legacy continues with b
and like IQ, Marillion, Pendragon
and The Tangent who all bare the hallmarks of their forbears. Yet even in the present climate there are talented musicians
ands screaming to be heard who without the kudos
and media coverage, heritage
and reputation of the more well-known artists struggle to raise their profile above that of social media. It has never been as tough for musicians to do this
and for all professional musicians to make a living through their creativity. One such artist/b
and that need to be heard is Dreaming David K & Organic. Throwing out more than a nod
and a wink to most of the above with a new album Mr Passive Progressive.
and is headed up by David Koracevic (David K in the equation)-lead vocals/Synthesizers/organ/piano/sound effects, Marco Magnani-Guitars/bass, Alex
and Gavin Beckwith-Lead
and harmony guitar/bass/penny whistle
and violin. These form the main nucleus of the b
and though a cast of supporting musicians include Ian Bally-Flute/saxophone, Jo Devall-vocals, Ed B
andstead-trumpets, Geoff Duckworth-flute, Michael Scott-6
and 12 string acoustic guitars
and electric guitar
and Jerome Bannigan who provides second drums on some songs in an early Genesis live configuration. All seasoned players David K himself having served a tenure with post punk rockers Killing Joke lend a very musical feel to all of the songs
and veer from time to time from the righteous path of Prog into electro/synth pop
and even tinges of folk.
Opening the album with the never more poignant Save The Human the swathes of synth
and Spanish guitar soon give way to a rockier, hard hitting plea highlighting the massive human
and environmental crisis we find ourselves in. Gavin Beckwith’s guitar adds extra grip to David K’s excellent keyboard foray’s whilst drums
and bass give an almost sense of relief that they are the real thing helping full b
and sound rather than a one-man army. This continues into Lost In Space, touted as a single with its own YouTube video
and sporting a second drummer Jerome Bannigan to add further weight
and pace to the piece. A little flute is thrown into the mix courtesy of Ian Bailey lightening the sound a shade. There is even a pause for Gavin Beckwith to introduce just a hint of violin to the mix too. “Cosmic man”, as the title suggests. Instantly loveable
and very well-orchestrated.
There are quite a few moments throughout the album where familiar musical passages
and themes emerge, one of them being A Prayer. Borrowing a little of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular bells theme (unintendedly I suspect) A Prayer exudes a vibrant sound full of interesting sounds like an electric sitar sound which I am informed is created with a homemade guitar synth whilst David K plays a crisp electric piano
and synth. Celestial voice is provided by Jo Devall who lends a spiritual feel theme as the title of the song would suggest. In sharp contrast Personality Game melds genres to create a variety pack of styles contained within one song. Once again, some great keys though I have to admit to being fooled by the jaunty synth motifs into thinking it was more a Eurovision style piece rather than a Prog, rock or st
andard pop song. The spoken word explains the premise of the song
and the previous electro build up dies to a meaningful electric folk pastiche in the vein of Donavan et al. Darkness prevails though hidden withing the lyrics exploring the grey part of the human condition lightened only by the tenor sax
The Big Picture finds David K questioning the whole of our being
and perhaps the meaning of life? The timbre of a real baby Gr
and piano intro is beautifully recorded with a reprise of earlier themes in true Prog tradition. This song highlights the splendour
and fluidity of David K’s piano playing too. However, moving into a more rock idiom Topsy Turvy Lady brings with it a little light hearted humour just as many E.L P. albums used to do with the likes of Benny The Bouncer
and The Sheriff. Ed Banstead’s trumpet gives a jazz b
and feel towards the song’s conclusion which left a smile on my face. Turning into a more serious mode In The Moment finds David K back at the baby gr
and to introduce a tranquil opening to yet another poignant lyrical loaded song. Along with flute
and electric piano there is even a nod
and a wink to the Genesis classic The Knife though this may be more obvious to the listener rather than the recording artist? The message contained within the lyrics may be simply live for the moment
and make the most of what we have?
Its Electric introduces an Andalusian vibe with its choppy sound aided
and abetted trumpet
and sax. Though lyrically sparse Its Electric showcases the talents of the b
and in a predominantly “well err”, electric manner. The Spanish/Mexican theme continues in a gr
ander style with Don Quixote turning the dark tales of the character of Miguel de Cervantas ancient novel into a musical interpretation. Amidst the gr
andeur of such an epic yet another Genesis classic is revisited with a riff remarkably similar to the crescendo of the much-revered Musical Box. There is a fair dose of Spaghetti western going on here
and I for one simply loved it. A reprise of earlier themes like Lost In Space
and A Prayer can be found in the all too brief Time Is Shallow This song seems to serve as consolidation for all that has gone thus far in its somewhat dark brevity. In addition, the piece can be viewed as bridge to the finale One Last Chance. As the old saying goes, “they saved the best till last”. One Last Chance really does have a hit single about it. There is a fabulous guitar break at approximately 3:06 which reminded me very mush of Andy Latimer of Camel’s style. A big up to Gavin Beckwith for that
and indeed the rest of the supporting cast. One Last Chance is a huge plea shared by many I suspect
and can be taken on so many levels. Personally, collectively or on someone’s behalf about so many issues. A fantastic way to end a highly musically charged endeavour.
In an age where the music industry is governed by commerce
and the ability to sell units to the mass audience it is refreshing to hear small independent artists purveying music of such imagination
and quality. Mr Passive Progressive may not be accompanied by expensive artwork
and or packaging costing the prospective buyer a small fortune, but what it does have in spades is musicality. I would strongly recommend this album in what ever guise you decide to consume your music. I found joy in equal measures whether listening to the CD on my hi-fi or the Mp3 files from my tablet/laptop etc. From David Kovacevic’s beginnings in a Prog b
and at school through his post punk tenure with Killing Joke he has come full circle claiming “I have been dreaming up this music since I was a teenager” he writes on the CD insert. Listening to this collection of impassioned songs wearing their influences on their sleeves I can well believe it. A breath of fresh air.
You can buy the h
andmade CD here for £10 including postage
and find out all you need to know……
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