I bet most readers here never heard of this band. The music this band makes isn’t something you would call ‘Prog’, but why should it be? How many people like music because it is categorized as ‘Prog’, and would not take any effort to listen to it when it’s not labelled ‘Prog’?
Let set some things straight. Even though most of the music I love can be categorized under ‘Prog’ rock, I still prefer a lot of other musical genres. There’s also a lot of ‘Prog’ rock out there I don’t like/prefer to listen to. Sadly, I still get pigeonholed by people. Even record labels and artists/bands do that. “You’re a Prog fan/reviewer/reporter! How come you don’t like band X or artist Y? They’re Prog!”. It’s also a matter of taste, and I’m glad everyone has his/her own taste.
Even my guest reviewer John Thelin still doesn’t believe me when I say to him that he can review any album he likes to review for my website, doesn’t matter if it’s ‘Prog’ or not!
One of my favourite bands I listen regularly to is no-man. Is that something you would call ‘Prog’? I like a lot of projects where Tim Bowness is involved with, and I adore his latest solo albums… But are those albums ‘Prog’? I bet the term ‘Prog’ is not what it used to be… At least, for me. But before I’m going to wander off, let’s go back to the subject I actually want to talk about.
Michael Bearpark is probably not a well-known musician, but he did (and still does) work a lot with the band and artist I just mentioned earlier (no-man and Tim). Michael has a duo project with Andrew Ostler, named Darkroom. The gentlemen started back in the nineties and released quite a lot of albums over the years.
Their music is a mixture of (eclectic) electronic music, (dark) ambient, soundscapes, and even some (heavy) industrial tones. Michael is using guitars, pedals, certain effects and loops. Andrew uses synthesizers, computers, and woodwind instruments. It is certainly ‘progressive’ in many sort of ways. I wonder how they would sound like live, so I really hope I will see them perform someday!
Please, check out their music and let me know what you think!
You can buy their music here:
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8 thoughts on “Honourable mention: Darkroom (Michael Bearpark & Andrew Ostler)”
Michael Bearpark makes great music with Darkroom and it was great seeing him live twice with No-man at the Boerderij!!
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Awesome Fred!! I’m very jealous! I wasn’t there and I still feel bad about it.
You are absolutely right Lady Ier about people jumping down your throat about getting on your case that you don’t like band X or Y cuz they’re Prog. I’m not a Yes OR Genesis fan and people raze my arse about it all the time cuz they deem them to be two of the quintessential Prog bands of the genre. Well sorry, I just do not like their sound, style, presentation what have you. Just cuz the majority of what you like falls in to one main genre doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING in that genre has to be your latest and greatest favourite band now. I’m sure those people don’t just LOVE everything in who they prefer. I like Cheerios…. does that mean I have to like EVERY different type of Cheerios out there? Hells no! Don’t be ridiculous! It’s the same people who are the first to be taking the piss out of a new style or genre blend that comes out of wherever. ALSO, just cuz it isn’t cookie cutter clap trap culture doesn’t mean it immediately falls under the Prog moniker now. Aside from: Pop, Prog, Classical, Jazz, Rap, Country what have you there are many other different styles and sounds out there. Ambient may or may not fall under a facet of the Prog marquee it may not. Or Experimental sounds/music which is what I am doing right now doesn’t mean it’s Prog just cuz I’m following no recipe or set of rules. Artsy Fartsy weird? Sure, Proggy? maybe a little. Pop? No way! Odd and completely erratic? Absolutely! Doesn’t mean it’s Prog so the other bands you listen to don;t have to be Prog nor do they have to be anything really. Some things may not have a title to fall under yet. Darkroom, definitley unique in many ways. Dark and moody? Unhuh. Soundtrack type stuff? Yep. Ambient to heavy passages? Sure. Prog? Up to the individual.
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And a big high 5 to you sir Duke!!! 😀 You nailed it there!! *hug*
herkenbaar…ik kwam jaren geleden bij een blues concert een aantal mensen tegen die mij kenden als hardrock liefhebber. verbaasde reactie: “Wat doe jij hier, jij houd toch van hardrock?” Ik had toen moeten vragen: “En jullie dan?” tegenwoordig kom ik dezelfde gasten vaak tegen bij Prog.
Even wat het label “Prog” betreft. Als afkorting van ‘progressief” os het volkomen misplaatst want volledig in zichzelf gekeerd en behoudend op het verleden gericht. Maar nu generaliseer ik.
gewoon lekker bezig blijven met jezelf niet laten labellen. Ik doe mee
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Heel erg bedankt voor je reactie, heer Berkers!! Inderdaad ja, die verbaasde blikken enzo… Om humeurig van te worden!