PROG #90 p. 105.
“What the hell is this? I grew up listening to Weather Report, Al di Meola, Earth Wind and Fire, Caldera, Chick Corea, Jeff Lorber, all the great jazz, funk, artists. Wow, this music puts a smile on my face. It sounds familiar but not quite. It is absolutely brilliant. Seriously mind blowing. It’s witchcraft!” By massos270 @ https://bandcamp.com/massos270
Andrew Howlie of The Pop Break gave Witchcraft Jazz 10 out of 10.
“After listening all the way through, I can’t wait to start again. It’s a dynamite record full of refreshing sounds, melodies, and textures. If you’re into outside-the-box instrumental music with a heavy dose of futuristic improvisation and a mind-melting sound, Witchcraft Jazz is for you.” March 4 2018 @ https://thepopbreak.com/2018/04/10/review/
André de Boer wrote in Dutch Progressive Rock Page – DPRP.net:
“This Witchcraft Jazz album of MetaQuorum is an hour of amazingly crafted tunes in ever changing positive cheer up moods and very addictive. If you think this is not your music, I recommend to listen anyway right now. And if you like Snarky Puppy then I recommend you to listen too! This album is a real must in the jazz rock genre. Highly recommended.” Score 8.5 out of 10. Full review @ http://www.dprp.net/reviews/2018-029
This bunch are based in the north-east but have a truly international feel and are led by Dmitry Ermakov, a Russian born composer and keyboardist. They take great delight in seeking out the boundaries of jazz, electronica, funk and prog and then gleefully mangling them, resulting in a release that sounds like it should be soundtracking a cool crime drama that is being broadcast on one of the moons of Saturn. It’s discordant, occasionally daffy but always lands on the right side of interesting.
“It’s not simply this melting pot of cultures that gives MetaQuorum their inventive sound though; their music is a riot of styles – from prog, funk, jazz, rock and electronica – and diverse influences – from Mozart to Zappa, quantum physics
and the wild open landscapes of the North Pennines – all coming together in a form Dmitry likes to call Meld. “Nowadays there are so many different styles all developing off in different dire
ctions, technology is developing fast too, both in terms of instruments and production techniques, and fusion should be using all this. We found our music couldn’t be pigeon-holed into any one genre and that’s why we figured we’d have to call it something else: Meld.” […]
While some of Dmitry’s earlier projects may have had political or protest agendas, with MetaQuorum he’s content to let the music speak for itself. “The album is about music, about creativity, sound. There’s no other message here. Everything is over-politicised nowadays, but with an instrumental album we have the luxury of concentrating on the music itself. Art for art’s sake, if you like.”
By Claire Dupree, February 22, 2018, NARC. Magazine. Full interview @ http://narcmagazine.com/interview-metaquorum/
[…] “Если Midnight Sun я характеризовал в свое время, как электронный фьюжн, то с Witchcraft Jazz дело обстоит иначе. Нет, электроники по-прежнему очень много, и как инструмент творчества, она по-прежнему является основным. Но вот, так сказать, сфера применения заметно расширилась. Фанковые и проговые мотивы заметно потеснили классический фьюжн, а, скажем, в Socket Swing можно наблюдать и изящный реверанс в сторону свинга. Фортепьянный пассаж и интонации классического джаза звучат и в интро к титульной композиции Witchcraft Jazz. Из очевидного упомянем и живое слово от Кэрол и Дмитрия Ермаковых , как дополнительную (и существенную, особенно в Crimson Dreams) краску в ряде треков. Сам Дмитрий Ермаков называет стиль своей музыки meld, то есть «слияние» элементов всех вышеперечисленных направлений под электронной эгидой. Звучание большинства композиций при этом получается у MetaQuorum очень динамичным, акцентированным, полиритмичным, но без этакого давящего утяжеления, характерного для многих коллективов, синтезирующих прог-рок и джаз с металлом. MetaQuorum в этом плане идет другим путем, и такие пьесы, как Swagger, Limping Mathematician или Seven Dwarfs Rock (тут Ермаков и Михеев, соавторы этой пьесы, ввели еще, на мое ухо, и черточки психоделии) показались мне наиболее яркими вехами на этом пути. Ну, и конечно, не могу не вспомнить и прекрасную композицию Jonathan Livingston (по Ричарду Баху), выпущенную в 2016 году в виде сингла и тогда услышанную мной впервые.”[…]
By Leonid Auskern, 30 January 2018, Jazz-квадрат @ http://jazzquad.ru/index.pl?act=PRODUCT&id=4876
UK based duo MetaQuorum recently released two new singles which are available on Bandcamp. In an interview for Prog Sphere, Dmitry Ermakov and Koos van der Velde talk about the band’s work.
Define the mission of MetaQuorum.
To have fun and continue on our music journey. To contribute to the revival and emergence of new Progressive Music styles and to continue developing our own Meld music by experimenting with a fusion of different genres. To bring out Meld, a new wave of Progressive Music, both instrumental and songs, to all generations of music-lovers. To help in shifting the balance in the general population’s preferences from ‘dumb’ music dominating radio waves and… well, TV, Net etc. towards ‘intelligent’ music of any kind.
30 May 2016. Prog-Sphere. Read more @ http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/metaquorum-interview/
NEWS: METAQUORUM SINGLE RELEASE
TWO NEW TRACKS OF FUNK-LADEN ELECTRONICA ARE TO BE RELEASED BY METAQUORUM
BY SIMON BECKWITH ON THURSDAY, MAY 5TH, 2016
MetaQuorum are being very bold in May, with two singles released; fans of their funk laden electronica are in for a real treat as new track Jonathan Livingston is released on Sunday 15th May with Migration following on Saturday 28th May.
Jonathan Livingston is filled with punchy grooves, and is powerfully atmospheric. Mellow yet melodic, it makes full use of funk-filled slap bass lines and smooth electronic effects. All set against a soundscape of seagulls, it’s a dense, moody instrumental that harbours an emotive expressive representation of our longing for freedom. Migration is a similarly progressive track, an epic sound echoing the expanse of the solar system, it’s all filled with dance-trance rhythms.
REVIEWS OF THE DÉBUT ALBUM MIDNIGHT SUN, RELEASED 23 JANUARY 2015
“A duo from the the North of England who delight in the unusual, MetaQuorumare an act who blend several genres to create something very different from the norm.
…the album sees the pair pulling together electronic production techniques, sampling, a funk groove and an “alternative” mindset to create instrumentals which boggle the brain. Like the single below, which feeds off the bleak but oddly beautiful surroundings on the North East, each track has a specific inspiration – one idea which then develops into the sprawling tracks that personify the whole release.
But don’t let the word “sprawling” fool you. These aren’t disorganised flights of fancy, but meticulously captured musical performances.”
The Sound of Confusion, by Steve Boniface. (27 August, 2015). http://thesoundofconfusionblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/metaquorum-midnight-sun.html
“The magical trip above is none other than the latest single from the excellent minds of two very creative musicians. Collectively known as MetaQuorum, the split sensibilities of Dmitry Ermakov and Koos Van Der Velde mix together to create something unlike we’ve heard in a very long time indeed. If ever.
Blending electronic elements with an accessible, funky style of jazz, the track is filled with bags of atmosphere and acts as a great introduction to the pair’s unique style. Thankfully, this compelling track hasn’t been released alone, so there’s plenty more where it came from.”
INDIE MUSIC MAG, by Ethan 4/8/2015 @ http://indiemusicmag.com/home/single-feature-north-sea-fret-by-metaquorum-plus-debut-album-midnight-sun/
“If you like your music to be predictable and follow the crowd, then you should probably look away now. The single above… is about as far from the musical mainstream is it’s possible to land without dialing up Philip Glass.
…Daring and atmospheric, it’s a high quality jaunt into genre-mashing mayhem, which could be a mess but is drawn together by fantastic structuring and musicianship.
Pulling together funk, jazz, electro-touches and the latest recording techniques, their music is a creatively compelling puzzle. It’s good on first listen, but with more listen you appreciate more and more how everything flows. It’s like peeling back layers, piece by piece, from a solidly entertaining core.”
Just Can’t Get Enough Music, 4/8/2015 @ https://justcantgetenoughmusic.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/metaquorum-impact-with-left-field-album-midnight-sun-and-new-single/
“…the new album from MetaQuorum is a real mind bender. Marrying a host of influences that you wouldn’t expect to blend, the LP is a great example of what creative minds can do when working at a high level.
… this album is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for people who like to know what to expect from their music. Instead, think of it as an album for the adventurous. It’s certainly the first of its kind to have been brought to our attention this year, and it will likely be the last.
Catchy, funky, rhythmic and at the same time extremely off-kilter, this is original in the best ways.”
REAL MUSIC NETWORK, 4/8/2015 @ https://realmusicnetwork.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/midnight-sun-album-out-now-from-metaquorum/
“Drawing on inspiration from artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Kraftwek and Led Zeppelin, ‘Midnight Sun’ is as experimental as any “structural fusion” you’re likely to encounter.”
Bill Buckley, 14 April, 2015 @ http://www.soulandjazzandfunk.com/news/3336-land-of-the-midnight-sun.html
“MetaQuorum are an instrumental local outfit featuring members Dmitry Ermakov (who was once a big noise on the Russian underground scene before emigrating to the UK) and Dutch drummer Koos van der Velde. Their debut album is a splendid amalgamation of styles, featuring cosmic jazz rushes, cocktail hour riffs and psyched synths. It’s not afraid to get its funk on either and if you can imagine Herbie Hancock getting ready for a big night out – browsing through his wardrobe, wanting to look sharp – then this is what he’s playing to put him in the mood.”
The Crack, April 2015 issue: http://www.thecrackmagazine.com/view-editorial/2434
“Midnight Sun definitely belongs to the electronic realm. […] The tracks are terrifically energetic, with a strong, melodic bass laid over a very robust rhythm framework, often with a funky flavour. Against this background, the keys ring out, sustained and skilful. […] If asked to come up with an overall style for Dmitry’s playing, I would say it’s a meeting of Rick Wakeman with Herbie Hancock at the time of the Headhunters.
Two tracks –Midnight Sun and Unexpected Encounter – are set slightly apart; they are gentler […] kind of electronic ballads, fusion style.
I should highlight another track, too: Canzona. […] Dmitry Ermakov’s interpretation of the piece by Francesco Canova da Milano (or as some claim, by the amazing soviet composer-prankster V. Vavilov) is truly wonderful! It will no doubt appeal to music-lovers from Edinburgh through Zürich to Brest further East while for those in the post-soviet territories, Ermakov’s arrangement will evoke a certain mood, and they’ll be glad they heard it.
I’m sure this album will prove popular with a wide audience, including lovers of so-called ambient music – after all, who doesn’t enjoy driving along listening to good music! But first and foremost Midnight Sun will appeal to fans of good old jazz-rock, in other words, fusion. Admittedly, this time their favourite dish is spiced with a particularly peppery sauce. Bon appetite!”
By Leonid Auskeri, jazz-квадрат, http://jazzquad.ru/index.pl?act=PRODUCT&id=4042 (Feb. 18, 2015).Translated by Carol Ermakova.
“Yesterday I played Clodhopping on air for the second time, and as I said, it gets better every time you listen to it. Actually, that goes for the whole album. Silver Thread and Unexpected Encounter are especially beautiful, and Canzona too.
Eventually these kinds of records always turn out to be the true gems in your collection, because in the long run they keep on surprising you.”
Dick de Graaf, De Etherbak show, Smelne FM, http://www.smelnefm.nl/ (Feb. 8, 2015).
“Skewy funk distortions with keys similar to George Duke. Nicely bent out of shape.”
Editor’s Comments for Midnight Sun album title track on all-about jazz, http://media.allaboutjazz.com/jazzdownload.php?id=10119 (Feb. 4, 2015).
“Sound-in-colour – an acoustic body that moves smoothly and without exaggeration incorporating both improvisation and calculation. Music that fascinates with its instrumental volubility, meaningful overlapping and intricate interaction of compositional layers. Music which mirrors life and therefore declares that all art is natural.”
Marc Awolin, Instructor for Piano and Improvisation, Bielefeld University & Detmold Hochschule für Musik, Germany. (November, 2014).
REVIEWS OF THE DEBUT SINGLE NORTH SEA FRET, RELEASED 8 JANUARY 2015
“Designed to reflect the rough hewn beauty of North East England where the duo are based, ‘North Sea Fret’ is the debut single from Russian/Dutch born pair MetaQuorum (Dmitry Ermakov and Koos Van Der Velde).
Both veteran musicians in their own right, the duo have followed quite different paths to end up in England’s North East, but they do share two vital things. First, a great love and talent for music. And second, an anti-establishment outlook.
The result is music which is well represented by this debut track – bleak in a beautiful kind of way, and meticulously written.”
Trisicle. http://timbonnettdesign.co.uk/north-sea-fret-single-out-now-from-metaquorum-album-midnight-sun/ (21 August, 2015).
“To be honest, I rarely listen to rock influenced music, but I really like the eclectic sound that you guys are making. I think that it has a great atmosphere, and it’s kind of a fusion of electronic music and contemporary jazz which is quite rare and sweet to my ears”.
Sound bites from the anonymous CROWD REVIEW from REVERBNATION, July 2014:
“I really enjoyed this graceful, beautiful piece of music. The introduction was gentle and entered naturally, not too suddenly. The music was created using slowly, but perfectly played piano and guitar in some of the verses… this song didn’t have any vocals and therefore there were no lyrics but the music itself was powerful enough to keep me interested. I would rate this fantastic tune a 9!”
“…It is slightly mysterious and dark, but then has a hint of excitement or light. It kinda feels like the audience is searching for something, that the song is taking them on a journey where something needs to be found or discovered in an unknown place… always changing, keeping the audience intrigued and keeping their senses heightened. I really enjoyed the keyboard/piano accompaniment, it put some modern into the future. The song has a sort of blues/jazzy feel to it. The rhythm and beat are really good, changing throughout the song to give a different scene, breaking up the song and keeping the audience involved.”
“Love the wind blowing from the intro of this song. The keyboard playing is nice to hear. Love the bass line playing in the verse. The weird sound effects is a good thing. There are no lyrics and I like that. Just instrumental playing. You can hear an electric guitar playing as well. Cool drums. This track is coooool. Love the horn at the end.”
“I like this. It’s a really jazzy instrumental that put me at ease. It had a great rhythm, sound and all instruments felt very well together. Very nicely done. I look forward to reviewing more from this artist, it’s great to review something good for a change.”