Rea-Rem

 

Real Ax Band (West Germany/USA): Nicht Stehenbleiben/Move Your Ass In Time (April II 0009, West Germany, 1977)
Jazz/Funk/Rock
Maria Archer (principal vocals)
This Embryo offshoot builds on the more commercial aspects of the band’s sound circa Bad Heads And Bad Cats. I’m not keen on the highly polished, soul-inflected singing, leaving the instrumentals (still very slick, but quite lively) as the best sections. GRADE: C+.
See also Embryo

Reality Folk (UK): Reality Folk (Profile GMOR 001, 1973)
Folk
The first release on this prolific Christian label comes housed in a striking, minimalist red-and-black laminated sleeve that is unusual and daring for a religious album. The first few songs are pleasant contemporary folk with harmony vocals, acoustic guitars, double bass and tambourine, but the album becomes more inconsistent, taking in irritating jollity on ‘When The Stars Begin To Fall’ and ‘For Me To Live Is Christ’, a superfluous (though not unenjoyable) version of ‘Amazing Grace’ and even a bizarre monologue comparing Christianity to football, delivered in a strange accept recalling an Eric Idle character in ‘Monty Python’. GRADE: C.

Reality From Dream (UK): Reality From Dream (No label CP-109, 1975)
Folk
Lindsay Peck (joint lead vocals, guitar, bass, piano), Elizabeth Delaney (occasional vocals), Sophie Lyons (occasional vocals), Joanna Lyons (occasional vocals), Lucy Appleby (occasional vocals, guitar), Monica Appleby (occasional vocals), Lucy Pope (occasional vocals), Jane Trevis (occasional vocals)
One of the most controversial expensive private pressings, this is regarded by many collectors as the ultimate example of overhyped, overpriced rubbish. The reason for this is that the LP was a school project mainly recorded by young teenage and pre-teen girls for their parents and friends. Of course, many schools have issued such records: most were very limited private pressings, but are essentially worthless, consisting of choral renditions of hymns and various MOR and pop tunes. The key difference with Reality From Dream was that it was in a hippie-folk vein, and consisted entirely of original compositions. The creative brainchild behind the album was Lindsay Peck, who was presumably a teacher at the school. She wrote and sang about half the material, with the remaining songs being composed and performed by various of the pupils. Whilst Peck contributes some excellent material, it is the children’s songs that are perhaps the most interesting on the record. Throughout, the album has a unique and slightly eerie atmosphere: resigned, melancholy and otherworldly. To call it acid-folk would be stretching a point, and contrary to frequent descriptions it is certainly not folk/rock either (there are no rock elements of any kind), but it is very much a product of the hippie era, in both concept and execution. For the most part, the album wends its own, unique, rarefied path, with the highpoints being ‘Forever Farewell’ (a poignant Peck piece about the plight of refugees), ‘One-Hit Wonder’ and ‘Born Traveller’. The absolute standout, however, is ‘Night Child’, an astonishing piece of baroque psych-folk that epitomises an LP of quite remarkable, poignant beauty. GRADE: B.

Reasoning (UK): Awakening (Comet Music CM010207, CD, 2007)
Rock/Progressive
Rachel Jones (joint lead vocals, percussion)
The band was formed by ex-members of Erasmus, Karnataka and Magenta, but their music resembles the harder rocking side of Mostly Autumn (circa Storms Over Still Water). If you like them, you’ll like this, although you may find the lack of variety a problem (assuming you can ignore the lack of originality). GRADE: C.
Reasoning (UK): Dark Angel (Comet Music CM021008, CD, some with DVD, 2008)
Rock/Progressive
Rachel Jones (joint lead vocals, percussion)
The opening title track takes them close to prog-metal and is surprisingly effective, but ultimately the album is let down by too many mediocre sub-Pink Floyd soft rockers and near-ballads (notably ‘In The Future’ and ‘Absolute Zero’, not to mention the extremely bland ‘Breaking the 4th Wall’). GRADE: C.
Reasoning (UK): Adverse Camber (Comet Music CM040510, CD, 2010)
Rock/Progressive
Rachel Jones (joint lead vocals, percussion), Maria Owens (joint lead vocals)
Like its predecessor, this opens with a rather good prog-metal cut before settling down into a comfortable mid-paced Pink Floyd-goes-AOR vein. Overall, it’s again melodic and listenable but ultimately rather mediocre. GRADE: C.
Reasoning (UK): Acoustically Speaking (Comet Music CM061210, CD, 2010)
Folk/Rock
Rachel Jones (joint lead vocals, percussion), Maria Owens (joint lead vocals)
In theory, I hate this kind of thing – why a band with just three albums would want to make their fourth a collection of acoustic re-recordings of familiar pieces is beyond me. But in practice, this is their best album by far, with the bland AOR edges and vague progressive pretensions gone, leaving a charming set of folk/rock tunes. Apart from anything else, this confirms for the first time that they’re actually good songwriters and arrangers. GRADE: C+.

Reasoning (UK): Highway To High Voltage (Comet Music CM051110, DVD, 2010)

Rock

Rachel Jones (lead vocals, percussion), Maria Owens (percussion, backing vocals)

Since the band’s support slot at the High Voltage festival comprised four songs totalling 30 minutes, and since this DVD runs for 100, this contains more padding than a quilt intended for use in Alaska during a cold snap. We also get band interviews, two live acoustic numbers recorded at a different gig, a making-of featurette, a photo gallery and even footage of a band member attempting a bungee jump. As for the High Voltage set itself, it merely confirms how anonymous their bland brand of hard-ish, vaguely symphonic rock really is. GRADE: C.
Reasoning (UK): Live In The USA – The Bottle Of Gettysburg (Comet Music CM071111, CD, 2011)
Rock/Progressive
Rachel Jones (principal vocals, percussion)
Live, their material works much better than in the studio, and this is a pleasant enough set. It is, however, very one-paced and notably lacking in really memorable material. GRADE: C+.
Reasoning (UK): Adventures In Neverland (Esoteric Antenna EANTCD1007, CD, 2012)
Rock/Progressive
Rachel Jones (lead vocals, percussion)
In small doses, the Reasoning’s music is pleasant enough: Rachel Jones has a lovely voice and their lush, symphonic brand of rock is quite appealing. But they’re the dictionary definition of one-trick ponies, and over a full album it’s obvious that their music pushes no boundaries and ultimately goes nowhere. GRADE: C.
See also Karnataka

Rebecca & The Sunny Brook Farmers (USA): Birth (Musicor MS 3176, with insert, 1969)
Folk/Rock/Psychedelic
Ilene Rappaport (joint lead vocals, guitar, recorder, harmonica), Ki-Ki Koury (joint lead vocals), Ilene Novog (harpsichord, viola, backing vocals)
This offers dreamy, off-kilter folk/rock for most of side one, with Mickey Kapner’s Lou Reed-like vocals and Ilene Novog’s viola creating a Velvet Underground-like mood at times. ‘Love’, however, has a very different feel, thanks to Ki-Ki Koury’s screeching vocals, almost sounding like a cross between Savage Rose’s Annisette Hansen and a particularly demented Janis Joplin. Side two is slightly more avant-garde, with the lengthy ‘Better Dead Than Red’ having a weird middle section made up of sirens and sound effects, and ‘What Do You Think Of The War?’ combining a bluesy feel with sitar backing. Vocalist and guitarist Ilene Rappaport, bassist Ernie Eremita and the aforementioned Ilene Novog later issued a couple of quirky soft rock albums as Chunky, Novi & Ernie; Novog went on to play with many household names as a prolific session musician, whilst Rappaport had some big hits under her real name Lauren Wood. GRADE: C+.
See also Chunky, Novi & Ernie, Lauren Wood

Rebekka (West Germany): Phoenix (Heute 82082 ST, 1982)
Progressive
Marion Weldert (lead vocals)
The opening ‘Swan Song’ begins like an outtake from Popol Vuh’s Hosianna Mantra, but the album quickly takes a rather different direction. There’s a definite Renaissance influence here, although Rebekka’s music is much more electric, alternating stately passages of symphonic rock with solo piano. Elsewhere, there are slightly jazzy touches, long elegiac Pink Floyd-like instrumentals, Carol Of Harvest-style folky diversions and hints of world music; the result is a frequently impressive album, but one lacking in really outstanding songs. Ironically, by far their best number ‘Lotos’ was discarded from the track listing due to its length, and only released on the CD reissue. Featuring Marion Weldert on tamboura, it’s an absolutely superb instrumental with some raga touches, suggesting potential not even hinted at by the rest of the record. GRADE: C+.
Rebekka (West Germany): Labyrinth (Ohrwurm OW 1023, 1984)
Progressive
Marion Weldert (lead vocals)
Their second and final album has a more modern neoprogressive style, with chunky guitar work, symphonic keyboards and strong influences from Time-Line-era Renaissance. This approach lays bare their songwriting shortcomings, with the end result being a listenable but rather pedestrian set. Although not a very expensive album, this is enormously difficult to track down. GRADE: C.

Rebel Wheel (Canada): Diagramma (10T, CD, with digipak, 2007)
Progressive
Angie MacIvor (keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals)
This Canadian prog album is varied and quite inventive: the predominant style is knotty jazzy rock with heavy riffing, but it also takes in diversions to King Crimson or Anekdoten territory, songs with more of a symphonic feel, and much more. If it has a failing, it’s somewhat disjointed, creating the impression that the band was simply throwing ideas against the wall, but it contains numerous excellent passages. GRADE: B–.
Rebel Wheel (Canada): We Are In The Time Of Evil Clocks (10T, CD, 2010)
Progressive
Angie MacIvor (joint lead vocals, keyboards, saxophone)
In a similar vein to its predecessor, but a bit more cohesive and a touch jazzier, this a fine progressive album that constantly changes direction and surprises with unexpected twists and turns. GRADE: B–.

Rebirth (USA): Into The Light (Rittenhouse Custom Recordings 1017, 1970)
Folk/Rock
Elaine Warfel (joint lead vocals, keyboards)
A lovely album of Christian folk/rock, this draws influences from coffeehouse folk but also, unusually, Merseybeat (on ‘Young Girls’ and ‘I Got Me’); the latter cut also has some psychedelic leanings, as does the excellent closing title track. Most of the material is original, but there are also strong covers of Bob Dylan, Ewan MacColl and Peter, Paul & Mary numbers. Unusually for a Christian act, most of the lyrics are introspective and philosophical rather than overtly preachy. GRADE: C+.
Rebirth (USA): Rebirth (LeFevre Sound MSLP-3100, 1971)
Folk/Rock
Elaine Warfel (joint lead vocals, keyboards)
This is in the same style as their first, and equally good (even if the lyrics are often more conventionally preachy). The best tracks are probably their excellent covers of ‘Summertime’ and ‘Everybody’s Talkin’’, although I have no idea why they attempted to tackle ‘Proud Mary’. The disc was reissued the following year (Avant Garde 135) with ‘Summertime’ and ‘People Gotta Be Free/I Wanna Be Free’ removed and replaced by re-recordings of four songs from their debut; in addition, the disc was completely resequenced. GRADE: C+.

Rekku Rechardt & Snakecharm (Finland): Rekku Rechardt/Snakecharm (WolfGang MLCD-025, CD, 2007)
Rock/Metal/Progressive
Marika Liuski (lead vocals, percussion)
Fronted by the ex-Five Fifteen singer, this Finnish band offers well-crafted heavy rock with a few minor progressive edges and some excellent spacy guitar work. However, enjoyable as the LP is, only the brilliant instrumental ‘Snakecharm 8’ really sees the band firing on all cylinders. GRADE: C+.
See also Five Fifteen

Red Chair Fadeaway (UK): Curiouser And Curiouser (Tangerine MM10, with foldover sleeve and booklet, 1991)
Psychedelic
Shirley Souter (principal vocals, guitar, drums, percussion)
As the band name and title suggest, this is pastoral neo-psychedelia, with a heavy Syd Barrett influence and a gentle, trippy, folky sound. Shirley Souter’s singing and songs can be a little fey and insubstantial (though that arguably goes with the style), but at its best – as on ‘Sleeping In Your Garden’ and ‘The Watermill Of No Place’ – this is a pretty successful album. The CD version (English Garden ENG 1013 CD), issued a few months after the vinyl, adds the band’s two late eighties EPs plus a cut from a magazine flexidisc. GRADE: C+.
Red Chair Fadeaway (UK): Mesmerised (English Garden ENG 1013 CD, CD, 1993)
Psychedelic
Shirley Souter (principal vocals, guitar, keyboards, cymbal)
As with their debut, this is often a little twee, and Shirley Souter’s gentle, hesitant singing style could well divide opinion. Nonetheless, this is a more confident set all round, creating some lovely, trippy grooves that perfectly capture a hazy late sixties atmosphere. GRADE: B–.

Red Gap (Isle of Man): Under A Different Sky (Geode Music GEODE 106, CD, 2009)
Blues/Rock
Jo Earner (principal vocals), Val Nelson (bass, backing vocals)
The husband-and-wife team of Barry and Val Nelson return with a classy female singer and another beautifully played, sophisticated, excellently recorded set of smooth blues/rock. GRADE: C+.
See also Barry Nelson & Jeceris

Red Gem Space Funk (Hungary): Red Gem Space Funk (No label, download, 2020)
Psychedelic/Funk
Kriszti Benus (keyboards, tambourine)
This project by prolific keyboardist Kriszti Benus and friends consists of four long jams that are indeed both spacy and funky. Whilst this doesn’t have the killer riffs or effortless swagger of the very best jam band albums, I imagine few psych-heads will fail to be won over by its endlessly soloing acid guitar and assertive drums, delivering an effective space trip. GRADE: C+.
See also Bence Ambrus, Forrás Sessions, Lemurian Folk Songs, Paranormal Family, Pilot Voyager, Psychedelic Source, Satorinaut, Sessions With Hisa Shiroma, Various 'Psychedelic Source Records – Finalizing 2020 Compilation'

Red Hot Peppers (New Zealand/Holland): Toujours Yours (RCA VLPO-0132, New Zealand, 1976)
Folk/Rock
Marion Arts (lead vocals, guitar, saxophone, anklung, reso reso)
Led by Dutch-born multi-instrumentalist Robbie Lavën and his Kiwi wife Marion Arts, Red Hot Peppers offered laid-back rootsy rock mainly drawing on folk but also jazz and world music. At times this could be compared to the Insect Trust, although Red Hot Peppers don’t share the same passion for wild experimentation and are at heart a fairly conventional folkish rock band. Aside from the eerie acid-folk number ‘Witchwood’, none of the songs is individually outstanding, but this is a consistently good LP. GRADE: C+.
Red Hot Peppers (Australia/New Zealand/Holland): Bright Red (Oz OZS-1007, with inner, Australia, 1977)
Folk/Rock/Progressive
Marion Arts (lead vocals, guitar, saxophone, crumhorn, reso reso)
Relocating to Australia, Arts and Lavën assembled a new line-up and cut two further albums. This is even more wide-ranging than its predecessor, taking in influences from country and mediaeval music and adding some progressive touches. Again they give the impression of a more subdued and contemporary Insect Trust, and like that more celebrated band their musical scope is so broad that many listeners may love some aspects of their repertoire and dislike others. Overall, this is a positive step forward from their debut and another very solid album. GRADE: C+.
Red Hot Peppers (Australia/New Zealand/Holland): Stargazing (Oz OZS-1011, Australia, 1978)
Rock
Marion Arts (lead vocals, guitar, piano, castanets, saxophone)
Their third and final album is a big disappointment compared to Bright Red: this is straightforward melodic rock with little variety or experimentation. It’s listenable enough, due to good compositions and arrangements, but it’s also utterly generic and uninteresting. The odd but attractive front cover would probably be considered very politically incorrect today. Following the band’s break-up, Arts and Lavën relocated to the latter’s native Holland and cut a couple of albums as a duo. GRADE: C.
See also Marion Arts & Robbie Lavën

Red Pony (USA): Red Pony (Artco LPR-1123, 1975)
Rock/Metal
Kathy Turner (principal vocals)
Although not very original or varied, this stripped-down hard rock set is thoroughly enjoyable, with a few boogie and Southern rock influences showing through. Kathy Turner clearly modelled herself on Janis Joplin, and they actually cover ‘Move Over’, on which she demonstrates her full range of styles and techniques. GRADE: C+.

Red Red Rose (Russian Federation): The Light (No label, download, 2017)
Progressive/Psychedelic
Yana Shumskaya (lead vocals, keyboards)
To describe Red Red Rose’s leader Yana Shumskaya as the Russian Cary Grace might seem a tad dismissive, but the resemblance is striking. Both are keyboardists, with a penchant for analogue synthesisers; and both take More or Meddle-era Pink Floyd as a musical base, blending their style with elements of acid-rock and modern prog styles. With a short instrumental intro and four medium-length songs, this isn’t the most substantial album, but it’s frequently an excellent one; I just wish Red Red Rose had stretched out and jammed a bit more, as the results would easily have merited a B–. GRADE: C+.

Red Red Rose (Russian Federation): Born To Live (No label, download, 2020)
Rock
Yana Shumskaya (lead vocals, keyboards)
After their promising debut, this much straighter follow-up is something of a disappointment. This time round, Shumskaya’s writing and arrangements resemble Judie Tzuke more than Cary Grace, and even the closing suite ‘A Long Way Home’ doesn’t really stretch out or do anything particularly progressive. GRADE: C.

Red Rocket (Sweden): Red Rocket (No label 2001, CD, UK, 1996)
Metal
Nina Fernandez (lead vocals)
This is stripped-down bluesy hard rock and metal, sounding more early eighties than mid-nineties. Whilst not especially distinctive and not at all original, it’s a solid album of its type. GRADE: C+.

Red Sand (Canada): Cinéma Du Vieux Cartier (SPBN Music SPBN 006, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2013)
Progressive
Pennsylia Caron (keyboards)
This was actually the band’s sixth album, but their first to include a female musician in the line-up. I’ve seen their music compared to Marillion, but there’s no resemblance whatever: slow, spare and atmospheric, led by keyboards and sound effects, this sounds more Italian than Canadian and owes little to neoprog. Mellifluous and well crafted as it is, it’s all a bit one-paced and lacking in excitement, but it’s certainly better than I had expected. GRADE: C+.

Red Sand (Canada): 1759 (SPBN Music, CD plus CDR single, with gatefold minisleeve, minisleeve, autographed postcard, guitar pick and box, 2016)
Progressive
Pennsylia Caron (keyboards)
The Marillion references make more sense here, though this also recalls late seventies Québecois prog in parts. Whilst somewhat overblown, this has a satisfyingly dense sound, with Pennsylia Caron’s keyboards (including rich swathes of sampled Mellotron) lifting the mood. The bonus CD single – whose majestic middle song ‘Nothing At All’ is decidedly the best thing here – was included only with the lavish (and very expensive) boxed set version. GRADE: C+.

Red Sand (Canada): From Québec To Reichenbach (SPBN Music, DVDR, 2017)

Progressive

Pennsylia Caron (keyboards)

This DVD (also released as From Québec To Germany, though I have no idea which version came first) features five lengthy songs performed in Canada and a sixth in Germany. With some decent lighting and a few theatrical touches, the set confirms Red Sand to be a solid neoprogressive band with decent singing, musicianship and material. GRADE: C+.

Red Shadow (USA): Live At The Panacea Hilton (Physical 21-005, with insert, 1975)
Rock
Evie Rosenthal (occasional vocals, cowbell), Brandy Brandt (occasional vocals)
They subtitle themselves ‘the economics rock and roll band’ and live up to that name, offering louche and basic rock with hippie edges and Marxist lyrics. With adaptations of Chuck Berry and Beach Boys songs with new words, plus a few spoken-word skits, this is a pretty insubstantial album, but it’s still a nice document of its era. GRADE: C.
Red Shadow (USA): Better Red (Physical PR31-012, with insert, 1978)
Rock
Evie Rosenthal (occasional vocals), Patty Larkin (occasional vocals), Rancy Noach (occasional vocals)
For their second and final album, Red Shadow are credited as a male trio plus guests, though this has a slightly higher proportion of female vocals than their first. It’s also a better album all round: catchier, more confident, more contemporary. GRADE: C+.

Red Star Singers (USA): The Force Of Life (Paredon P-1023, with booklet, 1974)
Folk
Bonnie Lockhart (joint lead vocals, percussion)
No prizes for guessing from the band name and label that this is left-wing folk, in this case comprising lively self-penned with varied acoustic arrangements. Bonnie Lockheart has a remarkably versatile voice – sometimes soulful, sometimes countryish – and the playing is nimble, even if their style and their sentiments have dated significantly. GRADE: C+.

Redbrass (UK): Silence Is Consent (Riverside RR2, with insert, 1976)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Heather Jones (joint lead vocals, percussion), Josefina Cupido (joint lead vocals, percussion), Seldiy Bate (joint lead vocals, piano)
As the name suggests, this was a socialist jazz/rock band, with an interesting line-up featuring several seventies jazz luminaries and three very different female singers (jazz veteran Josefina Cupido, Welsh folkie Heather Jones and later new age mystic Seldiy Bate). Conceptually, they were rather similar to Slapp Happy or Henry Cow, but the music is notably less avant-garde, with some melodic near-ballads mixed in with lengthy instrumental passages. GRADE: C+.

Redbrass (UK): How The Wind Blows/Sienna/Back In Your Childhood (Redgold RGR 101, 7", 1978)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Myra Love (lead vocals), Anne Zee (saxophone, flute)
Their post-album EP, recorded with a somewhat different line-up, again offers decent if fairly conventional jazz/rock. Annie Lennox was a member of the group at some point – presumably between their two releases, meaning she appears on neither of them. GRADE: C+.
See also Seldiy Bate & Nigel Bourne, Guest Stars, Heather Jones, Manchester Grammar School Christian Music Group, Nia Ben Aur, Ova

Redeker (USA): Portraits (Pinup ANGL-2002, 1984)
Rock
Renée Redeker (joint lead vocals, guitar)
The duo previously known as Minstrel String Guild and then Guild return under yet another identity. This time round, they’re crossing their familiar folky and jazzy singer/songwriter style with new wave-influenced rock; the results are solid enough, but this is probably their weakest LP to date. GRADE: C+.
Redeker (USA): Mental Health (Angular Productions, Canada, 1985)
Folk/Rock
Renée Redeker (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Oddly, the duo’s final album offers acoustic folk in their usual style on the first side and new wave-ish rock recalling Portraits on the second. Both work quite well, and this is a definite step up from its predecessor, but I find the thinking behind the disc quite hard to fathom.

GRADE: C+.
See also Guild, Minstrel String Guild

Redemption (USA): Look Up (Evan/Comm 553547, 1974)
Folk/Rock
Bekah Crabb (joint lead vocals)
Reflecting the cover, this is rural (though in no way country) Christian folk/rock with an outdoors hippie vibe. The tracks range from light rock to dreamy folk, with some good fuzz guitar leads here and there; most of it is very enjoyable, although the band’s best-ever recording actually appeared on the compilation Hill Country Faith Festival ’74. Kemper and Bekah Crabb later went on to form the very interesting Arkangel. As a footnote, this has passed under most collectors’ radar, but is one of the scarcest American private pressings; it took me literally years to find a copy. GRADE: C+.

See also Arkangel, Various ‘Hill Country Faith Festival ’74’

Redhead (USA): Redhead (Legend LRC 77, with insert, 1977?)

Country/Folk

Betsy Redhed (joint lead vocals, guitar)

At its best, this is a lovely album of gentle country and folk music, lifted by Betsy Redhed’s excellent singing. A few more uptempo cuts don’t work so well, with the opening ‘Bad Girls’ being downright irritating; this long and unfocused album would definitely have been improved by losing about ten minutes of the weaker material. GRADE: C+.

Robert Reed (UK): Sanctuary (Tigermoth TMRCD0714, CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2014)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (principal vocals), Synergy Vocals (occasional vocals)
I’ve never rated Rob Reed’s bland, pretentious pastiches of Genesis, Yes et al in Magenta, but I’ve also noted that I rate him higher as an instrumental composer than a songwriter. So what of his solo debut, best construed as a homage to Mike Oldfield (though others have described it as borderline plagiarism)? Well, it’s certainly very authentic – by which I mean he’s ripped page after page out of the Oldfield playbook, with the guitar tones, arrangements and even rhythms borrowed wholesale, even though the melodies are definitely his own. Essentially this is a cross between Tubular Bells and Ommadawn with a few elements of Incantations, though you’ll have fun spotting all the other references too. And credit where due, whereas Reed seems to take himself a little too seriously in Magenta, here he’s clearly taking the piss, as the ‘Plus… Tubular Bells’ credit indicates. Ultimately, you may come away astonished that he had the nerve to issue something so blatantly unoriginal, even in view of his background with Magenta. But what’s really astounding is that this is actually very good indeed – not a term I’d associate with anything Magenta have ever released. In fact, it’s possibly the best Mike Oldfield album Oldfield never recorded, so maybe Reed should focus on this sort of stuff full-time? GRADE: B–.
Robert Reed (UK): Sanctuary II (Tigermoth TMRCD0616, CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2014)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (principal vocals), Synergy Vocals (occasional vocals)
This is as good as the first instalment and as derivative – at one point, Reed even pastiches ‘The Sailor’s Hornpipe’. As such, half of me is amazed that he had the talent to make an album like this. The other half is amazed that he had the nerve. GRADE: B–.
Robert Reed (UK): Sanctuary Live (Tigermoth TMCD0714, CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2018)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (joint lead vocals), Christina Murphy (occasional vocals, handclaps), Lorraine King (occasional vocals, handclaps), Ffion Wilkins (occasional vocals, handclaps)
The middle-aged audience at this sedate, seated gig seem to be enraptured by the performances, and I can easily see why. The concert – comprising the first two Sanctuary albums virtually in their entirety plus ‘Willow’s Song’ from the ‘Wicker Man’ soundtrack – is far and away the best thing Rob Reed has ever done. Sure, he’s channelling Mike Oldfield rather than ploughing his own furrow, but the music here is stunning and hearing this music performed by a band – rather than by overdubbing – is a revelation. My only slight cavil is that the accompanying documentary is merely a collection of found footage rather than the detailed interviews Reed gives for Magenta projects. That’s a real irony, as he’s done something he can truly be proud of here. GRADE: B.
Robert Reed (UK): Sanctuary III (Tigermoth TMRCD0418, double CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2018)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (principal vocals), Shan Cothi (occasional vocals), Synergy Vocals (occasional vocals)
Whilst still drawing clearly from Oldfield’s work, this third instalment is both less derivative and considerably folkier. It’s also not quite as good, notwithstanding that it’s very pleasant in its own right, suggesting that the more Reed borrows from others the better his music becomes. GRADE: B–.

Robert Reed (UK): The Ringmaster Part One (Tigermoth TMRSE1021, double CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2021)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (occasional vocals), Micaela Haslam (occasional vocals), Heather Cairncross (occasional vocals)
Rob Reed’s Sanctuary projects came as quite a revelation me: after more than a decade of sustained mediocrity as the leader of Magenta, they demonstrated the man had genuine talent. However, that talent was clearly for emulating Mike Oldfield, as the albums were more like homages than mere pastiches. So what of this epic new venture, presented in two parts, in three different mixes (one by Tom Newman – of course – and one in 5.1)? Well, Reed is still partly in Mike Yarwood mode, as this strays extremely close to Oldfield most of the time, though Reed does throw in a few ideas of his own. More importantly, like Sanctuary and unlike Magenta, it’s very good stuff – beautiful, haunting, delicate and carefully crafted. GRADE: B–.
Robert Reed (UK): The Ringmaster Part Two (Tigermoth TMRSE1022, double CD plus DVD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2021)
Progressive
Angharad Brinn (occasional vocals), Micaela Haslam (occasional vocals), Heather Cairncross (occasional vocals)
Part Two of the project is slightly less Oldfield-influenced – though you won’t have any difficulty identifying who inspired it – and perhaps slightly better. As with the Sanctuary series, it raises a fundamental question: if Reed can produce music of this quality, why does he persist in offering mediocre neoprogressive with Magenta? GRADE: B–.

Reflection (UK): The Present Tense – Songs Of Sydney Carter (Reflection RL 301 M, 1968)
Folk/Rock
Mo Brown (joint lead vocals), Sue McHaffie (joint lead vocals, celeste), Marion Banks (flute), Lesley Bateson (oboe)
The first album by this productive Christian outfit is a mixed bag, but contains several really excellent tracks. In particular, their baroque version of ‘When They Shouted Hosanna’ is delightful, ‘Bitter Was The Night’ is dark and haunting and ‘Standing In The Rain’ is an atmospheric classic – and one of the earliest examples of British electric folk. GRADE: C+.
Father Gerard Beaumont & Reflection (UK): Beaumont Meets Reflection (Reflection RL 302-S, 1970)
Pop/Rock
Mo Brown (occasional vocals), Pam MacLellan (occasional vocals), Eileen Miller (occasional vocals), Margaret Haylett (percussion), Sue McHaffie (backing vocals), Jeanette Gresty (backing vocals), Patricia Gresty (backing vocals), Christine Tennant (backing vocals), Jill Wooderson (backing vocals)
Why Reflection chose to collaborate with Father Gerard Beaumont is beyond me: on the handful of tracks he sings, he sounds like a croaky geriatric attempting a particularly poor Louis Armstrong impersonation. The songs on which he doesn’t appear are pretty middle-of-the-road too, so this is musically completely different from their first album, with more of a pop/rock flavour and some slight psychedelic touches (notably on the standout cut ‘There Is God’). GRADE: C–.
Reflection (UK): On Hymns Of Our Time (Reflection RL 303, 1971)
Folk/Rock
Mo Brown (joint lead vocals), Pam McLellan (joint lead vocals), Sue McHaffie (joint lead vocals), Margaret Yeates (percussion, backing vocals), Marion Brooks (flute), Lesley Bateson (oboe), Eileen Miller (backing vocals), Christine Leht (backing vocals), Celia Refton (backing vocals), Jill Wooderson (backing vocals)

The title doesn’t make the album sound promising, but for the most part this very pleasant LP combines the folk/rock style of their debut with the haunting and florid organ work of their second. A couple of weaker tracks notwithstanding, this is decidedly more consistent than their first two. GRADE: C+.
Reflection (UK): Nativity (Reflection RL 304-S, 1971)
Folk/Rock
Mo Brown (joint lead vocals), Sue McHaffie (joint lead vocals), Eileen Miller (joint lead vocals), Christine Lehr (percussion, backing vocals), Marion Brooks (flute), Lesley Bateson (oboe), Jill Wooderson (backing vocals)

Reflection bowed out with another lovely folk/rock album, featuring some very tasteful acoustic and electric arrangements and peaking on the superb progressive folk of ‘Shadow Of Calvary’. A couple of members later resurfaced in the even more impressive Sounds Of Salvation. GRADE: C+.
See also Charisma & Friends, Sounds Of Salvation, Twentieth Century

Reflections (USA): The Unique Sounds Of The Reflections (RSVP MC1371, 1971)
Lounge/‘Incredibly Strange Music’
Allis Murray (guitar, organ, trumpet)
A big score for ‘real people’ collectors, this oddball lounge duo comprised a multi-instrumentalist and a flamboyant yet amateurish 13-year-old drummer. Alongside three originals, they offer appealingly garagy stabs at everything from ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo’ to ‘Eleanor Rigby’, all with a lo-fi, listless, Shaggs-like vibe. GRADE: C+.

Regal Slip (UK): Bandstand (Dingle’s DIN 319, with insert, 1981)

Folk/Classical

Eileen Pratt (joint lead vocals), Sue Edwards (joint lead vocals)

This collaboration between Graham & Eileen Pratt and singers Sue Edwards and Ron Taylor emphasises the classical roots underpinning some of the Pratts’ arrangements. Aside from a few keyboard parts by Graham Pratt, this is entirely acapella, with an early music feel and lush choral arrangements – relaxing and delightful stuff. GRADE: C+.

See also Graham & Eileen Pratt

Regenbogen (West Germany/France): Auf Meinem Weg… (No label 510 281, with insert, West Germany, 1984)
Folk/Rock
Françoise Colson (joint lead vocals, guitar, drum programmes), Dagmar Deible (occasional vocals, guitar, drum programmes)
This unusual band consisted of five folk singer/songwriters (four Germans and a Frenchwoman) backing one another on their respective songs. The arrangements are quite wide-ranging, from acoustic guitars and handclaps to quasi-symphonic rock with synthesisers and drum programmes. Overall, the standard is rather mediocre, but Françoise Colson’s ‘Jérôme’ is a lovely song. GRADE: C.

Reign Ghost (Canada): Reign Ghost (Allied 12, 1968)
Folk/Rock/Psychedelic/Progressive
Lynda Squires (principal vocals)
Although this has been a fêted rarity across the decades in which I’ve been collecting, it’s never been album with which I’ve really connected. Listening to it again for probably the first time in 20 years, my opinion hasn’t really changed: its dreamy blend of folk/rock, West Coast and early progressive sounds is perfectly pleasing and mildly innovative for its era, but it’s all so vague and impressionistic. Maybe the ultimate problem is a lack of great songs, as this certainly has great atmosphere, stepping forward from the softer end of Jefferson Airplane and other bands of that ilk. GRADE: C+.
Reign Ghost (Canada): Reign Ghost Featuring Lynda Squires (Paragon 19, 1970)
Psychedelic
Lynda Squires (joint lead vocals)
Which of the Reign Ghost albums is better is moot: this one is harder and more direct, with a sparkling psychedelic folk/rock sound recalling the first Jefferson Airplane album, but it’s also notably less ambitious than their debut. However, there are two big differences between the Ghost and the Airplane – the Airplane got there four years earlier and developed into truly outstanding songwriters. GRADE: C+.

See also Jeremy Dormouse

Reignbow (USA): The Message (NMI NM-108, 1981)
Folk/Rock
Sally Newell (joint lead vocals, guitar), Shauna Marrone (joint lead vocals, guitar), Kathy Johnson (joint lead vocals)
This Christian album has mainly original songs, lovely female harmonies and lively, crystalline backing based around acoustic guitars, bass and drums. For sure, there’s nothing truly exceptional here, but it’s a charming and well-crafted set for what it is. GRADE: C+.

Maggie Reilly (UK): Echoes (EMI 1C 564-7 98836 2, CD, with poster booklet, Holland, 1992)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
The former Mike Oldfield vocalist’s first album offers above-average pop, showcasing her lovely voice to great effect and with a certain rock strength to the arrangements. Most of the material is co-written with her former Cado Belle colleague Stuart MacKillop, though this thankfully never resembles her former band, whilst Amon Düül II alumnus Stephan Zauner co-produces and writes a couple of numbers. The opening cut ‘Everytime We Touch’ gave her a significant hit single across most of Western Europe, though it sank without trace in the UK. GRADE: C+.
Maggie Reilly (UK): Midnight Sun (EMI 7243 8 27351 2 0, CD, Holland, 1993)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
Like her first, this consists of beautifully crafted, wistful, mid-paced pop with mild symphonic edges. However, it’s a long album, with thirteen songs, and as it progresses the lack of variety becomes painfully obvious. GRADE: C+.

Maggie Reilly (USA): Elena (EMI 7243 8 37653 2 2, CD, Holland, 1996)
Singer/Songwriter/Pop/Folk
Maggie Reilly (principal vocals)
Reilly’s third album is a much more mature affair, moving her closer to a singer/songwriter sound featuring much stronger folk references (including an effective acapella version of ‘She Moved Through The Fair’). It’s also far more eccentric, opening with an electro-pop cover of ‘Walk On By’ (the album’s only misstep), a remake of her Mike Oldfield collaboration ‘To France’ and a version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ sung by her infant son. Overall it’s her best album to date, and even includes an appearance by Finnish folk/rockers Värttinä on the wordless title track. GRADE: C+.

MR (UK): All The Mixes (EMI Electrola 7243 54988 2 2, CD, Germany, 1996)
Dance
Why Maggie Reilly restyled herself ‘MR’ for this collection of dance remixes, I’m not sure; actually, I’m unsure why she issued an album comprising three versions apiece of ‘To France’, ‘Walk On By’ and ‘Listen To Your Heart’ in the first place. GRADE: C.

Maggie Reilly (UK): Starcrossed (EMI 7243 5 25415 2 2, CD, Germany, 2000)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
She’s changed her songwriting partners (now including singer/songwriter and former Barbara Dickson collaborator Charlie Dore) but musically this is indistinguishable from her earlier work. In any case, the best number is the haunting, propulsive, slightly jazzy ‘Adelena’. GRADE: C+.
Maggie Reilly (UK): Save It For A Rainy Day (RecArt Music 5419992, CD, Denmark, 2002)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
Reilly’s songwriting had clearly encountered a rainy day, as this is her covers album. I’m generally not fond of this kind of thing, but she chooses the material well and makes the songs her own, including decent versions of ‘These Dreams’, ‘Goin’ Back’ and ‘True Colours’. GRADE: C+.
Maggie Reilly (UK): Rowan (Red Berry RBR001, CD, with digipak, 2006)
Folk/Rock
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
Marking a radical change of direction, Rowan offers folk and folk/rock, with a mixture of original and traditional songs and covers. The traditional material is probably the best, including excellent versions of ‘Once I Had A Sweetheart’, ‘Trees They Do Grow High’ and ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, though the self-penned songs are frequently impressive as well, and she manages a good version of 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes?'. The German second pressing (Hypertension HYP 7258, 2007) adds a bonus EP with five additional songs. GRADE: B–.
Maggie Reilly (UK): Looking Back, Moving Forward (Red Berry RBR0006, CD, 2008)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
As the title implies, the album mixes six new songs with remakes of six numbers from earlier in Reilly’s career. The new songs are pretty good and the remakes generally quite successful (‘Stone’s Throw From Nowhere’ is a huge improvement over the Cado Belle original and ‘Family Man’ and ‘To France’ are daringly different, though she was never going to top Mike Oldfield’s flawless arrangement of ‘Moonlight Shadow’). GRADE: C+.
Maggie Reilly (UK): Heaven Sent (Red Berry RBR008, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2013)
Pop
Maggie Reilly (lead vocals)
This pastiche of pastiches covers a wide range of territory, from ballads to light rock and even disco on the title track. For the most part, it’s genuinely classy pop, with lovely, minimalist artwork to boot. GRADE: C+.

Maggie Reilly (UK): Starfields (TELAMO 405380431354, CD, 2019)
Pop/Folk/Rock
Reilly’s first album in six years is a pleasant collection of folky pop songs with nice hooks and melodies. As those adjectives suggest, this isn’t the most substantial album, and nor does it rival her very best work, but it’s certainly very well done, even if the spacy mysticism implied by the cover isn’t borne out in the contents. GRADE: C+.
See also Cado Belle, Mike Oldfield

Reisa & The Dream (USA): Songs For The Future (arTec CD100, CD, 1996)
Pop/Progressive/‘Incredibly Strange Music’
Reisa Marlowe (lead vocals, keyboards)
Imagine a version of the notorious Double Helix album with competent singing and playing (yes, I know that’s difficult) but with the same surreal science-fiction theme and low-budget keyboard-based arrangements, and you’ve got Reisa & The Dream. Part-progressive, part-pop, part-new age, part-cabaret, part-children’s music and part-‘real people’ weirdness, this is a thoroughly odd set but not completely displeasing for all that. GRADE: C.

Rejoice! (USA): Rejoice! (Dunhill DS 50049, 1968)
Folk/Pop
Nancy Brown (joint lead vocals)
The band name (exclamation mark theirs) and album title might lead you to expect something religious, but this is actually a male and female folk/pop duo resembling a gentler and more contemporary Sonny & Cher. Whilst this has the big production style of the era and top session musicians including Joe Osborn, Hal Blaine and Larry Knechtel, Rejoice! was not a studio assemblage: all but one track is self-penned, and the band initially attempted to record the album as a quartet, playing their own instruments and with Terry Melcher producing. When Melcher dropped out owing to his stepfather’s death, Dunhill insisted on the tracks being re-recorded with session players and Steve Barri at the helm. GRADE: C.

Release Music Orchestra (West Germany): Garuda (Brain 1072, 1975)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Margit Maya Haberland (occasional vocals, guitar, percussion)
Evolving out of the bluesy prog band Tomorrow’s Gift, Release Music Orchestra was a very different beast, offering complex instrumental jazz/rock with some experimental edges. The long tracks are interspersed by brief solo showcases for each member, featuring some of the most avant-garde music on the album. Overall, this is an interesting and successful LP, containing some fine moments. GRADE: C+.
Release Music Orchestra (West Germany): Get The Ball (Brain 1083, 1976)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Margit Maya Haberland (principal vocals, percussion)
This is another fine, mostly instrumental, jazz-fusion LP; a little less experimental but perhaps a little more consistent than its predecessor. Although this contains a couple of actual songs, once again Margit Maya Haberland doesn’t do much on the album. GRADE: C+.
See also Ma Gita

Remote Viewers (UK): Low Shapes In Dark Heat (Leo Lab CD 049, CD, 1998)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, synthesiser, saxophone)
Why B-Shops For The Poor have changed their name to the Remote Viewers, I have no idea, but this album – with the band now a trio – is arguably more in the spirit of their minimalist original incarnation as the Poison Cabinet. It’s still firmly in an RIO vein, but it’s quieter and more reflective than their last few albums, though none the worse for that. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): Obliques Before Pale Skin (Leo Lab CD 063, CD, 1999)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, synthesiser, saxophone, Theremin)
Like its predecessor, this is quieter, more mournful and more conventionally jazzy than the Petts’ work as B-Shops For The Poor, though there’s still a fair amount of variety and experimentation. Louise Petts is in particularly fine voice here, and the continued absence of the drum machine – whilst removing almost all rock elements – has to be a bonus too. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): Persuasive With Aliens (Leo Lab CD 067, CD, 2000)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, electronics, saxophone)
The Remote Viewers’ albums so far are very much of a piece, making them difficult to review. This one includes covers of David Bowie and Portishead (the latter a surprisingly natural choice) but the odd, unsettling blend of crooned vocals, mellow keyboards, experimental electronics and squalling saxophones remains unchanged from earlier works. However, there’s no denying its sheer quality – this is wonderfully atmospheric, nocturnal music with plenty of twists and turns to keep the attention. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): The Minimum Programme Of Humanity (Leo Lab CD LR 342, CD, 2000)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, electronics, saxophone)
The sleeve notes describe them as ‘British Contemporary Music’s best-kept secret’ and cite Polly Harvey, Björk, Portishead and Cabaret Voltaire, but oddly enough not Dagmar Krause and her RIO consorts (despite the fact that this is a collection of settings of Brecht lyrics). They conclude ‘I’m prepared to bet you’ve never heard anything like it.’ But I have, of course – I’ve heard all their previous albums, and this is pretty similar to them in terms of both style and quality. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): Stranded Depots (Leo Lab CD 076, CD, 2001)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, saxophone, Theremin)
Once again, this is an interesting, creative album – austere, minimalist RIO that’s not quite jazz, not exactly classical, certainly not rock, and not really chanson either. Once again, it’s a subtle evolution rather than a revolution in their sound, leaving me with little to say about it other than I thoroughly enjoyed it. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): Sudden Rooms In Different Buildings (No label GE5, CDR, with insert, 2003)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, saxophone, electronics)
Continuing the band’s move away from jazz (although it’s certainly still an influence), this opens with a weird deconstruction of Japan’s ‘Ghosts’ and ends with a lengthy piece that falls somewhere between Ligeti and the most ambient moments of Carla Bley’s Escalator Over The Hill. In between, their weird, minimalist instrumental electronic music is eerie, fascinating and strangely unobtrusive. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): Control Room (No label, quintuple CDR, with plastic wallet and inserts, 2007)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Louise Petts (lead vocals, saxophone, electronics), Sue Lynch (saxophone, flute), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
The Remote Viewers’ magnum opus (and first self-released work, in a run of 200 copies) comprises five separate albums, each with its own title and identity. The first disc October Rush comprises a single instrumental piece lasting 38 minutes; parts sound structured and parts improvised, as it moves from rhythmic sections to weird minimalism and moments of free jazz. At times hinting towards recent Art Zoyd or even a mellower Henry Cow, it’s a varied and fascinating suite. The second and third discs, The Art Of Empire and An Affair Of Cyphers, consist of shorter pieces scored solely for multiple saxophones and electronics: whilst interesting enough in their own right, I might have enjoyed them more within a more varied context. The fourth disc Fiction Department is the only one with vocals and lyrics, and is in their familiar style, though with a lot of distorted electronics adding a weird, woozy edge. Along with October Rush, this is my favourite of the discs. The final disc Situations consists of solo saxophone by Adrian Northover, and whilst it's certainly the least of the five, it’s actually not as boring as that description might suggest. Overall, this is less consistent than their earlier work, with a few dull moments, but there’s some fine music here and the Remote Viewers are to be commended for their sheer audacity. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): Sinister Heights (No label, double CDR, with plastic wallet, 2009)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Sue Lynch (saxophone, flute)
Down to a duo of David Petts and Adrian Northover plus guests (with Sue Lynch appearing throughout the album and Caroline Kraabel, Rachel Bartlett and Rosa Lynch-Northover making occasional contributions), the Remote Viewers return with a wholly instrumental set. Like its sprawling predecessor, this is divided into two separate albums: Time Flats collects a series of large-ensemble pieces using real drums and percussion for the first time, adding a more professional dimension to the band’s sound. It’s among the best things they’ve ever done. The second set Mirror Meanings focuses on works for smaller saxophone ensembles, though still with lots of weird touches, and whilst I prefer the first disc both are packed with fascinating moments. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): To The North (No label RV8, CD, 2010)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Rosa Lynch-Northover (marimba), Sue Lynch (saxophone), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
Unlike their last couple of albums, this is a single, and it was recorded by a fixed line-up of double bass, drums, marimba and four saxophones. It’s also more conventionally jazzy than just about anything they’ve done before, with the experimental edges toned down considerably; it’s nonetheless a very good and satisfying album. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): Nerve Cure (No label RV9, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2011)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Rosa Lynch-Northover (piano, percussion), Sue Lynch (saxophone, flute), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
Less energetic and more self-consciously avant-garde than To The North, this moves the band’s sound closer to free jazz, though it’s still far from formless. Weird, minimalist and intriguing, this provides another fascinating twist on their trademark sound. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): City Of Nets (No label RV10, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2012)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Rosa Lynch-Northover (keyboards, percussion), Sue Lynch (saxophone), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
Returning to the more energetic style of To The North, Remote Viewers deliver some assertive and involving jazz instrumentals, with plenty of experimental touches. There’s little in the way of rock here but there are plenty of RIO touches, and jazz/rock fans could easily end up enjoying this anyway. GRADE: B–.

Remote Viewers (UK): Crimeways (No label RV11, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2013)

Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Rosa Lynch-Northover (keyboards, percussion), Sue Lynch (saxophone), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
The Remote Viewers’ later albums aren’t all that different from one another in terms of either style or quality – and this is another impressive release, comprising several engaging and melodic yet sometimes quite weird instrumentals. If you like slightly dissonant modern jazz – with both excellent playing and recording quality – you’ll love this. Beyond that, there’s not really much to say. GRADE: B–.
Remote Viewers (UK): Pitfall (No label RV12, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2013)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Rosa Lynch-Northover (keyboards, percussion), Sue Lynch (saxophone, clarinet), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
Whilst there’s nothing particularly wrong about the 12 short instrumental vignettes here, there’s nothing particularly compelling about them either. Driven by horns, drums and electronics, they’re mostly pretty lively, but none of them really go anywhere and the band sound far less engaged than on previous albums. Maybe they really did encounter some pitfalls whilst making this appropriately titled album. 

GRADE: C+.

Remote Viewers (UK): No Voice From The Hall (No label RV14, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and inner, 2016)
Jazz/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Sue Lynch (saxophone, clarinet), Caroline Kraabel (saxophone)
After the underwhelming PitfallNo Voice From The Hall represents a modest return to form: opener ‘The Trouble With Fiction’ is powerful and propulsive and the lengthy, multi-part title track is suitably challenging, even if much of it is freeform free jazz jamming that eventually becomes a touch tedious. On the plus side, the closing ‘Screens And Uniforms’ up the energy quotient considerably, so whilst this sags significantly in the middle it’s still about a B–. After this, the band continued with an all-male line-up. GRADE: B–.

See also B-Shops For The Poor, Poison Cabinet