Rascal Reporters - The Strainge Case Of Steve / Dux In A Row 2 x CDs

This very nice set collects together the group’s latest (Strainge Case) and a very good, previously unreleased on CD ‘rarities set’ (Dux). If you missed your chance to buy Strainge on CD (the tiny edition shot out of here in under a week!), here’s another chance!

The Strainge Case of Steve is the latest offering from the avant-garde progressive rock duo Rascal Reporters, currently comprised of Steve Kretzmer and James Strain. The album features 16 tracks of eclectic, inventive and adventurous music that showcases the Reporters’ compositional dexterity and idiosyncratic creativity.
The album heralds a new chapter of the Rascal Reporters' long and prolific career, which spans over four decades and (now) eight studio albums. The band was founded in 1974 by high-school friends Steve Gore and Steve Kretzmer in Oak Park, Michigan. Inspired by progressive rock giants like Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, Henry Cow and King Crimson - along with the then-burgeoning Rock-In-Opposition & Canterbury scenes in prog - they recorded hundreds of songs in their basement studio throughout the 70s and 80s using an array of instruments, tape recorders and synthesizers.
The Rascal Reporters developed a unique style that combined complex compositions, quirky melodies, odd time signatures, humorous lyrics and experimental sounds. They gained a cult following among deep-diving crate-digging progressive rock fans around the world for their originality and eccentricity.
The Strainge Case of Steve is their eighth studio album and heralds the full return of group founder Steve Kretzmer, who had taken a step back from composition after 1995’s Purple Entrapment. It is also their first to feature James Strain as a full-time member. Strain joined the band in 2019 and completed the group’s first new release in some years: Redux Vol. 1, followed by Vol. 2 in 2021, a semi-archival series which featured up-cycled versions of lost compositions with new arrangements and overdubs from Strain. Strain shares writing, performing and production duties with Kretzmer on this new album.
The album was recorded between 2017 and 2023 at Kretzmer & Strain's home studios in Michigan, USA & Carlow, Ireland respectively. It features guest appearances from returning favourites and members of classic avant prog groups such as long time collaborator Dave Newhouse (The Muffins, Manna/Mirage) and Guy Segers (Univers Zero), along with members of some of today’s most exciting new groups such as Jessica Martin Maresco (Pili Coit, Le Grand Sbam) and Dario D'Allessando (Homunculus Res).

"For me, coming into the Reporters as a newbie, the Redux projects collected here on Dux In A Row are what taught me how to play in the group. A baptism by fire. Some of the most complex unfinished music the group had written, now entrusted to myself to accompany, produce and complete. Along with these challenges were creative opportunities like 'Cashew Medley' & 'Egos Explode', for me to build new larger pieces from disparate ideas. The lessons learned from working on these projects gave me the tools I needed to start working on brand new Reporters music for what became The Strainge Case of Steve. This collection of Dux In A Row & The Strainge Case of Steve is a monument to 'Reporters 2.0' in a way - the sum of what we have accomplished since 2018. After completing The Strainge Case, I felt like compiling the Redux volumes into a single album. Taking the opportunity to re-mix the tracks from each volume so they sounded like they 'belong together' more, I took full advantage of recent audio technology advancements like using machine learning for cleaning up noisy audio and separating instruments. However, as usual, I got carried away and from there I began re-recording some drum takes, adding additional instrument layers, and even inviting my good friend and incredible musician/vocalist James McDermott to re-record vocals for Kretzmer's 'Moments'. In essence, this would be more akin to Zappa's 1980s CD re-issues than a standard re-mix. I feel very proud to present these two CDs in a single package like this, and hope you enjoy the sounds of RRs past and RRs present joining to create the sound of RRs future.”-James Strain
  • Labela-Marxe
Your Price $22.00

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