Prog Rock Masters Stick Men Have A New CD, "Prog Noir"

BERLIN, GERMANY - The modern prog-rock trio, Stick Men, featuring Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and vocals, Pat Mastelotto on acoustic/electronic drums and percussion and Markus Reuter on U8 and AU8 Touch Guitars and vocals, have released their fifth studio effort, titled Prog Noir, on the Iapetus Media music label.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Glass Onyon PR>

Stick Men was formed in 2007 by the band mates Levin and Mastelotto - who have spent over two decades together as the rhythm section for iconic prog-rock band King Crimson - after Levin had released a solo album titled Stick Man. It was recorded as a vehicle to create music performed almost exclusively with the Chapman Stick and drums. The band then released Soup in 2010, featuring original member Michael Bernier, before Reuter joined the line up in 2010.

Since then, the trio has released Absalom in 2011, the improvisational Open in 2012, the mostly rock-instrumental Deep in 2013 (which also offers a special, DVD edition) and a live album in 2014 titled Power Play. Also in 2014, a Stick Men double-album retrospective was released featuring a disc of studio tracks and a disc recorded live on tour.

The latest Stick Man album, Prog Noir, was just released in October and is arguably their best studio effort yet, showcasing more of the trio' s versatile song structures, expansive themes, tight arrangements and of course, absolute virtuoso performing. Any conceived notions one might have about the possible limitations of a trio format, are clearly tossed aside in this setting as Levin, Mastelotto and Reuter create a powerful, riveting, intricate atmosphere from start to finish.

“The album is somewhere between being the best of our current compositions and having a unifying concept overall,” Tony Levin stated in a recent Stick Men press release. “Part way through the our recording process the Prog Noir title, lyrics and idea came up and it sort of shone a dark, noir light on what had come before... and it influenced what came after. For me, that’s a good way to go – I like a concept involved with an album sometimes, but I don’t feel it needs to encompass every piece.”

Stick Men also just released a video for the album's title track, created and presented to the band by the musical/visual artist Ofrin. “We're thrilled at the video Ofrin has made for our song 'Prog Noir,'” Levin said. “She's an excellent artist in her own right, musical and visual. She made the video on her own and then presented it to us. It's pretty special when you find that your music has inspired others to create something new.”

The 2016-2017 Prog Noir Tour, which returned from Europe in late October, will continue on the West Coast, USA and Japan through February. To learn more about Stick Men, check tour dates or to order Prog Noir, (available on CD, deluxe box set and download) visit www.stick-men.net.

Also, please check out the new Stick Men video here: https://youtu.be/YR78Elff0Qs