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Knight Area - The Sun Also Rises

Knight Area - The Sun Also RisesIn September 2003 we were told about a project for a concept album to be released on Ken Golden’s renowned label, Laser’s Edge.  The mention of influences by some of prog’s favourite bands was something we couldn’t ignore and courtesy of Intromental Management, the European promoters for Laser’s Edge in Europe, we have spent the last week listening to the album, which is released this month (February 2003).

Knight Area is basically the solo project of Gerben Klazinga, conceived in conjunction with his brother and flautist, Joop Klazinga.  The concept was born back in 1982 but it was in 2000 when Gerben started to build upon these early ideas and compose in earnest.  The name, Knight Area, is taken from the street name where Gerben’s studio and house is located, translated from the Dutch word ‘Ridderbuurt’.

The concept behind the album is to some extent autobiographical and is about a boy who is in search for his identity who, of course, has to contend with many hassles along the way.  Joining Gerben (keyboards/drums) and Joop (flutes) is a host of musicians from the Dutch prog scene.

If symphonic prog with a hard edge is your ‘thing’, the short opening track, Beyond, will have you salivating like a hungry puppy.  The soaring melodic guitar provides that ‘lift’ often heard at the hands of Jadis guitarist, Gary Chandler.  As the album continues, guitar styles also touch on that of Mike Holmes, Chandler (previously mentioned), Andy Latimer, Dave Gilmour, NOW’s Vincent Fis, and Nick May in his Enid era.  Kees Flameling’s accordion on The Gate Of Eternity is truly wonderful, adding that nostalgia feeling.

The melodies and arrangements on this album will sound strangely familiar to some listeners even though they are clearly original.  There is no single influence but many sounds including that of Camel, Floyd, Genesis, Jadis and IQ seem ever present.  Gerben’s style of keyboards sound and playing could sometimes be that of Wakeman and IQ and Jadis’ Martin Orford.

The Sun Also Rises is powerful symphonic prog amalgamating the newer era of the genre (IQ Subterranea) with the old (Genesis Selling England By the Pound), creating a new classic.  Thankfully CDs do not wear out in the same way as vinyl because if they did, my copy of The Sun Also Rises would not be playable in a few months time.  In a word, brilliant.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Knight Area

Laser’s Edge

Intromental

 

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