Unitopia hailing from Canberra, Australia originally released their debut album More Than A Dream in 2005, and now in 2007 Unicorn Digital has re-released it. It’s getting to be almost impossible to tell one neo-prog band from another, and Unitopia’s More Than a Dream vividly illustrates why. This Australian duo, with a mammoth supporting cast that includes brass, strings and orchestral arrangements, seemingly borrows its licks and vaguely apocalyptic lyrics from just about any and every prog rock outfit extant from the 70’s onward—and this doesn’t include what appears to be the group’s fervent desire to be the next Moody Blues, complete with the London Philharmonic in tow. As a consequence, one can hear fragments of Todd Rundgren and Rush, Peter Gabriel and Renaissance, Steve Hillage and The Alan Parsons Project, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree in virtually every song on More Than a Dream.
This instrumental electronic work is an one-man project, created by Frédy Guye who had lived in Switzerland. The original ultra-rare LP has been released in 1975 in a limited edition of 100 copies and was only available at concerts. "Journey Into A Dream" is still a very unknown gem, but should be interesting for everyone who owns records from early Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Ashra.
The historical-instrument ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria under violinist/conductor Gunar Letzbor has specialized in neglected repertory of the eighteenth century, and few composers fit their aims better than Antonio Caldara, a Venetian trained in the grand tradition at St. Mark's cathedral. He had a distinguished career that took him to Mantua, (perhaps) to the then-Austrian court at Barcelona, to Rome, and finally to Vienna itself, where he became vice-kapellmeister under emperor Charles VI. As with other composers in this milieu, most of his production was vocal. The 12 Sinfonie a quattro recorded here are very brief specimens of the kind of sinfonia that served as a curtain raiser for an opera or oratorio, the genre from which the independent symphony ultimately evolved. In this case the sinfonias are taken from oratorios, named in the subtitles of each work. They consist of three or four movements, many of them extremely short but not excluding counterpoint and even little fugal finales. The tone is restrained, in keeping with the religious subject matter, and the texture is pretty constant aside from a few violin solos. Combine that with the technically smooth but rather deadpan readings from Letzbor, a disciple of Reinhard Goebel and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the result, at least for the general listener, is a very subdued hour of music in a program that would unlikely have been performed in its own time.(James Manheim)
Columbia Germany's Dream Dance series compiles up-to-date club music, providing around 40 tracks in each two-disc package. Although a fair percentage of the tracks included were bona fide dancefloor hits, there's a great deal of nondescript fluff surrounding them, making the sets ideal only for the most patient fan of trance and progressive house. Dream Dance, Vol. 3 includes Faithless' "Salva Mea," Magnetic Pulstar's "Secret Love," Love and Fate's "Love and Fate, Pt. 2," Moby's "Go," Groove Solution's "Sweet Melodies," Paul Van Dyk's "Beautiful Place," Blue Alphabet's "Cybertance," Futura Nostra's "Why Don't You Dance With Me," Jam & Spoon's "Right in the Night," and Red 5's "Da Beat Goes."