Damanek – On Track
The other day I was listening on Spotify to Sound Coloring the latest release from the Progressive Rock band The Adekaem. I had the music on in the background, while I was working on some projects around the house. So while I liked what I was hearing it wasn’t a really good listen. Anyway, when the album was over the music continued with a soundtrack provided by related artists. One of the artists was the band Damanek. The album was their 2017 release On Track.
About Damanek and Crossover Prog
After hearing the band on that soundtrack, I downloaded the album and since then On Track has been in my music rotation. It has become a favorite! Since I didn’t know anything about the band, I headed over to ProgArchives.com to find out about them. Here’s what I discovered…..
Damanek is a crossover prog band from the United Kingdom. ProgArchives defines Crossover prog as follows….
….contains progressive rock music that, though 100% progressive, may have a musical connection to popular music– whether it be the lack of emphasis on extended compositions, or an influence from mainstream music in addition to classical, jazz and folk. Compositions, however, still exhibit a high degree of sophistication, sometimes outright complexity, and the musicianship and virtuosity is often on a par with established Prog acts. Much like their kin in the established prog sub-genres, these groups will incorporate many major parts of what defines prog rock: the fusing of rock with the structures and discipline of more traditional musics, the use of synthesizers and new technologies, intelligent thematics, and the expansion of the form. Read More at ProgArchives.
Many of the Prog Rock bands that I enjoy belong to this sub-genre. Okay, now we know where Damanek fits into the genre of Prog Rock. So who are these guys. In 2016 Damanek was founded by Guy Manning along with Marek Arnold, Dan Marsh and Sean Timms. Manning, Marsh and Marek Arnold were the initial members of the band with Timms joining later. The band’s name is a composite of portions of the founding members names. (DAn, MANning and MarEK).
The Formation of Damanek
Through the years Guy Manning has led and been a member of a number of prog bands. One of them The Tangent is a band I have listened to and enjoyed. Manning left The Tangent in 2010. From 2008 to 2014 Manning formed and performed with a live “Manning” band. The band performed in two varieties, Elekterik (the full symphonic rock band) and Akoustik (a cut down more simple and ‘unplugged’ version).
In 2014 Manning became involved with new band called United Progressive Fraternity. Dan and Marek also joined him in the band . After the release of the band’s debut album Fall in Love with the World, Guy started writing for the second album. However, the band folded, so Manning decided to create a new band. When Manning asked Dan and Marek to be involved, with the new band, Damanek was born. The songs that make up On Track were songs that Manning wrote for that second United Progressive Fraternity album that never happened.
One of the reasons I enjoy Prog Rock is the genre is a blend of so many other genres. Artists get their inspiration from every type of music. Their music can be a mix of anything from heavy metal to symphonic or jazz to folk. Damanek’s music is the blend of prog, jazz and world music that I enjoy. I love the use of sax and flute on the album.
Additionally I enjoy the way Prog Rock musicians always play on other band’s albums. That is certainly the case with On Track
Here’s a list of the musicians who appear on On Track
Brody Thomas Green (Southern Empire) – Drums (1,2,3,4,5,6)
Tim Irrgang (UPF) – Percussion
Antonio Vittozzi (Soul Secret) – Electric Guitars
Luke Machin (The Tangent, Maschine, Kiama) – Electric Guitars
Stephen Dundon (Molly Bloom) – Flute (7)
Nick Magnus – Keyboards (3)
Phideaux – Vocals (8)
Ulf Reinhardt (Seven Steps to the Green Door) – Drums (8)
Chris Catling – Guitar (4)
DavidB – Backing Vocals
Julie King – Backing Vocals
Kevin Currie – Backing Vocals
The Santucci Horns (Eric ‘Tooch’ Santucci – Trumpet / Alex Taylor – Trombone) (4, 6)
On Track is definitely a four stars out of five album for me. As I have written I enjoyed the jazz vibe on many of the tracks. I particularly enjoyed the flute of Stephen Dundon and the The Santucci Horns. Additonally, at points
I said that’s some nice guitar work. The guitar comes or Antonio Vittozzi (Soul Secret )and Luke Machin (The Tangent, Maschine and Kiama. Hmm, while I am familiar with Maschine and The Tangent, I don’t know Soul Secret and Kiama. So I may need to check those bands out!!
So Check Out! – On Track from Damanek’s On Track. As for me I think I’ll check out the two bands listed in the previous paragraph along with United Progressive Fraternity. Oh and maybe I’ll go back and listen to The Adekaem’s Sound Coloring again. Can you say too much music, too little time!!
Links to information about the various bands whose artists help out on On Track can be found at the here Links page on Damanek’s website
Links for the Further Exploration of the Music of Damanek
Here’s a Video for “Long Time, Shadow Falls” from On Track by Damanek