algroth wrote: There are plenty of bands from the 80s onwards which I love whether they be what I or the world in general consider to be prog, to which I would add the likes of Ahvak, Koenjihyakkei, Honduras Libregrupo and Alamaailman Vasarat as some more examples. I listen to plenty of modern prog because I have plenty of love for the genre and *want* to find new stuff to enjoy regardless of period, but it doesn't mean I won't speak out against a negative trend when I see it, such as what I mention above. Your comment to rap would have to do more with my perception of country, for example, which is why you don't see me writing anything about the matter, but this is an area I'm pretty familiar on and which should appeal to me as a lover of progressive and experimental music in general, and which in general doesn't for things that, to my ears, is clearly fault of their music and not a "tin ear" for the genre. It may be at odds with the views of people who love it, sure, but in the end these are all opinions, and thus no less relevant a position than yours or any other's.
Also agree its your eyes and your opinion. However you do puzzle me with your attitude with Steven Wilson. I just don't see this so called soulless of his music. Steven Wilson is not a Yngwie Malmsteen type. Maybe its you can't handle him mixing several genre into his music and you think he is only doing a half as job at each one? Sorry don't see it and as someone who is always looking for new music I tend to find Steven Wilson to be quite interesting and the directions he goes always peak my interest more.
So, just to clarify I don't think I ever called Steven Wilson soulless, or argued the lack of passion he has for the genre. I think he certainly has both and I think his music stands as testament to his love for the scene - whether that passion or soulfulness translates to his music being more resonant to me, that's another matter (and, personally, I would have to say it doesn't). Likewise I would have to echo what Penk says in the first part of the post and say that prog has usually its own feel and its own result that is derived from its influences, and I judge music based on that more than how they are with regards to a certain genre or other - I don't care how Wilson and his bands play as alt-rock, metal, prog, post-rock or else, I care how the music plays as a whole.
Despite that, with Wilson's music I do feel that it often feels too focused on imitating the cadence of classic prog at a very superficial level: it reminds me of the 14-year-old me, trying to write a great prog epic and going about it with a stunting attention for form over anything else, worried about starting this way, leading to a sudden break with a dissonant riff, then breaking to a more melancholic section before returning to a quite moment, all because it's how the prog acts did it. At this time I wasn't asking myself *why* prog artists did things the way they did, to what purpose and effect, and to some extent I feel this same problem about Wilson's music: for all the clinical and meticulous approach to his work, it feels like he never asked why. Though I never brought up Ywngie Malmsteen, in this regard they do both remind me to one another. A more immediate example for me would be with Eli Roth: I am under no impression that Roth isn't the horror geek he claims to be, I have heard interviews with him and I think his passion is pretty undeniable; yet when speaking of his love for Takashi Miike's Audition
for example, it is interesting to note how he focuses on the last ten minutes, which is where all the torture and gore reach the usual heights of the "torture porn" scene, yet ignoring the hour and a half worth of content that built to this climax, cleverly subverting genre tropes and creating a thoroughly engrossing and increasingly chilling story which gave it the weight and purpose it had. It is not surprising that his cinema seems to imitate to great effect the aesthetic and grime of giallo, Z-class cinema and the likes, but fails to grasp the essence of what made the best films in those genres good. Wilson's music recalls this funnelled focus on surface details to mind, and for this reason I often find his music forced, clunky, and simply not as interesting or compelling.
Anyhow, I know some users here will think I'm talking out of my arse, but it's what I feel. You can take my observations or leave them. I'm not saying I'm right, but it's the impression I get all the same. And I have heard not only his work with Porcupine Tree but with No-Man, Blackfield and solo too. I get the same feeling in each (Blackfield to a lesser extent than the others).