How the pandemic, next-generation technology and “Russian influences” combined to resurrect a Chicago “Prog Rock” icon
Dec 22, 2021 09:00 EST
December 22, 2021 (Newswire.com) –
Fermez le Bouche Records is thrilled to announce the release of the debut album from Chicago Prog Rockers Refestramus, Decoupage, available everywhere on Dec. 22, 2021.
“From the opening track, I’m transported back to familiar territory,” enthuses WAYO disk jockey, Jack Porcello. “Prog rock at times reminiscent of Welsh band Budgie, sometimes a strong VDGG influence, but always their own,” he concludes – and the industry agrees. This is music that is unique and vibrant, even as it pays homage to the vintage Prog from which it has grown.
Decoupage marks the return of veteran Chicago rocker and Thirsty Whale rock club fixture Derek Ferguson after a nearly three decades’ absence. “I’ve been pretty happy writing books about software development,” says Ferguson, Refestramus’ lyricist and composer, about his authoring of such best-selling computer software books as “Mobile .NET” and “Broadband Internet Access for Dummies” over the past 30 years. He continues, “but the pandemic made going out a problem, so I decided to see what kind of music I could make at home.”
The music is a heady blend of retro Progressive Rock, modern doom/stoner metal and Russian folk music – all recorded entirely by a globally-sourced assemblage of musicians, largely recruited using the popular Internet site for freelancers, Fiverr. In addition, Jerry King from Moon X plays bass throughout the album, with musicians Nathan James and Derek Pavlic from Colouratura also making guest appearances on a couple of tracks.
In fact, the entire album was mixed and mastered at the ShedSounds recording studio owned and operated by Colouratura’s Ian Beabout. This is the same studio where that band recently recorded their third studio album, Black Steeple Church (upon which Derek Ferguson drums for two tracks.) “Not many other bands I work with inspire Styx, Pixies, Sparks or even Russian surrealist fiction as a reference point for my mixes. Indispensable,” proclaims Mr. Beabout about Decoupage.
The first half of the album is comprised of several individual, unrelated tracks. Amongst these, however, is a trilogy of songs called Wasteland, parts 1, 2 and 3. The second half of the album is comprised of a mini-suite known as Russian Influences.
“I had a couple of vacations canceled as a result of the pandemic,” Derek Ferguson explains. “So we wound up turning the entire second half of the album into a suite of tracks inspired by the places in Russia I’d planned to visit,” he says about the songs that conclude the album. “We even do a Prog Rock version of a famous Russian pop song at the end of the physical CD,” he concludes.