The Gatekeepers is a narrative concept album that explores the whole creative process from beginning to end. In this 12 song (and 3 interlude) cycle, the cynical aspects of marketing art and the pressure to appeal to mainstream audiences are explored, culminating in the battle for artistic freedom. A whimsical and bizarre feel pervades the satisfying blend of progressive and left-field rock, jazz, and folk that accompanies the precise and biting lyric.
The Gatekeepers album creates a captivating musical contrast with a strong DIY lo-fi ethos. Occasionally hypnotic, sometimes turbulent, the eclectic mix is reminiscent of The Lamb Lies Down Broadway, Of Montreal, Kurt Weill, Canterbury prog such as National Health and Hatfield & The North, all with a nod to Zappa.
The album’s composer and mastermind Alex Wroten is joined by an array of highly acclaimed and unconventional vocalists to bring the story to life: The Residents, Shawn Phillips, Brian Poole (Renaldo & The Loaf), R. Stevie Moore, Elaine di Falco (Yugen, Caveman Hughscore), Mont Campbell (Egg, National Health), Bob Drake, Amy Denio, Deborah Perry (Thinking Plague) and CHEER-ACCIDENT.
Other performers in this musical’s ensemble include: drummers Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan Band, Frank Zappa), Jacopo Costa (Loomings), Brian Wnukowski (Salvation, Haymarket Riot), Rob Allum (Add N To (X)); guitarists Frédéric L'Épée (Shylock, Philharmonie, Yang), Alan Jenkins (Deep Freeze Mice, Ruth's Refrigerator), Bill Brovold (Larval, Rhys Chatham Ensemble, East Village Orchestra), Paul Lai (Upsilon Acrux), Ty Citerman (Gutbucket); multi-instrumentalists Dave Willey (Hamster Theatre), Robert Webb (England), Dan Britton (Deluge Grander, Birds & Buildings); flautist Emily Hay (U Totem, 5uu’s); keyboardist Duncan Mackay (Cockney Rebel, 10cc); violinist Matthew Parmenter (Discipline); and additional vocalists Molly Harvey (The Residents), Wally Scharold (miRthkon), and Blaine Reininger (Tuxedomoon).
To purchase: https://tlak.rocks/gatekeepers
For more information: https://www.gatekeepersalbum.com/
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