Aaron Lebos is a guitarist with an interesting approach to progfusion, merging a myriad of influences into an indiosyncratic style laying a soft edge to the mode while displaying a broad intelligence steering away from apocalyptic strains and into spacier fields anchored by ground level understructures. His group, Reality, boasts three flanking players as peripatetic and outside-leaning as he. Jim Gasior sits behind the keyboards with a pronounced Pete Bardens slant while bassist Eric England treads Percy Jones territory beside drummer Rodolofo Zuniga, who's the true rhythm section.
Reality is completely instrumental and harks back to the period when prog had been well established, as had fusion, and everyone was pushing the envelope slowly outwards. Thus, you'll hear Camel passages; Gong buzz fields and quietudes; Holdsworth legato and improv; echoes of Turning Point, Quarkspace, and Radio Massacre International; Canterbury; Minimum Vital; later Soft Machine; Phish; and some Edhels, among others, but also patches of Harvey Mandel's old Shangrenade period, a brief run of 70s LPs still very much cherished by obscurantist fuse-ficionados.
As inferred, the absence of negative or threatening emotions here is unusual. Everything is positivist or neutrally based, given over to exploration, wonder, and exhilaration, a trait Camel, Minimum Vital, and a few other prog bands really shone at. The quality of material, the level of intelligence, and the rarified airs throughout the disc all would've gone over very well indeed on the MoonJune label, but this is a home-produced affair and solidly wrought. The Aaron Lebos Reality presents the listener with a cornucopia of sonic marvels and artistry of an uncommon leaning. Expect to see them at progfests very soon…unless…of course…the dunderheads that run those things remain as bizarrely provincial and occluded as ever. Hm, yeah, now that I think about it, forget the fests, just grab the disc and create your own private oasis. The aesthete is e'er a solitary creature, I think.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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