"Packed to the rafters with endlessly dovetailing segments that whizz and whirr with pulse-quickening excitement. Harnessing the power of Reich-like repetition there's both depth and warmth that builds to deliver a coercive momentum. The key components running throughout the three pieces over 47 minutes consist of trickling rivulets of piano and keyboard motifs, which ripple and funnel through chattering marimba, twinkling guitar harmonics, plucked chords, the slow undertow of cello-like strings and woodwind, and the ebb and flow of cymbals and kit drums. The latter especially adds a certain fluidity and useful metrical focus. While accepting that a lot of systems-orientated pieces are often relegated to the status of aural wallpaper, Galloway's ingenious flow of rhythm and melody ensure these tracks are anything but background music." Sid Smith, Prog Magazine
Sid Smith - Pick Of The Year list, Prog Magazine 2019
Good morning/afternoon/evening fellow progheads! These past two weeks with Inside Out Music was nothing short of stellar as the search for all things prog brought you two fantastic new releases from the prog garden. This week The Concert Closet hosts something a bit different--as is my modus operandi for those new to the Closet Concert Arena. Malcolm Galloway has graced the the Concert Closet previously...February 2016 to refresh your memory. Malcolm is the founding force behind Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate; more than just a thinking person's prog band, they have the distinction of possessing the longest band name in the prog garden. Malcolm is constantly evolving the band and taking bold steps with his music which is but one reason I find myself being drawn to this flame. Malcolm's latest solo release is called "Social Astronomy" and resides in the minimalist section of the prog garden. Minimalist interpretation of music and sound has always been intriguing to me; a section of the prog garden where I can find solace and relief from all the skulduggery of the working world...
"Social Astronomy" is a 76 minute piece of music that develops as it plays, musical patterns building on themselves and painting a picture that is as delicate as it is intricate. Much like Philip Glass, Steven Reich, and Brian Eno, Malcolm takes the listener on a journey that looks at music and its creation through an entirely different lens. There is even a sense of Abstract Aprils and Bang On A Can filtering through the headphones... The album is but a 76 minute plus track moving through sound and building a mood much the way Robert Fripp took the listener on bold adventures during his Frippertronics days. At the time there was nothing in the prog garden to hold up as a comparison or starting point to relate to; Fripp was venturing into new and uncharted territory. So too, Malcolm is carving his own trail through the prog garden and "Social Astronomy" is merely a continuation of that trajectory. While comparing Malcolm's solo work to his musical output with Hat's Off Gentlemen It's Adequate may not be exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, there are striking similarities. Malcolm seems to enjoy tinkering on the logical side of the garden...deconstructing sound as it were and following a different set of instructions to rebuild it in such a way as to lead you on a journey through a crystalline kaleidoscope..mysterious at first but quite remarkable in its simplicity.
This is music for those who want more from their music; nothing here is ever going to make airplay on mainstream radio. Of course if we are honest and radio sounds are what we chase all the time there would be no point in traipsing through the prog garden in the first place. If you are a fan of soundscapes and enjoy music that does not force you to sort through lyrics, wait for the bridge to come around, or keep a steady 4/4 beat, Malcolm Galloway may be a soothing balm for your ears. Malcolm's music can be found at Malcolm Galloway CD Baby and Hats Off Gentlemen. He as well as his band also have Facebook pages at Malcolm FB and Hats Off Gentlemen FB, and the proverbial Twitter @itsadequate.
You know how I feel about supporting the artists here in the prog garden, so I will refrain from ranting--if you promise to make a purchase. The search for all things prog continues to go off on different tangents each week, exposing more music to the loyal prog faithful. I believe it is important to shine a light on artists, bands, and music that might otherwise be overlooked for no other reason than the arena is crowded. Both Malcolm's solo work and his music with Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate are excellent additions to the prog garden and, while similar, occupy their own acreage. Flying solo Malcolm tends to be more"cranial" while within the confines of a band he flexes and pushes the prog paradigm. To say "Social Astronomy" is the thinking man's prog is to sell both the artist and the listener short. Yes the music tends to bore deeper into the mind, but it does so in a genteel, refined way. Malcolm challenges the listener to expect more from the music he/she chooses and offers an alternative that drops the gauntlet with a friendly grin. To accept the dare is to step out of one's routine and into a dimension that is both provocative and encompassing--without being the condescending prude. The search for all things prog continues to peel away layers of the genre, exposing a multitude of moods, experiences, and styles. I hope you enjoy...until next week..."- Vincent Iacocca, The Closet Concert Arena
"I love the Oldfield vibe and the way those driving ostinatos create an almost hypnotic sense of the music driving forward and floating AT THE SAME TIME. Bravo!" Julian Haylock [personal communication about Malcolm Galloway - Transitions, shared with permission], classical music critic, former editor of CD Review and International Piano Quarterly, and author of acclaimed books on Mahler, Puccini and Rachmaninov.
"Malcolm Galloway from talented and in my opinion unsung prog rock/ electronica band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate has a new solo album out now. It is called ‘Transitions’ and Malcolm says it is very much influenced by the personal transitions he is going through, he suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic collagen disorder. This causes joints and soft tissue to hurt and flare up unpredictably. Additionally, it causes nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and problems with the autonomic nervous system. It is an invisible disability, where the sufferer looks completely normal from the outside. This illness means that he has to leave his job as a neuropathologist, but he continues to make great music.
I have listened to ‘Transitions’ a few times now and I seem to find something new in the rich layered soundscapes every time I do. It is an instrumental album and I have benefited from listening to it while working on some intricate spreadsheets at work, relaxing at home and walking to the office. At times I felt the music owed a small debt to early Mike Oldfield, but that is not to take anything away from Malcolm’s achievement. This really is a beautiful suite of music. It runs to just over 45 minutes and contains three tracks; “Pattern Jugglers”, “Slow” and “Transition”, with the latter clocking in at more than 30 minutes. I feel that the album as a whole, but the epic title track, in particular, bear comparison with Philip Glass and at times Brian Eno. Although perhaps not quite as minimalist as some of Eno’s ambient masterpieces. I don’t know if Malcolm has ever considered writing the soundtrack to a film, or maybe he has done so. Either way, I think he could score some superb music for films. If you have never listened to Malcolm Galloway or Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate then now is the time to start. Click here to listen to ‘Transitions’ on Spotify. I for one am now really looking forward to getting to grips with the new Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate album; ‘Ark’." - With Just A Hint Of Mayhem
One World Music Radio Top 50 Albums chart - Transitions
"Malcolm Galloway is an absolute genius as what he does" - Jason Maddocks, Phonic.fm
"I found this album to be a great relaxing album and I was impressed by how he was able to create this great piece of work with him playing all the instruments... well written, recorded, performed and produced" - Review of Transitions, Oasis Entertainment
"I really enjoy your minimalist work - I got completely lost in Jewel Fish and Broken Wave." - Carey Hadgaft (music critic), Twitter