Out now on the Esoteric Recordings label, Now We Have Light is the third album from Oxford’s Sanquine Hum.
It’s a double concept  album in the finest “prog” tradition with its roots going back over a decade and the days of Antique Seeking Nuns, which was the first project guitarist Joff Winks and keyboardist Matt Barber collaborated on.

The core of Now We Have Light is based around tunes and concepts developed as far back as 2002 and, inspired by more recent Sanguine Hum material these have been revisited, developed, reworked and rewritten.

The record is recorded at Evolution Studios in Oxford and as well as Winks and Barber, the album has original bassist Brad Waissman plus Henry Fool and No-Man drummer Andrew Booker onboard for the ride. There is also an appearance by UK Jazz vibraphone player Jim Hart on several tracks and this adds a nice touch to proceedings.

It’s an accomplished record that will appeal to lovers of progressive rock both old and new and there are definite elements of Genesis at their best (think Lamb Lies Down). All the requisite fundamentals are there – clever time changes and signatures, musical histrionics… and a concept. I didn’t realise bands did concept albums any more!
Now We Have Light is easy to pigeon hole as  modern progressive, but it should have a broader appeal than that. There are elements of Zappa’s guitar style on the slightly heavier Theft tune and this record could have easily become an overblown, pompous exercise in navel gazing, but in actual fact is damned entertaining.

OK so it is a bit overblown and pompous but isn’t that what prog’ is all about – showing off and  being a bit pretentious.

The song-writing and musicianship are really top notch and as such the record comes together very nicely indeed and I’d suggest that anyone who has a passing interest in progressive music should certainly seek out this record. I’ll certainly be exploring more by Sanguine Hum!

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