Piano & Guitar Vol. II is the sequel to the Piano & Guitar Vol. I album , released in November 2016. Contrary to the first album, which contained a jazzy vibe, Vol. II has a basic pop-rock approach and sound.
The focus of the songs on both albums is the intertwining of the piano and guitar as main instruments, resulting in a set of songs with strong reminiscence to 1960’s Brit pop from the likes of Beatles, Wings and Nick Drake. The recording of the album started in early May 2018 and the final recordings and mixes were conducted in mid June 2018. The album was mastered by Sterling Sound’s Randy Merrill.
Some songs were specifically written for the album, like the 3 instrumental Piano & Guitar Theme tracks and How Many Days?.Other songs are older compositions going back as early as 1981 (Tell Her), Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long (1982), The Only One, Play For Today (1983), She Is My World (1987). Put It On Me (2005) and Catch You If You Fall (2014). Center of the Universe was recorded in 2013 and some additional piano editswere made during the May-June 2018 recordings. Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long was recorded in early 2018 and finished during the May-June 2018 recording sessions.
‘ExtraNoVocal’ is the twelfth album by Dutch musician Ewald Kegel, to be released in May 2018.
The album is a collection of instrumental (hence ‘no vocal’) music recorded between 1987 and 2018. ‘Extra’ refers to the fact that these tracks have not been released before and can be considered as an addendum to regular releases.
The album contains a variety of styles ranging from minimalistic music and piano music (“Work in Progress”, “Sombre”, “Finale”) to full fledged, complex songs like newly recorded tracks “Please Make Me Wonder” and “Another World”. Also there are improvised tunes like ‘Mine’ and the chaotic rock of “Unintentional”. The album is centred around 80’s and early 90’s electronic music influenced by the then popular Yamaha FM synthesis. The album forms a pair with a previous album “Extra Vocal”, an earlier 2018 release. “Extra Vocal” had a similar approach, which is also expressed in the comparable album cover design. In the case of ExtraVocal the album obviously vocal tracks.
The album opens with ‘Please Make Me Wonder’ , an original version of the song was composed and recorded in 1985. The title refers to the Beach Boys song ‘Please Let Me Wonder’. By the time of the original recording of the song the producer noticed that some of the melodic elements sounded similar to the Beach Boys song ‘Please Let me Wonder’ from the mid 1960s.
The song can be listened to on YouTube:
The album weighs in on a rediscovered VHS tape in 2015. That tape contained mixes of songs that mostly were considered to be lost or forgotten (‘Xandra’ – ca. 1988, ‘Party Jam’ – ca. 1988, ‘Rush Hour’ – ca. 1988, ‘Hard Beat’ – ca. 1987). Many of these compositions were written originally for use in audiovisual productions. ‘Hard Beat’ was composed for a 1987 BMW commercial. The late 1980 songs on this album represent the introduction of the computer (Atari 1040STf) in the recording studio. Sampling became a common place in the music as is clearly audible on a track like ‘Hard Beat’.
‘Extra NoVocal’ also contains two tracks from the never released album ‘Synthesizer’ (2007): ‘Yess Delight’ and ‘Finale’. Other tracks on the album ‘Kirana’ – 2014, ‘Disco Daze’ – ca. 1992, ‘Mine’ – 2008, ‘Unintentional’ – ca. 2009, ‘Back 2 the 80s’ – 2011, ‘Sombre’ – 2014 and ‘The Last Supper’ – 2016 contain edits, remixes and added recording made in 2018. Another -more electronic sounding- version of ’Mine’ was originally released in 2008 on the ‘Magic Colors’ EP. The acoustic version on ‘Extra NoVocal’ is the original recording of the song.