An Endless Sporadic: the prog prodigy approved by Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess
Second albums can make or break a band, but instrumental proggers An Endless Sporadic’s sophomore record – helped by some prog star cameos – looks set to take them to the next level.
He may not know it yet, but An Endless Sporadic whiz kid Zach Kamins is fast becoming a prog prodigy. The genre needs new blood to keep it, well, progressing, and to take it forward; Yes aren’t going to cut it for much longer, and Rush’s now barren tour schedule says it all. Hell, even Dream Theater don’t have time on their side any more.
So where does prog’s newest torchbearer blaze his trail? Inside a home studio in California, it seems. Multi-instrumentalist, composer and leader Kamins wrote the tracks for An Endless Sporadic’s latest album Magic Machine in his house before recording across the world with a host of guest musicians, from Jordan Rudess to The Flower Kings’ Roine Stolt and Jonas Reingold, to bring the rainbow of musical colours inside his brain to life.
It’s a pretty all-star cast for a musician who hasn’t even turned 30 yet, and only recently graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. And the album is a sparkling, whirlwind affair, with instrumental prog and fusion married with cinematic orchestration and avant-garde freak-outs. It is, quite simply, breathtaking at times.
It’s the second full-length from An Endless Sporadic, with the project unleashing their debut self-titled affair in 2009. Magic Machine, however, is more mature, with landscapes vaster and its sound more radiant. It feels traditional yet wholly contemporary, and should place the group firmly in the big league.
“I would say it’s way more detailed and produced than the last album,” Kamins says down the phone from California. “There was a longer period of writing before actually finding all the right sounds, and there was organising all the players and incorporating live strings, woodwinds and brass. I still very much like the last one, but I definitely have grown a lot since then.”
The album’s recording was a truly global affair, with the studious Kamins racking up the air miles to oversee his guests tracking the tunes. Former Animals As Leaders tub-thumper Navene K laid down drums in Oakland, while Reingold recorded bass in Vienna. The other players, including Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s Michael Mellender, cut to tape in California.
“I think going through that process, having breaks from studios and taking it to different environments, kind of refreshes the situation. You start coming up with newer ideas,” Kamins says.