Featured Artists on The Alchemists II album
[Chris Brooks ft. Joe Chawki]
[Pascal Vigne ft. Christophe Godin]
[Terry Syrek ft. Bumblefoot]
[Richard Hallebeek & Antti Kotikoski]
[Carlos Creator ft. Robert Rodrigo]
[William Stravto ft. Brett Garsed]
[Stefan Rosqvist ft. Bo Eriksson]
[Phi Yaan-Zek ft. Chanan Hanspal]
[Milan Polak & Marco Sfogli]
[Dave Martone & Chris Buono]
[Si Hayden ft. Michael Berk]
[Gianluca Ferro ft. Scott McGill]
[Sven Stichter ft. Thorsten Koehne]
[Geoff Tyson ft. Doug Doppler]
[Dr Ika & Temur Kvitelashvili]
Chris Brooks ft. Joe Chawki
TA II track: 'Unruly Elements'
Chris Brooks - drums, bass, rhythm guitars, keys, lead guitar
Joe Chawki - lead guitar
'I had an unplanned week-long stay in hospital just before Christmas '05 when
the idea for this song presented itself. Whilst recording the basic tracks a few weeks later, Joe Chawki heard
that I was looking for a collaborator and sent me some samples of his soloing, which was fiery and well-phrased
... definitely what I needed for this track. We exchanged files online because he's in New York and
I'm in Sydney, Australia, yet there is a nice cohesion between our styles that makes it sound like we've
jammed together many times. I named the track "Unruly Elements" because of the totally unrestrained
nature of the leads. Collaborating was interesting. I'm used to covering all the bases on my own tunes, but
in this case as the producer I just had to cross my fingers that Joe would totally rip in those places that I
heard in my head - and boy, did he!’
Phi Yaan-Zek ft. Chanan Hanspal
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TA II Track: 'The Puffball That Ate My Village'
Phi Yaan-Zek - guitars,1st & 3rd guitar solos, keyboards, programming, voice, percussion
Chanan Hanspal -2nd & 4th guitar solos Andy Edwards - drums
Lalle Larsson - piano Trilok G.Rastaflange - bass
Ilhaam Selih - intro voice
and featuring the Puffball Village Chorus: Matty "Madron"Watkins,Michael & Wendy Ellyatt, Dave Gadsby, Vanessa Bandini Gadsby,DJ Christobal "Garrincha"Garner, Nikki Anderson, Diahann Hughes, Gary Compton, David de Silva and Phi.
’I hadn't seen Chanan for 16 years when we finally met up again in the summer of 2006 to record his solos for my
Alchemists track. We had in fact gone to the same school in our teens and even took classical guitar lessons together
for a while. Then he went off to Australia and I went to Austria and we lost touch until very recently. It was a bizarre chain
of synchronous events that led to us connecting again. This culminated in an unexpected last minute stand-in gig that I
performed in Brighton in which I discovered that the guitarist in the support act was a former BIMM student of Chanan's.
‘The title comes from an encounter with the biggest mushroom I've ever seen. While staying in the Cotswolds region of
the UK, a friend discovered a giant puffball in the field near the house. I had never seen anything like it before - looking
like a weird large white pumpkin, but in fact actually an edible mushroom! We thought we'd better eat it before it ate us!
And of course I had to write a piece of music about it all...’
Gianluca Ferro ft. Scott McGill
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TA II Track: 'Warp Drive'
Gianluca Ferro - guitars, programming
Mark Vikar - keyboards and noise
Scott McGill - guitars
Eugenio Ventimiglia - drums
Alex del Vecchio - keyboards
Davide Betelli - bass
’This song was born in the summer of 2003 but was incomplete until March 2006, when Phi contacted me for the
Alchemists vol. II. I developed the first part, a very tense obligato based on a strong groove, during a period when I was
listening to stuff like Tribal Tech. I was attracted by the idea of having the brainy/cerebral mood of the first section change
into a more direct and emotional feel in the second section. The last part gets inspiration from some of Rush's stuff but
the rhythms are angrier!!! When Phi asked me about a guest guitarist, the name of Scott immediately came to my mind.
We've been acquainted for some years: we got in touch thanks to the Time Machine's producer, the distributor in Italy
for M.M.S.(Mc Gill, Manring, Stevens). Scott had already performed as a special guest on my solo album and our
friendship lead us to work together on this project again. While Scott was recording his solo in New Jersey, Alex was
recording his solo in Milan, but when I was about to mix the solos, I realized that they both began with the same phrase!
Neither of them had listened to the other one so ... perhaps one of them has made a travel in time using the "warp drive"
Sven Stichter ft. Thorsten Koehne
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TA II Track: 'In The Beginning'
Thorsten Koehne - lead guitar 2nd verse (1:57 - 2:32) & outro solo (3:50 - 4:21)
Sven Stichter - guitars, programming, drums, loops, bass, synth and strings
‘I could write just so much about this song since it’s a good old friend of mine. In the beginning there was
water, nothing was either bad or good, as major and minor starts to alternate, we can see a silver lining on
the horizon while distorted melodies of hope surf upon an ocean of digital beats... The verse-theme is trying
to stand on its own but is full of questions and self doubt; the chorus-theme shouts “come and follow me
stay, strong and hold your head up high”. A dramatic string part tries to pull both down into the underworld
but finally they manage to climb out and celebrate their triumph until 4.44. Or maybe it is just a neat little tune
that can make you nod your head - that would be really great. Thorsten Köhne, a wonderful player and cool
dude played the 2nd verse from 1.57 - 2.32 and the outro solo from 3.50 - 4.21. All other guitars,
programming, drums, loops, bass, synths, strings, I did myself and that almost drove me nuts.'
Dr Ika & Temur Kvitelashvili
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TA II Track: 'Georgia In My Heart'
’In the early 80s I was performing on one of the local jam sessions, thinking I was a monstrously shredding
super cool dude, when a very young man joined in. He plugged his guitar into very “clean” amp and
unleashed a musical heaven. His name was Temur Kvitelashvili and his technical ability and musicality were
extraordinary at the time. After many years of practice and endless performances, driven by great love of
music and supported by huge talent, Temur blossomed into one of the world’s great performing musicians,
appreciated not only by thousands of fans worldwide but also by fellow guitarists such as Allan Holdsworth,
George Benson, Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, Les Paul and many others.
’Good friends from day one, we recorded several tracks together back in Tbilisi (Georgia) and after many
years apart we met again at my home studio in Hatfield (UK) to record a track for this album. This tune is
essentially based on Georgian urban melodies (especially the intro and the coda) and fused with western
jazz/fusion musical influences. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it.’