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Releases information

Release date: April, 2016

Format: Digital, CD

Label: Progressive Promotion Records

From: Germany





C’est une découverte pour moi, même si KARIBOW est un groupe allemand qui existe depuis 1996 et qui est en fait un projet du musicien autodidacte Oliver RÜESING. Avec une pléiade d’artistes invités tous aussi talentueux les uns que les autres, ce huitième album saura vous en mettre plein les oreilles !


«Distant Mouvements» est une intro électro joyeuse et portante d’espoir. «Holophinium» est du Neo-Prog, semi-Power Ballad, semi-Prog-Rock. Un bon mélange. J’aime «E.G.O.» pour son superbe mélange de styles: c’est comme si on mélangerait SAGA avec RPWL. 11:28 de bonbon! «Victims Of Light» me fais penser un peu à IQ, PENDRAGON ou ARENA avec des bruits d’intro et un début Rock à contretemps qui gonfle graduellement avant de changer soudainement pour un style beaucoup plus modéré, du style SAGA, JADIS ou même ENCHANT. Bonne pièce! «Some Will Fall» est une pièce plus triste, plus sombre, mais très bonne. La voix d’Oliver RÜSING ressemble ici beaucoup à celle de Ray WILSON. La pièce «Connection Refused» a un rythme un peu mécanisé, ce qui la rend un peu mystérieuse. Seul le bout du refrain est plus Pop standard. Agréable.  «River» a un style très proche de celui du groupe SAGA et c’est Michael SADLER qui y chante! Très bonne pièce aussi! «Angel Scent» est une autre pièce qui me fait penser au groupe RPWL: un rythme juste assez entrainant avec un chanteur qui sait nous emmener avec lui en chantant avec émotion! «King» est aussi dans les styles de SAGA ou RPWL: c’est BON! «Quantum Leap» a un peu de tout de ce qui a rendu les pièces précédentes agréables, mais le solo de piano / clavier vers 04:30 dans la pièce suivi d’un et même deux soli de guitare enflammés rajoute de la crème sur le gâteau! Miam!


Les sept dernières pièces de l’album font partie d’une suite appelée «Letter From The White Room».  «Moon» est dans le style des pièces douce du groupe RIVERSIDE; même la voix de M. RÜSING ressemble à celle de Mariousz DUDA! S’enchaine ensuite la pièce «Walk On Water», un peu plus Prog-Rock avec une légère touche mystérieuse. «Orbital Spirits», un peu PENDRAGON, un peu (encore) SAGA, un peu RPWL, est chantée avec émotion par Oliver RÜESING. Les dernières 02 :25 sont enlevante. Bonne à souhait ! «Eden» a un petit quelque chose qui vient me chercher, surtout à partir du superbe solo de guitare de Colin TENCH jusqu’à la fin de la chanson. La suite s’enchaine avec «Lifelong», le bout le plus Prog-Rock de cette suite, avec ses changements de tempos et ses contretemps partout. Joué avec énergie et chanté avec conviction ! «Part Of The Century» continue là où «Lifelong» termine avec un Prog-Rock plus léger mais aussi efficace. «Plutonian», avec ses sons de claviers éthérés, clôt avec finesse cette suite et l’album.


Avec ses influences musicales très sentis sur cette album, Oliver RÜESING réussi quand même à s’approprier le tout grâce à sa touche personnelle partout ! Excellente production, arrangements bien dosés, musiciens hors-pairs et les pièces chantée avec conviction. J’ai hâte d’entendre les vieux albums de ce collectif !

Musiciens / MUSICIANS :


Oliver RÜESING – Chant, voix, batterie, guitares, guitare basse, claviers

Michael SADLER – Chant

Sean TIMMS – Piano, claviers

Colin TENCH – Guitares électrique

Karsten STIERS – Chant, voix

Jörg ESCHRIG – Mandoline, voix

Daniel NEUSTADT – Guitares basse

Chris THOMAS – Guitares acoustique

Markus BERGEN - Claviers



Disc 1 : The Fragments 

01-Distant Movements (1 :44)

02-Holophinium (6 :06)

03-E.G.O (11 :28)

04-Victims Of The Light (6 :55)

05-Some Will Fall (4 :07)

06-Connection Refused (4 :34)

07-River (6 :04)

08-Angel Scent (5 :59)

09-King (5 :04)

10-Quantum Leap (8:59)


Disc 2 :  Letters From The White Room

01-Moon (Part I) (2:15)

02-Walk On Water (Part II) (7:35)

03-Orbital Spirits (Part III) (5:04)

04-Eden (Part IV) (6:39)

05-Lifelong (Part V) (7:53)

06-Part Of The Century (Part VI) (2:52)

07-Plutonian (Part VII) (3:52)


Marc Thibeault - May 2016



With: Oliver RÜESING

13 may 2016

Performed by: Marc Thibeault

Profil - Who is Oliver Rüsing? A short summary of your career would be appreciated.


Oliver RÜESING - Well, I started making music at the age of nine. I got a guitar back then and I took guitar lessons which I did not really enjoy, so the first instrument that captivated me was my school's drumkit I played on when I was eleven. Since then, I've pretty much been an autodidactic musician. My studio career started when I recorded my first LP and CD with a local prog band in the early nineties. After we split I formed Karibow in 1996/97, which started as a six-piece formation but the whole thing slowly turned into a studio project which remained more or less unknown to the public in spite of a very high production rate. In 2011, Karibow finally got the first German Rock & Pop Award in the “Best Arrangement” category for “Man of Rust”. I began to build up a complete band again while being honoured with the Rock & Pop Award for “Best Progressive Band” for the second time in 2014. I realized it was about time to get heard and it made sense to me to present Karibow to the public. It may look like a fairy tale, but in April 2016 I ended up performing live together with the singer of the band whose records I bought when I was fourteen. That's simply wonderful. Apart from that, I'm spending most of my time writing music, producing and mastering. Being ceative is a form of nourishment for me.


PR - You want to present your latest album "Holophinium"?


OR - Holophinium is a two disc concept album. One could say that the first CD is a look through an emotional microscope that's represented by 10 tracks named “The Fragments”. The second disc resembles a look through a telescope. It's one huge 36 minutes track called “Letter from the White Room” that tells the story of the astronauts who explored space between 1968-1972. It focuses on their return back to Earth with all their unexpressed feelings and insights and the problems of getting back to normal lives.  “Holophinium” is now being presented to the audience. We toured with SAGA over here in Germany in April and we will continue to perform “Holophinium” live throughout the year. The gigs we did with SAGA were wonderful experiences. I had already been well-known to many members of the SAGA community due to my work with Michael Sadler. Therefore, the live audience knew what to expect from us. But what actually happened at the gigs was so much more than we ever expected. It's such an overwhelming feeling when you enter the stage as the support (!) band getting applause from a crowd of 1200 people who absolutely welcome you and give you standing ovations after your 40 minutes gig. It felt like coming home. The SAGA fans were amazing!

PR - On "Holophinium" you're surrounded by top names in music, do you have had difficulty recruiting these musicians? Are there any artists that you want to work with one day?


OR - All the guests who contributed to the album did it only because they liked the music I presented to them. I am very fortunate they were all excited to work with the tracks and suggestions I sent them. Michael Sadler e.g. wasn't even asked to. He offered his cooperation after he had listened to Karibow's 2014 album “Addicted”. He enjoyed so much he could imagine his vocals as part of it and so he offered his cooperation and it still makes me feel horoured. Talking about future wishes, there are of course musicians I would love to work with, even too many to mention.  But there are a some who had a very strong impact on my own musical development like Simon Phillips on the drums, Marillion's Steven Rothery on guitar, Steve Hogarth as well, wonderful singers like Kate Bush or Jim Kerr of the Simple Minds. There are also a lot of brilliant musicians from my label family at Progressive Promotion Records like e.g. Marek Arnold or Martin Schnella of “Toxic Smile” and “Seven Steps to the Green Door”. What's interesting is that “Holophinium” has obviously turned things upside down, so I already got requests from a number of musicians who asked me if I'd like them to contribute to the next Karibow album. So, as far as I can see, the future looks promising.

PR - How was the recording process?


OR - In some cases we exchanged files over the internet. Michael recorded in the US together with his personal enigneer and Sean did it in his own studio in Adelaide, South Australia. Others, like Karsten Stiers (vocals) and Daniel Neustadt (bass), I recorded at my own Nikomi Studios over here in Germany. Markus Bergen played his keyboard part in Spain, Colin did his wonderful guitar stuff in Sweden, but we were always in close contact, talking and writing, so the communication during the recording process was very good and steady.

PR - "Holophinium" is not your first album under the name Karibow. Have you recorded solo albums and made other albums under another name? Have you participated in musical projects?


OR - You're right. “Holophinium” is Karibow's release number seventeen and I also did a few albums under the moniker of “O.M.R. Works” and “Green Water Project” back in the 90s. Furthermore, I recorded a sound track album in 2005 and I also worked for other artists as a studio musician.  At the end of the last year for example I played and recorded drums for Colin Tench's new album. That's my lastest “external cooperation”. A creative life can be very busy even when it's not being noticed by the public...


PR - What are your main musical influences? Other sources of inspiration?


OR - I know that the first band's name I ever remembered was “The Bay City Rollers” and when I was a kid I was totally into Kiss and melodic hard rock. That was the music I listened to when I played in my first bands. At the age of fourteen or fifteen I ran into SAGA's “Worlds Apart” album and the early Marillion records and that changed everything. I got pretty much into progressive stuff like IQ, Pendragon and I loved the theatric aspects of it. I also enjoyed electronic music like Tangerine Dream and symphonic music like Mike Oldfield's instrumental work. Besides that, I always felt comfortable with many kinds of melodic AOR music like Toto, Sting, Peter Gabriel etc. I think you can still hear that resonate in my music.

PR - What music are you listening now?


OR - Since I'm currrently spending much time driving around in the car, I just checked the passenger seat and I found Steven Wilson's “Hand Cannot Erase”, SAGA's “Behaviour” and “Heads and Tales” CDs, “A Sort of Homecoming” by Anathema and Karibow's “Addicted”, “Holophinium”, “Inorganic Talk (EP)” and “Man of Rust” albums.

PR - Do you think progressive music is still alive? How do you see the future of progressive?


OR - It's definitely alive but defining “progressive” is a minefield. Many prog fans see it as a genre that has to have its own rules concerning the instruments you have to use, the meters, the arrangements, the length of tracks etc. so it has developed its own tradition. Personally, I always liked Keith Emerson's  idea of progressive music which only defines itself by the presence of “musical elements that progress” without necessarily knowing what this progression or musical development will finally lead to. I need to be entertained by what I'm doing and I want to be suprised by my own musical results. Therefore, I always try to keep a high amount of naivity  when I am trying out new ideas. I don't want to make too many intellectual decisions like e.g. to reset everything to zero after each album in King Crismon mode. But on the other hand I also don't want to repeat myself even if there are certainly elements that return more often than others when I'm writing because I simply like them. The approach of letting things progress to avoid boring myself has been rather successful for me so far. And that's what I see as the core of progressive music. It's the constant freedom to change and progress – no matter if you end up with a  4 minutes or a 30 minutes track.

PR - In Quebec I notice that most progressive music fans are relatively old, however we note that youngest people begin to learn this style. This is similar in Germany?


OR - Generally speaking I would say yes, it's similar, but even if most prog fans may be very different from a rap audience, the prog scene itself is not uniform or homogenous. Talking about younger people, patience, insistence and the wish to master an instrument are surely not the most prominent qualities of kids today but there are always exceptions and I am also convinced that all movements of style and mainstream already contain the seeds of their own countermovement. Nothing is ever constant and there are many people – not just older ones – who are fed up with the shallow results of the mass music industry. What I can say about Karibow fans is that they may not be completely representative of the typical prog audience. We are sitting on the fence between prog and AOR but I see it as a great opportunity because the melodic aspect in Karibow's music makes it accessible to a larger audience including people who are not necessarily the “prog-only” type but also enjoy melodic rock music or moderate neo-prog like Saga or Marillion. I know that we also share many fans with Toto or Asia, pleople who are looking for more complex arrangements without being overwhelmed. Moreover, it's my pleasure to see that the amount of female Karibow fans is over-average compared to what you usually expect to see in a prog audience. A French reviewer wrote that “Karibow's music never falls into the excesses of the genre”, which could be a reason. Be that as it may, I like that kind of  musical compatibilty. 

PR - What are your future projects?


OR - I am planning to re-release some of the older Karibow albums this year due to a growing demand. Besides that, I am sure there will be another new studio album sometime in 2017. We are also planning to perform live on a whole bunch of festivals in 2016 and 2017 and I would love to go on tour again with Saga when they come over to Europe in fall. Sean Timms and I are looking forward to possible double concerts with Southern Empire and Karibow over here in Europe in 2017 as well. It never gets boring - it's a busy schedule...

PR - You have the last word ...


OR - I've been to Nova Scotia many times between 1998 and 2005 only to perform live with local bands as a drummer. Next time I'd love to cross the Atlantic to finally come over and perform with Karibow. Merci beaucoup pour l'interview et pour le soutien.

PR - Hope to see you in Quebec City one day.

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