Review of Proof of Light by Mark Wingfield, Moon June Records, 2016
I have always harbored conflicting opinions and ideas about progressive music genre. I hate Genesis. I love King Crimson. I appreciate the Crimson King’s articulated constructions, Fripp’s infinite discipline and his incredible, inexhaustible capacity for regeneration and renewal. I hate the excessive verbosity inherent in progressive genre, the long, too long, suites, the free and useless tinsel, the folding of a style on itself. And for years, I thought there was very little to be saved from the rubble of this genre and its epigones. The King Crimson precisely. And I have always wondered if from this group, if by them that I always consider as the true standard bearers of this kind it would be possible to hypothesize a new evolutionary line, something that brings the genre back to different and interesting levels.
An answer could come from this “Proof of Light” work of the trio aggregated around the British guitarist Mark Wingfield, an introspective, introverted, interesting record, a record to be inserted in the wider context of its record company Moon June Records, which from several years seems to magnetize around the best of what continues to be produced under the banner of a nascent progressive-fusion.
A fantastic sound, the result of an immense attention, passion and musical integration between three excellent artists. The massive and linear support of the rhythm section is fundamental, entrusted to the solid and reliable Jaron Stavi on bass and Asaf Sirkis on drums. On their carpets and their rhythmic mandalas the leader can operate with free phrases, clarity of ideas and stylistic mastery. “Proof of Light” is a fully instrumental record, where the objective does not seem to be the trite and retrograde of the old prog to amaze thanks to useless rococo scrolls, but to leave a clear, precise, identifying sound signature. No sterile virtuosity, no stunts end in themselves, but precision, research, dedication, a maniacal care for the small detail that becomes functional to a wider musical path based on an admirable balance and control.
“Proof of Light” is almost a seminal record, to listen to and be amazed. Very nice the text of Anil Prasad that accompanies it, with interviews with Wingfield himself.