1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
Satellite was founded in 2000 by Wojtek Szadkowski, who wrote and co-wrote nearly all Collage's music and lyrics. Debut album was released on March 10, 2003 by Metal Mind Productions. It's follow up, "Evening Games", released in February 2005 reached no. 8 at the top100 best selling records in Poland.
At the beginning of June 2005 regular rehearsals started to make Satellite a real band not just Wojtek’s solo studio project. As the results on 22nd September 2005 Satellite recorded live DVD - "Evening Dreams" (2006).
2007 marks the return of Satellite. In March the band had a privilege to play at the famous Baja Prog Festival in Mexico and in November released third studio album entitled "Into The Night". In the meantime Satellite welcomed Jarek Michalski (bass) as a new band member.
In 2009 Satellite returns with a brand new offering – “Nostalgia”. As the band claims, it's their fourth and most mature offering. Most of the album was recorded in Wojtek Szadkowski’s home studio. He is also responsible for the music and lyrics for "Nostalgia". The music offered on the new album is a combination of the sound of the 70’s with the modern 21st century sound. The lyrics relate to each other in a loose manner - they're about coming to terms with the past, about the need for a change, starting anew, distancing oneself to one's own past. At the same time, ironically, the music on "Nostalgia" manifests a longing for the mood of the 70's and 80's. (Satellite MySpace, 2009).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This is the next step in the evolution of the band. I have not heard their earlier albums yet, but I plan to work my way back in the catalog soon. As the My Space page sums up, the themes represent a longing for the past and resolving that longing within the 21st Century.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
Every Deserts Got its Ocean – A strong start to this album. Powerful keyboard and drum intro followed up by supporting guitar. “I still got time lying in my bed…I can close my eyes and waste it all or just get up and make it real…don’t want to waste it all!” “Let’s dive into the morning sun.” Great positive Carpe Diem moment.
Repaint the Sky – Cool, funky start to this one. One of the many standouts. “I found the Garden of Eden now I want to go back.” “I’m only older, only wiser, it’s only harder to compromise, and every tick and every tock is getting faster every time and I want to slow down.” Beautiful keyboard effect that will stay with you long after the song ends. Great supporting guitar. “I want to take my first breath and regain control. Set new rules myself. Set new rules for it all.” “Busy as hell repainting sky.” “Repaint my sky.” Don’t we all wish we could do that? Jesus Jones keyboard sound that adds to the nostalgia. Yeh, “take it.”
Afraid of What We Say – Best song on the album IMHO. Beautiful keyboard and synthesizer beginning to this one.. “We have to carry our dreams in (the) palms of our hands.” “We have to stop pretending that we’re wiser than we really are.” “It’s gonna be alright.” Then the wonderful Santana guitar solo, with keyboard support…though I don’t see a credit to Carlos on the album sleeve. Finishing off with a Wind and Wuthering synthesizer climax, with guitar support. Just beautiful.. Santana and Genesis in the same song. I’m happy!
I Want You To Know – Cool piano intro followed by solo guitar hook…very nice intro. “I’m taking my time, nostalgia feels like a wine.” Sums up the theme of the album very well. “One day could be tomorrow, could be today, just have to stop and leave it in yesterday.” Wonderful lead guitar mixed with awesome synthesizers and that strong piano.
Over Horizon – Drums open this one with a cool synthesizer effect. My second favorite song on the album. “Layers of grey over horizon.” On this one Robert almost sounds like Roger Waters…cool effect. Then it goes into an almost Congo sound from Genesis Calling All Stations, and Robert’s voice sounds more like Ray Wilson. “Step out into the light, now.” Cool mix of effects bringing back…dare I say nostalgia. Synthesizer effects bring back so many memories. “Don’t be a fool waiting for nothing. If you’re feeling too old. If you couldn’t afford all of your wishes and dreams…we have to fade back.” That pounding synthesizer and drum effect also stays with you after the song. Very cool.
Am I Losing Touch – Deep dark strings open this epic. Then an almost dream sequence from a movie, complete with orchestration. Very nice opener. “Psychedelic nights, I need it now.” The keyboard and drum extravaganza near the middle will lift you up and take you away…so cool. Probably the best song on the album for this awesome and powerful instrumental. Then the Isaac Hayes, “Shaft – like” sounds and more of that Santana and horn section, followed by “fala, la, la, la” interspersed with Hackett – style acoustic guitar, supported by piano. So much innovation and improvising and blending of sounds here. “Just a lonely sole with a heart of gold.” “Am I losing touch, do I think too much? “ Just amazing.
Is It Over – Synthesizer effects open this one followed by guitar and strings. “When the sun is going down is it over?” “When the love you give is not the love you take, is it over?” “When far away is just too far, is it over?” The full stop in the middle is a cool effect. Catches you and makes you think. The strings supporting really add so much emotion. Very good song hopefully a sign of things to come.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
With a title like Nostalgia is was not made to set new ground, though the blending of so many styles and genres from the past does point a direction for the genre to hopefully learn to adapt and bring in more innovation from outside the genre. Brings back that feeling for me in the 70s, when you could hear Isaac Hayes followed by Pink Floyd or Genesis on the radio. Breaking out of the barriers of traditional prog and welcoming change and innovation.
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
This is the album I think IQ was trying to make. However, when you are the leader of the Neo prog movement it doesn’t work as well as when you are climbing the ladder like Satellite is. Satellite uses this album to show they have the chops to be part of the new prog movement, while at the same time maybe letting everyone know there is a way to bring back the innovation of the past to make the future brighter.
Rating: 8/10 – Very good and well recommended. So much is borrowed from the past that it’s hard to go beyond 8, but also a very good evolutionary album for this band, hopefully welcoming them to the big stages of prog in the future!
Reviewed by Prof on June 15th, 2009