• Druckfarben Artifact DVD Review

    June 23 2013Druckfarben is a Toronto based progressive rock band that is composed of 5 insanely good musicians. Today we review their brand new live concert film which was unveiled at a DVD release party in Toronto on June 22 2013 (a show we reviewed here). This is the world’s first review of this DVD and we are very honored to have the privilege. Druckfarben is:

    Phil Naro – Vocals
    Ed Bernard – Guitars
    William Hare – Keyboards
    Troy Feener – Drums
    Peter Murray – Bass
    Purchase information and links are coming very shortly so check back here.

    Artifact is the first concert DVD released from Druckfarben and is based on material from their first CD (entitled Druckfarben) which is a hidden gem of Canadian prog rock. We reviewed that CD and you can read that review here. Artifact clocks in at 90 minutes (62 minutes concert segment and 28 minute documentary segment).

    The concert footage itself is top notch with the proper amount of switching between the various band members that really makes the viewer feel immersed in the music. The film does not suffer from the recent MTV inspired trend of only spending a second or two on a musician before switching to the next one (check Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day for what we are referring to).  All the blinding Bernard solos are captured and believe me they come in abundance. There are also excellent instrument cams right on top of Hare’s keyboards and Feener’s drum kit. Murray is clearly on fire during this performance and the camera does not let that go by. Superstar vocalist Phil Naro is really the exclamation mark on the concert performance and when the camera is zoomed in on him his vocal power is clearly evident. Druckfarben is essentially five incredible musicians that prove the proverbial “the whole is even greater than the sum of the parts.” There are many highlights in the concert footage but some of the notable songs are Nonchalant, Influenza, and Sons of Anakim.

    Druckfarben - Hare, Feener, Murray, Naro, Bernard

    The DVD also has an excellent 28 minute documentary (entitled Oopert: A Druckumentary) focusing on the 5 band members which entail their musical roots, their favorite bands growing up as well as their first concerts. In a very amusing twist of fate we find out that the Jackson 5 was Naro’s first concert and Olivia Newton-John was Bernard’s first concert. The interesting thing about the documentary segment is how open the guys are with their thoughts and appreciation of music. The intriguing story of how the band was formed is told and we see very early footage of the guys playing together in the Classic Albums Live Series including their first gig ever in March 2008. Even how the name Druckfarben happened is explained but you will have to watch the DVD to find out as we wont ruin the surprise. Overall the documentary is exceptionally well done and we found it interesting enough to be able to recommend it as a must-see for anyone who just likes a good rock fable.

    Verdict: 5 out of 5 – This DVD wins a “Best Of T-Mak World” award. It is one thing to hear such incredible musicianship on a CD knowing that studio recording can be forgiving with it’s multiple takes and layers, but it is a totally different thing to see a live performance of such complexity executed flawlessly. This DVD is essential viewing for anyone that loves progressive rock but more importantly it is a must have for anyone that likes real music. I personally am more Zeppelin/Sabbath than I am Genesis/Yes but as a fan of rock I consider Druckfarben’s CD an essential component of my setlist and the DVD now complements that experience.

    Quite simply buy this DVD and you will drool at the excellent sound, incredible camera work, the 62 minutes of live music from 5 of Toronto’s best musicians, and the 28 minute fascinating documentary. Drucktastic!

    Track listing:

    Intro: Pennyfarthing
    Sons of Anakim
    Walk Away
    Nat Nayah
    Seems So Real
    Smaller Wooden Frog
    Dead Play Awake
    Syberian Khatru (YES cover)
    Recorded live at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Toronto March 8 2012
    Running Time: 90 minutes –  62 minutes (concert) 28 minutes (documentary)
    Director: Neil Folkard
    Produced by: Ed Bernard and Eonblue Productions
    Mixed by: Ed Bernard
    Concert recording engineer: Patric McGroarty
    Front of house sound: Mark Prinsloo
    Stage monitoring: George Casey
    Art Direction: Ed Bernard
    DVD cover design: Tom Forsythe
    DVD authoring: Eonblue Productions
    Review – Terry Makedon Photo- Steve Mallinson
    T-Mak World: Toronto’s Site for Music, Movies and Culture
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