Kings of Improg is an instrumental progressive rock band hailing from Benoni, on the east of Johannesburg, South Africa. We have been together since 2012 and blend an eclectic mix of genres from hard alternative rock to progressive metal with blues, jazz & reggae influences, & everything in between, often describing ourselves as a progressively psychedelic instrumental bluesy hard rock jam band.
“Henosis” is our début album, it’s a 6 track long eclectic and progressive concept album. The word Henosis itself is derived from the Greek word for mystical “oneness”, “union”, or “unity.” There is no one explanation or meaning for the début title in this regard i.e. the KOI inaugural record, it was just something that seemed the right fit when trying to explain what we had created. In broad terms, it’s a connection of one and all, living and otherwise, in this mass conundrum that is our Universe.We launched the album on the 20th of May 2017 at the Railways Cafe in Irene, Centurion, one of our favourite venues in South Africa. The album is available on Bandcamp for download as well as streaming and can be streamed on Youtube.
We recorded with our very own Byron Muller and Audio Nebula on the East Rand of Johannesburg, South Africa. With us all being from the East Rand(Benoni, Brakpan) it was great to record in our own ‘backyard’. The recording itself was a pretty amazing and expansive adventure, a process that we savored and enjoyed along every step of the way. (Being a part-time undertaking, and trying to hold down day jobs, it was a case of getting into the studio at every available opportunity, albeit sometimes weeks apart). We were under no time constraints specifically so everything was recorded over a couple of weekends spanning a few months, with pre-production having already been done beforehand.
The mixing took us a couple of months too, again because of the constraints that is the very existence of our daily lives as mentioned above, but also because of the purely perfectionist persona’s we all carry into the studio with us every time we get into listening to the tracks (same goes for the recording process), and at times, we were quite literally debating and talking point db’s here and there. We were all involved every step of the way during every part of the making of this album and that’s exactly how we wanted it to be, it was vitally important that everyone’s comments was equally considered, so that the product was something we could all be proud of.
As with any recording pursuit, there’s always afterthoughts on this and that, but you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere and sometime or else you never get to completion, but that is the nature of the recording process and sometimes it’s saving grace, so that what you hear is a result of four souls coming together and outputting what we consider our best work in that frozen moment of time. The mastering was done in New York at Silvertone Mastering by Larry DeVivo. He was able to put that last magic touch on the record which brought everything together into a cohesive whole and put the cherry on the top of the auricular picture we had wanted to paint from the start, and that made the entire process all worth it.
Listen to Kings of Improg début album ‘Henosis’
The album in and of itself borrows from a broad range of musical influences and has many themes and ideas, not necessarily specific to any one interpretation, but as a whole introduces and espouses to us a union of ideas, bringing together a blend of tones and melodies, themes of dark and light, joy and sorrow, an emotive and continuing journey through the cosmos of our own minds. The concept album itself wasn’t the first plan specifically, but after recording phase was complete and during the mixing phase, the album sort of wrote its own story and the segues we included stitched together these amalgamation of themes and the spacey galactic outcome is what presented itself when all was finally married together.The final result brought about images in our minds of the all-encompassing aether and cosmos, hence the design and artwork followed suit. How each listener interprets the album is up to them. We like to think there is something in there for everyone to enjoy, no matter your tastes and musical inclinations, our instrumental offerings are there to be explored, taken apart and stitched back together however the listener sees fit. We never had a specific goal in mind for this attempt. What you hear is what presented itself quite naturally over the course of the last few years.Being an instrumental outfit, we included a story to go with the album, to add to it a sense of character driven narrative, where if the listener feels so inclined they can follow our version of events that unfold during the album play-through which can be read on our website (www.kingsofimprog.com), or we encourage our audience to create their own story to the soundtrack of Henosis. – Our short story itself is a journey of madness and epiphany – fleeting moments stored in time, presented in the form of a character named KAI – something we believe everyone can relate to and/or has endured (or delighted in) at some point or another in their lives, the musings that are often left unsaid.
This is our first full length recording and we plan on pushing the boundaries further going forward into the future. To expand the themes, explore the endless possibilities available to us and create another chapter of musical mayhem with the next round of our musical meanderings.”
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