Something Else! sneak peek: John and Steve Hackett, “Down to the Domus Aurea”/ “Towards the Future” (2012)

An extraordinarily productive period for Steve Hackett, with both the Squackett and Genesis Revisited projects, will also include the release of a pair of new instrumentals with his brother John.

“Down to the Domus Aurea” and “Towards the Future,” two previously unissued tracks from Steve and John Hackett, is set to appear as in a limited-edition 500-copy run on October 6, 2012.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEWS: Steve Hackett's new version of "Chamber of 32 Doors" from the forthcoming 'Genesis Revisited II' project displays a remarkably mature restraint.]

“Domus” moves from a stirring introductory guitar passage into a ruminative keyboard signature, and then back again – all amidst a billowing atmosphere of keyboards and strings. Then, at its midway point, the contemplative cadence is tossed aside for a segment that pulses with a thrilling fury. When Steve Hackett returns on guitar, he does so with a soaring authority.

“Future,” meanwhile, downshifts into this cerulean nostalgia — courtesy, in part, of the flute of John Hackett, who has appeared on 21 of his sibling’s previous albums, including last year’s Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. The Hackett brothers then couple and decouple over a series of pastoral interludes, to glorious effect.

Both songs are part of a forthcoming album called The Rome Pro(G)ject, due in November 2012, that features eight other new instrumentals written and performed by David Cross, Richard Sinclair, Nick Magnus, David Jackson and others. Conceived and produced by Vincenzo Ricca, the project celebrates Rome on the occasion of its 2,765th anniversary. To find out more on this special-edition single and the Rome Pro(G)ject, go to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheRomeProGject.

    

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Steve Hackett, Genesis and Agents of Mercy. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: GUITARIST STEVE HACKETT, FORMERLY OF GENESIS: Hackett, who still nurtures a lasting affinity for classical music, has leapt headlong back into prog rock — putting the finishing touches on a collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, even as he begins work on an album that will reexamine his celebrated tenure as guitarist with Genesis. Hackett went in depth on the new project with Squire, the guitarist’s celebrated tenure with Genesis, and the sweeping impact of J.S. Bach on his playing style.

SQUACKETT – A LIFE WITHIN ONE DAY (2012): A sun-filled, surprisingly light-hearted experience, this collaboration between Yes’ Chris Squire and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame is a journey that’s both at peace with what came before, and yet somehow brand new in the way that it combines the sensibilities of both bands without getting bound up in their pasts.

GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE GENESIS, WELL, SUCKED: Here, we sort through the worst of the worst — and that’s all — from the Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Ray Wilson eras of this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band. Certain things within Genesis’ established band narrative went by the wayside, though: We didn’t ding the early albums for their sometimes cloying sense of very-British whimsy, nor their later albums when they settled for by-the-numbers reproductions of Collins’ solo ballad style. We wanted to delve into things far more egregious than those run-of-the-mill annoyances … the times when they didn’t seem to have an invisible touch. Whatever that means.

ONE TRACK MIND: STEVE HACKETT ON “FIRTH OF FIFTH,” “WHEN THE HEART RULES THE MIND,” OTHERS: Hackett, who’s readying a new collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, talks about how joining Genesis spurred him to a series of memorable inventions on his instrument. And how one of these pioneering moments would one day help create a signature part of Eddie Van Halen’s high-flying solo sound. We also go inside the brief and stormy collaboration with Steve Howe in the mid-1980s called GTR, and Hackett’s genre-busting return to prog rock in 2009.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.