Considered (according to AllMusic) “one of the most dramatically accomplished of all the bands lumped into Britain’s late-’60s prog explosion“, Curved Air is a pioneering British progressive rock group of musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds.
They are famed for their unforgettable live performances and ‘Art Rock’ music – the quasi classical imprints of Terry Riley hooked onto beautiful and demonic violin combined with electronic adventurous synths and interwoven with brilliant guitar wizardry mesmerisingly embroidered by the subliminal and exotic presence of a unique girl lead singer Sonja Kristina. All these elements elevated them from the underground Roundhouse scene to top the album charts in the early ’70s.
Along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air was one of the first rock bands after It’s A Beautiful Day and The United States of America to feature an electric violin, inspiringly and dramatically explored by the excellent Darryl Way and now by the dynamic Paul Sax. Original keyboard player/guitarist Francis Monkman was the trailblazer for future ‘electronica’ and ambient extemporization. Robert Norton has inherited this sonic template and himself a spinner of ethereal soundscapes extends the boundaries towards further horizons while Florian Pilkington Miksa on drums then and now, with Chris Harris’ bass guitar artistry, provides the expressive rhythmic pulse that is the Curved Air signature.
Curved Air have to date released eight studio albums and though progressive innovators they were hailed as Pop Stars when their single, the sultry “Back Street Luv” was a Top 5 hit in 1971. The present line-up of Sonja Kristina, Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Kit Morgan, Chris Harris, Robert Norton and Paul Sax have been touring together since 2009.
On 12th November 2012, much to the excitement of their fans and press worldwide, a Live CD/DVD titled ‘Live Atmosphere‘ was released – ‘Songs of revolution, insanity, loss, desire and ghosts: a unique compilation of powerful Curved Air songs played by a vital contemporary Curved Air’.
‘Live Atmosphere’ produced by Marvin Ayres , includes a bonus DVD with a tour featurette and an atmospheric visual collage.
A new studio album, the first in 36 years, is soon to be released worldwide by US label Cleopatra Records in 2014