Barock Project 2024

Album Review: Barock Project – Time Voyager (2024)

Introduction to Barock Project

Barock Project is a progressive rock band that has been enchanting audiences with their unique blend of classical influences and modern rock elements since their formation in 2003. Originating from Italy, the band was founded by Luca Zabbini, a talented keyboardist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Zabbini’s vision was to create a sound that combined the complexity and elegance of classical music with the energy and innovation of progressive rock.

Early Years and Formation

The band’s early works were heavily influenced by the giants of the progressive rock genre, such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and Yes. Barock Project’s debut album, “Misteriose Voci”, was released in 2007 and immediately garnered attention for its sophisticated compositions and rich orchestral arrangements. This album set the tone for their future endeavors, showcasing Zabbini’s classical training and the band’s ability to weave intricate musical tapestries.

Rise to Prominence

Over the years, Barock Project continued to refine their sound, releasing several acclaimed albums. “Rebus” (2009) and “Coffee In Neukölln” (2012) further established their reputation in the progressive rock community. With each release, the band pushed the boundaries of their musical capabilities, incorporating more complex structures and diverse influences.

In 2015, Barock Project released “Skyline”, an album that marked a significant step forward in their artistic development. The album’s blend of progressive rock and symphonic elements received widespread praise, and it helped to solidify their standing as one of the leading acts in the modern prog rock scene.

Live Performances and Global Reach

Barock Project’s reputation for delivering powerful and engaging live performances has played a crucial role in their growing popularity. Their live album “Vivo” (2016), captured the energy and precision of their concerts, offering fans an immersive experience of their stage presence. The band’s tours have taken them across Europe and beyond, allowing them to connect with a global audience.

Recent Works and Evolution

The band’s subsequent albums, “Detachment” (2017) and “Seven Seas” (2019), continued to showcase their evolving sound and thematic depth. These releases were noted for their lyrical introspection and the band’s ability to create expansive, cinematic soundscapes.

Current Lineup

The current lineup of Barock Project includes:

  • Luca Zabbini: Keyboards, vocals, acoustic guitars, and primary composer
  • Alex Mari: Lead vocals and acoustic guitars
  • Eric Ombelli: Drums, percussion, and backing vocals
  • Marco Mazzuoccolo: Electric guitars
  • Francesco Caliendo: Bass guitar

“Time Voyager” and Beyond

In 2024, Barock Project released “Time Voyager”, an album that encapsulates their journey through time both musically and thematically. This ambitious concept album explores different temporal moments and dimensions, blending nostalgic elements with futuristic visions. It marks another milestone in their illustrious career, demonstrating their continued relevance and innovation in the progressive rock genre.

Barock Project’s dedication to their craft and their ability to seamlessly blend classical and modern influences make them a standout act in the progressive rock landscape. For new listeners, their discography offers a rich and rewarding journey through some of the most sophisticated and emotive music in contemporary progressive rock.

For more information and to explore their music, visit the official Barock Project website.

The Review

As someone deeply entrenched in the world of music production, with over 30 years of experience and a keen ear for progressive rock, I find “Time Voyager,” the latest release from Barock Project, to be a landmark achievement. This album, released on June 3, 2024, represents a profound exploration of time through a meticulously crafted sonic landscape.


“Time Voyager” is Barock Project’s seventh studio album and stands as a testament to their evolution as a band. The concept revolves around temporal journeys, with each track serving as a portal to different moments and dimensions. This ambitious theme is masterfully executed, blending nostalgia with futuristic elements to create a cohesive and immersive listening experience​​.

Track-by-Track Analysis

  1. Carry On (6:35) The album opens with “Carry On,” a track that immediately sets a powerful tone with its dynamic structure and Alex Mari’s compelling vocals. The song features intricate instrumentation, with a blend of electric guitars and keyboards that create a layered, immersive experience.

  2. Summer Set You Free (4:41) This track brings a lighter, more melodic feel to the album. The uplifting lyrics and breezy arrangements provide a refreshing contrast to the opener. The interplay between Luca Zabbini’s keyboards and Marco Mazzuoccolo’s guitar work stands out, creating a harmonious and feel-good atmosphere.

  3. An Ordinary Day’s Odyssey (6:04) “An Ordinary Day’s Odyssey” takes the listener on a complex journey through sophisticated musical arrangements. The track features shifting time signatures and elaborate instrumental passages, showcasing the band’s technical prowess and creativity. The narrative arc of the song mirrors the concept of an epic odyssey through time​.

  4. The Lost Ship Tavern (4:40) This atmospheric track is enriched by the violin performance of guest musician Alessandro Bonetti. The haunting melodies and evocative lyrics transport the listener to a bygone era, fitting seamlessly into the album’s theme of temporal exploration.

  5. Voyager (8:08) Serving as the centerpiece of the album, “Voyager” is an orchestral and cinematic masterpiece. It begins with a Vangelis-like synth introduction, evolving into a pulsating rhythm driven by keys and drums. The song’s narrative unfolds through heroic vocals and dynamic shifts, encapsulating the essence of the album’s concept.

  6. Morning Train (6:08) “Morning Train” features a more reflective and introspective tone. The gentle acoustic guitars and soothing vocals create a serene atmosphere, making it a standout track for its emotional depth and simplicity. The song reflects on the passage of time and the quiet moments of life.

  7. Propaganda (6:33) This track delves into more intense and politically charged themes. The aggressive instrumentation and powerful lyrics address themes of misinformation and societal control. The energetic performance and sharp, incisive lyrics make “Propaganda” a memorable and thought-provoking piece​.

  8. Shibuya 3 A.M. (4:30) Inspired by the vibrant nightlife of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, this track captures a dreamy, nocturnal atmosphere. The blend of synth, piano, and gentle percussion creates an evocative soundscape, reflecting themes of lost love and yearning. Luca Zabbini’s vocals add a personal touch to this introspective piece.

  9. Lonely Girl (5:09) “Lonely Girl” opens with a jaunty key and guitar intro, progressing into a more complex and emotionally charged composition. The song’s structure conveys a sense of frustration and longing, punctuated by Eric Ombelli’s rhythmic drumming and energetic rock passages filled with strings and organ work.

  10. Mediterranean (5:17) This track brings a sunny and optimistic mood, characterized by Francesco Caliendo’s subtle bass lines and bright piano passages. The song evolves into a dazzling display of organ and electric guitar, capturing the essence of the Mediterranean’s warmth and vibrancy.

  11. Kyanite Jewel (5:35) “Kyanite Jewel” features the delicate acoustic guitar work of Eric Ombelli, alongside his vocals. The song’s serene and peaceful quality is reminiscent of the blue metamorphic jewel it is named after, believed to have healing properties. This track promotes a sense of inner peace and tranquility​.

  12. Voyager’s Homecoming (7:36) The album concludes with “Voyager’s Homecoming,” a dramatic and powerful piece that brings the journey full circle. The track features a blend of heavy guitar, keys, and drums, leading to a triumphant and celebratory finale. The synthesizer sweeps and harmonic vocals convey the protagonist’s return, wrapping up the album’s narrative arc beautifully.

My Personal Highlights

Sorry, there are none, because they all are. Each in their own way. Maybe I have slight issues with The Lost Ship Tavern, but that’d be nitpicking. And just maaaaaybe I prefer Voyager’s Homecoming over all others a bit, but not massively. But in all honesty, there’s not a single filler or bummer in there.

Virtuoso Playing

The musicianship on “Time Voyager” is nothing short of virtuosic, as on every Barock Project album. Luca Zabbini’s masterful command of keyboards and synthesizers lays a complex and lush foundation throughout the album. His ability to blend classical influences with modern progressive rock elements is a testament to his skill and artistic vision. Marco Mazzuoccolo’s guitar work is equally impressive, ranging from delicate acoustic passages to powerful and technically highly challenging solos that drive the album’s emotional core. Eric Ombelli’s drumming is on an exceptional technical level, ultra-precise and dynamic, providing the rhythmic backbone that propels each track forward with energy and sophistication. Francesco Caliendo’s bass lines add depth and texture, perfectly complementing the intricate arrangements. Together, these musicians create a sound that is both technically proficient and deeply emotive, showcasing their collective talent and synergy as a band​.

Oh, and I know that the guys are able to showcase the same abilities in a live setting.

Production Quality

Produced by Luca Zabbini and co-produced by Eric Ombelli, the production quality of “Time Voyager” is exceptional. The album’s sound is lush and expansive, with every instrument meticulously placed in the mix. All band members deliver stellar performances, as mentioned earlier (but I can’t mention that often enough).

Final Thoughts

“Time Voyager” is more than just an album; it’s an experience. Barock Project has successfully navigated the complexities of progressive rock while staying true to their unique sound. The album’s thematic depth and musical sophistication make it a standout release (not just) in 2024 and a must-listen for any fan of the genre, and beyond.

For those interested in diving deeper into this musical journey, “Time Voyager” is available on Barock Project’s official website. This album is poised to be a defining moment in Barock Project’s career and a significant contribution to the progressive rock landscape.

black and white book composing document

A Psychological Guide to Harmonic Mixing and Composing

Harmonic mixing is an advanced technique used by top DJs and producers worldwide. It involves mixing tracks that are in the same or related keys, enabling long blends and mashups. The Simple Harmonic Mixing Tool on my website is designed to make this process even more straightforward. It’s an evolution of the Camelot Wheel, providing you with a unique code for each of the 24 possible musical keys (12 major and 12 minor keys). This tool is not just for DJs but also for music theory students and musicians who want to better understand the relationships between different musical keys.

The Emotional Landscape of Musical Keys

Understanding the emotional nuances of each key can add another layer of depth to your mixes or compositions. Let’s delve into the psychological characteristics of each key, along with examples from the electronic music world to illustrate these points.

Major Keys

  1. C Major (8B): Often considered the “default” key in Western music, C Major is straightforward and lacks sharps or flats. It’s the key of choice for simplicity and purity, often used to convey innocence and straightforward emotions.
    • Example: “Xtal” by Aphex Twin captures a sense of nostalgia and simplicity, making it a go-to for ambient sets.

  2. Db Major (3B): A somewhat rare key that’s often used for unique, ethereal sounds. It can evoke a sense of mystery or otherworldliness.
    • Example: “Polygon Window” by Aphex Twin uses this key to create a haunting, yet ethereal atmosphere.

  3. D Major (10B): Known for its uplifting and triumphant feel, D Major is frequently used to convey joy and happiness. It’s a key that’s often used to elevate the mood of a piece, making it ideal for peak moments in a set.
    • Example: “Spastik” by Plastikman uses this key to create a hypnotic, yet uplifting atmosphere.

  4. Eb Major (5B): This key is often used to convey a sense of majesty and grandiosity. It’s the key of the epic, of the grandiose, often used in anthemic tracks.
    • Example: “Strings of Life” by Derrick May uses this key to create a sense of uplifting grandeur.

  5. E Major (12B): Known for its majestic and heroic qualities, E Major is often used in anthems and other grandiose pieces. It can evoke a sense of grandeur and majesty, making it ideal for tracks that aim to inspire or uplift.
    • Example: “Why Does the World Exist” by Max Cooper offers a complex, yet majestic auditory experience.

  6. F Major (7B): Known for its warmth and harmony, F Major is often used in songs that offer comfort, solace, and a sense of belonging. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of warmth and envelopment, making it ideal for more introspective moments in a set.
    • Example: “Vanishing Point” by Matrixxman uses this key to create a warm, enveloping soundscape.

  7. Gb Major (2B): A rare key that’s often used to convey complex emotional textures. It can evoke a sense of complexity and depth, making it ideal for tracks that aim to provoke thought or introspection.
    • Example: “Mentasm” by Second Phase uses this key to create a complex, thought-provoking atmosphere.

  8. G Major (9B): Often associated with the pastoral and the rustic, G Major is the key of the outdoors, of the countryside, and of the simple life. It can evoke a sense of earthiness and groundedness.
    • Example: “Tha” by Aphex Twin captures a sense of pastoral tranquility, making it ideal for more laid-back moments.

  9. Ab Major (4B): Known for its dreamy and heavenly qualities, Ab Major is often used to convey a sense of ethereal beauty. It’s the key of the otherworldly, of the sublime, often used in tracks that aim to evoke a sense of dreaminess or transcendence.
    • Example: “Energy Flash” by Joey Beltram captures a sense of ethereal intensity, making it a go-to for more transcendent moments.

  10. A Major (11B): A bright and cheerful key, A Major is often used in songs that are upbeat, happy, and optimistic. It can evoke a sense of brightness and cheerfulness, making it ideal for uplifting moments.
    • Example: “Inspector Norse” by Todd Terje is a cheerful track that’s both danceable and uplifting, making it a crowd-pleaser in many sets.

  11. Bb Major (6B): Known for its optimistic yet complex qualities, Bb Major is often used to convey a sense of complexity tinged with optimism. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of layered emotion, making it ideal for tracks that aim to provoke thought while uplifting.
    • Example: “Acid Tracks” by Phuture uses this key to create a complex yet uplifting atmosphere, making it a staple in many acid house sets.

  12. B Major (1B): Known for its brilliance and optimism, B Major is often used to convey a sense of optimism and brightness, albeit with a level of sophistication. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of sophisticated optimism.
    • Example: “Clear” by Cybotron uses this key to create a futuristic, yet optimistic atmosphere, making it a classic in many techno sets.

Minor Keys

  1. A Minor (8A): A versatile key that’s often used to convey a range of emotions from sadness to introspection. It’s a key that’s as flexible as it is popular, often used in tracks that aim to evoke complex emotional landscapes.
    • Example: “Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin uses this key to create a complex emotional landscape, making it a versatile track for various moods.

  2. Bb Minor (3A): Known for its mysterious and introspective qualities, Bb Minor is often used to convey a sense of mystery or introspection. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of inward focus, making it ideal for more introspective moments in a set.
    • Example: “Voyage” by Gregor Tresher uses this key to create a mysterious, introspective atmosphere.

  3. B Minor (10A): Known for its darker tones, B Minor is often used to convey a sense of melancholy, introspection, and sometimes even despair. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of emotional depth, making it ideal for more emotionally charged moments in a set.
    • Example: “Dead Skin Cells” by Future Sound of London is a haunting track that perfectly captures the essence of this key.

  4. C Minor (5A): Often used to convey a sense of tragedy or heaviness, C Minor is the key of the dramatic. It can evoke a sense of weight and gravitas, making it ideal for tracks that aim to create a sense of emotional intensity.
    • Example: “Risingson” by Massive Attack uses this key to create a brooding, intense atmosphere.

  5. Db Minor (12A): A rare key that’s often used for deeply emotional pieces. It can evoke a sense of emotional depth and complexity, making it ideal for tracks that aim to provoke thought or introspection.
    • Example: “Schöneberg” by Marmion uses this key to create a deeply emotional atmosphere.

  6. D Minor (7A): Known as the “saddest of all keys,” D Minor is often used to convey a sense of deep emotional weight, often tinged with a sense of finality or loss. It can evoke a sense of melancholy and depth, making it ideal for more emotionally intense moments in a set.
    • Example: “Halcyon On and On” by Orbital captures a sense of melancholic beauty, making it a staple in many chillout sets.

  7. Eb Minor (2A): A complex key that’s often used to convey intricate emotional textures. It can evoke a sense of complexity and depth, making it ideal for tracks that aim to provoke thought or introspection.
    • Example: “Dominas” by Carl Craig uses this key to create a complex, thought-provoking atmosphere.

  8. E Minor (9A): Known for its melancholic yet hopeful qualities, E Minor is often used to convey a sense of melancholy tinged with hope. It’s the key of the bittersweet, of the hopeful lament, often used in tracks that aim to evoke a sense of complex emotion.
    • Example: “Porcelain” by Moby captures the essence of this key with its melancholic yet hopeful tones.

  9. F Minor (4A): Known for its depth and its ability to convey a sense of gloom, sorrow, or existential angst. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of emotional depth, making it ideal for more introspective or moody moments in a set.
    • Example: “Knights of the Jaguar” by DJ Rolando is a deep, introspective track that captures the essence of this key.

  10. Gb Minor (11A): An enigmatic key that’s often used to convey a sense of mystery or otherworldliness. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of enigma and complexity, making it ideal for tracks that aim to provoke thought or introspection.
    • Example: “Age Of Love” by Age Of Love captures a sense of timeless, mystical allure.

  11. G Minor (6A): Known for its ability to convey a sense of sadness tinged with passion or a sense of urgent longing. It’s a key that can evoke a sense of emotional urgency, making it ideal for more emotionally charged moments in a set.
    • Example: “Rez” by Underworld uses this key to create a sense of urgency and emotional depth.

  12. Ab Minor (1A): A rare key that’s often used to convey a sense of haunting or otherworldly qualities. It can evoke a sense of haunting beauty or etherealness, making it ideal for tracks that aim to create a sense of emotional complexity.
    • Example: “Born Slippy .NUXX” by Underworld uses this key to create a haunting, yet uplifting atmosphere.

Practical Uses and Personal Recommendations

The Camelot Wheel and the Simple Harmonic Mixing Tool are primarily used by DJs and music producers to group keys based on their harmonic relationships. Keys adjacent to each other on the wheel are considered compatible and can be mixed or transitioned between more easily than keys that are further apart. This avoids dissonance or clashes between different musical keys, making your mixes smoother and more emotionally resonant.

It’s worth noting that my recommendations for chord progressions are based on my personal experience and expertise as a musician and composer. There are 7 possible following keys that I find harmonious or serve a meaningful corresponding purpose. However, these are my personal recommendations and should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Understanding the emotional nuances of musical keys can significantly enhance your harmonic mixing skills. Whether you’re a DJ looking to create a seamless mix or a composer aiming for a particular emotional impact, the Simple Harmonic Mixing Tool can be an invaluable resource. It simplifies the complex world of harmonic relationships between keys, making it easier for you to create emotionally resonant mixes and compositions.

Feel free to explore the Simple Harmonic Mixing Tool to get a hands-on experience and make your musical journey even more enriching.

I hope this deep dive into the emotional nuances of each key provides you with valuable insights for your next musical project. Happy mixing and composing!

The Power of Simplicity: Unraveling the Secret to Crafting Memorable Music

I can’t stop thinking about the beauty that lies in the simplicity of things. In all kinds of things, including music. And so the idea for a small blogpost on this topic was born.

In the world of music, simplicity can be a powerful and often overlooked tool. Many musicians and composers – me too, at times – may be tempted to believe that complexity and technical prowess are the keys to creating compelling and memorable music. This is not always the case. It is often the simplest melodies and arrangements that resonate most deeply with listeners and stand the test of time.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of simplicity in music, why it works so well, and provide examples of iconic musical works that have harnessed the power of simplicity to achieve greatness.

The Importance of Simplicity in Music

Simplicity allows music to be easily understood and enjoyed by a wide range of listeners. A simple melody or chord progression can often evoke a stronger emotional response than a complex, intricate arrangement. This is because our brains are wired to appreciate patterns and predictability, making simpler music more accessible and memorable.

Some of history’s most iconic songs and compositions have utilized simplicity to create a lasting impact. For example, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 begins with a simple four-note motif that is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with the composer’s genius. This motif, known as the “fate motif,” is repeated and developed throughout the symphony, demonstrating the power of a simple musical idea.

And just by the way, this is a great video as well.

Another example is The Beatles’ “Let It Be.” This song features a simple piano melody accompanied by basic chords and a straightforward lyrical message. The song’s simplicity allows listeners to easily connect with its message of hope and comfort during times of trouble, making it one of The Beatles’ most enduring and beloved songs.

“Someone Like You” by Adele showcases the power of simplicity. The song relies on a minimal piano arrangement and Adele’s soulful voice to convey a heartfelt message of lost love and longing. The simplicity of the music makes it easy for listeners to connect with the emotions expressed in the song, contributing to its immense popularity.

Tips for Embracing Simplicity in Your Music

Focus on a strong, memorable melody: A catchy melody can be the backbone of a successful song. Don’t be afraid to start with a simple melody and build your arrangement around it.

Use repetition wisely: Repeating musical phrases and motifs can create a sense of familiarity and cohesion in your music. However, be careful not to overuse repetition, as it can become monotonous.

Strip it down: Sometimes, less is more. Experiment with removing elements from your arrangement and see how it affects the overall feel of the song. This can help you identify the most essential parts of your music.

Embrace simplicity in your lyrics: Simple, relatable lyrics can have a powerful impact on listeners. Focus on conveying your message as clearly and directly as possible.

Trust your instincts: If something feels too complex or convoluted, it probably is. Trust your instincts and simplify where necessary.

Simplicity in music can be a powerful tool for connecting with listeners and creating memorable, lasting works of art. By embracing simplicity, musicians and composers can ensure their music resonates with a wide audience and stands the test of time. So, the next time you sit down to create music, remember the immortal words of Albert Einstein:

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Sometimes, the simplest path is the one that leads straight to the heart.


As much as I’ve praised the virtues of simplicity in music, I must sheepishly admit that I have a penchant for creating more complex musical arrangements myself.

Complex music can be an adventure for both the creator and the listener, offering a labyrinth of intricate layers, challenging harmonies, and enigmatic lyrics that can be deciphered like a musical puzzle. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, for those who revel in untangling the mysteries hidden within a composition, it can be a truly rewarding experience.

When I dive headfirst into the world of complex music, I’m like a mad scientist experimenting with sound and structure, pushing the boundaries of my craft. Sure, I might get a little carried away at times, but that’s half the fun! After all, what better way to test my own musical limits and explore new artistic horizons?

Some of the most revered artists in history have dabbled in complex music, from daring jazz improvisations to mind-bending prog-rock epics. These musicians have shown us that complexity, when executed well, can yield captivating and memorable results.

So, while I may have waxed poetic about the power of simplicity earlier, let’s not forget that there’s a place for complexity in music too. As an artist who frequently indulges in more intricate arrangements, I’m living proof that there’s beauty to be found in both simplicity and complexity. Sometimes, it’s all about striking the right balance and embracing the creative chaos that ensues. And, who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll finally master the delicate art of keeping things simple… or not!