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Mike Visaggio | Starship Universe

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Kinetic Element's CD Powered by Light Mike Visaggio Kinetic Element's Myspace Page (Mike's Band) Nexhit Tradebit our band website MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes MV & KE's Sonicbids Electronic Press Kit Bitmunk GroupieTunes

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Spiritual
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Starship Universe

by Mike Visaggio

Mike Visaggio's music is an eclectic blend of classic, progressive and new age rock styles. The keyboards carry the day as Mike's stylings on piano, organ and synths take you on a spiritual journey.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. In The Nazarene Church
Mike Visaggio
6:38 $0.99
2. Prelude No. 2 for Piano
Mike Visaggio
0:54 $0.99
3. My Elders' Son
Mike Visaggio & Tom DiCarlo
6:42 $0.99
4. Blues Variation
Mike Visaggio
8:01 $0.99
5. 2001: Also Rocked Zarathustra
Mike Visaggio
9:50 $0.99
6. Starship Universe
Mike Visaggio
2:38 $0.99
7. The Sychronized Life
Mike Visaggio
6:52 $0.99
8. On The Ship of Emotion
Mike Visaggio
8:36 $0.99
9. Music's Coming To Us
Mike Visaggio
4:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
BULLETIN: Mike Visaggio and Kinetic Element to perform at the PROGDAY FESTIVAL PRESHOW on August 29 2008. After losing Matt Harris on bass, Tony D'Amato of Richmond has stepped up and joined KE. ProgDay is the oldest of the progressive rock festivals in America and Mike, Tony and Michael are jazzed to be performing as the opening act of the whole shindig. Kinetic Element supported well know prog acts CIRCA:, Rare Blend and IZZ in May 2008.

Mike Visaggio is a multi-keyboardist and composer of rock music influenced by the Golden Age progressive rockers like Yes, ELP and Genesis, but firmly rooted in classic rock. Starting in the 1960's he played with 60's pop groups Lights of Darkness and Dawn. (No, not Tony Orlando's band!) In the 70's he formed a prog/jazz fusion band called Randori with partner Tom DiCarlo in New York City.

In the late 70's he was part of Billy Falcon's Burning Rose, a singer-songwriter rock band that had three albums and an EP on UA and MCA. In fact you can still see his picture on the Billy Falcon website. He recorded an unreleased album with Christian prog-power-pop group Innervision in 1982, and was in a well-known show band in NYC called Sound City Orchestra until 1985.

After a hiatus of nearly 20 years away from the business, he began seriously "coming back" in 2000 with stints in three Richmond, VA-based bands including The Strokers. But none of them panned out and in 2005, he decided it was now or never, to just trust God and go it alone at the age of 53. "Starship Universe" includes covers of ELP's "Blues Variation" and Deodato's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" which feature extended keyboard soloing and instrumentation and pay tribute to two of Mike's influences.

Mike plays a five-keyboard rig relying extensively on the Hammond B-3 sound and the many, many sounds of the Alesis QS 7.1 synth. His lyric themes are abstractly Christian in a philosophical vein, and his music's sound, while reminiscent of 1970s power prog, is unique in today's musical environment.

In September of 2006 drummer Michael Murray and bassist Matt Harris joined Mike to form Kinetic Element. They are performing the "Starship Universe" material plus new compositions and some classic prog covers. Their performance dates may be found at:
www.mikevisaggio.com (Mike's website)
www.sonicbids.com/MikeVisaggio (an electronic press kit with ten nice reviews!)

Mike is available for other recording projects. Go ahead and post a review of what you hear ... a good review of course!

Influences: Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, early Genesis, Peter Gabriel, UK, Kansas, Marillion, Boston, Deep Purple, Booker T., Zebra, The Doors, Foreigner, Journey, The Cars, Niacin, Return To Forever, David Sancious, Modern Jazz Quartet, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Brian Auger, Yanni, Eumir Deodato, Chick Corea. And as Rick Dasheill noted in the review below, this CD covers a lot of ground. It'll keep you coming back to it if you love classic prog rock keyboards.



to write a review

Doug Bowers

Talented keyboardist uses vintage gear
Starship Universe is a pretty good album all the way around. Vintage keyboard sounds are plentiful and the chops are tasteful. One can tell from the first listen that Mike's been behind the keyboard for a long time. The opening piece is remeniscent of early Triumvirat and the ELP cover lets us know up front that Mike is also heavily influenced by Mr. Emerson.


This is a labour of love and the results are impressive.
If you glanced at the album title then the world weary amongst you might have correctly guessed this is epic prog rock. On a grand scale as well. Those still pining for the days when Yes and ELP were in their pomp and glory will find much to savour on this epic set of throwback 70's progressive rock from the 54 year old Visaggio, an industry veteran who was present in the early 70's himself. 'The Synchronized Life' and 'On The Ship Of Emotion' both feature vocals from Visaggio and run full steam ahead into more classic prog areas, simply it's all about keyboards and how far Visaggio can push them. A pleasant surprise and one for all the classic prog rockers still remaining. This one will have you riding the starship.


Some of the richest keyboard work you'll probably ever hear.
The style of music found on this release is mixture of everything from classic and progressive rock to classical and jazz. The main focus though is definitely on the keyboard playing of Mike.
He produces his rich keyboard layered sound through the use of his five-keyboard setup specializing in a grand Hammond B-3 sound.
The music found on this release is some of the richest keyboard work that you'll probably ever hear. While some of the songs do have lyrics for the most part this release is a 54 minute's clinic on how keyboard music should sound.
If you enjoy bands like, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, YES, and Styx then this release is a must have for you. This is some really good keyboard music that will have your ears quivering with excitement.

Rick Dashiell (DJ on Aural Moon)

Mighty Mike!
Mike found me through the great communicator MySpace, and sent me this CD. As I've found frequently in the last 5 years, there's a ton of great music being made. And with technology the way it is, many of these CD's are one man bands. With the exception of three tracks where Mike Murray plays drums, Mike Visaggio performs the rest.

I tend to take a jaundiced view of one person records. Even the great Matthew Parmenter (of Discipline) could have used a session drummer. Usually the music is not "complete" or tends to be self-indulgent. Mike's record is neither. They are well-crafted complete songs, stretching across many types.

The first cut In the Nazarene Church is straightforward Progressive Rock, reminiscent of ELP and the Moody Blues. Between that song and the rock and roll closer Music's Coming to Us, there's a lot of ground covered. The highlight of the record is the instrumental 2001: Also Rocked Zarathustra, a fun romp of nearly ten minutes. In addition to a few other instrumentals (including a great cover of Emerson's Blues Variation and a beautiful pipe organ number, the title cut) there are some excellent vocal/instrumental tracks.

I've seen some criticism of Mike's voice, but personally I like it. And while not a deeply religious man, I never fault an artist for writing what he wants. That should never be a consideration if you're open minded.

Mike has a lot of musical experience that is embodied on this record. Let's hope he continues to develop his ideas.

Ron Fuchs

Mike’s style of music embodies the true spirit of classic progressive rock
I received my copy of Mike Visaggio’s Starship Universe. He warned me that it was Christian based music but to be honest with you it’s not the preachy kind. It almost has a storytelling atmosphere that other’s outside the Christian faith will be able to listen to. Mike’s style of music embodies, to me at least, the true spirit of classic progressive rock with it’s intricate instrumentation and amazing thought provoking lyrics. Mike’s instrument of choice is the keyboard, and gives a very vintage vibe to his playing. In many ways this albums sounds like it could have been released in the mid-seventies.

Upon listening to this album, you can hear in Mike’s playing, his admiration for Keith Emerson So much in fact that he does a really nice cover of Emerson’s “Blues Variations” on Starship Universe. Mike also does all the singing on the album. While he’s not one of the strongest singers, he fits perfectly within the style and flow of the album. He also does electronic drums and rhythm programming for the most part with the exception of a few tracks where he uses a live drummer. Unless you listen beyond the music, you really cant tell or rather care that it’s not real players doing the drums and bass.

I feel very honored to be among the people Mike sent his cd to. It’s one of the more enjoyable self produced albums I’ve heard in a while. Even though I like Starship Universe, I would love to hear Mike with some other musicians to help flesh out his true potential. Watch out, Mike Vissagio’s starship has landed and hopefully here to stay!

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 13th, 2006

Mikolaj Furmankiewicz

Mike Visaggio - Starship Universe
An American keyboard player has sent me his solo release stressing that this music was born out of divine inspiration. Mike is a representative of Christian progressive rock, but it was obvious just in the seventies and later when he played with such bands like Randori (progressive/fusion), Burning Rose (the Billy Falcon's group) and Strokers. That's why you shouldn't be astonished with his lyrics based on the Holy Scriptures.

We are moving to the music that is most important element here. Mr. Visaggio is responsible for vocals, keys, piano, organ, bass, programmed drums, orchestra, flute, brass and synthesizers, however Michael Murray played drums on three tracks. For the first time, I couldn't believe that Mike's stuff was released in the 21st century instead of thirty years ago. I don't lack the guitars not at all. I have only my doubts about a legitimacy of Mike's singing, since his music is enough diverse and absorbing our minds. To be absolutely honest, I think that Mike is an excellent keyboard player, but only an average singer. I also suppose that Mike's music created by a distinct bass guitar, a legendary Hammond sound and characteristically sounding Alesis synthesizer is enough rich to rivet the listener's attention. An influence of a golden trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer on Mr. Visaggio's music is undisputed, but Mike even didn't try to hide his inspirations behind our ears, and he carefully covered their track "Blues Variations" from "Pictures at an Exhibition". Another interesting idea is a cover of Richard Strauss' symphonic poem "As said Zarathustra" (1896; neoromanticism). It was rearranged by Eumir Deodato in 1973, but its leitmotiv was earlier used on soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey" (1969). Needless to write, the title "2001: Also Rocked Zarathustra" is a paraphrase of the original.

"Starship Universe" has raised my curiosity coefficient on Mr. Visaggio's artistic activity, especially as he has formed a new band Kinetic Element alongside a drummer Michael Murray and a bassist Matt Harris. Apart from aforementioned Emerson, Lake and Palmer, I can recommend this CD to the fans of Rick and Oliver Wakemans, and Vanilla Fudge as well. I think that the best way to understand Mike's music is closing our eyes and setting out on an interplanetary travel, haha.

Alex Creevy

Starship Universe
Listen to this album and it sort of takes you back in time. Not so much as a religious album but a journey back into the halcyon days when Progressive rock artists could mix grandiosity with simplicity, or indeed tranquillity. Keyboards are the main element here with sounds that are a tip of the hat to Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Let's be under no illusion here, there are those out there who may scoff at this album due to its religious content but don't forget, music with a religious vein does not have to be Harry Seacombe, (Stryper will tell you that). It's the music itself which is the all important factor here. It does not matter whether you're fervently religious or atheist, if you like your prog how it should sound, 70's complexity with modern sensibilities then I recommend this cd to you.

Mike Parker

STARSHIP UNIVERSE offers a prog rock vision of the future
If you are a fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rick Wakeman, Yes, Glass Hammer, Deodato…heck, if you’re a fan of Strauss, Mozart, or Handel, you are going to dig this album. This is prog rock on the reminiscent of “Brain Salad Surgery,” “Fragile,” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (fans will remember!). "Starship Universe" is much more subversive than most watered down, ‘religious’ albums. The music is a celebration of the majestic variety and the cosmic expanse of creation. But rather than settling for simple regurgitations of the past, Visaggio manages to inject a healthy dose of funk and jazz into his prog rock, effectively dragging the sometimes staid genre kicking and screaming into the present.