Karmakanic is the side project of Jonas Reingold, the bassist for prog rockers the Flower Kings. In a Perfect World uses what many consider to be prog’s greatest body of work as a reference point; that of early Genesis. And while pre-hit singles Genesis is the main influence here, Reingold also tips his cap to lots of other big name prog groups; 14-minute opus “1969” for example includes segments that sound like Rush, Styx and Yes.

Importantly though the familiar sounds are only woven into Karmakanic’s overall sound; they are not the sole fiber of the tapestry. Reingold gives his backing quintet plenty of room to move but they function here without the excess that sometimes bogs down prog bands, and the result is the kind of music that got lots of airplay on progressive radio stations 30 years ago. Some songs meander freely but “Turn it Up” is a Toto/Alan Parsons Project-style mash-up that would have ruled the airwaves in 1979.

Chameleonic singer Goran Edman plays a big part in Karmakanic’s sound, channeling Peter Gabriel for the introspective intro of “The World is Caving In” then finding his own voice as the song turns into a lush, melodic rocker. Fans of the formative days of prog rock should thoroughly enjoy the appropriately titled In a Perfect World.

Grade: A

In a Perfect World is currently available.