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Espiritu - 1983/2004 - "III"
TRACK LIST: 1. Antes tal vez 5:16 2. Policolor 3:51 3. Nacer 2:42 4. Lento juego de luces 7:17 5. Tomo un tiempo 2:46 6. Elemental 3:49 7. Un viaje por los recuerdos 6:21 8. Guardians en pie 4:49 9. La casa de la mente 5:58 Bonus tracks: 10. Soy la noche 5:19 11. Imagenes tenues y transparentes 6:35 All tracks: by Berge / Favrot, except: 6 & 8: Mahler. Produced & engineered by A Franco. LINE-UP: Angel Mahler - keyboards & piano Osvaldo Favrot - guitars; backing vocals Fernando Berge - lead & backing vocals Claudio Cierchia - bass; backing vocals Rodolfo Messina - drums & percussion With: Jorge Bonsanti - sax (on 3)
Prolusion. ESPIRITU is another authoritative representative of Argentina's Progressive Rock movement. The CD reissue of their third and the last album, titled simply "III", was remastered from the analog master tapes and, apart from the album as such, features two bonus tracks.
Analysis. Much in accordance with the band's name, Espiritu performs an inspired music, which, while being usually intricate, does not contain anything artificially overextended and is exceptionally light in mood. I haven't heard their previous works, but it's clear that originality has always been an essential part of the band's creation. Although following the fixed harmonic scales laid in the thoroughly composed basic themes, the musicians feel right at home when adding particular solos to the arrangement, and they do that nearly always. As a result, most of the music appears as a lively, mobile entity gliding somewhere between symphonic Art-Rock and quasi-Jazz-Fusion without falling into any concrete category. The longer compositions: Antes tal vez, Lento juego de luces, Un viaje por los recuerdos, La casa de la mente, and Guardians en pie, the last of which is the only instrumental here, are at once more intricate and intensive than the others. On the latter two, synthesizers replace the piano at the helm of the arrangements, making them sounding more pronouncedly symphonic than the others. Unlike those of keyboards and bass, guitar solos are usually slow and fluid, but their sound is probably the most unique in the album's overall sonic palette. Just like the music, the vocals are also exclusively light in emotions. I don't understand Spanish, but I am almost certain that the lyrics don't touch the dark aspects of existence of our world and its inhabitants. The vocal palette is rich, and apart from a solo singing, wordless vocals included, most tracks feature an original three-voice choir. The other two songs approved by the central style: Policolor and Elemental are a bit softer and feature episodes where there are only piano passages and / or solos of acoustic guitar with and without vocals. The remaining two tracks from the album's original version: Nacer and Tomo un Tiempo both have the parts of acoustic guitar in their basis, from time to time crossed by improvisations of saxophone and piano. These are closer to an authentic Jazz-Fusion, though I would've been more satisfied if the rhythm section were more powerful and diverse, which concerns both of the compositions. There also are two bonus tracks recorded during one of the band's live performances: the mellow ballad Soy la noche and the highly intricate Art-Rock number Imagenes tenues y transparentes. In my view, these two are the worst and the best composition on the CD respectively, but that's not the point. The addition of any of these seems to be useless in every respect. Their sound quality is extremely poor and is in striking contrast with that of the rest of the material.
Conclusion. Free of any derivative features, this is one of those few really fresh sounding Art-Rock-related albums from 1983 that look like white crows at the background of the powerful spurt of Neo. Although a couple of compositions aren't that intriguing, the overall effectiveness of the material is high enough to endure those and continue the listen with the same pleasure. Recommended.
VM: December 9, 2004
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