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(44:33, Lizard Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Alguien Que Nos Mienta 5:09 2. Todos los del Bosque 4:58 3. Dos Historias del Pasado 4:35 4. Estatuas y Monumentos 3:09 5. Pocilga 2:00 6. Carreras en el Cielo 4:17 7. Fuman en Pipa 5:25 8. Flavia 2:54 9. La Montana de las Sombras 5:20 10. No Me Perturbes 3:48 11. La Montana de las Sombras-1 2:58 LINEUP: Aldo Pinelli – vocals; bass, guitars; keyboards; percussion Carlos Vidal – drums; electronics Enrique Hittos – guitars With: Gonzalo Maciel – keyboards Alejandro Marino – keyboards Sebastian Monk – programming
Prolusion. The Argentinian band HABITAT has been around for some 30 years at this point, albeit with spells of inactivity on several occasions over the years. So far they have 5 full-length studio albums to their name, the most recent of these is "Utensilios y Artilugios" from 2014. "Historias Olvidadas Remix" was released in 2012 through Lizard Records, and is a reworked version of their debut album from 1997.
Analysis. While I have never heard the original version of this production, what I can hear throughout this album points towards an outing in need of some remastering. The recording quality is generally sub-par throughout, and I presume that a lot of the remixing done to this production has been focused on cleaning up the sound and, possibly, balancing the mix. This last detail is a guess, as I have heard quite a few lo-fi discs over the years suffering from an unbalanced mix due to poor recording conditions. While the technical aspects of this production might be a tad lacking in quality, the compositions themselves are rather more interesting. A red thread throughout is the use of subtly folk-flavored instrumental details, usually by way of the acoustic guitar, but also with flute-inspired keyboard details, percussion and rhythms, adding a slight touch of folk music to the proceedings, at times with a slight undercurrent of jazz. Generally dampened in expression, with soft keyboards as the main supplemental detail, these fairly brief excursions are pleasant enough ventures, with the moody atmospheric piece Pocilga being a clear highlight. As far as standalone acoustic guitar only ventures goes, this one is among the more interesting I have come across. But two other album highlights are perhaps even more intriguing: opening track Alguien Que Nos Mienta and concluding composition La Montana de las Sombras. Both of them feature a higher tempo, compact and harder edged guitars and keyboards, and a generally more refined and intriguing overall sound and atmosphere. While many of the other songs touch base with neo-prog sounding details, both of these pieces are closer in terms of general sound and approach to another band, whose presence hovers of this production, namely Camel. The 2012 version of this album has been given two bonus tracks: Habitat's Spanish language version of De Banco del Mutuo Soccorso's ‘Non Me Rompete’, and a rerecorded version of the opening half of concluding track La Montana de las Sombras. The former is more interesting than the latter in this case, but both of these cuts are worthwhile in their own right.
Conclusion. Remixed versions of older albums aren't always a good thing, as presumably quite a few fans of an artist like Ozzy Osbourne can vouch for, but from what I can hear on this album I would guess that a remix was warranted for this particular production. In terms of sound quality this 2012 edition of “Historias Olvidadas” is still one lacking in quality, but I suspect that the source material has been stretched to the limit now and that there's nothing more to gain from it. Fans of Habitat are the most obvious audience for this album, and those with a general interest in bands influenced by Camel might also want to give this one a spin. Especially if you also enjoy artists who add a slight folky touch to their musical escapades.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Jan 8, 2014
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