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Mar De Robles (Chile) - 2003 - "MDR"
TRACK LIST: 1. Introduccion 1:02 2. Involucion 7:35 3. Nomades 8:38 4. Tantic 7:34 5. Milodon 6:10 6. Aire Chileno 8:58 7. El Frecha 5:12 8. V/S 7:16 All tracks: by Cristian, Rodrigo, & Julio. Produced by Mar De Robles. Engineered by G Valderrama. LINE-UP: Cristian Larrondo - bass; backing vocals Rodrigo Moris - guitar; backing vocals Julio Tobar - lead vocals; flute & sax Victor Munoz - drums Ignacio Larrondo - percussion
Prolusion. Welcome to the Prog feast with MAR DE ROBLES. Their debut album is titled "MDR", which is certainly nothing else but the abbreviation of the band's name.
Analysis. This is the case when I feel it wouldn't be inappropriate to say a banality. The more I get acquainted with Chile's progressive music the more I like it. Here is another band from this South American country, which, that said, does not have the desire to follow any traditions that have ever been formed within the genre. A rather uncommon lineup with guitarist, bassist, vocalist / flutist / saxophonist and two percussionists in the ranks, but without a keyboard player, presents a rather unusual music. Much of it has been improvised, at least initially, so Jazz-Fusion lies in the basis of each of the eight tracks (precisely half of which are instrumentals). However, please don't make hasty conclusions about this music. In fact, it's polymorphous and is too polymorphous and, simultaneously, too innovative to squeeze it into the framework of any of the classic progressive genres. So, as usual in such cases, I'd better call the Fifth Element for help:-), and here are its components, listed in the line of descent according to their amount: Jazz-Fusion, Art-Rock, Prog-Metal, something new, and RIO. This formula is fully applicable to Involucion, Aire Chileno, El Frecha, and V/S, all of which are intensive compositions. Each of these features a wide variety of different themes, changing each other kaleidoscopically. Despite the continuous use of complicated stop-to-play movements and odd meters, these guys play very fast and are brilliant in their mastery. Certainly, otherwise they would not have squeezed such a large number of different themes and parts into each of the said compositions. Everything changes so rapidly and suddenly that there is very little time for rest. The album's opener Introduccion features only varied synthesizer and naturalistic effects and fluidly turns into Involucion. There is no pause between them, and I don't think there was a necessity to put it as a separate track, especially since such 'intros' are available on a few more compositions and go inseparably with them. Well, it does not matter. On the remaining three tracks: Nomades, Tantic, and Milodon RIO is out, and the Oriental music is in. While these are softer and quieter, they're not in the least less intricate than compositions with intensive arrangements.
Conclusion. The compositional and technical skills of these young musicians are simply fantastic. They sound like a highly experienced band, which was around for many years. Of course, such a gem as "MDR" can be highly recommended on all the progressive levels.
VM: November 3, 2004
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