ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages

[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]


Nazca (Mexico)
Overall View

Discography:

1985/2000 - "Nazca" (38 min, 'Discos Naja' 01CD)
*****+

1986/2001 - "Estation de Sombra" (38 min, 'Discos Naja')
******

1988/2001 - "En Vivo" (52 min, 'Discos Naja')
******


Prologue. Until now, Nazca were more than an obscure band. Fortunately, last year the band members explored the possibility of releasing all of their LPs on CD (at long last). It was a brave, yet reasonable and necessary step, because such a wonderful progressive music legacy as Nazca's did not have to be lost for present and future generations of the best music connoisseurs in the world - the Progressive Music lovers.


1985/2000 - "Nazca" (38 min, 'Discos Naja' 01CD)
*****+


Tracklist:

1. De oir le duele la boca 7:35

2. Sueno tras la ventana 2:54

3. El viaze de los muerlos 4:30

4. Lladotoprogato 9:37

5. La rebelion de los colgades 6:14

6. Paguro del dia gris 2:09

7. Nazca 4:40



All tracks written, arranged,

& produced by Nazca.



Line-up:

Alejandro Sanchez - violin

Carlos Ruiz - oboe & bassoon

Guauahtemoc Novelo - drums & percussion

Jorge Gaitan - bass, viola

Carlo Nicolau - piano, cello



Recorded in Mexico in 1982-'83.

Mixed in 1984.

Re-mastered by Jesus Gonzales (THFO)

at "Magog Mastering" in 2000.

The Album. All of the seven compositions that are featured on the debut Nazca album were created within the frame of a unified stylistics; and this stylistics is so original and unique that it is impossible for me to define it briefly. I have to tell you about all of the principal constituents of the Nazca music before labeling them as the band of Progressive's Fifth Element. Namely, RIO, Classic Symphonic Art-Rock, Classical Music, Jazz-Fusion, avant-garde, Ethnic tunes (of some of the ancient cultures such as Aztec or Maya): all of these genres are mixed in the music of Nazca in relatively equal proportions, and all of it is raised to the power of the band's own vision. In that way (I believe it's clear for you readers too), the music of Nazca doesn't fit any of the four of the 'chief' Progressive Rock genres (Art-Rock, RIO, Jazz-Fusion, and Prog-Metal), and thus, the number of units of Progressive's Fifth Element has grown again. There are almost no repetitions on the "Nazca" album at all, and the absolute majority of arrangements are based on very unstable (or changeable, if you will) structures. In other words, the arrangements are developed here constantly, as well as those in Classical Music. All of the album's compositions contain anywhere from a few to a dozen musical pictures that are different among themselves: in tone, mood, and the level of loudness. Although there are more low rather than powerful arrangements on the album, all of them are highly complex and at the same time very intriguing. Rather silent crossing solos and passages of oboe and piano change with the moderately loud interplay between a bass guitar, bassoon, two violins, and a wide variety of percussion instruments, etc, again and again, and over. For the most part, precisely the fact of the predominance of low and even silent (in places) arrangements makes the music of Nazca so distinctly unique. Unlike all of the other musical contents of the album, the RIO-sounding parts are rather dark and sinister, and these are the only instances that remind me of Univers Zero. However, being performed low, most of these parts diminish that impression quite successfully. The following sentence was going to be placed in the Summary on the creation of Nazca (which, in my view, was Mexico's leading band of the 1980s), but I think it wouldn't be out of place to repeat it here. To me, the fairest comparison for Nazca would be the next compliment: listening to their music is like reading the books of Carlos Castaneda. Those who are familiar with the creation of this American writer should understand me immediately.

VM. January 14, 2002
content


1986/2001 - "Estation de Sombra" (38 min, 'Discos Naja')
******


Tracklist:

1. Estacion de sombra 5:34

2. Traoedia 4:26

3. Espacios en torno 2:15

4. La morgue 4:31

5. Mangle 4:12

6. Deshueso 4:41

7. En la cuerda floja 3:30

8. Ipecacuana 3:30

9. Nadja 3:56 



All music written, arranged

& produced by Nazca.



Line-up:

same, though Carlos Ruiz plays fagot on this album



Recorded at "DF Julio" studios, Mexico, in 1985;

Mixed in 1986.

Re-mastered by Jesus Gonzales in 2001.

The Album. Although "Estation de Sombra" has the same distinctly original and unique sound, which was laid out on the debut Nazca album, there are a few rather noticeable stylistic differences between these works. On "Estation de Sombra", the band refused to use the elements of Jazz-Fusion, Ethnic music, and real Avant-garde, and concentrated on the further development of the remaining genre constituents of their stylistics. On the whole, the music on the band's second album can be described as a blend of RIO, Symphonic Classical Music, and Avant-garde Classical Music, and is filled with highly complex arrangements. However, only three of the album's compositions are based on the structures of all of these three genres: Traoedia, Espacios en torno, and La morgue (tracks 2, 3, & 4). The album's title-track, Estation de sombra Mangle, and Deshueso (tracks 1, 5, & 6) represent a blend of RIO and Symphonic Classical Music. Nadja, the last track on the album, contains the structures of both of the Symphonic and Avant-garde Classical Music. Finally, En la cuerda floja & Ipecacuana (7 & 8) are "children" of a purely Symphonic Classical Music. Of course, speaking of such genre constituents of Nazca's creation as Symphonic and Avant-garde Classical Music, I have to remind you that these musicians have their own unique approach to creating of the complex musical forms. Also, Nazca are not the orchestra, but just the quintet. While there are the lack of overdubs (if not at all) on all of their albums, the sound of that small, yet excellent, very specific chamber ensemble is rich enough to call its music Classical, as in the case of this album. Here, string instruments play much more of a significant role than on the band's debut album and there are a lot of simultaneous (yet always different among themselves) passages and interplay between violin, viola, and cello on this album. As for the RIO parts that are featured six of the album's nine tracks, they are more powerful here than on "Nazca" and they don't have the traces of Univers Zero's influences at all. The seemingly endless tonal and atonal interplay between all of the band members, changes of tempo, mood, and musical directions (dimensions!) in general, the constant development of the arrangements: all of it goes throughout "Estation de sombra", as well as it was on the debut Nazca album. So I'd like to once again notice that Mexico was and still is the country which is very rich in progressive music talent.

VM. January 15, 2002
content


1988/2001 - "En Vivo" (52 min, 'Discos Naja')
******


Tracklist:

1. Nervios de barricada 6:11

2. Espacios en toro 3:29

3. Mangle 6:52

4. Lladotoprogato 10:18

5. Estacion de sombra 6:21

6. La morgue 7:15

7. Ipecacuana 4:21

8. De oir te duele la boca 6:56



All music written & arranged by Nazca.

Produced by Alejandro Sanchez. 



Line-up:

same, though Carlos Ruiz

plays fagot & sax (1) on this album.



Recorded in Mexico in May of 1988.

Re-mastered by Jesus Gonzales in 2001.



The Album. First off, it needs to be said that the "En Vivo" album has a rather tight sound. Here, the sound is richer than on any of their previous albums by the band. Most of the compositions on the album fluidly join one with another and there is nothing in a couple of real pauses between tracks 6, 7, & 8. So I was sure that I was listening to a studio album until I heard the applause at the very end of it. However, as it turns out, there are many surprises on this album. With the exception of the opening track Nervios de barricada, "En Vivo" consists of the renderings of compositions taken from both of the band's first albums. It would be hard, however, to come to this conclusion without making a comparison of the track-lists of each of Nazca's CDs. The point is that all of their earlier songs, being radically rearranged and prolonged sound almost unrecognizably on "En Vivo". If you remember, the music of Nazca's debut album represents quite a motley blend of RIO, Art-Rock, Classical Music, avant-garde, Jazz-Fusion, and Ethnic tunes. Two years later only three of the genre constituents, - namely, RIO, Symphonic and avant-garde Classical Music - remained in the band's stylistics. While, here on "En Vivo", all of the renditions of the band's early works represents nothing else but either a purely Symphonic Classical Music (tracks 2, 3, & 5) or a blend of Symphonic and Avant-garde Classical Music, created by using both of the traditional (7-tone) and modern (12-tone) compositional methods. What's interesting is that while the first five tracks on the album, and especially Lladotoprogato (track 4), are rich in varied moods, three of the last pieces are characterized with an almost complete atmospheric tension. The first of them, La Morgue (tracks 6), unlike its original version, sounds very much in the vein of Classical Music and doesn't contain any drums. Surprisingly, the stylistics of Nervios de barricada (track 1), which is the only really new composition on the album, isn't typical for Nazca at all. In addition, this is the only piece in the band's entire repertoire on which Carlos Ruiz plays the saxophone and he plays it in a very jazzy manner. However, not only does Carlos improvise here (though, he is the only who does it throughout the track), and musically, Nervios de barricada represents quite a unique mixture of Jazz-Fusion and Classical Music. On the whole, though, "En Vivo" is Nazca's most integral and consistent album.

VM. January 21, 2002
content


Summary. In many ways unique and very interesting, the music of Nazca is at the same time extremely complex. So I am sure that, unfortunately, only the most experienced and adventurous connoisseurs of music, including most of the RIO freaks will be able to comprehend and appreciate the creation of Nazca. Which, in my view, is the most serious band to come out of Mexico. Finally, it is time to repeat the following phrases. To me, the fairest comparison for Nazca would be the next compliment: listening to their music is like reading the books of Carlos Castaneda. Those who are familiar with the creation of this American writer should understand me immediately.


Related Links:

The detailed review on The High Fidelity Orchestra's self-titled album.

To order the CDs, e-mail to the owner of "Naja Records" Alejandro Sanchez: najarecs@hotmail.com


[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]

ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


В соответствии с требованиями гост любое испытательное оборудование подлежит аттестации.