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Benito Lertxundi - Ez dok amairu CD (album) cover


Benito Lertxundi


Prog Folk

3.00 | 2 ratings

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3 stars Apparently this debut by the venerable Basque guitarist is a compilation of singles covering his participation in the Ez Dok Amairu movement of assertive Basque protest music. In his 20s at the time, he was well positioned to combine his love of early rock with the revolutionary sentiment sweeping the world. I cannot speak for the exact texts and meanings, but it would seem that the mere presence of artists of his ilk constituted a subversive groundswell of sorts, and his solo performance on voice and guitar only enforces that sense of loneliness, compounded by Basque itself representing a true linguistic isolate.

I'm not sure if the tracks are arranged in any specific order, but they do tend to strengthen as the disk progresses. Some have familiar, probably traditional melodies, like "Illunpetako gizon", while others might borrow from some of his idols. But his earnest, unadorned voice, not unlike a more gentlemanly GILLES SERVAT, and strummed occasionally Latin style are distinctive enough from his stylistic peers, even if only his attitude could be called progressive at this juncture.

The last 4 songs augment Lertxundi's message immeasurably, the turning point being the moment of the already masterful "Gure bide galduak", when the piece appears to terminate only to resurrect itself in live format. We are treated to a surprise personal serenade in which the concert acoustics amplify his voice in the wilderness persona, while every listener becomes 1% as invested as he in his cause, which really amounts to mass hypnosis.

"Ez Dok Amairu, translates as "solid air", and while Benito Lertxundi might not be the air guitarist's household name, and his debut may not be the place for a prog fan to start, the authenticity of this 1971 collection solidifies his own status in the movement.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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