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FLOTANTE

Flotante

 

Heavy Prog

4.02 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their eponymous debut album, Chilean quartet Flotante set an accurate, frontal manifesto of what their instrumental offering is all about. This album was recorded live during two separate concerts (June '01 and April '02) at the same gig, Sala Musicámara at Valparaíso University. The sound production's quality is irregular, but it sure does reveal the power and vision that establish Flotante as an important asset in their own country's experimental prog rock scene. Their style is based on the combination of Belew-era KC, the heavy prog vibe of compatriots Exsimio and Tryo, Primus, math-rock (a-la Don Caballero), and contemporary jazz-rock. 'Nuestros Secretos Más Hediondos' kicks off with solid, monolithic bass lines that soon come augmented by the dual guitars and the drum kit, in a catchy crescendo that leads towards the main body. The riffs and rhythmic dynamics keep things quite catchy. This entry is succeeded by an even more powerful 'Siquiatras', where the band explores their panache for complexity in an agile mixture of jazz- rock, technical prog-metal and funk. 'Último Suspiro' is mostly inspired on the archetype of 80s KC (not unlike Exsimio, and indeed, it is a very recurrent point of reference for many current prog bands from Chile). Things turn into more delicate ambiences with 'Ligera', an exercise on melodic jazz-funky that maybe wouldn't have been out of place in an Akkerman's solo album from the 80s (sans a guitar solo). 'Bestias' gets started in a similar vein, but this time the funk factor is not the main feature but a pillar for the exhibition of spacey sounds delivered by clever guitar interplays. The guitar solos are quite dreamy, and still punchy at the same time: in fact, in those moment when they emphasize the punchy element, they get a bit closer to the stoner trend. 'Esa Húmeda Burbuja' is a warm, introverted trio of all stringed instruments, which kina of serves as an appealing prelude to 'Tara'n Da', which brings back the fire Flotante-style: i.e., combining modern KC, Primus and standardized math-rock. 'Dejen Entrar a esas Chicas que Aumentan el Consumo' (Spanish for 'Send In Those Girls that Motivate Raising Sales') flaunts its joyful title and sets an extroverted example of sophisticated hard rock, closely related to LZ and 70s Jeff Beck. 'Flotante' and 'Bichos' enhance the surreal aspect of Flotante's ideology, very psychedelic indeed, with a creative use of guitar effects and atmospheres - none of these two pieces would have felt out of place in their second (and superior) effort "En la Agitación", had they incorporated more heavy prog elements in them. Finally, the album ends with 'Ujú', a funk-based jam upon which a very Frippian guitar lead flows in the air in a very mysterious manner, moderately disturbing, mostly adding weird colors to the rhythmic foundation. All in all, this is a very good record, 70 minutes of punchy, inventive prog rock. More objectively speaking, something more accomplished and structurally richer was yet to come in their 2006's album "En la Agitación" - anyway, this "Flotante" album is much better than just good, and so is the band.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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