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Urban Trapeze - Reactivated Tarkus CD (album) cover

REACTIVATED TARKUS

Urban Trapeze

 

Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 18 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Reactivated Tarkus" is the debut album by Urban Trapeze, consisting mostly of tracks recorded live in rehearsals in a studio. The album kicks off with the namesake suite, whose first section is introduced by Floydian spacey textures, mostly on synth. Abruptly in an effective way, the whole ensemble settles in with urgent bombast, a display of sonic power that stands halfway between "Trilogy"-era ELP and 72-73 Le Orme, with ounces of "Ocean"-era Eloy. The basic melodic motifs are properly developed here in order to set a controlled aggressive mood, rocking and appealing. The "Felona e Sorona" influences a times seem to be dominant over the easily absorbing Emersonian heritage. The last two sections turn into slower rhythmic schemes: 'Desert's Wind' is relaxing and introspective, stating a mixture of the contemplative side of PF and the romantic vein of Camel; 'Spider of Fire' shifts to a fuller, more pompous development, with the slow tempo allowing to preserve the overall ceremonious trend. 'Crazy Colors' finds the band leading toward a different timbre, a jazzy one somewhat influenced by the Canterbury scene (mostly Caravan, with hints to Hatfield & the North). The flourishes drawn in by flutist Marc Viaplana provide soaring subtleties to the main motif, while the electric guitar solo that emerges later is more focused on exploring the general dynamics. It is a pity that this piece does not get the benefit of a wider expansion, since that kind of arrangement would surely have taken more advantage of the beautiful flute lines in favor of the track's potential ambition. On the other hand, the potential is indeed well explores in 'Urban Trapeze'. Once again, the Canterbury element feels very relevant to my ears: this track is more frantic than the preceding one, and its slightly rougher edge makes Urban Trapeze (See? This is also the band's name) lean a bit closer to Egg. The drum solo reveals Anzola's stamina as well as his jazz-oriented chops. The last studio track is 'Infinite Sea', a prog ballad abundantly based on the progression delivered on piano. The permanent meditative mood that seems to stick endlessly to a specific part of the Universe helps to build up a relaxing atmosphere: the flowing and focused lyricism elaborated by Seglers kind of reminds me of what Latimer did for 'Ice' (from Camel's "I Can See Your House from Here"). The last track is a live performance of 'Evolution', a piece stylistically located in the realms of classic Focus with touches of space-rock - guitarist Satorras and drummer Anzola are the most featured instrumentalists here, as if they were in charge of a joint leadership for their fellow members. This muscular piece is a very good closer for this album, but all in all, "Reactivated Tarkus" seems to lack a complete focus. The material is very good but the integral result is not totally excellent - we will have to wait for bigger accomplishments in the "Single & Live" album, but again, that is a matter for another review. So, for this album... 3.75 stars.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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