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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor  CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars "An exciting tribute to the unique world of Spanish prog and Rock Andaluz"

The record company is DRO (Discos Radioactivos Organizados) Atlantic, in 1982 founded by the members of Spanish electronic band Aviador Dro. It was one of the first independent Spanish labels, in order to support alternative and modern Spanish music, after these bands and artists were often rejected by the major labels. In 1992 the USA label Warner Music Group took over the label, after financial problems. Under the name DRO Atlantic S.A., A Warner Music Group Company in 2006 this 2CD-1DVD box set (fold out cover with stories and tracklist info) was released entitled Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor, and subtitled Pioneros Y Origenes Del Rock Andaluz. What a wonderful effort to make a compilation from all those interesting Spanish late Sixties and Seventies bands and artists (along some Eighties). It is a perfect way to discover more from the often unique Spanish progressive rock music, especially the Rock Andaluz: this very distinctive Andalusian movement incorporates elements from jazz, blues, rock, classical and progrock into its native flamenco music.

CD 1 and the first part of CD 2 are loaded with Rock Andaluz bands, from legendary Triana and Medina Azahara (the Prog Andaluz anthem Paseando Por La Mezquita) to Qualdalquivir (outstanding jazzrock oriented), Mezquita and Azahar (both strong Arabian undertones), Alameda (featuring the excellent singer Jose Roca), Iman (featuring the 'Andalusian Carlos Santana') and Cai (wonderful vintage keyboards). The one moment you will be carried away by a virtuosic flamenco guitar intro, palmas (handclapping) or wailing, expressive vocals. The other moment you will be stunned by howling electric guitar, Hammond and Mellotron waves or quick synthesizer flights, a very exciting musical experience. Also featured are interesting groups that are more blending flamenco with blues and rock like Miguel Rios (fascinating Morish atmosphere), Goma (flamenco intro, then rock with Hammond and fiery guitar and saxophone) and All & Nothing (flamenco with swinging piano and fiery guitar). Or bands with strong flamenco overtones like Camaron De La Isla (pleasant flamenco guitar work, strong male and female vocals, along a swinging electric piano solo and flashy synthesizer flights) and Vega (accessible and catchy flamenco-pop). The band The Storm is more in the vein of Rare Bird and Procol Harum delivering a Hammond organ drenched sound.

On CD-2 the focus is more on special sounding bands.

A swinging mix of flute, saxophone and piano from Tabletom.

An adventurous progressive blend of flamenco guitar, violin, raw electric guitar and vintage keyboards (like the Solina string- ensemble) from Gualberto.

The bluesy Cuarto Menguante and eclectic Tarantos (1969) delivering a pleasant mix of pop, rock and flamenco, with a distinctive Sixties vibe.

Gong rocks featuring strong Spanish vocals, fiery guitar runs and catchy percussion, with hints from Santana, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac.

Galaxia presents strong vocals (in the Classic Italian Prog tradition), powerful Hammond, saxophone and wah wah electric guitar, blended with flamenco rhythm guitar, this is typical early Seventies rock.

My Rock Andaluz revalation is the song Nuevo Dia by the duo Lole Y Manuel: distinctive flamenco guitar, intense female vocals and short but inventive Mellotron drops (cello and violins section), wow, goose bumps, what compelling blend of the art of flamenco and prog rock!

The DVD features a documentary (from 2003, in Spanish, not subtitled) about the development of the Spanish progressive rock (including the birth of the Rock Andaluz) between the late Sixties and early Seventies, focussed on the known band Smash. Their guitarplayer Gualberto tells his story along many other legendary or known early Spanish progressive rock musicians. The docu also contains stories about the Underground scene, the drugs, the gypsies and the blend of flamenco and fusion. Unfortunately there is little live footage from bands, only some shots from pioneers Gong and Smash.

If you want to discover more of the unique world of Spanish progressive rock and the Rock Andaluz, this box set is highly recommended!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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