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Ananta - Night and Daydream CD (album) cover

NIGHT AND DAYDREAM

Ananta

 

Crossover Prog

2.76 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I bought this LP some years ago second-hand, paid something like 2 euros. It seemed interesting enough -- maybe it might even be progressive, I thought, reading the list of instruments: moog, flute, saxophone, harpsichord, 12-string guitar, etc. I happened to dig the forgotten vinyl out of my shelves yesterday, so I finally give this obscure band its fourth review.

Six-piece, London-based group Ananta is said here to be Venezuelan. Well, the three founding members had immigrated from there to England, and the other three playing on this debut are British. The second album with another line-up came in 1980. The music (credited to four guys, one of them being the executive producer outside the line-up) is produced and arranged by vocalist-keyboardist Ilan Chester, and the other central member seems to be multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mark Francis, who, apart from the drums, is the sole performer of the longest and the most progressive track 'Wheel of Time'.

This music is unmistakably from the late seventies. The sound has elements of American-style soft rock, QUEEN-like proggy pop eclectism with plenty of vocal harmonies, and a charming jazz/fusion flavour, often being much jazzier and more complex than Steely Dan ever were. The first two songs are rather bright jazzy rockers. 'Causal Home' is a very sensitive, Vangelis reminding, synth-centred insrtrumental, which also teminds me of the most esoteric moments in CAMEL's Breathless (1978).

'Home Sweet Home' is a short and simple -- and yet slightly Baroque flavoured -- song backed by synths only, and shortly featuring also a choir of school kids. The mentioned 'Wheel of Time' (8:40) is the highlight. It's an ambitious, semi-dramatic and introspective composition in the vein of SUPERTRAMP at their proggiest. As an almost one-man performance it has some minor weaknesses in the production though.

The second side is weaker. 'The Game' is a mediocre lively song like Queen at their merriest, and 'Be With You' is a slack and sentimental ballad with a light jazziness. 'Fill Your Heart and Mind' is somewhat slack too, despite some fresh flute playing and a cool electric piano solo. Stevie Wonder is one of the artists thanked for "their inspiration and help with our Worldwide projects" (whatever that 'help' was in practice; others are Carlos Santana, Dylan, G. Harrison, Neil Diamond and Bob Marley). But the album closes with another proggy highlight, the title track (7:30) which contains an instrumental section full of sound effects. Another Supertramp reference, especially to 'Fool's Overture' although the half-baked song itself misses its drama.

Yes, this album is very uneven: the least interesting pieces are barely worth two stars, while at its best it's much more charming and unique that I could ever have imagined when I found the obscure used vinyl.

Matti | 3/5 |

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