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MIA - Magicos Juegos Del Tiempo CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 45 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars M.I.A. (Músicos Independientes Asociados) didn't waste any time crafting enough material to record an album every year from 1976-1978. Following the mostly instrumental debut "Transparencias," the collective focused more on vocal compositions on its second release MAGICOS JUEGOS DEL TIEMPO which translates into English as "Magic Games of Time." The lineup was streamlined a bit for this sophomore release with only four members performing which included Lito Vitale (piano, organ, synthesizer, mellotron, vocals), Liliana Vitale (drums, vocals, flute), Alberto Muñoz (electric & acoustic guitar, bass, vocals) and Nono Belvis (electric & acoustic guitar, bass, vocals).

While the debut was primarily an acoustic affair with only synthesizers and a few electric guitar parts being the exception, MAGICOS JUEGOS DEL TIEMPO moves beyond the classical crossover approach of the debut and includes moments of more energetic progressive rock in the vein of Emerson, Lake and Palmer as keyboardist Lito Vitale flirted with the flashy virtuoso flamboyance in the vein of classic Keith Emerson bombast however for the most part this second offering still retains a great deal of the same symphonic pastoral Argentinean folk of the debut. Unlike the debut every track on this one features lyrics in the Spanish language sung by the two Vitales.

Also bringing the album more into classic prog territory is the inclusion of the mellotron, heavier uses of bombastic time signature changes and a greater use of dynamic shifts including faster tempos and the use of heavier guitar passages especially on "Archipielagos De Guernaclara" which at 11 minutes playing time results in the longest track of the album. Showcasing that the album is a true descendent of the debut, Lito Vitale still relies on Western classical piano riffs to fortify the overall mood of the tracks before branching out into the more adventurous moments. The vocal styles are very much in the vein of contemporary Argentinean prog rock as heard by Invisible, Crucis or La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros.

The melodies are quite addictive and although every track is vocally oriented, there is still much room provided for instrumental workouts. There's even a full-blown jazz interlude during the mid-section of "Archipielagos De Guernaclara." After that lengthy track, the album jumps back into the lush pastoral sounds of the debut only with vocals, "Romanza Para Una Mujer Que Cose" showcasing a dramatic passionate performance reminiscent of the great Italian symphonic prog acts of the early 70s and then with the closing track "Corales De La Cantata Saturno" a beautiful choral tapestry of vocals over melodic classical interpretations with symphonic prog atmospheres.

MAGICOS JUEGOS DEL TIEMPO features a dramatically different approach than "Transparencias" by building on its foundations and adding more diverse experiments which in some ways makes the album feel a lot less uniform than its predecessor but in many ways is an improvement and paving the way for the band's most ambitious album of all, the following "Conrnostipicum" which in my book is one of the best symphonic prog albums ever crafted. While not quite to those heights yet, this second coming is an excellent slice of Argentinean prog that made the most of a truncated cast of members who upped the ante with more experimental touches despite prog's eminent decline around 1977 when this was released.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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