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Bubu - Anabelas CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 500 ratings

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Symphonic Team
5 stars It is not often an album lives completely up to the hype it receives. And the over zealous commentators here on this website occasionally get it right. This IS a masterpiece.

Bubu's one and only album has become legendary as one of the best things to come out of Argentina besides Evita. I can only review this as I hear it as it is so complex and it is difficult to remember all the subtle nuances of musical complexity. We begin with the epic 'El Cortejo de un Dia Amarillo'. You have to love the side long vinyl. As the manic drums fade in at the start on side A we are taken by surprise by a freakout orgiastic wash of saxophone, violin, relentless bass lines and a myriad of other sounds, wonderfully juxtaposed into some semblance of order but chaotic enough to keep any metronome swinging wildly. The metrical shapes and percussive patterns are astounding as far as drumming goes and is reminiscent of the type of work from Bill Bruford. There are some angular Fripp like guitar passages, so early King Crimson springs immediately to mind with a strange blend of Soft Machine and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Get the picture? Descriptions cannot do it justice as the music takes on a whole new meaning with each listen and must be experienced and interpreted on a personal level. The side long track is masterfully executed and shifts from light to dark textures, occasionally brutal and disturbing to light and upbeat, truly emotional music. The way the music builds to a crescendo towards the end transfixes on each listen, and then there is an improv section with cold wah wah guitar wailing while a sad tortured violin cries. Simply a wonderful instrumental and one of the best I have heard.

Side B is two songs, rather than instrumentals, that are of accomplished musicianship on every level. Even injecting some vocals into the mix does not detract from the music, in fact the vocals are distant and estranged, a part of the musical soundscape. 'Sueños de Maniqui' begins softly with twinkling piano and quiet vocals. It would sound like a normal song except the time signature is all over the place. The strong guitar crashes in and over the relentless piano motif it whines and howls beautifully. Then the track launches in to a freakout jam with blasts of sax and there is even a flute Jethro Tull style. The guitars are heavier and then suddenly there is an Argentinian break away. The guitar solo is crazy fret melting runs and an out of control violin that fires up demonically. The sound builds higher and higher up the scale and explodes with frenetic high pitched violin over more violin and heart pounding drums. It stops flat maggot dead. The vocals sing again on a slow paced section that lets us catch our breath. After this verse there are staccato stabs of woodwind, flute sax, the lot, then an even more bizarre time sig, till finally the voice sings the last verse. The violin now knifes across the strings as a guitar motif is heard repeating and the choral voices return. Once again the song goes wildly out of control, a psychedelica freakout that finally settles down with a finely crafted sax and it fades. This is the best track on the album and it gets better after each listen. Ferociously original and layered with a plethora of instruments transferred into an emotional resonance unlike anything I have heard. This is how I like my prog; complex, hard to pin down and challenging but totally compelling.

'El Viaje De Anabelas' opens with a choral chant and off kilter violin and sax that compete with each other but seems to be on the same page as far as timing but this feels dark, and the instruments are speaking to each other. The bass line changes the direction, and there is a great sax solo over an incessant violin. The flute adds a beauty and is providing a melody similar to the sax, then the fast paced section sends the rack on another detour. The surprisingly calm vocals chime in, the Argentinian language sounds sad and melancholy, perhaps reflective. The music slows and speeds up at intervals. When the vocals stop for a moment the pace picks up considerably, erratic drumming driving it to a mid section that focuses on violin played with precision. The sax is as good as any I have heard sounding at times like early VDGG. The textures are darker at about 5 minutes into the track, the sombre sax has become angry and the music sounds frustrated as if it wants to burst forth from the speakers like a caged animal. At 7 mins in the Argentine flavour is prevalent and there is a rock beat driving it with a rock vocal, another new thing to savour on this album. At 9 mins there is a sublime violin solo and then a strange saxophone that is jazz oriented. Another great track to enjoy, no doubt about it.

Therefore we have a masterpiece. All killer, no filler and I wish other bands would take a listen to this and learn how to play music. There are so many musical styles it is impossible to name them all but they are here all on one album; jazz fusion, avante garde, zeuhl, folk, psych prog, Argentinian traditional, AOR, and symphonic, among others. The tension created by the musical fusion of jazz and rock is compelling, never dull, and the mesmirising music becomes an entity that wraps itself around you and refuses to let go. It seems that one instrument wants to go off in a new direction but there is always another instrument striving to reign it back in. This tension continues throughout the whole album and you find yourself wanting more after it all ends. Alas, Bubu are history now with one penultimate album but it is quintessential to prog. So dig deep in the prog goldmine and unearth this buried treasure. *****

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


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