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Govea - Danza Urbana CD (album) cover

DANZA URBANA

Govea

 

Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 16 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A few months ago a friend and Prog Archives Collaborator suggested the Mexican band GOVEA to the Symphonic team of which I'm a member. After listening some samples we found that even when their music has huge Neo-Classical elements and for that reason could be in Symphonic, the jazzy and Mexican ethnic influences that made them so unique, needed to be considered, so we sent the band to the Eclectic Prog Team because of the versatility.

After a few days we all agreed that the best place for GOVEA was Symphonic Prog, so we added them and almost immediately the classically trained keyboardist and new friend "Salvador Govea" contacted me trough Facebook and offered a copy of "Danza Urbana", their instrumental debut, which I accepted with interest and curiosity.

The album reached Lima yesterday and since then I haven't been able to retire the CD from my car and house stereos. As I expected when I saw the formation of Keyboards (Salvador Govea), Bass (Luis Arturo Guerrero) and drums (Victor Baldovinos), the name ELP came to my mind, and as a fact they owe some of their sound to the famous trio, but GOVEA is much more. Even when the Modern Classical influences make them as powerful as the most famous Power Trios, the ethnic influence is perfect to create extremely beautiful melodies and the Jazz elements makes their music flow gently from start to end in an ocean of dissonances and complexity, but too much chit chat, so lets go to the album.

"Danza Urbana" (Urban Dance) is opened with the title song, and after a short drums and bass intro, Salvador Govea attacks us with a huge doze of Moog and electric piano, this guys don't save anything for the end they give their audience all what they have from the first second.

The complex Synth sections are perfectly supported by an extremely accurate "rhythm section" where Victor Baldovinos as a human metronome keeps a perfect timing while Luis Arturo Guerrero adds excellent sounds that cover the absence of guitar perfectly,excellent opener.

"Continuum" starts with a bass solo that soon is joined by the electric piano and the jazzy drumming of "Baldovinos", of course ELP comes again to the mind when the Moog is added, but GOVEA takes more risks, blending the past with the present in an allegory of sounds and radical changes.

Again I'm surprised by the capacity of the Mexican band to be extremely complex and elaborate but never loose the sense of melody, which allows them not to be complex foe the sake of complexity exclusively. Another wonderful track with an outstanding bass performance.

"Claroscuro" (Light-and-shades) begins with a keyboard and bass intro that soon is complemented by subtle percussion and leads to a mysterious passage with KING CRIMSON and influences, the piano performance is simply delightful, gives an impression of Neo Classical and Avant Garde blended with Progressive Rock of the best kind.

But as usual the band keeps changing and jumping from one genre to another, but always keeping the dark atmosphere intact, and to crown the song, an ethnic closing with synthesised flutes, again GOVEA hits the nail precisely in the head.

"Convergentes" (Converging) is a gem, GOVEA blends with delicacy the strong Neo Classical sound with Mexican Folk overtones and Fusion. Again the piano performance is simply breathtaking and God knows how this guys are able to mix this three different genres that honouring the name of the track, converge in a perfect fusion of moods that flows naturally and never sounds forced.

"Falsa Dicotomia" (False Dichotomy) is a piano based Jazz Fusion piece where apart from Salvador's excellent performance on the keys, Victor Baldovinos and Luis Arturo Guerrero really shine, incredibly not because an extravagant or pompous performances, but because the delicacy and subtle support of the piano , GOVEA works as a perfectly oiled machine but also show their individual dexterity when drums and piano create a delightful contrapuntal section while the bass remains unchanged, maintaining the main atmosphere.

"Intersecciones" (Intersections) is another piano based track that reminds me of ELP, specially of "Endless Enigma" but with a jazzy approach that makes it absolutely unique and hard to compare with almost any other band, after each song I like the album more.

The last track of "Danza Urbana" is the impressive "Concertino", based in the first movement of "Concertino for Organ and Orchestra" from the Mexican composer "Miguel Bernal Jimenez" who wrote a tribute to Baroque and Classical epoch musicians from a Mexican perspective. GOVEA manages to respect the original mood and atmosphere but provide a Progressive Rock new sound to the sober composition, the album is crowned with his track.

Normally I don't rate a debut album with 5 stars, because I always expect something even better for a second release, and this time I won't make an exception, so will go with 4 stars.......This is one of the occasions in which I wish we could rate an album with 4.5 stars, because "Danza Urbana" is not a perfect masterpiece, but incredibly close to that status.

I strongly recommend "Danza Urbana".

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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