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Redd - Cuentos del Subsuelo CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 17 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Well Argentinean fans probably know the history of this band far better than I do so I won't attempt to try and unwind the various permutations and lineup changes from their brief existence or the 2002 "reunion". It's enough to note that this record was first recorded as the band's sophomore effort in late 1979/early 1980 but not released until RPW finally put out a digital version in 1996, fifteen years after the band itself had ceased to exist.

Guitarist Luis Albornoz and bassist Esteban Cerioni remain from the trio that recorded the first (and excellent) debut record, and are augmented by a dedicated lead vocalist in Óscar Imhoff, a new drummer with Marco Pusineri and keyboardist in Juan Pollo Raffo. It's interesting to note that Juan Escalante filled all three of those roles on the band's first album.

The synths are much more prevalent here than on the band's earlier work, although everything I've heard from them features a fair amount of keyboard and synth work. With a full-time lead singer there are also a lot more vocals, and Imhoff has a very strong voice although for me the band's music is good enough on its own that they didn't really need to add much singing.

The original recording is rather brief with just five songs that blend together quite well except for the somewhat light and silly "Los Entretenimientos de Medianoche del Profesor Frankestein" which includes some hopped-up vocal echoing and turgid keyboard/guitar passages apparently intended to give off a sort of old-time monster-movie vibe. I'm not sure what the point was of this track and while the music is well done it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the songs.

On the other end of the spectrum is the roller-coaster trip titled "Asesino Sentimental" which ranges from heavy guitar/bass riffs to almost lounge-like electric piano/jazzy vocal passages and slowly fades at the end with a saddish jangle of electric guitar and segues into the closing stilting synths and guitar work of "Dedos Tristes". That one features some beautiful guitar flourishes that call to mind some the great guitar-hero bands and albums of the late seventies and very early eighties. A perfect ending that pulls this album up from just a 'pretty good' level to something quite memorable.

The three bonus tracks are live recordings from the early eighties right before the band dissolved. The sound quality is poor but the extended treatment on "Matinée" from their debut record is especially worth listening to. "Reyes en Guerra" is also from their debut and is for the most part faithful to the original, while "Dedos Tristes" is a live version from the same track on this album and shows the band's ability to extend the various instrumental passages though in the end doesn't add a whole lot to the original.

I've been wanting to listen to this album for a long time after being introduced to Redd from Esteban Cerioni's later effort known as Redd Land. In total the music here is worth seeking out for the beautiful instrumentation and extended arrangements of most of the songs. It's not a masterpiece as far as my ears are concerned, but definitely deserves recognition as something of a lost remnant of a style of music that was sadly in decline by the time Redd recorded it to close out the seventies decade. Four stars out of five is a good and fair rating, and well-recommended to fans of Argentinean 'folk' prog music.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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