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Bubu - Anabelas CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 498 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It's pretty useless adding praises to an album that has received this amount of 5-star ratings, so I'll just observe some things.

1) As most people here knows, this music was written down before rehearsal, "the old way". So, if parts of this could be described as "ordered chaos", it would be in the sense appliable to any other complex written music, not in the usual jazz/rock sense which implies tight improvisation. In that sense, there's not chaos here. This isn't even half-controlled like, say, The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady. Everything was decided by someone on the tranquil whiteness of a piece of paper.

2) I think my mention of Mingus' work wasn't casual. This is one of those works sustained more by textural than melodic or harmonic development -that is, it builds on the result of interlocking, interdependent elements. There are (almost) no song lines in this kind of thing; when something like that appears, it changes the aspect of the whole. Now I know people who doesn't like The Black Saint because it's "unmelodic", which to a certain extent is true -but arguing around that is like asking why a transatlantic doesn't have the beautiful sails of a wooden brigantine. It just doesn't. At this point, that in itself doesn't seem likely to make anything strange even to the casual listener. This is, in any case, much less dissonant and aggresive than many well-known prog albums (Larks' Tongues In Aspic comes to my mind). If I had to find a "difficult" side, I would say: complex ideas are usually offered in a concise framework; this approach is complex and generous at the same time. But its behaviors and connections are clear, far from accidental or iconoclastic.

3) I see some people complaining about the lack of "South American elements". That brings me two questions: "Which elements are intrinsically SA and which ones are not?" (with its cousin "Are there any elements which could be called intrinsically SA at all?") and... "Why there should be?". Given the fact that jazz and rock music are an international paragraph of North American culture, I understand if NA readers expect any non-central approach to provide certain "stylistic contributions", certain... idiosyncrasy. Now that's a (valid) viewpoint from the narrative of NA history. The fact is: jazz and rock music have long ago greatly surpassed the margins of "an international paragraph of NA culture"; they are important elements of other cultures with their own histories and their own tensions. As much as the US are not cowboys and banjos -even if all that coalesces with other things in the imaginary on which art is fed-, Cairo isn't people wrapped in white cloaks, Buenos Aires certainly isn't thugs in black hats crying their love to absent ladies, and Northern Argentina can't be summarized in sikus, charangos and a colourful poncho. Everywhere, traditions have multiple values and a relation with power; invoking one's people traditions is not a warranty of freedom. I think that would be obvious for any NA thinking of their own culture (the stereotypical folk singer is a picture of conservadurism): any other case is not less complex and has a not less arguable pathway behind.

4) That said, I have to agree about this album not quite representing its context, that is, Argentine 70s prog rock. That's not a charge, of course. In any case, much of that context suffers from its own mediocrity -that way feeding the centralist assumption that they should provide "at least" something "special" to the scene. Invisible, Aquelarre, La Maquina De Hacer Pajaros worked on simpler, more referential (here I mean locally) yet very interesting and beautiful ideas; Arco Iris took an Americanist approach that wasn't, as well, that characteristic of Argentine rock at the time. This album appears then as an isolated effort -which is no surprise, given the way it was conceived.

kamedin | 4/5 |


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