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Risotragia - Risotragia CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.09 | 10 ratings

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3 stars Another discovery from the forums, Risotragia plays a very interesting blend of styles on this eponymous release. Ranging from some sections that have a bit of a folky vibe to them to others that are far more jazzy, this is a very fitting representation of "crossover prog." Lots to like here for prog fans, with complex rhythms and extended solos aplenty, even if there's not a totally explicit "prog" feel.

"La Cima Desde El Mar" begins the album on a bit of a noisy note, with a barrage of notes making up the first few moments of the track before acoustic guitar takes over and a very pleasant vocal melody picks up, accompanied by some very minimal synth. This first track has a very peaceful, carefree feeling to it, with the music and vocals veering towards a rather folky style. The song closes with some peaceful field recordings of lapping water, which carries over into the next track, "Intraludio." Unsurprisingly, given its nature as a sort of interlude, the track consists mostly of a kind of ambient music, with swishing water and electronic sound effects. At the end of the track an interesting little bass-led rhythmic section picks up, which soon strikes up a little groove that launches the next track.

"Las Puertas" begins as the previous track ended, with bass, percussion, and keyboards playing rhythmically complex parts that recall a lot of modern prog acts. After a moment the motif switches, becoming a little less rhythmic and a little more melodic, with all the instruments playing very upbeat music. This carries through into a very nice synth solo towards the end of this track. The bass work is excellent throughout the track, very audible and powerful, providing an excellent rhythmic backbone for the track. Some more subdued keyboards end the track and carry into the next song.

"El Gran Salon De Los Espejos" reintroduces the vocals, again singing in a very laid back, pleasant style. I'm reminded a bit of the music of Lucio Battisti; the vocals are very smooth and there are some nice, soothing, string sounds backing up the music. "El Gran Salon?" is a fairly short track, and leads into the instrumental "Infraludio" which features some awesome, classical sounding piano and a very cool flute part. This, in turn, leads into "Eclipse y Alineacion En Cruz Cosmica," which has a bit more of a dramatic feel to it than did "El Gran Salon?" Unfortunately, I think the vocals are a bit subdued compared to the music, and as such the track lacks a bit of the punch that it could have had.

"Infraludio Desterritorializado" begins the next section of music here, with what sounds like a violin providing a kind of dance motif over some more very good bass playing. I'm reminded of some folk dances I've heard, at least until vocals come in towards the end of the track to lead into "La Ola De Calor," the longest track on the album. "La Ola?" begins in a flurry of keyboard before dropping into a sparser, jazzier theme that features psychedelic synth sweeps and tight, insistent percussion. When the bass introduces a walking line about 2 minutes in this jazzy feeling is only enhanced, though an organ solo adds a bit of a classic- rock vibe as well. Vocals appear midway through the track as well, still in a very jazzy style, often matched rhythmically by the bass and additionally backed up by keyboard and percussion. "La Ola de Calor" is one of the most fully actualized tracks on the album, with great playing all around and great development, with multiple solos and great interplay between all of the instruments involved.

"La Voz Del Fuego" follows this up in a decidedly retro vein, with classic-rock organ and guitar riffs straight out of the 70s. Vocals make another appearance, and unfortunately I think they fall a bit flat compared to the music again. It's still a cool change of pace after "La Ola," though.

"Infraludio a Medianoche" comes next, and it's significantly more minimal than either of the tracks that preceded it. An off-kilter marimba part (or something like a marimba) is matched by guitar and percussion that lead into "Psompie," which is another jazzy number with more of that great bass and some very nice piano playing as well. Guitar eventually joins the mix as well, with a laid back, groovy solo that fits with the other instruments very well.

"Providencia" is another little off-kilter interlude, with some languid guitar playing that leads into "Ajenjo." "Ajenjo" is another track featuring vocals, and they work markedly better here, with the relaxed delivery matching the atmospheric organ and somber bass part that are accompanying it.

"El Nuevo Sol" immediately follows this, and recalls Lucio Battisti even more than did "El Gran Salon?" This perhaps has a bit more of a psychedelic sound, but on the whole I think the resemblance is pretty strong, even if the vocals don't quite measure up to Battisti himself, but then, who does? "El Nuevo Sol" smoothly transitions into "Punto de Fuga," another short little instrumental that makes prominent use of bass and also utilizes organ to create another nice rhythmic interlude that itself leads into the even shorter "Anexion," which is basically just a 30 second crescendo building up to the final track, which is appropriately titled "Coda." This final track features some pleasant wordless vocals that repeat over a progression of instruments from guitar to keyboards and of course that ever-present bass. It's a nice idea for a closing track, kind of a final recap of all the sounds that have appeared on the album, but in my opinion it goes on a bit too long.

So overall this is an enjoyable album and one that flows very nicely, but unfortunately there aren't any really stellar moments for me. "La Ola De Calor" is probably my favorite, and it's no coincidence that it's also the longest track-to me, many of the pieces here feel underdeveloped. There's certainly nothing here that comes close to being outright bad, but much of the album feels a bit directionless or homogeonous. Nonetheless, it's still a very pleasant listen and I suspect there will be much more to come from this group.


VanVanVan | 3/5 |


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