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Bubu - Anabelas CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.27 | 499 ratings

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4 stars This one really came out of left-field! Bubu was an Argentianian prog band that offered discordant big band jazz-rock a la Frank Zappa (Grand Wazoo-era) and King Crimson (Lizard-era), laced with the occasional nod to the Canterbury and the classic Italian symphonic scenes and quite a few classical tinges that often give it a 20th century chamber music feel. Even though its brilliance is immediately apparent, it took me a long time to warm up to Anabelas. Now that this daring record is familiar, I can wholeheartedly endorse it as a compulsive work that continually offers surprises.

The combo that made this record is worth discussing because it is their special qualities that give this album its combination of unpredictability and extraordinarily high musicianship. The septet of musicians include vocalist Petty Guelache, saxophonist/lyricist Win Fortsman, guitarist Eduardo Rogatti (who was brought in to the band and taught specifically to play like Robert Fripp!), the ace rhythm section of Eduardo "Fleke" Folino on bass and Eduardo "Polo" Corbella, and also two incredibly talented classically trained virtuosos, flautist Cecilia Tenconi and violinist Sergio Polizzi. The "eighth" member of the group was non-performing composer Daniel Andreoli who was the band's original bassist who brought in Folino to replace himself in the project when he found himself writing such complex music!

The opening track El Cortejo De Un Dia Amarillo (Procession For A Yellow Day) is a side-long affair that takes some getting used to. It is brazenly chaotic with discordant brass, fiery oft-unmelodic electric guitar leads and jazzy flute excursions while all along a brilliant rhythm section delivers with panache ... perpetually on the verge of collapse, but never falling off the edge. The piece "settles down" from its ferentic pace only after about 8 minutes into a sweeping melancholy passage with atmospheric violin work (almost in the Sigur Ros/Godspeed post-rock vein) ... eventually reinventing itself as an avant-garde exchange of brass and choral vocals over an insistent bass figure (Magma, anyone?) ... before a delicate acoustic guitar passage leads into duelling piercing psych guitar that ensures the track finishes on an almighty high as the ferentic opening themes make a reapperance!

The title track is yet another surprising one ... after an eerie, avant-garde opening, a vocal section with mainly acoustic backing ensues. That it is way too edgy to be called pastoral is emphasized by a dramatic flute break, which is followed a short while later by a violin and brass jam ... some of the violin and flute work here is superb ... not necessarily in terms of individual virtuosity (which is also of a high standard) but sheer compositional creativity! I still laugh whenever I hear the suprising "rock'n'roll" moment towards the end of this awesome piece.

The concluding Suenos De Maniqui (Sleep of the Manequin) is frenzied jazz-rock of the most exciting discordant sort ... the high speed harmonic interactions are sometimes hard to keep track of and yet it is positively headbanging material, with some more Polizzi violin stealing in before the surprising entry of vocals. The piece rides on the energetic vocal jazz-rock segment for a while but is then followed by an disturbing passage with Gothic choral vocals.

This really is a very modern sounding album, and it's almost shocking to think it was originally released in 1978. Anabelas will interest a wide range of fans, provided they are prepared to be challenged. I must say I'm a little bit worried that I've given away too much, because the element of surprise is one of Bubu's biggest trump cards. You really never know what you're going to get next with this one! ... 75% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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