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Flamengo - Kuře v Hodinkách CD (album) cover



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4 stars I have "Kure V Hodinkach" lately but I can only recommend it. To locate you better, Flamengo gives in the jazz rather symphonic fusion. They can think of Modry Efekt or Colosseum in type. Kure V Hodinkach is an album to be absolutely discovered.
Report this review (#70867)
Posted Wednesday, March 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a compilation CD by the Chech Republic formation Flamengo, it contains material between 1972 (LP Kure V Hodinkach) and '68-'71 (bonustracks). I was pleasantly surprised by both the level of the musicians as the recording quality. If you like brass, you will be delighted by Flamengo their music. It has obvious hints from Colosseum and some Alquin and King Crimson, mainly because of the omnipresent brass instruments (saxophones and clarinet). But the organ work and the dynamic rhythm-section are also great assets from this band. The vocals are in the native language, this gives a charming extra dimension to the music. A bit of a maverick is the track Me And The Smoke delivering a dreamy atmosphere with Spanish guitar and flute. The bonustracks contain the covers Summertime (Gershwin) and Get Off Of My Life Woman (Otis Redding, Peter Gabriel his hero). A dynamic album with lots of musical variety.
Report this review (#74057)
Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great record, the rhytm section of Vladimír Kulhánek and Jaroslav Šedivý was considered the best in Czech rock music at that time. It is also very ointeresting to note, that the guitarplayer Pavel Fořt was a bass player and a rhytm guitarist in periods before and he started practising lead guitar playing not long before this recording. As for th songs, the best are clearly the title track with its neat rhytm achanges and great guitar soloing, Stále dál sung by the organ player Ivan Khunt in his raspy voice with the guitar and flute playing the fine main riff in unison, the dreamy acoustic ballad Já a dým with great flute work again and Jenom láska ví kam with great energy level, agreably tight rhytm section and powerful vocals from Vladimír Mišík. Al in all a grat record, very cohesive and complex, worth four and half stars.
Report this review (#129048)
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Considered by many to be one of the finest progressive rock albums from behind the iron curtain, Kuře v Hodinkách is a great bland of hard rock and early jazz rock. I don't know if this fits best under the jazz/fusion label, as the music is more blues based hard rock, with lot's of horn arrangments, with slight soul influence as well - think along the lines of Traffic or the German band Lucifer's Friend, mixed with early Uriah Heep. The album starts with a heavy guitar riff doubled by sax, followed by another heavy song "Rám Prístích Obrazu", with great hammond playing and sax work. After a great climax the track ends in a with Vladimir Misik singing a stunning high F#. The next track opens with a fast sax/guitar unison lick, and follows in a straightforward bluesy fashion. "Já A Dým" is another highlight, with soft acoustic guitars and flute supporting Vladimir Misik. In particular this track evokes some similarities to Traffic. "Par stoleni" is also another great ballad, with a dreamy atmosphere, because of the sustained vibraphone sound and flute. Overall a great album not to be missed in any collection of fans of Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Traffic...4.5 stars.
Report this review (#129066)
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Sole album from this Prague band that had started as far back as the mid-60's and had released seven singles between 67 and 69. Their sole album came in the second part of their career in 72, once woodwind player Kubik and vocalist Misik arrived and changed the group's sound to a sort of hard-driving brass-jazz-rock. By this time Flamengo was a sextet, and until then, they had been fairly well tolerated by the communist regime after the crush of the Spring Of Prague. And for some strange reasons, the regime will ban the album, most likely on the account of the lyric content, which had been written by Josef Kainar and Hynek Zalcyk, both non-members of the group, although the latter was the album's producer and doing a fairly good job sound-wise.

This album has now reissued in 98 with a superb reworked booklet including the Czech lyrics and lavish time-themed (or mechanical clock pieces) illustrations and two bonus tracks. If previously fuzzed-out guitarist Frantisek Francl had been the focus of the band, he was gone from the line-up, here Kubik's wind instruments dominate the album (he gets help from two other sax players Kral and Hruska) from the short title track intro with its footstep intro, until the last brass grumbles the second part of the title track closing the album, notwithstanding the two bonus tracks of this Cd reissue. The album's name Kure V Hodinkach means "chicken in the clock".

Songwriting-wise the chores are roughly spread out between windplayer Kubik, guitarist Fort and vocalist/percussionist Misik, with keyboard man Khunt also contributing a track, but it would be pretty hard to tell which one would have written which track, because the album stands as a very tight collection of track. This was "released" even if later banned by the second (behind Opus) label of the country: Supraphon. Standing out a bit is the flute-laden acoustic guitar Ja A Dym track slowly evolving into a nice sax-dominated groove, one of the album's highlights. Roughly the other tracks sound much like an Italian Colosseum (Italian due to the singing, mostly) and at times Traffic. The centerpiece (and longest track) Par Stoleti is another superb moment with its outstanding interplay between keys, winds and guitar. The bonus tracks are obviously strongly related to the album (slightly funkier and extra female backing vocals) and are pure added value to the album.

Flamengo's sole album stands as one of the best album to have come out of communist Czechoslovakia. Outside the almost legendary Misik (and to a lesset extant Fort and Kubik that crossded his path regularly), so far I have not encountered the musicians of this group in others albums, especially inn the very next year following this album's "release" until 76. But this is only the start of my Czech and Slovak ventures, and believe me, outside the poor Collegium Musicum album I reviewed three weeks ago, it starts out under the best of omens. Jump for it!!! (Fremata and Modry Effekt coming up)

Report this review (#136131)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Reminding me "In the Court of Crimson King" a lot, which is good thing. I was waiting for album that can take something as big as this and rumors were true, Flamengo accomplished it. So bad that they released just one album (even their members were/are in countless other groups, it was normal in these times).

The title, Kuře v hodinkách means "Chicken in watches" and is very unique album. Something so precisely made was utopia in these dark times of communism (you can't talk about music from Czech Republic of year 1972, without mentioning situation then normal, that most of musicians were forced to make pop music, because people [people republic, what a crap] wanted to. Still, some gems [and in this case, not forgotten, but more like complicated child-birth] made it and were created.

Strong sax "riffs", very dominating instrument here, dueling with flute (such soft in volume and yet so strong in emotions), muted bass and vocals capable of everything you can imagine in rock music. Fortunately, I have one, big advantage, which in many other ways can be disadvantage. I live in Czech Republic, from where this record came and that means: Easy accessibility, every record shop have it, because it's legend. Big understanding of them-times, because I like 20th history of my nation (full of terrible things) and of course, understanding lyrics completely (or at least to extent of my recognize of metaphors, which this music if full of), very poetic ones, philosophical topics, about life +time.

5(-) for something so close to me, that it's instant hit.

Report this review (#241711)
Posted Sunday, September 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars A legendary release from the Czech Republic back in 1972. How about clarinet / flute / sax player Jan Kubik not only playing on this record but also on JAZZ Q's "Symbiosis". I wonder if he knew he was making history twice ! Well this isn't the Jazzy offering that JAZZ Q would release in 1974 but there's lots of horns, chunky bass, guitars and vocals in their native language. This may have got past the Communist regime at first but they promptly banned it apparently because of the lyrics.

"Kure V Hodinkach (Introdukce)" opens with the sound of someone walking then horns and a full sound kick in. The organ replaces the horns before 1 1/2 minutes but it's brief as the horns return blasting. It blends into "Ram Pristich Obrazu" and it's a horn-fest. Vocals before a minute, guitar too. When the vocals stop the horns lead. Nice scream to end it. "Jenom Laska Vi Kam" is a great track. We get more of the same really along with some passionate vocals and prominant guitar. Nice guitar solo 1 1/2 minutes in. "Ja A Dym" opens with flute and acoustic guitar as reserved vocals join in. Love when it picks up and turns fuller later as they jam. "Chvile Chvil" starts with horns and drums then it settles a minute in with vocal melodies and a pleasant sound. Reserved vocals join in. It kicks in before 2 minutes with more passionate vocals. Organ and vocal melodies 3 1/2 minutes in to the end.

"Par Stoleti" is mellow with flute then the drums and laid back vocals join in. It's still relaxed until after 2 minutes when it picks up with horns. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as a beat with flute takes over. This is catchy and upbeat. Horns come and go. "Doky, Vlasky, Hlad A Boty" features a beat and horns standing out then vocals and chunky bass join in, guitar follows. A sax solo with percussion after 2 minutes. Vocal melodies a minute later. "Stale Dal" is uptempo with flute, vocals and more. A rocker folks. Lots of vocal melodies too. A guitar solo after 1 1/2 minutes as the horns help out. "Kure V Hodinkach" opens with drums, bass and flute as the guitar joins in. Great sound ! Vocals follow. So good. The bass is huge here. We even get a flute solo after 4 minutes.

Easily 4 stars for this amazing album.

Report this review (#790884)
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars When it comes to prog I am partial to that of british origin. I cannot really explain why, more than that I think every nation has something of it's own tone. And that tone gives me something of an extra shivering sensation. Apart from being partial to the british side of prog, I have found myself to be very much in love with it's counterpart from eastern Europe. There is something peculiar and wondeful about the music created from behind that wall, as a matter of speaking. I will not drone about the difficulties, though they existed and certainly made their impact on the result. Rather i will simply state that for those of you who are about to discover or are in the process of doing so, you have an enormous treasure of progressive music ahead of you.

It seems to me that there were two countries in eastern Europe responsible for some of the finest prog music of all time: Poland and Czech Republic. In particular that is the case in the Czech Republic. For me Modry Efekt stands as one of the greatest and most progressive (when it comes to evolve and explore the boundaries of music). Flamengo originated from Prague and the connection to Modry Efect in terms of musicality is evident.

Flamengo made one album back in 1972, apart from some singles. The music on this beautiful album is very much in line with other brass-rock of the period and influences can be heard. In particular I find a strong resemblance to Modry Efekts excursions into big band brass-rock with progressive leanings, cirka their Nova Synteza album. Their is a slightly more hard rock approach to Flamengos music and the presence of flute makes it personal and original, standing apart from the resemblance mentioned.

The music is very vibrant, providing an almost live feel to it all. It is really kicking. The guitar and drums is very up front and impressive. In "Stále dál" the drumming is furious and the guitar is screaming, which is nice. The album as a whole seems cohesive and very focused, blending brass-rock with progressive music, resulting in a very impressive mix of styles. In part I hear Mogul Thrash, in parts Modry Efekt but it is very much Flamengo, spiced up with that eastern European flavor. That flavor is hard to describe but it is a sort of sad rage, moving mellowness and pride.

I find this to be a very pleasant, excellent album. I wish the organ could have been more audible but that's coming from me, a certified organophile. All in all there is little you could wish for when listening to this album. In some respects it is a wonderfully perfect album but there are some minor flaws, albeit truly subjective flaws. There are some melody lines I sort of disagree with but that is all, I think. Musically the album is very tight, raw and hard rocking with great brass, great guitar and wonderfully alive drumming. The vocals are also dealt with the utmost delicacy.

If you are looking for brass-rock or prog from the eastern European scene, look no further. Flamengo's album is a little gem waiting to be discovered.

Report this review (#1156463)
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | Review Permalink

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