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Urban Trapeze - Reactivated Tarkus CD (album) cover


Urban Trapeze

Symphonic Prog

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Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Reactivated Tarkus" is the debut album by Urban Trapeze, consisting mostly of tracks recorded live in rehearsals in a studio. The album kicks off with the namesake suite, whose first section is introduced by Floydian spacey textures, mostly on synth. Abruptly in an effective way, the whole ensemble settles in with urgent bombast, a display of sonic power that stands halfway between "Trilogy"-era ELP and 72-73 Le Orme, with ounces of "Ocean"-era Eloy. The basic melodic motifs are properly developed here in order to set a controlled aggressive mood, rocking and appealing. The "Felona e Sorona" influences a times seem to be dominant over the easily absorbing Emersonian heritage. The last two sections turn into slower rhythmic schemes: 'Desert's Wind' is relaxing and introspective, stating a mixture of the contemplative side of PF and the romantic vein of Camel; 'Spider of Fire' shifts to a fuller, more pompous development, with the slow tempo allowing to preserve the overall ceremonious trend. 'Crazy Colors' finds the band leading toward a different timbre, a jazzy one somewhat influenced by the Canterbury scene (mostly Caravan, with hints to Hatfield & the North). The flourishes drawn in by flutist Marc Viaplana provide soaring subtleties to the main motif, while the electric guitar solo that emerges later is more focused on exploring the general dynamics. It is a pity that this piece does not get the benefit of a wider expansion, since that kind of arrangement would surely have taken more advantage of the beautiful flute lines in favor of the track's potential ambition. On the other hand, the potential is indeed well explores in 'Urban Trapeze'. Once again, the Canterbury element feels very relevant to my ears: this track is more frantic than the preceding one, and its slightly rougher edge makes Urban Trapeze (See? This is also the band's name) lean a bit closer to Egg. The drum solo reveals Anzola's stamina as well as his jazz-oriented chops. The last studio track is 'Infinite Sea', a prog ballad abundantly based on the progression delivered on piano. The permanent meditative mood that seems to stick endlessly to a specific part of the Universe helps to build up a relaxing atmosphere: the flowing and focused lyricism elaborated by Seglers kind of reminds me of what Latimer did for 'Ice' (from Camel's "I Can See Your House from Here"). The last track is a live performance of 'Evolution', a piece stylistically located in the realms of classic Focus with touches of space-rock - guitarist Satorras and drummer Anzola are the most featured instrumentalists here, as if they were in charge of a joint leadership for their fellow members. This muscular piece is a very good closer for this album, but all in all, "Reactivated Tarkus" seems to lack a complete focus. The material is very good but the integral result is not totally excellent - we will have to wait for bigger accomplishments in the "Single & Live" album, but again, that is a matter for another review. So, for this album... 3.75 stars.
Report this review (#178698)
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars We can be careful with what is sold as if it were an album, a CD, because "Reactivated Tarkus" is nothing more than a demo, a bootleg recorded during a test. Well recorded, yes, but It's a favor to any novel group be promoted with something of such poor quality?

The demo offers a musical concept based entirely on the symphonic rock of the seventies. The first item is a tribute to the work of EL & P "Tarkus". Anyway, do not expect a Tarkus 2, because the arrangements are more simple. On the other hand, the rest of the demo reminded me "Caravan" including some blue note.

Unfortunately the group is in a long stand-by because Daniel Seglers, compositor and soul of the group is recovering from a ictus. We hope his recovery and with the experience this promising group can make a quantum leap.

Report this review (#371626)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars With the title track, the band not only re-creates the spirit of Tarkus without doing a cover of it but also it conveys a touching personal story. The original Tarkus gets injured and withdraws but now he returns since he is a fighter. Likewise, keyboard player Daniel Seglers had an accident in his teenage so he had to re-learn how to use the human capabilities that we take for granted. Reactivated Tarkus is the story of a personal recovery. As a suite, it is divided into five parts, of which only the second and the fifth also feature vocals/lyrics:

a) "Revenge/Coda" starts like Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", then moves into a theme that is similar to the beginning of the original Tarkus;

b) "Ironfish" is the first battle of "Tarkus". He moves into the river to combat "Ironfish". "Tarkus" wins this time but this does not mean the danger has ended.

c) "Quicksands" is an area where "Tarkus" slips next into. He tries to suddenly escape and it looks like he's an overall winner. But it's not end of story yet.

d) "Desert's Wind" is a musical fantasy, where "Tarkus" solitary walks by distant trails. He arrives at a remote desert, gets lost, and only the wind helps our old warrior relax.

e) "Spider of Fire" is the last battle of solitary "Tarkus". It is not a violent one now, only about time and space.

The remaining four tracks of the album are as follows: "Crazy Colours" is a nostalgic metaphor for the first love at a young age.

"Urban Trapeze", an instrumental, is a geometric metaphor for the life of the struggling artist: travel, prepare for the show, achieving success, getting confidence, repeat. "InfiniteSea" has lyrics that somehow bring Peter Sinfield's "Formentera Lady" (from KingCrimsonIslands to mind. This is just natural: the song is about the Sa Tuna cove on Spain's Costa Brava, where the landscape is just the Mediterranean Seaand the rocks. "Evolution" is a 12 minute live improvisation that sounds like early Pink Floyd, where all band members take their turns, except for flute player Marc Viaplana. Forgotten by the others, he signals them his turn.

At a total time of slightly over 52 minutes, this album sounds like Premiata Forneria Marconi, balletto di bronzo, Focus, Genesis, and early King Crimson with Mike Giles-like drumming.

Report this review (#576497)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2011 | Review Permalink

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