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Urban Trapeze - Single & Live CD (album) cover


Urban Trapeze

Symphonic Prog

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Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hey, guys of Urban Trapeze. now you're talking! The band's sophomore effort "Single & Live" really does exhibit the essential splendor that sets the band's core sound. This item's title is literal, just like that - it comprises two tracks that originally had appeared on a single-CD, plus a live gig at "La Gramola" (Manresa - April, 3rd of 2005). The tracklist successfully displays the band members' proficiency and gusto for an eclectic approach to prog rock. 'Within My Flesh' is a hell of an opener. This lovely track states an agile, appealing take at Canterbury legends Hatfield and Caravan. Why is it so short? The attractive moods created by the playful flute lines and the track's catchy rhythmic development built a solid ground for a loftier musical feast. Anyway, it is a lovely track whatsoever. 'Create Your Way' does grow within a properly expanded structure. This piece combines jazz-prog and Yessian symphonic prog in a very dynamic way, setting a powerful frame for the track's main body. There is also a slow portion that reminds me of "Dark Side"-era Pink Floyd. The live section gets started with the first three sections of the 'Reactivated Tarkus' suite (the best sections, in my opinion). The start of 'Dreams & legends in the Iceberg's Heart' seems to have missed its starting point, but in the end, what you get is a very good combination of spacey symphonic prog, psychedelia and jazz-prog. The vocal department is a bit weak, but it doesn't detract from the special magic that is created in this song's slower portions. There is something really intriguing about the prominent synth sounds and the rhythm duo's dynamics that makes Urban Trapeze stand quite closely related to the 70s Italian symphonic scene (Le Orme, Apoteosi). 'My Body' establishes a peculiar combination of space-rock friendly symphonic prog with the less stylish, early facet of Canterbury. The intrepid passages never get aggressive: in fact, they are mainly extensions of the main ambiences comprised in the track's integral development. 'Answer?' starts as a soft ballad, dreamy and relaxing, before bursting into yet another excellent Canterbury-style jam: Urban Trapeze really nailed the spirit of Caravan's first three albums, mastering it with its own particular skill and stamina. An electrifying drum solo follows, which states an enthusiastic vibe in accord with the prominent moods in the album's repertoire. The funny, relatively free version of 'Peter Gunn' reinforces the overall high spirit. This is most certainly the progressive trend in which UT feels more comfortable: predominance of the jazz-prog factor, jam-friendly, with symphonic and space-rock elements settling in for good measure. The closer 'Evolution' was also the closer for the debut release "Reactivated Tarkus", only this time its presence makes much more sense - it's not a graft but a pertinent culminating point for this tracklist. Like I said earlier, this is the album in which the essence of Urban Trapeze's prog creativity bears a real powerful presence.
Report this review (#178699)
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of its nine tracks, clocking at a total of 64 minutes, only the first two are "singles", 64 minutes but fantastic!.

"Within My Flesh" is like Finisterre meets Camel with a bit of Stereolab. It is the story of a strange, intercontinental relationship in hiding.

"Create Your Way" opens as if played by the Hackett brothers and then enriches into a cocktail of themes that reminds me of Camel, Il balletto di bronzo, Trespass-era Genesis. Rick Wakeman, and Clare Tory-like vocals in the background.

The remaining seven tracks on the album are "live". The recordings are from a concert in April 2005. It was the band's fourth concert and the first time they played Reactivated Tarkus live. At that time, the suite consisted only of the first three parts. The last two parts were not composed yet (please see the review of the Reactivated Tarkus album).

"Dreams and Legends in the Iceberg's Heart" and "My Body" are like a mixture of Hostsonaten and Camel, also with a bit of Hackettian electric guitar in the first of these two songs, which tells the story of a hiker that goes through various landscapes of an iceberg until he finds the heart within.

"Answer?" is a short song in order for the audience to catch their breath. A beginning as if by the Hackett brothers then gives way to an Il balletto di bronzo sound.

After this, Juan Camilo Anzola gets a "Drum Solo" that reminds of Clive Bunker and Carl Palmer. Then, the band breaks into an impromptu, free rendition of "Peter Gunn".

"Evolution" is the same recording that appears at the end of the Reactivated Tarkus album (again, please see that review ). The concert was recorded with only 2 Shure SM58 microphones (left & right). Perhaps this is why the live vocals on the album are heard only in the background.

Report this review (#404784)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2011 | Review Permalink

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