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ANABELAS

Bubu

Eclectic Prog


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Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Maybe a cross between KING CRIMSON and some FRANK ZAPPA, a really complex, intrincate and strange album, not easy to listen at the first time. There's a lot of instruments interplaying (including violin and sax) and music is always changing, sometimes in a crazy way.

I would recommend this stuff for those who are looking for the most complex and original structures, but it isn't an album for lovers of the delicated and melodic (I don't mean soft) side of progressive rock. So, I disagree with another reviewers about "Anabelas" when they say that this album is an introduction to the Argentine prog scene, because -altough BUBU was the most intricate band in this part of the world- isn't the most representative.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#21621)
Posted Saturday, December 20, 2003 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars BUBU's "Anabelas" is one of the most complete prog albums to have come out of Argentina in the 1970s. "Anabelas" consists of three long epic compositions, and features mostly instrumental music that sounds like a cross of early KING CRIMSON, MAGMA and ÄNGLAGARD. BUBU was quite a large band and actually with a wide range of talent and instrumentation. Along with the traditional rock set-up (guitar, bass, and drums), the band featured a violinist, flutist, saxophonist, and pianist. Each composition is filled with intense interaction between the musicians, dozens of melodic surprises, and unexpected tempo changes. Their music is complex, energetic, and diabolical in a KING CRIMSON-ish sort of way. Very surprising is that there is no noodling and very little soling to be found here and although does offer a pretty trippy and wild musical experience, never gets too out of control or becoming un-accessible for the listener. Without a question this is an awesome recording and a necessity in anyone's progressive rock collection. Absolutely brilliant progressive rock...!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#21622)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bubu was one of the most amazing bands to come out of the Latin American rock scenario, their own one shot 'Anabelas' being an awesome piece of avantgarde prog music. Not only is the instrumentation odd, but the compositions and subsequent arrangements are pretty complicated (not gratuitously complicated, let's state this clear). The combined mastery of all musicians involved allow Bubu to shine immensly as an exquisite yet fiery ensemble, full of both weirdness and distinction. Even when some guitar and sax sounds feel a bit harsh, the listener can feel that the sense of exquisiteness prevails. The sax, flute and violin players wander with ease and precision from free-jazz to dissonant contemporary chamber to well defined instrumental "chorales" all along the way; in parallel, the guitar/bass/drums trio make a powerful statement in the crossroads of 73-74 King Crimson and 71-73 Mahavishnu, as well as some Canterbury elements (on its wildest side). Many guitar solos and textures happen to mingle fluidly among the wind and violin passages, which allows the melodic thing become so weird and at the same time, so captivating. The opening track is the sidelong suite that makes, IMHO, the most impressive number in the whole record. The band shows their skills at creating intense complexity without losing consistence, as well as at developing motif expansions cleverly and interact as a solid unit. A particular mention goes to bassist Folino, who manages to make his instrument featured among the storms created by most of his fellows. This track also includes quotations from Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance' during one of its eerier sections. Another special mention goes to the deceitfullly relaxing motif based on acoustic guitar and dreamy chorale: the explosive sax solo brings an anticipation of a tension soon to resurface and deliver the track's closing climax. A masterpiece in itself is 'El Cortejo de un Día Amarillo'. All in all, the other two pieces are nothing to be dismissed; while not being as epically diverse as the aforesaid suite, they complete the album's musical direction with total cohesiveness. Particularly, I find a big deal of 71-75 Zappa-esque niches on 'El Viaje de Anabelas', which turns out to be the most exhalarating of all three pieces. It starts by bringing some bucolic episodes before the band goes headlong for a series of dissonant articulations that eventually lead to a playful section. A violin solo creates an aura of solemnity that gradually builds up to a majestic, moderately explosive ending. 'Sueños de Maniquí' kicks off with a dreamy sung prologue based on piano scales, but soon a guitar sustained lead prepares the road for the full band entry, endulging in an exciting jazz-rock excursion. The return of the sung section now benefits from the use of instrumental colors, which mostly serve as means for orchestral layers and counterpoints. The 11/4 closing theme remainds of some other in 'El Cortejo', only with a slighltly weirder edge. While being far from your "prototypical" melodic Latin American symph prog, 'Anabelas' remains one of the top Argentinian prog works ever - it sure deserves the perfect rating.

(Review dedicated to my Argentinean brother Humberto Luna Tirado)

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#21626)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars I would have to agree with Marcello about Bubu not being the best of introduction for Argentinian prog : One would better start with Crucis or Espiritu. To say that this sole al;bum of theirs represents best the progressive musical landscape would be misleading but it is one of the more challenging one along with Mia to say the least . The long suite (19 min+) Procession For A Yellow Day on side1 is certainly full of surprise and stays successful most of the times. The better moments come in the second movement Locotomora Blues. On side 2 , I would say that the music still sound fine but is mared by the very approimate vocals the singer: fortunately those moments are not too present. Overall, the music veers off in the direction of Crimson and Osanna passing by a lot of Italian prog: this is no wonder as more than 50% percent of the population of argentina is of Italian descendence (look at the names of the members of this group to get a good idea of this) so that this explains that. I would have preferred more real; South american influences in their music much like the Chilean Los Jaivas did in their music, however as one feels too much the Bubu's needs to sound European does no favour to their music. Just a slight bit of remark, though!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#21627)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Obviously South American prog bands have been a really good alternative during the rather poor decade of the 80's when only a few European bands like Marillion tried to keep some spirit of the heyday of prog. This album is a pure gem for everyone who likes fantastically made progrock with symphonic, jazz and folk influences. The three compositions on here are just awesome with great symphonic sections, incredibly good jazz-fusion parts,slightly reminiscent to the italian band OSANNA just with the difference, that the sax playing doesn't sound that much enervating than it does on some records of that band. The structure of the compositions is really done in a brilliant way and the whole album sounds very rounded up and coherent. This one is without any doubt a real must-have and a masterpiece in progressive rock!!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#21628)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Bubu is a unique Aregentinian band as my fellow reviewers mentioned above, and my opinion about this album is also positive! This band combines no keyboards nor synths, but I still really like it since these guys play the violin and their songs are well composed! The first song offers a couple of styles combined in one piece, from free jazz to symphonic progressive rock! This song is certainly one of the best stuff that I've heard from South American, and I usually tend to dislike rock mixed jazz. The second song begins with some lovely voices and a classical moment that developes into a jazzy progressive rock melody with vocals in probably spanish that sounds like every pastoral italian progressive rock singers' vocals. The third song begins beautiful spanish vocals as those mentioned above and a fine guitar riff that turns into a great orgy of instruments and melodies. In a nutshell, Bubu is a fantastic band that is truly pastoral like a good symphonic progressive rock band and sophistacted like a good jazz ensemble, Highly recommended for fans of progressive rock, jazz and even free improvisation.

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Send comments to Dan Yaron (BETA) | Report this review (#38416)
Posted Sunday, July 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
steveharris@u
5 stars A spectacular album!!! Bubu "Anabelas" joined all the key elements of the progressive music, multi-instrumental and so creative, a true masterpiece here!!!! Very peculiar as a "experimental symphonic progressive".

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#38499)
Posted Monday, July 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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

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Send comments to Trotsky (BETA) | Report this review (#74638)
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Argentine progrock scene is a very prolific one: at this moment we can enjoy Nexus, Bauer, Amagrama, Omnia, Chaneton and Nimbus, in the past it delivers bands like Crusis, Esperitu, MIA, Banana, Ave Rock and ... the highly acclaimed Bubu. Their music sounds quite complex featuring furious guitar work, fiery saxophone play and very distinctive vocals, at some moments Bubu evokes King Crimson and Magma. But Bubu is way from a derivative because their only album Anabelas from 1978 contains three very adventurous and varied compositions in the genuine tradition of progressive music: a captivating blend of Canterbury, jazz, fusion, classical, hardrock, avant-garde and symphonic rock featuring a wide range of instruments, from saxophone and piccolo to violin, flute and guitars. TO BE DISCOVERED!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#74649)
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Took me more than a year to get this on my hands. I have listen to one song before, and read many reviews. I think really worth the time I waited for "Anabelas". I agree with some of my fellow's reviewers, this one is not the typical Argentinean or South American prog piece. Complex at times, but their sound is full of twists and surprises with a expanded sound by the use of flute and sax, but IMHO the violin is what set them apart, specially under the circumstances that was already the end of the 70',

You cannot avoid thinking of GG influences, but for times I swear that these guys also had to listen to Gnidrolog! They were a very unique band, and is a shame that we just had the opportunity of one release. Mostly Instrumental, and a lot of intricacy.

Ideal for a prog-head novice, but if you are new to South American prog scene; maybe should consider start somewhere else, a then get back to this.

A hidden gem, no more!!! Very highly recommended by this progressive music lover!! Better get it, because re-release may take years!

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Send comments to Prognut (BETA) | Report this review (#77320)
Posted Saturday, May 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog-Brazil
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Bubu is an argentinian band from seventies. They started circa 1970, with a band named Sion (name of a spirit). Anabelas had came only in 1983, because they had political problems and recorders obstacles, but in that time they played many other songs live, like a 15-minute version of "Eleanor Rigby". As other reviewers said, this album is a mix of Symphonic Progressive and Rock In Opposition. Frank Zappa, King Crimson and Genesis are their main influences, but they also used to listen John Coltrane, free jazz, contemporary classical music. Unfortunately, they didn't record more albums. Sergio Blostein said in an interview they were very exigent with themselves, and they just would record something better than Anabelas. But, according to Wim Fortsman (stevehegede.tripod.com/wiminterview.htm), there will be a second Anabelas edition, with bonus tracks and pictures from the group. The bonus probably are: "Carnavalito" (that runs around 20 minutes) and "Cloud Train". They have also two versions of a Tango, "City" (by Andreoli), "Florian's Song" (by Wim), and they edited a demo called "Film". All fans are waiting a long time for these precious tracks! Bubu is an excelent band, considering this great album. They are my preferred from Argentina. It's always a pleasure recommend and speak about Bubu. I give five stars to this band with no regret! To see Sergio Blostein interview (in spanish): progresiva70s.com/entrevista_blostein.htm . My superficial translation is here: progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp? TID=6264&KW=bubu&PID=130684#130684

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Send comments to Prog-Brazil (BETA) | Report this review (#80616)
Posted Wednesday, June 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Layered and multinational

Despite being a South American band, this lacks many of the "flavors" associated with the region. There are many similarities to the Italian prog scene. There are a broad range of influences from across prog, though to me it seems like a cross between King Crimson's crazy sections, Gentle Giant's multi-instrumentation, and some of Zappa's quirkiness.

The long opener is my favorite piece, and begins with a genuine symphonic bang. The furious guitar riffing is intoxicating and very exciting. This tense mood somewhat reminds me of Epilog by Anglagard. The material throughout is fairly complex and there are many jazz fusionesque qualities. Vocals are almost absent here as well, which helps if you are a non-native speaker like myself.

The next track is more experimental and has more vocal presence. There's a violin solo here as well which seems somewhat mournful due to the backing music to support it. I feel the track closes very poorly, and it is my least favorite on the disk.

The final track is maybe the most chaotic and off the wall. The section after the last vocal part is a great riff structure and blending of all the assets of the band. There is a KC type ending here as well, once again showing the range of influences. While the music here is generally very complex, exciting, and intelligent, I feel that it lacks a certain "it" factor to it. The tracks are engaging enough, but nothing particularly stands out. Still well recommended, especially if one is looking to explore beyond the realms of English prog.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#103064)
Posted Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Bubu was an Argentinean progressive band that only existed during some years in the late seventies and that only released one album called Anabelas. Although recorded in 1978, the album was not released until 1983 due to censorship from the dictatorship government at that time.

Bubu´s music is very intricate and original making their style hard to categorize. While Avant garde might be the best description, it still would not be enough, as this band also takes elements from Jazz, Symphonic prog and even some Zeuhl.

Anabelas is their only album, but for that matter, it's truly a piece of art. Having only three songs, one of them being over 19 minutes long, this album goes from the most bizarre jazz passages to big band sound to heavy diabolical guitar riffs in a King Crimson fashion to calmer and theatrical vocals , while keeping the musicianship always top notch. There are really no fillers or flaws in this album, but it´s not necesarly a masterpiece because of it, although I must say, they are not that far behind. Definitly one of the best of this country, yet they share virtually no similarities with the rest of the argentinian prog scene, such as Crucis, Pabo el Enterrador, MIA or Espiritu. Bubu is unique.

Fans of Dün, King Crimson and even more modern bands like The Mars Volta should find something to like in Bubu. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#108418)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Masterpiece!

This is an album that i really love, i am absolutely convinced that the more i listen to it, the more i love it, love at first sight? haha, well in fact it is kind of true because i was amazed since i first listened to it. This is one of the main gems that latin american prog has ever seen, actually i could say that this may be the best Argentinian prog rock album in the history (it may be) because of it`s diversity of sound, it`s complexity and it`s excellent show of talent and creativity.

This album was released in 1978, in the late period of the 70`s when maybe prog rock scene was going down, years like 1973 or 74 had passed and people thought that the best years had dead, this album was at the time a clear example of that progressive rock wasn`t dead, it was only decreasing but the essence and the heart of the movement was still alive, better to say that this was shown with a band from a country that was not known because of it`s musical scene (prog scene better said), so im happy to let you know that, you can turn your head and have a look to the latin american prog scene, and in 1978 you will find a true masterpiece from a band that sadly released only this album, Bubu was the name of this project, and "Anabelas" the name of the gem.

This album is divided in 3 magnific songs, an almost 40 minute trip to the beautiful world of prog rock. The first is an epic of 19 minutes, a powerful beginning, challenging, innovative and very intelligent, in this song you will find their unique sound and style, it is a non- defined style because we can notice several influences trhough their music, going from jazzy tunes , to some Crimsonesque moments, actually you will find a variety of sounds here, not categorizable in only one genre, it could be symph, jazz, also canterbury and experimental. "El Cortejo de un Dia Amarillo" is the name of the 1st song, a weird name actually but i like it, it sounds so deep and creative, so is the music played here, also i can say that the quality of the musicians is superb, the song has so many changes and passages, fast - slow - change, etc, saxophone - flute - violin, all gathered together in order to create magnific music.

"El Viaje de Anabelas", another epic but this time is shorter than the opener song, 11 minutes oa different music here the lyrics and vocals are also included as a part of this trip, this is my less favorite song of the album, but honestly it is also superb i like very much the role of the wind instruments along with the drums, in the middle of the song you will find an exciting moment of pure beauty and harmony whe all sounds perfect, not so typical form the Argentinian scene.

"Sueños de Maniqui" is the first song that i heard from this album, thanks to the stream here, well actually i downloaded it when we could do it, and believe me, it is a song full of creativity and variety of sound, very avant garde if you ask me. Here we will also listen to vocals which are pretty good but that`s not the main point of the song, despite being the shortest one, it is probably my favorite, the work of the flute is very exciting the changes of time and tempo and the weiderness of the composition makes this song a superb.

Well, as you noticed i have reviewed this album with enthusiasm, since i really love it and when i love albums like this, i just want to suggest and support them, it`s something like a duty, and better if it is something from south america or my country , this time Argentina can be proud of this wonder, a masterpiece, nothing more but a masterpiece, 5 stars go and listen to it please!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#109189)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
laplace
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This reviewer is not an expert where it concerns progressive rock from south america, but it's easy to tell that Bubu's only album is a gem; dense and challenging, prone to furious digression and its sudden resolution into symphonious, wistful harmony, likely to satisfy both bitter (King Crimson) and sweet (your positive symphonic rock band of choice) tastes.

Side A is the most chameleonic, cycling through jazz, rock, blues and orchestral modes with enthusiasm. The trinity of progressive non-standard rock instruments - saxophone, violin and flute, of course! - decorate "El Cortejo de un Dia Amarillo" and lift it out of a sea of like-minded improv suites onto a higher plateau. The music can be reminiscent of King Crimson and the symphonic side of the italpop movement, but the themes are Bubu's alone. This reviewer enjoyed the choral touches and found no fault with the sporadic vocal additions - zeuhl-like moments do crop up, although not in such abundance that a dedicated zeuhl fan would necessarily love the record.

On the flipside, we have slightly more gentle and pastoral music, although an undercurrent of intelligence threatens to topple it all and reintroduce the chaos of "El Cortejo..." - beauty of a more classical nature reigns here. "El Viaje del Anabelas" feels a lot like a lost Mike Oldfield piece fused with more romantic progressions... and made much louder, too. "Sueños de Maniquí" is more delicate, accompanied by chords and with chords sustained or left ethereal and unrooted. Moments along the length of the track can be compared to raw Frippertronics being accompanied by classical musicians, and the italian influences wrestle with Frank Zappa's legacy to determine the melodic direction of the song. Startling.

I notice that "Anabelas" is a relatively popular album to review, and that's no mistake. If my review can add to this gem's reputation then I'm happy to have helped in my own small way. Do listen to this, won't you?

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Send comments to laplace (BETA) | Report this review (#127170)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars “Anabelas” is a definitive album for Eclectic Prog. From heavy SABBATHian riffs to CRIMSONian cacophonic jamming, from GENESIS-like melodies to Italian Prog-like complexness, from GENTLE GIANTish polyphony to Canterburish mood. The side A is almost flawless, all filled with almost 20-min long instrumental journey. The side B is a bit losing I think in comparison to the side A, both tracks on it have some nice moments but sound a bit artificial, a bit forced and overloaded. Nevertheless this is solid and very hard-to-find record, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Any Proghead is able to enjoy it, and it’s not to be missed for sure!!!

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#135727)
Posted Saturday, September 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. BUBU were a seven piece band from Argentina with an additional guest piano player making it eight for this record.The sound is so rich and varied as they take us through different climates and moods. This is complex yet melodic as we go from ANGLAGARD / SINKADUS like passages to dark haunting soundscapes to jazzy energetic passages to experimental avant-gard sections. This is all over the place yet it is so seemless. Simply brilliant. The vocals bring the Italian classics to mind,while the guitar lights it up at times and at other times is angular ala Fripp. Violin,sax and flute are prominant and there are female vocal melodies as well. I have to give Logan a thankyou because i read his glowing appreciation for this record on one of his posts which caused me to put it to the front of the line sort of speak.

"El Cortejo De Un Dia Amarillo" is a killer side long suite. It opens with some impressive jazzy moves as bass, flute, drums and sax lead the way. The sax is dissonant at times. It changes quickly 1 1/2 minutes in to a section that left my jaw hanging open as it sounded so much like SINKADUS and ANGLAGARD. Yet this was before those two bands ever existed. The guitar then takes off blazing it's own path as bass continues to throb and drums pound. Awesome sound ! I'm pinching myself at this point seeing if i'm dreaming or not. The sound is so rich as sax, violin and flute add to the pleasure. After 6 minutes it is so uplifting and emotional. The tempo then picks up with flute then violin leading the way. Sax takes a turn as it rips it up. It settles down with some angular guitar before 8 minutes. We get some chamber music after 9 minutes. It starts to build before 12 minutes as vocal melodies join in. Flute and sax lead the way for a while then a calm before 13 1/2 minutes. Powerful vocal melodies a minute later with acoustic guitar. Nice. Sax comes in and it's incredible. Next up is the guitar as the sax stops. This guy can play as he fires off some blistering melodies. The drums and bass are fantastic as they both become more prominant. The flute is back 17 1/2 minutes in before guitar returns.

"El Viaje De Anabelas" opens with vocal melodies before an outburst of drums. This happens again before flute, sax and violin come in beautifully. The violin recalls MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals before 3 minutes with bass and acoustic guitar is outstanding. Flute and sax a minute later as vocals stop. Violin comes in. Guitar comes and goes. Vocals return before 8 minutes. Mournful violin before 10 minutes with vocal melodies taking over quickly. Then check out the dark, angular guitar as sax joins in. "Suenos De Maniqui" opens with piano then reserved vocals. A heavy, dark mood arrives with angular guitar crying out as piano continues. The song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes with flute leading the way. Then the guitar takes the lead as drums pound away. This is uptempo with sax also involved. It settles down with sax, flute and angular guitar then speeds up with violin. The tempo shifts are frequent. This is such a display of both band interplay and incredible instrumental work. Vocals are back before 5 minutes sounding very Italian. Vocals and this section end 7 minutes in and are replaced by an intense passage of guitar, violin and sax as vocal melodies come in. Sax gets dissonant to end it.

Perhaps the greatest recording to ever come out of Argentina.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#168865)
Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Too bad they only released one album of this eclectic gold!

I have had contact Bubu's debut and only album only recently, but i already consider it a masterpiece of progressive rock. Though the music the band present us is not easily digested by a normal person or someone that does not knows or likes this kind of music, a music filled with dissonances and atonalism, apart from the usual experimentation and innovation that is characterizes progressive rock, it took me little time to like this piece. Probably that is because i am venturing myself deeper into the eclectic and the avant-garde genres of progressive rock lately, but why i like this kind of music does not matters for this review: it only matters why this album is so good, and that is why i will try to show here.

Bubu's influences shown here are very wide. They go from international prog bands an artists, such as Frank Zappa, King Crimson and Gentle Giant, passing through other broader genres of music (that may influence the already said international bands) such as classical music, jazz, spanish music and tango to some smaller influences, such as various kinds South American folk music.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

The instrumental work here is absolutely amazing. All instruments do their job perfectly and though in many parts (if not in most parts) throughout the album a complex technical work is very noticeable, much like Gentle Giant but jazzy, the album is not a simple display of musical notes being played at random occasions, it is cohere and senseful.

The ever present bass, as in most albums of the genre, is a must here and it, much like in Gentle Giant, supports the whole band wile having a complex melody line itself. The drums are masterfully played with a jazzy touch, much like Bill Bruford whenever. The drums and the bass are the most present instruments of the whole album, maybe because they support the whole band. The sax, the flutes and the violin also fit very well here, as they give the album both a jazzy touch and a tango touch to the music. The guitar, unlike most part of rock music, does not have the central role here because that role is divided upon the sax, the guitars, the violin and the flutes. The vocals are very well worked and dramatic, much like the tango vocals.

The only drawback that i can notice is that the ending of the song El Cortejo de un Día Amarillo is not as good as the rest of the song.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Awesome music, terrific vocals and amazing final product (that product being the album), what else do you want? This album may not be so important for the bigger scene, but who cares? It is a masterpiece and deserves to have a grade that corresponds to that. 5 stars and nothing less.

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Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#185081)
Posted Wednesday, October 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A pure prog rock album if there was ever one!!

Sadly enough , Anabelas was the only release to come out from this cult band named Bubu. The band's style is incredibly varied and may please both the symphonic prog lovers or the more avant ones. The music within Anabelas is incredibly complex and changes from minute to minute. I can heard lots of influences from many prog acts like bits of Magma , Dun ( yes , even before Eros was released!!) Zappa and mainly King Crimson from ITCOTCK to Red.

The fun thing about Bubu is that Anabelas was first composed by Daniel Andreoli. Then he started to find the musicians whom he thought were most suitable to interprete his music. From that point on , the band rehearsed separately. Andreoli put major importance into the rhythm section and you can really tell that when listening to Anabelas: Both the drumming and bass playing are top notch , remiscent of Bill Bruford and John Wetton in that order. Bob Fripp's fans will be also pleased with this record since Eduardo Rogatti was encouraged by Andreoli to give a frippish tone to his playing.

Side A contains the overwhelming "El cortejo de un dia amarillo". Note that with "Anabelas" I will always make reference to the different tracks as "pieces of music" or "compositions" since the word "song" may even sound insulting. That being said , the first piece of music is in my opinion really close to academical works. It starts with some dissonant flute and saxophone , then it builds up with some incredible drums and bass lines taking the shape of one of those Egiptian-like tunes but without sounding cliched. It can be described as Henry Cow meets King Crimson meets Dun. At the 14 minute mark the song changes dramatically and it starts sounding a bit like "Kreuhn Kohrmann iss the Hundin" (MDK's grand finale) for a brief moment. Finally , the song ends reworking the theme from the beggining but with much more guitar prescence. The second composition " El viaje de Anabelas" starts with some dramatic violin and has hints of the most pastoral RPI moments ,there is also some beautiful flute as well. This song features Miguel Zabaleta's vocals which are also remiscent of the Italian brand of prog. Suddenly the song turns into avant mode mainly due to the saxophone and the astounding choral-like vocals. Little ofter that moment there is a little section that is very similar to MDK or Lizard era KC. The song is always powerful and energetic: Bubu is complex but never losses tightness or cohesion. I am impressed when I hear impresive Zeuhlish vocals as well.

The last composition is called " Sueños de Maniqui" and it starts similar to " Out Bloddy Rageous" by the Soft Machine but then features some fast drumming with impressive bass lines. Bubu may be the only band in which I can hear a proto Thrash metal riff accompanied by flute and violins and that's quite a compliment in my book. After this chaotic section Zabaleta's operatic vocals start again. The song keeps drifting from subtle parts to argressive and plain weird ones before the choral vocals come in again and give a bombastic ending to the tune.

Listening to "Anabelas" was one of the most thrilling experiences I had while discovering any kind of music. Period. I don't think that any other phrase can do justice to this masterpiece from my country.

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Send comments to crimson87 (BETA) | Report this review (#205772)
Posted Sunday, March 08, 2009 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Talk about one shot wonders! Stemming from the land of gauchos, tangos and tin-pot caudillos, this highly rated Argentine opus is no fluke -fly by night -stab in the dark progressive release, veering rather towards a pulsating lava flow of various moods and tones, bubbling rhythms, devious saxophone and flute, gritty violins and splendid keyboard and guitar work. This is one of those rebellious oddities that take multiple listens, each time peeling off a new layer of discovery and amazement. The sexy artwork not withstanding, 'I could scarcely believe all the pleasures inside' (quote from David Cousins of the Strawbs on Out in the Cold), showcasing a whopping maelstrom of exuberant audacity with splashes of early King Crimson discord, hints of Magma-esque darkness, some Genesis romanticism intertwined with heady aromas of RPI and some blistering Mahavishnu storm clouds. Three long pieces of unmitigated adventurism, paved with unrelenting experimentation that still pleases the ear and warms the soul. "El Cortejo?" is a nearly 20 minute odyssey of sonorous cacophony, adorned with jazzy sax flirts, some vicious bass performances and monstrous drumming throughout. The electric guitar remains unusually slippery with some brief riffing as well, winking amorously at Frippian delights and abetted by some coarse violin slashes. The flute also arrives careening out of the blue, so each soloist can participate with equal glee. Certainly not for the faint of heart, the piece rolls on feverishly like some crazed out of control machine. The neo-classical violins provide momentary calm when you least expect it, keeping the listener enthralled, enthused and somewhat confused (poetic lyric, no?). There are some apparent yearnings for dissonance, adding a quasi-Soft Machine like aura to the mix, a mid-section that meanders into reed land, flutes and saxes deeply intertwined like two lovers in a cheek to cheek tango, an ominous vocal choir massed in the sonic audience takes a bow and a blaring whistle to further jar the senses. The celestial choir returns, a sultry sax in tow, all underpinned with some bottom end gusto, until the lead guitar swoops through the foliage and ripples effervescently, like some burning firecracker. Bassist Edgardo Folino weaves some trebly waveforms, encouraged by some rabid drumming courtesy of Senor Eduardo Corbella , all focused on providing the platform for the soloists to explore dimensions that were VERY new at the time. Just plain, WOW! The 11 minute "El Viaje de Anabelas" has a female chorus inviting a Mahavisnu-esque jazz-rock promenade, violin and flute working in unison to create enough density for the first lead vocals, that have an obviously close kinship with Italian Prog but here sung in Spanish. The sax blows with exalted passion, honking at the massed voices that further egg on the ensemble to deeply forage into style and class. The violin spotlights brilliantly the classical fervor that always seems to challenge the rock and jazz sensibilities, a daring attitude at the time. "Suenos de Maniqui" has a Fripp-like blister to open things up, a furious romp ensues that rages in all directions, the rhythm section keeping things ablaze, full of stop and go onslaughts that bedevil. There are some delirious moments as well, hyperactive lead instruments that halt on a dime, then urgently resume some manic direction, tossing in some impassioned lead vocals that surprise and please. The disc ends on some oblique manifestations that instill a sense of ominous doom, perhaps aware of their imminent disappearance and putting their disappointment into musical shapes.

Yes, as sinkadotentree correctly opined, this may be the best ever prog recording from Argentina. 4.5 Yogi bears

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#229647)
Posted Monday, August 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Excuse my little bit skeptical approach to one of the most well known regarded prog albums. For me, it's like tremendous rock & classical music jam session, perfectly conducted and performed, but not much more. It's OK, because most people will be pleased by what they'll hear in this record. It touches me, it really do. Beautiful cover also helps, but I can't enjoy it as masterpiece. It's not overrated, not at all. I would see it as

4(+), but this one star is important. I can't imagine why someone would rate this lower, but the main reason can be perhaps it's strange sound. There are links between parts, more complex than casual listener (even casual prog listener) can get at first, second, any try, you name it. You have to be careful and listen closely here. But even I'm trying to find it, i can't.

Simply reminding me unmelodic RPI most of the times. So it IS masterpiece, but not for everyone. And most important - not for me. Even I don't like certain parts (middle part of last track, the crazy ones), I have great respect for this album.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#246459)
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars ANABELAS is an album where you either need to be very persistent or pretty lucky in order to obtain. I fell into the latter category here.

Bubu is a rare kind of group that could only poop out one album in their lifetime. Judging by the markedly positive reviews on this site, Bubu made that statement well worthwhile, and I can't do anything but agree.

It's got that ''Close to the Edge'' type of structure with the big epic coming first and two shorter songs right after, but in my mind, the comparisons to Yes stop there. One big thing to understand is that the group is sans a keyboard player minus the piano played in ''Suenos de Maniqui''. To compensate, there's one violin, one saxophone, and a flute player (possibly the three favourite non-traditional-rock instruments of the prog world) that mesh together quite well. There's a spot in the middle of the big epic where each of the violin, flute and saxophone (that order) takes their turn going beserk only to produce a calm immediately thereafter.

The only unfortunate is that while the compositions are well thought-out and well executed, it's hard for me to attach certain themes to certain pieces unless I've bashed at it fifteen times consecutively. There's not much of ''El Viaje de Anabelas'' that sticks out long after I've listened to it other than a Kansas-esque march in the middle (but done with enough of a twist to make it sound original). ''Suenos de Maniqui'' is a slight exception to this as the controlled chaos can go from tantalisingly soft to crashingly brutal (not in a heavy metal context) almost poetically.

It's had several comparisons to the Italian prog scene, but I cannot stamp an opinion here merely because I have not enough experience with the RPI scene to tell you. It's crazier and not as symphonic as your traditional output of prog bands like Genesis or Kansas but not as off-the-wall compared to say Koenjihyakkei. If you're sick of the big name prog bands but are too timid to really branch out, this will fill that void.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#255803)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars It is not often an album lives completely up to the hype it receives. And the over zealous commentators here on this website occasionally get it right. This IS a masterpiece.

Bubu's one and only album has become legendary as one of the best things to come out of Argentina besides Evita. I can only review this as I hear it as it is so complex and it is difficult to remember all the subtle nuances of musical complexity. We begin with the epic 'El Cortejo de un Dia Amarillo'. You have to love the side long vinyl. As the manic drums fade in at the start on side A we are taken by surprise by a freakout orgiastic wash of saxophone, violin, relentless bass lines and a myriad of other sounds, wonderfully juxtaposed into some semblance of order but chaotic enough to keep any metronome swinging wildly. The metrical shapes and percussive patterns are astounding as far as drumming goes and is reminiscent of the type of work from Bill Bruford. There are some angular Fripp like guitar passages, so early King Crimson springs immediately to mind with a strange blend of Soft Machine and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Get the picture? Descriptions cannot do it justice as the music takes on a whole new meaning with each listen and must be experienced and interpreted on a personal level. The side long track is masterfully executed and shifts from light to dark textures, occasionally brutal and disturbing to light and upbeat, truly emotional music. The way the music builds to a crescendo towards the end transfixes on each listen, and then there is an improv section with cold wah wah guitar wailing while a sad tortured violin cries. Simply a wonderful instrumental and one of the best I have heard.

Side B is two songs, rather than instrumentals, that are of accomplished musicianship on every level. Even injecting some vocals into the mix does not detract from the music, in fact the vocals are distant and estranged, a part of the musical soundscape. 'Sueños de Maniqui' begins softly with twinkling piano and quiet vocals. It would sound like a normal song except the time signature is all over the place. The strong guitar crashes in and over the relentless piano motif it whines and howls beautifully. Then the track launches in to a freakout jam with blasts of sax and there is even a flute Jethro Tull style. The guitars are heavier and then suddenly there is an Argentinian break away. The guitar solo is crazy fret melting runs and an out of control violin that fires up demonically. The sound builds higher and higher up the scale and explodes with frenetic high pitched violin over more violin and heart pounding drums. It stops flat maggot dead. The vocals sing again on a slow paced section that lets us catch our breath. After this verse there are staccato stabs of woodwind, flute sax, the lot, then an even more bizarre time sig, till finally the voice sings the last verse. The violin now knifes across the strings as a guitar motif is heard repeating and the choral voices return. Once again the song goes wildly out of control, a psychedelica freakout that finally settles down with a finely crafted sax and it fades. This is the best track on the album and it gets better after each listen. Ferociously original and layered with a plethora of instruments transferred into an emotional resonance unlike anything I have heard. This is how I like my prog; complex, hard to pin down and challenging but totally compelling.

'El Viaje De Anabelas' opens with a choral chant and off kilter violin and sax that compete with each other but seems to be on the same page as far as timing but this feels dark, and the instruments are speaking to each other. The bass line changes the direction, and there is a great sax solo over an incessant violin. The flute adds a beauty and is providing a melody similar to the sax, then the fast paced section sends the rack on another detour. The surprisingly calm vocals chime in, the Argentinian language sounds sad and melancholy, perhaps reflective. The music slows and speeds up at intervals. When the vocals stop for a moment the pace picks up considerably, erratic drumming driving it to a mid section that focuses on violin played with precision. The sax is as good as any I have heard sounding at times like early VDGG. The textures are darker at about 5 minutes into the track, the sombre sax has become angry and the music sounds frustrated as if it wants to burst forth from the speakers like a caged animal. At 7 mins in the Argentine flavour is prevalent and there is a rock beat driving it with a rock vocal, another new thing to savour on this album. At 9 mins there is a sublime violin solo and then a strange saxophone that is jazz oriented. Another great track to enjoy, no doubt about it.

Therefore we have a masterpiece. All killer, no filler and I wish other bands would take a listen to this and learn how to play music. There are so many musical styles it is impossible to name them all but they are here all on one album; jazz fusion, avante garde, zeuhl, folk, psych prog, Argentinian traditional, AOR, and symphonic, among others. The tension created by the musical fusion of jazz and rock is compelling, never dull, and the mesmirising music becomes an entity that wraps itself around you and refuses to let go. It seems that one instrument wants to go off in a new direction but there is always another instrument striving to reign it back in. This tension continues throughout the whole album and you find yourself wanting more after it all ends. Alas, Bubu are history now with one penultimate album but it is quintessential to prog. So dig deep in the prog goldmine and unearth this buried treasure. *****

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#272689)
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Possibly one of most popular South American prog album. And possibly one of their best one.

Just three long compositions filled with strings-arranged symphonic rock. Plenty guitar sounds and other rock attributes are melted with quite symphonic sound of strings instruments. Sound density is high, you will hardly find airy moments on this records.

Many jazz-rock elements (a-la RTF) are presented as well. Melodies are not of the first importance, so compositions aren't cheese or too sweet at all. Some choral singing is added as well.

There are some quite attractive pieces, as violin and flute interplays, etc. Vocal is classic-like, and in fact all sound is something in between of rock-opera and symphonic fusion. Not such sweet or melodic as many RPI works, but obviously has characteristic Latin sound - warm, soft, melodic, classically arranged, with roots in symphonic music.

I believe this album should be very attractive for symphonic prog lovers, as well as for heavily orchestrated instrumental music fans. Strong work from late 70-s.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#273289)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well the present album is not as good as the best works from After Crying for instance (a band with a similar orientation, even though coming from Hungary and being even more versatile than the Argentinian ensemble), but it's anyway very interesting and original too...ok, I don't like the vocalism by Petty Guelache, but it's not their main target: take their experimental side (reminding me of Magma a bit) and that one in the vein of Zappa (mixed all together with King Crimson) and you can understand their personal music path! Eduardo Rogatti at the guitar (with an heavily distorted tone, often replaced by delicate tones) is not so original in his approach, but his support in the economy of the band is important. Otherwise the guitarist is not the main composer here (unlike for instance Mario Neto within Bacamarte); nevertheless you can find some strings and even a tenor sax inside, almost making this work an emulation of the experimental Canterburian albums from the UK, which you can't forget after all, as moreover all these instruments are perfectly "coupled" with the guitar! Despite of finding a few remarkable arrangements here (especially regarding the use of three voices in the vein of Gentle Giant), the output is not convincing me at all, right now. In fact- as you probably already know- I prefer the polyphonic and above all well defined "armonization" of some different voices for example inside the albums "Suffocating the bloom" and "As the world" by Echolyn, being my personal "benchmark"- along with some Gentle Giant and Yes works- before starting to evaluate this specific important aspect within "Anabelas"...and when I listen to the Argentinian BUBU I can't remark such a small defect; but the other features are well defined.

At the end the present work is not essential at all, if you have already collected for example the albums by After Crying (or also by Zappa), Echolyn (especially the only mentioned above albums regarding these latter and some Yes albums), Anglagaard (or also King Crimson) and Magma; but if you don't think of the derivative aspects inside their music you could change idea...perhaps there's one star to add in the final evalution!

Make your own choice!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#278173)
Posted Friday, April 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Organized chaos has rarely sounded so good!

Bubu is just so difficult to categorize, but of course I have to try! There's definitely overlap with Italian prog in terms of instrumentation (flutes, violin, sax, etc), combined with the free-flowing spontaneity of Zappa and Gryphon, with perhaps a bit of Anglagard menace and melancholy thrown in on occasion just for good measure.

There are plenty of good melodies, harmonies, countermelodies and textures, but my favorite aspect of Anabelas involves the interplay between players. The production and mix is more than solid enough to be able to hear each part, and repeated listening offers new insights each time.

My favorite recent observation is the frequent departure between the winds and the rhythm section. Even in quieter parts, the drums and bass simply can't sit back and watch, and so both instruments are always adding intensity and energy throughout. The winds (and violin) often team to form the melodic component, though frequently breaking away individually to improv. However, the guitar wavers back and forth between rhythm, melody, and simply doing his own thing. It's so haphazard that I wouldn't call it countermelody, but somehow it always seems to add to the music, and comes back to the join the other players just in time. Just a very interesting interplay.

The only downside is that the best material occurs on the first tracks (fortunately, this equals about a half hour of solid, condensed prog). The final piece, while housing a killer sinister jam in the middle, is just less intense, creative and interesting than what came before.

Overall Anabelas is a great find for any fan of instrumental prog, particularly prog with a bite. Yet another wonderful find, thanks to ProgArchives!

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#316228)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars I haven't yet discovered the South American prog scene. Besides this album from Argentina, the only other groups from that continent I know are Sepultura and Os Mutantes, both Brazilian. Anabelus was the only album from Bubu, recorded in 1978 but not released until the 1980s. Because of geographical, economic and political reasons, a lot of prog music from outside western Europe/North America never got to be heard by an international audience at the time of recording/release. This album is one of those lost prog gems that has been rediscovered.

It is hard to describe the music here or what to compare it to. Sometimes it can remind one of the Italian prog bands. Even though the lyrics are sung in Spanish, I assume some people could mistake them for Italian. There is no real Latin American influence in the music. Rather, it sounds very European instead. Like many great prog albums there is a nice balance between melody and dissonance, structure and improv here. The music can be both symphonic and jazzy, also rocking at times as well. There are both male and female vocals. There are no keyboards, instead different wind instruments and violin.

The music on the album was composed by Daniel Andreoli, who apparently does not appear here himself. Anabelus is divided up into a side-long epic and two other songs on the flip side. The epic is the best part but the other two tracks are great as well. "El Cortejo de un Dia Amarillo" has random sounds get faded in and then it gets all dissonant and noisy for a bit. Later goes into a nice rock groove with chorused guitar and shortly after violin and sax playing in unison. Tempo picks up and a guitar solo of sorts. Later changes to a part with some intense bass and guitar playing. Further on gets more melodic with some marching drums. Then all of a sudden changes to a section with skronking flute(!), followed by skronking sax.

Gets melodic again before the music gets freer and the instruments kind of wander all over the place. After awhile a steady drum roll with violin, guitar and flute playing repeated lines. Sax joins in playing a melody which the other instruments join. Then wordless harmony vocals. Later gets jazzy with some start/stop playing. Eventually more vocals and acoustic guitar. After awhile gets more rockin' with two overdubbed guitars soloing. Reprises the earlier intense section near the end. A great epic. It flows very well and I like the fact that the vocals don't have any lyrics to them.

"El Viaje de Anabelus" begins with harmonized wordless a capella vocals. Then some symphonic rock. Changes to a more jazzy section. Later some male vocals with great acoustic guitar playing. Then a slightly dissonant jazzy section that features some sax and violin soloing. The music stops and a different section comes in with wordless vocals before getting dissonant again. Afterwards a great part with marching drums as well as melodic violin and sax. Male vocals get responded to by female vocals, which are crazy and make me laugh. Later on some violin soloing with what sounds like volume pedal effects from guitar.. Afterwards some "lo-la" female vox, them a sinister symphonic rock ending.

"Suenos de Maniqui" you can listen to here on PA. I think this is the weakest of the three tracks, but this is still very good. It starts to pick up when the drums arrive. Some rockin' guitar in places. Almost gets punk sounding before getting more jazzy and symphonic. Goes back to the punky part and music gets more dissonant and atonal. In the middle the music stops all of a sudden, then a section with vocals. This part is generally symphonic. Gets jazzier with some start/stop playing. Goes back to the symphonic vocal section. Near the end switches to a repetative section with wordless female vocals. Ends jazzy and dissonant.

Possibly the best prog album recorded in 1978, and definately one of the better prog albums from the late 1970s. Prog never really died it just went underground, back to where it came from. Albums like Anabelus are evidence that prog was still alive when most considered it dead. Fans of RPI and the jazzier albums listed under 'Eclectic Prog' will most likely enjoy this. One of a kind album. 5 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#394098)
Posted Friday, February 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's pretty useless adding praises to an album that has received this amount of 5-star ratings, so I'll just observe some things.

1) As most people here knows, this music was written down before rehearsal, "the old way". So, if parts of this could be described as "ordered chaos", it would be in the sense appliable to any other complex written music, not in the usual jazz/rock sense which implies tight improvisation. In that sense, there's not chaos here. This isn't even half-controlled like, say, The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady. Everything was decided by someone on the tranquil whiteness of a piece of paper.

2) I think my mention of Mingus' work wasn't casual. This is one of those works sustained more by textural than melodic or harmonic development -that is, it builds on the result of interlocking, interdependent elements. There are (almost) no song lines in this kind of thing; when something like that appears, it changes the aspect of the whole. Now I know people who doesn't like The Black Saint because it's "unmelodic", which to a certain extent is true -but arguing around that is like asking why a transatlantic doesn't have the beautiful sails of a wooden brigantine. It just doesn't. At this point, that in itself doesn't seem likely to make anything strange even to the casual listener. This is, in any case, much less dissonant and aggresive than many well-known prog albums (Larks' Tongues In Aspic comes to my mind). If I had to find a "difficult" side, I would say: complex ideas are usually offered in a concise framework; this approach is complex and generous at the same time. But its behaviors and connections are clear, far from accidental or iconoclastic.

3) I see some people complaining about the lack of "South American elements". That brings me two questions: "Which elements are intrinsically SA and which ones are not?" (with its cousin "Are there any elements which could be called intrinsically SA at all?") and... "Why there should be?". Given the fact that jazz and rock music are an international paragraph of North American culture, I understand if NA readers expect any non-central approach to provide certain "stylistic contributions", certain... idiosyncrasy. Now that's a (valid) viewpoint from the narrative of NA history. The fact is: jazz and rock music have long ago greatly surpassed the margins of "an international paragraph of NA culture"; they are important elements of other cultures with their own histories and their own tensions. As much as the US are not cowboys and banjos -even if all that coalesces with other things in the imaginary on which art is fed-, Cairo isn't people wrapped in white cloaks, Buenos Aires certainly isn't thugs in black hats crying their love to absent ladies, and Northern Argentina can't be summarized in sikus, charangos and a colourful poncho. Everywhere, traditions have multiple values and a relation with power; invoking one's people traditions is not a warranty of freedom. I think that would be obvious for any NA thinking of their own culture (the stereotypical folk singer is a picture of conservadurism): any other case is not less complex and has a not less arguable pathway behind.

4) That said, I have to agree about this album not quite representing its context, that is, Argentine 70s prog rock. That's not a charge, of course. In any case, much of that context suffers from its own mediocrity -that way feeding the centralist assumption that they should provide "at least" something "special" to the scene. Invisible, Aquelarre, La Maquina De Hacer Pajaros worked on simpler, more referential (here I mean locally) yet very interesting and beautiful ideas; Arco Iris took an Americanist approach that wasn't, as well, that characteristic of Argentine rock at the time. This album appears then as an isolated effort -which is no surprise, given the way it was conceived.

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Send comments to kamedin (BETA) | Report this review (#401163)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Firstly, I'd like to say thank you ProgArchives for introducing me to this fantastic album! I found this album due to the 'PA Top Seller' banner advertising this album, sometimes found at the top of the webpage. At the time I was very surprised to hear of prog coming from such exotic countries as Argentina! Reading the reviews and listening to some on YouTube, I found the album on Amazon for under £5 and quickly snapped it up.

I have to say, I really wanted to like this album as much as the other fans who have already reviewed it, and I think repetitive listens have got me there. It's not a 'one listen and you're in love' deal at all. It would be rather difficult in any circumstance to immediately fall in love with a 20 minute mammoth of an instrumental with many intricate parts. The aforementioned track, El Cortejo de un Día Amarillo is absolutely wonderful. Writing twenty minutes of continuous instrumental music of such a high calibre must take a musical genius. It is Bubu's tour de force of prog music. Not once in the track is it dull, and more often than not you feel captivated by the music's power or beauty. One of the coolest things about this group is that their music uses a violin, a flute and a saxophone, on top of the standard bass, guitar and drums ensemble. These are probably the three most used 'extra' instruments in prog. About a third of the way in, the three members of the group playing these instruments take it in turn to give a high powered solo. In my mind, this track is flawless, leaving you wanting nothing more (perhaps the second side).

The second side presents us with just two tracks. Although these tracks are not instrumental, the ratio of instrumental to non-instrumental is very high. This is very good news for those who do not understand Spanish.

El Viaje de Anabelas (literally 'The Voyage of Anabelas') is definitely a voyage! This song takes you through so many progressive twists and turns and even through a very rock and roll verse. Much praise can be given to this song, but I must admit I prefer Sueños de Maniquí. Starting with a very dreamy section, this soon becomes an intense instrumental which will have you on the edge of your seat. This is brought swiftly to a halt by a moody sounding verse. While it is the instrumental of this track I particularly enjoy, I must say there is no falt anywhere on the rest of this track, or on this disc for a matter of fact.

The entire thing is packaged in a very proggy gatefold album sleeve, which has artwork worthy of Roger Dean. All in all, there is not a single bad thing I can say about this album. Even the fact that the lyrics are in Spanish is great, because if it were sung in English, you'd know the group were trying to cater to English speaking listeners, whereas prog shouldng be geared to cater to anyone except people who love it. The liner notes suggest that the composer of the music drew heavily from King Crimson, and I have to say that, while elements from '21st Century...' can be heard, the group sound totally original. In fact they sound original, whilst also sounding like everything you love about prog. A true South American gem!

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#416045)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Ok, I will try not to ruin another high eclectic rating here but on the other hand I will have to be honest to everyone (including myself) so it's up to Bubu to prevent me from doing so. I have a feeling Anabelas will be allright in my hands because I actually hear real music in first minutes of the long epic. But alas, also here the eclectic band feels the need to fall into chaotic and distorted passages. What's with those eclectic bands ? Why do they prefer this ? Maybe I need a sort of brainwash to be able to appreciate this kind of music. Bubu at least alternate things with real musical (with melody that is) passages. The long epic is pretty complex with lots of shifts and moods. Some parts are truly mesmerizing and admirable (hence my remark that things will come out fine with this band and album). I feel the music prevails here so that's a big plus at least.

The B-side (Viaje de Anabelas + Sueños de Maniquí) returns more to the dissonant style initially followed by crazy sax and nice guitar. Notice the great bass ! Also here complex music but at least it's music for the greater part. The Viaje song features interesting violin by Sergio Polizzi accompanied by good vocals. Also here some weird passages but again the music comes out on top. Hey, I can live with this stuff, I told you Bubu would be allright in my hands. Challenging music this is and sometimes I even prefer this to real (mainstream melodic) music. And when I do, I will think of this unique output from 1978, this Argentine gem. Recommended for all proggers and ultimately I will be able to squeeze out a four star rating because it's prolific music and simply deserves the 4.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#468555)
Posted Friday, June 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 1978 was a good year for Argentinians. Who could forget Mario Kempes, Ubaldo Fillol, Leopoldo Luque or Daniel Passarella? Never mind that they needed the junta to buy the 6-0 victory against Peru to progress to the World Cup final in football, and to bribe the referee, Sergio Gonella to secure the win against Holland...

However, the greatest Argentinian achievement of 1978 was the release of Bubu's Anabelas. This "band" lasted only this album, which was composed by Daniel Andreoli, who didn't play in the band. He was a fan of Igor Stravinsky and King Crimson, and you can hear that quite easily.

Anabelas comprises three works, of which the first El cortejo de un día amarillo fills the first side of a vinyl. It is a marvelous symphonic piece with umpteen riffs, popping up one after another, and constantly progressing into new ones. There are a couple of style allusions: the first refers to God Save The Queen and the latter to the Rite of Spring, and more precisely to the Augurs of Spring / Dances of the Young Girls. The ability of the instrumental sextet is very good, and especially the violinist Sergio Polizzi works very well. Usually the violin is misused in rock music: it is recorded directly from the bridge with a contact microphone, which makes the sound plastic, dull and even ugly, but here the violin is given sonic space with a high quality recording.

The second side is somewhat less remarkable, but the first piece, El viaje de Anabelas is a fantastic work in two movements. The first opens with a somewhat feral choir, and evolves into another great set of riffs, until there's a short general pause, after which the music turns into wildly swinging rock, where the singer Petty Guelache comes to foreground. The concluding piece, Sueños de maniquí is perhaps the weakest in the album, but it is still a great nine+ minutes of prog with panache.

I recommend this album to anybody. The funny thing is, I find it hard to tell why I feel it only deserves four stars, but let that be four and half. (4.49)

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Send comments to OT Räihälä (BETA) | Report this review (#536402)
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A fantastic album from this Argentine band, Anabelas is best placed in eclectic prog due to the incredible range of influences in evidence on the album. On my most recent listen I caught moments worthy of Van der Graaf Generator, Jimi Hendrix, Family and many more besides - but every time I give it a spin new vistas open up to me. But even better than this is the way Bubu weave all of these sounds into a cohesive whole which is uniquely and absolutely their own - whilst they pay tribute to a whole host of bands, they sound like nobody other than themselves.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#560525)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sagichim
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Bubu???

Kind of a silly name for a band with very sophisticated music. Bubu is one of those lost pearls which have been discovered in the last decade. And the only thing available from them is this album. It's one of the most important recoding to come from argentina, the band is taking some evident influences from prog giants as king crimson, van der graaf and frank zappa. but also include a full band using sax, flute, violin, piano and a composer/arranger, well how can you not, using all those instruments. This had also proved to be working well, the music is put down perfectly every part connect to the next smoothly and there is a feeling of a whole piece instead of a piece which is divided to chapters.

The music has a very wide range of styles fusing eclectic, symphonic, psychedelic, jazz, avant and has some fusion elements. Other than that it has a wide range of moods, from classical sounding to crazy freaky outbursts of madness, and from dissonant to very melodic and easy. The sound is brilliant and very pleasant, again credit is to arranger Daniel Andreoli which made an impressive work along with the musicians. Recording is also very good. Although always pleasant sounding the music have some aggressive parts using distorted guitar lines and fiery solos. The music is well balanced and very smart indicating of some musical education. The fusing of all styles does not cause a total mess, everything is so accurate and well played. The songs are well writen but also improvised, holding a lot of surprises making the music diverse and interesting, which is a hard thing to accomplish.

This is one of those albums that should appeal to you right away and does not need spending so much time to get used to, although being a busy sounding music, you have to spend time to notice all of it. For this exceptional, mature, fun and high standard music i can only give 5 stars.

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Send comments to Sagichim (BETA) | Report this review (#645502)
Posted Sunday, March 04, 2012 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's really a gem!

The music of Bubu is really distinctive even though you might find some elements of other prog bands. I can see the beauty of the music from how excellent the album was composed considering wide talents of various musicians with many types of instruments. The main reason why this is excellent is merely its distinctive style in just three songs in the album - just like Yes "Relayer" or "Close To The EDge" but in another musical category.

I found it hard to enjoy the music at first spin but it then grew on me when I found that the key characteristics of the music are more on compositions that comprise unpredictable flow and style. Do not expect nice melody in this album as you won't definitely find it! That's great thing about prog music - you are not demanded to have nice melody as long as the other four components are good or even great: harmonies, complexities, change of styles and structural integrity. For this only album of Bubu the four components mark high to my musical taste.

For a good start, try spin the first track El Cortejo de un Día Amarillo (19:25) repeatedly. When the track finishes do not continue with the next, just repeat the first track many times until you get all the song subtleties. If you like complex music like eclectic prog, you will find this track enjoyable after you spin three times at minimum. But if you are blown away by the first spin, you have great progressive mind and I admire you! In my case, this first track hooked me after I spun more than three times. Why? I did expect the melody to happen and it did not. I then gave up the melody expectation and tried to enjoy the music AS-IS. Boom! They got me hooked! Why? I really enjoy the movement of segments in the track that happens frequently plus the complexities of the music.

Overall, I really salute this band from Argentina who was successful in creating a music of its own and break out the traditional limitations of prog. I highly recommend you to have this album and enjoy the music as-is - do not expect using song orientated mindset as you will definitely fail. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#752298)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars (9/10)

"Anabelas" is a fantastic one-shot album from Argentinian band Bubu. It will definitely appeal to fans of the approach of Van Der Graaf Generator and particularly early King Crimson, with aggressive heavy saxophone, eclectic use of other instruments such as flute and violin, and songs that move brilliantly between serene melodies and mad chaos, all put together in an a way that somehow works. But there is so much more to it than that, and the sound achieved here is way more than can be expressed by simply listing influences.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the diverse and original sound is probably the size of the lineup. There are at least 8 members, including 3 different Eduardos. That must have got confusing for them! The fact that Bubu also have Daniel Andreoli listed for 'composition and arrangement' gives you a clue as the musical calibre of this record. We have violin, flute, and saxophone, in addition to the standard rock instruments, and all are a treat. Any instrument here is capable of taking an effective lead, or working across another. Everything has it's place, whether it be centre stage, an accompanying back seat, or simply working as part of the unified full-band rush in other parts.

The songs are all long (one song on the first side, and the second side is split into two, similar to the structure of "Close To The Edge"), and there is a lot packed into each of these tracks. Sometimes the parts transition sharply, to stark effect, and sometimes they build skilfully and flow naturally. The epic "El Cortejo De Un Día Amarillio" is a great example of both. It is a song that emerges gradually and then takes you on a real music journey. The variety of instruments is pulled off so well, giving a really full on sound, and a lot of sonic depth. The instruments trade short virtuoso parts without ever getting out of hand. The saxophone is particularly driving, the bass and drums are always catchy and involved, all the lead instruments make significant contributions, there are wordless freaky ethereal female backing vocals as the sound builds (tinges of zehul here), and even a few short blasts of a whistle in there (about 13 minutes in). What a song! The whole piece is tied together with a lot of thought. For me this song represents a wonderful synthesis of an eclectic musical language, combined with grand symphonic ambitions.

There is often a lot going on at any one moment, and so the music requires a few listens to fully appreciate. Despite living within the same sort of sound, both "El Viaje De Anabelas" and "Sueños De Maniquí" manage to offer us further distinctive delights in this manner. The former especially showcases Bubu's ability to move from beautiful symphonic parts, to violent and pretty heavy parts naturally and effortlessly, and gives us more of the intense female vocals. We also get a good amount of singing, in Spanish. When I was reviewing the Finnish band Haikara, I noted that a band singing in it's native language is often a great way to give said band it's own identity, and it bears repeating here. I think this principle is probably especially true in the eclectic prog sub-genre. Here the occasional vocals are a fun addition, and definitely do add to the overall sound.

My Spanish is far too rusty to translate most of what is being sung, but I do know enough to know that "Sueños De Maniquí" means "Dreams of Mannequin", so I'd be willing to bet that the lyrics are a match for the music in terms of weirdness. The song itself is a great piece. A pleasant start with melodic Spanish vocals turns menacing as guitar and bass roll in, followed by flute and saxophone and we are off into a mad charge. It is full band chaos, the same way "21st Century Schizoid Man" did it, but with so many more changes to style and mood. Vocals come in for the second half, and as I mentioned above, are very accomplished. The singer has impressive range and power. In fact, my one criticism of this album is that they probably could have used the singer slightly more. I think I read somewhere that he used to ride a bicycle up to the front of the stage and then start singing, which is pretty bizarre behaviour. It wouldn't surprise me if this was true.

It's a real shame this is Bubu's only offering to the world, because this was a very exciting album, full of ideas, and it seems like this band had so much promise. Perhaps it was the trouble with censorship that the band faced in their homeland of Argentina (and saw the album released many years after recording), or perhaps it was something else entirely. Whatever it was, we missed out, because this album is stunning.

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Send comments to ScorchedFirth (BETA) | Report this review (#815989)
Posted Thursday, September 06, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nope, not the traditional music played by the Temne people of Sierra Leone and not Yogi bear's cartoon sidekick! This is the band from Argentina and one of the most unique sounding bands in all of prog and unfortunately all we got out of them is this one exquisitely performed album titled ANABELAS.

BUBU were masters of taking all of the prog influences that came before ranging from Crimson, Genesis, ELP, Yes, Italian symphonic and countless others and weaving it all together into an amazingly cohesive and satisfying set. I agree with those who refer to this as King Crimson playing with Anglagard might be the closest analogy.

Only 3 long tracks compose this album "El Cortejo De Un Día Amarillo" - The procession of a yellow day. "El Viaje de Anabelas" - The journey of Anabelas "Sueños de Maniquí" - Dreams of a dummy (the kind ventriloquists have)

There seems to be no South American influences like tango or bossa nova. This can be airy or bombastic and doesn't rely on melodic development for the most part. There are occasional lead vocals and haunting choirs but most of all it is complex instrumental interplay between up to eight different instruments including excellent lead guitars and violin.

This is another one of those growers. No way to discern it all on first spin. The more I listen to this the more I love it! A genuine smorgasbord of prog and an absolutely amazing piece of work!

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1084127)
Posted Sunday, December 01, 2013 | Review Permalink

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