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ITZIAR

Itziar

Prog Folk


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Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A nice one-off entry in the genre of Basque folk rock. Itziar's music resembes the first Haizea album in that it is more folk rock than prog folk of the sort that Itoiz delved into. The album, which does have a bass/ drums rhythm section, is dominated by chiming guitars, usually nylon string, with touches of electric guitar (even some solos), flute, sax and some background synth. The female lead vocalist mixes traditional singing with some distinct Joni Mitchell influence at times- very pleasant. As on pretty well all Iberian music I've heard, the group vocals as a whole are excellent. Sonically, the Basque folk element is strong, of course, but there is also a resemblance to Beau Dommage's jazzy folk-rock style in Quebec during the same era. If you like Iberian prog folk/folk rock, this album is guaranteed to please.

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Send comments to Heptade (BETA) | Report this review (#118273)
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Sole album from yet another Basque progressive folk group, this one being named after their female lead singer. This sextet presented a duo of guitarist, a flutist and singer Itziar Egileor and managed to sound like The Trees mixed with some of Tull's folkier elements, but a good dose of jazz influences as well. The album came in a superb pastoral and nocturnal gatefold artwork, and on the inside a no-less pastoral drawing of the band and maybe a wink to Genesis' W&W album and was released on the Xoxoa label, and reissued on the inevitable Elkar label in the mid-90's.

Made of nine relatively short but intimate tracks (all under 6 minutes) that are clearly modern folk (allowing itself to search freedom in jazz), where Itziar stay mainly in acoustic mode (but not hesitating to foray in electric realm), with a superb flute (bring in a slight symphonic touch as well), female vocals (often doubled by the bassist), their sole album is a small gem of the Basque culture. If Itziar sound very Fairport-ey (as in English-type of Folk rock, there is the odd Latin influence percolating through the wax of the record: the odd slight Fado, Tarantella and even a touch of Iberian (note to E.T.A., I said Iberian, not Spanish ;-) and of course their Basque touch. As the group starts out with their two longest tracks, they announce the full spectrum of their adventures. Most of the other tracks are more singled-focused (either bordering on jazz, psych rock, semi-medieval (the odd harpsichord bit) or even almost hard rock, while remaining true to their gentle (but not corny or cheesy) folk. Truly a great album to get laid by, and I doubt your girlfriend would say otherwise. There is even a not-too-painful accordion in one track. Too short a record, though!!

One of the things I would've done is to place the first two (longer) tracks at the end of the album or at least one on each side of the vinyl. Because here, they seem to spend all of their trump cards a bit too early, but luckily their hand is close to a full house or a royal flush. One of the best Basque gems around with really only Haizea's second or Itoiz

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#127678)
Posted Friday, July 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Another entry in the long list of Basque Folk-based bands, this group was formed around female singer Itziar Egileor and apparently was named after her.They had a six-piece line-up with Alex Zabala on guitar, Eduardo Bazterra on bass, Mikel Prieto on guitar/synthesizer, Joseba Erkiaga on flute/saxophone and Javi Robador on drums, while specific members offered background vocals as well.Their only self-titled album comes from 1978, released on the neverending supporter of Basque bands, the Xoxoa label.

Itziar seem to walk on the thin line between pure Folk groups of the area and the more progressive acts like ITOIZ, performing music strongly surrounded by the local tradition but having also some of the complexity of Progressive Rock.The basic components here are Itziar's angelic vocals, the mellow acoustic guitars changing colors with the soft electric moves, the ethereal Psych/Folk orientations and the discreet presence of flutes and saxes.A few tracks appear to follow a more conventional Psych/Folk sound, always led by the crystalline singing of Itziar and a decent acoustic background with guitars and flute in evidence.But most of the pieces contain light electric moves, smooth interplays between guitar and flute and a pair of them sound a bit richer due to the use of keyboards.Even if the instrumental parts are rather limited, the album holds enough interest till the end, offering some nice melodic soundscapes, an attractive, archaic enviroment and some great vocal harmonies.Needless to mention the longer tracks are also the more suitable to the tastes of a Prog Rock fan with the omnipresent, delicate flutes, the electroacoustic moves and the light symphonic vibes thrown in.

Apparently the band was short-lived with Javi Robador joining Enbor the same year, while Joseba Erkiaga was already a stable member of Itoiz.Itziar Egileor also contributed vocals in Itoiz'es second album ''Ezekiel''.

Cool and relaxing Basque Prog Folk with some light psych, symphonic and even jazzy underlines.Beautiful melodies, fine female vocals but less energy compared to other local bands.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1236562)
Posted Wednesday, August 06, 2014 | Review Permalink

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