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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt) - Svět Hledačů CD (album) cover


Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt)

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars ME's last album Svet Hledacu of the decade is in some ways one of their most "prog", it was to signal the end of the Czech's most brilliant group, even if the following 33 album still has some moments. By this time bassist Freso has left ME, replaced by the returning Semelka, adding a second keyboard player, leaving the bass guitar spot empty. Oddly enough, while the 73 album and most of Svetanie were largely instrumental, Svet Hledacu has extended vocal tracks, with both keyboardist sharing vocal duties, and even odder, they both sound quite alike: it's quite hard to tell which voice belongs to which singer.

From the lengthy opener Za Krokem Zen, one can say that ME had heard of Grobschnitt's Solar Music live concept. Indeed an interesting track, a bit in the musical line of their previous Svetanie album, but nothing spell-binding past the Grobschnitt allusions. Hledám Své Vlastní is a keyboard-led track that hovers between Eloy and Yes. Closing the first side is Rajky probably the most complex of the album and has a definite Yes twist to it, but again vocally this is a cross of Ian Gillan meeting with Jon Anderson.

The flipside starts on the Zmoudření Babím Létem, a great and furious track that even Crimson clone like Anekdoten couldn't possibly match in terms of energy and is possibly my fave on the album with the opening Krokem track. Again the strong Eloy tendency resurfaces on this track. The 12-min scorcher Zázrak Jedné Noci is another excellent mini-epic, especially in its use of heavy/minor scale passages and its alternance between spacey/jazzy stretches and more symphonic lines ala Yes (especially in Hladic's Steve Howe-inspired lap steel guitar solos).

As with Freso leaving ME to refound CM and later Fermata prior to this album, Vesely would leave the group to reform Synkopy, the album comes with a bunch of later non-albums single releases, obviously shorter (due to the format), all sung as well and recorded after Veseny's departure. The six bonus tracks included are not much added value to the original album, sounding like typical AOR of the late 70's with an Italian vocal delivery, with the lengthier Fotka being the best of the lot, but not coming to the waist-height of the lesser original album tracks. Nevertheless, beside these slight drawbacks, Svet Hledacu is very much in the ME trio of "must- discover" lists, even being at moments better than Svetanie, but unfortunately ruined by the unwise choice of bonuses.

Report this review (#148308)
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is without doubt the strongest Modry Efekt album. It's a lot spacier than everything else they've put together. It lacks the jazz/fusion sound that was prevalent on the previous albums, instead being straightahead symphonic/space rock. The vocals are an acquired taste, but they don't bring the atmosphere down.
Report this review (#152212)
Posted Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Even if as some say jazz fusion lacks here(I'm the first to regret it)I rapidly managed to find stuff to enjoy and what a stuff!The whole album(except appalling bonus tracks in the same vein as Depeche Mode)is pure symphonic progressive music with a cosmic vibe.Moreover to me it advocates for freedom because it's too sensitive and progressive for propaganda(vocals are simply outstanding) and no censorship can stop Radim Hadlik's guitar.Keyboards by Lesek Semelka and Oldritch Vesely are really fine too alongside Vlado Cech steady drumming.Tracks 4 and 5 really are my favourite. I don't see any shortcomings moreover it was recorded at a time when prog masters such as Yes were releasing crap and prog in general was seen as easy listening music or music deprived of feelings. Check this out!
Report this review (#164841)
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was BLUE EFFECT's most Symphonic record and there's lots of vocals as well. This didn't sit that well with the Jazz / Fusion fans who prefered their earlier sound, but Prog fans for the most part were quite pleased with this offering. The bass player left to be replaced by a second keyboard player. I really like the synths in this one because they bring lots of atmosphere to the table.

"Za Krokem Zen" opens with the organ floating in before the band kicks in quickly. It settles 2 minutes in. Vocals before 3 1/2 minutes in as the organ floats back in. It kicks back in again. The drums dominate 5 1/2 minutes in then it settles again. I like the synths that follow. It kicks back in before 8 1/2 minutes with guitar. Nice. Vocals are back before 10 minutes. Great tune. "Hledam Sve Vlastni Ja" opens with piano and atmosphere. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. A great sounding melancholic tune.

"Rajky" opens with drums and a fairly heavy sound. Clavinet follows then it settles 2 minutes in. It picks back up and vocals arrive before 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar solos as drums pound before 5 minutes.Vocals are back. Excellent track. "Zmoudreni Babim Letem" has a good heavy intro with some killer organ. The guitar joins in too. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes as reserved vocals join in. I really like the synths too. It picks up some 5 minutes in. Guitar 6 1/2 minutes. Incredible ! "Zazrak Jedne Noci" opens in a mellow way with reserved vocals before it kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Contrasts continue. The song stops 6 minutes in then builds with drums and synths. Cool sound as the guitar also joins in. This reminds me of PINK FLOYD.

I like this better than the previous album. A very solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#291082)
Posted Monday, July 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Modry Efekt was one of the leading progressive rock bands not only from Czechoslovakia in the '70 but aswell from enntire eastern Europe. In 1979 they released what was and still is one of the best progressive rock albums of all times - Svet Hledacu ? World of Searchers. This album is really a masterpice, is a turbulent album where each musician shines, specially the head of the band and one of the most inventive guitarist I've ever came across Radim Hladík, absolutly stunning guitar player. So, to my ears this is heavy prog with some spacey moments added in the mix like on opening track, amazing combination that goes very well in the end, the guitar, keyboards and the voice is brilliant. Less jazzy then previous works, this album has it all, from odd tempo changes, very solid guitar chops, long complicated passages where everything is well done, compose and performed. Every piece is a winner for sure, not a second of weakness here, the beautiful Hledám své vlastní já, the crimsonesque atmosphere on Zázrak jedné noci and Rajky with powerfull and energic playing make from this album a tresure. I was hit like a train when I heared this album few years ago, and now after some spining is no diffrent, one of the best album in my collction and one of my fav aswell. The musicianship is top notch, the arrangements and al aswell excellent. The Cd re issue by Bonton is ok, with 6 bonus tracks that are far less great then original album. 5 stars easy, highly recommended and for sure one of the hidden treasures of prog rock from Eastern Europe and among the most captivating albums from late '70s, a must have album for sure..
Report this review (#846108)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here's the third album by Modry Efekt I've plunged myself into and yet again I am amazed at how progressive this band was. Not only progressive in the sense that their genre is prog but just how progressive they were when it comes to develop and expand their musical formula. If the album "Modry Efekt & Radim Hladik" was more in the vein of jazz rock, "Svitanie" all the more symphonic than this album goes all the way, being a totally symphonic and progressive rock album, void of the bluesier sounds of the past. The earthiness of "Svitanie" is gone, as is much of the jazz rock of Modry efekt & Radim Hladik", albeit the fusion parts remain, but the symphonic aspects of "Svitanie" is there, as I wrote slightly earlier, in all it's glory, refined and developed to satisfaction.

The opener "Za krokem zen" is my favorite. Amazing symphonic stuff, well played and constructed. The slowed down outro is for me brilliance on a plate (or disc). Utterly brilliant piece of music. The remainder of the tracks are equally impressive, combining melody with progressive complexity and inspiration. There are heavy parts, spacey parts, beuatiful parts and everything else you ever could wish for in a symphonic band's output. The vocals can be a bit challenging but do not let that scare you. In the end you will grow accustomed to the singer, I think. He is a bit strained but at least he is in tune.

The album is compared to other great albums of the genre totally in par with the competition. It is simply a fantastic album to explore and grow to love. And do listen to "Za krokem zen" and the version recorded by the band for television in 1976. It can be found on Youtube and is really a treat to hear the version from three years before this album came out.

Report this review (#936928)
Posted Saturday, March 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Blue Effect (as I prefer to think of Modry Efekt, seeing how that's what the band wanted to call themselves until the Czechoslovakian authorities took exception to what they saw as undue capitalist influences) play an intriguing style of mellow, jazzy progressive rock on Svět Hledačů. With not just one but two band members (Lesek Semelka and Oldřich Veselý) on keyboards, the band are able to generate a shimmering, synth-drenched soundscape as a backing for the adept guitar playing of Radim Hladík. Working from a hybrid of King Crimson, the jazzier end of Canterbury, and perhaps the most experimental portions of Relayer-period Yes, the Blue Effect is a very fine effect indeed.
Report this review (#959448)
Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars How I've said in my 2 previous reviews about MODRY EFFEKT albums, while "Modry Effekt & Radim Hladik" is more fit in Prog Fusion category and "Svetanie' shows a more symphonic progressive rock approaching, "Svet Hiedacu" is their album more close of a Heavy-Prog style. In spite track 2 "Hledám své vlastní já" is totally played in keyboards, the album is full of incridible heavy guitars riffs ( or something like this), starting at the first track "Za krokem zen" which a very interesting guitar " flanger effect phrase" which appears for the first time in the track about 1 min 10 sec and returns in other moments ( one of the most detachable moments of whole album) but not only. Another of this moments be in track 3 "Rajky" is a passage in "Fugue" style in their initial part starting 1 min 19 secs played by guitar and keyboards ( simulating a bass / guitar duet ), In track 4 "Zmoudrení babím létem" the overture is fantastic and the middle section brings a beautiful ballad whitt electric and acoustic guitars with a "sumptuous" mellotron accompaniment. The last track shows a almost melancholic main theme with a intermission with guitar/keyboard/drums "explosive" space-rock part and return to the main theme with incredible vocals. In my humble opinion ( like "Svietanie" ) a perfect album . My rate is obviously 5 stars !!!!
Report this review (#1592584)
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars Blue Effect reached their compositional and instrumental peak and the artistic symbiose on this masterpiece of progressive rock. In support of a missing bass player, there are two talented keyboard players who create a multi-layer sound with a multitude of keyboards. The guitar being edgy, acoustic, mellow and symphonic, Radim was a man of several guitar faces. Vocals are provided by the two keyboard players and sometimes indistinguishable.

King Crimson and Yes come to the mind, however B.E. were already since long time having their own sound. Best moments are when all instruments play. There are no self-indulgent moments, everything including soloing has its place. No other album, apart from 33, is so well balanced with layers, soloing and "improvisation".

The first track may be the most representative one on the album with mature mood set. "Hledám své vlastní já" is a keyboard-based ballad-style piece.

"Rajky" is an incredible track with astounding complexity, sequence of chords and continuing development. What a symphony of keyboards and progressive guitar! Some King Crimson inspired moments appear here. Anxious vocals only kick in after the first 3 minutes. Guitar exhibition later is mesmerizing. Drums have a special place in the mix and add more colours.

The next track, "Zmoudření babím létem", has a great dark symphonic motive before calming down into a mellow electric piano and synth territory, then comes an organ a la early Banks and a mid-70's disco beat with complex fill-ins, however the guitar storm and another drummer pattern are pulled out to astonish the listener even more. Another excellent number.

The last triumphant track is another ouverture of surprising chord sequences and instrumental layers although less dynamic than on the previous two tracks. We are graced by a drum/guitar experimental solo before changing to a keyboard led symphonic section with the known motive.

A very high quality album, indeed and excellent one to start with for this band.

Report this review (#2286097)
Posted Sunday, December 8, 2019 | Review Permalink

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