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Arco Iris

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Arco Iris Agitor Lucens V album cover
4.31 | 70 ratings | 6 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (36:53)
1. Intro (La Divina Madre) (5:14)
2. Lucero Andino (3:29)
3. Vientos Celestiales (3:45)
4. Bas-Bus / Si El Señor Me Dio Estas Manos (4:23)
5. Bas-Bus (0:40)
6. Principe Del Alba (Aurora Boreal) (4:56)
7. Las Luces Eternas (14:26)

Disc 2 (49:54)
8. El Regreso Del Pajaro Dorado (6:42)
9. La Nave Madre (3:14)
10. El Arcangel Miguel (2:13)
11. Agitor (1:10)
12. Sendero De Marcahuasi (4:38)
13. Paraiso Sideral (6:10)
14. Un Tiempo Y Tiempos Y La Mitad De Un Tiempo (7:25)
15. Lucens V (4:14)
16. Las Huestes De Orion (6:53)
17. Salmo a Cristo (El Sublime Peregrino) (7:15)

Total Time 86:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Gustavo Santaolalla / acoustic & electric guitars, charango, voice, composer
- Ara Tokatlian / flute, alto, tenor & soprano saxophones, organ, quenas, clarion, voice
- Guillermo Bordarampé / bass, double bass, voice
- Horacio Gianello / drums, percussion, voice

- Héctor Zeoli / church organ (Basilica del Santisimo Rosario) (17)

Releases information

Artwork: Juan Carlos López

2LP Music Hall - 60-14147 (1975, Argentina)

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ARCO IRIS Agitor Lucens V ratings distribution

(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ARCO IRIS Agitor Lucens V reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
4 stars Arco Iris was an Argentinian group that started off as a psych band before falling under the influence of Dana, a female guru, who they continued to follow for thirty years. They went on to a long career in prog before eventually relocating to the U.S. to do more of a traditional Andean folk thing. This ambitious double album from 1975 is certainly one of the better South American prog albums I've heard, which is saying a lot. It appears to have a concept about aliens visiting ancient South Americans. Arco Iris's sound, like Los Jaivas, has a lot of Andean folk influences, though not to the same extent. There is also a pronounced jazz rock edge to the more up-tempo pieces and an occasional Floydian spaciness. A double album was not always the best idea for prog groups, which often lost focus over 80+ minutes, but in this case it allowed the band to stretch out without getting too boring. The songs vary from delicate acoustic pieces to the aforementioned sax-driven jazzy numbers. The quality of musicianship is very impressive, particularly in the guitar department. The band was also very strong vocally. Though the album occasionally slips into a less interesting and more typical jammy organ-driven 70s prog sound, it is rescued from the mundane by the disarming South American folk melodies in the acoustic pieces. Anyone into Los Jaivas or South American 70s prog in general will really enjoy this record. The band did another concept album, Sudamérica, which I haven't been able to find yet, but is no doubt of a similar quality.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In 1974, Arco Iris released their magnum opus "Agitor Lucens V", a double concept-album regarding a cosmic-oriented appreciation of the nuclear origins of South American culture. Since its inception, the band had been clearly focused on the delivery of a solid, experimental rock fusion, which eventually would lead them to the progressive area: "Agitor Lucens" is the manifestation of this musical metamorphosis. This album turned out to be a real pioneering cornerstone in the introduction of prog in Argentina, and it's simply great that this seminal phase of Argentine art-rock should be catapulted by such a mature album - definitely, Arco Iris was a league on their own. Ara Tokatlián enhances his versatile input with a more increased use of keyboards, mostly on the psychedelic side of things, together with his ever growing arsenal of saxes, flutes and folk woodwinds, while the rhythm duo displays a more varied set of structures and frameworks as the repertoire progresses on. This was the last album with co-funding guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla and drummer Horacio Gianello in the band, was premiered in a performance heavily aided with visual ornaments. The opener 'Intro - La Nave Madre' is an epic prologue in which the soaring guitar lines and the organ layers create an eerie mood accompanied by languid ornaments on bass and drumkit: something like a more lyrical version of "Ummagumma"-era PF's excursions. 'Lucero Andino' is a beautiful acoustic piece that sets a nice contemplative mood before the following three tracks go to more experimental places: 'Vientos Celestiales' is an instrumental mysterious prelude to the colorful set of motifs contained in 'Bas Bus - Si el Señor Me Dio Estas Manos' and 'Bas Bus', in which the band alternates frantic jazz-rock and fusion with seamless fluidity. 'Príncipe del Alba' brings back another moment of bucolic introspectiveness in a folkish scheme, something quite pertinent before the 14 minute track 'Las Luces Eternas'. This number sounds pretty much like early Caravan refurbished with blues-rock tones: the sense of energy is properly complemented by a touch of class that prevents the musicians from going too wild on their well-ordained jams. Tokatlián's sax solos are awesome, and so are his organ harmonies, which at some point lead him to attempt a Thijs-van-Leer-like solo, although it is not as much a solo as it is a complex resolution of the preceding progressing harmonies; at some point, bassist Guillermo Bordarampé brings some effective responses to the organ phrasings. The band won't take too long after the sax dominated section to take advantage of the track's tempo and turn it into a more Creole thing, clearly inspired by the cadence of malambo (a typical dance from the pampas): this is where Santaolalla takes action and assumes a starring role with a mesmeric set of highly articulated lead phrases, very Santaolalla, indeed. The dramatic closing portion finds Santaolalla incorporating some unmistakable touches of Gilmour and Hendrix in the twist of his guitar lead while the other three members create a slow, bombastic sonic landscape. 'El Regreso del Pájaro Dorado' takes the jazz thing further than on any preceding track: it features a ritualistic percussive quartet in the last part, really acid, and also you can notice that Santaolalla feels particularly inspired by Zappa on this one. 'La Nave Madre' finds the band returning to the Canterbury thing, a factor that they handle with added candor under their own vision. The sequence of 'El Arcángel Miguel', 'Agitor' and 'Sendero de Marcahuasi' shows a chain of fusion folk elements delivered in a stylish way. 'Paraíso Sideral' is a slow psychedelic rocker that bears a mesmerizing meditative atmosphere all the way through toward the end, which is when a military snare seems to announce that something big is about to happen. And big is what is displayed in this work's last quarter, arguably the best side of the double vinyl. 'Un Tiempo y Tiempos y La Mitad de un Tiempo' is a catchy prog-jazz excursion (something like a Canterbury-meets-Weather Report kind of thing) that comprises varying moods and tempos, as well as an electrifying drum solo, in its 7 ½ minute span. Meanwhile, the 18 ½ minute three part suite titled 'Lucens V' closes down the album with flying colours. Part I is introverted and dense, a piece whose foggy ambience is mostly built on the Spartan chords on acoustic guitar. Part II mixes the edge of psychedelic jazz- rock and the natural sensuality of Latin American fusion, including an ad-lib battle between sax and percussion in a particularly exploratory middle section. Part III kicks off immediately after the previous Part's closing thunder, with a set of demented pipe organ layers that stand somewhere between the cosmic and the creepy, with Tokatlián out-Wrighting Wright (of PF). When a more academic mood is set, the ambiance shifts into a sort of medieval liturgy, an impression enhanced by the emergence of a beautiful solo chanting. This ceremonious ending serves as a very pertinent spiritual epilogue for such a very spirit-inflicted album: "Agitor Lucens V" is a pioneering masterpiece that should embellish every decent progressive collection.

(I dedicate this review to Pablo Wally, with my deepest appreciation)

Review by silvertree
5 stars Wow. I had never heard of this band before until Progarchives and my curiosity led me to discover them. If you check out my reviews, I try to review bands that don't have any or very few. Arco Iris must be recognised as one of the top 10 progressive bands of all time. That's right, you've read correctly. Agitor Lucens V is a double album that is as important as Genesis's Lamb or Yes's Close to the Edge. The music is less symphonic and much more on the folk side. Don't try to find influences from the major bands at the time because you won't. These guys and girl play & sing with a lot of feeling. What is more, harmonies are very strong but not like Crosby, Stills & Nash. They sometimes (but very occasionally) make me think of Pink Floyd' Meddle. Arco Iris is definitely a band whose major albums, including this one, must be found alongside the other "big ones" in any serious prog music collection. I'm giving them 5 stars. I've fallen in love with the music !
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars ARCO IRIS were a band from Argentina who released at least three really good albums in the seventies including this double concept album from 1974. The music here is certainly varied with Jazz, Psychedelic, Symphonic and Folk being touched on. Unfortunately my copy isn't legit which I didn't know when I picked it up from an on-line vendor. Apparently this hasn't been released on cd and the recording I have features the track listing from the vinyl re-issue from 1975 but they somehow cut out about 15 minutes of music. So I'm not really impressed with how unprofessional my issue is but the music is another story.

"La Divina Madre" has some powerful organ to start as the guitar begins to solo tastefully over top. It calms right down after 2 1/2 minutes as the organ stops but it will return late. "La Morada De Los Dioses" has this relaxed beat with strummed guitar and laid back vocals which are in Spanish(and throughout this recording). I really like this song. "En Las Cumbres" is really something with that atmosphere, bass and picked guitar. The vocal melodies 2 minutes in are deep and add so much here. Percussion too. "Bas Bus" is a short uptempo horn led piece. "Si El Senor" continues with the horn driven music but we get vocals this time. Harmonica to the fore then vocal melodies before the sax and vocals return. "Bas Bus" is a reprise with some huge bass lines this time. "Aurora Boreal" is a folky track with reserved vocals. "Las Luces Eteras" is led by vocals and organ with some harmonies as well. Relaxed sax after 3 minutes during the instrumental section that will continue for over 10 minutes! Check out the guitar solo that seems to never end even when you think it has(haha). It starts 7 1/2 minutes in and man he lights it up at times. So good! "El Regreso Del Pajaro Dorado" is so impressive with the organ and guitar taking the spotlight.

"La Nave Madre" has a good beat with prominent bass as the flute starts to play over top. Some flashy keyboards will come and go as themes are repeated. "El Arcangel Miguel" has male vocal melodies in a relaxed and sparse soundscape. Some haunting vocal melodies follow which is so cool. It brightens though late to end it with multi-vocal melodies. "Agitor" is a slow paced piece with floating organ, cymbals, picked guitar and more. "Sendero De Marcahuasi" has what sounds like mandolin, bass and a beat as the vocals join in. Flute a minute in as the vocals stop but they return as contrasts continue. Sax then leads and it turns dissonant at times. Nice. I'm not sure about the song titles of the last three songs on my copy but the next song features a dark mood with bass, atmosphere and more. Vocals before a minute as it brightens some and the contrasts will continue. Great track! The next tune has upfront drumming and plenty of guitar before the tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. The synths that follow are so uplifting. The final tune is really dominated at times by the sax and it does get dissonant. Some laughter and crazy vocal expressions 5 minutes in.

An album I really enjoy despite the issues I have with my copy. Some consistently good music that brought early FLOYD to mind more than anyone else, although as I mentioned earlier the music is quite varied.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Arco Iris were, along with Los Jaivas, pioneers of an international scene of South American rock musicians that drew on the heritage of the Andes to inform their work. The scene would blend psychedelic, traditional folk, and prog influences into a volatile mixture, and on this double album the formula turns out to be outright explosive, with some jazz-rock influences creeping in here and there of a Canterbury/Zappa sort of flavour.

The star player here is Gustavo Santaolalla, frontman and main guitarist of the group, though sax-master Ara Tokatlian deserves credit too. As it stands, this would be their last major collaboration under the Arco Iris name; following the completion of this album Gustavo, tiring of the strict demands of the mystical commune Arco Iris lived in (led by their muse Dana), would exit the band. Further departures would follow, and in the long run this would lead to Ara and Dana relocating to the US and taking the group in a New Age/jazz fusion direction.

As it stands, then, Agitor Lucens V finds the original form of Arco Iris at its peak of development.

Latest members reviews

5 stars At 53 years old, I have been a long time prog music listener and collector since last 40 , a huge amount of prog, psych, folk reached my heart and ears, that being said I want to tell you Agitor Lucens V is one of my top ten all time favourite albums. I Will let others make cerebral descriptions ... (read more)

Report this review (#1494131) | Posted by Awaken 6am | Sunday, November 29, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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