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Congreso En Vivo Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 [Aka: Gira al Sur] album cover
3.54 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

Cassette 1
1. Hijo del Sol luminoso
2. Canción de la gira
3*. El cielito de mi pieza
4. Nocturno
5. Primera procesión
6*. Canción de Nkwambe
7. Coco loco
8*. El color de la iguana

Cassette 2
1. Calipso intenso casi azul
2*. Maestranza de noche
3. Los maldadosos
4. Viaje por la cresta del mundo
5. La isla del tesoro
6. Dónde estarás?
7. Vuelta y vuelta
8. Arco Iris de hollín

* - omitted on 2000 CD reissue "Gira al Sur"

Tracks on 2000 "Gira al Sur" CD
1. Hijo del Sol luminoso (6:03)
2. Canción de la gira (5:34)
3. Nocturno (6:38)
4. Primera procesión (3:32)
5. Coco loco (7:12)
6. Calipso intenso casi azul (4:44)
7. Los maldadosos (4:15)
8. Viaje por la cresta del mundo (8:05)
9. La isla del tesoro (5:48)
10. Dónde estarás? (3:53)
11. Vuelta y vuelta (4:45)
12. Arco Iris de hollín (12:31)

Total Time 73:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Sergio "Tilo" González / composer, drums, percussion
- Francisco Sazo / vocals, lyrics
- Hugo Pirovich / flute
- Jaime Vivanco / piano, synthesizers
- Jaime Atenas / soprano & tenor saxophones
- Fernando González / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Jorge Campos / electric bass, double bass
- Ricardo Vivanco / marimba, kat, percussion
- Patricio González / cello

Releases information

Recorded live in 1987

2MC Alerce ALC 579/580 (1987, Chile)

CD Record Runner RR-0290 (2000, Chile, does not contain 4 tracks presented on original 2MC edition, different cover)

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CONGRESO En Vivo Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 [Aka: Gira al Sur] ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CONGRESO En Vivo Vol. 1 / Vol. 2 [Aka: Gira al Sur] reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a legendary Chilean musical company that was founded in 1969, after their eponymous debut album from 1971 they released many records. I own the one CD version that contains 12 tracks but all those tracks are also included on this 2-CD version featuring 16 tracks.

The songs are recorded during Congreso their tour in 1987, to me the music sounds as a progressive blend of folk and rock, at some moments ir reminds me of Hungarian progrock band After Crying. The band features 9 musicians who play a wide range of instruments, from guitar, cello, flute and saxophone to clarinet, marimba, bass, keyboards and ethnic instruments like the charango (between a guitar and mandoline with 5 double strings) and Andean flutes. The climates range from swinging to melancholic and the compositions sound very melodic and harmonic. My highlights are Dónde estarás? (sound of the charango), Los Maldadosos (propulsive and bombastic atmosphere), the long Coco Loco (virtuosic interplay), Vuelta Y Vuelta (wonderful twanging guitar, warm vocals and nice play on percussion, flute and violin) and the epic Arco Iris De Hollín, the most 'close to progrock' composition: a mellow first part with flute, then gradually more fiery with a powerful and dominant saxophone, at some moments it evokes early King Crimson.

When I read that Congreso was added to Prog Archives I was not really thrilled because I am more into vintage keyboard driven bands like Crusis, Blops and Ave Rock but if you like progressive folk music this is a fine band to check out, especially the integration of instruments like the marimba and saxophone sounds interesting. By the way, which Latin-American proghead will add the interesting bands Redd and Vlad V?

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Although coming fairly late in the group's career (87), Gira Al Sur (touring the south, I think) Congreso's first live album, but the track selection is fairly spread out with at least one track from every album except for their forgotten debut. This being my first contact with the band, I'll attack this review in a chronological order, the only way I can think of to discover which albums would be more progressive. At the time of this tour, apparently the group was a nine-man formation (including the three Gonzales brothers and the two Vivanco brothers), which should allow for much variety in their music. Despite the return of singer Francisco Sazo, the group still cgose three instrumental from the period he missed, but it's only fair to the fans of these albums.

So I'll start with the three tracks from their second album Terrá Incognita (from 75), which was probably recorded in Argentina, given its release date and pushed back some time because of their likely exile. Los Maldadosas has a slow but tense intro, before hitting cruising speed with a violin buzzing around. Donde Estaras is much more open "Spaniard-type" folk, but seems to be crowd pleaser, although it's nothing special musically speaking. This song ending leads into a spoken intro over guitar arpeggios of Vuelta Y Vuelta, which at first doesn't seem to enthuse the crowd, until they recognized the poignant words, the track remaining linear, but getting much applause.

The third self-titled album from 77 (the debut was too) is represented with only track, but it's a killer: the 12-mins+ full-blown prog epic Arcos Iris De Hollin with plenty of drama and twists. Hopefully there are plenty of tracks like these hidden in the Congreso studio albums. The following album Viaje Por La Cresta Del Mundo (81) gets the honours of two tracks, the opening Hijo Del Sol Luminoso with its strong fiery lyrics, sax, flutes and a few prog tricks up its sleeves and much later on the Viaje Por la Cresta Del Mundo (trip for the crest of the world) a sombre and difficult trip into the hidden realm of the group with a great cello part and later a superb piano. Grandiose stuff that hopefully much more similar tracks are to be found in the studio albums.

The fifth album Ha Llegado Carta (82) is represented with La Primera Procession, a fairly traditional folk tune ending not so traditionally, while the sixth Pajaros De Arcillas (83) has the Coco Loco track to defend itself, which sounds suspicious and corny, but it's the exact opposite: the group is in a free-form exploration of madness and the group is not joking with this extremely complicated track that could easily be present on a Miriodor album.

The seventh album Parajos De Acilla (84) gets three tracks, Nocturno; Isla Del Tesoro (treasure island) and Calipso Intenso, the former being a beautiful introverted fiery jazz-rock that bites you to the bone, even if the drumming is 80's-ish, while the treasure cove is not quite as promising, starting with rhythm box-type of beat, sounding like Genesis around the "Shapes" album or other 80's pop and the latter Calipso Intenso is you've guessed relatively catastrophic. Strangely enough their then-latest album, 86's Estoy Que Me Muero was also ignored unless Cancion De La Gira belongs to it, but not likely, because it has a few prog twist that suggests its was writing much earlier, maybe a single release.

So from this Live album, it seems quite evident that the fracture time of Congresso finally giving in to 80's musical (mal)practices came between 81and 84,now whether this was brutal or not, I couldn't say , but most likely it wasn't as sudden as most 70's UK groups. Difficult to say that this En Vivo album makes a good intro to Congresso's works, but it sure gave the wish to investigate further, so I'd say: mission accomplished.

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