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Janos Várga Project

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Janos Várga Project Elixir album cover
4.45 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. India (5:20)
2. Eldorado (5:26)
3. Rozsak a Folyon (6:28)
4. Kelet-Nyugat Expressz (5:05)
5. Tisztelet a Mesternek (6:00)
6. Karavanszeraj (4:56)
7. Korbe es Korbe (6:51)
8. Pentaton Attak (4:48)
9. A Helyes Ut (6:32)
10. Megvalosult Alom (7:17)
11. Vallomas (5:04)

Total Time 63:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Janos Varga / guitars, guitar-synthesizer, bass, percussion programs
- Zsolt Nagy / keyboards
- Istvan Kiraly / drums
- Janos Varga Jr. / drums
- Gyorgy Ferenczi / violin

Releases information

CD Periferic Records , with assistance from OKM - Hungarian Cultural Ministry (2009)

Thanks to tszirmay for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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JANOS VÁRGA PROJECT Elixir ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Hungary's legendary guitarist János Varga (ex-East) continues his interstellar voyage with his latest release, having made a profound impression after his first 2 "Wings of Revelation" albums and a DVD release to boot. For those of you who remain unfamiliar with this superlative musician, shame on you! In fact, any serious guitarist should hungrily (no pun intended) examine the talents displayed on all his albums, "Elixir" being the latest breathtaking chapter in his storied career. Master of all stringed instruments , Janos arrays guitar-synths, acoustic, electric and bass guitars with rare composure , abetted by longtime East colleague István Király on drums and Zsolt Nagy on keys. As an added bonus, we find János Varga Jr on occasional drums and the amazing György Ferenczi on frenzied violin as a major guest soloist. This last instrument is a most welcome invitation as it conjures images of Mahavishnu Orchestra but in a spacier, jamfest way. The guitarist also handles a percussion computer program that sounds totally organic and liberally flavors all tracks with slick percussives, giving the drummers a lead rhythmic role that is dynamic at all times. With aromatic fusionesque titles such as "India", "East-West Express", "Caravanserai" and "El Dorado", one gets the immediate impression of luxuriant adventure, deep sonic voyages that transcend the ordinary routine which is the true essence of prog anyway. Varga's guitar style is an original hybrid of such heralded masters as Hillage, Hackett, Wynne, Akkerman, Latimer and MacLaughlin with a little Billy Gibbons tossed in for good ZZ Top measure. "India" hints at oriental spices, a modern, bouncy exercise that immediately showcases the tremendous controlled fury the man seems to peel off at random, with the celestial violin serenading the pathway to "the Emerald Beyond". The multiple and yet brief solos are all exhilarating, trading spotlights as if competing for some yet unheard nirvana. "El Dorado" is just slightly less frantic, distilling strong impressions of a once great Empire, rich Andean weavings that chill the soul, the violin ornamenting once again the proceedings. The 2 soloists waste little time in dueling madly, as if fueled by the "high" altitude. The third track, "Roses on the River" (I am translating from Hungarian) is where János gets to showcase first his acoustic talents as a platform for a monster , bluesy electric solo that will knock your socks off, all control and passion, candied with some unabashed romanticism (after all, we are dealing with Hungarians!). A rueful organ demonstration only adds some paprika to the sauce. The slick "East-West Express" is a rumbling travelogue, chugging along with a searing determination, a panoramic/cinematographic musical trip highlighted by a guitar locomotive that refuses to rest, tortuous, unrelenting, evocative and adventurous. "Respect for the Master" is a bold guitar-led proclamation recalling the classic epic themes from Western movies (a serious passion in Europe, by the way), where Varga simply shreds and rips like some mad gunslinger gone bananas, Ennio meets Jimi meets Carlos in some prog corral showdown. Here Varga really does hint at Gibbons as the rhythmic work is as delirious as the breakneck leads. "Caravanserai" evidently summons nomadic impressions, heavy on the rhythmic pulse of the desert, the guitar whirling under the torrid sun, parched fingers searching for some refreshing oasis and perhaps a little shady respite from the heat. János shows that restraint can be an expressive tool and the elegant acoustic guitar phrasings serve its purpose very well. Again, I must mention the brilliant programmed percussion that lays down a sonic tapestry that underlines the brooding temper of the sand dunes. "Round and Round" is a loopy affair, circular themes both rhythmically and within the soloing create a dizzying atmosphere, veering into some serious space prog, not amiss with the Gong/Mahavishnu/Ashra template, a style that rekindles previous efforts in the "Wings of Revelation" series. The guitar playing is blistering as expected; the man can play with the best anywhere. A neat Nagy synth solo only adds further deep galactic dimension to the score and the extraterrestrial violin also takes its share of the universe. "Pentaton Attak" is another typical foray into astral space rock, slithering violin and intrepid guitar conspiring to expand the sonic universe, dueling for attention and respect with little restraint or cute formalities. Varga solos with deft aplomb, bluesy one second and frenzied the next, while Ferenczi seesaws unforgiving and defiant. "The Proper Road" is closer to recent guitar adventures by Dutch band Odyssice, a guitar-led masterstroke that rekindles the lyrical spirit of Andy Latimer, oodles of expression and feeling emanating from the pickups, massive flights that sear the skies, soaring majestically as if inspired by the music gods. "Materialized Sleep" is the longest track here, clocking in a 7+ minutes, a slight hint of the famed Shaft them before delving into a dripping bluesy expanse that blooms slowly into a raging affair where scintillating wah-wah drenched lightning bolts and crispy crunching riffs contrast and collide with the spectral pools of serene calm. "Avowal" is the "viszont látás"(see you soon) for this accomplished recording, a soothing Santana-esque salute to the muses, a drop dead gorgeous melody played out on the now sweaty fretboard, a clear and present tribute to a sharp musical mind still scouring the depths of progressive rock music. Not a single weak track or filler here, a total aural orgy. As far as instrumental prog goes, this new offering as well as his past catalogue are a must have for any serious music fan. 5 genial tonics

Latest members reviews

4 stars HUNGARIAN PROG : Part One Janos Varga is the founding member and guitar player of the legendary Hungarian progrock formation East that made several albums in the first part of the Ei ... (read more)

Report this review (#2037740) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Sunday, September 23, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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