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MIA Transparencias album cover
3.96 | 89 ratings | 8 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Reencontrando el Camino (2:42)
2. El Casamiento De Alicia (7:28)
a) Las desventuras de Mæse Restifa
b) Tema de Elgar "Pompa y circunstancia
c) La trompada
3. Imagen II (Including Prelude No. 1 by J.S. Bach) (3:14)
4. Contrapunto Ritmico (6:30)
5. Transparencias (20:10)

Total Time: 40:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Nono Belvis / bass, vocals (5)
- Daniel Curto / acoustic guitar (3)
- Juan Del Barrio / piano (1-5), drums (2), organ (4), viboretta (5)
- Liliana Vitale / flute (2-5), percussion (2), drums, vocals (5)
- Lito Vitale / drums (1-4), synths (2), keyboards (2-3-5), flute (5), vocals (5)

Releases information

Cd. Belle Antique 9476 (1994)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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MIA Transparencias ratings distribution

(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MIA Transparencias reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
5 stars Beside Crucis, Espíritu and La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros, MIA had the authentic progressive rock sound in the Argentinian 70's background. Really, MIA was more than a rock band: it was an independent project with many musicians participating in, doing their own productions and conforming an ensemble clasically oriented. We can see Lito Vitale in the line-up, who played keyboards in MIA when he was only 12 years old (actually, Vitale is a very well known keyboardist in Argentina, with a lot of non progressive but very good folk albums). "Transparencias", the first MIA performance, is a very enjoyable effort with many classical touches, complex arrangements, essentially instrumental. We can detect classical musicians and great prog bands influences, while the sound continues appearing fresh and original. One of the greatest albums of Latinamerica prog music. Some cd editions includes, like bonus track, a Vitale live piano concert.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars M.I.A. was the first band in the Argentinean rock circle to pursue an integrally independent procedure for the dissemination of their musical art among potential audiences eager to hear and enjoy an eclectic, experimental approach to rock music, i.e., what we usually label as progressive rock. Released in 1976 in a homemade album package, "Transparencias" is this ensemble's first statement, and the only one with the two keyboardsmen Lito Vitale and Juan del Barrio sharing and/or alternating role on the keys and drum kit. While not as perfectly crafted as the band' third effort "Cornonstipicum" (their ultimate masterpiece), "Tranparencias" manages to convey a very inventive and amazingly colorful mixture of art-rock sources: symphonic, Cantebury-related jazz-prog, pastoral, sheer classicism Baroque-style, fusion and symphonic-friendly psychedelic rock. It is a pity that at this early point of M.I.A.'s career, the ensemble's musical vision is not as fluidly amalgamated as on the aforesaid third album, since the album's repertoire in itself is heavily benefited from the combination of Vitale and Del Barrio's writing talents (let alone their refined performing skills, which serve as leading forces for the tracks' instrumental developments). 'Reencontrando el Camino' is a lovely yet arguably too short introduction to the dynamics of symphonic melodic drive merged with Cantebury dynamics: the opening motif, reprised at the end, is very joyful, while the interlude brings an effective aura of contemplative serenity. 'El Casamiento de Alicia' bears a similar formal structure, but it is more properly expanded (lasting almost 7 ½ minutes), in this way developing a more epic feel than on the opener. Here is the first appearance of the ARP Odyssey synthesizer in the album: being as young as he was back then, it is unbelievable how well Vitale could find and handle this instrument's potential to provide a magical sound that somehow stands between Emerson's prototypical Moog excursions and Gowan's soaring solos in the Gilgamesh albums. This is what a keyboard-based power trio is all about in a prog rock context - through their evident influence, these guys nailed it instantly! The interlude, based on a quotation of one of the most popular sections from Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance", brings a schematic moment of sonic repose among the muscular vibe provided by the main motif. This one might be the album's highlight, but again, there is much more to enjoy as the album goes on. 'Imagen II' is a delicate instrumental with a Baroque foundation - after all, this is a pastoral translation partially inspired by the original ceremonious spirit of Bach's Prelude No. 1. Daniel Curto's classical guitar and Liliana Vitale's chanting/recorder duties manage to handle the tranquil mood very efficiently. 'Contrapunto Rítmico' is the most openly jazz-oriented piece in the album, including bass and drum solos strategically located in the flow of the jamming procedure. The namesake track is a 20 minute epic that occupies the vinyl's B-side. It is constructed in a symphonic space-rock mould, giving preferential room to the expansion of ethereal motifs and introspective developments (a standard traced by Pink Floyd from their "Meddle" days). The two keyboardists are cleverly joined in a fluid alternation with Nono Belvis' acoustic guitar, while Liliana goes wandering around with her chanting (she plays drums on this on, too). Some bass and percussion ornaments add bits of controlled tension before a certain chorale section and recorder lines bring back the dreamy atmosphere. At first listen this epic may sound like a not-so-ordained collage of various melodic ideas, and the impression of being a bit flawed doesn't really disappear with further listens. But what further listens can create is the awareness of a tight harmonizing sense that leads the epic's delivery and prevails through its variations. Passing the 12 ½ minute mark, a rock section emerges on a taciturn tempo, very Floydian indeed. Belvis' guitar lead is properly constructed, powerful enough to bring a moment of emotional enhancement, yet not overblown with exaggerated flourishes as to kill the epic's overall spirit. You can tell that there is much technical skill there, joined with a sense of texture and atmosphere. Once the drumming stops, the guitar becomes more relaxed, yet retaining the conquered center stage. For a minute, the rockier motif remerges with a final lead guitar expansion, before the last passage brings a dreamy combination of organ, piano and female chanting. This climax is clearly the moment for which the first 12 minutes of languid introspection had been working on. The CD edition includes some Vitale piano pieces plus a power-trio track, all of thm recorded live: great bonuses, indeed. "Tranparencias" is an excellent starting point for one of the most creative bands of 70s Latin American prog rock. M.I.A. - all collectors, note down this name on a preferential spot on your lists.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars actually!

A strange story around M.I.A. (Musicos Indepedientes Asociados),who wasn't exactly a band but sort of a gathering of indepedent musicians in order to create progressive music with a symphonic nature.Reportedly behind this association were two of these musicians' parents.One of them,Lito Vitale was just 15 years in 1975,while his sister Liliana played various instruments. Their first album was pressed in 1976 with the title ''Transparencias''.

In this album melodic classical-oriented rock music comes in touch with light fusion and traditional folk with a beautiful result.Lito and Liliana Vitale are responsible for most of the drums,flutes,keyboard and vocal work on this album and it is really amazing how a 15-years old boy can produce such great music.The two opening tracks combine energetic almost fusion interplays between keys,bass and drums with symphonic rock,recalling FOCUS or even TRACE at their best.''Imagen II'' is actually a succesful excerpt of Bach's Prelude No.1,while the following is ''Contrapunto ritmico'' is a rather weak introduction to individual bass lines and drum solos with just a few of symphonic rock music.Towards the end,Side B of the original LP is exclusively dominated by the 20-min. self-titled opus.A really nice track with tons of alternating melodic keys (organ,piano and synths),heavy folk elements through some lovely both flute and acoustic guitar passages and ethereal vocal chords by Liliana Vitale.The songs starts and flows really promising,but at the end it gets a little bit flat.The CD re-issue of Belle Antique in 1994 contains four extra live tracks in a much more improvisational mood with massive complex themes and limited harmonies,yet these tracks show how talented this band was.

A gathering of trully talented musicians can result a very nice album and this is the case here.MIA's debut could easily be loved by both fans of symphonic rock and classic music.Recommended.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of Argentina's most woefully under-appreciated progressive rock act of the entire 1970s was surely M.I.A. also written as MIA but actually is an abbreviation for the lengthy MÚSICOS INDEPEDENTES ASOCIADOS which translates into English as Independent Musician's Association. This rotating cast of excellent musicians emerged in 1975 Buenos Aires around the core trio of Alberto Muñoz, Liliana Vitale and Lito Vitale, a young 12-year-old pianist who were joined by up to 50 musicians, sound engineers, graphic designers and other artists to create a larger than life and totally independent project that performed numerous live performances and as a musical group released three studio albums as well as a couple live releases before disbanding in 1982.

M.I.A. was quite innovative for its time, not only musically speaking but in how the group conducted its entire business model. For example the members supported the group's efforts by teaching music to the general public and succeeded in garnering so much positive criticism that the collective actually sold albums before they were recorded in order to finance the projects and all of this occurred during one of Argentina's darkest chapters of its history during the years of the dictatorship. The band's project revolved around the poetry and lyrical content provided by Alberto Muñoz along with the instrumental contributions of the other members. TRANSPARENCIAS ( Transparencies ) was the group's first album that debuted in 1976 and followed in the footsteps of English symphonic prog as well as the pastoral progressive folk style that had already invaded Argentina influenced by the progressive Italian bands.

TRANSPARENCIAS is an epic sounding album and although M.I.A. utilized many vocalists during its existence, this debut album falls mostly in the instrumental camp which centers on the Western classical music inspirations of pianist Juan Del Barrio who is accompanied by Nono Belvis on bass, Daniel Curto on acoustic guitar, Liliana Vitale on flute and percussion and Lito Vitale who was a multi-tasker handling drums, synths, keyboards, flute and the few vocals on the title track (along with Liliana). This album is on the pastoral side with soft sensual piano lifted by slow tempos, soft atmospheres and flute runs. The album sounds somewhat of a mix between early Focus and softer Italian prog bands like Locanda delle Fate. The title track is the only one to feature vocals from both Liliana Vitale and Nono Belvis but are wordless and only contribute to richer musical textures.

Except for the synthesizers, TRANSPARENCIAS sounds like a mostly acoustic affair reminding a bit of Quebec's Harmonium but maintaining that distinct symphonic prog stylistic approach in the vein of Invisible, Crucis or La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros. The tracks are highly complex yet very melodic and sound like an impressive feat considering the young age of some of the performers and the large number of members in this rotating door. The music is nothing less than beautiful and although primarily on the acoustic side, the 20 minute side swallowing title track features some of the few electric guitar parts to be heard including a nice solo at which time connects the band's style to the symphony prog giants of the Italian scene made all the more so given Argentina's dialect of Spanish is most like the Italian language.

This is simply a stunningly beautiful album that is basically a series of piano arpeggios, symphonic counterpoints, lush flute runs and vocal extras piling up and crafting a very pleasing sum of the parts. The whole affair is made all the more impressive considering that these highly sophisticated compositions were performed by many youngsters who were still just teenagers and in that regard reminds me of the Italian band Semiramis however there is nothing wild and crazy going on here. This is sensual and beautiful and carefully crafted to nurture every melodic cadence and bring out its full potential. While i've never heard M.I.A. in its original vinyl release form, i have to say that the Belle Antique remastered version is sheer perfection as it sounds like a modern release where every sound is crystal clear. What a beautiful debut from one of my favorite Argentinean prog bands.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Look, that some of this material was written by a 15 year old is remarkable, but let's try to judge this album objectively. There is a lot ELP here. And early in the record the musical moves sometimes work themselves into classical tributes; which can sound a bit out of place. There is a long ... (read more)

Report this review (#1352600) | Posted by Jeff Carney | Saturday, January 24, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This first album fom MIA isn't as good as i've been told about. The first track is wonderfull beautiful piano piece really progressive and inspired. Some rythmical small weaknesses can be noticed there but it's really interesting. The disapointment comes with the second piece : a poor melodic c ... (read more)

Report this review (#178812) | Posted by pwawrzyn | Monday, August 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars MIA there is for me one of the groups that better executes progressive rock in Argentina. This very melodious album, it has a peculiarity what I very much appreciate. It is not commercial and it is necessary to hear very often to try to discern the musical message what he presents. This album ne ... (read more)

Report this review (#177035) | Posted by João Paulo | Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great album of a strange and captivating band of Argentina, formed in style of cooperative and leaded by Vitale's Brothers (Lito and Liliana), MIA's debut is at time a shocking and smooth album, full of poetic sounds and folky progressive style. "Transparencias" (Transparences) is the perfect ... (read more)

Report this review (#18704) | Posted by F. G. Toledo | Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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