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Amoeba Split

Canterbury Scene

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Amoeba Split Dance Of The Goodbyes album cover
4.01 | 75 ratings | 7 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dedicated to us, but we weren't listening (3:50)
2. Perfumed garden (9:43)
3. Turbulent matrix (10:47)
4. Blessed water (12:26)
5. Qwerty (0:49)
6. Flight to nowhere (23:39) :
- I. Endless magic spell
- II. A bleeding mind
- III. A walk along the tightrope
- IV. Bubbles of dellirium

Total time 61:14

Line-up / Musicians

- María Toro / vocals, flute
- Ricardo Castro Varela / Hammond, Mellotron, piano, Mini-Moog, arrangements
- Alberto Villarroya López / guitars, bass, composer
- Pablo Añón / soprano, alto & tenor saxes
- Fernando Lamas / drums

- Gastón Rodríguez / guitar (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Henri Villarroya Lozano

CD self-released - FAL665 (2010, Spain)

2xLP self-released (2011, Spain)

Thanks to Cesar Inca for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy AMOEBA SPLIT Dance Of The Goodbyes Music

Dance Of The GoodbyesDance Of The Goodbyes
Musea/Azafran Media 2010
Dance Of The Goodbyes by Amoeba SplitDance Of The Goodbyes by Amoeba Split
Musea/Azafran Media

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AMOEBA SPLIT Dance Of The Goodbyes ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

AMOEBA SPLIT Dance Of The Goodbyes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the time to celebrate the emergence of such a lovely progressive dance in the key of 21st century Canterbury ? from Spain's Northeastern coast, Amoeba Split has delivered a beautiful album in which jazzy vibrations and melodic colorfulness fuse in an appealing dynamics. Four years was the time that Amoeba Split took to complete this album's repertoire little by little, and now "Dance Of The Goodbyes" is a brilliant reality. In the meantime, the band lost its permanent guitarist, hence becoming a quintet where the bassist adds the guitar parts on studio, except for track no. 3 that features a guest guitarist. All lyrics in the sung tracks are in English: I guess the band feels comfortable doing that. 'Dedicated to us, but we weren't listening' opens up the album with obvious softmachinesque reference in its title, but the track's actual sonic scheme is more related to Matching Mole's agile density as exhibited in the "Little Red Record": one way or another, it is an effective opener that provides good progressive hope for big pleasure in the short run to the listener. 'Perfumed garden', the first sung piece, bears a calmer mood in the beginning, full of dreamy melodic developments, but eventually things get more intense dominated by a vibrant swing and a few cosmic passages. Right before the 5 minute mark, a duet of piano and mellotron-flute signals the reprise of the last sung portion, this time augmented with flute flourishes and mellotron-cello orchestrations. With a 10 ¾ minute span, 'Turbulent matrix' develops the jazz factor more deeply, with dominant airs a-la Weather Report in many of the piano and sax interventions that occur in the interlude section. For a while, during the second half, the band indulges in a sort of homage to "Volume Two"-era SM, but finally the coda states a reshaping of the initial motif. This is a highlight of the album, no doubt about it, as is 'Blessed water' as well. This one, the second sung track, brings an overall romantic vibe to a tale of moral disappointment and desperation for faith. This track's compositional development benefits from gradual crescendos of colorfulness that are properly fuelled by the alternated guitar and woodwind solos. Picture a Robert Wyatt ballad rearranged and performed by a combo of Caravan and Catapilla musicians and you might get the picture about this song's structure. 'Qwerty' is a brief instrumental based on a few letters on old typewriter's panels: it isn't even one minute long but it clearly delivers exciting moods that are heavily inspired by the Hatfield & The North mold. Mostly, 'Qwerty' is a preamble to the epic 23+ minute long 'Flight to nowhere'. After a brief psychedelic intro theme, the first sung section is a melodic expression of serene simplicity, soon followed by a Caravan-style jam (featuring an excellent flute solo by Miss Toro). With the next jam, things get much more vivacious with a featured position of the guitar and sax solos. Then, a softer section, very symphonic in itself, brings pastoral nuances that stand closer to PFM than, say, National Health. Later on, after a reasonable time for development of this new found symphonic groove, the jazz-prog orientation is retaken in full swing in order to elaborate a partial climax that serves as the anticipation to the following sung section. The stage is set for yet another climatic moment, with the whole instrumental framework focused on the powerfully stated organ layers and rhythmic dynamics. At the 21 ½ minute mark, the music stops drastically for the eerie emergence of soft heartbeats and lifeline machinery? and then, silence. The last thing of this suite and this album is not such silence, but an unsettling piano solo that somehow brings a variation of the same intensity with which the music had stopped earlier. A very clever ending for a very good closure to a great album: Amoeba Split nailed it big time with this debut album, the first dance.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars What is it with Spain these days ? It's purely coincidence but i've been listening to this Canterbury Spanish band AMOEBA SPLIT and the Jazz / Fusion Spanish band PLANETA IMAGINERO this past week and both have impressed me to no end. I must admit that I get a real charge out of new bands who play in the Zeuhl or Canterbury style these days because you know they are doing it out of love for the music. We get female vocals and plenty of sax and flute here.

"Dedicated To Us, But We Weren't Listening" is an obvious nod to the SOFT MACHINE track "Listening To You, But You Weren't Listening" and perhaps MATCHING MOLE's "Listening To Hugh, But You Weren't Listening". Apparently they are big fans of both bands.This one is led by organ early before guitar then keyboards lead. Great opening track. "Perfumed Garden" has these reserved vocals with pastoral music early on then it turns fuller a minute in and picks up. A calm before 3 minutes as the music stops and spoken words can be heard. Organ, bass and drums then take over and the guitar arrives before 4 minutes followed by sax. It settles and the vocals are back before 5 1/2 minutes with bass and piano. It's jazzy late to end it. "Turbulent Matrix" has some fuzzed organ leads with bass and drums before it settles into a jazzy mode. Flute and bass lead then guitar replaces the flute. Flute is back then sax before 4 1/2 minutes. Great sound when it picks up 8 1/2 minutes in,then it settles back a minute later.

"Blessed Water" opens with piano before some mellotron joins in.Yes I said mellotron ! Vocals and bass as it stays releaxed. It picks up some after 4 1/2 minutes and tasteful guitar arrives a minute later. Sax arrives then we get vocals once again before 8 1/2 minutes as it settles. It picks back up and we get more sax, organ and mellotron. "Qwerty" is a short uptempo jazzy piece. "Flight To Nowhere" is the over 23 minute closer. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Excellent sound ! Piano, bass and drums with sax playing over top is so impressive.Vocals follow. Flute and guitar then come to the fore when the vocals stop. Piano, drums and vocals are back 4 1/2 minutes in. Sax before 6 minutes leads the way.These guys just continue to rip it up instrumentally. I love when it turns heavy before 17 minutes and we get mellotron too. Great sound ! This continues until about 21 1/2 minutes then avant piano comes in to end it.

A must for Canterbury fans out there. A very solid 4 stars.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars NOBODY expects The Spanish Inquisition!!!!!

There´s been an ongoing thread about styles of music that are slowly dying out, and sure enough the whimsical shading of jazz - also known as Canterbury has been mentioned too. In listening to this album by Spanish group Amoeba Split, it sounds rather ludicrous and ill-informed, and it is certainly hard to see any sort of justification behind such a claim. -And yes you read it right - they´re from Spain!

This has to be the first album I´ve ever heard out of Spain, that plays this style of music. When I started out listening to the likes of Caravan, Gong, Hatfield & the North and Matching Mole, the sounds of Canterbury appeared to be a very English take on fusion, - meaning that sentences like "Tea my dear?" and "Top of the morning to you ol´ boy!" in some weird and slightly complex manner got transformed into chords and music. There´s a lot of Monty Python in it, at least according to this slightly mad listener, - and I certainly hear the mad piss-taking and demented nonsense tongue-in-cheek-humour conveyed in the music. -Especially in those English bands...

Then, what happens when we are met by Japanese, French, Dutch, Italian - and in this case Spanish acts, who venture out in these Limey board walks? Generally we get introduced to some inherent endemic musical trades from said country elegantly weaved together with the English madness, and alakazoo!: a genuine bastard in drag is born! But not on this album as it turns out...

Amoeba Split sounds very much like the good old English Canterbury bands, and could easily be mistaken for being one - except for the crucial moment, when you read those credits and you find names like Pablo and Alberto listed. When I say that they sound like the Canterbury acts of yesteryear, I mean that as the biggest compliment conceivable, as this band truly has found a sound of their own. Somewhere between pastoral symphonic folk tinged fusion to jaw breaking bone crunching whimsical jazz with all that we could ever ask of the wind instruments regarding maniacal bird modes and jumping tirades of beautiful melody laden flute whistling.

The female vocals here done by Maria Toro remind me a bit of a more tender version of COS siren Pascal Son. She can be everything from your cool, slick and laid-back jazz singer doing her best to entice you with a tiny crackling in her voice that slips into the words from time to time, but then again she can also sound dangerous and dark like some Russian mistress from your local House of Pain - delivering her goods with pointy snake-tongue and fire in her eyes - like a beautiful demon with a forceful trait to her voice that exudes that certain feminine devilish power, that imprisons and stupefies the weaker sex.

Beyond those characteristic vocals, Dance of the Goodbyes is packed full of piano, organ and saxophone -and it´s here we get introduced to those old school Canterbury conquistadors. Without ripping them off in an insincere and blatantly brown nose approach - keys man Ricardo Castro Varela certainly utilizes some of the same sonic pastures as Dave Stewart and David Sinclair - and especially in those organ leads, I find myself going back into those images of the pinkish mountains of In the Land of Grey and Pink. It´s done in a very convincing way, and I can certainly appreciate the skill of this guy, as he just like Sinclair frequently chooses to play more conservatively in the leads - and rather sticks to those notes that really flies like the wind, instead of complicating things with unnecessary fondling. I hear the Dave Stewart link in the way he plays the piano, and it gives off that extra bouncy feel to the music - like had it been equipped with go-go gadget boots and a pogo-stilt with an unnatural feel for notes and interplay.

This is music for the rainy days, when you need some cheering up and you just need tunes that hug you like an old friend wearing a big woolly sweater. On the other hand it may just work played at a ridiculously high level down at the beach, the day you´ve decided to share your love of neon yellow g-strings to the world - and all you want back is sand between your toes and frisky breezes in your hair to go together with the colourful music.

This is certainly recommended to all you Canterbury heads out there, and to those of you who would like to travel a bit outside the normal barriers of the fusion world, and get a little taste of some rather original and deliciously played Canterbury that sports a love of the gentleness of symphonic folk and ethereal foggy jazz - all wrapped up in a neat package with vocals from a woman who knows about the weight of the world and will turn against you when you´re not looking, for then to cradle you in her arms and whisper soft bitter-sweet melodies in your ear.

Review by J-Man
4 stars The whimsical, jazz-influenced brand of progressive rock known as Canterbury scene is not a genre that features a large amount of newer bands, but every now and again an excellent act proves that the genre is still alive and well. Hailing from Spain (a place that rarely produces Canterbury music) is Amoeba Split, a group that delivers this style of music with serious class. Although the band was originally formed as early as 2001 and released an EP in 2003, it wasn't until 2010 that the world got to hear Amoeba Split's debut full-length release entitled Dance of the Goodbyes. A very solid observation from all fronts, Dance of the Goodbyes has a lot in common with the classic Canterbury bands, but still manages to bring plenty of new ideas to the table.

Amoeba Split's sound primarily borrows from acts like Caravan, The Soft Machine, and Gong, which means that the listener should expect a mix of sophisticated psychedelic rock and jazz music with a quirky British twist. Amoeba Split borrows ideas from other styles - there are pastoral segments, wild sax solos that would fit on a Van Der Graaf Generator record, and tight fusion jams in the vein of Weather Report - but this release should mostly appeal to Canterbury fans. All of the instrumentation sounds very retro, with the instruments limited to organic tones and the production sounding warm and earthy. I particularly dig the selection of keyboard tones used by Ricardo Castro Varela, as I think they flesh out the compositions to their fullest potential. María Toro's vocals have a loose and jazzy approach that differs significantly from many other progressive rock singers; though I initially found her shrill delivery to be a bit off-putting, her vocals grew on me over repeated listens and I now think they suit the music perfectly.

Dance of the Goodbyes also features some stunning instrumental displays (the improvisational "Turbulent Matrix" especially stands out), and overall I'd say this is a very successful debut from Amoeba Split. It may perhaps wear its influences too proudly for some listeners, but Canterbury enthusiasts will undoubtedly have a blast with this release. I'll be very much looking forward to see what this band has to offer in the future, and, in the meantime, fans of the Canterbury scene should check this one out without hesitation.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Spanish band AMOEBA SPLIT was formed back in 2001, and released an initial demo in 2003. Seven years later they returned with their debut album "Dance of the Goodbyes", a production which gained the band a lot of attention and a sold out initial run of the CD. The album was reissued in 2014 through Azafran Media and Musea Records.

The Canterbury scene isn't one explored by too many other bands with a contemporary history, so just about any additions to that scene is met with interest by those with a fascination for that particular style of progressive rock. Amoeba Split is a quality addition to the list of bands active in this field, and especially those with a strong affection for the more jazz-oriented bands exploring this style of music should enjoy just about all aspects of this production. A highly recommended album, and then especially to those who have a taste for the bands generally described as belonging to the Canterbury scene within the progressive rock realm.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Whilst it was never quite the cohesive, unified scene the music press sometimes made it out to be, there is some truth to the idea that the whole "Canterbury" style was perpetuated by a particular group of collaborators, with particular names - Dave Stewart, Robert Wyatt, Pip Pyle, Richard Hastings, Barbara Gaskin, and so on ad infinitum - appearing on a wide swathe of albums from the era. As a result of the inevitable ravages of time, the prolific stalwarts of the scene have slowed down their pace of releases over time (and indeed some cornerstones like Hugh Hopper or Daevid Allen are no longer with us), so the Canterbury output of late has been diminishing, and what has existed consists of a fair swathe of archival releases and reunion projects and other vehicles for old hands.

Nonetheless, there's nothing inherently stopping anyone from keeping the sound going and developing it further - various European acts did it back in the 1970s without any of the key Canterbury personalities being involved, after all, and in more modern times with have the exceptionally capable Amoeba Split, who on this debut album have cooked up a modern sound centred on the style of Hatfield & the North or National Health but with regular excursions to other musical territory, from the mellow and peaceful to hard-cooking fusion. Perhaps in time we will see more of a revival of this musical style; if so, you can bet Amoeba Split will be at the forefront of it.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Some great music, but the occasional vocals don't fit well. Amoeba Split is a band out of norther Spain with some great jazzy instrumental rock. Well before recording this album, the band recorded a three-song EP with vocals on every track by Maria Toro. Those three songs make it onto this albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1843283) | Posted by Walkscore | Monday, December 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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