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Prog Folk

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Uqbar Uqbar album cover
3.92 | 6 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pylonisa (6:12)
2. Cesare (5:37)
3. Rojo de Espana (8:08)
4. Fauno con Trompetas (7:24)
5. Arkangel (6:07)
6. Seireme (5:00)
7. Lucia Caesar (6:43)
8. Tigre Mimbre (5:49)

Total time: 51:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Dario Diaz / classical guitar
- Marisa Gomez / acoustic guitar
- Nora Lopez / clarinet
- Leandro Szelagowdki / flute
- Andres Kozel / cello

- Alejandro Cancelas / clarinet (7 & 8)
- Rosana Flores / trombone (7)
- Nicolas Pardo / acoustic guitar (7)

Releases information

CD Viajero Inmovil VIR 016 (2004) Argentina

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
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UQBAR Uqbar ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(83%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

UQBAR Uqbar reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Virtually unknown outside of its homeland of Argentina, the strangely named UQBAR existed from 1995 to 2001 and created a unique style of acoustic chamber folk that mixed elements of jazz, ethnic folk, classical and chamber music avant-prog. The all instrumental band featured two classical guitarists, a clarinet, a flute, cello, violin and trombone. The band was founded by two Polish immigrants and three Argentinians but over its six year existence experienced ten musicians overall. This one and one self-titled album was recorded during these six years with varying lineups and wasn't released until 2004 after UQBAR was no more.

The odd moniker was derived from the short story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges which narrated a mysterious fictional country called UQBAR and its legend of Tlön. The CD was released on the Viajero Inmóvil label which promotes progressive bands from Argentina and the rest of South America. This album features eight tracks that are on the mellow side with a few moments of crossing over into symphonic classic music. Primarily based on acoustic classical guitars providing the framework, the sounds of the clarinet, flute and trombone offer some soothing wind tones and timbres while the violin and cello offer some contrasting sounds.

This is a strange mix of things. While the knotty avant-prog workouts hint at the angularities of 70s sensations like Henry Cow, Univers Zero and Present, the music adopts some folk flavors which sounds like a bit of bossa nova as well as good old fashioned Spanish classical guitar. The band itself compares its music to the American jazz-fusion band Oregon which fused chamber jazz with ECM style jazz with progressive folk. Not only are there no vocals but no percussion of any kind. Another comparison has been made with the Dutch progressive folk Flairk which crafted a unique orchestrated style of prog folk.

This music may be a little too sleepy for some but if you're in a mellow mood then UQBAR hits the spot for that light and breezy style of acoustic chamber jazz that straddles the line between accessible and highly complex. What makes this unique for a chamber band is the extensive use of acoustic guitar as the main instrumentation. For progressive music, you could consider this the ultimate chill music as the majority is super laid back but there are moments of brief uproar with wild syncopation and off-kilter instrumental interplay. Definitely one of the undiscovered gems of progressive folk out there. Perhaps not an unabashed masterpiece of the ages but an excellent detour in the world of chamber music and folk music for sure.

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