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Lisker Lisker album cover
3.11 | 22 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kalean festa (5:18)
2. Amets jazarriak (6:41)
3. Bakardade tristea (6:38)
4. Garajeko melodia (7:25)
5. Eldarniotik iheska (9:06)

Total Time: 35:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Julian Alberdi / electric guitar
- Jabier Zabala / bass
- Jesus Gil / flute
- Ernesto Gomez / acoustic guitar
- Jose Antonio Salado / drums

Releases information

LP Elkar KD-11.112 1979
CD Lost Vinyl LV-12 1994

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to clemofnazareth for the last updates
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LISKER Lisker ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (55%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LISKER Lisker reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Of all the Basque "folk" groups, Lisker might be the one least Basque folk (bar the hard rocking Sakre), but it is certainly not the least interesting, on the contrary. While their folk roots can still be heard (at times), it is clear that Lisker preferred a good hard-rocking psych rock, powered by a fuzz guitar and a gorgeous flute. This double guitar and flute quintet recorded a sole eponymous album in 79, released on the second Basque label Xoxoa and sporting an intriguing old window artwork. The quintet is build around Ernesto Gomez (ac guitar and vocals), and develop a mainly instrumental high energy prog filled with enthralling solos and good interplay, which can be anachronistic given that it comes a decade late

Obvious comparisons to early Jethro Tull are correct, but one might want to think also of De De Lind in the heavier moments. Actually the crystal-clear and crisp flute answers brilliantly to the over-powering fuzz bluesy guitar. While often rocking hard, the album knows how to respect a truce: the lovely acoustic arpeggios of Ametz Jazarriak are a pure joy, and the build up is very impressive. This is easily the opening side's highlight, but the other two tracks are both excellent. Indeed Bakardade Tristea starts on acoustic arpeggios and a flute (worthy of Genesis' Tresspass), before the group enters and Gomez's singing, fitting well the group's psych feel but not really meaningful lyric-wise, and Alberdi's soaring guitar send the track on orbit into your mind. The flipside has only two tracks, the heavy-riffing Garajeko Melodia, which develops is a wild jam (some lengths are observed, but nothing worth recriminating about), and the even lengthier finale which holds some excellent interplay, but is also slightly demonstrative, but again nothing to be worried about: this is more suited to the early 70's than the early 80's.

Only two of the five lengthy (minimum 5:30) tracks are sung (in Basque), but the music remains quite accessible with a healthy rock feel and plenty of prog tricks, including frequent tempo changes and great interplay. Don't get me wrong, this is more psychedelic prog than symphonic prog (or folk prog, except for some intros), but this rocks hard, is not indulgent: even the drum solo (yes, in 79!!!) is kept very short (I suppose that the Franco-repressed Basques at least had to resort once to a drum solo ;-) and all musicians are quite competent. Quite pleasant an album, Lisker sole effort can be safely investigated for the progheads preferring spontaneity over careful planning and too precise/cold calculations.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars An intriguing Basque group, Lisker had an unusual formulation, featuring no keyboards but instead an assertive flute, used as a foil for what is basically a hard rock album full of muscular rhythms, energetic drumming, and bluesy lead guitar. They seem like an angry cousin of Magdalena, another (better) Basque group that also issued one album. Only a few of the soft acoustic introductions betray any folk roots, and for 1979 precious little except for the combination of instruments itself can speak for the band in terms of innovation or interest other than the historical. If you like rocked up solos with succinct flute phrasings and occasional vocals you could do much worse, but its appeal to prog folkies is minimal, and I personally do not bask in it.
Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars If you’re looking for representative Basque prog folk album of the seventies, Lisker’s lone studio release isn’t it. There’s really very little beyond the vocals to suggest this music came from the same region as Txirula, Enbor or Haizea, although there are stretches of the album that bear some resemblance to the mildly psych leanings of Errobi’s seminal work 'Ametsarren Bidea'.

The bulk of the music here is more electric, more fashionably psych, and frankly more conventional than most of the Basque music I’ve heard or have in my own collection. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a bit misleading for anyone who has their aural appetite set on inflected acoustic guitar or prog keyboards. In fact, there are no keyboards here, but the heavy infusion of flute more than makes up for this gap and provides an innovative alternative.

The original Elkar label vinyl is pretty much impossible to find today, but there are used copies of the nineties CD reissue from Lost Vinyl to be had if you really feel like looking. Despite the band’s relative obscurity, the music has an eerie air of familiarity to it, so much so that every time I hear the opening “Kalean Festa” I could swear it is a cover of something I’ve heard elsewhere. The persistent electric guitar noodling and crisp drums provide a lively tempo which is punctuated skillfully by Jesus Gil’s sharp and precise flute work. This is also easily the most approachable track on the album, although nothing here stretches too far outside the band’s operandi of mildly funky, psych-influenced electric soundscapes with just enough flute to give them a claim to folk legitimacy. On the other end of the spectrum the closing “Garajeko Melodia” and “Eldarniotik Iheska” are heavier, more spaced-out and closer to melodic hard rock than one would expect of a band from this region. The overall sound was fairly dated even when it was released in 1979, with the possible exception of the easygoing and pop- tinged “Bakardade Tristea” midway through the album.

I know very little about this band, and the Basque language liner notes on the CD don’t reveal much beyond what I assume are the lyrics for the tracks that feature vocals. To the best of my knowledge the group never released anything after this record, and are no longer active as near as I can tell.

This isn’t a lost masterpiece despite the hefty prices the original vinyl brings in trading, and I can’t recommend it all that highly since there is nothing here that is either highly innovative or very exceptional. But it makes for a very decent listen, and is a CD that I spin from time to time on a slow day. That pretty much describes as three-star record, which is what I’ll rate it. Mildly recommended to fans of obscure late seventies music that shows the awkward transition from the eclectic musical environment of the seventies to the more commercial and less adventurous eighties. Pick it up if you come across it, but don’t go out of your way.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Interesting album. Good guitar work and nice flute solos dominate the songs. There are some moments pretty heavy. The vocals are sung in basque, but nothing special. Anyway, some good parts, it's obvious they were nice musicians. ... (read more)

Report this review (#33083) | Posted by Melos | Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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