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Izukaitz Izukaitz  album cover
3.08 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Zikiro Beltza (5:14)
2. Emaiozue (3:18)
3. Zuberoako Ihauteria (2:32)
4. Hala Baita (3:27)
5. Lo Hago (4:13)
6. Xori Bele (6:06)
7. Xabaldorrena (2:57)
8. Jarrai (5:44)
9. Agur (4:14)

Total Time: 37:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Fran Lausen / violin, guitar, voice
- Luis Camino / guitar, percussion, voice
- Aurelio Martinez / flute, goxoak
- Joxe Korkuera / guitar, voice
- Odile Kreuzeta / keyboards, xirula, voice
- Xabi Laskibar / bass

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to cheriffmanu for the last updates
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IZUKAITZ Izukaitz ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IZUKAITZ Izukaitz reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

This group is among the few Basque groups that found artistic freedom with the end of Franco's regime, and managed to express themselves in their own culture (no-one is really sure where the Basque's language came from, but it is like no other European language) and clearly took advantage of their newfound freedom. Along with Haizea, Itoiz, Itziar and Errobi, Izukaitz is part of the essential poker hand of folk groups (all five being (or will be) in the archives under prog folk for obvious reasons) that blossomed in the late 70's and enchanted most folkies in those rather hard times - by now most folk purists had accepted the rock elements in their music.

Their very naive artwork depicting their acoustic (except for the bass and the odd bit of guitars) sprouting from the ground depicts the music fairly accurately, enhanced even further by the relative absence of percussions and the Basque lyrics. A lot of these tracks (all originals) have a little déjà-entendu feel, using all of the trad European folk (so far from the three I have heard none of them as a particular Basque musical particularity that would sound as typically Basque) a bit in the Celtic or medieval manner (especially the third and seventh track), with jigs and rounds, and the almost obligatory dual male/female vocals but also more reflective moods - and this is where it gets interesting!!! Hala Bate, the album's finale Agur, Lo Hago, and the album centrepieces Xori Bele and Jarrai are all excellent tracks with sometimes haunting melodies.

In case you are wondering on D-E Asbjornsen's advice on this album in his book, Scented Garden Of The Minds, I heard nothing wrong with the transfer even if the sound is not of remastered quality. A worthy effort, and if folk is your trip, a real must.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is yet another mostly unheard of seventies folk outfit that’s not really particularly progressive but will likely appeal to most progressive folk fans anyway. Their main distinguishing characteristic is the fact that they come from the Basque area of Spain and all their vocals are sung in that strange tongue. In addition the band employs several

The album opens with pizzicato violin notes on “Zikiro Beltza”, so right off the bat you know you’re in for something folksy and not particularly reverent. I’ve rarely seen a violinist pluck strings on a tune without that tune being something that makes you smile. And the violin is one of the more prominent instruments throughout the album, along with a wooden flute and all manner of percussive hand instruments. One note about the flute: there are at least two woodwinds here, the flute and a txirula, the latter of which is some sort of Basque flute-like contraption. I’m not sure which is which when listening to the music, but one has more range and the other seems to have a more melodic tone to it. The band seem to like their woodwinds, because there’s also heavy use of an alboka throughout, another Basque traditional instrument that looks a bit like a fox hunt horn but is wooden (or maybe bone) so obviously has a softer sound.

Like I said these are really ethnic folk tunes, so the tendencies are toward rather melodic music that is heavy on the hand drums and other percussion, pretty upbeat, and overall earthy-sounding since most of the instrumentation is acoustic. If that’s the kind of music you’re into then you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this album.

The first half of the album comprises the more upbeat and percussive tunes and female vocals, while the back half features less percussion and seems to focus more on acoustic guitar strumming, picking, and male vocals. There are a few interesting curios as well. The opening riff and arrangement of “Xori Bele” sounds an awful lot like “Oye Como Va”; the violin and flute on “Xalbadorrena” take on a decidedly Celtic tone; and for some reason the band chooses the closing number “Agur” to introduce a piano as the featured instrument, along with a female/male vocal duet that results in something closer to a contemporary pop number than a folk work. I don’t really care for that particular tune, but the rest of the album is solid.

The original vinyl issue was on some unknown Spanish label and I doubt you’ll ever find one. This was reissued on vinyl in limited edition and those are a bit pricey as well, but there’s also the Elkar CD reissue which is more reasonably priced. That one has some sort of glitch on a couple of tracks those, and I believe this was a result of an error made in copying the master tapes used to produce the CD.

I don’t know much about these guys and nothing about the Basque culture or language so I’m sure there are all kinds of nuances here that are lost on someone like me. But despite that the music here is quite good, very well-played, and interesting on many levels. I’m torn between three and four stars here, and whenever that happens it seems appropriate to err on the side of the artist so four stars it is. Recommended for prog folk and world music fans.


Review by kenethlevine
2 stars As befits the Basque location and influences, the work of IZUKAITZ in their debut album seems a cross between Celtic, in the melodies and instrumentation, and world music, especially in the percussion and jazzy colours. It's intriguing and, on paper, promises a unique vision and an essential listen.

I discern lovely flutes, fiddles, melodies, harmonies, pleasantly airy keyboards, and a whiff of prog. A Basque FAIRPORT, PENTANGLE, STEELEYE, and even early HOELDERLIN might be an apt comparison. But it's almost as if we don't speak the same language, which is true, but I mean musically. I don't feel a lot of emotional connection to any of it. It's like a partner who should be the one but just doesn't speak to our soul, and no amount of logic and reasoning can help.

This is all good, but no more, a gently accomplished bland blend of folk done better by others of their ilk. Virtually unknown, only their Basque pedigree qualifies them for larger recognition even as it obfuscates the same. IZUKAITZ might be your cup of tea, but it simply fails to excite me or provide any reason for a return visit.

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