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Amoeba Split

Canterbury Scene

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Amoeba Split Quiet Euphoria album cover
4.16 | 111 ratings | 12 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Quiet Euphoria (7:18)
2. Shaping Shadows (5:20)
3. The Inner Driving Force (5:59)
4. Divide and Conquer (3:02)
5. Thrown to the Lions (7:23)
6. No Time for Lullabies (11:05)

Total Time 40:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Alberto Villarroya López / bass, guitars, keyboards, compositions
- Ricardo Castro Varela / piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, arrangements
- IagoMouriño / piano, electric piano, Moog, Hammond organ
- Fernando Lamas / drums & percussion
- PabloAñón / tenor saxophone, alto clarinet
- Dubi Baamonde / soprano saxophone, flute
- Rubén Salvador / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Israel Arranz / vibraphone

Releases information

Recorded at Santa Cruz Recording (A Coruña) between July and August 2021 by Alberto Castro and Miguel Bretal.
Mixed and mastered by Ezequiel Orol at SAWStudio

LP áMARXE - áMARXE0523LP (2023, Spain)
CD áMARXE - 0523CD (2023, Spain)

Released April 7, 2023

Note: Vinyl version comes with bonus/uncredited track not available on CD or digital version

Thanks to higgins for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy AMOEBA SPLIT Quiet Euphoria Music

AMOEBA SPLIT Quiet Euphoria ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

AMOEBA SPLIT Quiet Euphoria reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Who is not excited for the release of another AMOEBA SPLIT album? The Galician (Spain) band's previous two albums--2010's Dance of the Goodbyes and 2016's Second Split--have been nothing short of masterpieces of Canterbury-inspired modern Jazz-Rock Fusion. And now, after a seven year gap, they release this, their third studio album. I am SUPER excited!

1. "Quiet Euphoria" (7:18) what starts out a little bland (with slow lower register piano note play for the first minute) suddenly breaks into quite the jazz classic--with almost a big band feel, thanks to the horns. The bass, drums, and vibraphome really get a groove on over the second two-thirds of the song. I LOVE it! (And I love that vibraphonist Israel Arranz has not been promoted to a full band member.) The sound clarity given each and every one of the instruments is nothing short of astonishing. And I marvel as I listen to the unusual, "old" effected synths, bass, and keys. And thank you, THANK YOU, for recording the drums without that horrible gated effect! This is the way drums are supposed to sound! Even the kooky, laughter filled ending is both fitting and engaging. (14/15)

2. "Shaping Shadows" (5:20) Opening with a Japanese shamisen-sounding instrument, the song graduallly morphs into a very cool, gently relaxing vibe. Then, at 1:30, when the horn section joins in, the music takes on an almost like an old BURT BACHARACH lounge jam feel (if Burt, in fact, ever jammed, that is). I love the heavily-effected "old style" sound of the keys and guitars as the trumpet solos. And, me, such a sucker for the trumpet: I am in heaven! Great Latin drum stylin', too! Like our favorite comfort foods, this one just has a great feel to it. In the fourth minute I hear a little relaxed DAVE STEWART-like sound coming from the keys while the synth and drums go native. Then the PAUL DESMOND "Take Five" horns bring us back to center for the finish. Magical! (9.333/10)

3. "The Inner Driving Force" (5:59) Despite the horns above (which open the song soloing as if in a processional for some mediæval king), and the initial MILES DAVIS Sketches from Spain feel, I hear a kind of combined CHICK COREA-VINCE GUARALDI piano foundation to this song. Great interplay between the soloists in the fourth minute. (8.875/10)

4. "Divide and Conquer" (3:02) opening with an odd high-pitched electric-horn-like synth squeaking, the drums and band enter with a very SOFT MACHINE-like sound palette. As the musical groove gets established I'm hearing things that remind me of early British band NUCLEUS, THOMAS DOLBY, and even HOMUNCULUS RES (the Casiotone soloing). Nice weave. Very cinematic. (9/10)

5. "Thrown to the Lions" (7:23) Very pleasant modern Canterbury sound and feel to this one--not unlike some of DAVE NEWHOUSE's recent songs, or even a little bit of old MILES DAVIS. That rolling bass play coupled with the Fender Rhodes keyboard is killer! Reminds me of 1970s DEODATO. When things settle into a more laid-back combo format in the fourth minute, they sound more like Devonshire band MAGIC BUS's releases of the 2010s. I love the flute play and then the band's dynamic interplay with the horns. Man! The bass and drums are so synched in! Cool flute and wah-ed Fender Rhodes interplay in the sixth minute! (Weird ending: as if the drummer got caught in the springs beneath his snare!) (14.25/15)

6. "No Time for Lullabies" (11:05) The opening two minutes of this one sound almost like a piece of classical music.. Such poise and deliberation! Then, beneath the alto clarinet, the piano begins to roam and flourish a bit--signalling a move into the realms of jazz. Electric guitar and synthesizer noises are companioned by the drummer's play on his kit's tom-toms before tenor saxophone joins in as the lead instrument. Do I hear some Coltrane riffs at the end of the fifth minute? Vibes join in with more prominent bass play as drums add cymbal play and synths continue to add their subtle magic. Synthesized trumpet and flugelhorn play off one another over ominous pipe organ cords in the seventh and eighth minutes. This is nowhere near the kind of music I was expecting--though there is something here that seems to tap into not only both John Coltrane's and Miles Davis' end-of-life albums but also the spirit of those early SOFT MACHINE/ROBERT WYATT albums. Just when I thought the song was winding down--with some lullaby-like percussion instrument playing alone, a gentle piano and flute duet starts back up and then takes us out with an eerie sonic "sound-check overload" type of synth sound. Weird! Though this was not what I was expecting, I definitely love it; I find myself totally in awe of the unusual avenue of expression explored here. (19.5/20)

Total Time 40:07

I love the fact that the band has been able to keep the exact same lineup of members since their 2016 release, Second Split. It is, in fact, nothing short of amazing. Though the music here feels more rooted in old, classic styles of the lounge and early jazz-rock fusion jazz movements, I am impressed with the courageous use of odd synths and stylistic shifts within each of the songs. In fact, I am blown away by the subtle integration of old styles and sounds into these very original yet-familiar (and comforting) feeling compositions.

A/five stars; a full-blown masterpiece of original Jazz-Rock Fusion--one that feels as if it is paying homage to many of the key shakers and movers of the 1960s and 1970s jazz-rock fusion movement.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars For a band that was formed as far back as 2001, the A Coruña based AMOEBA SPLIT from the Galician region of Spain has hardly been the most prolific artist in the world of progressive rock but one thing is for sure and that is that although this band is slow to deliver the goods, quality is always a top priority and disappointment isn't even in the possibility pile. It took the band nine years to formulate it's 2010 debut "Dance Of The Goodbyes" and another five for the sophomore offering "Second Split" to emerge. As the band has emerged as one of the 21st century's most revered Canterbury jazz acts that mines the retro sounds of the classic prog years and reinterprets them with modern twists and turns, Canterbury fans have been chomping at the bit for a new release and at long last on the 7th of April, 2023, AMOEBA SPLIT will release its third album after 22 years of existence.

QUIET EUPHORIA comes seven years after "Second Split" and pretty much picks up where that album left off without missing a beat. What's changed after all this time is the lineup (sort of). While "Second Split" featured six official members with a large number of session musicians, on QUIET EUPHORIA the official count is up to eight members with no guests on board. The band's sound has always revolved around the jazzy keyboard tradeoffs of Alberto Villarroya López and Ricardo Castro Varela only now there is another top player on board and that is IagoMouriño who only sat in as a part-time guest last time around. The keyboard sounds are expansive and cover all the expected retro sounds ranging from the moog, Hammond organ, electric piano, vibraphone as well as good old-fashioned traditional piano. Add to that, band has retained the heavy brassy jazz sounds as well with stealthy action from saxophones (tenor and soprano), the trumpet and flugelhorn.

As with the previous album QUIET EUPHORIA follows the classic vinyl years' playing time, in this case just a smidge over 40 minutes. Fortified with six feisty tracks, this time around the band upped the tempos a bit making this album rock a lot more than the rather dreamy mid-tempo processions of "Second Split." What remains constant on all of AMOEBA SPLIT releases is a keen perfectionist detail to the compositional fortitude, an obvious love of retro classic prog which in this case is firmly rooted in the world of the idiosyncratic world of jazz-fusion that emerged in the English city of Canterbury and was propelled onto the world's stage by the likes of Soft Machine, Matching Mole, Caravan, Supersister, Moving Gelatine Plates, National Health and Hatfield & The North. AMOEBA SPLIT is very faithful to those that came before but offers enough innovative takes on the style to make this a refreshing musical experience that builds on the traditions of the last half century.

This is an all instrumental affair like "Second Split" and given the lack of vocals to offer the whimsical side of the Canterbury Scene, AMOEBA SPLIT instead offers classically infused jazz-fusion workouts that tackle a wide swath of the progressive jazz-rock world while keeping that Canterbury warmth alive and kicking. The album's title track starts things out slow and brooding with a sombre piano roll belying the jazz-rock to come but once the horn section kicks in the larger than life interplay of brass and multiple keyboards display a fascinating interplay of musical motifs playing together to form a larger than the sum of parts brilliance. The album remains in an upbeat mood for the majority fo the playing time and it's not until the closing "No Time For Lullabies" that the mood dials down a little and offers a more sombre piano-based approach that follows suit from the opening aspects of the album.

Seven years is a long time to wait for a band to unleash its next chapter of musical masterworks but QUIET EUPHORIA was definitely worth the wait with excellent classic Canterbury sounds brought to life in the modern world with an impeccable production and mixing effort and a wide range of tones and timbres that perfectly decorate the Canterbury jazz-rock underpinnings. It's clear that this style of classic prog is in no danger of dying out any time soon and AMOEBA SPLIT has been instrumental in breathing new life into this most beloved style of progressive jazz-rock. QUIET EUPHORIA is a brilliant instrumental album that will get your retro prog juices flowing. Excellent! Will we really have to wait another seven years for the next album? Lord i hope not!

Review by Warthur
5 stars It seems like Amoeba Split are big believers in quality over quantity, only releasing albums every six or seven years or so. Quiet Euphoria is an aptly-named release, offering a relaxing set with its roots in the jazzier end of the Canterbury spectrum. Impeccable production combined with two keyboardists and three wind instrument players gives the band a rich, deep palette of sonic options, which they make excellent use of. With this album, Amoeba Split deserve to be considered in the same terms as Picchio Dal Pozzo or the Muffins - international groups who build further on the foundations laid by the classic Canterbury bands of the original scene, despite having no direct connection in terms of personnel.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is studio album number three for these Spaniards as they continue with their jazzy styled all instrumental music. A big band consisting of 8 musicians including two keyboardists, three horn players, a drummer and vibes player and finally multi-instrumentalist Alberto Lopez playing guitar, bass and keyboards as well as being the composer.

I must admit I was going to pass on this one but like others the high ratings changed my mind. I did enjoy the first two records but not enough to continue with them. I do feel this is a step down from those. The opener and closer which I place a lot of value on are disappointing, especially the 11 minute closer that sounds like an improv that didn't go well. The opener and title track is pretty good but I'm surprised at the vibes leading for most of it. Piano early and late and it's fairly catchy.

My favourite track by far is "Thrown To The Lions" a tale that Daniel lived to tell. This has a SOFT MACHINE vibe to it and really that is the only band that came to mind during my time spent with this record. I just like the feel of this one, good vibes for sure and the horns have a lot to do with that. Oh electric piano too? And with electric bass, yes this is the song folks. A spacey calm ends it for reflection. Daniel's space. How about the 80's sounding synths on "Divide And Conquer" I like them they're so melancholic.

I have to mention the album art that had me squinting to see what the girl was holding. Well check out the back cover of an evening view of that telescope without the girl. Then inside we get numerous pictures from different angles and it's all so cool. Well done. Good album but not on the level most feel it is.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Spanning the genres of jazz-rock, Canterbury and contemporary, these 6 tracks reveal across over its lenght instrumental dexterity, compositional imagination and respect for their musical ancestors. The recording and mixing are exceptional and its sound refers to the old records of the 70s without t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2939916) | Posted by manfredprog | Friday, July 14, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is very good stuff. Funny instrumental games with a rhythm and transitions in the style of the jazz of the 60s. The compositional creativity does not falter at any moment because the level never goes down... but neither does it go up and that lack of risks is what keeps it always below the emot ... (read more)

Report this review (#2936464) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Thursday, June 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me, Amoeba Split's latest album is a great album, probably the best of the three they have released to date. I don't think it's relevant to categorize if it's a Canterbury record or not (labels don't matter to me) or if it's a masterpiece or not (time will tell). What is really relevant is: 1. t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2935948) | Posted by Ramcocaice | Tuesday, June 27, 2023 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Here I was expecting some prog masterpiece because of the good ratings, but this is not the case. It's not Canterbury in the style of my favorites (Hatfield and the North, National Health and Egg), but rather jazz-jams with hints of Frank Zappa, only duller. Rather traditional jazz-instrumentation w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2935490) | Posted by Zippo Inglesias | Sunday, June 25, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a must-listen album. In fact, give it a couple of sins. Because the secrets of its brilliance may not embrace you immediately. A least it took me some time to understand what makes this so special. Craftsmanship, joy, pure talent and great songs make this a candidate for album of the year ... (read more)

Report this review (#2921796) | Posted by WJA-K | Friday, May 5, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Spain's pre-eminent Canterbury-tinged jazz-rockers return after an agonising seven year wait with their third, and arguably best, album to date. As with their previous efforts, this is a slice of charmingly old school fusion full of vintage keys, warm horn arrangements, clever arrangements an ... (read more)

Report this review (#2918573) | Posted by runciblemoon | Friday, April 21, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Canterbury scene - Irony, fantasy, and spontaneity: these are the watchwords of this submerged branch of prog rock, in the perennial balance between jazz, prog, and psychedelia. The band with their third album "Quiet Euphoria" presents the magical alchemy of surreal atmospheres, lightness, and jazz ... (read more)

Report this review (#2901246) | Posted by newdawnofprog | Friday, March 24, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a long absence (since 2016 when their second album was released) the long awaited new work of Amoeba Split does not disappoint. Quite the contrary: it fully meets all possible expectations. Without moving a millimeter from their style (a jazz-rock with classical influences, elegant and vigo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2899854) | Posted by DiversionConVinilos | Thursday, March 16, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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