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PI2

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Pi2 biography
PI2 (π2) were formed as something of a Spanish super-group in 1998, with nationally-known producer and composer Pito Costa reassembling a lineup of Lluís Ribalta, Llís Casals, Albert Lleal and Oriol Camprodón that had previously worked together to create the compositions which would become their first album, 'Retorn'.

Costa had not originally intended to form a commercial venture with the music, but following the critical acclaim of the first album he released "Dema sera un altre dia" less than two years later with an almost completely new group of supporting musicians (drummer Llís Casals returned for the second album only).

Costa has developed PI2 into something of a longstanding project, with frequent lineup changes but a consistent thread of local and international performances and studio collaborations with other national musicians.

Costa released a third album in 2005, and is planning a future studio release. In the meantime, the current lineup appeared in 2005 as a supporting act for RPWL and Fish at the International AMAROK Festival. Most of the musicians in the band continue to pursue their various other projects and solo careers while remaining a part of the PI2 project.

While the band's sound is highly symphonic in construction, the heavy use of both electric and especially acoustic guitar, a wide range of brass instruments, hand drums in addition to the obligatory snare kit, and a range of Castilian percussive instruments, gives PI2's music a heavy Latin and sometimes folkish feel to it.

The band's symphonic tendencies could be compared to COTÓ EN PÈL, while their Latin leanings can be heard in a large range of national bands in and around Spain.

PI2 can be appreciated for their highly-professional symphonic instrumentation and complex compositions, as well as for the world-music feel they bring to the genre.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Pi2 official website

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PI2 discography


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PI2 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.91 | 17 ratings
Retorn
1998
3.14 | 12 ratings
Tomorrow's Another Day (Dema sera un altre dia)
2000
2.76 | 13 ratings
The Endless Journey
2005
3.19 | 14 ratings
Silent running
2009

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PI2 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tomorrow's Another Day (Dema sera un altre dia) by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.14 | 12 ratings

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Tomorrow's Another Day (Dema sera un altre dia)
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Pito Costa was the undisputed leader of Pi2 and through his career he was always shaking the line-up of the project, depending on the needs of its release.Thus, for the recordings of the second album ''Dema sera un altre dia (Tomorrow's another day)'' only drummer Lluis Ribalta remained stable in the line-up.Meanwhile Costa had strong links with Fidel Vazquez's Unoma and several members split their time between the two groups.So, the new formation included Alex Warner on vocals, Juanjo Verdu on guitar, while even Ribalta would spent some time with Unoma in the future.Bubu King on acoustic guitar, Quim Oller on flute and Sergi Sala on bass completed the line-up of the album, which was recorded in 2000 at Estudi 84 in Barcelona and released in 2001 on WarnerMusic.Producer David Casamitjana appears as the eighth member of the group.

Along the principles of the previous release, the sophomore work of Pi2 continues in an atmospheric, highly melodic Symphonic Rock vein with great melodious textures, delicate symphonic soundscapes and excellent keyboard passages, sometimes the whole mood reveals a nice folky color.By far the self-titled track is the definite reason to buy the album.A 26-min. progressive opus with both British and Spanish Prog influences and series of intricate moves, lovely interplays and harmonic themes.The flute-driven lines are close to 70's Spanish legends GOTIC, the nice keyboard and organ washes scan the music of GENESIS and MARILLION, while the electric guitars have a certain CAMEL inspiration.The few vocals appearing are all sung in English.Very consistent, easy-flowing and fairly tight piece of majestic Prog music.The four remaining tracks still move on the path of Neo/Symphonic Prog with light Latin touches in the more Fusion parts, highlighted always by Costa's diverse keyboard work, the whole thing reminding of Brazilians TEMPUS FUGIT, but another man who shines during these cuts is guitarist Juanjo Verdu.Very delicate, memorable electric melodies as well as some fine solos appear in every track.Singer Alex Warner will again hold the microphone in the last track, the AOR-friendly ballad ''The end'', where the most obvious influence is PINK FLOYD, as the guitar work becomes quite mellow, extremely melancholic and deeply emotional.

Add another solid album in Pi2's discography.Rich, melodic and challenging Symphonic Rock with respect to the masters and a nice mix of symphonic soundscapes with more Ethnic-rooted aspirations.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Silent running by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.19 | 14 ratings

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Silent running
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very curious record, to say the least! It took me quite some time to figure out if I liked or not. It is simply too different from the symphonic rock from Spain I´m used to. In fact, they don´t sound like spanixh at all. their music is very international, and I initially thought they were from England or USA. if Silent Running has many excellent parts, while others are not as good. At first this CD sounded too modern for my taste, but after repeated listenings, I found their music quite interesting. It´s a mix of modern prog (mostly), neo and classic prog (even with some Beatles influence on parts).

The most striking feature are the guitar parts: always brilliant perfomed, they are creative, melodic, and tasteful. Those terrific solos are the CD´s highlights. The keyboards parts are also excellent with some very good solos too. Alex Warner is a very good singer, able to handle all the different moods and styles that Pi2´s offers in Silent Running. The production is very good and it is very clear that those guys are talented and capable of writing fine tunes. Some parts of this CD are gorgeous and very moving. However, the track´s flow is a bit uneven, making it less enjoyable that it could (and should) have been. The musicanship is top notch. But the mix is still not totally mature, I guess.

In the end I can say that I became very curious to hear P-2´s earlier works. Judging by this Cd only, I can say that their sound is very promising and will please more open minded progheads, specially the ones who like fine melodies. Rating: good (sometimes very good). 3 stars.

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 The Endless Journey by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.76 | 13 ratings

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The Endless Journey
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A huge disappointment overall.This band is from Spain and caused some excitement in their country when they originally got together as they were known as somewhat of a super-group over there.

The first track "L 10" really surprised me with those soft seventies pop sounds and harmonies. Sure there's some tasteful guitar and good keyboards but the vocals kind of ruin it for me. "The Gift Of Life" is ballad-like although it does get fuller. I don't like it at all though. "Tempesta De Neu" is a short instrumental with lots of keyboards and percussion. It's better. "The Endless Journey" is the over 25 minute epic. I like the mellotron especially and of course with a song of this length it changes a lot. The words are corny and the harmonies make me roll my eyes though. "Tempesta De Neu" is part 2 and another instrumental and the highlight of the album for me. I like the guitar that cries out. "L9" is much like the first track, it's too syrupy and sweet. The vocals drive me to drink.

Sorry but this is one album that comes off sounding too commercial in a bad way. I cringed way too many times here.

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 Silent running by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.19 | 14 ratings

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Silent running
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Silent Running is decent album in the neo-progressive rock tradition. One may expect some flashy keyboard work and professional guitar playing, but the one outstanding aspect of this album is the voice of the lead singer, which is rich and husky. The compositions range from memorable to dull (a hit or miss affair, really), but these guys sound very good, and now I am curious to hear their earlier works.

"Welcome to the Circus" After a cheering crowd and spoken word, a soft synthesizer and fatherly vocal take over. The singing is warm and heartfelt. The soloing, particularly the dazzling guitar, is fantastic, and exhibits the musicianship well.

"L13" Gentle electric piano, electric guitar, drums, and a delicate synthesizer lead begin the second piece. Both the guitar and keyboards get to open up in a more powerful way, but for the most part, the track retains an easy symphonic feeling. Unfortunately, this one is mostly nothing more than a string of instrumental solos.

"Credo" A distant choir appears, followed by a 1980s King Crimson bit, followed by electric guitar and organ being panned all over. The keyboard work is excellent, while the composition itself is a incoherent but somehow mature.

"The Acid Rain" Delicate tones introduce this remarkable work. I love the deep bass notes under the flute sound, with clean electric guitar accompanying. The music soon launches into foundation for a gritty guitar solo. Thankfully, after a couple of decent instrumentals, the singing returns, which I think adds a well-deserved and much-needed dimension of character to the sound. A highlight of the album, "The Acid Rain" is a delightful and uplifting work.

"Bad Guys" Opening with piano and drums, this has an odd rhythm if a fairly simplistic chord progression. It abruptly turns into a semi-reggae song mired in convention, none of which has anything to do with what came before. Other than an enjoyable chorus, the bulk of the song is uneventful and disjointed (despite a good synthesizer solo).

"Silent Running" Soothing yet somehow urgent piano begins the lengthy title piece. The main melody is very simplistic, yet incredibly memorable, and the band does a good job exploiting its potential. As usual, the vocals are wonderful, and the musicians do a fine job demonstrating their respective abilities, but overall, the piece isn't particularly remarkable, even though it's really enjoyable in many places.

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 Retorn by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.91 | 17 ratings

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Retorn
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Camel without the humpbacks.

Pi2 is a socalled supergroup from Spain and this is their debut album. The sound is pretty lush, drenched in keyboards as it is. The sound is pretty modern, the musicians are flawless. Camel has been mentioned. Put in Jan Hammer too and some modern jazz bands you find in soundtracks for American TV series.

Herein lays my big gripe about this album. The music here is nice, lush and nice again. Nothing offensive. It is solid background music for ironing, cookery, repairing your computer and planning a summer holiday. Trying to listening hard to this music to find 100 nice words to write about it is a harder task. The music is going nowhere. It is repetetive. It is dull. It is less toothless than a snail. There is in short no contents on this album. Just some plodding on one or more keyboards over some neo-prog like melodies which is not anywhere as good as Camel's output. There are some good pieces now and then. But there is not enough of them to go around. I am sorry, but this is not my cup of tea.

2 stars

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 Tomorrow's Another Day (Dema sera un altre dia) by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.14 | 12 ratings

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Tomorrow's Another Day (Dema sera un altre dia)
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This second album has a more ebullient atmosphere, it's far less laidback than their debut- CD. After a short atmospheric piece, this CD continues with the very long titletrack. It is a typical symphonic rock composition delivering many shifting moods: mellow (beautiful paino, soaring keyboards), moving (brass synth sound solo and sensitive electric guitar), a cheerful climate (keyboard - and clarinet runs), up-tempo (organ, fiery guitar and flashy synth soli) and mid-tempo with bombastic organ (Banks-inspired). The final part features wonderful keyboards, including great synth runs. The other four tracks contain beautiful and alternating progrock: remarkable is the ARP Pro Solist synthesizer sound (Tony Banks) in some songs, the Spanish climate in "L7" (evoking Mezquita) and the splendid finale in "The end" with howling electric guitar. This showcases the progress this band has made since their debut-CD. RECOMMENDED!


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 Retorn by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.91 | 17 ratings

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Retorn
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've just listened to all three PI2 (mathematics, I hate it!) albums and this one is the most Camel-inspired one. Imagine the "Mirage-Nude" era but with a more modern and laidback sound. The seven songs have a pleasant and warm atmosphere, what a wonderful compositions featuring the clarinet and good soli on keyboards (some flashy runs) and guitar (in the Latimer vein). If you want to dream away on beautiful progrock, this one is yours! GOOD CAMEL-INSPIRED PROG BUT NOT A CLONE!


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 The Endless Journey by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.76 | 13 ratings

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The Endless Journey
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is their third and to me most mature album. The opener delivers pleasant symphonic rock with a 'neo-progressive feel' (Marillion, Pendragon), the electric guitarwork is good (powerful and sensitive soli with echoes from Gilmour and Rothery), the keyboards sound lush (Banks-inspired synthesizer runs) and the music has lots of shifting moods (from romantic to bombastic). Remarkable is the variety in some songs like "The gift of life" (a bit ambient and dark, distorted vocals and a final with classical piano) and "Tempesta de neu" (fiery accellarations, Fripp-like guitar and flashy synth runs like Starcastle). The highlight on this CD is the epic titletrack: lots of changing climates (from mellow and bluesy to fluent or dramatic) featuring exciting bombastic eruptions, soft flute-Mellotron, great synth runs, beautiful guitarsoli (with echoes from Latimer), a piece with moving classical piano and soli on saxophone. The mediocre English vocals has a slight accent but this doesn't effect the music in a negative way, there is so much to enjoy (lots of instrumental parts) like in the final track "L9" delivering strong play on sax, keyboards and guitar (howling in a great finale). A WONDERFUL 24-CARAT SYMPHONIC ROCK ALBUM!


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 Retorn by PI2 album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.91 | 17 ratings

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Retorn
Pi2 Symphonic Prog

Review by dalt99

3 stars Camel and Spanish prog fans rejoice. Here is a very impressive modern progressive band from Spain. Pi2 plays a very sophisticated, classy and contemporary brand of symphonic instrumental progressive rock. Most of the seven featured songs are packed FULL with extremely beautiful melodies driven by deftly played acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards (synth, organ and piano) and clarinet. The acoustic guitars have that familiar Spanish vibe to them but the electric guitars are straight out of the Camel sound of the late 70's. The songs go from relaxed symphonic parts to fast upbeat sections shifting from dramatically serene and breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL passages of guitar or clarinet (sometimes sounding like a flute) to Camel-like synthesizer driven melodies with heavy progressive backing bass and drum rhythms ("Nadal '98" and "Diable" being the two best songs in that vein). The music is not overly complex but definitely progressive. Fans of lush symphonic prog and mid-tempo instrumental guitar/keyboard melodies will really enjoy this CD. This music was released privately in 1998 but Musea has thankfully just recently released it worldwide.

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