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BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT)

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Czech Republic


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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) picture
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) biography
Lead by ace guitarist Radim Hladík, BLUE EFFECT were one of the major progressive bands in Czechoslovakia; they were to their own country what OMEGA were to Hungary, or SBB to Poland. They started out in 1968 with a couple of early R&B-oriented albums. However, the Czech governement strongly disapproved of English names at the time, so the band switched to MODRÝ EFEKT and later to simply M.EFEKT. After these two albums, their material veered towards jazz rock and by the early 80's, following sereval personnel changes, their music had become a little less prog, more accessible. They released their last album in 1981 and then quietly disappeared.

Of particular interest to prog fans are three albums: "Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík" (1975) which features an energetic mix of YES-like symphonic rock with some fusion; the overall effect will likely remind you of FINCH or CRUCIS. Emphasizing Hladik's brilliant soloing, this was the album that established him as "the" Czech guitarist par excellence. However, it is "Svitanie" (1977) that is considered the band's true masterpiece. With its sinewy bass lines and bold keyboard/guitar melodies, it is still quite YES-influenced but it also has a definite Czech flavour that makes it unique. Finally, there is the bolder, more complex and not so YES-like album titled "Svet Hledacu - World of Searchers" (1979); this one is characterized by many sudden tempo shifts and emphasizes the flux between the spacey synths and Hladik's biting guitars. Except for this album, whose 5 official tracks are all sung, the band's répertoire is mostly instrumental.

Primarily recommended to fusion lovers but YES fans will also likely find something to sink their teeth into.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) discography


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BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 59 ratings
Meditace [Aka: Kingdom of Life]
1970
3.50 | 59 ratings
The Blue Effect & The Jazz Q Prague: Coniunctio
1970
3.26 | 62 ratings
Nová Syntéza [Aka: New Synthesis]
1971
3.66 | 55 ratings
Nová Syntéza 2 [Aka: New Synthesis 2]
1974
4.30 | 131 ratings
A Benefit Of Radim Hladík [Aka: Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík]
1974
4.27 | 123 ratings
Svitanie
1977
4.31 | 108 ratings
Svět Hledačů
1979
4.11 | 85 ratings
33
1981

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 7 ratings
Blue Effect & hosté - Live
2008

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.60 | 5 ratings
Live And Life
2008
4.00 | 4 ratings
Acoustic/Time
2011

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
Beatová Síň Slávy
2004
4.69 | 21 ratings
1969-1989
2009

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 3 ratings
Snakes (Edice Mikrofóra)
1969
3.08 | 6 ratings
Slunečný hrob
1969
3.67 | 6 ratings
Nězná / Záhada jmelí
1983

BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Svět Hledačů by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.31 | 108 ratings

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Svět Hledačů
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

5 stars How I've said in my 2 previous reviews about MODRY EFFEKT albums, while "Modry Effekt & Radim Hladik" is more fit in Prog Fusion category and "Svetanie' shows a more symphonic progressive rock approaching, "Svet Hiedacu" is their album more close of a Heavy-Prog style. In spite track 2 "Hledám své vlastní já" is totally played in keyboards, the album is full of incridible heavy guitars riffs ( or something like this), starting at the first track "Za krokem zen" which a very interesting guitar " flanger effect phrase" which appears for the first time in the track about 1 min 10 sec and returns in other moments ( one of the most detachable moments of whole album) but not only. Another of this moments be in track 3 "Rajky" is a passage in "Fugue" style in their initial part starting 1 min 19 secs played by guitar and keyboards ( simulating a bass / guitar duet ), In track 4 "Zmoudrení babím létem" the overture is fantastic and the middle section brings a beautiful ballad whitt electric and acoustic guitars with a "sumptuous" mellotron accompaniment. The last track shows a almost melancholic main theme with a intermission with guitar/keyboard/drums "explosive" space-rock part and return to the main theme with incredible vocals. In my humble opinion ( like "Svietanie" ) a perfect album . My rate is obviously 5 stars !!!!
 Svitanie by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.27 | 123 ratings

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Svitanie
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The peak period of Blue Effect's career saw them wavering somewhere in the hazy border region between progressive rock and jazz fusion; on Svitanie, they seem deeper in more traditional prog rock territory than on either the preceding album (Benefit of Radim Hladik) or succeeding album (Svet Hledacu). Working in an instrumental prog territory that borders fellow Euro-prog workhorses like SBB or Finch, with perhaps some touches of Yes or Camel here and there, the album mostly consists of a series of traded solos between Radim Hladík on guitar and Oldřich Veselý on keyboards, the duo driving each other to further creative heights.
 A Benefit Of Radim Hladík [Aka: Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík] by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.30 | 131 ratings

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A Benefit Of Radim Hladík [Aka: Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík]
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Just as Yes were spending 1974 exploring fusion sounds using their symphonic rock chops as a foundation, Blue Effect were approaching Camel-styled symphonic rock from a fusion direction. This album comes in two editions "A Benefit of Radim Hladik" for the export market, and "Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík" for the domestic market in Czechoslovakia, but there's no real difference in the music you get - save that the domestic version has some nice surreal cover art, whereas the international version just looks awfully tacky, with an earnest attempt to make Radim Hladik look like a rock god rather failing.

What you get in either package is some excellent, slightly spacey progressive rock played by skilled jazz fusion artists; it's clear that in either edition Radim Hladik was being pushed as the band leader, but in fact the whole group turns in some excellent performances. For the most part instrumental save for some ethereal wailing here and there, this album didn't just benefit Radim Hladik, but the whole art rock scene.

 Svitanie by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.27 | 123 ratings

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Svitanie
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

5 stars Between the four albums from M Effekt that I have (Hadin Hladik & M Effekt, Svietanie, Svet Hledacu and 33) I think this one is superior by the others, even in relation to Svet Hledacu, another fantastic album. The inclusion in their line up of Fedor Freso(Bass guitar) and Oldrich Vesel' (Keyboards Vocals) contributes for a more symphonic progressive rock approaching in detriment of jazzy vein presents in their previous album... This affirmation is notable soon at the first track "Vysok' stolicka, dlh' popol" starting with a fantastic keyboard introduction follow by a "broken" guitar/drums/bass sequence and a majestic and simple hammond chords making a sumptuous overture from a incredible chain of musical "landscapes" in a very complex composition, I can't detach any passage in special, but, one beautiful moment starts around 4 min 25 sec with a pedal volume guitar with a bass guitar making a counterpoint, this track are full of retakes of previous themes 'crowning" a perfect arrangement .The track 2 "Ej, pad', pad' rosenka " is one of more beautiful ballads ( with a great guitar solo). The track 3 "V sobotu popoludn'" is more close of jazz-rock and shows a passage (starting 2 min 08 sec.) with a certain Gentle Giant "flavor". In Track 4 "Svitanie" is a mix of psych- prog/hard rock and blues... simply brilliant ! The Bonus track "Gollem" is a heavy-prog with a melancholic end. In my opinion this album is essential in any prog collection !!!
 Svitanie by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.27 | 123 ratings

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Svitanie
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Comprised of four pieces of grandly symphonic, occasionally complex, predominantly vocal free and endlessly melodic prog rock ranging between four and nineteen minutes, `Svitanie' is a (mostly) instrumental prog fans dream come true. Hailing from Czechoslovakia, Blue Effect/Modry Efekt, calling themselves simply M Efekt by the time this sixth album came around in 1977, rarely fall back on inane padded jamming, instead moving through a range of carefully composed and varied musical passages. Think of a more restrained Finch that doesn't mind the odd ambient break, or alternatively a harder rocking version of Focus without the classical bombast driven by fiery and ragged Steve Howe (Yes) flavoured electric guitar runs. Elements of funk and jazz/fusion also show up, frequently brought to life by tons of Hammond, Mellotron and Fender Rhodes flourishes.

Many sections of ten minute opener `Vysoka...' is fuelled by both Radim Hladik's urgent, almost manic electric guitar runs and Oldrich Vesely's regal church organ pomp, bristling Mellotron veils and electric piano prettiness. This confident and tasteful piece is loaded with memorable themes, a range of tempos and moods with stop-start blasts of power, and even a few brief whimsical and light-footed moments remind of Gentle Giant and Fruupp, and Vlado Cech's drumming is like a ferocious storm that takes hold of your attention. `El, Pada...' is a drifting organ lament, with plenty of stirring and highly emotional electric guitar soloing throughout and a short dignified raspy vocal. `V Sobotu...' is a quick fusion by way of ELP-styled instrumental, with super thick Hammond organ, wild thunderstorm drumming and Fedor Freso's punishing reverberating bass around quirky electronics and some wailing electric guitar noise.

Lots of build and slowly unwinding atmosphere in the side long title track. Eerie droning ambient electronics, rising cymbal tension and sustained Hammond mystery ebbs and flows against the listener likes waves on a beach shore. After a brief vocal passage, the piece lurches to life with some dirty swaggering treated bluesy electric guitar soloing, reminding of both Krokodil's `An Invisible World Revealed' and some Man albums. The bass rumbles like a damn earthquake erupting inside your speakers, the piece twists with frenetic noisy Hammond spirals, nimble jazzy electric guitar licks and a powerful climax.

Without a doubt, M. Efekt's `Svitanie' is truly sumptuous symphonic frequently instrumental brilliance, and fans of Finch's `Glory of the Inner Force', Focus' `Focus III', the Sebastian Hardie albums and maybe Schicke Fuhrs and Frohling's `Symphonic Pictures' should track this one down right away. It's also now available in a limited double CD package along with Gattch's breezy and easy to enjoy self titled work from 1972, so there's no better excuse to rediscover this gem, and learn to quickly treasure it.

Four and a half stars.

(thanks to fellow Prog Archives member Sagi for insisting I keep at this one, it's proven to be a wonderful addition to my collection that I can't get enough of!)

 Nová Syntéza 2 [Aka: New Synthesis 2] by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.66 | 55 ratings

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Nová Syntéza 2 [Aka: New Synthesis 2]
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars During the summer of 1971 Modry Efekt entered the Polish grounds for the forth time and had series of succesful live performances.Come 1972 and Kozel leaves the band, replaced by one Josef Kustka, with whom Semelka played in the group The Cardinals.Later in the year they visited Helsinki, playing with Ten Years After and Omega, eventually being praised by the local press.Germany and the Amiga Studios was the band's next territory to visit in early 73', filming four of their songs, while during the summer they recorded the sequel album of ''Nova synteza'', featuring again the performance of the Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra.The album, named ''Nova synteza 2'', was released the next year on the Panton label.

Now this is Modry Efekt starring at the top of their talent.A nice and warm sound from 1971 had developed into a beautiful Prog/Jazz Opera two years later, containing different elements in a highly progressive amalgam.The 22-min. title-track is of course the absolute highlight of the album, featuring some majestic, grandiose and cinematic moments.Excellent performance by the brass section, accompanied by the great guitar work of Radim Hladik, who's style starts from jazzy flavors and ends up in Heavy/Psych riffs and runs.The track features also some nice piano themes and organ washes, as well as Semelka's rough vocals and nice, haunting choirs.It's mostly instrumental, full of proggy experiments and drawing influences from Jazz, Classical, Soul and Rock Music.Very good epic to say the least.''Je tteba obout boty a pak dlouho jit'', which opens the flipside, is more of the same, proggy Jazz Rock with a monumental brass orchestra, Hladik's in one of his best jazzy solos ever and some very dramatic instrumental parts, featuring some nervous synths at the end.A mix of commercial flavors and complex arrangements, pretty convincing as a whole.The short ''Kliste'' is a good, dramatic piece with orchestral keyboards, brass instruments and piano and focusing on Semelka's crying vocals, while the 7-min. closer ''Jedenacteho rijna'' is decent but not great, featuring some more Heavy/Psychedelic guitar jams by Hladik, a rather romantic middle part and endless trumpet interventions, but with less compact songwriting.

At this point Modry Efekt seems like red wine.The older, the better.''Nova synteza 2'' is a fine gem of jazzy Progressive Rock, where the brass instruments are used for serious reasons and the combination of harder, electric moments with cinematic sounds works pretty nice.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 33 by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.11 | 85 ratings

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33
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TKristyna

5 stars Such an outstanding album.

I fell in love with this album, I really did. It became a matter of my heart after few listens. Enjoyed the power of Blue Effect's debut album Meditace, which was sung by not less famous and respected Czechoslovakian artist Vladimír Misí­k, I also enjoyed Blue Effect's jazzy big band experiments on a record Nová syntéza, but there's something more in their prog-rock side (really not the dark one) of repertoire. I feel something very special there.

The prog era of Blue Effect starts with Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík. This album was apparently inspired by Yes, Camel and Caravan, although it's an instrumental opus (the strict hand of 'normalization' didn't allow these guys to record it with original lyrics). The next one, which is called Svitanie, had one of the most sucessful compositions of whole Blue Effect's career. A song named 'Ej padá, padá rosenka' is still played on every single gig these days. Svět hledačů was unarguably an artistic peak of this band... But then 33 saw the light of the world. Very emotional album, full of natural moods and colorful themes.

It's a pleasure to listen to such a beatiful album like 33. Radim Hladík, Lesek Semelka and Vlado Čech did amazing work, which is obvious after few minutes of the title song 'Třiatřicet' ('Thirty-Three' in English). Semelka's vocal is very expressive and full of emotions. Songs on this album appeal on human soul and go straight to the heart, which is very impressive. My personal favourite composition is 'Avignonské slečny z Prahy'. I absolutely love the poetic lyrics from Pavel Vrba. He is true genius in his work. 'Avignonské slečny z Prahy' has unbelievably melodic chorus, that you can't only listen - you got to sing it along with Lesek Semelka till the end. Very impressive connection between complex prog instrumental parts and straightforward (not only vocal) lines. This is what I call art rock.

Exceptional. Perfect for sleepless nights.

 Svět Hledačů by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.31 | 108 ratings

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Svět Hledačů
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Blue Effect (as I prefer to think of Modry Efekt, seeing how that's what the band wanted to call themselves until the Czechoslovakian authorities took exception to what they saw as undue capitalist influences) play an intriguing style of mellow, jazzy progressive rock on Svět Hledačů. With not just one but two band members (Lesek Semelka and Oldřich Veselý) on keyboards, the band are able to generate a shimmering, synth-drenched soundscape as a backing for the adept guitar playing of Radim Hladík. Working from a hybrid of King Crimson, the jazzier end of Canterbury, and perhaps the most experimental portions of Relayer-period Yes, the Blue Effect is a very fine effect indeed.
 33 by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.11 | 85 ratings

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33
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The final album by Modry Efekt sees the band losing none of their progressive power, something one otherwise might have feared. The engine of Modry Efekt is not running low on gas, rather the opposite.

The compositions on 33 is all of very high quality. Excellent symphonic sounds throughout and a craftmanship that is unbelievable. I find it sort of strange yet magical that a band during a 10- year period were able to not only progress music-wise but doing it with such class and determination. The result is a discography of more or less flawless albums, at least counting from Coniunctio (which may not be my favorite album by Modry Efekt but certainly a great example of freeform jazz).

My favorite track is number 3, Občasn' p'nsk' j'zda, with it's fantastic soundscape. Keyboards, drums and Hladiks guitar makes up for a tremendously evocative, inspired and imaginative landscape of emotion. There is a sadness, still it is joyous aswell, due to det wholeness of the song. The other three tracks are equally great but Občasn' p'nsk' j'zda stands out just a little bit extra for me. The vocals are a bit strained, though not bad, but if you disregard that and focus on the music there is soooooo much to cherish.

Conclusion: 33 is a great way to end a band like Modry Efekt. Maybe they'd felt they reached the end of their progressive powers as a band. Maybe they just needed a break. No matter what the reason was for them disbanding (at least as far as regordings go) they left a legacy of utter brilliance. I cannot stress this enough, just how brilliant they were. Listen, please listen and be amazed.

 Meditace [Aka: Kingdom of Life] by BLUE EFFECT (MODRÝ EFEKT; M. EFEKT) album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.31 | 59 ratings

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Meditace [Aka: Kingdom of Life]
Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here's me thinking that ModrY Efekt's first album was a blues record and nothing else. How wrong was I? Well, actually not all wrong. Just not totally right either. There are clear blues influences to be found throughout this album, alongside ballads, hard rock, sunshine pop and, I dare not say it, prog. Actually I find this album to be more of a progressive blues album than prog. There are Jethro Tull-like excursions (circa This was) and a blend of other sounds to be found in 1969. There is little to be blown away by here, I find. It is kind of straight forward blues/rock/pop, albeit skilfully constructed and performed.

The music is rather standardized stuff, although they do tend to stretch the boundaries a bit. The greatness to come is only evident in the musicianship. The music is enjoyable and listenable. It thunders along quite nice but never takes off. I wish they'd sung in their native toungue throughout. As it is now I tend to be more or less annoyed by the english vocals.

The most mindblowing thing about these recordings are the progression they made on the next album, Coniunctio. Going from this, sort of average, blues rock to the all out freakish, freeform jazz is staggering. From then on they never stopped progressing. Never looking back, they stormed onwards and on. Meditace is, in that respect, the beginning of a glorious journey to greatness and genius. I love Modry Efekt and as a result I lime this album for what it represents, more than it's contents. If you are looking for their peak of powers, go for any of their albums between 1974-1981. When you've listened to them, try this one and see their origins and from what humble beginnings they came. That is the marvellous thing about it all. The marvellous thing about Modry Efekt.

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