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NAZCA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Mexico


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Nazca biography
Now defunct, NAZCA started off in 1980 with Alejandro Sanchez and Carlo Nicolau who were later joined by three other musicians. All five boast classical music training as well as extensive experience with various bands and/or classical music orchestras. Their compositions, which are mostly a collective affair involving improvisation, mix an equal part of RIO, classical music, avant-garde classical and ethnic (as in Mayan/Aztec/ Inca). Although their music is fascinating and absolutely unique, their coming about in the early 80's proved fatal to the band. As Sanchez once recounts in an interview, the local crowd wasn't very receptive to anything that wasn't pop or mainstream back then; he even recalls some concert goers literally walking out on them, visibly irritated as they thought the band were being intentionally provocative with their music. The lack of interest from both the public and the promoters finally prompted the band to split up in 1988. They had released two studio and one fantastic live album.

Eurock describes their music as "ART ZOYD and UNIVERS ZERO in a Mayan temple playing for a sacred ceremonial ritual". NAZCA's music indeed possesses that mysterious quality one would associate with the spirits that inhabit old Mayan temples. Although the general tone is rather subdued and mysterious, it offers an incredible variety of moods and tempos and contains almost no repetition. The surreal effects are achieved through the use of the bassoon, oboe, violin, piano, viola, cello, bass, drums and percussion - the string instruments being slightly emphasized on their second album, "Estacion De Sombra". All of their albums are recommended, and "En Vivo" particularly so: more than a mere live rendition of studio tracks, it showcases tunes that have been significantly modified, lengthened and/or reinvented by improvisation, making the album feel like a new one altogether. It also contains previously unreleased material and has a better, richer sound than even the studio albums.

If you ever fancied the books of Carlos Castenada put to music but never cared for fryin your own brains on magic mushrooms, a trip with the music of NAZCA could well do the trick.

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

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Return of the GodsReturn of the Gods
Imbaya
Audio CD$5.50
$0.85 (used)
Nazca: Moviexperience [Audio CD]Nazca: Moviexperience [Audio CD]
Audio CD$100.00
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Imbaya
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CD
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NAZCA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.98 | 20 ratings
Nazca
1985
4.17 | 28 ratings
Estacion De Sombra
1986

NAZCA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.77 | 4 ratings
En Vivo
1988

NAZCA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NAZCA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NAZCA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NAZCA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars After unleashing their debut album in a part of the world unaccustomed to such musical weirdness, the Mexican RIO chamber rock band NAZCA followed up their excellent first album with a more mature and further developed sound. While the debut could have easily been passed off as some long lost Univers Zero or Henry Cow artifact from the vaults, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA (season of shade) takes the "1313" meets "World Culture" sensibilities of the aforementioned influences and adds healthy doses of sophomoric characteristics that allow NAZCA to feel like they have come of age. While still dosed in lugubrious atmospheres that ring of classically trained compositions from the long lost world of Stravinsky heading towards Schoenberg, the band more confidently builds their chamber rock edifice with stronger elements that allow each segment to connect to a larger whole creating an ever expanding sum of the parts.

While the most noticeable distinction from the debut is the production with every one of the instruments shining like a bright star in the sky, the roles of the instruments are even more distinct and clearly delineate passages of counterpoints that attack at dizzying speeds. While the piano tends to range in the classical realms often entering angelic domains with prancing arpeggios, the violin, viola duke it out with the oboe and bassoon to create twisted angular rhythms and anti-melodies that act as terrifying micro-syncopations that display the uncanny talent of the band's members. The fact is that despite displaying their influences on their sleeves, NAZCA go the extra mile to match and at times even exceed their heroes across the Atlantic.

Overall, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA is a much more highly refined album than the excellent debut. The complexity is off the chart with every element seeming like it was designed to fit in its proper place. Seemingly less lugubrious and more playful, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA comes off as a more twisted take on adventurism than trying to evoke a state of emotional sadness and even delivers scant elements of jazz dispersed throughout the tangled web of syncopation and instrumental trade-offs. Unfortunately RIO was not the happening thing in Mexico back in 1986 when this was released and the band would soon part their ways but in their wake of dedication released two extremely strong albums that have pretty much gone under the radar as a whole new renaissance of RIO chamber rock bands have stolen their thunder throughout the ensuing decades. NAZCA were one of the earliest second wavers who took their game seriously and unleashed an amazingly brash, bombastic and confident second release.

 Nazca by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Nazca
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars When it comes to avant-chamber prog it's usually the French speaking world of Belgium and France that comes immediately to mind, but that doesn't mean other disparate nations of the world haven't had their share of fans and managed to record their own take on the likes of Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and Henry Cow. Well, Mexico hardly seems like the place where you would encounter such lugubrious complexity in music since most Latin oriented music is rather upbeat and downright cheerful but way back in 1979 this group formed and then released their eponymous debut in 1985. The band consisted of five guys who went by the name of NAZCA released this debut album which is predominantly inspired by the works of Univers Zero's earliest album such as "1313" and "Heresie" with the dynamic edge of Henry Cow. The instruments include the usual early RIO suspects which incorporate the use of violin, oboe, bassoon, bass, viola, piano, cello and percussion to create one spectacular downer of a musical listening experience.

While the RIO influences are the primary forces at play, the compositions owe a lot to bands like King Crimson with their zigzag approach of musical meandering with time signatures that match the greats of progressive rock while creating a classical comparison of suspense in the compositions as heard by the greats such as Stravinsky. While Univers Zero and Art Zoyd excelled in creating soundtracks to the apocalypse, NAZCA are generally more playful and feel less end-of-the-wordish than just plain melancholic. While instrumentally the seven tracks could be mistaken for one of the Belgian bands, there's just something unlike those bands that's hard to put a finger on. However, Mexico or Latin America would hardly come to mind when listening to this dirge driven theatrical bombast that ranges from soft passages to fully fueled sonic outbursts of chaotic ebullitions. As with most chamber rock, this too exclusively lies in the realms of instrumental music and therefore without any traces of linguistics attached adds that extra layer of alienation to the mix.

While it would be hard by any stretch of the imagination to call NAZCA even remotely original as every note seems to have derived from a European force of the past, somehow NAZCA delivers a compelling debut album that although a little over a half an hour in length delivers some powerfully emotional tracks that pack a powerful punch of heart-string pulls of emotional prowess and proof that such chamber music can be dished out in virtually any corner of the globe long before the internet made such cross-pollination an every day event. Excellent musicianship and strong compositional creativity makes NAZCA a highly entertaining debut. The band would release one more album the following year and then disappear until 2001's "En Vivo." Other Mexican avant-prog with a similar vision and even some of the members of NAZCA include Culto Sin Nombre and Decibel.

 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Estacion play a style of RIOish chamber rock reminiscent of similar work by Univers Zero and, to a lesser extent, Art Zoyd and Henry Cow. The music is a bit more somber and funereal than the spooky soundscapes evoked by UZ and AZ; rather than making you think eldritch horrors are about to jump out and kill you, the music rather gives the impression that some tragedy has already come to pass; beyond this subtle difference in atmosphere, there really isn't a lot to choose from between Nazca and more prominent chamber rock acts. But then again, when the acts they're so heavily inspired by are the likes of Present or Univers Zero, and when the imitation is this competently done, that's interesting enough in itself.
 En Vivo by NAZCA album cover Live, 1988
4.77 | 4 ratings

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En Vivo
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by tmay102436

5 stars I am not usually a fan of "live" albums, don't know why, just not. But this is fantastic.

First off, it's great to hear that NAZCA could really pull this difficult of music off live. And seemingly authenic and effortlessly. Also, the music is just awesome and inspired. In a world (of which I also enjoy) of electronic empasis, it is so, almost reassuring, to hear so organic, acoustic instruments played so wonderfully.

If you like R.I.O., this is just (as all their albums) the ticket. I believe all 3 titles of NAZCA are still available, so a must for the "quaint" side of avante music.

 Nazca by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Nazca
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've never been a huge Chamber Music guy but I do appreciate that style and enjoy listening to it once in a while. NAZCA released this gem in 1985 and it is their debut. Apparently UNIVERS ZERO's "1313" was a big influence on them at this time and it shows, although they certainly bring their own unique flavour to the table. Mexico has this strong and healthy Rio / Avant movement and this album is a great example of it. By the way Alejandro Sanchez who plays violin also played with DECIBEL in the seventies.

"De Oir Le Duele La Boca" sounds pretty cool with sparse percussion and bassoon. Piano and cymbals join in then the piano takes over 2 minutes in and it picks up with bassoon and other sounds. Excellent ! Violin after 3 minutes then a calm arrives before 4 minutes along with percussion and piano in a haunting atmosphere. Aboe follows then another calm after 5 1/2 minutes arrives. It's building again then it settles down one last time as it blends into "Sueno Tras La Ventana" where the sparse sounds continue. "El Viaje De Los Muertos" is relaxed with bassoon to open but it kicks in quickly with piano and drums then settles right back down again.Violin and viola take over before 2 minutes.

"Lladotropogato" continues with the strings then bassoon, piano and a rhythm take over. A calm a minute in. Piano and percussion 3 minutes in with other sounds. It's building. So good ! It settles back before 5 minutes then starts to build again 6 1/2 minutes in.This is dark. A calm before 7 1/2 minutes then piano and drums kick in a minute later, bassoon follows. "La Rebelion De Los Colgados" is dark with aboe and piano as the drums shuffle in and out. It's a little dissonant 2 1/2 minutes in. Piano, drums and violin follow then bassoon. It picks up to end it. "Paguros Del Dia Gris" is a short piece led by bassoon, strings and other sounds. "Nazca" opens with acoustic sounds and cymbals. Keys take over with percussion and strings.The tempo starts to pick up before 3 minutes. Bass and bassoon help out as well.

If your into this style this is a must. I didn't expect to like this as much as I do.

 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars RIO fans, pick this album!

Though I don't usually begin with those kind of statements, this time I want to bring the attention of people who loves Rock in Opposition, because besideds Decibel, Nazca is a Mexican RIO band which I feel very proud of, because they created a couple of albums of the most exquisite level. In 1985 this band released his first album, which I like a lot, and one year later they brought this wonderful record entitled "Estación de Sombra" where they show their skills at their best.

With nine compositions and a total time of 38 mintues, this album was very praised by the Mexican (and international) press, and also by the progressive rock fans. When you put the album, you will understand why. To open the album they put the title track, "Estación de Sombra" begins softly and gradually progresses, creating a dark atmosphere in moments but in other changing to a gentler sound. I love the piano and the violin especially. There are moments where the music will take you and wont let you go, believe me.

"Tragedia" as the name suggests, could work as a soundtrack for a tragedy, the music speaks for itself. Here a stronger bass sound appears, collaborating in the creation of a tension that will be heard throughout the song. "Espacios en Torno" is a shorter track whose piano work takes you to a drama film scene.

In "La Morgue", the music produces what again the title suggests; you can close your eyes and imagine people being there, in that not so comfortable place delivering dead bodies. Once again, I would like to remark the bass sound, which always puts that special flavor that the music needs. "Mangle" starts with a calm sound, but later piano, bass and oboe appear in order to build up new structures, I said it in pleural, because there are at least two. What the music here can do left me speechless, so again let it take you and you will be happy.

The diversity of elements found on "Deshueso" could please the strictest RIO fan, if you are into bands such as Henry Cow or Art Zoyd, then you will enjoy this album for sure. Once again I have to remark both, the bass and piano sounds. "En la Cuerda Floja" is a violin- oriented track, well at least in the first moments, because later it stops and other instruments appear. Though I would not think this adjective is the correct, I would say this track is entertaining.

"Ipecacuana" has an excellent piano sound that emerges from nowhere and tells something, the violin appearing here and there brings a superb characterization to the music. It later stops, and begins to build the structure again, with that inherent nervousness that some RIO acts can share. And the last song is "Nadja", with bassoon (as in the entire album), cool violin sound and nice percussion. This song completes the album, each single track could be a nice example of what Nazca is about, all of them work together as a team and created a strong album that I would recommend to all the RIO fans. My final grade is four stars.

Enjoy it!

 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars After an excellent eponymous debut album in which the music was persistently base don languid atmospheres and soaring sonorities, Nazca went for a fuller sound concerning their sophomore effort "Estación de Sombra", exploring a renewed sonic architecture while preserving the magical tension that had been so beautifully delivered in "Nazca". All in all, "Estación de Sombra" bears a stronger dynamics between the musicians, more confidence regarding the use of sonic structures and a more stylish use of tension. The major point of reference here is "1313"-era Univers Zero, and some of "Western Culture"-era Henry Cow. You can also find some jazzy elements working in places, but mostly what we have here is an inspired exercise on chamber-rock conceived through a delicate dialectics of muscle and delicacy. The exploration is over, now it's time to present the conclusions - this seems to be the motto behind this repertoire's writing and arranging procedures. The namesake opener starts with heavy ceremonious undertones, even stating a certain distant atmosphere; but as soon as a more extroverted section emerges, the dynamics is notably augmented, with the general grayish mood acquiring an exciting density along the road. 'Traoedia' exhibits a more pronounced chamber-oriented aura, and its mysterious ambience surpasses that of the impressive opener. Novelo's drumming is particularly inspired, with his nuances on the martial rolls and controlled pulsations, combined with his ability to merge his percussive tools with the other members' inputs. The closing sequence of violin/viola/bassoon is almost unearthly in its "mischievous" undertones. 'Espacios en Torno' begins on a very solemn note, but it doesn't take too long before the tracks shifts to a more celebratory mood, ornamented with bizarrely effective dissonances that build up an exquisite climax. 'La Morgue' does justice to its title, bearing a patently thanatic vibe through its recurrent ethereal sonorities. The martial structure in the interlude can be interpreted as portraying the moments in which body carriers go delivering their "special packages" in the morgue's main room. 'Mangle' opens up the album's second half, mostly emphasizing the line of work that has been developed so far: the clever use of tension and the effective utilization of the complex counterpoints reveal the guys of Nazca playing their specialized game on top of their game. 'Deshueso' is less disturbing than any of the previous tracks, turning into dreamy moods: this is not lyrical in the sense of symphonic prog, but lyrical anyway since the track's melodic development aims at the installment of melancholic airs. In this way, the habitual sense of mystery that is one of the stylistic cornerstones of RIO is used to point out a moment of spiritual solace. 'En la Cuerda Floja' reinforces the academic flair with bassist Gaitán playing viola and pianist Nicolau playing cello: truly loyal to the Schoenberg standard, the ensemble delivers a defying framework of twisted melodic lines and wicked cadences. 'Ipecacuana' brings the album's ultimate momentum, being in itself an effective climax in which the ethereal and the powerful merge into one nuclear sound. The last portion is based on a Latin-jazz scheme, with the rhythm duo elaborating a strong swing on which the violin lines tow the piano syncopations and the bassoon subtle ornaments. I really would have liked it if the closing portion had been expanded a bit longer, but it's OK all the same. The bonus track pretty much follows the most recurrent pattern included in the album's whole. In some moments, there is a sense of loud chaos in the shape on neurotic violin-bassoon dialogues, but mostly this is yet another exercise on complex orchestrations and controlled moods. Overall balance: what a great album!! "Estación de Sombra" is a masterful demonstration of musical illumination in the realms of RIO, conceived miles apart from the genre's original source. The Mexican guys of Nazca clearly captured its spirit and framework, providing a peculiar sensibility through the obvious influences. A RIO masterpiece, no doubt about it in my mind.
 Nazca by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Nazca
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars To make chamber-rock music in a prog context is already quite bold, but a gigantic boldness it is to write and perform chamber-rock in a musical scene that unabashedly favors easy-listening pop. This is what the adventurous Mexican quintet Nazca did in the 80s. Their 1985 debut album, titled after the band themselves, placed them in a dangerous yet interesting position: to perform dark, abstract music in an attitude of breaking down the barriers between experimental rock and contemporary chamber, with a notable prominence of classical woodwind and string instruments. The featured presence of bassoon/oboe guarantees mystery; the recurrent violin flourishes (at times, augmented by the bassist shifted to the viola and the pianist shifted to the cello) guarantee tension - mystery and tension to the nth potency is what, in a nutshell, Nazca is all about. This album reveals the solid influence that 1979-81 Univers Zero and early Art Zoud had inspired in this band: traces of "Western Culture"-era Henry Cow's dynamics are also added, as well as some slight colors of folkloric origin. 'De Oír Le Duele la Boca' (Spanish for 'So Much Hearing Makes His Mouth Hurt'. go figure!) kicks off the album with somber, polished bassoon lines, as if introducing a creepy moment that is waiting to happen. The piano pulsations that later emerge build the piece's core, while the violin struggles to assume a starring role until it eventually conquers the whole sonic display. The last portion's serenity anticipates the deceitfully peaceful contemplation portrayed in the next number 'Sueño tras la Ventana'. This piece is somewhat playful on a subtle level, but its languid frame takes over the listening experience. 'El Viaje de los Mueros' explores funerary moods with a vivacious solemnity: the abundant dissonant overflows on strings and oboe are crucial to this end. The percussive ornaments pertinently fill the few empty spaces left by the other instruments while they provide a creepy cadence that emulates bones hitting each other. The last 35 seconds provide a very Stravinkyan martial fanfare. 'Lladotropogato' is a pure exercise on Univers Zero-style RIO: after a brief violin solo, captivating as it is terrifying, its main body consists of a motif cleverly developed into a constrained crescendo. The coda is led by the piano-bass pulsations. 'La Rebelión de los Colgados' preserves the coherence in the album's mood with an extra dose of colorfulness, bearing a playful twist to this overall somber album. 'Paguros del Día Gris' fills the official repertoire's last 2 minutes, and it is intensely sinister. "Nazca" is a must for all genuine avant-prog collectors, world-class chamber-rock from Latin America.
 Nazca by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Nazca
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Nazca is the name of an 80`s RIO Mexican band, which sadly only released 2 studio albums (produced by themselves), their name is because of the ancient peruvian culture (The Lines of Nazca).

Sadly here in Mexico progressive rock is not well - known, now im my country i cant find any radio station which plays some prog, only pop and commercial songs , but deep im progressive rock neither, so here in Prog Archives i want to promote some of my country`s prog rock. Nazca is (was) a five members band, which tried to create an original sound, influenced by older RIO artists like Art Zoyd or Univers Zero, also i think King Crimson were in their minds and ears in that era, but believe me, is not the same, is not simply another band, i say this because they used besides classic instruments such as piano or violin, a fagot, which here particularly remind me to our ancient cultures, the sound created in some passages is like if you are in prehispanic times, surrounded by pyramids in an obscure but beautiful place, showing me that culture and history is not dead.

In some songs is evident that they had at the time much imagination to create music, the first song "De Oir Te Duele La Boca" is a clear example of the direction of this album, great arrangements, about 7 minutes of pure obscured and challenging Avant - Garde, and since that firt song we can perceive the talent of the band. "Sueño Tras la Ventana" is a short but nice song, created to breath deeply and feel the beauty of te music. "El Viaje de los Muertos" is a great song, with nice drums always in the perfect time, the piano and oboe are great evoking a strange atmosphere. "Lladotropogato", i dont have idea of what the name means, in fact i havent listened to that "word/name" again, and like the weird name the music is weird, this is the largest track, believe me, it is totally great, again violin and piano making excellent music. "La Rebelion de los Colgados" is a song plenty of Fagot and dark - ancient atmospheres, that repetitive piano freaks me when i listen to it. "Paguro del Dia Gris" is the shortest song, and maybe my less favorite, is not bad, but is the song which less imagination, here we can appreciate the exquisite sound of violin and cello. "Nazca" is the last song, i dont know if it is somthing like a hidden track , because in the album`s book says that here are only 6 songs, but when i put the cd i listen to 7, this song is a nice end, not the best song o f the album, but because of it`s slow tempo makes it great.

After all, this innovatie (in Mexico) style of music has not been a point of attention between my fellows, there are only a few who really appreciate and enjoy this bands and albums, talking about Nazca, i think they dissapeared for becoming another band, that was not bad because it was another prog band, but not with the same Nazca`s sound. I Highly recommend this album for everyone who want to dig some of mexican prog, and for those RIO lovers. It is great, but not a masterpiece, 4 stars is good for it.!

 Estacion De Sombra  by NAZCA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.17 | 28 ratings

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Estacion De Sombra
Nazca RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

4 stars The second (and last studio) effort of Nazca. Compositions (or collective impro- compositions of all the band) are shorter but the soundspectrum talks even more interesting language! And in addition to these eight tunes released on LP in 1986 we have the greatest pleasure to listen one bonus track Nadja (originally recorded on the compilation of Recommended Records). Very impressive record - probably my fave of all these tree - 4,5 stars really!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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