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SUR OCULTO

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Argentina


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Sur Oculto biography
Hailing from Cordoba, instrumental power-trio SUR OCULTO is one of the most magnificent and energetic acts in the current Argentina's jazz-rock scene. Their mixture of jazz-rock and funk is filtered through notorious sources of heavy prog and hardcore in order to add an unusual dose of stamina (under jazz standards) to their sound: it is especially notable given the fact that this trio is lead by a keyboardsman, not a guitarist. But again, the energy you feel when you listen to SUR OCULTO is delivered by all three musicians at unison during their excursions (which are more based on cadences and improvised elements than on real melodic compositions). Sometimes you can notice some occasional Emersonian and Crimsonian ornaments in their repertoire.

The band got started in 1999, founded by drummer Pablo SPOSSETI and bassist Sebastián TEVES. Quite soon the band's first line-up was complete with the entries of guitarist Gustavo BARRERA and keyboardist Fabricio MORÁS. Their interest in mixing the tradition of avant-jazz (WEATHER REPORT, RETURN TO FOREVER) with more modernistic approaches to jazz-rock (PLANET-X, CAB) became the band's musical signature, but then the guitarist and the drummer left. With new drummer Pablo DALMASSO, SUR OCULTO decided to move on as a trio without giving up on the musical power that they were steadily set to elaborate. and that's how the band has been working so far. Very active indeed, the band has shared stages with bands from other genres (rock-fusion, punk, hardcore) and in festivals (having been the first instrumental band to take part of the Cosquín Rock Festival, usually focused on pop and mainstream rock).

Their debut release was an independent domestic demo titled "Trío" (2002): including only 5 tracks and with a time span of less than 30 minutes, it was critically acclaimed by the specialized jazz music press in their country. But the highest praises were actually in store for their second album "Estados" (2006), a proper long-duration CD. The "Estadios" album was absollutely right on the mark, since it reflected on a studio effort the sort of energy that they were capable of creating and developing on stage.




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
SUR OCULTO is recommended to all avid jazz-rock and prog-jazz fans, particularly those who seek something different and particularly energetic within the confines of modern jazz-rock. It will be a pleasant surprise for thos...
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Sur Oculto official website

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Buy SUR OCULTO Music


EstadosEstados
Azar Records
Audio CD$24.29
$15.95 (used)

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SUR OCULTO discography


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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Trío
2002
3.52 | 6 ratings
Estados
2006
4.00 | 3 ratings
Sur Oculto
2011

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

SUR OCULTO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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SUR OCULTO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Estados by SUR OCULTO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.52 | 6 ratings

BUY
Estados
Sur Oculto Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''Sur Oculto trio'' was just the beginning for these young Argentinians.The album got some positive reviews by the local press and Sur Oculto slowly reached the stages of Buenos Aires, making quite an impact.What of course followed was the recording process of a longer album, this would be ''Estados'' from 2006, released on the indepedent label Azione Artigianale.

In the vein of fiery Fusion keyboard trio NIACIN, Sur Oculto present a clever mix of dynamic Jazz- Fusion with endless breaks and some excessive energy around.The compositions are once more centered around keyboardist Fabricio Morás and his diverse work on piano, organ and synthesizers, flirting from Lounge Jazz to Funk and from Canterbry Prog to even keyboard- drenched Heavy Rock.Actually the first half of the album is quite great with dominant complex breaks, elegant smooth piano-centered passages and frenetic keyboard-led parts, mostly in a Fusion style, and always with the tight rhythm section of Sebastian Teves and Pablo Dalmasso supporting.Unfortunately as the album unfolds the quality drops, sounding a bit repetitive, at times filled with rather experimental parts and quite similar to the first half.All these just before the fantastic ''Coleman'', where Moras' dissonant grand piano are mixed with the most powerful performance of Teves and Dalmasso, to come up with the most mind-blowing composition by far.

This is a very hard style of music to follow and Sur Oculto did a very good job.Although the trio sometimes falls into the trap of repetiveness, ''Estados'' holds plenty of interesting moments to satisfy both fans of instrumental Progressive Rock and Jazz-Fusion.Overall recommended.

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 Trío by SUR OCULTO album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Trío
Sur Oculto Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is where it all started for Argentinean power-trio Sur Oculto, a band whose ballsy approach to the contemporary standards of jazz-rock has meant a relevant statement for those who are acquainted with their material. A short time after the definition of the current line-up, the trio decided to release this debut recording as a domestic item that is closer to the mini-CD format due to its short span (less than 30 minutes). "Trío" was recorded in a few live takes at Crossover Studio in January 2002, and it is clear that the trio was already focused on their own kind of style: powerful jazz-rock with a strong funky component and robust interplaying. Some tracks will later reappear in the "Estados" album. 'Bus Repeller' is quintessential Sur Oculto, bearing a well-constructed amalgam of cadence and ambience: keyboardist Morás feels comfortable with his emulated organ leads and piano rhythmic drive. 'Mandrágora II' continues with this sort of dynamics, albeit with a slightly decreased intensity. The piano virtuoso flows are never tiring since they are efficiently installed on the track's rhythmic scheme - a very Zawinulesque thing, indeed. 'Coleman' appears in its first version as the continuing factor for the energy displayed in the preceding two tracks. The last ¼ hour fills my favorite section of the album. 'La Claridad del Carajo' (what a title, both smutty and poetic) retakes the extroverted nature of track 1, taking it to a more pronounced psychedelic tone: in this way, the aggressive potential reaches a more explicit feel. 'Mandrágora' culminates the album's whole picture featuring incredible alternating solos on keyboard and bass. Although the band doesn't precisely aim at the art of melody, their repertoire's basic motifs tend to bear clear hooks due to their pulsating riffs, and this closure is the biggest example of that. A big ending for an exciting musical item. Not being essential per se, "Trío" truly deserves praise for its high qualities in terms of vibration and punch. Sur Oculto is, without a doubt, a very important reference for what is currently happening in the colorful world of Latin America's modern jazz.

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 Estados by SUR OCULTO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.52 | 6 ratings

BUY
Estados
Sur Oculto Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Argentinean power-trio Sur Oculto makes it clear right from the start - they come to set new standards for color and power in a jazz-rock context. The whole repertoire of their sophomore effort "Estados" reeks of smoke caused by the incendiary interplaying between all three musicians. Almost all the time the keyboardist and the rhythm duo elaborate the concise atmospheres in a vibrating unison without sounding like a machine - the resulting vibe is quite muscular. The melodic approach, if any, is very secondary: the dynamics' build-up and the ambiences set the core for each and every musical idea, whose ultimate bases mostly lie on cadences. The piano motif that sets the motion for the opening track is very catchy, and so is the funky-based motif developed in track 2. With 'Metamorfosis', which sets a sort of midway between the first two tracks, we have a great 13 minute opening that can easily set a communion between the listener's mind and the band's recorded labor. 'A Paip' clearly shows hints to Weather Report and Return to Forever while retaining the modern vibe. 'Vamo' is an amusing funk-jazz interlude between the pompous preceding track and the harsher following one, 'El Áspero', which really rocks more than it jazzes (keyboardist Fabricio Morás adds some guitar riffs on this one). The Zep-meets-ELP main motif is occasionally interrupted by some jazz-club piano portions in an abrupt manner - weird! The eerie 'Suspensión' relies on the soft Flamenco-tinged piano lines to set the main mood: despite the use of a rhythm computer and the noticeable Spartan ambience, this is one of the few real lyrical passages in the album. The Pastorius-inspired bass solo in 'Bajos' and the pulsation-driven 'Arkm' set up the frame for 'Qué Masón', which by now can simply be described as typical Sur Oculto. Actually I feel like this track might as well have been expanded a bit longer in order to provide a definitive expression for its potential: I don't feel the same about any of the first four pieces, which I find are comprised in the proper timespan. 'Vientos de Marte' changes the general mood dramatically with its minimal spacey atmospheres: for this one, Sur Oculto momentarily gives up on its jazz-rock stance and takes a short trip to psychedelic rock camps. 'Coleman' and ''Colquín' occupy the album's last 13 minutes: the former alternates menacing textures, dissonant tricks and extroverted moods (+ a drum solo), while the latter unexpectedly marks the album's finale with an introverted aura. Surely it is not the kind of epilogue one would come to expect for an album such as "Estados", but it contains enough experimental spirit through its main serenity as to become a very coherent closure. Sur Oculto is a band to pay attention to in the current context of prog- friendly jazz-rock.

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Thanks to Cesar Inca for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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