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URBAN TRAPEZE

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Urban Trapeze biography
URBAN TRAPEZE was founded in 2004 under the confluence of keyboardist Daniel SEGLERS, guitarist Jan SANTORRAS, bassist Daniel FERNÁNDEZ and drummer Juan Camilo ANZOLA, with flutist Marc VIAPLANA joining in shortly after. SEGLERS was still fresh from a progressive musical project that he had started back in 2001, eventually being aborted not long before the birth of URBAN TRAPEZE. The new band was tightly compact and determined to state a well-defined progressive personality. Domestic influences such as GOTIC, FUSIOON and PEGASUS, as well as foreign influences such as YES, ELP, KING CRIMSON, ZAPPA, HAFIELD, CARAVAN and PFM, are some of the main references that the band cites, intending to bring them out with an innovative attitude within the avant-garde rock scene. From then onwards, the band's touring activity has been constant, grasping lots and lots of Catalonian live gig locations. URBAN TRAPEZE has a strong penchant for improvised passages and jams inserted between their composed tracks.

In 2006, the band released "Activated Tarkus" in an independent, limited format. The album is a pure manifestation of the band's eclectic interests in the realm or progressive rock, alternating the bombastic approach of ELP, the jazzy dynamics of Canterbury bands, the lyrical vibe of classic symphonic prog from Italy and Catalonia, and the intensity of KING CRIMSON. Less than one year later, URBAN TRAPEZE released a single CD with two tracks, in a very limited format: a short time later, the band released "Single & Live", which comprised the aforesaid single plus seven pieces from a 2005 live performance.

Right before the end of 2006, ANZOLA leaves the band to be replaced by August CORMINAS, and just in the first half of 2007, Roberto CANTONI (GECKO'S TEAR alumni) and Pablo SELNIK replaced FERNÁNDEZ and VIAPLANA, respectively. The entry of CANTONI proved to be fruitful, since he added Theremin inputs besides his usual bass guitar duties, but his presence in the band didn't last too long. He was subsequently replaced by Lluis GENER. The line-up continued to change when Daniel SEGLERS had to leave the band as well, due to health problems: currently, the keyboards spot is occupied by Daniel's brother Txema. Despite these symptoms of instability, URBAN TRAPEZE remains active in their country's avant-garde rock circuits.




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URBAN TRAPEZE discography


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

3.54 | 9 ratings
Reactivated Tarkus
2006

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

4.29 | 3 ratings
Single & Live
2007

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URBAN TRAPEZE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Reactivated Tarkus by URBAN TRAPEZE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.54 | 9 ratings

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Reactivated Tarkus
Urban Trapeze Symphonic Prog

Review by usa prog music

5 stars With the title track, the band not only re-creates the spirit of Tarkus without doing a cover of it but also it conveys a touching personal story. The original Tarkus gets injured and withdraws but now he returns since he is a fighter. Likewise, keyboard player Daniel Seglers had an accident in his teenage so he had to re-learn how to use the human capabilities that we take for granted. Reactivated Tarkus is the story of a personal recovery. As a suite, it is divided into five parts, of which only the second and the fifth also feature vocals/lyrics:

a) "Revenge/Coda" starts like Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", then moves into a theme that is similar to the beginning of the original Tarkus;

b) "Ironfish" is the first battle of "Tarkus". He moves into the river to combat "Ironfish". "Tarkus" wins this time but this does not mean the danger has ended.

c) "Quicksands" is an area where "Tarkus" slips next into. He tries to suddenly escape and it looks like he's an overall winner. But it's not end of story yet.

d) "Desert's Wind" is a musical fantasy, where "Tarkus" solitary walks by distant trails. He arrives at a remote desert, gets lost, and only the wind helps our old warrior relax.

e) "Spider of Fire" is the last battle of solitary "Tarkus". It is not a violent one now, only about time and space.

The remaining four tracks of the album are as follows: "Crazy Colours" is a nostalgic metaphor for the first love at a young age.

"Urban Trapeze", an instrumental, is a geometric metaphor for the life of the struggling artist: travel, prepare for the show, achieving success, getting confidence, repeat. "InfiniteSea" has lyrics that somehow bring Peter Sinfield's "Formentera Lady" (from KingCrimsonIslands to mind. This is just natural: the song is about the Sa Tuna cove on Spain's Costa Brava, where the landscape is just the Mediterranean Seaand the rocks. "Evolution" is a 12 minute live improvisation that sounds like early Pink Floyd, where all band members take their turns, except for flute player Marc Viaplana. Forgotten by the others, he signals them his turn.

At a total time of slightly over 52 minutes, this album sounds like Premiata Forneria Marconi, balletto di bronzo, Focus, Genesis, and early King Crimson with Mike Giles-like drumming.

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 Single & Live by URBAN TRAPEZE album cover Live, 2007
4.29 | 3 ratings

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Single & Live
Urban Trapeze Symphonic Prog

Review by usa prog music

5 stars Of its nine tracks, clocking at a total of 64 minutes, only the first two are "singles", 64 minutes but fantastic!.

"Within My Flesh" is like Finisterre meets Camel with a bit of Stereolab. It is the story of a strange, intercontinental relationship in hiding.

"Create Your Way" opens as if played by the Hackett brothers and then enriches into a cocktail of themes that reminds me of Camel, Il balletto di bronzo, Trespass-era Genesis. Rick Wakeman, and Clare Tory-like vocals in the background.

The remaining seven tracks on the album are "live". The recordings are from a concert in April 2005. It was the band's fourth concert and the first time they played Reactivated Tarkus live. At that time, the suite consisted only of the first three parts. The last two parts were not composed yet (please see the review of the Reactivated Tarkus album).

"Dreams and Legends in the Iceberg's Heart" and "My Body" are like a mixture of Hostsonaten and Camel, also with a bit of Hackettian electric guitar in the first of these two songs, which tells the story of a hiker that goes through various landscapes of an iceberg until he finds the heart within.

"Answer?" is a short song in order for the audience to catch their breath. A beginning as if by the Hackett brothers then gives way to an Il balletto di bronzo sound.

After this, Juan Camilo Anzola gets a "Drum Solo" that reminds of Clive Bunker and Carl Palmer. Then, the band breaks into an impromptu, free rendition of "Peter Gunn".

"Evolution" is the same recording that appears at the end of the Reactivated Tarkus album (again, please see that review ). The concert was recorded with only 2 Shure SM58 microphones (left & right). Perhaps this is why the live vocals on the album are heard only in the background.

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 Reactivated Tarkus by URBAN TRAPEZE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.54 | 9 ratings

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Reactivated Tarkus
Urban Trapeze Symphonic Prog

Review by David Saez

1 stars We can be careful with what is sold as if it were an album, a CD, because "Reactivated Tarkus" is nothing more than a demo, a bootleg recorded during a test. Well recorded, yes, but It's a favor to any novel group be promoted with something of such poor quality?

The demo offers a musical concept based entirely on the symphonic rock of the seventies. The first item is a tribute to the work of EL & P "Tarkus". Anyway, do not expect a Tarkus 2, because the arrangements are more simple. On the other hand, the rest of the demo reminded me "Caravan" including some blue note.

Unfortunately the group is in a long stand-by because Daniel Seglers, compositor and soul of the group is recovering from a ictus. We hope his recovery and with the experience this promising group can make a quantum leap.

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 Single & Live by URBAN TRAPEZE album cover Live, 2007
4.29 | 3 ratings

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Single & Live
Urban Trapeze Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hey, guys of Urban Trapeze. now you're talking! The band's sophomore effort "Single & Live" really does exhibit the essential splendor that sets the band's core sound. This item's title is literal, just like that - it comprises two tracks that originally had appeared on a single-CD, plus a live gig at "La Gramola" (Manresa - April, 3rd of 2005). The tracklist successfully displays the band members' proficiency and gusto for an eclectic approach to prog rock. 'Within My Flesh' is a hell of an opener. This lovely track states an agile, appealing take at Canterbury legends Hatfield and Caravan. Why is it so short? The attractive moods created by the playful flute lines and the track's catchy rhythmic development built a solid ground for a loftier musical feast. Anyway, it is a lovely track whatsoever. 'Create Your Way' does grow within a properly expanded structure. This piece combines jazz-prog and Yessian symphonic prog in a very dynamic way, setting a powerful frame for the track's main body. There is also a slow portion that reminds me of "Dark Side"-era Pink Floyd. The live section gets started with the first three sections of the 'Reactivated Tarkus' suite (the best sections, in my opinion). The start of 'Dreams & legends in the Iceberg's Heart' seems to have missed its starting point, but in the end, what you get is a very good combination of spacey symphonic prog, psychedelia and jazz-prog. The vocal department is a bit weak, but it doesn't detract from the special magic that is created in this song's slower portions. There is something really intriguing about the prominent synth sounds and the rhythm duo's dynamics that makes Urban Trapeze stand quite closely related to the 70s Italian symphonic scene (Le Orme, Apoteosi). 'My Body' establishes a peculiar combination of space-rock friendly symphonic prog with the less stylish, early facet of Canterbury. The intrepid passages never get aggressive: in fact, they are mainly extensions of the main ambiences comprised in the track's integral development. 'Answer?' starts as a soft ballad, dreamy and relaxing, before bursting into yet another excellent Canterbury-style jam: Urban Trapeze really nailed the spirit of Caravan's first three albums, mastering it with its own particular skill and stamina. An electrifying drum solo follows, which states an enthusiastic vibe in accord with the prominent moods in the album's repertoire. The funny, relatively free version of 'Peter Gunn' reinforces the overall high spirit. This is most certainly the progressive trend in which UT feels more comfortable: predominance of the jazz-prog factor, jam-friendly, with symphonic and space-rock elements settling in for good measure. The closer 'Evolution' was also the closer for the debut release "Reactivated Tarkus", only this time its presence makes much more sense - it's not a graft but a pertinent culminating point for this tracklist. Like I said earlier, this is the album in which the essence of Urban Trapeze's prog creativity bears a real powerful presence.

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 Reactivated Tarkus by URBAN TRAPEZE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.54 | 9 ratings

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Reactivated Tarkus
Urban Trapeze Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Reactivated Tarkus" is the debut album by Urban Trapeze, consisting mostly of tracks recorded live in rehearsals in a studio. The album kicks off with the namesake suite, whose first section is introduced by Floydian spacey textures, mostly on synth. Abruptly in an effective way, the whole ensemble settles in with urgent bombast, a display of sonic power that stands halfway between "Trilogy"-era ELP and 72-73 Le Orme, with ounces of "Ocean"-era Eloy. The basic melodic motifs are properly developed here in order to set a controlled aggressive mood, rocking and appealing. The "Felona e Sorona" influences a times seem to be dominant over the easily absorbing Emersonian heritage. The last two sections turn into slower rhythmic schemes: 'Desert's Wind' is relaxing and introspective, stating a mixture of the contemplative side of PF and the romantic vein of Camel; 'Spider of Fire' shifts to a fuller, more pompous development, with the slow tempo allowing to preserve the overall ceremonious trend. 'Crazy Colors' finds the band leading toward a different timbre, a jazzy one somewhat influenced by the Canterbury scene (mostly Caravan, with hints to Hatfield & the North). The flourishes drawn in by flutist Marc Viaplana provide soaring subtleties to the main motif, while the electric guitar solo that emerges later is more focused on exploring the general dynamics. It is a pity that this piece does not get the benefit of a wider expansion, since that kind of arrangement would surely have taken more advantage of the beautiful flute lines in favor of the track's potential ambition. On the other hand, the potential is indeed well explores in 'Urban Trapeze'. Once again, the Canterbury element feels very relevant to my ears: this track is more frantic than the preceding one, and its slightly rougher edge makes Urban Trapeze (See? This is also the band's name) lean a bit closer to Egg. The drum solo reveals Anzola's stamina as well as his jazz-oriented chops. The last studio track is 'Infinite Sea', a prog ballad abundantly based on the progression delivered on piano. The permanent meditative mood that seems to stick endlessly to a specific part of the Universe helps to build up a relaxing atmosphere: the flowing and focused lyricism elaborated by Seglers kind of reminds me of what Latimer did for 'Ice' (from Camel's "I Can See Your House from Here"). The last track is a live performance of 'Evolution', a piece stylistically located in the realms of classic Focus with touches of space-rock - guitarist Satorras and drummer Anzola are the most featured instrumentalists here, as if they were in charge of a joint leadership for their fellow members. This muscular piece is a very good closer for this album, but all in all, "Reactivated Tarkus" seems to lack a complete focus. The material is very good but the integral result is not totally excellent - we will have to wait for bigger accomplishments in the "Single & Live" album, but again, that is a matter for another review. So, for this album... 3.75 stars.

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