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REDD

Eclectic Prog • Argentina


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Redd biography
REDD is the most prominent progressive band from Tucumán (Argentina). After the dissolution of LA PEQUEÑA BANDA DE TRÍCUPA (or TRÍCUPA, for short), guitarist Luis ALBORNOZ and drummer Juan ESCALANTE decided to move on and form a new band with a more experimental vein; bassist Esteban CERIONI joined very soon. In January 1977 REDD was a reality. The creative department was completed with the participation of Ricardo GANDOLFO as lyricist. The band's debut on stage took place in June of that same year, when the trio headlined for L. A. SPINETTA, one of the greatest heroes in the history of Argentina's rock. By the end of 1977, REDD contacted the people of M.I.A. in order to get acquainted with the dynamics of independent recording and distribution. In 1978, the trio gained a minor cult among concert goers in Buenos Aires and a good critical reception. It is in 1979 that the band manages to release the debut album "Tristes Noticias del Imperio", which had been recorded the year before. It stated a mixture of INVISIBLE, GENESIS and KING CRIMSON, with touches of jazz-rock. The instrumentation was augmented with the keyboard ornaments delivered by CERIONI and ESCALANTE, plus the former adding some acoustic guitar besides his bass/keyboard inputs. A few weeks after the completion of the album's recording, ESCALANTE was diagnosed with a disease that severely affected his hearing: this tragic event led him to give up music. Finally, in 2005, he lost his battle against cancer.

Back in 1979: the band's new line-up was augmented into a quintet, with the entry of lead singer Óscar IMHOFF, keyboardist Pollo Raffo and new drummer Marcos PUSINERI. The style remained essentially the same, but the instrumentation was fuller and more powerful, somewhat emphasizing the symphonic aspect - no doubt that this was due to the presence of a permanent keyboardist. Near the end of 1979, REDD's sophomore album "Cuentos del Subsuelo" had been recorded and it had been planned for release by early 1980, but it wasn't meant to be. The band dissolved in 1981. Since RAFFO had left the band to pursue musical studies in Berklee (USA), Lito VITALE played keyboards for the band in the last concerts. "Cuentos del Subsuelo" eventually met its first release in digital format in 1996.

This was not the end for REDD. In fact, something special happened that brought REDD back to the map: on the December, 27th of 2002, a show called Re-Unión gathered old Tucumán bands from the 70s and the ...
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REDD discography


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

3.47 | 13 ratings
Tristes Noticias del Imperio
1979
3.75 | 14 ratings
Cuentos del Subsuelo
1996

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REDD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cuentos del Subsuelo by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.75 | 14 ratings

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Cuentos del Subsuelo
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars This Argentine band has left behind two albums that has given me a lot of head scratching problems. I am almost entirely lost for words..... but not quite.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Redd earlier (together with another PA collab) and that gave me a lot of background info for both this and their previous/debut album. But this album, their second and so far final album, still leaves me bewildered.

Redd was not a standard prog band. Their sound is Eclectic and they recorded this album under the harsh environment of a murderous military junta. Still, the sound here is great and so is the musicians skills. The music is based on the normal guitar, keyboards, vocals, bass and drums setup. The guitars and the vocals are in the foreground of the sound. The bass and drums are thundering around in the background. The vocals are an aquired taste, I have to admit. The Spanish vocals adds good colours to the band and really suits the somber sound. Reference points ? That's difficult. That is really difficult. The nearest reference is Gentle Giant and Cathedral (the 1970s band). Redd is a truly eclectic prog band which has their own unique sound.

The quality of the material is really good. Unfortunate, there is not any great songs here. This album is for me impossible to penetrate even well after ten listening sessions.

If you are looking for a pretty big challenge and for something special, the two albums by Redd should be purchased. I have a lot of time for Redd although their two albums is a mystery to me.

3 stars

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by João Paulo

4 stars A very beautiful album of this band from Argentina, from final od seventies decade. Some guitar acoustic and piano parts, made some classic progressive tracks, very balanced and very beautiful. Lyrics are in Spanish, with a melodic male voice, that makes a musical environment calm and quiet, very pleasant to hear. When we hear this album, we noticed that the main influence are the Blues and some Jazz calm. The moments of rock give this musical work, the emotional moments that are of good quality, with a sixties guitar sounds. A good job of bass and drums, instrumental moments with long, well played and worked for the musicians in the band. A good album from Argentina Progressive scene, that give to progressive universe, some very good music bands and moments. A good adiction from seventies collectors. I give 4 stars

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Strange album.......

I have given this album a lot of my time recently due to not be able to fully able to make up my mind about it. Hence; not able to write a review.

Well, most of this album feels like a proto- post rock album. That is my main impression. But there is also a lot of real proto-prog and not at least; space rock in this album. Jefferson Airplane springs to mind. So does Velvet Underground too. But Gentle Giant is also present here. The Spanish vocals also gives this album a special flavour. Add some Radiohead too. Wow, this is a rather unique album.

The music is based on the vocals and with some help from tangents (organ, piano), drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars. The music is more mellow than symphonic and bombastic.

The music is good throughout the album. There is no outstanding tracks, but no weak tracks either. It is a good debut album from a band who recorded this album during difficult circumstances. And that is all I can say about this album.

3 stars

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Argentinian trio REDD was formed in 1977, and "Tristes Noticias del Imperio" was to be the first of two albums this band issued before disbanding. While they were a highly talented act, a disease affecting the hearing of drummer and keyboardist Escalante diagnosed a few weeks after the completion of this debut effort caused an abrupt stop to the further development of this band, and while a new formation recorded a second album this constellation fell apart, and it wasn't until 1996 this production saw a belated release. This reissue from 2009 of their initial album comes courtesy of Argentinian label Viajero Inmovil Records, and features 5 bonus tracks. It was released in the memory of Juan Escalante, who passed away due to cancer in 2005.

"Tristes Noticias del Imperio" is a good quality effort through and through, a production that has stood the test of time very well indeed. And while perhaps not exploring the most advanced fiels of the progressive rock universe it is an effort that merits a listen by those who have a general fondness for art rock, with followers of artists like Pink Floyd and King Crimson as a likely key audience. Existing fans should find most of the bonus material to be worthwhile as well, as this is one of those rare instances where the additional material is just about as interesting as the rest of the release.

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 Cuentos del Subsuelo by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.75 | 14 ratings

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Cuentos del Subsuelo
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars Well Argentinean fans probably know the history of this band far better than I do so I won't attempt to try and unwind the various permutations and lineup changes from their brief existence or the 2002 "reunion". It's enough to note that this record was first recorded as the band's sophomore effort in late 1979/early 1980 but not released until RPW finally put out a digital version in 1996, fifteen years after the band itself had ceased to exist.

Guitarist Luis Albornoz and bassist Esteban Cerioni remain from the trio that recorded the first (and excellent) debut record, and are augmented by a dedicated lead vocalist in Óscar Imhoff, a new drummer with Marco Pusineri and keyboardist in Juan Pollo Raffo. It's interesting to note that Juan Escalante filled all three of those roles on the band's first album.

The synths are much more prevalent here than on the band's earlier work, although everything I've heard from them features a fair amount of keyboard and synth work. With a full-time lead singer there are also a lot more vocals, and Imhoff has a very strong voice although for me the band's music is good enough on its own that they didn't really need to add much singing.

The original recording is rather brief with just five songs that blend together quite well except for the somewhat light and silly "Los Entretenimientos de Medianoche del Profesor Frankestein" which includes some hopped-up vocal echoing and turgid keyboard/guitar passages apparently intended to give off a sort of old-time monster-movie vibe. I'm not sure what the point was of this track and while the music is well done it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the songs.

On the other end of the spectrum is the roller-coaster trip titled "Asesino Sentimental" which ranges from heavy guitar/bass riffs to almost lounge-like electric piano/jazzy vocal passages and slowly fades at the end with a saddish jangle of electric guitar and segues into the closing stilting synths and guitar work of "Dedos Tristes". That one features some beautiful guitar flourishes that call to mind some the great guitar-hero bands and albums of the late seventies and very early eighties. A perfect ending that pulls this album up from just a 'pretty good' level to something quite memorable.

The three bonus tracks are live recordings from the early eighties right before the band dissolved. The sound quality is poor but the extended treatment on "Matinée" from their debut record is especially worth listening to. "Reyes en Guerra" is also from their debut and is for the most part faithful to the original, while "Dedos Tristes" is a live version from the same track on this album and shows the band's ability to extend the various instrumental passages though in the end doesn't add a whole lot to the original.

I've been wanting to listen to this album for a long time after being introduced to Redd from Esteban Cerioni's later effort known as Redd Land. In total the music here is worth seeking out for the beautiful instrumentation and extended arrangements of most of the songs. It's not a masterpiece as far as my ears are concerned, but definitely deserves recognition as something of a lost remnant of a style of music that was sadly in decline by the time Redd recorded it to close out the seventies decade. Four stars out of five is a good and fair rating, and well-recommended to fans of Argentinean 'folk' prog music.

peace

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars 2.5 stars...

REDD were a short-lived prog band of Argentinian origin,formed in mid-70's in Tucuman,after the demise of ''La pequena banda de tricupa''.The later had a good live activity in Buenos Aires,but didn't manage to release anything.Two members of the band,Luis Albornoz and Juan Escalante, decided to follow a more challemging path,adding Esteban Cerioni behind the drums.Towards the end of the decade REDD came in touch with ''M.I.A.'',who helped them record their debut ''Tristas noticias del imperio''.

This is mainly an eclectic mix of sounds,drawing influences from psych rock,jazz and blues,even light symphonic rock,but all wrapped under a very mellow and slow-tempo atmosphere.Acoustic guitars are the main instrument here with some soft sophisticated passages,followed by tracks with psych,almost fuzzy electric guitar work with good breaks.The rhythm section delivers a lot of blues and jazz influences,yet this is always following the generally calm atmosphere.There is even some pastoral,light symph parts,characterized surprisingly by the nice and sensitive vocal lines.It should also be added that the band's sound resembles more to a group from early-70's than a band entering the 80's...this is a decent album actually with a few good moments,but a lot of mediocre and forgettable ones as well...but its main problem is the lack of dynamics and energy throughout....maybe a good addition for fans of acoustic-based relaxed progressive rock.

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Redd started their discography with this little gem of Argentinean prog "Tristes Noticias del Imperio" - a nice musical work very much influenced by Invisible and Genesis, plus unmistakable King Crimson hints and a heavily jazz-oriented approach on the rhythmic department (mainly due to drummer Juan Escalante's vibe). Unlike their sophomore album recorded one year later with an altered line-up, this album doesn't bear a meticulously developed compositional work: the repertoire's main appeal is based on the dynamics created through the interaction of all three musicians, occasionally augmented by overdubbed guitar parts and synth ornaments. Concerning the repertoire, the CD edition states a different tracklist from the one in the original vinyl, but in my opinion the moods are not essentially modified. I'll comment on the CD edition. The namesake opener brings a catchy, deceitfully simplistic motif constructed around the busy drums and Spartan guitar riffs, followed by two distinct sung sections that go from a melodic jazzy scheme to a slightly bluesy hard rock drive. This track really works as an opener despite the fact that it was the vinyl's closure. 'Kamala' brings a set of serene ambiences, mostly relying on the folkish acoustic guitar: it is a pity that the synth ornaments come right before the track ends, because they promised to bring a more elaborated climax. 'Reyes en Guerra' states a mid-tempo rocker whose lyrics portray disillusionment at the military regime that ruled supreme in Argentine at the time: it's arguably the most powerful track in the album compositionally, and indeed, a Redd classic. 'Matinée' is another Redd classic, stating a melancholy mood on a bluesy jazz tempo, slow as the mood demands it be. 'Nocturno de Enero' really should have been longer: the bucolic prologue and epilogue are delivered properly (almost like "Trespass"-era Genesis-meets CSNY), but the jazz-prog interlude deserved a major development in terms of contrast building. This track promised to be more accomplished in terms of writing and arrangements. 'Kamala II' and 'Kamala III' (the latter, a bonus) continue in the soft, reflective mood stated by the first 'Kamala' theme. The two instrumentals 'Parche Armónico' and 'Después de un Mes', recorded live and included as bonuses, find the band exploring their heavy prog side: Escalante really brings it on with his solid drumming. I only wish this side had been more present in the official tracklist. Anyway, this is a very good album from a band that only recently has gained recognition from prog fans over the world. While not equaling the magic of "Cuentos del Subuselo", "Tristes Noticias" is a very good sample of the kind of prog created in South America in the good old times.

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 Tristes Noticias del Imperio by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.47 | 13 ratings

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Tristes Noticias del Imperio
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars Another outstanding Argentinean act from the seventies. This is a band I mentioned a year ago as one that deserved some attention, as does a follow-on Esteban Cerioni band known as Redd Land (and apparently is sometimes also known as the Esteban Cerioni Band). The debut Redd album was made with the support of members of M.I.A., and it shows in the depth of the arrangements.

The variety of instrumental sounds here is quite impressive considering the liner notes only credit three musicians. It probably doesn’t hurt that the drummer also played keyboards (and various percussion add-ons). Cerioni expands the band’s capabilities considerably by adding a string section courtesy of an ARP synthesizer, and Luis Albornoz plays both acoustic and electric guitars with equal advanced ability. There are some apparent influences here, ranging from CSNY-like vocals on “Reyes en guerra” to some of King Crimson’s odd rhythmic experimentation on the title track and elsewhere, to what could be considered a Led Zeppelin rhythm section on “Parche armónico”.

But most of all, this album is full of really graceful compositions that flow out of the trio with disarming ease. I especially like the acoustic guitar and ARP interplay that make up the three-part “Kamala”. This is not your typical three-part progressive tune though; the third part is actually a live recording thrown in on the CD reissue. And while the second part is a studio track, it is sandwiched between a couple other bonus songs on the CD version of the record, and sounds like it was recorded somewhere other than where the first part was. But this doesn’t take a bit away from the smooth and fluid bass/ drum rhythm atop which the ARP strings and Albornoz’ guitars dance. While this isn’t flamenco or salsa or any other kind of traditional Latin music, the inflection (possibly tuning) especially of the acoustic guitar makes it clear these are Latin musicians.

Most of the album is instrumental, although there are a few vocals spread about on the title track, plus “Reyes en guerra” (harmonies no less), and especially on the lengthy “Matinée”. The singers are a bit understated, which in this case serves to accentuate the music’s keyboard arrangements and allow the synth strings to fill in around the guitar. A beautiful song not quite in the symphonic bent of contemporaries like M.I.A., Espiritu or Amagrama, but more like very smooth jazz with a taste of heavy prog thrown in for spice.

But the highlight for me is the title track, a nine-minute plus affair which starts out with a rock drum/ bass beat and soaring synths before slowing down to a jazzy interlude before turning almost eighties hair band just briefly and finally returning to the opening riffs and strings to bring the whole thing to a definitive and solid close. I’ve no idea what statement the band was trying to make with that track, but the variety and seamless transitions are impressive and captivating. A great opening impression for the band’s debut album and brief career.

This albums is quite rare, and from what I understand sold out almost immediately when it was released nearly thirty years ago. But fortunately the Argentinean label PRW reissued it in the nineties, and Musea did as well. An outstanding and definitely eclectic band that wouldn’t last all that long, but left a legacy in this album that is well worth hearing. Four stars and highly recommended to lovers of Latin and world music, symphonic prog fans who like some rock in their prog, and probably to most other progressive music fans as well. Worth seeking out.

peace

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 Cuentos del Subsuelo by REDD album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.75 | 14 ratings

BUY
Cuentos del Subsuelo
Redd Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Cuentos del Subsuelo" is Redd's sophomore effort. It took so many years before it was eventually released as a CD, when plans were intended for a 1980 release as a regular vinyl. Anyway, the pros and cons of independent efforts. Redd had already stated a clear musical path in their debut album "Tristes Noticias del Imperio", and "Cuentos del Susbuelo" pursues a similar dynamics and sound. Only this time the band has a permanent keyboardist on board and a stronger vocalist: the latter and the new drummer together replaced Juan Escalante, the founder member who left the band after the recording sessions of "Tristes Noticias". I said that the band's dynamics and sound remained the same, but definitely the sound is fuller and more robust, which is clearly due to the newcomer keyboardist: with him in the band, the guitar riffs and harmonic bases can bear a slightly louder fill (something important for the climatic and fast passages), and the band as a whole can elaborate a more orchestral vibe, which is good for the preservation of melancholic moods in the predominant slow songs and the enhancement of sonic elegance for the climaxes. In terms of writing and arranging issues, the band is more consciously engaged with melodic beauty than ever - this is, indeed, my favorite Redd album. The album's opener is 'Como la Esmeralda', a definitive Redd classic that states a solid, melancholic ambience, properly augmented by the bluesy guitar's lead phrases and the subtle keyboard deliveries, very much like Invisible-meets-romantic Camel. The emotion is given an extra dose of passion with 'El Padre de Ícaro', arguably the most amazing song that Redd has ever written. Revolving around Dedalus' infinite sadness for his son's foolish death, this song displays a series of haunting instrumental and vocal lines that frontally reflect a sense of despair drowned in a restless quietness. The final vocal lines delivered by Imhoff are the pure incarnation of sadness (even if the words relate the emotion in the third person), and the instrumental coda brings the final drama. Awesome! Things get heavier and lighter with the good spirited song 'Los Entretenimientos de Medianoche del Dr.Frankenstein' states an ironic tale of domination through science with a mixture of heavy prog and psychedelia, including some satiric soliloquy. The album's last two pieces keep on exploring the stylish melancholy of 'Como la Esmeralda' and take it to the most expressive level. 'El Asesino Sentimental' is a soft prog blues with a momentary hard rocking break, relying mostly on atmospheres and emotions - Imhoff's passionate vocals shine here with special brightness. And the same applies to 'Dedos Tristes', although this time the instrumentalists state a more aggressive approach - the strength is constrained, though, in order to keep the nuclear melancholy vivid and not turn it into anger. This song really captures the album's most recurrent mood, so it is only coherent that it should close it down. The 3 bonus tracks are taken from a live performance in the early 80s. The songs (2 from this same album and 1 from the debut) are given a bigger expansion in their live renditions: it's a pity that the sound quality is so lousy, since you can really suspect that the band's live stamina gave an extra intensity to the pieces. Well, all in all, "Cuentos del Subsuelo", by building up from the musical scheme developed in "Tristes Noticias", brought Redd's vision to its ultimate expression. An excellent album by a band that left good memories in the Argentina's rock scene.

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Thanks to Cesar Inca for the artist addition.

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