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KHARMINA BURANNA

Eclectic Prog • Peru


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Kharmina Buranna biography
Founded in Lima in 1996, Peruvian band KHARMINA BURANNA started as a blues-rock band that took influences from both American and British acts in the 60s and 70s, which led them to include covers of material by HENDRIX, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, DEEP PURPLE and STEVIE RAY VAUGHN among their own songs. The band's technical proficiency was immediately recognizable, which explains how they managed to win a number of rock contests. This really proved a nearly interest for that classic era of rock, with the blues essence being consistent until 2000. That was when the band took an 8-month break. Back on the road in early 2001, KHARMINA BURANNA reactivated itself as a progressive rock band, convincingly assuming influences from GENESIS, JETHRO TULL, YES, KING CRIMSON, FOCUS, SERÚ GIRÁN and GENTLE GIANT. All in all, the blues and hard rock elements were not lost, still finding room in part of the band's renovated repertoire: in fact, they have become crucial for the band's heavy approach to the complexities of prog rock. Also, the archetypical harmonica remains an important instrumental input (the vocalist is in charge of it). This new found musical faith led to an instrumental expansion of some band members: keyboardist Daniel LÓPEZ added tuned percussion into his duties, while bassist Mauricio HOOKER doubled played flute and recorder. No doubt that the band was ready to infuse augmented colors to the ensemble's full sound.

After a long time spent in pre-production, recording and post-production sessions, KHARMINA BURANNA's debut album "El Arte de Seguir Vivos" was released in August 1st of 2008, on Mylodon Records. Among the guest musicians is the illustrious FRÁGIL multi-instrumentalist from Octavio CASTILLO, as well as Japanese violinist Pauchi SASAKI. That same August 1st the band gave a concert for the official presentation of "El Arte de Seguir Vivos", which served both as a farewell by lead vocalist Ángelo PÉREZ-PALMA (set to pursue personal interests outside Peru) and an introduction to new vocalist Federico MESINAS. Anyway, this association didn't last too long although the new singer proved to be capable and charismatic. The band was cut down to a quartet through the entire year 2009, with bass player Mauricio HOOKER sparsely assuming lead vocal duties.

All in all, through the following years, KHARMINA BURANNA decided to focus on the instrumental side of things, even performing instrumental versions of tracks from the debut album while creating...
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Seres HumanosSeres Humanos
Musea/Azafran Media 2013
Audio CD$14.49
El Arte De Seguir VivosEl Arte De Seguir Vivos
Mylodon Records
Audio CD$23.93
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KHARMINA BURANNA discography


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

3.73 | 16 ratings
El Arte de Seguir Vivos
2008
3.77 | 11 ratings
Seres Humanos
2012

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KHARMINA BURANNA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seres Humanos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.77 | 11 ratings

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Seres Humanos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by MJAben

3 stars What a surprise this! I went into this album not expecting much, well, not knowing what to expect really. I'm not going to say that this is a brilliant album, most of what you hear here you have probably heard before but it's played so wonderfully and with such conviction that this almost doesn't matter.

Not every song is of the same caliber, Pastal Mental takes a while to get going (but is nice once it does), Sublime Muerte feels a bit out of place and 10:27 feels like it's struggling to find a place for itself.

But the other three songs are all absolutely fantastic, no complaints, gorgeous and intelligent music throughout here. The female vocals are of special note, they seem to the song Seres Humanos to see what I'm talking about.

The album is not without its flaws but the good definitely outweighs the bad here, a fine addition to anybody's collection.

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 Seres Humanos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.77 | 11 ratings

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Seres Humanos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One of the last 2012 releases by Azafrán Media was the album "Seres Humanos" by Peruvian act Kharmina Buranna, another band whose work was previously unknown to me. They had already released a debut album in 2008 which I already reviewed by the way, and now in this 2012 they gave birth to a highly acclaimed CD at least in the Latinamerican market. An album that shows the band at their best, with 6 great compositions that make a total time of 52 minutes in which we can enjoy this labyrinth of progressive rock sounds, an eclectic album without a doubt.

It opens with "Pasta mental" whose first minutes are totally introductory, they are opening the gates to their new child, their new album so please enter, sit comfortable and enjoy the music. After two minutes guitars enter and the music becomes a bit heavier, however later keyboards made it lighter, so it is a nice combination between instruments' directions. I like the last minute and the passage with acoustic guitar and nice bass. "Seres humanos", the title-track comes next. A 10-minute song which shows the potential of this band. It starts slowly, with nice keyboards, later soft acoustic guitar and female vocals for the first time; when vocals disappear there is a nice passage with funeral drums over a scheme of keys; the atmosphere changes every minute, but the goal is the same. So the song is flowing, flowing in a soft way with a cool peaceful mood that in moments has to increase its emotions, the only thing you must do is to open your mind to music, as the singer says.

"Sublime muerte" has a delicate start with acoustic guitar, pastoral and beautiful, after a minute and a half electric guitar enters now, but keep with that soft and delicious rhythm and mood. After two minutes drums appear and the music flows once again, now with a rockier style, but never missing that delicate sound; the electric guitar produces an emotional riff that greatly accompanies the track. "10:27" continues with that soft and delicate mood; as a parenthesis, I remember their first CD was full of vertiginous tracks, so this album is different, which means they are open to reinvent themselves when required. Anyways, this track changes after a minute and becomes more interesting, showing their skills as composers and performers, and of course, that always present progressive rock style. This song is interesting, I like how they combine the mood, emotions, atmospheres, rhythms and put them all in one single song.

"Odisea" is a wonderful track, more bombastic than the previous. This is a cool explosion of nuances and rhythms, an intelligent composition without a doubt. I love the powerful beginning with keyboards, guitars and drums creating a good combo, here the progressive rock essence is present all the time; later the song changes, as you can imagine, a darker 4/4 passage appears with a repetitive keyboard rhythm that continues like this for at least 3 minutes more and then the music becomes more powerful, without reaching the metal level, but clearly the heavy prog one. Excellent song, excellent odyssey.

And the album finishes with the epic "Lenguas de trapo" that lasts 17 minutes. The first two and a half minutes are just electric guitar playing in a very soft way, then a short silence and a new structure will appear, now with piano, guitars, bass and drums creating together a musical ensemble that offers first class progressive rock. So the song progresses, shows different passages, like jigsaws that complete a puzzle because each of them are connected and need the other to its success. Later female vocals enter again, I like her voice it suits great with the music, no matter if the background shows the light or hard side of Kharmina Buranna. I like how this track does not really have a clear climax, I mean, it has some explosions like in minute 14, but overall I believe all the passages as equally important, there is not a moment when you say wooow this is the moment, which could be cool or bad, you decide, I like it and that means the music succeeded with me.

Well, this is a very good album by this band from Peru, so I invite you to give it a spin, you will surely have a good experience. Final grade, 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

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 El Arte de Seguir Vivos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 16 ratings

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El Arte de Seguir Vivos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Kharmina Buranna is an interesting band from Peru who is becoming better known here in Mexico due to their relationship with Azafran Media, and though their debut album was not released under that label, I could manage to own a copy of "El arte de seguir vivos" which was released in 2008 with Mylodon Records. The album features five compositions and a total time of 52 minutes of good progressive rock with rock and blues hints, very interesting.

It kicks off with "Bosque de piedras" which is the longest composition here, it is challenging to begin with an epic, so kudos for them. The song starts with keyboards, making a symphonic sound, after a minute drums and strings join and begin to build a nice structure, the instrumental part is brief because later vocals appear and make a change in the rhythm and style, with a rockish feeling. After 4 minutes the song shows a new face, acoustic guitar and flute creating a beautiful folkish passage that sounds so Latin, reminiscent of some Argentinean or Chilean 70s bands. Then it changes again, with more power and more musical elements, as well as cool lyrics "entu desolación encontrarás la calma" is one of my favorite phrases of the whole album. What I like of this song is that they were capable of collecting different styles with apparently distant forms and put it in one long piece; it is a very good composition that let us know about the band's skills.

"Del parque" begins again with some soft keyboards but after 40 seconds it becomes bluesy and rockier, it greatly flows and with keys and guitars make also a kind of spacey sound, so it is again a salad of sounds and styles, which is a description of Kharmina Buranna's music. Here we can also listen to cool guitar riffs and some nice time signature changes. "El arte de seguir vivos" is the shortest track, and continues with the bluesy style, something like Led Zep meets Invisible meets Gov't Mule, so go figure. This is another nice track.

"Sueños de opio" has a truly promising beginning with a delicious sound that once again combines the prog with the blues rock, here they also play the flute so the mixture is wonderful again. After a minute it slows down, the spacey synth enters and the bass play some notes, this is like a moment of uncertainty because nobody knows what will happen next, but then the first rhythm returns now with keyboards as a crucial player. Just before the fifth minute vocals enter, this passage is slow, the music calmed down and now it is not a ballad, but it is not far from it; the music flows and new elements are being added little by little, keyboard solos can also be heard. The last part is very pastoral, with violin and flute creating a warm and beautiful atmosphere, an unexpected ending of this great song.

The last track is "Labra un lugar (para sonidos)" which offers a feast of sounds and music, we are music, we are everything and it is reflected in this song, because we can find everything here: from prog to folk, from blues to space rock, all well built and structured, a clever composition that does not ask anything from the big old bands, in other words, Kharmina Buranna should be more in the spot, more people should notice their music because it is great, and they are truly talented.

A solid debut album by this Peruvian band, which deserves 4 stars at least.

Enjoy it!

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 El Arte de Seguir Vivos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 16 ratings

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El Arte de Seguir Vivos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Kharmina Buranna from Peru were formed in summer 96' in Lima, originally playing Blues/Hard Rock in the vein of British and American bands, while the group participated in several music competitions.After a short break in 2000 they returned with a whole different style, now influenced by 70's Progressive Rock giants such as Genesis, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Focus.With bassist/flutist Mauricio Hooker, keyboardist Daniel Lopez, guitarist Eduardo Valcarcel, drummer Victor Otarola and singer Angelo Perez-Palma they released their debut ''El Arte de Seguir Vivos'' in 2008 on Mylodon Records, featuring also Frágil's Octavio Castillo on flute and Japanese violin player Pauchi Sasaki.

Indeed Kharmina Buranna sound nothing like the contemporary Peruvian Prog Rock bands, which are either more experimental or more folky.Their sound has a strong vintage flavor akin to 70's British, Italian and Latin-American bands with complex orchestrations, multiple breaks and decent songwriting.Comparisons with Italian Prog are maybe the closest ones.The five long pieces are filled with heavy Hammond organs, floating synths and clavinets with a very complicated style, that sounds quite conveincing.Add a diverse and technical guitar playing in the mix with plenty of heavier and jazzy exercisesto complete the picture.But there are also lots of calmer moments thrown in with acoustic guitars, flutes, strings and piano, close to the likes of SERU GIRAN or SUI GENERIS, especially in these psych-influenced harmonica solos.What really prevents the album from being a top-notch release is the lack of strong melodies with the band showing a constant tendency towards sheer complexity and numerous shifting moods.

If 70's-influenced Progressive Rock is among your major preferences, then this is a great album for your collection.Challenging, intricate but not very original.Recommended.

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 El Arte de Seguir Vivos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 16 ratings

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El Arte de Seguir Vivos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Our scene is a truly global scene. These days, you find gems from all corners of the world. Peru is not the most exotic country in the world, but this country is still not known for it's prog scene. Kharmina Buranna may change that perseption.

Listed as a heavy prog band, Kharmina Buranna draws a lot on Rush discography. That's their baseline. Then we get a lot of other bands into their sound. Osanna (Italy), Led Zeppelin, Van Der Graaf Generator & Areknames, Gnidrolog, Gentle Giant, Fruupp, Hawkwind and Yes. Their influences are many and their sound is very complex. That complexity makes this album both accesible and unaccesible. Accessible because some of the songs are really great. Inaccessible because the music is so full of details that it demands a high degree of concentration from the listener.

The musicianship is excellent though. The vocals are in Spanish which suits this music very fine. The vocalist does a great job. The sound is both contemporary and vintage 1970s at the same time. The sound is great in other words.

The quality of the songs here are great. There is no outstanding tracks, but the album as a whole tends to creep under the skin of the listener and remain there. You just feel that this album is something special and worthy of your attention. The songs are filled with some truly great melody lines too. Mostly done with synth and keyboards. Some of the keyboard runs are brilliant.

In short, this is a nice surprise made in Peru and should be lauded as the great album it is. I hope to hear more from this band. Can we get a second helping, please ?

4 stars

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 El Arte de Seguir Vivos by KHARMINA BURANNA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 16 ratings

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El Arte de Seguir Vivos
Kharmina Buranna Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars For those like me who have been in touch with the art-rock scene that has been developing in Peru for the last 5 years, this debut album by Kharmina Buranna is a long overdue release. Now that "El Arte de Seguir Vivos" is a physical real item, we can stay assured that some of the best of the future of Peruvian prog rests in these crafty hands and creative minds. With three of the five tracks outlasting the 10 minute mark, you can tell that this band is going tightly headlong for the idea of complex music. The opener 'Bosque de Piedras' starts with flying colors through the synth layers and arpeggios, very Wakeman-esque indeed. Once the whole ensemble settles in, the lyricism prevails through the enhanced dynamism. Regarding influences and coincidences, it's fair to say that the song's overall mood states a fluid mixture of Yes, PFM and "Songs from the Wood"-era Jethro Tull. Some dissonant passages shared by the organ, lead guitar and rhythm section make the track shift momentarily to a full frontal heavy prog realm with a modern twist (Landberk, Areknamés) and a clever use of Gentle Giant-style keyboard ornaments. There is also a meditative stance all through the track's melodic development that at times brings out a family air to the compatriot legend Frágil. The opener has really been beautiful and effective, but I personally would have preferred that track 2, 'Del Parque', had been chosen as the opening song instead. Its initial rough drive, giving a heavily psychedelic twist to the band's symphonic leanings, is perhaps too muscular to stand somewhere in between in a whole tracklist. Anyway, this piece's robust trend owes a bit to VdGG, and it may sound occasionally coincidental with some of the bigger names of Italian heavy prog (Ossana, Museo Rosenbach). Also, some gentlegiantish adornments are inserted for good effect. The presence of tuned percussion enhances the keyboard bases, and special mentions have to go for the harmonica and lead guitar solos - incredible! The title track is the most obviously rooted with the band's blues-rock pre-history: it is, indeed, a solid blues rocker arranged and performed in such a stylish fashion that brings the majesty of good old Led Zeppelin and the colorfulness of "Stand Up"-"Benefit"-era JT, rather than, say, John Mayall's rough approach. Being the least complex track in the album, it would be misleading to label it as just simplistic, since the muscular delivery and powerful successive leads on harmonica, guitar and organ show a genuine musical devotion to the matter that is cooking at the moment. The last two tracks bring back the full progressive momentum: 'Sueños de Opio' starts with a varied, 4 minute long prelude that reflects the typical KB dynamics, eventually landing on the sung main motif. The latter is predominantly relaxing and, in some passages, even providing eerie introspective moments: the presence of brief orchestral arrangements helps to elaborate this sort of mood. The album's last 13 minutes are occupied by 'Labra un Lugar (de Sonidos)'. It pretty much summarizes the most vintage prog moments comprised in the previous tracks, introducing the novelty of some Emersonian details in the organ chord progressions - still, Yes, PFM, Gentle Giant and the standard of heavy prog remain essential and stable. The pastoral interlude (featuring recorder) and the coda's soft bombast provide an effective conclusion to both the track and the album. Kharmina Buranna's debut album is yet another excellent item of great contemporary prog rock made in South America.

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Thanks to Cesar Inca for the artist addition.

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