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Proto-Prog • Slovakia

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Gattch biography
Referring to GATTCH means not only to highlight a reasonably legendary (in its time) Slovakian band, but also adding another piece of puzzle to the history of progressive rock and how it evolved in that country, or in Czechoslovakia altogether. The band considerably took the 60s feel into a new decade, proving to be main actors throughout their short spanned career.

Still, it is a small matter of debate if GATTCH is of proto-prog renown for Czechoslovakia's slowly developing orientation, offering thus a preset for the mid-70s big bands COLLEGIUM MUSICUM, FERMATA and especially BLUE EFFECT, or rather affirming themselves together with those three and with several others. The filtered influences from late 60s US and British rock music - opposite to neither keeping up with, nor picking any major lead from the contemporary prog bands - and the classic rock format of the ensemble reason towards the former, while the sound and stylistic force, plus perhaps the fact that they're remembered well for their progressive attitude (and slightly mysterious aura), offers a healthy bit of both.

GATTCH was formed in 1969 as a student band, with lust for beat, psychedelic and pop-rock. The name peculiarly stands for the initials of each of the five classical-trained musicians' nicknames: "George" Juraj Stefula on drums, pianist, "Ali" Ľudovít Beladič, bassist "Tony" Anton Lančarič, "Tomy" Tomás Rédey on guitar and violin, and "Charlie" Karol Slanina on the rhythm guitar. The latter departs however very early on. Further changes of line-up happened when Lančarič left in 1972, being replaced by Valentín Čekovský, and when jazz saxophonist and bassist Gabriel Jonás played together with the group in concerts, if only briefly.

Their rock- & jazz-filled, fuzzy-rhythmed but unusually sequenced sole self-titled release (dating 1971) doesn't reflect integrally upon GATTCH's activity, at least given a number of participations in beat music local festivals and competitions, that happened prior to that, between 1969-1971. Nonetheless it is the highlight of GATTCH's abovementioned blend of styles and attitudes, juxtaposing classical conservatory pieces with jazz (even free-jazz), psych, blues and rock, marking signs of experimental rush together with the popular groove, besides an instrumental concept of art-rock brilliance (although, in parallel, there are mentions of vocal songs, with surreal to the ear but supposedly censor-e...
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GATTCH discography

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

3.52 | 10 ratings

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

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

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

4.74 | 8 ratings

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

GATTCH Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gattch by GATTCH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.52 | 10 ratings

Gattch Proto-Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Gattch were a Czechoslovakian group formed in 1969 that originally played beat, pop and psychedelic music. By the time their self-titled album was released in 1972, the band had moved in an instrumental direction, playing a mix of undemanding blues, gentle jazz grooves and slightly adventurous rock music. Often driven by the scorching lead guitar (and some striking violin) of Tomas `Tomy' Redey, the tracks on the album are catchy, breezy and very easy to listen to, the sort of music that would probably make the perfect soundtrack for a nice drive on a summer afternoon!

Right from the start, Tony Lancaric's chunky bass punches through to the front, where it remains throughout most of the eight pieces offered here. All of the pieces are effortlessly groovy and often upbeat, foot-tapping tunes. Gentle jazzy piano frequently tinkers away, soothing acoustic guitar flavours strum along, and occasional wordless sighing group harmonies enhance the laid-back cruisy mood. Delicate harpsichord rings dreamily throughout the second track, `Narodenie' is a nicely plodding slow-burn blues with a cool snarling acid-rock tone to the electric guitar and rattling drumming, `Neznama Tvar' jumps in and out of frantic up-tempo moments with sprightly piano and bluesy guitar, and `Vlak' has an infectious melody behind some nicely searing lead electric guitar soloing.

Things get more interesting starting from the lengthier pieces in the second half, displaying the most potential that the band had, as well as numerous directions they could have moved in on future albums. Other-worldly treated drowsy group harmonies, stirring violin, disorientating piano and thick plucking bass pounds through this tasty take on jazz-fusion, the band taking their music to a higher level with more variety and sophistication. The darkly dramatic continuation `Reminiscencia II' is psychedelic and freeform with drifting electric piano and softly droning violin. `Pontrapunkticka...' starts off nicely playful, with maddening winding electric guitar lines almost taking on a nursery rhyme melody, then followed by group jamming with lots of effective builds where the band work up a nicely simmering jazzy storm.

There would be no follow up album for Gattch, and we only have this sole work left to listen to. Not entirely satisfying due to not much in the way of complexity, depth or more truly ambitious arrangements, but definitely full of pleasing moments to enjoy on the surface, and it's probably mostly appreciated as a nicely performed undistracting background listen. It's also now available in a limited edition double CD set along with Modry Efekt's symphonic near-classic `Svitanie', so together the two albums make a fine package.

Three stars.

 Gattch by GATTCH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.52 | 10 ratings

Gattch Proto-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Gattch's studio offering is one of these rare times when Studio recording is overshadowed by Compilation. I have to say that I usually prefer Studio albums over compilations and rate comps worse when they offer nothing new or has bad tracks, but this time, "Gattch - Gattch", studio album, pales.

Which doesn't mean it's bad. Actually it's still good, only not so variable and breathtaking. 35 minutes of good music (read my other review on compilation album page, there's everything explained).

4(-), if you can, get the other album. You will get content of this album + a lot more material. It makes this studio album (sigh, it's sad) quite irrelevant and redundant. It's good if you are collectionist and want to have everything they released (for historical purposes for example). But otherwise, this record has been surpassed.

Again, I have to remind you that this album is as good as what is forming it. 8 very good tracks (again, see my other review).

 Komplet by GATTCH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
4.74 | 8 ratings

Gattch Proto-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

5 stars It took a long time to write this review and in the course of writing it, I have just lost it. So here is second (worse) version of what I recall:

I want to advice you to read Gattch's biography. It's truly well written and Ricochet must have done great job finding correct info. Even I'm from this area

This compilation really offers what is signifies: Complete version of what Gattch fan (or curious Prog fan) could want. Studio material + a lot of bonus tracks + live version (which features many songs that aren't in studio/bonus tracklist).

There's something from The Beatles (turned Prog) material, some Heavy/Hard Rock parts (rare), South American Prog legacy (like in Vokalna studia) which are often connected with another element of Gattch's music - classical music takes (which will be later more famously [and even better] used by Collegium Musicum). Add Jazzy parts (this kind of drumming) and you get something that transcends Proto-Prog genre. Lenghty guitar solos, numerous drum solos,

5(-), there is simply everything. There are some negatives, such as that quality isn't as big as of more famous artists, or that you will have very hard time (probably) getting this album, but it's worth of it.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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