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GOVEA

Symphonic Prog • Mexico


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Govea biography
Some months ago we received a suggestion to include the Mexican Power Trio GOVEA in Symphonic, so we started the research, and the first information we got was that the band was formed by Salvador Govea in the keyboards, Victor Valdovinos percussion and Luis Arturo Guerrero in the bass, with this small amount of data, ELP came to my mind, so when I got their debut album Danza Urbana, was expecting a classical oriented band with strong keyboards, pompous arrangements and a lot of self indulgence (which to be honest I enjoy).

But our surprise was huge, even when the band had obvious Classical formation and clear 70's approach, their sound was extremely complex with some Avant Garde elements and as expected in a Mexican band ethnic components that made the music richer but strangely their performances were sober and correct without excessive pomp.

Our first decision was to send them to Eclectic because of the diversity of sounds, but at the end we decided that the best place for GOVEA is with us.

In their website they mention bands like ELP, King Crimson, PFM, Triumvirat and Le Orme among others as their main influence, but I respectfully disagree, their style even when impacted by ELP, is much more sober and formal, with a huge Neo Classical Component that makes them different, and if we add the already mentioned Mexican atmosphere, we got a unique band that deserves a place in Prog Archives because their own merits and not any influence that in any case is not determinant in their music.

We will be constantly looking at them and expecting that the excellent Danza Urbana is only the first release of a prolific career, because we need healthy bands with a classical sound but with a new and original approach as GOVEA.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

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GOVEA discography


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

3.51 | 15 ratings
Danza Urbana
2009
3.65 | 6 ratings
Raíces
2011

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

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Danza Urbana
2011

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

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

GOVEA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Salvador Govea is the mastermind behind this Mexican band.Govea had played with prog bands Similares y Conexos and Metaconciencia during mid- to late-90's and also had a short career as a member of veterans Iconoclasta at the dawn of the millenium.After leaving Iconoclasta he studied composition and in 2007 he formed this project with Iconoclasta/Muros De Agua drummer Victor Baldovinos and bassist Ernesto Mendoza.Mendoza left after the first gig to be replaced by Luis Arturo Guerrero and this new trio recorded and released indepedently Govea's debut ''Danza urbana'' in 2009.

Quite reasonably the compositions are led by Salvador Govea's keyboard ideas, drawing influences from Classical Music, Jazz and Rock.So the listener will be captured in the storm of these influences, which have a strong E.L.P. vibe and often they remind of Brazilian band DIAPASAO.The compositions of Govea are interesting and very versatile, far from boring keyboard/bass/drums trios.Plenty of piano passages, either having a jazzy approach or Classical inspiration, bearing down the rhythm section of Baldovinos and Guerrero, strong symphonic tracks with lots of sudden breaks, intricate melodies and bombastic moments, even some hypnotic Avant Garde soundscapes can be found in this release.Salvador Govea's performance is more than satisfying, this is a man with talent, delivering strong piano improvisations, grandiose organ solos and atmospheric synthesizer lines.A couple of tracks though do not work very well among the better ones, ''Claroscuro'' is too long and monotonous with atmospheric synths which fail to impress and both ''Falsa dicotomía'' and ''Intersecciones'' are heavily depended on Govea's piano with little else going on.

Interesting debut with a couple of flaws, but the majority of this album is nicely inspired keyboard-based Progressive Rock with a diverse sound and well-accepted virtuosic solos.Recommended.

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 Raíces by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.65 | 6 ratings

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Raíces
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars again 3.5 stars

Second offer by this excellent mexican band named Govea, issued last year 2011 named Raices meaning Roots. From the superb cover art , again, to the music Govea keeping the flag high in symphonic prog with this time I think a more jazzier aproach in places then on first album. The music is almost on same coordonates as on Danza urbana, but this time Salvador Govea infuses some more jazzy parts, combined with eclectic side of symphinic prog the result is a pretty intresting one. Lots of keyboard layers, diversity is at home here, even some pulsating bass lines and quite complex specially on Neocórtex, very jazzy in aproch, great in the end. Every piece is a winner to my ears, but I don't think overall is a groundbreaking release, ok is very well done and performed , is even original in some parts, but only 3.5 stars again for Raices. A truly inventive band in today prog rock scene, that desearves a far better recognition world wide, both albums worth to be investigated for sure by any serious listner.

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars actualy 3.5

Govea is a young symphonic prog band from Mexico taken the name from the main composer and the master of the band keyboardist Salvador Govea. They put so far 2 albums, first named Danza Urbana releasesd in 2009. This trio who plays some very intreguing instrumental symphonic prog with jazzy overtones, sometimes very similar with ELP from Tarkus period specialy in Concertino. (Arrangement of the First Movement of Concertino for Organ and Orchestra by Miguel Bernal Jiménez). The album is quite intresting from the cover art to the music, Govea really manage to come with some refreshing arrangements in prog music. Specially the great amount of diversity in keyboards arrangements make them so unique, really almsot original in places, that is something for today prog rock music. The pieces flows from more up tempo to slow space symphonic prog combined with jazzy elements here and there. The title track, Falsa dicotomía and Concertino are the best, the rest are ok too. Salvador Govea is a great keyboard player who have a big contribution on this album, the most important, even the drumer has some share to, and put Govea on the map of prog rock in a very good manner. I definetly like this first album, thay know to play and aswell to compose intresting passages that worth to be investigated by any prog rock listner. 3.5 actualy, not quite a 4 because of couple of pieces who were little boring but not band, specially Claroscuro. A band to keep an eye on for the future.

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 Raíces by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.65 | 6 ratings

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Raíces
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Just before I made a trip outside Lima, my good friend Salvador Govea sent me the second album of the excellent Mexican Power Trio GOVEA called "Raíces" (Roots), so I didn't had the chance to review it immediately, but looking at the bright side, I had the opportunity to listen it several times and capture better the essence of the release in order to write a more informed review.

In first place I must say that unexpectedly the retirement of the ICONOCLASTA legend Victor Baldovinos from the drums, hasn't affected the sound of the band, because Pedro Galindo has managed in a short period of time to be one with the band, specially being both extremely talented percussionists.

The album is opened by "En Busca de la Raiz" (In Search of the Root), a perfect name for a fantastic musical piece, because that's exactly what the band is making. Even when they keep the clear ELP influence, the addition of Mexican ethnic roots is more evident than in the previous album, creating a more original and unique sound. The use of violin (synthesized I guess) gives a special flavor to the music.

The second track "Intersecciones" (Intersections) is an extended version of the track that appeared in their first album DANZA URBANA. If there was something that didn't convinced me of this piece in their debut album was the lack of Rock, and now with the addition of the frenetic drums by Pedro Galindo, it's a different situation. It's great to see a band not afraid to re-visit old works and try to make them even better.

"Retablo Medieval" (Medieval Altar Ornament) originally from the master of Mexican Baroque Miguel Bernal Jimenez, is what any proghead could expect. After a vibrant rhythm section intro where Luis Arturo Guerrero really proves us he's a bass virtuoso, the weight of the track falls mostly in Salvador Govea, who creates some sort of encounter between the sacred and the pagan, mixing religious music with Mexican native touches and a bit of Keith Emerson inspired Moog, the Church organ sections give me goosebumps.

"Formas Primordiales" (Primordial Forms), is mostly a keyboard track, but again Gustavo Galindo creates a very Rock oriented sound to blend with the almost classical organ, again a delightful blend of sounds, styles and moods. Then comes "Neocórtex" that took me by surprise, for the first time in GOVEA history, the band starts to flirt with Electronic Prog, playing at a speed I never heard before. Not my favorite title, but the drumming is outstanding.

"Ciclo de Vida y Muerte" (Life and Death Cycle) shows us that the bad is becoming more and more versatile as they advance in their career, the sound is a nice fusion between Melodic Moog and organ with a jazzy bass and drums that connects two universes that normally exist on different planes without contact, again a wonderful work.

"Raíces" ends with "Duelo" (Mourning) a mini-epic about the stages of pain, and it's divided in three parts "Pérdida" (Loss), Defresión y Furia (Depression and Fury) and Evocación (Evocation), probably the strongest track on the album, where the band demonstrates all their capacity and skills, touching a sensitive issue without the needed of words.

It's obvious that GOVEA has progressed since their debut, from a power trio with strong ELP reminiscences, to a band with a unique sound that blends several styles and genres. I don't know what's coming next, but I'm impatient to listen whatever they decide to give us their following release.

Getting closer to the status of masterpiece, if it was possible I'd give them 4.5 stars, but our system doesn't allow fractions, so I have to go with 4 solid stars,.

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 Raíces by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.65 | 6 ratings

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Raíces
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Now, the second!

Govea is a Mexican trio composed by trained and talented musicians, who I've been following lately; the reasons are simple: their music is great. First was their debut album 'Danza Urbana' the one that caught my attention with its great compositions inspired by some old monsters such as ELP, but with an original and own sound. Now, after two years they released their second album, with a change in the lineup because drummer Baldovinos left the band, but now he is wonderfully replaced by Pedro Galindo.

This new album is entitled 'Ra'ces', and I had the luck of witnessing it in its entirety (well, almost) in a concert three weeks ago, and believe me, Govea is a great band. So this new baby is composed by seven compositions that make a total time of 47 minutes, in which you will listen to instrumental music made by a keyboard-bass-drums combo. If you want a quick label, then I say Govea plays symphonic prog, with some jazz fusion hints.

The album opens with 'En busca de la ra'z', which starts fast with keyboards as leader, but with an excellent musicianship. The symphonic reminiscences are obvious, but as I mentioned above, we can also listen to some jazzy touches. The song progresses little by little, until at minute two and a half there is a change, an atmospheric synth appears as background while bass and keys play the same notes; this passage is pretty good, with a kind of drama film feeling. Later, the song keeps developing and creating different inner passages.

The name of 'Intersecciones' may sound known, because in their debut album it was included, but this time this is an alternative version. It starts with repetitive bass and keys, while the drummer shows off himself and plays different figures, simulating a solo. After almost three minutes of this kind of jam, we could say that the song actually starts. This song has a great melody, a wonderful structure that allows the three musicians to being noticed by their talent.

'Retablo Medieval' is a movement from 'Concertino para piano y orquesta', a composition by mexican musician Miguel Bernal Jimenez, and yes, in their debut album Govea also took a movement from this same piece. This time they give us almost ten minutes of this wonderful adaptation. Their classical music roots can be appreciated here, along with that clear symphonic sound, created mainly by keyboards. The rhythm is great, catching the listener's attention since the first moments and creating a vertiginous sound. Three minutes later the song slows down and the band seems to be preparing something new and exciting, and that is a long keyboard solo which is not really bombastic, but that maintains the attention. There is a stop, and then an organ appears for some seconds, only to open the gates to the song's first and original sound. Before the eighth minute, drums and keys disappear and only the bass remains. This is a wonderful piece!

'Formas Primordiales' is the shortest track of the album. A dynamic track with an addictive sound, once again, led by keyboards, full of keyboards, actually. The next track is entitled 'Neoc'rtex' and it is a clear example of why the word fusion works good for Govea. The symphonic prog element does not really exist here, instead, a jazzy and experimental sound with an awesome bass, great percussion and cool keyboards appears. This may be the song that does not really sound like previous Govea tracks sound (with previous, I also include the ones from the debut); and this may also be one of my favorites.

'Ciclo de vida y muerte' is a mid-tempo track with a constant rhythm which allows the band creating several figures with their respective instruments, and though there are apparently keyboard solos, they don't really stands apart of the band, I mean, the three have the same importance, which makes the music stronger. And the album finishes with 'Duelo', which is divided in three parts (P'rdida; Depresi'n y Furia; Evocaci'n). In this song we can once again appreciate the exquisiteness of the band, their wonderful skills as composers and performers. I love the structure, its changes in mood and tempo, the balance and the harmonies. My favorite part is the last one, before reaching the seventh minute when bass appears and the music flows little by little, until it fades out.

Govea has not let me down so far, their music is great and a clear example that here in Mexico we have high-quality prog rock, now I invite you, who are reading me, to buy their music, you will not regret.

Enjoy it!

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

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

3 stars To begin with, the cover artwork of Govea's `Danza Urbana' is terrific! Guys in the band, please consider putting this album out on vinyl!

A very lazy comparison of this band would an occasionally spacier sounding E.L.P with added fusion elements, but that would be underselling them a lot. It lacks the truly bombastic elements of the above mentioned band, and there's a jazzy looseness to parts of the playing that makes it stand on it's own. It also reminds me in a few places of the Pierre Moerlin's Gong too.

I'll get my slight grumbles out of the way first! The album production is perhaps a little too pristine and clean sounding, as to me it highlights how average some of the digital keyboards/synths that band uses sound. I found this quite distracting on some parts of this album, but not enough to dismiss it altogether. There's also a few brief sections that are a little underwritten or underdeveloped, leading to a bit too much repetition of some themes. This again is only a minor complaint, because the majority of the album is of a high quality.

Looking over the contents, the title track has some addictive spacey solos, but a truly horrible cheesy middle section that sounds like a fair/circus ride that makes me cringe. It's probably meant to me amusing and comical, but to me it really almost ruins the good stuff on the rest of the track.

`Continiuum' has similar spacey solos in amongst the electric piano sections, and the Mellotron sound that shows up sounds much better than many of the others synth sounds on this album. Great varied drum patterns that speeds up and slows down the music is another highlight of this one. Short little number at just over three minutes, but not too bad at all.

`Clarosecuro' is a slightly darker track, though some of the keyboard themes repeat a little too often. Very mysterious second half that builds nicely before those repeated keyboard sections again. This reminds me most of Gong, no bad things at all.

Fourth track `Convergentes', a wonderful piano-dominated track with some very fusion- heavy sounding electric guitar solos. A floating synth solo near the end reminds me slightly of the more restrained Ozric Tentacles moments. Probably my favourite on the album!

Very laid back and jazzy piano on `Falsa Dictomia', this track slowly builds in urgency throughout the second half. Great track, and gets your head nodding along very quickly!

`Intersections' is another joyful sounding piano-led track, if a little simplistic and repetitive. Has a few frantic E.L.P style moments in the second half.

`Concertino' is severely let down once again by those average, hollow sounding digital keyboards/synths, that make the grander moments the track aims for sound very weak and thin. Some great ideas though.

`Danza Urbana' gets better with every listen. The three band members are all very proficient players, and show so much potential. I truly hope this won't be their only album, the prog field has numerous `one hit wonder' bands that made only one album and vanished. These guys are too good for that to happen. They also have a live DVD that I'm very keen to check out and see them in action!

Perfect undemanding late-night prog played with skill and passion!

I had to give it a 3 star rating, but it's really 3 and a half!

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover DVD/Video, 2011
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars This is a great complement to the already great music. In this DVD, we will find all the videos from all the songs included in Govea's debut album entitled "Danza Urbana", which I highly recommend. There is an introduction to this video, in which you will read pieces of some reviews from different parts of the world, expressing positively about Govea; here you can read them on Spanish or English, which was a great decision.

All the videos are directed by Julio Salinas. In "Danza Urbana" I like a lot how it starts, with the trio in the top of a building inviting you to enter to their own World. Once you are here, you will not escape until the very end. The video may be actually quite simple, you will only see the band performing and that's it, but I enjoy watching their faces and gestures, they always say something. In "Continuum" there is a fictional world, with the band stood on a giant keyboard and with the sky as background.

I imagine that the room on "Claroscuro" is actually their rehearsal and recording room, so it is an intimate stage for the band. The video actually follows the same line as the previous ones, it is only the band playing. The same stage is used in "Convergentes" but the difference here is that it is combined with images of the environment taken from a flight. In "Falsa Dicotomía" the images are from the band playing in a concert, though it is not actually a live-video. Here the director makes a collage and plays with different edition elements.

"Intersecciones" is a different kind of video, here the band does not appear performing, instead we can watch a paper and some kind of drawings in which the band appear as a part of that fictional world. This is a pretty interesting video. And in "Concertino" the concept returns to their studio room, and it actually does not offer anything new. The videos are a good complement to the music, and I like them, but I prefer only listening to the CD and put my own images in my mind.

This DVD also features an exquisite interview with a recognized Mexican journalist, in which Govea talks about their formation, ideas, ambitions and several topics that help us understanding them better. The inclusion of this interview is a highlight, and a great decision by the band. I highly recommend you their CD, but if you have the chance, I also recommend you this DVD. My final grade will be 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Excellent prog from Mexico!

It is always a pleasure to me when I review albums from my country, because I feel proud of the bands that are willing to create original and good music, and of course, willing to gain recognition here and all over the world, that is why the least I can do to help them is reviewing their music. This time the turn is for Govea, a trio composed by Salvador Govea on keyboards, Luis Arturo Guerrero on bass and Victor Valdovinos on drums (who sadly has left the band). So they gathered together a couple of years ago and created this first album entitled "Danza Urbana".

The first thing that caught my attention was precisely the name of Valdovinos, which is one of the best drummers I have ever known, he is the leader of Iconoclasta, an iconic Mexican prog band. Well, so then I decided to get this album and now I am happy with it. So "Danza Urbana" features seven compositions and a total time of 40 minutes.

It kicks off with "Danza Urbana", drums and bass first and seconds later keyboards appear and put the mood and the colours; worth mentioning that this band does not features guitars, so go figure. The communication between the instruments is wonderful, they start talking to each other until they create an intimate relationship that can be listened almost every moment.

"Continuum" is the shortest composition here. It starts with some bass lines and then keyboards appear, later drums join and the three of them begin to build up a structure. This song has very nice short passages, and the mixture of diverse keyboards make it good.

"Claroscuro" has a dark sound, atmospheric keyboards and bass for the first minute. Later changes, the dark feeling is still there but now the keyboards add new elements and textures, so there are different moods and emotions in a single song. Here you can fully appreciate the band's compositional skills that will make the listener enjoy what is listening to. I love that this is an instrumental band, first class symphonic prog with some avant-garde hints.

"Convergentes" is a happy song, full of sympathy that may put a smile on you. There are classical elements here, but later the band surprises us with a rockier sound, thanks to the apparition of a guest electric guitar played by Luis Octavio Cervantes. After four minutes there is a new change in the song, keyboards appear but now with a fusion style, bass and drums accompanying it, all create a calm but delicious sound.

"Falsa Dicotomía" follows a little bit that fusion style implemented in the previous track. The track is composed very intelligently, I mean, things are not that easy, but they manage to create a sound in which it seems to be easy, but well, the three of them are trained and talented musicians, so three prodigy minds together can't help but creating wonderful things.

"Intersecciones" is like the Salvador Govea solo track. Piano-based song with nice figures and textures that willmake you have a nice time. Though I honestly prefer the three-piece songs, this solo track has its great moments.

And finally "Concertino", which is an extraordinary arrangement of the "1st movement of concertino for organ and orchestra" composed by Miguel Angel Bernal Jiménez. The sound here reminds me of ELP and also some Italian symphonic bands of the 70s. Govea uses those old elements and translate it to the actual scene, so we can appreciate some kind of new-retro-prog.

What a great debut of Govea, a new reason for me to be proud about Mexican progressive rock. I strongly recommend it especially for those who like symphonic instrumental prog. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars A few months ago a friend and Prog Archives Collaborator suggested the Mexican band GOVEA to the Symphonic team of which I'm a member. After listening some samples we found that even when their music has huge Neo-Classical elements and for that reason could be in Symphonic, the jazzy and Mexican ethnic influences that made them so unique, needed to be considered, so we sent the band to the Eclectic Prog Team because of the versatility.

After a few days we all agreed that the best place for GOVEA was Symphonic Prog, so we added them and almost immediately the classically trained keyboardist and new friend "Salvador Govea" contacted me trough Facebook and offered a copy of "Danza Urbana", their instrumental debut, which I accepted with interest and curiosity.

The album reached Lima yesterday and since then I haven't been able to retire the CD from my car and house stereos. As I expected when I saw the formation of Keyboards (Salvador Govea), Bass (Luis Arturo Guerrero) and drums (Victor Baldovinos), the name ELP came to my mind, and as a fact they owe some of their sound to the famous trio, but GOVEA is much more. Even when the Modern Classical influences make them as powerful as the most famous Power Trios, the ethnic influence is perfect to create extremely beautiful melodies and the Jazz elements makes their music flow gently from start to end in an ocean of dissonances and complexity, but too much chit chat, so lets go to the album.

"Danza Urbana" (Urban Dance) is opened with the title song, and after a short drums and bass intro, Salvador Govea attacks us with a huge doze of Moog and electric piano, this guys don't save anything for the end they give their audience all what they have from the first second.

The complex Synth sections are perfectly supported by an extremely accurate "rhythm section" where Victor Baldovinos as a human metronome keeps a perfect timing while Luis Arturo Guerrero adds excellent sounds that cover the absence of guitar perfectly,excellent opener.

"Continuum" starts with a bass solo that soon is joined by the electric piano and the jazzy drumming of "Baldovinos", of course ELP comes again to the mind when the Moog is added, but GOVEA takes more risks, blending the past with the present in an allegory of sounds and radical changes.

Again I'm surprised by the capacity of the Mexican band to be extremely complex and elaborate but never loose the sense of melody, which allows them not to be complex foe the sake of complexity exclusively. Another wonderful track with an outstanding bass performance.

"Claroscuro" (Light-and-shades) begins with a keyboard and bass intro that soon is complemented by subtle percussion and leads to a mysterious passage with KING CRIMSON and influences, the piano performance is simply delightful, gives an impression of Neo Classical and Avant Garde blended with Progressive Rock of the best kind.

But as usual the band keeps changing and jumping from one genre to another, but always keeping the dark atmosphere intact, and to crown the song, an ethnic closing with synthesised flutes, again GOVEA hits the nail precisely in the head.

"Convergentes" (Converging) is a gem, GOVEA blends with delicacy the strong Neo Classical sound with Mexican Folk overtones and Fusion. Again the piano performance is simply breathtaking and God knows how this guys are able to mix this three different genres that honouring the name of the track, converge in a perfect fusion of moods that flows naturally and never sounds forced.

"Falsa Dicotomia" (False Dichotomy) is a piano based Jazz Fusion piece where apart from Salvador's excellent performance on the keys, Victor Baldovinos and Luis Arturo Guerrero really shine, incredibly not because an extravagant or pompous performances, but because the delicacy and subtle support of the piano , GOVEA works as a perfectly oiled machine but also show their individual dexterity when drums and piano create a delightful contrapuntal section while the bass remains unchanged, maintaining the main atmosphere.

"Intersecciones" (Intersections) is another piano based track that reminds me of ELP, specially of "Endless Enigma" but with a jazzy approach that makes it absolutely unique and hard to compare with almost any other band, after each song I like the album more.

The last track of "Danza Urbana" is the impressive "Concertino", based in the first movement of "Concertino for Organ and Orchestra" from the Mexican composer "Miguel Bernal Jimenez" who wrote a tribute to Baroque and Classical epoch musicians from a Mexican perspective. GOVEA manages to respect the original mood and atmosphere but provide a Progressive Rock new sound to the sober composition, the album is crowned with his track.

Normally I don't rate a debut album with 5 stars, because I always expect something even better for a second release, and this time I won't make an exception, so will go with 4 stars.......This is one of the occasions in which I wish we could rate an album with 4.5 stars, because "Danza Urbana" is not a perfect masterpiece, but incredibly close to that status.

I strongly recommend "Danza Urbana".

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 Danza Urbana by GOVEA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 15 ratings

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Danza Urbana
Govea Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I've been a Little late at discovering this contemporary symphonic prog gem from Mexico, but how glad I am currently at having enjoyed listening to this album three times in a row during the evening of the day that the corresponding package arrived at my home. Govea's "Danza Urbana" is a lovely album that combines moderately robust sonorities and fluidly complex arrangements through which the inspired musical ideas benefit from a splendorous framework. Keeping in mind that Govea is a keyboard-based power-trio (named after the keyboardist's last name), the progressive collector's mind is tempted to assume that the band to be discovered must be heavily influenced by ELP and/or Triumvirat and/or Le Orme. The idea gets stronger as we find out that the band actually plays a Triumvirat cover in concerts? But no, Salvador Govea's composing style is more consistently leaning toward stylish melodic elaborations (a-la Wakeman) and gentle dissonant developments (a-la Minnear), plus a very evident sensibility for jazz and fusion cadences that reveal influences from Corea and piano-driven Emerson (early ELP). All in all, Salvador's own personal style remains precisely personal after years of academic training and nurturing eclectic musical loves, and that is crucial for the whole trio's sonic nucleus. Veteran drumming expert Víctor Baldovinos is the keyboardist's perfect partner (as a member of Iconoclasta, he got acquainted with Salvador during the latter's 5-year tenure in this band). His rhythmic creativity and Salvador's melodic richness state the two poles for the trio's scheme, while bassist Luis Arturo Guerrero fills the middle spaces with his dynamic playing. "Danza Urbana" took around a year to record and produce, which explains the presence of a couple of different bassists in the album's first and last tracks: eventually, as an actual physical item, "Danza Urbana" happens to be a very consistent symphonic album - further details from now on. The namesake opener starts with cymbals stating an agile 5/4 tempo that the whole ensemble soon follows in an excellent exposure of musical colorfulness. The agitation of melodic textures and clever counterpoints on the keyboards' busy developments is just brilliant, even when the swing gets a bit more straightforward. After a brief spacey interlude, the main theme is reprised for the exquisite finale. This exciting spirit is conveniently perpetuated by tracks 2 and 3, both having a dominating 7/8 tempo. 'Continuum' is a symphonic gift that has the band increasing the sonic warmth for the epic 'Claroscuro': this piece has to be an undisputed highlight of the present album, situated in an ordained place where complexity and energy are dealt with in benefit of the melodic development's inherent scheme. The psychedelic coda in the last 50 minutes is just great. The next track is also a highlight - 'Convergentes' lets go of the symphonic trend and moves towards prog-oriented fusion, with a rhythmic structure based on Mexican folk. The occasional presence of a lead guitarist allows the integral framework to gain certain aggressiveness, a very useful thing to enhance the musical expression on the run. For the last section, an eerie synth solo leads the way for a symphonic closure. 'Falsa Dicotomía' is more deeply rooted in the jazzy area: Baldovinos particularly shines on this one like the virtuosos drummer that he is. 'Intersecciones' is a piano solo that serves as a genuine Salvador Govea manifesto: chamber airs and jazzy flairs intertwine in this lovely, mostly relaxing piece. The album ends with 'Concertino', a progressive adaptation of an academic piece originally written by Miguel Bernal Jiménez (himself a revolutionary of Mexican religious music during the first half of the XX century): for once, you can notice the influence of the ELP pattern in Govea, but there is no cloning here but a lesson in epic atmospheres learned and assumed in an original way. My personal balance for the whole "Danza Urbana" experience is very positive; Govea is a real reference of the enthusiastic progressive imagination that has been and continues to be generated from Latin American countries.

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