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GALÁPAGOS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Argentina


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Galápagos biography
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, GALÁPAGOS started as a guitar-based power trio in March 2003 with an aim toward retro-psychedelic rock. Right from the start, the band was very sensitive to the influences from old rock names such as LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, NEIL YOUNG, as well as compatriot acts past (INVISIBLE, PESCADO RABIOSO) and present (PEZ, LOS NATAS), and why not, also influences from progressive pioneers such as PINK FLOYD and KING CRIMSON.

Guitarist-singer Alberto ÁNTOLA, bassist Alejo URBANI and drummer Guillermo WIEMEYER completed the line-up that recorded the debut album "1 9 7 9" in 2004, which was released one year later. This album was ostensibly focused on contrasting the heavy stoner pieces with other softer compositions. After the debut album's release, the band's live activities became more consistent, which made them gain a cult following in their native city's underground scene. During 2006, a line-up change occurred in the bassist's role with URBANO being replaced by Patricio CLAISSE (who was already involved in the band as a slide projectionist in live shows). January 2007 saw the release of the sophomore album entitled "Galápagos". For this one, the band went headlong for a heavier sound: its rough approach was helped by the sparse use of additional overdubs and studio effects. Things kept changing in the GALÁPAGOS ranks and so it came to be that Chacho FALCÓN would settle in as the keyboardist (making the band a quartet) and WIEMEYER would leave the band to be replaced by Lionel FORTUNATO. Gigs went on and on as the band continued to progress on their own sound. In June-July 2009, the foursome recorded "Desierto Avant Garde", eventually released by Viajero Inmóvil in 2010. This album shows the band working hard on the development of their prog-friendly side, as if their particular musical evolution had met its definitive expression. By the end of 2009, Andrés RAFFO replaced FALCÓN on the keyboardist's role.

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GALÁPAGOS discography


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

4.00 | 2 ratings
1 9 7 9
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Galápagos
2007
3.09 | 3 ratings
Desierto Avant Garde
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Supernova
2012

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GALÁPAGOS Reviews


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 Desierto Avant Garde by GALÁPAGOS album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.09 | 3 ratings

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Desierto Avant Garde
Galápagos Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Too short, really too short, it lasts less than 35 minutes!... but a very good album is "Desierto Avant Garde", Galápagos' third release. This band stands out as one of the most important new bands devoted to the recapitulation of old-fashioned psychedelic heavy rock. Having started their days as a power-trio, the addition of a permanent keyboard to the augmented line-up really helped the now quartet to expand on the artsy side of their own rock sound: one might argue that Galápagos should have taken advantage of the sonic framework and go for longer developments of at least most of the tracks in this album's repertoire, and I actually would agree 100% with them; but, all in all, the fact remains that this album is appealing and interesting. The opener 'Antenas y Charcos' sounds like a Sabbath-ish version of Pescado Rabioso and Invisible (two essential references of 70s Argentinean hard rock), 'Y Los Días Por Llegar' goes to a more Purple-meets-Uriah territory without letting go of the Pescado/Invisible standard, 'Después De La Guerra' brings the prevalent heaviness through a more constrained rhythmic structure in order to provide a more reflective feel. These first three tracks set a clear indication to the listener about the musical essence to be developed dominantly all the way towards the end. In this way, we can notice that the title track remains on the constrained realm installed by the preceding track and enriches it with a jazzier treatment of the rhythm section, which in turn helps to emphasize a certain grayish aura in the basic compositional idea: the result is a particular exercise on psychedelic rock, something that the guys of Big Elf might have been proud of, for instance. 'En Línea Recta' and 'Qué Se Puede Hacer' find the band delivering a sweeter side, with the former bringing a serene mood and the latter surpassing the former in terms of emotional languidness: up to this point, there has not been one single track that couldn't have been expanded some more time so the thematic development in each of them could generate some exceptionally impressive impact on the listener. What we have here is a catalogue of very good songs that could and should have been longer. 'Nada Que Ver' brings back the Pescado Rabioso thing to the fore, not unlike the firs ttwo songs. 'Practicando Tiro Al Ego' is the longest track in the album: reasonably introspective, quite solid concerning the psychedelic standard, very similar to "Meddle"-era Pink Floyd during its expanded interlude that eventually turns into a 3 minute closure. The album's final song, 'Se Está Cayendo El Cielo', states an acoustic guitar-based closing statement a-la Neil Young, so the whole experience motivates a meditative attitude as some sort of farewell. This nice end culminates the good qualities of this album, which (I reiterate) could have exploited its artsy potential more thoroughly: good psychedelic rock from South America for the new millennium thanks to Galápagos.

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