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AMOEBA SPLIT

Canterbury Scene • Spain


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Amoeba Split biography
Formed in 2001, A Coruña, Galiza, Spain

As paradoxical (or even absurd) as it may sound, speaking of Canterbury jazz-prog made in A Coruña, a major city at the North Eastern coast of Spain, in the 21st Century is, indeed, a matter of fact, an actual reality - its specific name is AMOEBA SPLIT. Formed in late 2001 after the demise of the psychedelic rock group RAMA LAMA FAFAFA, AMOEBA SPLIT was born with an aim to deliver an adventurous progressive rock approach in the marginal side of Galicia's rock scene. The subsequent additions of musicians in charge of sax and flute determined that the new band had to be headed toward a jazz-rock orientation, which in turn became a Canterbury-ish feel in no small degree influenced by SOFT MACHNE, MATCHING MOLE and HATFIELD & THE NORTH. February 2003 was the time when AMOEBA SPLIT recorded and released a self-produced demo, which comprised tracks. Instrumental developments are band's forte, but still there's room for sung tracks (with English lyrics), whereby vocals are delivered by the female flutist.

A number of troubles and inconveniences emerged throughout the years, including line-up changes and sabbathical periods without performing live. Luckily, the remaining members' sustaining will and involvement in other projects enabled old and new members to keep themselves busy and inspired, which resulted in inspiration for writing new tracks and rearranging the already existing 3 tracks from the aforesaid demo. In 2007, the band entered the studios and ultimately managed to work on it intermittently for 3 years: September 2010 saw the release of the band's proper debut album "Dance of the Goodbyes". Guitarist/violist Martín BLANES had left the band by the time the album was still in the recording process, hence making the band a quintet, but still the band was itself capable of showing its enhanced energy across the album's overall mood. This album is such a big, pleasant surprise in the current progressive scene that continues to develop and maintain in Spain.

See also: Bandcamp

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AMOEBA SPLIT discography


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

4.06 | 102 ratings
Dance of the Goodbyes
2010
3.96 | 102 ratings
Second Split
2016
4.16 | 113 ratings
Quiet Euphoria
2023

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

AMOEBA SPLIT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
A Tiempo: Una Restrospectiva 2016-2018
2019

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

3.14 | 13 ratings
Amoeba Split
2003

AMOEBA SPLIT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. This is studio album number three for these Spaniards as they continue with their jazzy styled all instrumental music. A big band consisting of 8 musicians including two keyboardists, three horn players, a drummer and vibes player and finally multi-instrumentalist Alberto Lopez playing guitar, bass and keyboards as well as being the composer.

I must admit I was going to pass on this one but like others the high ratings changed my mind. I did enjoy the first two records but not enough to continue with them. I do feel this is a step down from those. The opener and closer which I place a lot of value on are disappointing, especially the 11 minute closer that sounds like an improv that didn't go well. The opener and title track is pretty good but I'm surprised at the vibes leading for most of it. Piano early and late and it's fairly catchy.

My favourite track by far is "Thrown To The Lions" a tale that Daniel lived to tell. This has a SOFT MACHINE vibe to it and really that is the only band that came to mind during my time spent with this record. I just like the feel of this one, good vibes for sure and the horns have a lot to do with that. Oh electric piano too? And with electric bass, yes this is the song folks. A spacey calm ends it for reflection. Daniel's space. How about the 80's sounding synths on "Divide And Conquer" I like them they're so melancholic.

I have to mention the album art that had me squinting to see what the girl was holding. Well check out the back cover of an evening view of that telescope without the girl. Then inside we get numerous pictures from different angles and it's all so cool. Well done. Good album but not on the level most feel it is.

 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It seems like Amoeba Split are big believers in quality over quantity, only releasing albums every six or seven years or so. Quiet Euphoria is an aptly-named release, offering a relaxing set with its roots in the jazzier end of the Canterbury spectrum. Impeccable production combined with two keyboardists and three wind instrument players gives the band a rich, deep palette of sonic options, which they make excellent use of. With this album, Amoeba Split deserve to be considered in the same terms as Picchio Dal Pozzo or the Muffins - international groups who build further on the foundations laid by the classic Canterbury bands of the original scene, despite having no direct connection in terms of personnel.
 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by manfredprog

5 stars Spanning the genres of jazz-rock, Canterbury and contemporary, these 6 tracks reveal across over its lenght instrumental dexterity, compositional imagination and respect for their musical ancestors. The recording and mixing are exceptional and its sound refers to the old records of the 70s without trying to clone them. Truly immersive and brilliant, "Quiet Euphoria" is an album within which to get lost. Writhing with creative rigour and immediacy, it's yet another proof of the incredible potential tapped when great musicians commune within the terms of a deep mutual respect. Mind expanding band, with fantastic interplay that really goes deep. The best track is No time for Lullabies, creatively incredible.

 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by Argentinfonico

3 stars This is very good stuff. Funny instrumental games with a rhythm and transitions in the style of the jazz of the 60s. The compositional creativity does not falter at any moment because the level never goes down... but neither does it go up and that lack of risks is what keeps it always below the emotions and the hypothetical leaps that could give a level jump. A calm and soothing canterbury sound more for the musicians than for the average listener. My first listen of the group, I will keep their two previous albums in mind for future plays. Spain prog is always amusing!
 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by Ramcocaice

5 stars For me, Amoeba Split's latest album is a great album, probably the best of the three they have released to date. I don't think it's relevant to categorize if it's a Canterbury record or not (labels don't matter to me) or if it's a masterpiece or not (time will tell). What is really relevant is: 1. that it withstands numerous listens without tiring the listener, 2. that the proposal is risky and courageous (tracks like "No time for lullabies" are not at all common or expected on a Canterbury album) and 3. that the record is coherent throughout its development, without being forced. All of them are reasons enough to satisfy the most demanding listener of progressive music.

Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a general consensus of this "Quiet Euphoria" by many experts in various reviews and scores given on the net: as they say in my country "if the river sounds, water carries". In any case, do not get carried away by better or worse scores: I encourage those who have not yet heard the work not to hesitate and embark without prejudice to listen to the album, it is well worth it. They will be tremendously rewarded, because this is essentially what progressive music is all about.

 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by Zippo Inglesias

1 stars Here I was expecting some prog masterpiece because of the good ratings, but this is not the case. It's not Canterbury in the style of my favorites (Hatfield and the North, National Health and Egg), but rather jazz-jams with hints of Frank Zappa, only duller. Rather traditional jazz-instrumentation with brass, which is a big turnoff for me. It is simply too derivative and not progressive at all. The synth solos just isn't my cup of tea; something off about the sounds to my ears. The drummer is an ok player, but can't play with power and passion it seems. One star for now, after three listens.
 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by WJA-K

5 stars This is a must-listen album. In fact, give it a couple of sins. Because the secrets of its brilliance may not embrace you immediately. A least it took me some time to understand what makes this so special.

Craftsmanship, joy, pure talent and great songs make this a candidate for album of the year for me.

Quiet Euphoria - Softly, the theme of the song is introduced by the piano. Then, the track explodes in all its energy, jazziness and funkiness. The bass and drums lay a solid foundation for the rest of the band to go wild. Excellent start of the album 9.5/10

Shaping Shadows - Strong Miles Davis vibes here. Very jazzy and free-flowing song. 8.5/10

The Inner Driving Force - Is another song that has strong Miles Davis influences. Obviously due to the trumpet, but also because of how the band plays off each other. 8.5/10

Divide and Conquer - Heavier than we have heard before through the driving bass line. This track reminds me of King Crimson, even including some Frippertronics. 8.5/10

Thrown to the Lions - Is another beautifully jazzy piece. Guitar solos are standout here 8.5/10

No Time for Lullabies - Is a great moody song to close the album. Again, the trumpet has Miles all over it, in a good way. 9/10

This is an album that enriches any prog collection. Beautiful!

 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by runciblemoon

5 stars Spain's pre-eminent Canterbury-tinged jazz-rockers return after an agonising seven year wait with their third, and arguably best, album to date.

As with their previous efforts, this is a slice of charmingly old school fusion full of vintage keys, warm horn arrangements, clever arrangements and just enough of a psychedelic haze to warrant the Canterbury epithet. Let's be clear; there's not much in the way of innovation here, but that is decidedly not the point. If you're a fan of Soft Machine, Nucleus, Return to Forever, et al and you're jonesing for something new in that vein, I doubt you could do better than this gem of an album.

What makes Quiet Euphoria a particularly sterling effort, in my opinion, is the arrangements and sequencing of these pieces. Even quite complex instrumental albums still run the risk of becoming background music by the halfway point if they're poorly put together, but this album never even gets close. Each track brings unique tones, textures and musical ideas to the proceedings, ranging from the gleefully frenetic to the beguilingly placid. The end result is a consistently engaging musical journey that flows tremendously and never outstays its welcome.

Track Highlights: The Inner Driving Force, No Time for Lullabies

 Quiet Euphoria by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.16 | 113 ratings

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Quiet Euphoria
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars For a band that was formed as far back as 2001, the A Coruña based AMOEBA SPLIT from the Galician region of Spain has hardly been the most prolific artist in the world of progressive rock but one thing is for sure and that is that although this band is slow to deliver the goods, quality is always a top priority and disappointment isn't even in the possibility pile. It took the band nine years to formulate it's 2010 debut "Dance Of The Goodbyes" and another five for the sophomore offering "Second Split" to emerge. As the band has emerged as one of the 21st century's most revered Canterbury jazz acts that mines the retro sounds of the classic prog years and reinterprets them with modern twists and turns, Canterbury fans have been chomping at the bit for a new release and at long last on the 7th of April, 2023, AMOEBA SPLIT will release its third album after 22 years of existence.

QUIET EUPHORIA comes seven years after "Second Split" and pretty much picks up where that album left off without missing a beat. What's changed after all this time is the lineup (sort of). While "Second Split" featured six official members with a large number of session musicians, on QUIET EUPHORIA the official count is up to eight members with no guests on board. The band's sound has always revolved around the jazzy keyboard tradeoffs of Alberto Villarroya López and Ricardo Castro Varela only now there is another top player on board and that is IagoMouriño who only sat in as a part-time guest last time around. The keyboard sounds are expansive and cover all the expected retro sounds ranging from the moog, Hammond organ, electric piano, vibraphone as well as good old-fashioned traditional piano. Add to that, band has retained the heavy brassy jazz sounds as well with stealthy action from saxophones (tenor and soprano), the trumpet and flugelhorn.

As with the previous album QUIET EUPHORIA follows the classic vinyl years' playing time, in this case just a smidge over 40 minutes. Fortified with six feisty tracks, this time around the band upped the tempos a bit making this album rock a lot more than the rather dreamy mid-tempo processions of "Second Split." What remains constant on all of AMOEBA SPLIT releases is a keen perfectionist detail to the compositional fortitude, an obvious love of retro classic prog which in this case is firmly rooted in the world of the idiosyncratic world of jazz-fusion that emerged in the English city of Canterbury and was propelled onto the world's stage by the likes of Soft Machine, Matching Mole, Caravan, Supersister, Moving Gelatine Plates, National Health and Hatfield & The North. AMOEBA SPLIT is very faithful to those that came before but offers enough innovative takes on the style to make this a refreshing musical experience that builds on the traditions of the last half century.

This is an all instrumental affair like "Second Split" and given the lack of vocals to offer the whimsical side of the Canterbury Scene, AMOEBA SPLIT instead offers classically infused jazz-fusion workouts that tackle a wide swath of the progressive jazz-rock world while keeping that Canterbury warmth alive and kicking. The album's title track starts things out slow and brooding with a sombre piano roll belying the jazz-rock to come but once the horn section kicks in the larger than life interplay of brass and multiple keyboards display a fascinating interplay of musical motifs playing together to form a larger than the sum of parts brilliance. The album remains in an upbeat mood for the majority fo the playing time and it's not until the closing "No Time For Lullabies" that the mood dials down a little and offers a more sombre piano-based approach that follows suit from the opening aspects of the album.

Seven years is a long time to wait for a band to unleash its next chapter of musical masterworks but QUIET EUPHORIA was definitely worth the wait with excellent classic Canterbury sounds brought to life in the modern world with an impeccable production and mixing effort and a wide range of tones and timbres that perfectly decorate the Canterbury jazz-rock underpinnings. It's clear that this style of classic prog is in no danger of dying out any time soon and AMOEBA SPLIT has been instrumental in breathing new life into this most beloved style of progressive jazz-rock. QUIET EUPHORIA is a brilliant instrumental album that will get your retro prog juices flowing. Excellent! Will we really have to wait another seven years for the next album? Lord i hope not!

 Second Split by AMOEBA SPLIT album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 102 ratings

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Second Split
Amoeba Split Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars Proving that the English Canterbury Scene jazz-rock of the 1970s has long evolved past the geographical location and into a unique nook of the world of progressive rock, Spain's AMOEBA SPLIT has been active since as far back as 2001 but hasn't been the most prolific band since as i write this in the year the 2023, the band is only now about to release its third album. In fact it took nine years for the debut "Dance Of The Goodbyes" to emerge and then another six for this sophomore effort SECOND SPLIT to follow. This band was formed in the Galician city of A Coruña and has nurtured the retro sounds of such acts as Soft Machine, Supersister, The Muffins, Hatfield & The North and Robert Wyatt and carried the torch proudly into the 21st century with only a smattering of other bands following suit.

One of the reasons for these long delays between albums seems to be that the members of this band are studio perfectionists with large swaths of tones and timbres all polished smoothly like a diamond into a sparkling production-rich extravaganza. Whereas the debut featured a lineup of five with a brief cameo guitarist, SECOND SPLIT goes above and beyond the call of duty with a new roster of six band members and another eight guest musicians adding all kinds of supplemental sounds that give SECOND SPLIT a much more robust plentitude of musical fortitude. Of the five members of the debut, only four have returned for round two with the most notable difference between the two albums being that vocalist / flautist María Toro has left the band and SECOND SPLIT features no vocal parts at all. This album is exclusively instrumental which allows for more complex instrumental interplay to unfold.

While the band's primary underpinning centers around the dueling keyboard parts of Ricardo Castro Varela and Alberto Villarroya López, the addition of the new member Rubén Salvador on trumpet and flugelhorn brings AMOEBA SPLIT's sound even further into the world of jazz-fusion and add yet several guest musicians who contribute violin, viola and cello, likewise the already rich musical entourage is fortified by elements of classically infused chamber rock. The other new member Eduardo "Dubi" Baamonde took over Toro's flute duties but also serves as a tenor sax player so in essence with the exception of the vocal parts, SECOND SPLIT pretty much takes the template laid down on the debut release and takes everything to the next level.

Keeping more in line with a classic album's playing time of over 41 minutes rather than the bloated hour plus playtime of the debut, SECOND SPLIT offers a more sophisticated approach that sounds like the perfect mix of classic 70s moog and vibraphone infused jazz-rock fusion and fortified with all the warmth and familiarity of classic Canterbury sounds that range from those unique chord progressions, psychedelic overtones and light, breezy musical passages that offer just enough hooks to keep your senses enthralled but laced with enough hi-brow complexities to give your more intellectual sensibilities a stellar workout. Given the lack of lyrics, SECOND SPLIT doesn't provide the comic whimsical relief that many a classic Canterbury act would excel in and instead delves into the meaty compositional staples that make this subgenre of the world of jazz-fusion so endearing and enduring.

With only six tracks, four of which are more than eight minutes long, the music is on the mellow side with plenty of musical motifs allowed to develop slower and slowly unfold. Tracks like "Those Fading Hours" are light and fluffy like musical representations of clouds slowly shapeshifting in the sky as they hover at glacial speeds above. Other tracks like "Clockwise" and "Backwards All The TIme" are a bit more upbeat with stealthy bass grooves, jazz-fusion grit and robust horn sections that are brass rock in essence only steered into the retro vaults of classic Soft Machine's instrumental jazz classics of the early 1970s. Although i loved the band's debut i think i love this one a tad bit more simply because i find their idiosyncratic take on the Canterbury jazz scene is best suited for instrumental interplay. No sophomore slump here. This is excellent musical mojo strutting itself in full Canterbury regalia!

Thanks to Cesar Inca for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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