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RIO/Avant-Prog • Argentina

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Cucamonga biography
CUCAMONGA is an Argentinian Zappaesque jazzy quintet composed by Mauricio BERNAL (piano), Bruno ROSADO (tenor sax), Oscar "Frodo" PERALTA (guitars) , Adriano DEMARTINI (bass) and Julian MACEDO (drums). Their music is an alternance of crazy moments and electric jazz, with a style that can remind, other than Zappa, John Zorn and Robert Fripp.
The link with Zappa is evident if you think that "Rancho Cucamonga" is the city where Zappa made his first recordings (the studio Z). However, the band mentions also the Brazilian JR/F artist Hermeto Pascoal within their influencers. Their musical approach has also been compared to that of Samla Mammas Manna.

Their first album, "Alter Huevo" has been recorded in 2012 in Argentina. A curiosity: the album artwork has been made by the Yugen's keyboardist Paolo BOTTA. The reason is that the band is signed with the Italian RIO label Altrock.

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CUCAMONGA discography

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3.93 | 22 ratings
Alter Huevo

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

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

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


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 Alter Huevo by CUCAMONGA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.93 | 22 ratings

Alter Huevo
Cucamonga RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars The first track of this debut album is an excellent introduction to the band as it contains almost all the most important elements of their music. "Tetascotch" opens with a circus like music but also in this "joke" we can guess how much skilled they are. After one minute the track changes and what comes next is a succession of jazz, avant and Zappa-esque moments. It's Rock In Opposition but lighter than usual. Similar to Art Zoyd in the darkest moments but usually not so dark, so that they could figure well also in the JR/F section of PA.

There are dissonances, pauses and sudden changes in tempo which are frequently ingredients of RIO and Avant, but the background is clearly jazz even in the most chaotic and noisy tracks like "Tu Guaina".

The mood changes frequently. "Variaciones Sobra Tu Hermana" (Variations about your sister) sounds like contemporary classic but is also close to the chamber rock of Art Zoyd and Univers Zero or even to the latest Stormy Six. Episodes of this kind exist together with grotesque phases, but in any case the jazz element is always present, even in the fantastic percussion solo which opens "Tillana". Not to say of the paino/sax crescendo which follows. The sounds are a bit dark but the mood has something of Canterbury, specially in a short section at around minute 2:30.

Loops and tapes play their part too. The intro of "Cerrazon en el Teyu Cuare" (Cerrazon means "closure" or "captivity". Teyu Cuare is a place at the delta of Parana' river). This is probably one of the few overdubbing applied in post-production to an album that is almost tentirely recorded live in studio. Only the intro. The rest of the track passes through a noisy jazz passage and goes into a slow atmospheric piece of beauty with bass, piano and alto sax (plus tapes).

After one intense and excellent minute and 20 secs of free jazz ending like an old Pink Floyd's song (guess which?) we arrive at the last track. "Cletalandia" opens as an orchestral piece in the vein of Weather Reports but with more dissonances. Voiceovers (in Spanish) come to put the music in the background. The joke of speeding up and slowing down their playback sounds very Zappa-esque. My Spanish is not that good to understand everything the characters say, but it looks funny. When they stop we go back to (excellent) chamber rock. One of the main characteristics of this band is to put "a bit of everything" inside the same track. The reprise of the main theme is driven by the bass. It's everything but dark even with some dissonances. A very happy handing for an exciting avant-jazz-rio album.

Rating it is not easy. My temptation, driven by the enthusiasm, is to consider it a masterpiece, but after falling in love with it, the rationale part of myself says that 4 are a better rating. Regardless the rating, if you like the genre buy it. It's only defect is the length as 40 minutes albums belong more to the vinyl era than to now. Anyway a short album is better than a long one full of fillers.

Thanks to octopus-4 for the artist addition.

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