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ÁNGEL ONTALVA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Spain


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Ángel Ontalva biography
ÁNGEL ONTALVA is the guitarist for OCTOBER EQUUS and recently released his first solo album, Mundo Flotante, in 2012. For the album he is accompanied by almost all the current members of his band. However, the sound is quite different. The album consists of instrumental jazz-rock that runs through soundscapes with echoes of African, Arab and Oriental music. Intricate chamber music compositions alternate with collective improvisations weaving a sound tapestry full of color and shades.

According to Ontalva, the Mundo Flotante project came about originally in 2007 as a result of a failed attempt to reunite Transarabian Connection, another of Ontalva's projects, a band centered around a mixture of fusion, modern chamber music, and Sephardic music. A week before the reunion concert was to take place, there was a divergence of opinion as to the direction of the music which led to the singer leaving. Unable to read Arabic lyrics, Ontalva decided instead to pull together several fragments and unfinished compositions, which over the course of the next week became the basis for the Mundo Flotante project. The material was presented live over the next few years and finally recorded from 2009 through 2012.

Although different from OCTOBER EQUUS, the Mundo Flotante project shares much of the same sense of adventure and wonderful soundscapes of that band, incorporating instead Oriental themes and taking a much more relaxed approach. This project led to the creation of another, called Ofir, after the main suite of songs on the Mundo Flotante album.

[Todd]

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4.08 | 10 ratings
Mundo Flotante
2012

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ÁNGEL ONTALVA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mundo Flotante by ONTALVA, ÁNGEL album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.08 | 10 ratings

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Mundo Flotante
Ángel Ontalva Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Angel Ontalva is the lead guitarist for OCTOBER EQUUS, in fact everyone from that band is backing him up here except for their drummer. The music here is quite different though as Angel mentioned to me, this is more of a jazzy affair with a world music flavour while being more melodic and less dark than the parent band. PANZERPAPPA did come to mind if you want a comparable sound.

Things get started with "Sopla Viento Del Este" which has a melancholic vibe to it with lots of intricate sounds. This is one of my favourite tracks. Love the guitar that comes in after a minute then the sax replaces it and leads the way. Man when you really listen to all that's going on it's so impressive. Organ after 2 1/2 minutes takes the spotlight as the bass and drums continue to lay the foundartion. The guitar is back. It then ends as it began. Great tune ! "Bounkam Reverie" features horns and intricate drumming while the bass throbs. So much going on. Keyboards before 3 minutes. "Leilya" opens with intricate guitar and a melancholic atmosphere. Man this is such an amazing tune, and check out the electric piano before a minute. Again the music is adventerous and very interesting. Sax to the fore at 1 1/2 minutes. Some wordless vocal melodies a minute later give this a distinct world music flavour. Excellent ! "Una Para Lars" is more laid back and is such a "feel good" song. Some violin/cello in this one too.

Next we get the "Sendas De Ofir" suite which consists of five tracks. This is mellow and sax led early on then it picks up some as the jazzy flavour gets stronger. An atmospheric calm comes in before it picks back up. The title track of this suite is beautiful then lots of intricate sounds take over. The pace speeds up with sax out front before it calms back down with more atmosphere. The final section opens with picked guitar and flute which are both played by Angel. The flute truly is other- worldly here. A peaceful section ends the suite and it's so pleasant and calming. "Aurelia Quiere Saber" is a laid back and relaxing piece followed by "Sunda Stream" where things turn much more passionate. Great sound here that becomes almost bombastic at one point. It all ends with "Aguas Del Bagradas" which is dark with some cool sounding drum work as other sounds play over top. Organ leads before 3 minutes, then back to the tribal-like drumming and dark sound. A great way to end the album.

This is a record that really needs your full attention to be appreciated fully in my opinion. I'm so impressed with the style of music that Angel has composed here. It is complex yet melodic meaning most prog fans will really enjoy this.

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 Mundo Flotante by ONTALVA, ÁNGEL album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.08 | 10 ratings

BUY
Mundo Flotante
Ángel Ontalva Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by mhiraldo

4 stars Amazing band that it's in the jazz rock fusion / Prog mold, with a sound sort of canterbury (think Phil Miller's In cahoots or a lighter Muffins Manna / Mirage era) WITH arabic influences for good measure. Warm analog sound through out. The almost laid back parts reminded me of another spanish band, Planeta Imaginario. But Ontalva;s music can get busy and complex, with quirky time signatures and the 'feel' is little bit more bent towards Canterbury, early Picchio ,etc. (some great wind written parts!) yet showing arrangements that distinctively set's the music apart thanks in part to a Mediterranean and Arabic flair. Excellent idiosyncratic guitar work from Ontalva. I would not say it's virtuosic but it's damn close. But his noodling is really restrained and the focus is more on the comps. Recommended to those looking for well written compositions in a fusion style that it's closer to the British / Canterbury sound (than, say the american fusion sound) but that also, and most importantly, offers an original take on that style of music.

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