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FUSIOON

Eclectic Prog • Spain


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Fusioon biography
This is a Spanish quartet from Barcelona featuring Manuel Camp (piano and keyboards), Jordi Camp (bass), Santi Arisa (drums) and Marti Brunet (electric guitars and synthesizers). In the first half of the Seventies FUSIOON released three albums entitled "Fusioon I" (1972), "Fusioon II" (1974) and "Minorisa" (1975).

The first album FUSIOON contains arrangements from 'traditionals'. It sounds like a tasteful stew with classical, folk, jazz and symphonic elements. The songs has echoes from KING CRIMSON (Fripperian guitar), FOCUS (flute) and Le ORME/EKSEPTION/ELP (Hammond organ) but the musical ideas are great and the musicians play strong with many surprising breaks and exciting solos and interplay. The highlight is "Danza del molinero" (Manual de Falla) with sparkling piano, a tight rhythm-section, an Andalusian sounding violin, fiery electric guitar and powerful Hammond waves, culminating in a grand finale. The second LP II has a more symphonic sound, especially the Keith EMERSON-like Hammond, Moog - and pianoplay is very prominent but I can also trace GENTLE GIANT (guitar/piano interplay and some vocal harmonies). An alternating and interesting album .

Their best effort is the third record entitled "Minorisa", containing three long tracks. The first two are an amazing blend of KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, ELP and even TANGERINE DREAM (flute-Mellotron like the "Phaedra"-era) with lots of captivating musical moments, lush keyboards and strong interplay (guitar, keyboards, flute, bass). The third song is a maverick: a kind of sound collage, very electronic like TANGERINE DREAM, SYNERGY and Klaus SCHULZE with flute Mellotron, all kind of synthesizer sounds and fat Moog runs, a bit weird and not really satisfying end of this good album.

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FUSIOON discography


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

3.41 | 21 ratings
Fusioon
1972
3.73 | 29 ratings
Fusioon 2
1974
3.82 | 49 ratings
Minorisa
1975

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FUSIOON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Minorisa  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.82 | 49 ratings

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Minorisa
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

3 stars Amazed & Confused

Pros:

Unfathomably talented musicians playing everything from Canterbury inspired jazz rock to lush grandiose symphonic prog.

Eclecticism.....and then some! Just around the upcoming corner a new and altogether different melody lies in wait. Fresh time signatures kindly handed over to the listener by what must be one of the most breathtaking rhythm sections I've come across in recent years. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was a close cousin to the one on offer in the French purveyors of teutonic fusion, Magma. More than once during this album, I'm reminded of Jannick Top's boisterous bass booms as well as Vander's energetic tom work.........so close and still soooooo far away.

The electronics. Now many have described these as sounding particularly close to those of Tangerine Dream, and I couldn't disagree more. What you get with the electronics on Minorisa is an entirely unique kind of progressive electronic that is as adventurous and sharp in expression as a robotic shark swimming through myriads of small Lego soldiers. This somewhat strange facet does only show itself during the last cut, but you are most likely going to catch it - that is if your ears aren't made of seaweed and old Volvo parts.

Pomp and gusto! Oh yeah baby! There are some fantastic sections spread out during this album that'll cater to even the pickiest of prog afficionados. Be that the ending mellotron breezes of Ebusus that waft overhead you like diamond dust specks caught on the air, the sporadic ELP like moog flourishes or the overt shapeshifts that take place every once in a while, - if you're a proghead, then there's surely something to your liking on Minorisa.

Cons:

The musicians are so good that they tend to forget about the music. The first cut Ebusus takes so many strange and unforeseeable turns during it's 19 minutes, that you're in real danger of going numb or confused during it's first leg. A lot of this album feels like a project - a challenge. How many different and seemingly unrelated pieces of music can we string together in order to make a grand whole? As a result of this, I get irritated when those beautiful and powerful sections suddenly come to a hault, by the flick of the switch, and then run galloping in the other direction - now sporting an entirely different tune on it's lips.

Bewilderment........and not the good stuff. People who know me well will probably also know about my affinity for getting lost...and preferably stay there for a bit. I think it's healthy and it teaches you about the dark alleyways of life - all the stuff you often overlook for the in-your-face experiences that often only last the time they appear. On Minorisa though, there's a bewilderment on offer that doesn't take me places. It doesn't make me deliriously happy about the fact that we just went from a hundred miles an hour Canterbury inspired fusion to a warped version of Emerson fondling up his keyboard. It just confuses me, and that's actually pretty hard to do. I work with children and am often in charge of some 50 kids all on my own - each of em jumping and screaming for my attention. Yet that' s just fine with me, and I keep my cool.......Minorisa then manages to trump 50 kids on sugar and an incessant 'love-me' trip.

Electronics.....yep those were indeed also part of the cons, but here I am not referring to the last deranged de-constructed piece of prog electronic. No here I'm talking about the slap dash synths that ever so often pop up during the music, either to embellish on already existing atmospheres or to kick your arse with an earthshaking solo taken straight out of the ol ELP cookbook. The problem is not how they're played though, it's the sound. Damn..........I keep getting these mad images of a longhaired Spaniard trying his best to be virtuosi on Casio keyboards and other such Toys r Us instruments. I can't help it, but they sound so synthetic and plastic like. Often when I'm supposed to be experiencing Goosebump's City with soul orgasm and shivers alike, I get a smirk on my face and start laughing in short uncontrollable bursts.

So there you have it. Fusioon's third album Minorisa is just about the most confusing album I know of. It's very good at times - heck it is even wonderful during some sections, but then again it is also unbelievably irritating. If you can imagine the musical aesthetics of Gentle Giant transcribed onto ELP and Egg, then you're not that far off, and even making that comparison doesn't give them the full credit they deserve, because what this band has going for it, and has in spades, is uniqueness. You certainly won't find anything out there that sounds remotely close to this album.....for better or worse.

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 Fusioon 2  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.73 | 29 ratings

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Fusioon 2
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Joćo Paulo

4 stars A good work of this Spanish band. A happy music parts in all tracks with a retro hammond soud with guitar keiboards duets. The drums and bass are good and balanced, adequaded for all music parts. In some parts we can listen a Triumviart music context but really, it's a seventies sound. Lyrics are in Spanish but not the principal in this album. In the balanced music of this work I think that the principal music instrument are the guitar parts and keiboard in a answer question form, that made a beautifful duet. It's a complicated music in some parts but really give the beauty of this album. It's a good addiction in Progressive Music from Spain. This is a quality album and I really enjoyed. I give 4 stars.

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 Fusioon 2  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.73 | 29 ratings

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Fusioon 2
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars FUSIOON were a Spanish band who offered up three albums during the seventies. This is the middle one from 1974. Neither of the first two measure up to their final album in my opinion. Lots to like here for the Prog fan as long as you don't mind an abundnace of GENTLE GIANT references. That GG flavour is quite strong throughout.

"Farsa Del Buen Viver" brings that GG vibe to the fore right away. You'd think they were covering one of their songs, but they aren't. Even the vocal style is similar. Catchy stuff though. "Contraste" opens with percussion, piano and vocal melodies as the synths join in. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes then picks back up. A calm 4 minutes in and even here GENTLE GIANT comes to mind. It picks up again. "Tritons" opens with some nice drum work as GG comes to mind again. Impressive keyboards follow. A calm 3 minutes in then the organ comes in as it builds. Vocal melodies 8 minutes in to end it.

"Dialogos" has these intricate sounds with no melody really but that changes when it picks up and the vocals arrive. This is catchy with a GG flavour. "Concerto Grosso" is the almost 10 minute closing track. More GG styled music and the vocals come in after 3 1/2 minutes. A calm follows with fragile vocals. The piano replaces the vocals before 6 minutes but the vocals are back quickly then it picks up. This sounds better 8 minutes in.

Like the debut this is a good album but i'd go for their third record if I were you.

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 Fusioon 2  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.73 | 29 ratings

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Fusioon 2
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am very close to giving this album 5 stars, if the name printed on this cheap-looking cover was Gentle Giant instead of the rather obscure spanish (catalan to be precise) band Fusioon I'm convinced that it would be up there in the rankings.

Don't get fooled by the band's name, ironically when the vast majority of 70's catalan prog was jazz-rock/fusion, Fusioon was one of the bands with lesser of it. Well more precisely both their eponymous debut and their last album Minorisa do have some fusion, but this one Fusioon 2 (nicknamed "Crocodile" to differentiate it from the debut) has little if any, instead being a delightful combination of Eclectic, Symphonic and Canterbury.

We can find two main broad styles, the tracks with vocals (sung in spanish) Farsa Del Buen Vivir and Dialogos sound very Gentle Giant, with intriguing harmonies that achieve that delicate balance between orthodox melody-harmony and dissonance. On the other hand the instrumental tracks Contraste and Tritons retain some GG flavour but can also remind of Egg, The Nice or Soft Machine, even King Crimson sometimes.

The 10 min last track Concerto Grosso has a few vocals but is mostly instrumental and combines both broad styles, fusing all the aforementioned influences over a more symphonic, nearly classical song structure as the title suggests.

Instrumentally the focus is on the fantastic keyboards work by Manel Camp, combining classical influences with aggressive soloing, and the drumming of Santi Arisa being also very good, these guys were among the finest musicians of the catalan scene in the 70's. But what I really love is the compositions, they are musically challenging and competent and perfectly reflect that kind of genuine, unadulterated prog inspiration which flourished in the first half of the 70's.

Many consider their third and last album Minorisa their best but although that one is also excellent and probably more technically elaborated, personally I prefer "Crocodile", it is more eclectic and does not have excessively experimental sections as Minorisa does. The best album by one of the best spanish prog bands of the 70's, so you can be sure it's damn good. 4.5 stars but it falls a bit short of the best ever masterpieces so round down to 4.

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 Fusioon by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 21 ratings

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Fusioon
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fusioon was undoubtedly one of the great, albeit too short-lived, prog-fusion catalan bands of the 70's, its 4 members were highly skilled musicians, with special mention for the classically trained keyboardist Manel Camp who after the prog era would become one of the most sought pianists and arrangists in the catalan musical scene.

This 1972 debut consists only of adaptations to jazz-rock-fusion of traditional spanish popular songs (a couple of them actually adaptations from late 19th / early 20th century spanish classical composers, La Danza Del Molinero by Manuel De Falla and Negra Sombra by Xoan Montes). Being catalan I recognize most of the tunes, but the adaptations are so free that they hardly bear any resemblance to the originals except for some phrases here and there bringing up the original melodies and some of the original backing chord progressions transposed onto jazzy rythms on which they play their solos and improvisations.

The album is totally instrumental, very good fusion with classical flavour, with quite a lot of piano (organ, synths and mellotron not lacking either) and great musicianship all around. The songs are all short between 3 and 5 minutes which makes the album flow swiftly. There are saxes and flute too making the music more diverse.

But in this debut they do not use their musicianship for showing off and they are not too adventurous, no pyrotechnics, no agressive nor stunning music. As good as it is, it feels a bit like just "innocent jazz-rock", the songs feel rather simple and it's in the details where you realise their quality.

In their next two albums Fusioon would truly unleash their talent and challenging spirit and venture into top-level eclectic-symphonic-fusion prog (in Fusioon II) and back to fusion- symphonic-experimental but at a vastly more sofisticated level (in their last album Minorisa).

A certainly interesting and nice-to-have album, but only after you have discovered their next two masterpieces.

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 Minorisa  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.82 | 49 ratings

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Minorisa
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fusioon's best work takes the listener on a prog world tour, beginning with a very Egg-y flavour of Canterbury and proceeding to go all over the map, with ELP-style keyboard bombast breaking out at points before we reach our final destination in the electronic-Krautrockish outro to Llaves del Subconsciente. Displaying fusion chops that the likes of Area would be proud to boast of and an amazing capacity to combine different directions in progressive music into a coherent and individual sound all of their own, Fusioon manage to create a distinctive album which stands head and shoulders above its two predecessors as the crown jewel of their discography.

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 Fusioon 2  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.73 | 29 ratings

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Fusioon 2
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fusioon 2 finds the band experimenting with emulating the sounds of other progressive groups, to varying degrees of success. Marti Brunet turns out to be quite good at capturing Steve Hackett's "weeping" guitar sound as heard in Genesis albums of the era, but on the other hand keyboardist Manel Camp is no Keith Emerson and doesn't impersonate Keith especially well. Whilst the first few tracks on the album are a bit weak, towards the end the group weave all of these different influences into a more cohesive sound and comes up with a compelling finale with the last song. Interesting, but not essential.

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 Fusioon by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 21 ratings

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Fusioon
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A good but not exceptional jazz-rock and fusion album, Fusioon's debut is pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. Although there's nothing particularly wrong with the material, which is performed perfectly competently, I just don't find it especially memorable; I just gave it another listen before preparing this review and already I find myself forgetting what the opening track sounded like. There's little to impress itself on the memory here - not in terms of emotive force, or in technical wizardry. As a result, whilst it's certainly a pleasant listen, it's not something I'd urge other listeners to make a great effort in seeking out.

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 Minorisa  by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.82 | 49 ratings

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Minorisa
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a very pleasant surprise after what I felt was a disappointing debut from the band.This is their third and final album and it's just so interesting and left of center much of the time. Also there is an abuundance of melloton which only adds to my enjoyment. We get three long tracks and the opening song is a side long suite.

"Ebusus" is led by keyboards and drums early followed by bass and mellotron after a minute. Amazing stuff ! Mono-toned vocals 2 1/2 minutes in as the wind blows. It's heavier and darker before 4 minutes.This is so good. Prominant drumming after 5 minutes then some brief fast paced vocals. It's catchy with piano before 7 minutes with chunky bass as drums continue. Fast paced vocals are back before 8 1/2 minutes then a change before 9 minutes as it calms right down with mellotron. I'm reminded of AREA 10 minutes in then we get another calm before 12 1/2 minutes with mellotron. It kicks back in before 15 minutes and vocals follow. Mellotron 18 minutes in. Great song !

"Minorisa" opens with spacey synths and atmosphere. Mellotron joins in. Drums and piano take over before a minute then the synths return.The tempo changes often on this one. Church bells after 5 minutes then some heaviness with mellotron takes over. Synths and drums lead late. "Llaves Del Subconsciente" opens with mellotron then these strange and experimental sounds follow. Part II of this tune is very much an electronic soundscape that Klause Schulze would be proud of i'm sure.

No doubt a classic from Spain that the adventerous listener will eat up.

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 Fusioon by FUSIOON album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 21 ratings

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Fusioon
Fusioon Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars FUSIOON were a band from Spain who offered up some Jazzy music on this their 1972 debut. Love the album cover but i'm not digging the tunes that much. I can't get over the tempo changes these guys go through on pretty much every track. No wonder so many people mention GENTLE GIANT when they try to explain their sound.This is especially true on their next release. I mean being into Prog I appreciate tempo and mood shifts but these guys do it so often I can't get into the music. We get 8 tracks over about 31 minutes, so lots of short songs here.

"Danza Del Molinero" is piano, drums and bass led then it picks up quickly, but then again the tempo and sound changes often on this one. Organ before 3 1/2 minutes then it calms right down again. "Ya Se Van Los Pastores" sounds good when it settles in before a minute.The bass stands out but then again like the first track the tempo and mood changes way too often for my tastes. Flute leads after 2 minutes then guitar and organ take over a minute later. Nice. "Ses Porqueres" builds until the guitar and drums start to lead. Piano joins in then flute.This is all over the place though. "Pavana Espanola" is led by bass, piano, guitar and drums after a minute and the tempo continues to shift.

"Negra Sombra" turns pastoral before 2 minutes with what sounds like strings. Not a fan of this.Vocal melodies a minute later. "En El Puerto De Pajares" has some excellent drumming but it's too lightweight of a tune overall. "Rima Infantil" is led by piano and drums early. I like the guitar before 2 minutes. A calm follows then it picks back up with piano, drums and bass. "El Cant Del Ocells" is my favourite track of the lot, I guess they saved the best for last. It opens with sounds that come and go. Flute leads 1 1/2 minutes in.The tempo picks up with organ leading the way 2 minutes in.This is good. The guitar then comes in. Nice.

Barely 3 stars.

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