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Amarok - Els Nostres Petits Amics CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.75 | 16 ratings

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3 stars Spanish act Amarok was found in 1990 in Barcelona by Venezuelan composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Santamaria and female singer Lidia Ceron.For two years they appeared in several venues around the Catalan country and even travelled in Caracas, Venezuela to participate in "IV Encuentro Latinoamericano de Musica Electronica", next to Mexican Prog veteran Jorge Reyes.1993 sees the building of a studio by the band in the rural region of Cataluna, exclusively functioning via solar cells.A year later the self-produced first CD of the band ''Els nostres petits amics'' appears in the market with Santamaria handling several traditional instruments next to his keyboards, Ceron singing and a list of participants helping out: Manel Sese on percussion, Joan Morera on violin, Alfredo Arcusa on drums, Asy Guerrero on guitar, Kerstin Kokocinski on oboe.

This is a very OLDFIELD-ian kind of dreamy Progressive Folk album, which heavily relies on percussion, keyboards and acoustic instruments, supported by the crystalline voice of Ceron, creating ethereal, spacey soundscapes and bordering dangerously with New Age Music.Half sung, half instrumental, the tracks are rather minimalistic with good use of ethnic instruments, like marimbas, bongos and acoustic percussion, covered by Santamaria's proggy keyboard textures.I dislike his performamce on a very weak digital piano, which sounds pretty fake, but the rest of his performance is quite nice and sensitive with orchestral flavors and a fair dose of imaginative melodies.With Ceron sounding a bit like ENYA, the music becomes absolutely pastoral, outlandish and atmospheric, containing some strong Celtic inspirations.Not much of a rock component in here, but some tracks are provided with drums and more pronounced keyboard themes, even flirting with soft Symphonic Rock, led by Santamaria's tricky plays.And at the very end part of the album's atmosphere is left side, replaced by a couple of short, Folk-inspired but trully memorable tunes with intense synthesizers and Lounge acoustics.

ENYA on stage with MIKE OLDFIELD.Quite simplistic description, but this is what ''Els nostres petits amics'' is all about.Ethereal, folky musicianship with good arrangements and fascinating vocals.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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