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Blue Effect (Modrư Efekt) - Svitanie CD (album) cover


Blue Effect (Modrư Efekt)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.34 | 184 ratings

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4 stars Comprised of four pieces of grandly symphonic, occasionally complex, predominantly vocal free and endlessly melodic prog rock ranging between four and nineteen minutes, `Svitanie' is a (mostly) instrumental prog fans dream come true. Hailing from Czechoslovakia, Blue Effect/Modry Efekt, calling themselves simply M Efekt by the time this sixth album came around in 1977, rarely fall back on inane padded jamming, instead moving through a range of carefully composed and varied musical passages. Think of a more restrained Finch that doesn't mind the odd ambient break, or alternatively a harder rocking version of Focus without the classical bombast driven by fiery and ragged Steve Howe (Yes) flavoured electric guitar runs. Elements of funk and jazz/fusion also show up, frequently brought to life by tons of Hammond, Mellotron and Fender Rhodes flourishes.

Many sections of ten minute opener `Vysoka...' is fuelled by both Radim Hladik's urgent, almost manic electric guitar runs and Oldrich Vesely's regal church organ pomp, bristling Mellotron veils and electric piano prettiness. This confident and tasteful piece is loaded with memorable themes, a range of tempos and moods with stop-start blasts of power, and even a few brief whimsical and light-footed moments remind of Gentle Giant and Fruupp, and Vlado Cech's drumming is like a ferocious storm that takes hold of your attention. `El, Pada...' is a drifting organ lament, with plenty of stirring and highly emotional electric guitar soloing throughout and a short dignified raspy vocal. `V Sobotu...' is a quick fusion by way of ELP-styled instrumental, with super thick Hammond organ, wild thunderstorm drumming and Fedor Freso's punishing reverberating bass around quirky electronics and some wailing electric guitar noise.

Lots of build and slowly unwinding atmosphere in the side long title track. Eerie droning ambient electronics, rising cymbal tension and sustained Hammond mystery ebbs and flows against the listener likes waves on a beach shore. After a brief vocal passage, the piece lurches to life with some dirty swaggering treated bluesy electric guitar soloing, reminding of both Krokodil's `An Invisible World Revealed' and some Man albums. The bass rumbles like a damn earthquake erupting inside your speakers, the piece twists with frenetic noisy Hammond spirals, nimble jazzy electric guitar licks and a powerful climax.

Without a doubt, M. Efekt's `Svitanie' is truly sumptuous symphonic frequently instrumental brilliance, and fans of Finch's `Glory of the Inner Force', Focus' `Focus III', the Sebastian Hardie albums and maybe Schicke Fuhrs and Frohling's `Symphonic Pictures' should track this one down right away. It's also now available in a limited double CD package along with Gattch's breezy and easy to enjoy self titled work from 1972, so there's no better excuse to rediscover this gem, and learn to quickly treasure it.

Four and a half stars.

(thanks to fellow Prog Archives member Sagi for insisting I keep at this one, it's proven to be a wonderful addition to my collection that I can't get enough of!)

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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