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Senogul - Senogul CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.08 | 69 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Senogul has delivered with this album a manifesto of their musical genius, stating one of the most exquisite new affirmations of the prog genre in their country. The material recorded through the years 2005 and 2006 is what we find here in Senogul's offiical debut recording, now released by Mylodon Records in 2007. Five of the 12 tracks that are comprised in this repertoire already existed in their demo "Tránsitos", and now we can enjoy them in refurbished fashion... well those tracks and all of them, in general. The quantity of guests (mainly on wind instruments) is very revealing of the band's interest on the expansion of the colors inherent to their compositions. The band's sound is characterized by an energetic combination of symphonic prog and jazz- rock, porperly ornamented with classical music touches and folky flavors. García Salueña's keyboards (with the piano assuming a prominent role) play a reasonable featured part in the band's sonic architecture, while the rhythm duo displays a high degree of dynamics and precision, very accurate to help the band's overall input to make things happen in a convincing way. The album's first 6 minutes are occupied by the diptic of 'Dr. Gull I' and 'Racionalidad'. 'Dr. Gull I' gest started on a solemn note, based on the ambiences delivered by the piano chordp rogressions, while the other instruments (mainly the lead guitar) build up a moderate sense of energy instilled into the main motif's development; with the choir adding a touch of majestic vibrations to the fold, teh door is open for the entrance of 'racionalidad', a delicious track plethoric of melodic dynamics and an exciting tempo. Next comes the first opus in teh album, 'Tango Mango'. This is sheer old-fashiones progressive sophistication: various motifs succedding one another, variations of mood and tempo, tight performances full of technical prowess, but never getting the pyrotechnics to a gratuitous level. The inclusion of tango-based elements helps the track to preserve its colorfulness throughout its expansion. Having said this, I confess that I find this track less cohesvie than the other long numbers: it is very good, but it wll soon be eclipsed by the next two pieces. 'La Verbena Hermética' is just awesome, captivating, owning a captivating dexterity that comprises both variation and cohesion in perfect doses. The piano leads the track's main body with its inspiration in the jazzier side of Emerson. There is an interlude near the end that goes deeper into the jazzy side of things while the horn arrangements play some agile counterpoints, very much a-la GG. And then comes the final section, a lovely lovely translation of part of the main motif into a 6/8 tempo, a homage to Asturias' folk dances (Asturians happens to be the band members' native Spanish region). The candid colors of Norhern Spain's folk are funnily complemented by the amazing Moog solo and the burlesque of animal sounds - I get goosebumps everytime I get to this closing portion. 'Microcosmos Blues' is more jam-oriented, consisting on a smaller amount of motifs that fin more room for expansion than those comprised in 'Tango Mango'. Unlike its immediate predecessor, 'Microcosmos Blues' bears a more greyinsh mood, like an autumn evening under the haze. This prominent mood is more featured in the relaxed sections, although there is also room for some solid dual guitar riffing (leading the band toward a flirt with tandardized psychodelia) and even a brief reagge-jazz interlude. The album's second half begins with another diptic, 'Dr. Gull II'-'Gotas de Cristal en Tu Vaso de Lluvia' (beautiful title, 'Crystal Drops in Your Glass of Rain'). 'Dr. Gull II' begins with a reprise of some piano touches from the first 'Dr. Gull', and then comes a series of special effects that serve as a proper prelude for the manifestation of density in 'Gotas de Cristal...'. One of the most amazing tricks of this number is how well the intense spiralling piano goes sliding under the rhythm section's slow motion and the dense guitar solo. 'La Maha Vishnuda' continues with this trend of slow tempo and melancholy ambiences, but this time the track is less dense and more candorous. The interaction between the two guitarists is carefully crafted in order to guide the track's dynamics fro mbeginning to end in a solid manner. 'Agua, Fuego y Porexpán' brings back the appealing colorfulness that had been cleverly exploited in tarcks 2-4. The track's punchy spirit is enhanced by the effective work of the guests on saxes, trumpet and trombone - following the road of fusion, the band also feels comfortable, although the sytlish vibe they deliver is evidently due to their overall progressive approach. The jazz thing persists in the beautiful (albeit too ephimeral!) 'Travesía de las Gaviotas', a display of soft Ltin-jazz under a guise of serenity. I personally feel that 'La Maha' and 'Travesía' could have benefited from further expansion, but anyway, things are as they are and these two tracks are very good as they are. 'La Mulata Eléctrica' has, in comparison to the version included in "Tránsitos", a tighter guitar work and more notable dynamics. The band's symphonic splendour is revealed in full colors, even including some crafty hints to Andalusian prog (like Triana or Mezquita, so to speak). Well, the last 4+ minutes are occupied by 'Dr. Gull III', the most articulated composition in the 'Dr. Gull' series, setting once again that fluid combination of symphonic and jazz-rock that is Senogul's. This album is really great, essentially a masterpiece of well-focused eclecticsm and tight interplaying - right from the "official" starting point, Senogul has reached full maturity in terms of performance and creativity.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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