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Carmen - Dancing on a Cold Wind CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.73 | 84 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Carmen is a very intriguing english/US band that - paradoxally - have to be included in the wonderful prog- andaluz family. Curiously their first record to date, the now-mythic Fandangos in Space was released in 1973 when Triana or almost anything from Spain was still too far from seeing the light. So they came before and even if their sound wasn't really genuine, they managed to create an unicum in the prog scene of that time. Their most original peculiarity is the use of a a glamourish rock-mood a la QUEEN that is not what you could expect from a traditional andalusian band. Notwithstanding, musicianship, passiona and (sex) appeal are all excellent ingredients to intrigue the music market and they surely made something important to be well remembered. Not to talk of a certain John Glascock who became, after the short Carmen experience, a permanent bass player in JETHRO TULL until his sad death in 1979 during the recording session of Stormwatch. I always liked his style of playing in albums as Songs from the Wood or Heavy Horses so I was particularly interested in put my hands on his early output as Carmen member. And what a lucky day when both first and second releases were remastered and sold in a unique comfortably repackaged boxset.

Dancing on a Cold Wind, despite his lower rating in comparison with its more famous predecessor, has nothing to envy. On the contrary it opens within the most aggressive and powerful track ever recorded by the band: Viva Mi Sevilla. This one really shocks the listener. Above all bass playing is simply amazing. John Glascock brings his bass guitar to a more rougher and distorted sound as common in many contemporary bands (like the Zuffanti's style when play for LA MASCHERA DI CERA). In the same time, acoustic-flamenco guitar is exciting in particular when combined withing the more and more harder and vigorous tip tapping on a wooden floor (or is it a table?). This one is a pure classic, A real gem to be heard by any good prog lover, a must have if you are willing to investigate the pleasant prog-andaluz scene.

Other tracks from the album aren't at the same level but still excellent ones. Vocals are far from being morish and the most part is sung in english. It's strange, but I felt shiver when I thought I was listening to a PETER HAMMILL song... errr, that's was only my impression, obviously, based on a fragment of a single tune but it's interesting that such an album continues to allow me such intense emotions.

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |


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