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Nazca - Nazca CD (album) cover





4.00 | 27 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars When it comes to avant-chamber prog it's usually the French speaking world of Belgium and France that comes immediately to mind, but that doesn't mean other disparate nations of the world haven't had their share of fans and managed to record their own take on the likes of Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and Henry Cow. Well, Mexico hardly seems like the place where you would encounter such lugubrious complexity in music since most Latin oriented music is rather upbeat and downright cheerful but way back in 1979 this group formed and then released their eponymous debut in 1985. The band consisted of five guys who went by the name of NAZCA released this debut album which is predominantly inspired by the works of Univers Zero's earliest album such as "1313" and "Heresie" with the dynamic edge of Henry Cow. The instruments include the usual early RIO suspects which incorporate the use of violin, oboe, bassoon, bass, viola, piano, cello and percussion to create one spectacular downer of a musical listening experience.

While the RIO influences are the primary forces at play, the compositions owe a lot to bands like King Crimson with their zigzag approach of musical meandering with time signatures that match the greats of progressive rock while creating a classical comparison of suspense in the compositions as heard by the greats such as Stravinsky. While Univers Zero and Art Zoyd excelled in creating soundtracks to the apocalypse, NAZCA are generally more playful and feel less end-of-the-wordish than just plain melancholic. While instrumentally the seven tracks could be mistaken for one of the Belgian bands, there's just something unlike those bands that's hard to put a finger on. However, Mexico or Latin America would hardly come to mind when listening to this dirge driven theatrical bombast that ranges from soft passages to fully fueled sonic outbursts of chaotic ebullitions. As with most chamber rock, this too exclusively lies in the realms of instrumental music and therefore without any traces of linguistics attached adds that extra layer of alienation to the mix.

While it would be hard by any stretch of the imagination to call NAZCA even remotely original as every note seems to have derived from a European force of the past, somehow NAZCA delivers a compelling debut album that although a little over a half an hour in length delivers some powerfully emotional tracks that pack a powerful punch of heart-string pulls of emotional prowess and proof that such chamber music can be dished out in virtually any corner of the globe long before the internet made such cross-pollination an every day event. Excellent musicianship and strong compositional creativity makes NAZCA a highly entertaining debut. The band would release one more album the following year and then disappear until 2001's "En Vivo." Other Mexican avant-prog with a similar vision and even some of the members of NAZCA include Culto Sin Nombre and Decibel.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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