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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt) - A Benefit of Radim Hladík [Aka: Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík] CD (album) cover


Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 165 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Modrý Efekt is one of those bands mailing from behind the Curtain of Iron in the 60s and 70s that happen to be highly praised among progressive and jazz-rock circles. And quite deservedly so. If Fermata was the Slovakian king of progressive rock, Módry Efekt assumed a parallel superior role in the Czech side of the former Czechoslovakia. "Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladik" is the name of ME's fifth studio effort, and that's a weird name for an album recorded by a band whose lead guitarist, founder and main writer is precisely Mr. Hladik. Anyway, mysteries aside, let's go for the review of the album itself. 'Boty' is the opening cut that initially states a brief synth-based whirlwind before the main motif settles in with its full power. The emergence of this sort of strength in no way diminishes the installment of a clearly defined melodic dynamics through the guitar leads and the effective keyboard layers. The mood and motif shifts are managed craftily, in full progressive fashion; the flute solo during the spacey interlude is just lovely, establishing a proper contrast against the frantic guitar-dominated passages. Sometimes things get as wild as in your regular LZ or DP album, no kidding! Hladik is a masterful elaborator of the influences he receives from Akkerman, Page and Hendrix at once. There is also a cosmic organ solo wildly oriented toward the higher pitches. After this red hot opening number comes a very different one, the melancholic 'Čajovna', whose framework may remind us of Focus-meets- Finch. 'Skládanka' finds the band turning back to the frenzy side of things, with its powerful mixture of jazz-rock and heavy prog. Once again, the guest flautist shines with his sensibility, although Hladik is the one who naturally gets his instrument more featured, at the end of the day. 'Ztráty a nálezy' starts with a focus on the acoustic guitar, which is soon accompanied by multiple electric guitar ornaments on a very psychedelic note. The main body arrives with the installment of a slow-paced atmosphere, not without its proper dose of energy. The album's official repertoire is closed down by 'Hypertenze': its Mahavishnu-friendly funky birations mingle quite fluidly with the explicitely hard rocking passages. Arguably, here is the most proficient bass work, and perhaps there are also the most accomplished spacey sounds from the synth. The final section is a glorious progressive litany with a notorious charge of neurosis: the explosive sax solo is essential for this sort of mood. There are 2 bonuses in this CD edition: 'Armageddon' is an interesting psych-rock song that might bear some family airs with Trettioariga Kriget, and 'Clara' is an attractive exercise on hard rock with beat nuances. All in all, none of these tracks equals the fantastic majesty of the official tracklist - those 5 tracks alone suffice to label this CD as a genuine prog masterpiece, at least to my ears.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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