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Sympozion - Kundabuffer CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.99 | 43 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Sympozion was an Israeli band that took many progheads by surprise in the later years with their album "Kundabuffer", an energetic and colorful musical work that most certainly provided a big amount of freshness to the progressive genre's contemporary state. This album has many fortes to it, and one of them is the exquisite refinement employed by the ensemble members in both the harder and the softer passages. Influences from Happy the Man and gentle Giant are fairly easy to notice despite the fact that they are not summoned against the band's own originality. One can also tell that some dual guitar and guitar-keyboard interactions have much to do with the Fripp-Belew Gamelan standard from King Crimson 80s albums, some weird interludes are somewhat inspired by the Rio thing (minus the scary factor), and plus, some lyrical moments brought about by a couple of synth solos are related to the eerie side of Canterbury (Gilgamesh). Sympozion magically nurtured the foundations for their sound while making it their own. 'Patterns' is a very agile piece that starts the album on a catchy note, only moderately intricate (in progressive terms, of course). Well, this same merry note signals the first part of 'Happy War Holiday', but later things shift to a more lyrical mood in such an amazing display of subtlety that it leaves the dedicated listener wanting for more (and there will be more, indeed?). Track no. 3 has a vocal part in it, bearing an overall melodic focus that still leaves some room for slight variations along the road. The flute solo adds an extra color to the integral picture of sound. 'Grapefruit' is a gem in itself, showing an excellent array of constructed motifs and successive variations exquisitely crafted in an impressive 9? minute architecture of simultaneous underlines. Awesome! Track no. 5 is funnily entitled 'Six': we listeners are treated with a solid exercise on dissonant prog rock wrapped in jazz-rock cadences. In some ways, it shares a family air with the preceding track, but its more concise development allows it to bear a more concentrated amount of sonic energy. And next is 'Zona', which goes on completing the sophisticated moods that had been prominent since the arrival of 'Grapefruit'. This track is yet another highlight, displaying more ample spaces for jazz-inspired expansions. The inscrutable climax at the end erupts in pure psychedelic fashion: disturbing and intense, this trick is relevant enough to bring an unexpected shift without being actually overdone. 'Too Much' is arguably the warmest track in the album, serene and eerie, including dreamy passages. Its playful might as well remind us of the first two tracks. Last, the album's final 11 minutes are occupied by 'Grapefruit Variations', which partially retakes the piano flourishes that earlier had set the main body of 'Grapefruit'. Soon enough, things change into a jazz-oriented jam where free phrases go flowing with moderate explicitness. The guitar leads are notable and somewhat flashy but not overwhelming. The following jam is a tad softer, which by no means signifies a lack of strength. I particularly do not enjoy the fact that this last track had to finish with an abrupt ending: it is indeed a powerful piece, but perhaps it shouldn't have been the closer. Anyway, "Kundabuffer" is a magnificent masterpiece of contemporary prog and Sympozion is a band to be remembered until the end of time.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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