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Kant Freud Kafka - Historias del Acantilado CD (album) cover

HISTORIAS DEL ACANTILADO

Kant Freud Kafka

 

Crossover Prog

3.96 | 19 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Catalonian Javi Herrera is back with his third Kant Freud Kafka release--this one his most polished and well-- produced if most complex collection of songs.

1. "Voz de Metal" (10:18) While I like Javi's male tenor, his lyrics and melodies aren't really to my liking. While I hear hints at previous structural, chordal, and melodic themes, I am happy to feel that this is a song of mostly original ideas. Nice engineering and balance among the sonic landscape--though Alia's beautiful mezzo-soprano perhaps should not be allowed to overshadow Javi's voice so much when it's present. Perhaps their voices could have used a little electronic enhancements as well--to increase the proggy mystique of their story. As it stands, they're a little stark and standout-ish. (And boy does Alia have some strong pipes!) (17.5/20)

2. "Carta de Gaia" (13:05) opens with a female narration over metallic chimes percussives. Acoustic steel-stringed guitars (picked and strummed). More tuned percussion joins in beneath Alia's gorgeous singing--in her wonderful, soaring, crystal-clear upper registers. The centerpiece for the first four is by far and away Ms. Herrera. Then Javi's Moogy synth takes the lead for about a minute before Alia's voice returns. Now accompanied by the Moog and her own background vocal tracks, the song just gets better. I wish I understood the lyrics! At 8:15 the full band kicks in to give it the real prog treatment. All the while Alia's vocals remain so strong, so powerful, so moving! Electric guitar soloing in the 12th minute is primo prog--excellente--over solid, engaging music! At 12:23 we return to the opening acoustic theme--with cello to help Alia finish. Beautiful! Great prog! (23/25)

3. "Conspiranoia" (4:44) piano-based instrumental with bowed acoustic bass and buzz-saw synth and tuned metallic percussives playing the whole way. More avant jazz than the previous pieces. (8.5/10)

4. "My Baby Just Scares for Me" (8:41) Fender Rhodes, electric bass, and my favorite instrument on the planet, cor anglais share the soundsphere of this one. Then, heaven to betsies! oboe joins in to work a verse with the cor anglais! I'm in heaven! Then strings show up in the mix, thickening it considerably. Gorgeous! One of my favorite chamber pieces of the year! At 4:25, a Spanish-feeling jazz combo joins in with piano. The music remains beautiful, then the bass and drums start to get a little showy, spicing up the music quite a bit. Multiple melody lines in the seventh minute compete a little for my attention, but still work. I'm not quite sure how the title fits, but, ... (17.75/20)

5. "El Acantilado" (15:00) Pure chamber rock--acoustic string quartet with synthesizer--for the first four minutes. Then drums and electric guitar enter the piece, with sequencer-like keyboard "bass" track to soon follow. The rock instruments have now taken over, are the dominant purveyors of the music--which remains pretty much the same (despite the drums and thumping bass). The heaviness of this progified version of the chamber music is a bit surprising, but you can tell these instrumentalists know what they're doing. At the seventh minute, the rock rhythm instruments desist while synth and harp continue weaving with synth bass chords and . This evolves into a pretty harp-dominated accompaniment for a Javi and Alia duet. Around 9:20 jazzy fretless bass joins in and then, with the next round, Fender Rhodes, drums, and jazz electric guitar. Then flute--which plays tag with the guitar for a bit before the two lovely voices team up in a round of vocalise before segueing back into their lyrical duet. In the 12th minute, the electric instruments are let loose to wreak havoc, followed by an emotional tenor sax! In the fourteenth minute the Arp synth and violin bring back some of the themes from the opening as the rest of the musicians seem to peter out and die off. (A metaphor for the Holocene Extinction? The Cliff!) (26.5/30)

Total Time 51:48

Though highlights for me are definitely the way the orchestral instruments and mezzosoprano are worked into the music, I am so very much in awe of Javi's compositional prowess and bold blending of classical, jazz, and proggy elements. His daughter, Alia, is quite a talent--as is bass master Dani Fernandez.

B+/four stars; an excellent display of classically- and jazz-based progressive rock music--of the highest caliber of compositional and performance skill. Highly recommended!

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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