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Vangelis - Can You Hear The Dogs Barking? [Aka: Ignacio] (OST) CD (album) cover




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3.46 | 60 ratings

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3 stars This was Vangelis' third soundtrack album release. The album has been released on several different occasions, with different artwork and even with different album titles. Although, this edition of Ignacio was released in 1977, the music contained within is clearly from an earlier period. The music comes from the film No Oyes Ladrar Los Perros?, which translated in English means, Can You Hear the Dogs Barking?. Ignacio is the name of the boy featured in the whole of which the film is largely based around. The music dates from 1975, and in fact the album originally appeared in France as Entends tu les chiens aboyer during that year. The instrumentation on the album neatly places the album in between Earth and Heaven and Hell. Ignacio contains much of the Mediterranean feel of the former album together with its slightly lower production values, yet also contains some of the grandiosity and instrumentation of the latter album. As it turns out, the album is a pleasant mixture of old-style Vangelis, and the later Nemo years, and must be recommended to fans of both periods.

Vangelis again does not uses titles to divide up the music on the album, and the LP lists the music simply as Entends tu les chiens aboyer Parts 1 and 2, while the CD edition classes the whole album simply as one 39 minute track. The music however is clearly divided into seven sections; three for side one, and four for side two. Sections one, three and seven are essentially the main theme played in different variations. Version one is the very still, and atmospheric, and is a typically beautiful piece of music by Vangelis. The instrumentation is simple droney monosynth, ethereal fender rhodes piano playing the melody backed by a melodic monosynth line, and Vangelis' hammond organ providing the chordal accompaniment, but as per usual, not sounding like a hammond organ at all. Version two is far more dramatic, with the addition of what on first hearing sounds like a church organ, but is actually a Tornado keyboard - no doubt another cheap keayboard Vangelis picked up and got some amazing sounds out of. It is the same instrument making the church organ sounds at the beginning of Nucleogenesis 1 off the Albedo 0.39 album. The third version is a very Mediterranean-sounding variation, with clavinet-like synths imitating the sound of a bazouki. The music here is very laid back, but very wistful at the same time.

The rest of the music on the album is quite a bizarre mix. Section two takes up some thirteen minutes worth of time on side one, and sees Vangelis glide from one style of music to the next. The piece starts off very darkly and meditative, with a male voice singing a slight variant on the main theme, with droney synth underneath - the same synth drone sound that can be heard beneath the main theme from Cosmos off the Heaven and Hell album - and sporadic percussion. The percussion builds up in intensity, with quick stuttering flurries on hammond organ, piano, and synthesizer. The music gets faster and denser as these quick flurries slowly take over the music, before collapsing into a wistful and sad orchestrated synth melody. The intense flurries return again before finally breaking down into another beautiful melody, which sounds like it could have comfortably come off the Heaven and Hell album. There is certainly a lot going on in those thirteen minutes of music, and yet as ever, it sounds completely improvised on the spot by Vangelis.

Side two is even more experimental. The side opens with the most rocky and bluesy track on the album, and yet all power comes from some very basic-sounding monosynths. To me, it sounds like the sort of music you would have got on an Amiga 500 game in the late 1980s - that is not a criticism!! The whole thing is powered by a single note throbbing bass line, and lots of percussion. The track is very busy and unfortunately fades out after four minutes. It certainly creates a jolt in the atmosphere, and prepares the listener for the stranger sounds still to come.

The second track on side two sounds almost like an extended version of Intestinal Bat off Heaven and Hell, but is probably even more experimental. A very dark and unnerving atmosphere is created out of a collection of found sounds. The music sounds like it could have been part of John Cage's Construction in Metal series, or perhaps, Edgar Varese's Ionisation. The music is provided by crashing metallic percussive sounds, fed through lots of reverb, mixed with Vangelis experimenting with the strings inside a piano. Washes of spooky electronics are added over the top. This is very dark and intense music - miles away from the opening theme of the album. The next track again has a similar feel to the static parts of Heaven and Hell - the ending of Intestinal Bat, or A Way at the end of the album. The music here is droney monosynth with an almost theremin-like sound on top of it. Again this is very eerie, but much more lighter and spacey than the track which preceeded it. This leads directly into the Mediterranean feel of the final track.

As with the other Vangelis soundtrack albums of this period, the music contained on Ignacio does not hang together as well as his fully-fledged albums, but the music is strong and dynamic, and is well worth a listen. There is little here that would please the progressive fans out there who like their music to rock, or to be rhythmically challenging. But for those whole like the atmospheric side of prog, this album is certainly a recommendation. And this album is certainly recommended to Vangelis fans who have not heard it yet, particularly those who appreciate Heaven and Hell and the work of the early Nemo studio period. I would give this album 3.5 stars overall - solid, but not as important as Heaven and Hell, Albedo 0.39 or Spiral.

UnearthlyChild | 3/5 |


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