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Témpano - Selective Memory CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.23 | 56 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Spread the word, the verse, the note, the melody,. This album is yours" - this message appears on the Témpano website from which you can download their latest album "Selective Memory" ("Memoria Selectiva" in Spanish). Strictly speaking, this is not a new album but a collection of older compositions, most of which were used by the band to create their entries for the "Odyssey" and "7 Samurai" multi- group concept-albums. The more concise format in which they had been originally written appears now in tracks 2-8 and 10. Track 9 dates back from the "Agony & Ecstasy" days, while the closing track is from the "Atabal-Yemal" era, never before recorded although performed on stage many times. Only the opener is a new piece specifically written and produced for this album: 'Victoria Pírrica' sets the mood for the some of the overall atmospheres predominant in the album, a combination of symphonic prog, chamber-rock, jazz, space-rock and Gentle Giant-ish tricks that can be already recognizable as Témpano's signature sound. Most of the tracks remind us of the essential sonorities encapsulated in "Childhood's End", while bringing some of the ambiences displayed by the fractal projects Odrareg and iX. This really shows you how well amalgamated are the band's general vision and the individual members' creativity. Despite the fact that lots of vintage keyboards are used (Hammond and Farfisa organs, Moogs, mellotron, Wurlitzer and Fender electric pianos.) and the band's claim that the recording process was designed to simulate the 70s MO, the album's production bears a modern feel right from track 1. 'Falling Senses' bears a more powerful mood during the strong passages, which really helps to create a special contrast with other more constrained moments: there is also a noticeable enhancement of the jazzy factor, especially in the swing provided by the rhythm section. The closing section is full of solemnity, in no small degree created by the mesmerizing Hackett-meets- Gilmour guitar solo. Later on, in track 5, the jazz element will prevail. 'Argos' is a relaxing acoustic ballad augmented by a punchy synth solo that builds a hypnotic atmosphere wrapping around the overall track. Also relaxing but more experimental is 'A Farewell to the Seasons' (an undoubted highlight), which alternates a soft development of dissonant motifs and the elaboration of calm moods: traces of GG, PF and Yes can be noticed here, always under Témpano's unique vision. 'Irus' bears a family resemblance with 'A Farewell to the Seasons', although not equaling its splendor: all in all, the amazing guitar solo that emerges from minute 4 creates a dynamic climax that complements the track's general ambience. 'The Blind Crow' is less dense and more serene than any of the preceding two tracks, with an evident retro feel and a surprising finale of hand clapping and tribal chanting. 'Embestida' is the mandatory Happy the Man-inspired track (there's always one or two in each Témpano album): the basic motifs are playful and lyrical, with an interlude that sets a pertinently contrast of controlled weirdness and an increase of the jazzy element when the track approaches its closing - another highlight. 'Cristalizado' brings back the dreamy aspect that had been so prominent in the most solemn parts of the preceding tracks: it included a magnificent (albeit regrettably brief) classical guitar duet, plus an electrifying guitar lead. Pedro Castillo is a master musician who knows how to combine eerie textures, architectural pyrotechnics and stylish phrasing. 'Aguas Redondas' further explores this trend of calmness and sophistication, providing a contemplative closure for the album: the keyboard layers, the acoustic guitar arpeggios and the electric guitar continuing leads create pure bucolic magic, as if it were a homage to the good old days of Genesis and Yes. Both these tracks, whene appreciated as a continuum, feel like the album's glorious highlight. An excellent ending for an excelling prog item that is "Selective Memory" - Témpano remains one of the most creative progressive bands still active around the world (let alone South America!), still capable of writing and producing musical masterpieces such as this.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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