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Vytas Brenner - Hermanos CD (album) cover

HERMANOS

Vytas Brenner

 

Eclectic Prog

3.26 | 20 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After breaking ground in the area of modern popular music in Venezuela with his 1973's debut album "La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner", Vytas had to face and fulfill the task of going on with his musical career. Instead of creating a clone of "La Ofrenda", he went to a different direction with an emphasis on symphonic rock and the introduction of space-rock and electronic krautrock-style minimalism, which meant that the fusion factor had to be somewhat relegated (not to the point of becoming nullified, let's put this clearly). The first song is an acoustic guitar-based ballad, simplistic yet owner of a moving lyricism that might as well work as an attention catcher. Following next are two pieces full of heavily cosmic nuances delivered on multiple synth lines and adornments: this is quite a departure from the trova-oriented opener, since 'Madrugada' and 'Amanecer' might as well be mistaken for outtakes from a Klaus Schulze's lost 70s album. But no, this is Vytas Brenner: he manages to do very well with this sort of electronic experimentation, and I really wish these tracks had been longer so we could hear what he might have done with this potential motivator of mental trips. Also short is track 4, 'Danza con Pájaros', which sets a candid exercise on jazz-fusion based on the dialogue between percussion and electric guitar, while the acoustic guitar strums its way through the rhythmic cadences. 'Gavilán' is a very effective piece that shows Brenner's most exuberant side: a solid full instrumentation that features soaring lead guitar phrases and powerful percussive dynamics. The synths go restlessly elaborating appropriate moods for the overall ensemble, and there is even a pretty (albeit too short) Moog solo that provides some spacey nuances to the core motif. In fact, for the last 1 ½ minute the track's mood gets heavily spacey, even to an oppressive extent - this makes the whole track's scheme sound like a mixture of the most pompous side of "Ofrenda" and "Symphony"-era Clearlight. 'Pastos' brings back the electronic ambience a-la Schulze, stating a strange atmosphere where the dense and the laid-back become one sonic source. This is what I meant when I said that I wish tracks 2 & 3 had been longer. 'Ganado' is a lovely symphonic piece, with a simple rhythmic pattern but a complex series of harmonic developments. 'Estampida' is a moderately disturbing exercise on experimentation with drum kit, synthesizer and tympani: this is really weird in a deconstructive sense, but it's also appealing for those who can't get enough of Brenner's cosmic side. As a counterpart, 'Ana Karina Rote' is the most powerful of the few fusion-oriented tracks in the album. Set on a joropo-like tempo, this piece features horns, sax and percussions while Brenner keeps himself busy on his synthesizer, electric and grand pianos. 'Sentado en una Piedra' brings another ballad, this time based on piano: the instrumentation makes this song achieve a greater dose of magnificence, although it is a bit clichéd. This album has a well deserved mention as a very good album, but all in all, the incomplete development of some musical ideas (which make the respective tracks seem like snippets rather than effective compositions) and the partial inconsistency of the tracklist's style reflect "Hermanos" as a work less than excellent. Anyway, as a matter of fact, Vytas Brenner excels.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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