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Abrete Gandul - ¿Bichos=Dichos? CD (album) cover

¿BICHOS=DICHOS?

Abrete Gandul

Eclectic Prog


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apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Chilean experimental rock scene seems endless and ABRETE GANDUL are another nice example of it.Hailing from the capital of Chile,Santiago,they were formed in 1999 with an aim to discover the different angles rock music had to offer.Featuring Mauricio Dell (aka Doctor Octava) on vocals/guitars, Rodrigo Maccioni on guitars/flutes, Antonio Arceu on drums and Rodrigo Garcia on bass (with Pablo Garcia delivering some fretless bass in a couple of tracks),they released ''¿Bichos=Dichos?'' a year later as a private press,while the same year they paricipated in numerous important gigs around the country.

This is certainly a work,which can get very experimental at times,blending rock, and avant-garde music with jazz and flute-based folk themes.The basis of their music is mid-70's/early-80's KING CRIMSON,that means a guitar/bass-driven complicated rock music with lots of breaks and changing tempos.Though,the overall result reminds little of KING CRIMSON.While ROBERT FRIPP was undoubtfully the main figure on KING CRIMSON's releases,here Doctor Octava leaves a lot of space to the other musicians to explore their instruments.One of them is Rodrigo Carcia,who's hypnotic and heavy bass lines dominate the album,while drummer Antonio Arceu has also his moments with his free imrovisational drumming.Doctor Octava's work is definitely in the vein of Mr. FRIPP delivering complicated chords all the time with only a touch of melody here and there.For those who expect a totally instrumental album,this is not the case here.However,maybe this work would be better without them.Octava's voice is really weak and what exactly the man tries to do is really a question.His vocals are quite humurous, theatrical, almost sarcastic at times,but he rather pronounces the lyrics than actually sings.This is the weakest point of this release for sure.

For those who like the cosmic,trully complex,''inhuman'' face of KING CRIMSON or the bands who followed their steps (BI KYO RYAN,TRYO,DIFICIL EQUILIBRIO),this is your thing.Of course ABRETE GANDUL are very far from creating the masters' unique sound,but they are worth a try.

Report this review (#227874)
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Before their fabulous sohpomore release "Cuentos Para Dormir', Chilean band Ábrete Gandul has a different line-up and bore a different musical direction, mostly signalled by the peculiar vision of guitarist-vocalist Doctor Octava. His eclectic melting pot of hard rock, semi-Crimsonian prog, psychedelia, pop and fusion was the focal point of the repertoire wefind in "¿Bichos = Dichos?", and the singing style showed a tota laccord with it - humorous, satyrical, funny in a surrealistic manner. In perspective, this work is not that cohesive, but it certainly reveals a boldness to expand the language of rock and enough talent to see it through with a convincing degree of success. The eponymous track opens up the album as some sort of light-hearted Primus: that is, a motif developed between comedy and cabaret moods, which is performed with a Crimsonian twist and whose lyrics deconstruct popular proverbs. I interpret this as a counter-cultural manifesto, but well, that's just me. 'Quiero Apagarte' is a pop ballad bathed in bluesy perfurmes - the final expansion finds teh band goign to jazzy realms, adding some ethereal sonorities while at it. 'Hay que Volver a los Chinos' is the first version of a track that will reappear in the second album: this first version doesn't bear as much power, but it surely displays a clever mixture of jazz- rock and psychedelia, as inherently demanded by the track's own compositional nucleus. 'Gracias Niños' returns to the humorous debuachery that had prior been exposed in the opener, delivering a sort of Zappaesque ambiences through a mostly poppish basis. A similar thing we will find later on 'Alarmadilla', albeit with a more complex set of mood and rhythm shifts. 'Estamos de Suerte' is more focused on decidedly progressive realms, bearing a confluence of psychedelia, avant-garde jazz and free-form: the flute is featured notably, contributing mainly pastoral sounds a-la Van Leer while the lead guitar states Barrett-like spacey flows. Wow!! 'Quiero Apagarte' returns as a live rendition, with a more muscular vibe. 'Procesión' is another example of the progressive element that the band would eventually emphasize more deeply: in the context of this debut album, 'Procesión' offers a challenging mixture of space-rock and free-jazz in a very distturbing way (and I mean it in a positive way). Just when the whole ensemble sets a recognizable framework, the track's mood becomes ethereal and lyrical - it is a pity that this song isn't longer. La Matadera' closes down the album on a melancholic note, as if teh singer feared a fatal end: indeed, it is an efefctive elegy. This is how this album ends: it is a work full of surprises, interesting variations, a work full of appealing promises of prog rock that ultimately were capitalized by the band for their second release... but that is a mater for another review.
Report this review (#236974)
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The debut album which includes every species of birds and every species of fish.

A wildly eclectic mix, this debut album from Abrete Gandul. A band whose second album rightly is highly regarded. But that was after a major revamp of their lineup. A lineup mostly not present on this album, their debut album.

The first thing that really hits me is the very annoying in-your-face vocals. The vocalist is a good vocalist, but he uses his voice totally wrong on this album and his partly yodeling, hysterical vocals is far too prominent in the mix. It is really hard to look past this vocals and it is hard to take this album seriously with vocals like that. When even the half at sleep office cat here gets an expression of total terror in his face and makes a run for the door, you get the picture. Me too want to do a runner.

....... Which is a pity because there is a lot to enjoy if you can get past the vocals. Some flutes, a lot of good half-accoustic guitars and some excellent bass and drums. That's on the latter part of the album and well after the listener has given up on this album. There are also a lot of avant-garde jazz here too. Music wise, I get the feeling that there is several different albums within this album. The band does not have any focus and tries to cram in too much in one album. Which is not too unusual in debut albums from South America, I have noted. Pop and avant-garde jazz does not mix on one album.

Hence, this is not a quality product. It goes from great to the lowest lows in a matter of a few minutes. And I have problems looking past the vocals. Hence my verdict.

2 stars

Report this review (#487758)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 | Review Permalink

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