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Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt) - Nová Syntéza 2 [Aka: New Synthesis 2] CD (album) cover


Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt)

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars This was second volume of the band's co-operation with the Czech Radio Jazz Orchestra and as seen already in the addition of electric violin their approach has been here more symphonic than on the first part. Especially in the 22 minute title track we get the full range of orchestral symphonic sound including muttering male choir as well as ample brass arrangements. Everything very nicely blended with rock music though being a bit too sumptuous at times at least for my taste. This was certainly a highlight of East European symphonic rock at the time released and every lover of this sub-genre should be highly fascinated by this record. Apart from the second track which offers a nice guitar solo reminiscent of Santana's more jazzy work the rest of the album pales a bit in comparison with this opus magnum unfortunately though being still very enjoyable.

Not really essential but nevertheless a nice opportunity to get an impression of the more experimental phase of this excellent band. 3,5 stars really!

Report this review (#84376)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Even better than Nová Syntéza , this is another one with a jazz orchestra, called (not very originally ) Nová syntéza II. The bigggest news is, that this one has Lešek Semelka added to the band as a lead singer. Plus, the songs are essentially symphonic prog with a jazz rock flavour at times. Nová syntéza II. 4 The title track. A long, moody piece with a gorgeous opening melody that could rival the best ones on a Yes,or Genesis album. Semelka´s soul influenced voice adds a lot to the atmoisphere, along with the passage, where Hladík plays a solo over the male choir part. At about the beginning of the ight minute the song becomes faster and a bit more jazzier with a strong vocal performance by Semelka. Great work by the rhytm section, Kustka plays fabulous bassguitar. Next comes another symphonic part, which ends in a noisy freakout by the orchestra and the band, with nice piano playing starting, with an insane electric violin solo, followed by a full band part, with a great solo by Hladík, that after a climax calms the number to get in amore moodier passage, which showcases an organ solo and fabulous bass playing , before the orchestra starts the jazziest part of the track, with the rhytm section really getting into it. In this part, the tracks resembles one of the less inspired parts of the first Nová Syntéza. The band then returns to the atmospheric theme, with orchestra as well as the choir and ends it abruptly. Some great moments here, but some considerably weak ones as well. Je Trěba obout boty a pak dlouho jít 5 This one was reworked without the orchestra and vocals for the almost fully instrumental Radim Hladík & Modrý efekt Album. I like this one much better, though. The creepy intro sounds like it would come from Pink Floyd´s One of these days, when the main heavy riff comes in with the orchestra. Semelka develops a complicated vocal melody. The dreamy, slower melody sounds as it would come out of Meddle, along with the subtle slide guitars, but because of the horn section, it sounds jazzier. Hladík then plays a gorgeous lyrical lead on guitar, before another fast part starts, with a fine guitar riff introducing it and Hladík plays a second solo, this one much wilder as the previous one. The whole band is really tight. Next is one darker passage, with creepy organ, concluding in the dramatic vocal melody, which then ends the number. Klíště 3.5 A moody ballad with only pianoand the orchestra, relying on Semelka´s expressive voice. Nice, even if the too pompous and melodically lacking in the refrain, which is much overdramaticized. However, at lest the verses are fine and atmospheric and the song is short. Jedenáctého října 2,5 The track starts off with a heavy wall of sound created by the orchestra,and the band along with organ. The vocal part starts, with a fabulous thumping bass. The most rocking tune on here, no doubt, as well as the loudest one. A somewhat surprising , slow and moody part starts, followed by a louder one, rather unimpressive wah wahed solo by Radim Hladík, as it does not really fit onto the song that well. Thankfully, a nice section comes in, with solid melody and relaxed playing by the band as well as the orchestra, with Hladík playing a nice lead in the background.

Songs´rating in order: 4+5+3.5+2.5=15:4= stars

Good, but non - essential.

Report this review (#129353)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Not really a follow-up to the first Nova Synteza (New Synthesis) until the last 5 minutes of the opening epic. On the major part of he side-long track the orchestra is just supporting the band with brasses and the song is mainly rock-blues. The brasses give it a retro flavor so that it seems coming more from the 60s than the 70s. In the last five minutes it drastically changes and turns into an excellent orchestral jazz before coming back to the original rock theme for the last conclusive minute. So 3/4 of the track are Symphonic Prog and only the last quarter is JR/F.

Also the second track hasn't much jazz while the blues of the debut is completely gone. This is a progressive song on which I hear connections with some RPI of the same period or earlier. The 7+ chords around 4 minutes remind me to Camel (Song Within A Song). Then the rhythm increases, odd signatures appear util the vocalists are back to finish the song.

A 3 minutes interlude, but not a filler comes next. An impressive vocal performance. It makes me think to the Banco, again RPI of the 70s.

The closer is another quite long track of about 10 minutes. Not easy to describe, it has a retro flavor like the rest of the album and this time even without taking the brasses into account. again 7+ chords passages remind to Moonmadness, just the sound of the guitar is different. There's more improvisation in the guitar solo respect to Latimer's stuff. Later the main theme of the second track is "resurrected" like they are informing us that this is a concept album and the separations between the tracks are not relevant. The second guitar solo on the uptime section is between Latimer and Santana.

It's an album that marks the beginning of a transition for this band and has effectively a value independently from the context. It probably doesn't reach the excellence, but it can stay in any prog-rock collection. In order to avoid decreasing the overall rating of this good album I round up its 3.5 stars to 4. "Good Addition to any..." would have been more appropriate, but a sentence like this is not in the guidelines.


Report this review (#497146)
Posted Thursday, August 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album represents the last gasp, in many ways, of the first part of the history of Modry Efekt. The big band jazz rock and blues was soon to give way for a more stripped down approach on the next album, finally paving the way for the great symphonic works of the late 70's.

Nova synteza II is the natural progression from Nova synteza, released a few years earlier. The orchestrated works of the latter is here brought to fulfillment and genius. I guess this is the way Deep Purple ought to have sounded on their Concerto for group and orchestra. The singer even imitates Ian Gillan to perfection on the title track, the bulk of the album.

For me one of the greatest thing about this album is the second track, on Modry Efekt & Radim Hladik (released the following year). Here we get the vocalized and orchetrated version, which is a treat. On the other version it is more stripped down. I don't know which version I prefer. They are both excellent, only in different ways.

Nova synteza II is a great big band jazz rock album aswell as being the last of the past, before Modry Efekt followed a somewhat different and even more gloriuos path: that of the symphonic prog rock. It is great to hear and musically very high standing. Recommended to people into orchestrated jazz rock.

Report this review (#939986)
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars During the summer of 1971 Modry Efekt entered the Polish grounds for the forth time and had series of succesful live performances.Come 1972 and Kozel leaves the band, replaced by one Josef Kustka, with whom Semelka played in the group The Cardinals.Later in the year they visited Helsinki, playing with Ten Years After and Omega, eventually being praised by the local press.Germany and the Amiga Studios was the band's next territory to visit in early 73', filming four of their songs, while during the summer they recorded the sequel album of ''Nova synteza'', featuring again the performance of the Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra.The album, named ''Nova synteza 2'', was released the next year on the Panton label.

Now this is Modry Efekt starring at the top of their talent.A nice and warm sound from 1971 had developed into a beautiful Prog/Jazz Opera two years later, containing different elements in a highly progressive amalgam.The 22-min. title-track is of course the absolute highlight of the album, featuring some majestic, grandiose and cinematic moments.Excellent performance by the brass section, accompanied by the great guitar work of Radim Hladik, who's style starts from jazzy flavors and ends up in Heavy/Psych riffs and runs.The track features also some nice piano themes and organ washes, as well as Semelka's rough vocals and nice, haunting choirs.It's mostly instrumental, full of proggy experiments and drawing influences from Jazz, Classical, Soul and Rock Music.Very good epic to say the least.''Je tteba obout boty a pak dlouho jit'', which opens the flipside, is more of the same, proggy Jazz Rock with a monumental brass orchestra, Hladik's in one of his best jazzy solos ever and some very dramatic instrumental parts, featuring some nervous synths at the end.A mix of commercial flavors and complex arrangements, pretty convincing as a whole.The short ''Kliste'' is a good, dramatic piece with orchestral keyboards, brass instruments and piano and focusing on Semelka's crying vocals, while the 7-min. closer ''Jedenacteho rijna'' is decent but not great, featuring some more Heavy/Psychedelic guitar jams by Hladik, a rather romantic middle part and endless trumpet interventions, but with less compact songwriting.

At this point Modry Efekt seems like red wine.The older, the better.''Nova synteza 2'' is a fine gem of jazzy Progressive Rock, where the brass instruments are used for serious reasons and the combination of harder, electric moments with cinematic sounds works pretty nice.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1195776)
Posted Thursday, June 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Coming even closer to the golden era and their progresive rock trademark sound, this is the first album that is recommended to any progressive rock listener. Echoes of jazz-rock are still present, unique colourful vocals, some more exotic keyboards like harpsichord and good composiions are the selling points of this album. The title track has them all in one, in its 22 minuts.

The second track with the philosophical name has nice harmony vocals and typical melody hooks that would reappear in next albums. There is a nice dynamic instrumental section with guitar, trumpets, hoboes and percussions and even a sinister organ solo in the end that is really impressive at the verge of updating their sound.

The third track is a light and reflective number whereas the last track alternates between pop-jazz first part with vocals and wild guitar led instrumental jazz-rock trip separated by mellow guitar and piano.

A good album but much better is to come :-) 3.5 stars

Report this review (#2286092)
Posted Sunday, December 8, 2019 | Review Permalink

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