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Igor Wakhévitch

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Igor Wakhévitch Nagual - Les Ailes De La Perception album cover
3.72 | 20 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nagual (Les Ailes De La Perception) (5:20)
2. In The Nagual's Time (Flash I) (0:32)
3. Spenta Aramati (Ritual Of The Zelator) (3:48)
4. Hunahpuguch (2:37)
5. Beginning Of Peter's Journey (3:17)
6. Sets (Transition) (1:26)
7. The Smile Of Wolf On The Bench (for Jorma) (4:43)
8. Never Poem For The Other (5:12)
9. In The Nagual's Time (Flash II) (1:45)
10. Stop The World (Rituel Of Si-Wang-Mou) (5:45)
11. Cinderella (1:28)
12. Chirakan-Ixmucane (8:11)

Total time 44:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Igor Wakhévitch / keyboards, synth, composer

Releases information

Artwork: Olivier Legris

LP EMI ‎- 2C 068 - 14.430 (1977, France)
LP Fauni Gena ‎- FAUNI 015 (2013, Spain)

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IGOR WAKHÉVITCH Nagual - Les Ailes De La Perception ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

IGOR WAKHÉVITCH Nagual - Les Ailes De La Perception reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars One of the things that I absolutely love about Igor Wakhevitch is his tendency for eclecticism. On any one of his albums, you are guaranteed a listening experience that incorporates at least a few different elements - electronic music, choral singing and/or chanting, beautiful strings, tribal percussion, etc. - and these elements are found either playing solo or all together in a mash-up of confused and beautiful sound. Nagual (Les ailes de la perception) is no different an experience.

This album, like Let's Start, has a strong leaning towards Wakhevitch's more beautiful side with tracks like "Never Poem for the Other", "The Smile of the Wolf on the Bench", "Beginning of Peter's Journey", which feature bouncy and cheerful playing of acoustic piano or guitar. In my opinion, the hopefulness of these tracks overpower the darker, brooding tracks such as the title track, the two "In the Nagual's Time" tracks, and "Spenta Aramati", which all have a typical electro-acoustic sound but with Wakhevitch's unmistakable touch. Unfortunately, these electro-acoustic tracks just don't have as great a punch as similar works on Wakhevitch's previous albums.

The tracks that stand out to me the most, besides the beautiful acoustic instrumental tracks that I've mentioned, would be "Hunapuguch" which is mainly steady mid-paced tribal percussion with a flowing drone in the background and feels quite brooding and mischievous and really gets the ritual feeling across that Wakhevitch has always been so great at, and "Cinderella" is a wonderful short interlude that take the acoustic instrument approach as before (this time with a music-box type of instrument) and adds a subtle electronic popping/crackling that all comes together to make a pleasantly creepy track. The album ends on it's best track, the symphonic and cinematic 8-minute long "Chirakan-Ixmucane", which is nearly entirely electronic save for a few moody string parts, but the synths are very much the focus of this adventure. As much as this track is great and a standout for this album and in Wakhevitch's discography, it's a bit too cosmic sounding considering the tribal and acoustic tone set by all of this album's previous tracks. Regardless, very well done and quite an enjoyable track.

A Nagual is the Mesoamerican folk name for what is now commonly called a shapeshifter, and the French portion of this album's title translates to "The Wings of Perception" (Naguals, as folk tells it, commonly took form as turkeys for whatever reason). I have no idea what this has to do with the music on this album, but I suppose if you sincerely want to try to string together imagery in your head of supernatural Mesoamerican turkeys, ultimately ascending into space, then this is the fuel for such imagination. Nagual (les ailes de la perception), in my opinion, plays out like a very "Peter and the Wolf" type of long-form composition that would possibly benefit from an accompanying written story-line or possibly even narration.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars While I may have not appreciated the preceding album Fous D'Or, the least we can say is that Igor's musical aesthetics are definitely not straying from its original path drawn out in the arly part of the decades. In some ways, Nagual is just as unnerving and almost irritating as its predecessor, but at last it doesn't put forward any of that spoken esoteric bull[&*!#] right in your face. Oh yeah sure, there is a Mayan or Meso-American mythology concept (the nighttimes tropical forest artwork of Olivier Legris points to it), but it avoids the ridiculous Christian-related liturgical narratives, incantations and pagan-idol adoration bits encountered in his previous works. The music was created for an experimental theatre group taking residence at the Paris Opera, under the direction of Carolyn Carlson, already responsible for Les Fous D'Or

Clearly rid of the intrusive vocal interference of the last two albums, Nagual's almost-all instrumental and mainly-electronic music gets all the space it needs to develops its wings and shows its charms, despite letting some room for acoustic instruments interventions (both string instruments and piano). The unconventional vocals are mainly concentrated in a short section of the early musical progression. If there is a haunting shamanic drums sequence that can give you a tribal ambiance, it's followed a bit later by some kind of semi- celtic jig, it sms to lack a clear musical direction, especially when confronting the titles and their sonic contents.

The minimalist piano and electronic drone of Never Poem has a Terry Riley influence that gives an avant-garde flavour that otherwise lacked in many parts throughout the course of the album. However, I'm not exactly sure how this all relates to the semi-Chinese and semi- medieval acoustic string device used in Smile Of The Wolf piece to the supposedly Mayan mythology, but the Tangerine Dream-like synth layers of the closing Chirakan piece is not really Meso-American-sounding either.

A vast improvement of its predecessor, Nagual is still a very intriguing concept (well matter of speech, really), precisely because it doesn't have any logical explanation to the conceptual soundscapes, but then again, not everything needs explaining. One of his better later albums, this is also one of his less-logical one as well, despite not straying from his general musical quest.

Review by admireArt
4 stars "Perception to the blind!"

This Igor Wakhevitch's Nagual - Les Ailes De La Perception is a musical understanding of his readings of Carlos Castaneda's recountings of his "magical" encounters with mexican sorcerer "Don Juan". (To younger generations which are are not familiar with these teachings or books, imagine "Star Wars", "Matrix" and "H. Potter", compressed, reloaded and FOR REAL!).

Anyway, I have not been fond of much of this musician's works, his opera-like electronics are not in my likings and this work is not that easy to acquire. So after deciding to acquire it, I got to listen to it, with my expectations not that high. I found out a very astonishing Prog/Electronic album.

Not opera-like at all, it is almost an all "instrumental" album, with scarce human voices here and there. It could be in fact, the music for a "theater play" of these books, its "soundtrack". Of course its not a geographical exact version, but not such a thing exists either way.

The concept itself, is far too extensive, as to single point each of its branches, so in able to compress the experience, Igor Wakhevitch writes a wide variety of songs that hold on to the concept but not to a single acoustic/electronic style. He composes and plays from dark experimental electro/acoustic songs to white/pink & blue noise like ambients to native like ritual music to classical like piano or harp pieces to pure and bright analog-electronic synth music to folk-like (or his idea of mexican folk music) songs. All blended but not mixed-up. Each song is rich as unique as to stand alone or within the concept of the project.

Therefore it offers an almost "flawless" experience and the best of all are its highly inspiring and achieved compositions and performances, without ever sounding pretentious at all.

****4 + "something" PA stars.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A strange entity in the canon of Wakhevitch's work. This one is far more eclectic and difficult to pin down. There's a strange mixture of electronics and piano utilised for the duration of this LP but they're always kept separate.

Wakhevitch still manages to maintain that odd, off kilter weirdness that only the French seemed to pull off with aplomb in the 70's. Surprisingly Michael Gira of 'Swans' was once a big fan of big Igor which isn't really that surprising when you hear all the looped treatments that are very evident throughout.

'Spenta Aramati' sounds very much like the end of 2001 - Space Odyssey - where that guy with the wrinkly face is in the white room with the breaking wine glass. In God's zoo.

If any comparison could be made to 'Nagual', it would be with Faust. This however, is more clinical, less chaotic and far more refined. There are some beautiful moments such as 'Beginning Of Peter's Journey' which has a lovely piano tune that is echoed heavily, and reminds me of UK Kids TV programme 'Ivor the Engine' from the mid 70's.

It's also nice to know that Wakhevitch let 'Gabriel the Toad' from 'Bagpuss' play his banjo on 'The Smile Of Wolf On The Bench'. Sorry to you European readers with regards to these 70's UK programme references, but that's the imagery it conjures up in my head when I listen to this oddity. Childhood BBC memories.

There's some Ron Geesin-like piano exploits in 'Never Poem For The Other', before the unsettling 'In The Nagual's Time' starts, which has a creepy metronomic set of footsteps creeping upstairs as airy 1940' piano reverberations fill your headphones.

On 'Cinderella' a barking dog and the sound of pouring rain gives way to a pretty music box tune and trotting horse. Yeah, it's weird stuff folks.

Seemlessly, some good electronic keyboards are introduced after a good 15 mins with 'Chirakan-Ixmucane' which has similarities with the more atmospheric parts of Jarre's 'Oxygene'. This is a difficult album not only to rate but to review. It's fairly minimal, excellently recorded with very clear sound separation throughout. A good solid straight 3 stars for this one, even though I can't find any faults with it.

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