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AMERICANOS

Contraluz

Prog Folk


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Contraluz Americanos album cover
3.44 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Indios Sin Prisión
2. Sin Trabajo
3. No Sea que Caigas Mendigando
4. Clave de Sol
5. La Sarna del Viento
6. El Charco
7. Abrir el Día
8. Seamos

Total time 33:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Carlos Barrio / guitars
- Nestor Barrio / drums
- Alvaro Canada / voice
- Alejandro Barzi / flute & keyboards
- Freddy Prochnik / bass

Releases information

LP - EMI 64041

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to marty mcfly for the last updates
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CONTRALUZ Americanos ratings distribution


3.44
(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
14%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (43%)
43%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

CONTRALUZ Americanos reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars There seems to be a tendency in music to label anything that has a flute in it as folk music, and anything that has both flute and keyboards as progressive folk. And of course anything with flute and heavy guitar automatically merits a “Jethro Tull-like” branding.

That said, in the case of Contraluz’ debut album there are places where it sounds like folk music; place where it sounds progressive; and places where it sounds like a Latin band featuring Ian Anderson and Martin Barre. Stereotypes persist because some parts of them are true, I suppose.

The first time I heard this I didn’t think it was much of a progressive album, nor a folk one. And at times the music does range well into standard popular Latin music territory, particularly on tracks like “Sin Trabajo” with its lounge-act arrangement and Latin Elvis vocals. Elsewhere though, such as right after that track when “No sea que caigas Mendigando” kicks off with as Tull-like an intro as I’ve heard since ‘Heavy Horses’, you find yourself thinking there are at least some progressive qualities to this music.

Vocalist Alvaro Canada reminds me just a little of the Chilean band Congreso’s Francisco Sazo in his intonation, although Canada does seem to be a little more interested in the rock star posturing than anyone on Congreso ever was. He tends to over-articulate some phrases and seems to take every opportunity to show his vocal range and power, even at times when the music doesn’t seem to call for that.

Carlos Barrio is an excellent guitarist, but in a strictly rock sense. There is almost no indication he is a Latin musician when listening to this album; no tango, no zambas, and this is not Andean music at all. The influences seem to be largely the aforementioned Jethro Tull and other European and North American rock bands. At times the band’s sound takes on characteristics of the Grand Funk / Deep Purple Mk II / BTO heavy behemoth bands (“La Sarna del Viento”, “Seamos”), while elsewhere the sound is very bucolic and folk-like, such as with the ballad-like “El Charco” and the short instrumental “Abrir el Día”.

The CD reissue has a couple of bonus tracks that probably shouldn’t have been included. Both of them lean much closer to radio pop than the songs from the original vinyl release, and don’t add much to the character of the album.

I wouldn’t put this up in the same category as some of the really impressive Argentinean music I’ve heard like MIA or Crucis, but I could see them as at least on-par with Espiritu or Amagrama. This is a solid three star effort in my opinion, and don’t look for this to be a strongly Latin-sounding record, but it will probably be something that appeals to fans of Chac Mool, Crucis, Banda do Casaco, Los Jaivas and Amagrama.

peace

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars I can easily go with Jethro Tull classification. Not Folk at all, in fact this is more on the Rock side. Far more melodic than Tull (even some flute solos really reminds Ian Anderson, I won't deny this fact when I feel it that way).

Starting with calm background jam and gentle flute, Indios Sin Prisión slowly turns into pretty RPI-like song (I can't help myself but see RPI influences in albums like this). Sin Trabajo again starts slowly, but this time it also continues in this pace. It's basically Prog ballad. I like these. How can I tell that it's not Rock ballad ? It's not that simple, that's it, on the other hand, my consideration is that simple. That's life.

Songs are basically heavy or calm, guitar or flute driven. As I said, melody is strong with this album, which in combination of previous factors makes this record damn interesting.

From other songs I quite like distorted guitars, heavy sound, Jethro style flute and emotional performance of Alvaro Canada, their vocalist.

4(+), negatives would be these of RPI too (can anybody else hear these similarities between these genres or do I hear/see ghosts?), from pure melody it sometimes turns into jamming or jazzy part, also some parts in general aren't that interesting, even majority of them is.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The history of Contraluz started in 1969 in Buenos Aires, initially playing Beat Music with brothers Carlos (guitars) and Nestor Barrios (drums) along with bassist Diego Prochnik.After abandoning the names ''Lemon'' and ''Celofan'', they chose the Contraluz moniker and played in a Jethro Tull style by the beginning of the 70's.The unstoppable presence at several concerts, festivals and competitions earned them a wider recognition and in 1973 the band recorded the debut ''Americanos'' for EMI Records with Alvaro Canada on vocals and early member Alejandro Barzi on flutes.

Contraluz'es music mixed the raw power of Rock music with the delicacy of Spanish vocals and the flute-based drives to come up with an album very close to the sound of early JETHRO TULL or even better JUMBO and OSANNA.Most of the tracks combined the psych-tinged flavor of Latin-American Rock bands with warm vocals and sensitive guitar work with the sharp edge of powerful flute solos, Hard Rockin' guitars and a strong rhythm section and the result is an album dangerously balancing between the softness of a singer/songwriter album with the exterme forces of in-your-face Hard Rock.Does this combination works?The answer is definitely yes, despite the muddy production.The great energetic grooves with plenty of edgy guitar solos and dynamic flute work will leave you wanting for more.The more mellow vocal parts appearing inbetween are also nice with Cavada having a lovely style of singing, while the flute passages have a welcome and very attractive folky flavor.

Latin-American Prog of very good quality, recommended for lovers the style and of course Spanish vocals, as well as anyone into 70's Hard Italian Prog in the vein of OSANNA...3.5 stars.

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