Sandy sigue resubiendo sonidos de Venezuela, país de grandes músicos y notables movimientos artísticos, en otro disco de los Témpano para que puedan disfrutar en estas fiestas de globitos y espejos de colores y alegría neoliberal. Y que se cuide Papá Noel que no le privaticen la bolsa de regalos... Jo jo jo.
Álbum: Selective Memory
Género: Rock progresivo
Álbum: Selective Memory
Género: Rock progresivo
Lista de Temas:
1. Victoria Pírrica
2. Falling Senses
4. Despair, Shout
5. A Farewell to the Seasons
7. The Blind Crow
11. Aguas Redondas
1. Victoria Pírrica
2. Falling Senses
4. Despair, Shout
5. A Farewell to the Seasons
7. The Blind Crow
11. Aguas Redondas
- Pedro Castillo / guitars, violin, Mellotron and vocals
- Giuglio Cesare Della Noce / piano, Hammond, organ, Minimoog, Polymoog, strings, clavinet, keyboards
- Miguel Angel Echevarreneta / bass, acoustic guitars
- Gerardo Ubieda / drums, percussion, keyboards
Esta es, a mi entender, una de las mejores bandas progresivas latinoamericanas, y antes de pasar a la reseña del disco, vamos un poco a revisar su historia:
No es muy común que yo publique Rock de mi país por una sencilla razón: tengo el 99% en vinilo. Así que esta será una de las pocas ocasiones. Témpano es una banda enmarcada dentro del mal llamado Rock Sinfónico, procedente de Caracas y activa desde 1977. En 1980 publican su primer album llamado Atabal-Yémal considerado como uno de las obras maestras del prog en Latinoamérica. Lamentablemente este disco no tuvo continuidad pues Témpano mutó casi inmediatamente en una especie de New Wave Act (esta es una historia aparte que no creo que interese a la concurrencia), sacaron discos a lo largo de toda la década de los 80's (tuvieron un gran hit con una cover de Lobo Hombre en París del grupo Español La Unión) y finalmente se separaron. Pero a finales de la pasada década la formación clásica de Témpáno se reúne de nuevo como proyecto paralelo de sus integrantes (Pedro Castillo - guitarra & voz, Miguel Angel Echevarreneta - bajo, guitarra y voz, Gerardo Ubieda - batería & percusiones y Giuglio Césare Della Nocce - teclados) y volviendo a la línea prog con un puñado de excelentes discos. El que aquí les propongo es su último trabajo distribuído gratuitamente por ellos a través de Internet, codificado a 192 kbps pero con un sonido excelente. Cosas de la vida, me enteré de esto hace pocos meses a través de un blog Italiano (!) y es que los medios Venezolanos siempre han visto con desdén e indolencia todo lo que huela a Rock hecho en el país. Espero lo disfruten y me agradaría saber su opinión sobre ellos.Aldoux´s Archive
"Memoria Selectiva" es la recolección de parte de la música que se uso en las suites de musea records "La Odisea" y "Los Siete Samurai" (algo parecido al último disco de Nexus llamado "Magna Fabulis"), cuenta con 3 nuevas grabaciones: "Aguas Redondas" la cual solo se interpretó en conciertos y en un especial para la TV, regrabada en el 2007. "Embestida", una pieza que se grabo para "La agonia y el extasis", se interpretaba durante los conciertos a finales de los 70, y "Victoria Pirrica", una pieza completamente nueva.
"Selective Memories" es rotulado como rock progressivo venezuelano pero podría ser inglês (incluso es cantado en inglés en su mayoría, aunque por suerte también tiene canciones en castellano), americano o de qualquer otra nacionalidad, dada la postura "globalizada" da la banda, que se mostra conectada con lo internacional a la par que desarrollan su propio estilo, con alguna característica sonora local que fue agregada al trabajo y le da cierto aspecto que puede agradar al público rockero de Caracas y aledaños, y también a un coleccionista de buena música latinoamericana como yo.
En este álbum, Témpano se las arregló para generar un trabajo donde conviven armoniosamente tanto el disonante jazz-rock, un retroprog basado en el teclado, el Hammond y el Moog, oscuras melodías, y al mismo tiempo un fresco y creativo rock progresivo moderno orientado a la vanguardia, esto hace que sitúe a Témpano entre las bandas del género que transmiten algo especial, con el talento suficiente como para ofrecer cosas completamente nuevas a través de un retroprog polvoriento.
Además, es evidente la influencia que ha tenido Témpano en otras grandes bandas venezolanas como RC2 (donde incluso tienen como invitados a músicos de Témpano en sus discos) y muchos otros.
Sobre la calidad del álbum, basta leer un poco algunos de los comentarios para darnos cuenta de que este es un álbum que no debemos dejar de conocer:
"Spread the word, the verse, the note, the melody,. This album is yours" - this message appears on the Témpano website from which you can download their latest album "Selective Memory" ("Memoria Selectiva" in Spanish). Strictly speaking, this is not a new album but a collection of older compositions, most of which were used by the band to create their entries for the "Odyssey" and "7 Samurai" multi- group concept-albums. The more concise format in which they had been originally written appears now in tracks 2-8 and 10. Track 9 dates back from the "Agony & Ecstasy" days, while the closing track is from the "Atabal-Yemal" era, never before recorded although performed on stage many times. Only the opener is a new piece specifically written and produced for this album: 'Victoria Pírrica' sets the mood for the some of the overall atmospheres predominant in the album, a combination of symphonic prog, chamber-rock, jazz, space-rock and Gentle Giant-ish tricks that can be already recognizable as Témpano's signature sound. Most of the tracks remind us of the essential sonorities encapsulated in "Childhood's End", while bringing some of the ambiences displayed by the fractal projects Odrareg and iX. This really shows you how well amalgamated are the band's general vision and the individual members' creativity. Despite the fact that lots of vintage keyboards are used (Hammond and Farfisa organs, Moogs, mellotron, Wurlitzer and Fender electric pianos.) and the band's claim that the recording process was designed to simulate the 70s MO, the album's production bears a modern feel right from track 1. 'Falling Senses' bears a more powerful mood during the strong passages, which really helps to create a special contrast with other more constrained moments: there is also a noticeable enhancement of the jazzy factor, especially in the swing provided by the rhythm section. The closing section is full of solemnity, in no small degree created by the mesmerizing Hackett-meets- Gilmour guitar solo. Later on, in track 5, the jazz element will prevail. 'Argos' is a relaxing acoustic ballad augmented by a punchy synth solo that builds a hypnotic atmosphere wrapping around the overall track. Also relaxing but more experimental is 'A Farewell to the Seasons' (an undoubted highlight), which alternates a soft development of dissonant motifs and the elaboration of calm moods: traces of GG, PF and Yes can be noticed here, always under Témpano's unique vision. 'Irus' bears a family resemblance with 'A Farewell to the Seasons', although not equaling its splendor: all in all, the amazing guitar solo that emerges from minute 4 creates a dynamic climax that complements the track's general ambience. 'The Blind Crow' is less dense and more serene than any of the preceding two tracks, with an evident retro feel and a surprising finale of hand clapping and tribal chanting. 'Embestida' is the mandatory Happy the Man-inspired track (there's always one or two in each Témpano album): the basic motifs are playful and lyrical, with an interlude that sets a pertinently contrast of controlled weirdness and an increase of the jazzy element when the track approaches its closing - another highlight. 'Cristalizado' brings back the dreamy aspect that had been so prominent in the most solemn parts of the preceding tracks: it included a magnificent (albeit regrettably brief) classical guitar duet, plus an electrifying guitar lead. Pedro Castillo is a master musician who knows how to combine eerie textures, architectural pyrotechnics and stylish phrasing. 'Aguas Redondas' further explores this trend of calmness and sophistication, providing a contemplative closure for the album: the keyboard layers, the acoustic guitar arpeggios and the electric guitar continuing leads create pure bucolic magic, as if it were a homage to the good old days of Genesis and Yes. Both these tracks, whene appreciated as a continuum, feel like the album's glorious highlight. An excellent ending for an excelling prog item that is "Selective Memory" - Témpano remains one of the most creative progressive bands still active around the world (let alone South America!), still capable of writing and producing musical masterpieces such as this.César Inca
Tempano is, together with Vytas Brenner and early Aditus, one of the biggest exponents of Venezuelan classic prog, highly acclaimed in the country's prog circles during the early 80s because of their debut album. After the departure of Pedro Castillo (guitarist/vocalist) to join Aditus (to turn it into a pop group from their previous prog jazz-rock style) the band became a pop group with massive airplay, but the original members kept recording progressive albums with projects such as iX (Giuglio Cesare Della Noce) and Odrareg (Gerardo Ubieda). During the 90s the original Tempano decided to rejoin and return to their progressive rock roots (initially as a short reunion to open a Yes concert), but this time with a more experimental sound than before.Michael Gandelman
This album is the historic document of Tempano's return since nothing here is new at all, except for the opening piece, these are unreleased tracks from recording sessions, mostly for the Odyssey and 7 Samurai albums. Something important to note is that they kept their original vintage gears, specially the keyboards but their sound experienced an update that took it to the 21st century. So we have a very modern album with the original late 70s/early 80s instrumentation.
Victoria Pirrica starts the album in a very experimental way with an Avant style and a very impressive use of the keyboards(Giuglio Cesare Della Noce) and percussions (Gerardo Ubieda). Here we get some jazzy experimentations with spacey atmospheres and a symphonic sense of the instrumentation hinting some Crimson and Gentle Giant influences, while being 100% original. 5
Falling Senses continues in the same vein of Victoria Pirrica leaving more space for guitar soloing until the middle of the song to get mellower and even more spacey to feature the first vocal appearance courtesy of Pedro Castillo (whose voice is reminiscent to Neal Morse's) and more impressive electric guitar demonstrations. 5
Argos is an acoustic guitar track in the vein of Greg Lake's ballads with the appearance of some Moog sounds such as in Lucky Man or Still You Turn Me On. The difference between this one and Lake's ballads is that it isn't intended as a radio hit and therefore is far more complex 4.5
The album continues with Despair, Shout, a weird and hypnotic track with a space rock feeling and outstanding guitar (both acoustic and electric by Castillo) and bass (Miguel Angel Echevarreneta) performances, featuring some lyric-less vocalizations courtesy of Pedro Castillo. 4.75
A Farewell to the Seasons is a symphonic piece with an impressive violin work by Pedro Castillo (I didn't know he was a violinist too!), very tasteful keyboards and a more than competent rhythm section. Added to that, the vocals are great (and could easily be part of a Neal Morse recording). 5
Irus develops a similar symphonic style than the previous track but less grand and mellower with a specially outstanding piano and drum work, while it returns to the spacey atmospheres. 4.75
The Blind Crow is a bit more accessible than the last tracks mainly dominated by Della Noce's vintage keyboards and Castillo's beautiful voice with the addition of some guitar licks. 4.5
Path is more aggressive than The Blind Crow but is still dominated by the keyboards and returns to the space rock style with a 70s King Crimson feel and complexity. The rhythmic support here is as strong as ever. 4.75
Embestida is a keyboard driven symphonic track ala Genesis with great percussions provided by Ubieda. 4.5
Cristalizado is a powerful space rock piece. Starting with some hypnotic sounds to develop into a heavier section and later return to a more quiet classical guitar duet, concluding with some electric guitar soloing. 4.75
Then the album finishes with Aguas Redondas, returning to the good old symphonic prog that they used to play during the late 70s and early 80s, with great vocals provided by Castillo (one of the most acclaimed rock singers in Venezuela) and predominant guitars (both electric and acoustic) also by Castillo. This is the only track in the album with lyrics in Spanish, which are really amazing. 4.75
This album shows how different is today's Tempano from its first incarnation in 1979 but keeping their roots and characteristic sound. They presserved their initial influences (Yes, Genesis, Camel, etc.) and original sound, taking them to the 21st century in a more experimental fashion close to King Crimson, Happy the Man, Gentle Giant and Magma.
This is a great and flawless album, barely a masterpiece from one of the best Venezuelan prog bands around and a good introduction to Tempano
Well I don’t know much about this band but I do know just a few things about progressive rock music, and this is the real deal. Wow – talk about a flashback to the seventies! Everything a proghead could want is here: complex and ranging arrangements; detailed and complex instrumental passages; heady themes that are sometimes mildly spiritual, often abstract and nearly always thought-provoking; and musicianship that is absolutely superb and nearly flawless in its execution.Bob Moore
Well, ‘nuff said – go buy it. Even better, download it from the band’s website if it’s still there, or do both.
I take it from reading some biography information that Tempano were a Venezuelan symphonic rock band who had the misfortune of forming as the progressive monuments overlooking the musical sea were collapsing into flotsam and being swept away under the currents of punk, disco and later New Wave. The band persevered during the eighties, but only through drastic lineup changes that left just the drummer as an original member and with a repertoire that seemed to be comprised of mostly contemporary rock and even dance music.
Enter the 21st century though, which found the band’s original quartet reunited and back to putting out their version of the kind of music so many of us grew up on some 30-40 years ago. But this isn’t nostalgia, even though all but the opening track are remakes of older Tempano tunes. No, these tracks have been resurrected, dusted off and re-recorded with new interpretations that seem as fresh as the day they were first played, back when nobody was paying attention.
There are a handful of middle-aged guys running around these days making modern progressive rock that strikes deep to the heart of the sounds of the giants they grew up with: Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Genesis, VgGG, Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant, among others. The Tangent, Salem Hill, Flower Kings, Glass Hammer, IQ, Ezra and Proto-Kaw all fall into this category. They are dudes approaching middle- age (or are already there), yet with enough youthful exuberance (and more than enough musical talent) to put together modern prog music that is both approachable and majestic at the same time. This is talent, and Tempano belong in that group.
There’s not much point picking through every track, and to do so would either require me to make extensive notes or shift focus from listening to the music, so I choose to do neither. I will say that the keyboards and guitar are particularly stunning here, as is usually the case with excellent progressive rock. The odd and complex timing and tempo shifts of drummer Gerardo Ubieda combine with Giuglio Cesare Della Noce’s wall of keyboard sounds to paint a gorgeously lush musical landscape for the lead guitar and other instruments to play within. This is truly grand music.
Della Noce seems to have made it a point to collect just about every type of keyboard ever used in the seventies, from farfisa organ to a B3 to a Wurlitzer electric piano to mini-Moog to a Rhodes MKII to a Rhapsody string synthesizer and even to a clavinet. This guy either spent a ton of money at yard sales or had to dust this stuff off when he pulled it out of some long-term storage facility. Either way there are few bands still around today who put this kind of authentic detail into their sound.
There’s a mellotron too (woodwind sounds and possibly some strings), played by guitarist/violinist/ vocalist Pedro Castillo. All these guys are multi-instrumentalists, with even drummer Gerardo Ubieda getting in some keyboard work on “Cristalizado”.
Despite being Venezuelan there is very little that sound Latin here; possibly some of the guitar soloing on “The Farmers” (which also features the most prominent clavinet passage), but that’s about it. The rest is clearly in the vein of the European masters. “The Farmers” also has some vocal and moog parts that could pass for early seventies Pink Floyd outtakes, and “The Blind Crow” bears more than a passing resemblance to something Peter Gabriel might have arranged, and that Dave Gilmour might have played guitar on (how’s that for a dream combo?).
This whole album is a joy from start to finish. There really are no weak tracks, and for fans of traditional and full-frontal pretentious prog rock, you won’t do much better than this, at least in this century. I can’t think of any reason not to give this album five stars, although like some modern prog bands there’s always the chance their appeal could wear thin when subjected to the test of time. I doubt it (and hope not), but if necessary will revisit the five stars assessment if it becomes necessary. In the meantime, highly recommended to just about any kind of progressive music fan, but especially neo-prog, symphonic, eclectic, crossover and heavy prog fans (I guess that’s just about every kind of prog fan now that I think about it – Zeuhl nuts might want to take a pass I suppose). The rest of you will all find things to love here.
Since about four years ago I'm familiar with the Venezuelan band TEMPANO, always recognized the quality of their music but never reviewed one of them because there was nothing that I could found spectacular....Well now I confidently go with "Selective Memory" which I consider a complete masterpiece, so will make something I have never done, give a perfect rating of 5 stars before writing the review.Iván Melgar
"Victoria Pírrica" (Pyrrhic Victory) is a very complex opener, even though you can perceive the typical GENTLE GIANT dissonances, KING CRIMSON complex structures. Atmospheres in the style of Gabriel's GENESIS plus heavy guitars and a strong melody, it's the perfect balance between the experimental and melodic.
The tempo changes are extremely radical while the heavy atmosphere falls as a thick mist over the listener. Giuglio Cesare Della Noce combines Mellotron, Hammond B3 and Moog as few keyboardists are able, and is supported by the distorted guitar of Pedro Castillo, excellent way to start a great album.
"Falling Senses" begins as a point of encounter between the acoustic and the electric, the soft but mysterious breaks are complemented with fluid organ passages with a GLASS HAMMER mood.
But not everything is soft, heavy and frantic sections with a sort of electric Flamenco touch and drumming in the vein of Carl Palmer jump one after the other. The vocals are absolutely unusual and even the strong accent is adequate for the atmosphere, not a weak moment.
The acoustic guitar intro "Argos" and the organ solo remind me of ·"On to Evermore" by Glass Hammer, the mood is almost the same albeit more elaborate due to the excellent use of Mellotron that makes the difference,
"Despair, Shout" is the most mysterious track up to this moment, with a heavy atmosphere and haunting chorus introduce us into Jazz territory, but the organ creating weird sounds that are complemented by the guitar and bass, after this dense and long intro a soft "scat" passage with some violent screams introduced randomly, lead to an almost Post Rock section without loosing the Jazz atmosphere. Four songs, four masterpieces.
If this wasn't enough "A Farewell to the Seasons" rises more the level of the album, the dramatic and powerful intro where piano, vocals and violin are combined with great skills is something no music lover can miss. The vocals give a bit of relax but not for long, because an elaborate explosion of music and dissonances take us to another level of complexity.
"Irus" continues in the dark mysterious mood, again with radical and abrupt changes and dissonant passages a great contrast with the lighter "The Blind Crow", more melodic with massive use of Mellotron in the style of Genesis.
"Path" is clearly inspired in KING CRIMSON (Larks' Tongues in Aspic era) with excellent keyboard performance and strong drumming, extremely complex and elaborate.
"Embestida" (Attack) reminds me strongly of the Peruvian band FRÁGIL, based mostly in the strong keyboard performance and a GENESIS inspired sound...Well, at least until the middle when they approach to the jazzier side in a beautiful and imaginative contrast.
In "Cristalizado" TEMPANO surprises us more with a Space Rock sound based in heavy atmospheres and a fluid performance with gradual changes to end with a strong guitar section, but everything has to finish and this excellent album is closed with "Aguas Redondas" (Round Waters) a soft and unexpected track with lyrics in Spanish, again enhanced with Mellotron and Moog.
Don't have much to add to what I said in the first paragraph of his review, an essential masterpiece that deserves no less than 5 stars
Témpano es una de las mejores bandas progresivas de Venezuela y el álbum "Atabal Yemal" es todo un legado en la música de ese país, a los que se le suma grandes trabajos como "Chilhood´s end" o "The Agony And The Ecstasy", y porque no, también este trabajo que presentamos aquí. Muy recomendado.