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miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Wigwam - Being (1974)

Artista: Wigwam
Álbum: Being
Año: 1974
Género: Jazz Rock / Fusión
Duración: 38:20
Nacionalidad: Finlandia


Lista de Temas:
1. Proletarian
2. Inspired Machine
3. Petty-Bourgeois
4. Pride Of The Biosphere
5. Pedagogue
6. Crisader
7. Planetist
8. Maestro Mercy
9. Prophet
10. Marvelry Skimmer

Alineación:
- Jukka Gustavson / vocals, pianos, organs, Mini-Moog & VCS-3 synths
- Ronnie Österberg / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Jim Pembroke / vocals, sermon, piano
- Pekka Pohjola / bass, violin, piano, Mini-Moog
Juhani Aaltonen / solo flute
Erik Danholm / flute
Unto Haapa-aho / bass clarinet
Paavo Honkanen / clarinet
Pentti Lahti / flute
Pentti Lasanen / clarinet, flute
Erkki Kurenniemi / VCS-3 assistance
Aale Lingren / oboe
Seppo Paakkunainen / flute
Pekka Pöyry / soprano sax, flute
Jukka Ruohomäki / VCS-3 assistance
Juhani Tapaninen / bassoon
Ilmari Varila / oboe
Kai Veisterä / flute
Taisto Wesslin / acoustic guitar


Gracias al pedido de Mariano que pidió a esta banda y a la sapiencia rockera de Alberto traemos a esta muy buena obra de una banda que hasta ashora era desconocida para mí, y me la estaba perdiendo este apogeo de elementos cosmogónicos con extrañas digresiones líricas, un trabajo fantástico y vanguardista, una especie de absurdo teatral convertido en música por alguna obra de magia, una música que hay que escuchar varias veces para cazarle la onda, debido principalmente a su complijidad intrínseca. Al disco lo escuché demasiado poco como para hacer una reseña, pero para eso está Alberto, que además de compartirnos el disco nos hace la siguiente reseña del mismo:

Siguiendo con las bandas nórdicas presentadas en su momento por el Sr. Moe (alias El Vampiro), hoy nos ocupa Wigwam, finlandeses muy progresivos y casi fundadores en su país de esta movida, en sus filas encontramos al multinstrumentistas Pekka Pohjola, quizás uno de los músicos más respetados del progresivo setentoso, algo asi como el David Cross del primario King Crimson, marcando un paralelismo con los dinosaurios de entonces.
Wigwam maneja los mismos recursos de los grupos de los 70s, tal el caso de Genesis o Strawbs para dar un parámetro, con protagonismo muy marcado de los teclados y esos "momentos" que varían entre melodías cuasi clásicas y fraseos en las voces muy armóniosas y dulzonas, estructura básica de quienes navegaban en el progresivo inicial de esos años.
"Being" es un trabajo donde el grupo aparece con un sonido más elaborado, con mayor producción en el sonido y con un balance más logrado entre la lírica y la instrumentación, los pasajes sonoros son más contundentes que sus primeros álbums y lo hacen muchísimo más disfrutable, cosa que en sus primeros trabajos había que buscarle la vuelta para reconocer buenos momentos musicales. Ojo no es menospreciar las intenciones creativas, sino reconocer la evolución grupal, no te gusta y no te suena del mismo modo el Genesis de "Trespass" que el de "Selling England". ¿Por que esta comparación?, bueno viene a colación por cuanto Wigwam suena como ese primitivo Genesis. Y encima este trabajo aparece en 1974 donde el progresivo de entonces estaba en su esplendor, por supuesto este álbum se subio al Arca de Noe y se salvó del diluvio universal y hoy es un punto de referencia de la movida nórdica. Si se detienen a mirar el scaneo del disco, van a encontrar cabezas repletas de pelo, y un arte de tapa por demás setentoso.
Con Wigwam podemos afirmar que la movida nórdica es tan importante como la que se produjo en Gran Bretaña e incluso acá en Sudamérica, tuvo un origen, tuvo bandas referenciales, tiene su propia historia, hoy disfrutamos de las mutaciones, de los zombies, de las deformaciones, y Wigwam pesa dentro del huevo que dió origen a todo lo que vino después de aquellos lares.
Un detalle a tener en cuenta es el trabajo de Pohjola, un señor que seguramente va a aparecer nuevamente en este blog, muy interesante los arreglos de violín en algunas canciones, podríamos cuestionar el trabajo de las voces, un punto débil en casi todos los trabajos de Wigwam ,pero por ahí venía la vertiente y ellos bebieron del mismo cántaro.
"Being" es uno de sus mejores proyectos, así que para tener una noción de que pasaba por Finlandia en esos años aca tienen un trabajito para disfrutar, otra lección de historia en la escuelita de Moe. Asi que dejen de lado la plastilina y denle un momento a Wigwam, el viernes Moe toma lección escrita, el que se machetea va directo a marzo y ahi no te salva ni la crotoxina.
Alberto

Y la escuelita de Moe ahora le enseña a Moe, miren que soy buen aprendiz y aprendo rápido. Y como aclaración, el talentosísimo señor Pekka Pohjola ya ha aparecido en nuestro blog anteriormente (ver link), y lo seguirá haciendo. Como dije, no voy a hacer comentarios del disco pero sí voy a hacer valoraciones, porque me parece que esta banda y al menos este disco (ahora traeremos más, dentro de poco) es injustamente infravalorada, siendo toda una joyita dentro del rock progresivo que vale la pena descubrir y difundir. Personalmente, me pareció un discazo como para romperle el marote a más de uno...
Vamos con otro comentario:

Being, cuarto disco de los finlandeses Wigwam, los presenta como una banda madura, con un sonido consolidado, numerosas ideas y una notable capacidad para lograr una obra coherente sin por eso sonar repetitivos ni agotados. Las infinitas capas de teclados, siempre entonando efectos disímiles, es uno de los elementos del cuarteto que más llaman la atención. Sin embargo, nunca suenan demasiado pomposos ni épicos, cosa que colabora para que su sonido se mantenga vigente varias décadas después. Por momentos, lo emocionalmente denso de las composiciones y de las voces puede acercarlos a Van der Graaf Generator, aunque los pasajes instrumentales de los Wigwam suelen resultar más amables; serios aunque por lo general distendidos. También encuentro en Being algunas similitudes con el Genesis de Peter Gabriel.
Así y todo, al contrario de lo que podría pensarse, estos atractivos europeos no son un pastiche de influencias de otras bandas prog del momento. La banda se formó en 1968 y, más allá de cambios de formación ocasionales, ha logrado una identidad musical bastante fuerte, entre climas espaciales e instrumentaciones con tintes jazzeros. Los numerosos oboes y flautas, todos interpretados por músicos invitados, aportan un toque de folk europeo que colabora para crear una sensación de universos encontrados, en el cual se chocan -con precisión, eso sí- galaxias opuestas.
La música de Wigwam no se agota ahí. Temas como Crisader, de abundante optimismo melódico a la Stevie Wonder, presentan una frescura que resulta un complemento interesante para los pasajes más oníricos y oscuros. El disco funciona como construcción general y, al mirar con precisión, se nota que tiene pocos momentos débiles. Lo que el cuarteto no logra desde la innovación, lo consigue con composiciones excelentes y una mixtura inteligente de influencias e intereses.
Josef Gaishun

Por si esto fuese poco, acá van algunas descripciones en inglés del disco que realmente lo dejan muy bien parado, siendo una muy buena adición a la lista de joyas musicales que hay en nuestro blog cabezón:

"Being" was WIGWAM's 5th album and represents one of the most profound and highly dramatized concept albums mixing religious and political themes in a very strange little album. The trademark of WIGWAM's music was their unique ability to compose music of high progressive quality and complexity while still incorporating strong "pop-rock" aspects. The end result is a wild mix of Steve HACKETT with the complex chording and musical themes not unlike GENTLE GIANT achieved (some pretty musically twisted parts). This album features great and varied instrumentation with great emphasis on keyboards (piano, organ, synths). Essentially"'Being" picks right off where "Fairyport" left off but does deliver a more aggressive and complex album. The Love Records Re-mastered version is quite excellent sounding really and brings this masterpiece album to life with awesome speaker separation and crisp sounds. A magical album that I recognize may take others a few listens to get into but once you have the taste watch out kids!.
James Unger

After a much hailed and fairly successful thematic (not conceptual) Fairyport, Wigwam repeats the formula but also the slight flaws I explained in thr previous album's review. In this album, the alliance of Gustavson and Pohjola is even cleare than on the double Lp before. Why they both left the band at the same time is a mystery to me but their departure will dramatically affect the band's sound.
If you can imagine a full-blown concept album (this one is) made mostly out of jazz-rock , you might have a good idea of what this sounds like but it is only partially convincing but still quite enjoyable. One of the things that hurts this album is probably too much KB (Pembroke even plays somein his tracks), but compensated by a loadful of brass instrument but a good electrical guitar is missing (T P 's Tolonen who had given guitars parts on the previous albums is absent here). Future collaborators are in the background as Pembroke friends Groundstroem (production) and Hulsden (traductions) lurk around. Poyry (of T P ) also lends a hand.
Being is a fine album but slightly over-rated because of the light flaws mentioned above but much recommended anyway.
Sean Trane

Oh dear, I must admit that I see this as a bit overrated album, though it has some good moments in it. The album is technically well done, and it was also following the trends of progressive music of that time quite well. The lyrical idea of political criticisms is good, and the gatefold covers with a big booklet is cool. I guess the fans of early 70's VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR could like this album, as this also has lots of keyboards and brass horns in it's sound, and the musical themes change in rapid tempo.
Eetu Pellonpää

Vocalist-keyboardist Jukka Gustavsson is probably the main man behind this Finnish prog classic - sadly he left WIGWAM after this one, as did bassist Pekka Pohjola too, but here we have the best moment of the original line-up. One of the most recommendable Finnish albums, no language barricades in it either.
As Jimbo said, Jukka's voice reminds of Steve Winwood's, but the fact is that he was strongly influenced by TRAFFIC/Winwood also musically. This music is more complex than Traffic but there is a hint of similarity. There are Jim Pembroke songs too, though his singing and composing style is at this point closer to Gustavsson's (only simpler) than it was later to be, from the more commercial and poppy Nuclear Nightclub onwards.
Being is also a perfect example of the very fertile music scene of the early 70's in Finland (which pretty much can be summarized as Love Records led by jazz composer Henrik Otto Donner), where the top class jazz musicians played in rock and pop albums and where therefor different genres were in close symbiosis. Not that Wigwam couldn't be classified as jazz-prog anyway, but have a look at the long list of guest players!
Why only 4 stars then? Well, I confess that a little more sharpness instead of word- stretching flowing would improve it. For example 9-minute 'Pedagogue' has somewhere else a short Finnish-language version which is more effective. Also I find most Gustavsson's tracks quite similar in a way that without close concentration it all becomes one 'porridge' and the listener gets easily bored. The most recognizable tracks - not necessarily the best ones - are 'Pride of the Biosphere' (organ and an "old man" telling of a strange event) and 'Maestro Mercy', a simple melacholy ballad. The final track 'Marverly Skimmer' is also one of the most charming Pembroke songs.
Matti P.

Something about this album sounds more like 60s barefoot hippy psych than anything approaching progressive rock from the time period in which it was released. Yet if asked to identify exactly that feature, I am hard pressed for a reasonable answer. It just sounds so....naiive. This is in spite of some wonderful keyboard work by Jukka Gustavson, and an overall jazzy vibe that should make the music more rather than less relevant today. It might be the vocal styles and the manner in which social commentary is made, obtusely yet too directly at the same time. As a concept album or unified work it really doesn't pass muster anymore, but the clean playing of Gustavson, some sprightly brass, especially on "Planetist", and the fun loving rhythms make this a worthwhile listen on their own merits, which is pretty commendable.
Keneth Levine

I can't help but think that BEARDFISH were influenced by this great Finnish band. The intelligent lyrics and humour really stand out, as do the absolute complex melodies. This is the same lineup that was on the "Fairyport" album, although it would be bassist Pekka's last one with the band. Incredible to think that Pekka Pohjola was involved in this outstanding album as well as his sophomore release both of which came out the same year (1974). For me this WIGWAM's greatest triumph.Tommy from the "Vintageprog" site says ""Being" is usually considered to be a classic of Finnish progressive rock, and i'll agree on that". This is a concept album that really speaks about life (Being) and how politics and religion become such a huge part of how we live and act.
"Proletarian" opens with organ and piano as vocals come in.This songs sounds so good. It blends into "Inspired Machine" both of which were composed by Gustavson.This one has a similar sound but with a pulsating rhythm. "Petty-Bourgeois" is a Pembroke song that is uptempo with almost whispered but urgent vocals.This is jazzy. The vocals become theatrical at times and I like the vocal arrangements here. The vocals are also quite humerous at times as well recalling Zappa. Great track. "Pride Of The Biosphere" has to be heard to be believed. Again this is a page out of Zappa's book. As organ plays throughout we are told this hilarious and outrageous story. This is so funny ! "Pedagogue" is the longest song at over 9 minutes. Woodwinds and piano lead the way early as bass and drums join in. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound ! Electric piano after 4 minutes is a pleasure. Clarinet 7 minutes in.
"Crisader" is uptempo and piano led. Organ comes in as drums pound away. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. "Planetist" is Pohjola's sole composition although he shared with Gustavson on that very funny track. This is symphonic with a classical flavour (strings). Piano and organ help out as drums and bass support. Aboe before 1 1/2 minutes.This song is quite uplifting, a joy really. "Maestro Mercy" is Pembroke's tune. Soft vocals and mid paced. This is beautiful and emotional. "Prophet" is darker with vocals and organ standing out early. Bass and light drums follow. A very impressive track. "Marvelry Skimmer" is led by vocals and organ.
It's incredible how much talent was in this band, I guess that's why this lineup didn't stay together for too long. Pembroke, Gustavson or Pohjola could have led this band by themselves and wrote all the songs. Too many leaders, but at least they gave us two amazing albums.
John Davie

absolutely essential prog masterpiece !!! jim pembroke- pop/prog songwriting genius. jukka gustavson-superb keyboard player and vocalist. pekka pohjola-bass maestro ronnie osterberg-drummer extraodinaire.
how could this album possibly be anything less than brilliant with this line-up? i'm not going to give a track by track review of this album as many people have already done a much better job than i could possibly do, the only fault i could find with this album is that i would have liked it to be 20 minutes longer (pure prog heaven ). here's something interesting to ponder if jim pembroke had not gone to finland and stayed in london, would he have disappeared ( lost without a trace ) like so many others or would we be now mentioning him in the same breath as other great london songwriters of that era i.e. ray davies and pete townshend ? think about it !
Progdolyte

Being is a near masterwork from a band truly working at their peak. Wigwam is not a prog group per se--in their infancy they fused jazz and rock and jammed heavily and flipped out. But then they pulled in the reins and made Being--Stevie Wonder meets Robbie Robertson.
Heavy and brooding with lighter undertones sprinkled here and there, the album takes shape quickly and the flow is nice. "Pedagogue" and Prophet" are true highlights, with the latter highlighting vocals you'd swear were Stevie Wonder.
Not a true representation of the bands aspirations, but a great album nonetheless. This record is 39 minutes well spent from a band that has soul.
Wade Frazier Van Horn

From the land of Sibelius comes a wondrous work of progressive rock. This is a strange beast, ostensibly a concept album by a band that was obviously in the process of fragmenting. There's no collaborative songwriting - the music for each individual track is decisively written by a single member. However, the album is divided into 5 sets of coupled songs, using the differing writing styles to set up strange but emotionally affecting juxtapositions. Keyboardist (and nimble, soulful co-lead vocalist) Jukka Gustavson took the reins for this album and we should be thankful he was given such complete control over his material. He wrote the largest number of tracks - five, including the two longest pieces, "Pedagogue" and "Prophet." His keyboard arrangements are kaleidoscopic cocktails of Hammond organ, VCS3 synthesizer, and Fender Rhodes. Three songs are by Dylan-informed singer Jim Pembroke. Two are by bassist Pekka Pohjola, who shows a knack for inventive horn arranging in "Planetist." Pembroke is noticably absent from the Gustavson-penned material and is restricted to a spoken voice-over with one of Pohjola's pieces. This calls into question his ability to execute the complex music written by these other members. His tune "Marvelry Skimmer" brings the album to an affecting, autumnal close.
The album seems to make a blanket statement condemning politics and advocating the pursuit of inner peace and spiritual fulfillment. This outlook was to culminate in Jukka Gustavson's becoming an ardent Jehovah's Witness in the ensuing years. There are fairly clear stabs at communism and capitalism, but capitalism gets the worst rap.
Although a lot of musical territory is covered, the band's ability to mix and swap between blues-rock, jazz and cerebral classical constructions makes it a confident recommendation for lovers of Dave Stewart Canterbury bands (Egg, Hatfield & the North) and Steely Dan's most progressive moments, such as the title tracks
Kurt Rongey

Being is the Wigwam album which took the most time to sink in. Now that if finally has, I regard it as being one of their finest albums, if not the finest. It is certainly their non-accessible album in my opinion.
Being was to be the last studio album of the classic line up of Gustavson, Pembroke, Pohjola and Österberg. It is also the only album of that line up which flows almost perfectly, especially considering the very different composing styles of the main songwriters (Gustavson, Pembroke and Pohjola). The reason for that might be because most of the album is Gustavson's brainchild, especially the overall theme and atmosphere. Still, it's remarkable how the Pembroke songs and the lone Pohjola composition fit so perfectly in. On previous albums the songs were fantastic but the overall mood was a bit disjointed. Now the songs complement each other nicely and the Pembroke songs even bring some needed pause to catch your breath.
The music could be classified as progressive jazz rock, and that's not even coming close. The mood is very dark and gloomy, and the album is filled with hammond organ, electric piano and various woodwind instruments. The songs (especially the Gustavson penned) are full of tempo changes, keyboard solos and snaking vocal melodies. The lyrics are somewhat undecipherable, but they seem to about humanity, religion and politics. The artwork is stunning in my opinion, definitely fitting to the music inside.
A masterpiece of progressive rock, and one of the crowning moments of the finest prog rock band ever to come from Finland.
Nico

"Being" was in many ways a step-up from its predecessor "Fairyport". For one Pembroke's contributions work well with the whole concept, unlike on the previous album where he basically had 4 straightforward songs going completely against the stylistic grain. The first three tracks represent the best of Gustavson, Pembroke and Pohjola, respectively. Fourth track "Pedagogue" is the longest track and there is a distinct Zappa influence on the woodwind arrangement. Gustavson's virtuostic keyboard playing and original singing carries this song as well. Side 2 is slightly weaker but it still features the excellent string-heavy instrumental "Planetist". This is my favorite from Wigwam and highly recommended.
Salviaal

Yes this is along with Fairyport, Wigwam's best album. Their heads, especially Jukka Gustavson's, seemed to be smockfull of ideas at the time and the result was this masterpiece. One word about the whimsy political lyrics, it was close that the mainly left-winged bosses at Love Records in the 70's would not have accepted them, because these are, listen close, satirical aspects on the subject...... Anyway, the music is excellent, and the band as whole, works best with Jukka Gustavson/Pekka Pohjola related compositions.Not exactly a uniform album, but as it's best SUPERB! Jim Pembroke is an excellent songwriter, more balllad oriented, very good lyrics.....but his influence grew stronger, and at the time of Nuclear Nightclub, THE classic Wigwam was only a memory..........thats' another story, a completely different band.
stig. lundstrrom

Early Wigwam´s masterpiece. The music is dominated by organ mainly because keyboardist/vocalist Jukka Gustavson wrote most of the music here. Some horns can be heard too. The music is jazzy strange prog with Stevie Wonder-like vocals. The lyrics are strange and somewhat political too. This is essential Finnish prog. Very good and worth getting.
Lambert

Un excelente disco, complejo y denso que requiere una gran cantidad de enfoque y la atención. Con cada cambio de acorde nos encontramos con una compleja disposición rítmica y melódica,m, y es extraño cómo a veces casi suena como un Stevie Wonder sofisticado y complejo. No se pierdan de escuchar esta obra, una sorpresita para algunos entre los que me incluyo. Muy recomendado, si va con tu gusto.



1 comentario:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE + Log + Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/HeARUytK

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