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viernes, 27 de mayo de 2016

Los Canarios - Ciclos (1974)


El Canario nos trae más del mejor progresivo español, hoy justamente con la banda oriunda de las Islas Canarias que, quizás animados por las versiones anglosajonas realizadas por ELP del "Cuadros en una Exhibicion" de Mussorgsky, idearon una obra de rock basada en las cuatro estaciones de Vivaldi. cambiando ese concepto de estaciones por las cuatro partes que forma la humana, el nacimiento, la infancia, la juventud, la madurez y la vejez. Les aviso que es un tremendo discazo que se lo dedicamos al cabezón Carlos Ochoa que lo estaba buscando como loco. Y no es para menos, ésto es excelente.

Artista: Los Canarios
Álbum: Ciclos
Año: 1974
Género: Rock sinfónico
Duración: 73:15
Nacionalidad: España

Lista de Temas:
1. Primera Transmigración (Paraiso Remoto) (16:50)
- a) Genesis
- b) Prana (Grito Primario)
- c) Primera Visión de un Mundo Nuevo
- d) Himno a la Armonía Magistral del Unverso
- e) Primeros Pasos en un Mundo Nuevo
- f) Metamorfosis Extravagante
2. Segunda Transmigración (Abismo Próximo) (16:45)
- a) Narración Extravagante
- b) Primeras Preguntas en un Mundo Nuevo
- c) Canto al Niño Neurótico
- d) Himno Crítico a la Primera Adversidad
- e) Desfile Extravagante
- f) Proceso Alienatorio
- g) Serenata Extravagante
3. Tercera Transmigración (El Entorno Futuro) (17:47)
- a) Pequeño Concierto Extravagante
- b) Paginas de Plata de un Diario Intimo
- c) Anti-Himno a la Programacion Cibernetica
- d) Monasterios
- e) Proceso Ciberetico
- f) Villancico Extravagante
4. Cuarta Transmigración (El Eslabón Recobrado) (21:53)
- a) Hibernus
- b) Crisis
- c) Ballet de las Sombras
- d) Himno a la Armonía Implacable del Fin
- e) Vanessa (El Aliento de la Osamenta)
- f) Nirvana Extravagante
- g) Diálogos a Alto Nivel
- h) Hiperdestrucción
- i) Apocalipsis

Alineación:
- Alain Richard / drums, percussion
- Antonio Garcia de Diego / guitar, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, voice
- Mathias Sanvellian / electric piano, Hammond, acoustic piano, violin
- Christian Mellies / bass, synthesizer
- Alfredo Carrion / choral arrangement and conducting
- Teddy Bautista / keyboards, synthesizers, voice
- Rudmini Sukmawati / voice



Los Canarios fue un grupo originario de Las Islas Canarias, que funciono en la decada de los 60's alrededor de su cantante y lider Teddy Bautista. "Ciclos" es una obra donde converge estilos tan dispares como el rock, el pop, el jazz, el folk, el barroco, etc... alrededor de la orquestacion que corrio a cargo de Alfredo Carrión y los inumerables teclados aportados por Teddy Bautista, Moog, MiniMoog, Sintetizador A.R.P., secuenciadores, Mellotrones 400 y 400 CM-CIO, frecuencimetros digitales, osciladores programados, quizas por aquel entonces pionero en España.

"Ciclos" no es una adaptacion al gusto popular, sino una compleja recreación de la obra de Vivaldi en una dimensión nueva; una dimension que tiene sus propios medios de expresión y que se ha venido a llamar "Pop".
Alfredo Carrión, extraido del libreto del CD

El primer acto comienza con una descarga psicodélica cósmica rota por los gritos desgarrados de la soprano Rudmini Sykmawat, en el papel de Atrix "La paridora" mezclados con el llanto de un niño recién nacido, a continuación el tema entra con bellas melodías y armonías con referencias al clásico de las 4 estaciones de Vivaldi, con un gran trabajo en los teclados y la guitarra. A mitad del tema el Theremin y los teclados y la voz de la soprano le dan un toque muy barroco al primer acto.
El segundo acto entra con los arreglos épicos orquestales y la dirección de los coros a cargo de Alfredo Carrión, dando paso a ese universo barroco, conjuncción perfecta de las sonoridades del Theremin y Mellotron, enseguida llega una rotura enérgica rockera seguipor por el piano acústico acompañado de multitud de percusiones y del canto operistico. Luego aparece el solo bluesero de la guitarra que da paso de nuevo a referencias clásicas de las 4 estaciones.
El tercer acto es abierto por la electrónica desplegada por Teddy Bautista y de multitud de percusiones acústicas en uno de los pasajes mas densos del álbum con continuas referencias clasicas de la obra de Vivaldi, toques jazzeros, aflamencados, barrocos, épicos, góticos, rock, etc. A mitad del tema la calma, las voces oníricas, percusiones, piano acústico realizan un cambio brusco en el desarrollo del tema. Soprendentemente aparece un canto gregoriano y campanas de fondo en el corte llamado "Monasterios"., que da paso a la experimentacion de Teddy Bautista y sus teclados ambientados en la obra de Vivaldi. Acaba el tema con un villancico.
Acaba el disco con el cuarto acto con un delicado solo de piano acústico, que en forma de crescendo da paso a la sección rítimica y una delirante guitarra. Hay una ruptura musical y la intervención de unos coros que realizan un excelente y original juego de voces dándole un toque más moderno, que da paso a un solo de bajo en el llamado "Ballet de las Sombras". Y llegan los momentos más cósmicos atmosféricos en el corte instrumental "Vanessa" que da paso al toque de arpa, para cerrar con los últimos cinco minutos del cuarto y último acto con una sección rockera para la Hiperdestruccion y el Apocalisis final. Majestuoso...

Inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Canarios translate the summer-autumn-winter-spring cicle to the human life. Opera, fusion, prog and of course, some latin rhytms ("Serenata Extravagante" is a wonderful ballad!) are mixed to give us one powerful piece with arrangments that reminds me a rock opera starring by many characters: gods, the Mother Earth, androids... More than a cover of Vivaldi, seems to be a remake with wonderfull keyboards arrangements and an extraordinary work on guitars. Well produced, well played and really astonishing. Canarios is maybe one of the best spanish prog bands and this album it's really superb.

Mientras se les va cayendo la baba por éste disco, les dejo el comentario del Canario, que nos cuenta la historia de la banda, y hace de entrada para el disco.

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Les invito a cruzar el océano Atlántico hasta ese territorio ultra periférico de España donde parecería que nunca pasa nada importante:  las islas Canarias, en las que, dicho sea de paso, se encuentra mi ciudad  natal. Este archipiélago, más próximo geográficamente a África que a Europa, en la década de los ’60 vivía doblemente aislado; en lo geográfico y en lo cultural. Nunca se le incluía en las giras de los grandes artistas,  aquellos que verdaderamente innovaban. Y sin embargo, en esta especie de limbo paradisíaco, por aquella década se formó una banda legendaria que aportaría mucho al rock español. Me refiero a Los Canarios.

Esos chicos de mi ciudad,  Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, que cuando todavía se hacían llamar “Los Ídolos” se aventuraron a buscar el éxito en los EEUU de la mano de un empresario estadounidense a principios de los 60, estaban  liderados por  Teddy Bautista, su vocalista, y decidieron  cambiar su nombre a Los Canarios  mientras absorbían en tierras norteamericanas las esencias del soul y el rithm’n’blues que marcarían su estilo posterior.

Ya de vuelta a España, lanzaron el single “Three, two, one, ah!”, sin demasiada repercusión, cosa que les decidió a reconvertir su sonido hacia el negro incorporando una fantástica sección de metal, muy inusual en las bandas de la época.


La gran oportunidad surge de la mano del productor cinematográfico Elías Querejeta, quién les encargó un tema para la nueva película de Carlos Saura. “Peppermint frappé”, fue el single con el que se dieron a conocer al gran público en 1967. Posteriormente llegarían otras joyas en formato sencillo: “Get on your knees” que supuso un gran éxito en toda Europa ( hecho muy inusual en los grupos españoles de entonces, que normalmente solo triunfaban en España y Latinoamerica), y “Child”/”Requiem for a soul” (esta última un arrebatador homenaje a Otis Redding). Todos los temas eran producidos por Alain Milhaud, quien convertido en productor de moda, consiguió llevar a bandas como Los Bravos, los Pop Tops o a los propios Canarios a lo más alto de las listas europeas.



Con todo, los Canarios eran un caso aparte. Su sonido estaba a años luz de lo habitual en las bandas españolas. Las influencias de la música negra, y sobre todo la espectacular voz de Teddy, les llevaron a ser catalogados en el Reino Unido bajo la etiqueta de northern soul (estilo músical surgido en el Reino Unido que combina el
sonido soul negro con el ritmo pronunciado y tempo alto de mediados de los años sesenta de la Tamla Motown).

En lo que si estaban igualados a las demás bandas españolas era en ese estigma que acabó con muchas de ellas: el servicio militar. Por suerte Los Canarios no desaparecieron, pero sí cambiaron su registro tras la vuelta de Teddy de la “mili”, concibiendo ideas más cercanas al rock progresivo. Así publicaron “Libérate!” (Free Yourself!) en 1970, su primer LP oficial (habían compartido uno con los Pop Tops, en forma de recopilatorio de singles, un par de años antes), y un fantástico sencillo con el mismo nombre.

Posteriormente, ya sin Milhaud, publicarían singles como “Reacción” y “Extra extra” (1971), y el directo “Canarios Vivos”(1972).



Finalmente Teddy Bautista disolvería el grupo, para refundarlo con otros músicos años después para la grabación de “Ciclos”, una revisión de “Las Cuatro Estaciones” de Vivaldi, con sintetizadores y arreglos progresivos, que se alejó definitivamente del espíritu negro que caracterizó a los Canarios originales. Este trabajo, a la vez que un cambio abismal en su estilo, supuso su despedida definitiva de los escenarios. Para mi gusto  “Ciclos” es un pelín pretencioso y grandilocuente - en contraste con la música de los primeros Canarios, mucho más fresca y directa, - aunque reúne momentos decididamente brillantes y hermosos.



Actualmente, muy poca gente los recuerda en España y curiosamente,  la música de Los Canarios nunca se llegó a publicar debidamente remasterizada ni con un buen  libreto informativo acerca de la que para mí es una de las mejores bandas de la historia del pop español.

Presentamos hoy en primer lugar, un recopilatorio de su etapa más primitiva, en EEUU, en la que se hacían llamar The Canaries:




Una colección de sus singles desde 1967 a 1972:



El LP “Liberate!” de 1970:



Y para terminar, "Ciclos", de 1974, su obra más progresiva, y que hoy presentamos aquí...
El Canario


"Ciclos" es una obra atemporal, inimaginable para su época, que a bien seguro debió romper algún esquema pero que el tiempo se encargó de enterrarlo en el pasado pero que en el blog cabezón lo ponemos en su lugar: una excelente obra musical que debe perdurar en el tiempo y el espacio. Y aquí está, para el disfrute de todos, disponible en la Biblioteca Sonora.
Vayamos a algún comentario de terceros, en inglés, y disfruten esta belleza...

"Ciclos" es realmente el único disco de rock progresivo de Los Canarios, pero es una obra maestra de nivel mundial. Por otra parte, el primer disco de ellos fue compartido con los POP TOPS (una cara para cada uno). Además tienen algunos singles. (Diego Herrera)
El álbum Ciclos puede que sea *LA MEJOR* adaptación de un trabajo clasico que jamás haya escuchado. Hacen "Las 4 estaciones" en un doble LP en un estilo clásico tan alucinante que todo lo que puedo decir es estoy por tirar a la basura mi Pictures At An Exhibition! Electrónica extravagante, rock clásico potente y música del espacio profundo en este destacado clásico del género. (?)
Los Canarios crearon un destacado trabajo de 73 minutos basado en Las 4 Estaciones. Obviamente, la música es muy barroca porque la original lo es, pero la versión de los Canarios es mucho más fuerte debido a la instrumentación eléctrica de una banda de rock. Inicialmente puede uno pensar en el Pictures at an Exhibition de ELP, pero el enfoque de Los Canarios es mucho más refinado comparado con la interpretación pomposa y a veces herrática de ELP. Pero no te equivoques: Ciclos es un trabajo duro y dinámico por derecho propio pleno de trabajo con órgano, sintes y guitarra. Las voces en inglés están presentes en todo el álbum, pero está dominado por secciones instrumentales. Ciclos es un clásico del rock sinfónico español. Si quieres Sinfónico fuerte dominado por sintes y guitarra, prueba este. (?)
Los fans del progresivo sinfónico inclinarán sus cabezas ante esto! La MEJOR adaptación de música clásica de la historia, y esto NO es una exageración. Es una adaptación de "Las Cuatro Estaciones" de Vivaldi, con alguna música añadida para hacer el concepto fluido. La música es electrónica, vocal, etc. pero basada en los temas originales de Vivaldi. La mezcla de múltiples teclados (melotrones, sintes, pianos eléctricos y acústicos), voces potentes, rock, música coral, operística, guitarra Akkermanesca para una audición variada e interesante. Los arreglos de las piezas del cuarteto de cuerda para una banda de rock funcionan maravillosamente, especialmente en las adaptaciones de las secciones "String" y "Winter", que resultan sorprendentemente buenas como piezas de rock. Incluso incluyen in corto "Christmas Carol" en un tema! Originalmente era un LP doble de más de 70 minutos, reeditado como un CD sencillo. Mis mejores recomendaciones van para este!
Mike Ohman

Si pro las dudas, luego de lo escuchado y lo leído, tienen dudas de que la obra es excelente, por favor lean los siguientes comentarios en inglés:

LOS CANARIOS did an original and majestic recreation on the most well-known VIVALDI's opus, "Le Quattro Stagioni". Very complex and creative, plenty of beauty and instrumentally great. In a different way, bands like EKSEPTION or SKY gave a sort of rock rythm to classic stuff, but this Spanish band made a complete work, adding own structures and keeping the magic of the original baroque piece.
I just heard another album in the same vein, IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA's "Contaminazione", another essential masterpiece beside CANARIOS' "Ciclos".
Marcelo Matusevich

For those who love progressive rock Classical adaptations will simply freak out over Los CANARIOS' "Ciclos" who re-interpret Vivaldi's classic symphony "Le Quattra Stagioni" (The Four Seasons). I would say the RDM's "Contaminazione" is to Bach as CANARIOS is to Vivaldi. For those who know the Four Seasons well will immediately recognize the substitution of electric guitar and analog keyboards for violins. Vocals although not overly dominant are sung mostly in English and are mostly operatic by the magical vocals of Rudmini Sukmawati. "Ciclos" offers some simply outstanding keyboard work with loads of moog and mellotron thoughout. Essentially "Ciclos" is a musical re-interpretation of Vivaldi's 4 Seasons with some complete re-interpretations and variations on his masterpiece. One of the most striking aspects of this album is the vast use of instrumentation throughout (ie. Theremin, orchesta, banjo,, phase shifter....).
James Unger

LOS CANARIOS started off as a typical, run of the mill pop/rock band (probably not unlike Los Bravos, but I'm not sure) and released three albums from 1968 to 1972. I'm sure fans of the pop CANARIOS were in for a total rude awakening when they released this double album, "Ciclos". The band totally went off the prog deep-end and went and adapted Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" in a prog rock setting. The main guy of this band, Teddy Bautista included lots of great analog keyboards like the Moog II-P modular, Mini Moog, VCS-3, ARP 2600, Mellotron M400. Other members included Alain Richard on drums (and tons of percussion), guitarist Antonio Garcia de Diego, Mathias Sanvellian on additional keyboards (piano, organ, RMI electric piano, harpsichord, etc.), and bassist Christian Mellies. Add that with a choir (both male a female), a couple of male vocalists (I bet the not-so-great singer was one of the band members), and a female soprano, provided by an Indonesian named Rudmini Sukmawati (in which photos of her make her look Gothic, one scary picture of her makes her look like Marylin MANSON!).
This is a totally complex and densely layered album which you're not likely to get on the first listen. Lots of really amazing analog synths. In between classical themes are rather bizarre and twisted use of synthesizers. One part finds the band being really silly by having a barbershop quartet sing "Plastic Christmas" with lyrics that go: "It's another plastic Christmas / Santa Claus has died / One more thing to celebrate", suggesting they felt Christmas had became a big load of crap (they should try Christmas here in America some 30 years later, which got so bad I tend to leave the radio and television off that time of year because of the hype and overcommercialization, not to mention worn-out Christmas carols).
My only real complaint goes to "Himno a la Armonia Implacable del Fin" (on the fourth and final movement entitled "Cuarto Acto: El Eslabon Recobrado"), I think that piece downright sucks with the overly dramatic and cheesy male operatic vocals and choir. I can live without that, but the rest of the album demonstates why not only is this regarded as one of the best prog albums to come out of Spain, but one of the best prog adaptations of classical aside from Il ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA's "Contaminazione". My other complaint is CANARIOS never followed up "Ciclos" with perhaps another full-blown prog album, perhaps this time, original band compositions. This was unfortunately their only prog album. Aside from "Himno a la Armonia Implacable del Fin", I truly think this is one of the all-time great prog take on classical music. Totally essential album.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Ben Miler

I am generally very wary of these albums that rob , steel and dress up the classic composer especailly the well known classic. I generally disapprove of this and if you are to read my reviews on some of the most shameless groups Trace and Ekseption , you will see this clearly. It always seemed that a category of progressive musicians always suffered from not being accepted by the so-called "Higher Culture Circles" (Classical and artistical circles) and tried to force the doors open by sticking some (rather clumsy) orchestrations and/or re-working the classics.
Although this sole album by Canarios (an evolution of spanish pop band los Canarios) is full of those flaws , the high rating I give should hint you that there is much more than the re- working of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Sure there are moments when the ridiculous is followed by the sublime when the overheard chorus/reprise of Four Season's main theme is slowly changed to a driving prog rock with choirs (sometimes ala Carmina Burana - reminding you of Magma). This double vinyl is now on a single Cd and is a great value for money but also artistically. There are some real weird moments where an old blues song ending seems atrocious in such a finely crafted album , but on the whole this is a very odd , curious but ultimately rewarding acquisition.
The fact that this album exists at all is a bit of a wonder, since it was recorded in 74 during the closing years of Franco's fascist dictature and Spain's progressive period was not really to start until the death of the dictator. Maybe the fact that these guys hailed from the touristic Canary Islands helped, but the production of such an ambitious album was obviously too expensive , so much that I cannot see this being done without some official help. Just an educated guess by my many childhood vacations throughout Spain in the 70's and the striking contrasts of then-relatively-rich E C countries and the poor , rural , dictatorial Spain of those years.
Sean Trane

This intricate album from Spanish one shot band Canarios can be compared with the 'cult- classic' "Ys" from Il Balletto Di Bronzo": a very original, captivating and compelling progressive blend of several styles but almost beyond mainstream! If you listen to the four long compositions, you will experience cascades of breaks and shifting moods. The one moment you hear pleasant and melodic prog, the other moment you're blown away by avant-garde or very experimental sounds. If you are up to a fascinating progrock adventure, this CD will be a challenge! I rate this album with four stars because it sound so original but I'm aware of the fact that not every proghead wil be pleased with this unique prog.
Erik Neuteboom

This is a monumental album. A potentially cheesy concept, a space opera with music based on Vivaldi's Four Seasons, ought to have fallen flat on its face, especially at 73 minutes running time. But it's such an explosion of unbridled creativity that it just plain works. The songs are excellent and the choral arrangements are stunning. Both female and male lead vocals are excellent. The Vivaldi adaptations rock surprisingly hard, driven by some of the best (rock critics would say "propulsive", for which they should be shot) drumming I've heard on a Seventies album (and some of the best-produced drum sounds as well). Unapologetically stident synths alternate with lush mellotron, and thunderous upbeat sections contrast with pleasant ambient sections. The music's so good, I've never even bothered to follow the storyline. Despite many abrupt changes throughout the long album sides, the music never fails to be melodic and interesting. The group was wise to quit after releasing this monster...they couldn't have done any better. This record's glorious pomposity represents symphonic prog at its best.
Allister Thompson

Did you think that "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "The Lamb" or ELP's "Pictures" were bold and ambitious projects? Well, they pale in comparison with this album from Canarios, mostly the creation of band leader Teddy Bautista. Another adaptation of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" to rock? Aargh no, vade retro! Well don't worry, this one is really special and in my opinion deserves full credit. It never intends to be a transcription of the classical work to rock instruments, it's an avant-garde loose re-interpretation of the theme which revisits several fragments of the Vivaldi's work, but has also a lot of own material.
The ambition put in this work was huge, double vinyl album with a trascendental concept, integrating early 70's prog-rock, classical music, electronic experimentation with Moogs, Mellotrons, ARP's, Theremin and such stuff, opera, classical choir, gregorian chant, broadway musical, greek chorus narration, lyrics partly in english, spanish and latin, you name it.
With such a daunting task the result would inevitably be a totally ridiculous pastiche or a masterpiece of modern art, and they achieved the latter. We also need to consider the context. If this album would be released now in 2010 I'm not so sure what my opinion would be, but this was made in early 70's underdeveloped Spain, which was in most respects 10 to 20 years behind compared to the main european countries. The sense of authenticity and the conviction and professionalism with which Canarios undertook this mamooth task makes you take your hat off in front of this work.
The cyclic nature of the seasons is re-interpreted into a mystical adaptation of the Eastern culture cyclic concept of the universe and life in it. As in Genesis "The Lamb", the booklet includes apart from the lyrics a text explaining the story (in spanish at least in my edition, which being my mother language I understand).
Spring is translated in the first concert "El Paraiso Remoto" (The distant paradise) as the creation of the universe and the birth out of mother nature's Matrix of the perfect life form, Embryo, eager to assimilate everything around him.
The second concert "El Abismo Proximo" (The nearby abyss) takes the place of Summer, with life now around the year 1700 impersonated as Febos, sucumbing to the temptation of mastering the world, the process of alienation from nature and its creator, discovering technology and becoming an impersonal and anonimous being.
The third concerto "La Ciudad Futura" (The Future City = Autumn) sees life (now middle- aged Metantropus in the year 2126) immersed in an extremely technocratic and grey society where beings are given doses of "alcoholin and nicotin" to keep them quiet or even subjected to the "cybernetic process" where they are reprogrammed to be submissive (George Orwell and Aldous Huxley revisited). Metantropus escapes to the mountains where he has a revelation telling him that the only way out is to recover his sense of unity with the universe and the creator, but he gets caught.
In the fourth concert "El eslabon recuperado" (The recovered link = Winter), life is now the elder Anacros and finds itself in an impersonal dying world in the year 2700 where the radiation of the sun has been depleted and society keeps a hopeless life harnessing some remaining cosmic energy. The prophet Oracle tells Anacros that his fate is to reunite with the creator ("the Supreme Programmer") by crossing the doorway of death. Anacros submits to his fate, voluntarily going to the Expiatory Machine which gives his prana-less material body back to Matrix, while his spirit or karma returns to sit at the right of the Supreme Programmer, from where they witness the Apocalypsis of the material world and its return to the primeval state, from where the cycle will start all over again. A truly astral voyage not only in its storyline, but also in the music which goes along with it.
This album is surely not for everybody's taste. For my personal taste there is a bit too much experimental material and the parts of true 70's symphonic rock (reminiscent of King Crimson, The Nice, Focus, the most experimental side of Yes etc) feel too short because of it, but they are nevertheless great, with wonderful work by all the musicians.
At any rate this is an often forgotten masterpiece, an album which every lover of early 70's prog-rock should have or at least know, a classic in its own right.
Gerard

Spanish prog epic you need to discover
The story of this little known progressive rock gem is almost as interesting as the music itself: a true, sprawling four sides of pure symphonic grandeur of the scope and ambition of "Tales from Topographic Oceans" or "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." The Spanish band started out as the pop/rock group Los Canarios and had several releases which did well, but were of little interest to prog fans. Then around 1973, leader Teddy Bautista split with his bandmates and retained the name, shortening it to just Canarios. He surrounded himself with all new people and decided to create an epic work for the ages. Today, "Ciclos" is little known and rarely discussed, but I think this is likely the most significant Spanish progressive rock title of its time. As Hugues points out, even the fact that such a project could come to fruition given the political/social oppression of Spain in this period makes it very existence incredible. The high-minded plot themes deal with the circle of life and the history of humanity.
"Ciclos" contains only four songs, each covering an entire side of this double album. The music is a free reinterpretation of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and a serious attempt to meld together classical music with symphonic progressive rock. I say reinterpretation because this is not purely a rock band covering a piece of classical music. Everything is subject is change here and the four pieces show a wealth of creative writing and arrangements. The band brings in all various styles to play with: symphonic prog, jazz rock, avant-garde, operatics, and melodic pop/rock. The end result ends up being something not far from the Italian prog of the same period: ambitious, bold, a bit naïve, and sometimes a bit over the top. The "everything but the kitchen sink" approach is on display here. It's a complex album and in my view a great success, but it takes time to reveal itself to the listener. Like some other reviews I've read, the album did not appeal to me at first. Had I written a quick review it would not have been complimentary. But the more you play this one, the better it gets, which is why I rarely write quick reviews. Sections of the album are beautiful beyond belief, other sections rock hard, and other sections leave you scratching you head at what you just heard. Not bad at all!
"this album is much more than just a cheesy rock adaptation. The band put a lot of effort to mix elements from jazz, blues, opera, and even the modern avant-garde classical into Vivaldi's original. Listeners are treated to harpsichords competing with blues and jazz-infected electric guitars, moog synths that let loose a flurry of notes from Vivaldi's original composition before jumping into funky seventies fusion, classical guitars that gently play melodic interludes as the drummer bangs away inspired by John Cage's compositions for percussion. These guys simply loved to mix different genres of music together." -Steve Hegede
As some have pointed out, it can be a bit garish and cringeworthy at times-this is a fair criticism. The keyboard sound choices in particular can be a little cheesy and may make the album too dated for some. In a pure sound sense it does not hold up quite as well as the Yes and Genesis titles mentioned above. But, for those who don't insist on refined restraint in their prog adventure, "Ciclos" is a pure roller-coaster ride that may leave you breathless with listening pleasure. It is certainly not the least bit ashamed to wear its heart on its sleeve. Tightly performed and with reasonably deep, punchy sound, the album lays out a convincing and jamming rock base over which it displays incredible window dressings: I most love the oodles of unique instruments, the little baroque elements, the occasional operatic vocals and choirs, and the adventurous avant-garde excursions. The album can seem inspired by Topographic Oceans although Yes were more seasoned, and Oceans final product more "musically mature" than this one. My personal guess is that most people who like classic era Yes, Genesis, or Banco will be very happy to have acquired Canarios. I consider this title nearly essential to a deep prog-rock collection.
The vocals are in English which pains me, but will no doubt make this title more accessible to some proggers who don't like non-English vocals. Try to get the Japanese mini-lp sleeve CD which will give you a beautiful gatefold presentation, great sound, and the reproduced inserts.
Jim

Los Canarios was a Spanish symphonic band which made two studio record and one live record. This is their second and last studio album and this was made in 1974. On this time the group made up by - Alain Richard (drums, percussion), Antonio Garcia de Diego (guitar, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, voice), Mathias Sanvellian (electric piano, Hammond, acoustic piano, violin), Christian Mellies (bass, synthesizer), Alfredo Carrion (choral arrangement and conducting), Teddy Bautista (keyboards, synthesizers, voice) and Rudmini Sukmawati ( voice). This is a long lasting record with an amazing cover which shows a butterfly with a beardy man's head including the world.
It is hard for me to describe this music. It's totally amazing and exactly how pretentious and flamboyant prog should be. Los Canarios mixed every good elements they could find and did a musical treasure box I beg you to explore. If you don't you'll miss something. I just wonder how the came up with the thought about this record. It is as ambitious as Yes' "Tales from topographic oceans" or Jethro Tull's "Thick as a brick". This is also a perfect record for all of you with a love for classical music. A lot of the inspiration here came from Vivaldi's "The four Seasons" and this record has four side-long pieces: "Primera Transmigración", "Segunda Transmigración", "Tercera Transmigración" and "Cuarta Transmigración". It is hard to explain this music. Sometimes it is symphonic as Yes, ELP or sometimes even more, like real symhphonic and sometimes it's so crazy that RIO would have been a good definition. On the other hand sometimes the similarities with eclectic music like King Crimson are distinct and sometimes they are so progressive they are outside the progressive world. I can hear echoes from opera, 50s popular music, Spanish folk music and extravagant keyboards a la Wakeman. This band shows great electric guitar and concerto piano. The third track begins with Spanish guitar and Spanish vocals and in the end there is a church choir and finaly some comical sentences. In the last song I hear a choir that sounds Swedish or German.
Over all, this is something allmost beyond fantasy. Are you open minded and like progressive rock and classical music, don't miss this chance to widen your views. It is just as weird, extravagant and narcissistic only a prog record can be. Five shining Spanish stars!
Adrian Drömmaren

OK... let it be 5 stars, though it's more likely 4.5. Rather unusual interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons masterpiece which differs from what the other prog bands do. Actually this opus is very popular among prog/speed metal performers who use to compete in guitar virtuosity and forget to offer something else. These guys go the other way. Instead, they focus on the experimental improvisation introducing the vocal parts and complex polyrhythm structures. The performance is excellent; the final track is particulary worth notice and offers a variety of musical styles - Emersonesque piano improvisation, CLEARLIGHT reminiscence, strong guiatr staccato and avant garde inserts. The operatic voice in the middle of a track is the most beautiful and contrasts with the preceding dramatic sequence. IMO the third track is not as strong as the rest though it doesn't spoil much the impression of this album.
groon

Since my elder brother bought this album in the seventies, I have always been intrigued by it. I someone would say to me now: there is this terrific album by a Spanish group, doing there version of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi, I would not be over enthousiastic to buy it. I would expect a one-on-one version, replacing violins with keyboards and guitars. Just like Ekseption did. But listening to it for the first time I was immediately captured by the first track, which sounded to me like the beginning of the Universe and suddenly the birth of the first human. The way that they integrated the well known Vivaldi tunes was also better than to be expected, especially the way the guitars and percussion were used. And then, after a spacey start, guitar solo's, even Spanish and Latin singing (I'm not sure here) a typical Spanish tune with acoustic Spanish guitar and song. At the end, the Apocolyps, I believe it is the voice of God himself who speaks to the world (at least, that is my interpretation, because I do not understand the Latin this person speaks).
All in all an album I have know for over 25 years now and still play, especially in my car when I'm in a Traffic Jam (which happens to often)
UncleMeat

This is probably one of the most amazing cds that I have ever heard. These guys play so beautifully that I cannot stop listening to their music. It's symphonic as f**k! I can't declare that this album is the best Progressive Rock albums of all times, but it's certainly one of the most amazing albums that I have heard! I insist you listen to Canarios!!!!!!!!! =)
Dan Yaron

5 stars This could be one of the Top 10 best ProgRock albums I ever heard. Besides the (probably) 30 different instruments [including a Theremin -- :-)], the lyrics, the vocals, actually add to the complexity of the album. Incredible dynamic and mood range, from lyrical to abrasive, from stunning Spanish guitar (acoustic, 6 and 12 strings) solos to raucous, outright in-your-face synths and percussions, this album is absolutely breath-taking. The fact that I really love Vivaldi, is incidental, in this case. I still have goose-pimples. The accompanying booklet (in Spanish) is also a creation of love and a pleasure to read. This, friends, ought to be what ProgRock is all about. This is a masterpiece.
Rozsa

Para no seguir dándole vueltas, un trabajo musical alucinante e imperdible. Carlos lo va a disfrutar... y vos?



8 comentarios:

  1. Muy agradecido por este post, se las debo.

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    Respuestas
    1. Un lujo de post, Carlos.
      Con un Malbec arreglamos... ;)

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  2. Obvio! no te dejamos afuera Juan Carlos! A brindar!!!

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  3. ¿Podrían mandarme la url a mi correo por favor?
    Gracias y saludos.

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    Respuestas
    1. Eduardo, suscribite a la lista de correo y tendrás todo lo que querès.
      Acá está una guía para la suscripciòn.

      https://cabezademoog.blogspot.com.ar/p/por-si-algun-dia-no-estamos-aca.html

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  4. En el blog "aizenmusica" leí una interesantísima reseña sobre Los Canarios de la que no puedo resistirme a transcribir un fragmento:

    Con gran producción por parte del propio Teddy Bautista y Antonio Morales; orquestaciones y dirección de Alfredo Carrión, "Ciclos" fué una muy arriesgada apuesta de Ariola, que invirtió dos millones y medio de las antiguas pesetas, que era un dineral en aquella época, y que no recuperaron; lo que prácticamente propició la disolución del grupo. En el momento de su estreno, la crítica española (y hablamos de 1974, España cañí de Las Grecas, Rumba Tres y Los Payasos de la Tele, y que casi no conocía ni a los Beatles), defenestró un disco que era muy adelantado a la época en la que vivíamos. "Monumento cumbre a la nada" se decía; pues pienso yo que si es es así, es un monumento a la nada hecho con Marmol de Carrara, porque me parece una obra imprescindible en la historia del rock, por lo extravagante, lo monumental, lo creativo y aplastante de la propuesta.


    Hoy en día "Ciclos" se abre sitio con fuerza en la historia del progresivo mundial y está a la altura de muchos discos conceptuales de la época. De equella época yo creo que solo "El Patio" de Triana podría considerarse superior (con toda seguridad, eso sí, más influyente), que "Ciclos".

    http://aizenmusica.blogspot.com.es/2011/08/los-canarios-1974-ciclos.html?m=1

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  5. Y tambien: http://eldia.es/cultura/2016-03-14/13-disco-canario-Ciclos-objeto-tesis-doctoral.htm

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