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martes, 28 de febrero de 2017

Kotebel - Ouroboros (2009)


Discazo de los españoles Kotebel. Rock sinfónico con una sólida presencia de lienzos atmosféricos espesos, jazz rock y uno que otro fripperttronic en la más pura tradición King Crimson, matices math rock y mucha intención RIO con una dosis adecuada de experimentación. Se trata de acercamientos hacia diferentes elementos de la mitología griega, combinando esoterismo y ocultismo con idea musical, esto da como resultado música exhuberante con significación simbólica, representada a través de un rock progresivo evocador, lleno de movimiento, cohesión, idea, compañerismo musical, fuerza exhuberante y el nivel de complejidad que tanto se aprecia del rock progresivo. Si no lo conocen, no se lo pierdan.

Artista: Kotebel
Álbum: Ouroboros
Año: 2009
Género: Progresivo sinfónico
Duración: 72:06
Nacionalidad: Venezuela - España

Lista de Temas:
1. Amphisbaena
2. Ouroboros
3. Satyrs
4. Simurgh
5. Behemoth
6. Legal Identity v1.5
7. Mysticae Visiones

Alineación:
- Carlos Plaza / keyboards
- Adriana Plaza / keyboards
- Carlos Franco / drums & percussion
- Jaime Pascual / bass
- César Garcia Forero / guitars




Cada vez que escucho álbums como este, me pregunto (y no como algo negativo, sino como una satisfacción): ¿dónde quedó el componente de "rock" dentro de esto?. Porque Kotebel sí es sinfónico, pero contiene pocos elementos de rock, salvo algunos instrumentos propios del estilo. Es que este es un álbum que mezcla rock, jazz y conceptos clásicos en igual medida y requiere varias vueltas para realmente apreciar los detalles compositivos y los sabores de la música. Y el disco es sencillamente genial, uno de los mejores álbums que salieron ese prolífico y exquisito año.


Kotebel, con 5 discos publicados desde 1999, es una de las bandas de Rock Sinfónico de Vanduardia más importantes de España. Su último disco "Ouroboros" publicado en abril de 2009, ha sido galardonado con el premio al "Mejor Disco Extranjero" en la edición 2009 de ProgAwards. Sin restringirse a un estilo o género en concreto, Kotebel pretende conseguir una convergencia entre la música clásica o "formal" y el rock progresivo. En ese sentido, sería más preciso considerar a esta banda como un proyecto ecléctico, inmerso en la corriente de la música progresiva.
Ouroboros, nos propone una intensa experiencia sonora, con un trasfondo mitológico en su concepción. El libro de los seres imaginarios, es una compilación literaria realizada por el autor argentino Jorge Luis Borges, en colaboración con Margarita Guerrero, y en el que se reúnen distintas criaturas ficticias recreadas por la mente del hombre (algo que ambos escritores ya trataron en su anterior Manual de zoología fantástica. Las descripciones de algunos de estos seres tratados por Borges sirven de inspiración extramusical para varias de las piezas de este quinto álbum. Para algunos una obra maestra, para otros un disco complejo.
Gueorgui

Recordemos que Kotebel es un proyecto salido de la sorprendente mente de Carlos Plaza, este venezolano radicado hace años en España.


Con 5 álbumes editados desde el año 2000, incluyendo los aclamados “Omphalos” (nominado a “Mejor Disco Extranjero en ProgAwards 2006) y “Ouroboros” (Ganador – “Mejor Disco Extranjero” en ProgAwards 2009), Kotebel es uno de los principales referentes dentro de la Música Progresiva en Hispanoamérica.
La música de Kotebel está basada en una mezcla, elaborada pero asequible, de rock sinfónico de vanguardia con una amplia paleta de influencias que van desde lo clásico hasta el jazz o el world music. Cronistas de nuestros discos y aficionados mencionan influencias tan diversas como Genesis, Debussy, Yes, ELP, Ravel, Messiaen, Thinking Plague, The Enid, Steve Hackett, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, o Chopin.
Kotebel ha participado en prestigiosos festivales, incluyendo BajaProg (México - 2004), Gouveia Art Rock (Portugal - 2007/2010), ProgSud (Francia - 2007) – cabeza de cartel -Madrid Art Music Festival (España - 2008/2009), Go Prog (Portugal – 2009) compartiendo escenario con artistas como Robert Fripp, Magma, After Crying, IQ, Allan Holdsworth, Deus Ex Machina, Isildurs Bane, Jerry Marotta, Pat Mastelotto, etc.
Kotebel

Cada una de estas composiciones suenan como un movimiento continuo con diferentes y deliciosos motivos musicales en cada esquina. A veces delicado y otros denso o grandilocuente, el álbum explora una amplia variedad de influencias, muchas texturas se entremezclan a medida que el disco avanza, y mayor cantidad van emergiendo gradualmente con las repetidas escuchas, ya que múltiples capas impiden que este se un disco sencillo, pero ello lo hace exquisito, indispensable en cualquier colección de buen sinfónico progresivo.



Publicado en Abril de 2009, este álbum representa un paso adicional en la búsqueda de Kotebel de integrar distintos estilos musicales para crear una mezcla elaborada, pero asequible, de rock sinfónico de vanguardia, con un amplio abanico de influencias que van desde la música clásica hasta el Jazz y el World Music. El álbum es instrumental y muestra la configuración actual de la banda, compuesta por un quinteto con 2 teclados, guitarras, bajo y batería/percusión. Este álbum obtuvo el premio al "Mejor Disco Extranjero" en ProgAwards 2009.
Kotebel

Con una sólida presencia de lienzos atmosféricos espesos, jazz rock y uno que otro fripperttronic en la más pura tradición KING CRIMSON, KOTEBEL exhibe en "Ouroboros", su quinto álbum de estudio, un rock progresivo de corte sinfónico como intención base, decorado con matices math rock más una dosis adecuada de experimentación. Aquí, Carlos PLAZA (teclados), Adriana PLAZA (teclados), Carlos FRANCO (batería, percusiones), Jaime PASCUAL (bajo) y César GARCÍA FORERO (guitarras), se desbordan libremente en un conjunto soportado por el compañerismo musical, regalando un álbum ciertamente bueno. En los foros más transitados de la 3W (ProgArchives, RateYourMusic) que discuten sobre música rock progresiva, así como en determinadas listas de correo con tópico del mismo tipo (LaCajaDeMúsica, LaLata), este álbum ha recibido buenas críticas y apreciaciones, observando que la banda ha mantenido el buen nivel de apreciación respecto al álbum anterior, "Omphalos", sin bajar de calidad.
Realizado en abril de 2009, "Ouroboros" «Uróboros» es un álbum que mantiene el rumbo que Carlos PLAZA y compañía trazaron con "Omphalos", su álbum anterior. Se trata de miramientos hacia diferentes elementos de la mitología griega, combinando esoterismo y ocultismo con idea musical. Esto da como resultado música exhuberante con significación simbólica, representada —qué bueno— a través de un rock progresivo francamente evocador. Tal vez sobró el tema adicional porque se sale del concepto principal del álbum, pero a fin de cuentas uno puede elegir no oír el tema, y de todas formas se agradece el bono, sobre todo si se aprecian más las líneas jazz.
Aunque no me cautivó, el álbum cinco de KOTEBEL lo considero un álbum excelente para colecciones de rock progresivo sinfónico/fusión. Tiene movimiento, cohesión, idea, compañerismo musical, fuerza exhuberante y el nivel de complejidad que tanto se aprecia del rock progresivo. No por nada el álbum fue nominado a competir en los ProgAwards 2009 en la categoría Mejor Álbum Extranjero, añadiendo yo la mención a Mejor Grabación por su impecable trabajo en el estudio.
Alfredo Tapia Carreto

Previously an octet, Kotebel appears as a five-piece on this recording. Singer Carolina Prieto, flutist Omar Acosta and cellist Miguel Rosell all quit within a year after the band has issued “Omphalos”, hence (not counting “Structures” which was planned as Plaza’s solo outing and is largely his ‘all-alone’ effort indeed) “Ouroboros” is their first album not to feature any chamber instruments or vocals either. There are also certain changes in their style, and although I’m not sure whether those are directly linked with the above fact, the group’s turn to a less academic approach is more than just evident. This time their inspiration comes from both symphonic Art-Rock and what would probably be – or at least can potentially be labeled as – the genre’s most avant-garde manifestation. Their new creations, Amphisbaena, Ouroboros, Satyrs, Simurgh, Legal Identity V and Behemoth, run for 55+ minutes and are all excellent, albeit varying in the level of progressiveness, and also in structure. Regarding the first two of these (the most advanced compositions here, particularly the latter): in both cases the main reference points are Genesis and King Crimson, both circa 1973-’74: so think purely art-rock arrangements alternating with mixed ones (which bring together symphonic and more avant-garde – at times even Present-evoking – musical constructions) and a jazz-fusion twist in some occasions. Both also contain a lot of solos by analog synthesizers as well as mellotron patterns, generally standing out for their lush vintage colorations, whilst most of the rest of the material finds Carlos playing pianos much more frequently than other items from his keyboard arsenal. The only exception from that ‘rule’ is the relentless, heavy Satyrs – the most intense composition here, full of manic energy of a sort. While listening to it I often get much the same feeling as on Anekdoten’s “Nucleus” (not only due to the instrumentation, of course) and therefore King Crimson’s “Red”, too, though I think Genesis shouldn’t be written off in this case either, as their “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” is also rather rich in pronouncedly heavy bass lines, albeit those aren’t as brutally aggressive as the ones on the first-named disc. Legal Identity V and Simurgh (a mythological bird symbolizing wisdom, justice and happiness – one of the central features of Uzbekistan’s National Emblem) both seem to have quite a good deal in common with Satyrs, and yet each is less and much less heavy, respectively, the latter additionally revealing several quietly-atmospheric intermezzos. Well, I must admit I find it difficult to define either of these otherwise than as avant-tinged Art-Rock. As all the already described pieces do, Behemoth (a demonic creature ‘hailing’ from the Old Testament Book of Job) also evinces highly skilful compositional as well as performance craftsmanship, no matter that it is basically slow-paced almost throughout. Finally, the live version of the title track of the band’s second disc, Mysticae Visions, was recorded in 2007 and is quite impressive, too, even though it is twice as short as the original one. Besides its mid-section where Carolina Prieto’s vocalization hovers over what reminds me strongly of symphonic Ambient, the epic moves back in forth between quasi Jazz-Fusion and classic Symphonic Progressive, very much in the style of mid-‘70s National Health and Rick Wakeman, respectively.
Conclusion. If my memory doesn’t let me down, “Ouroboros” is the first Kotebel effort to reveal distinct outside factors – thankfully not to the detriment of its overall quality, besides which the group’s original voice is still present and is instantly striking, also. Either way, this is a masterwork – one of the most compelling 2009 releases that I have heard so far. Unlike most of the other modern art-rock and related bands, these Spaniards have been climbing the ladder (in terms of creation of course) all over their period of activity, paving their own special way to the golden throne of the genre. Very highly recommended!
Vitaly Menshikov

Recently I’ve heard some bemoaning the state of progressive rock music in Spain these days. The general feeling is the genre isn’t doing that well there. Well what they may be lacking in quantity is in some ways made up for in quality. Take for example the new release from Kotebel entitled Ouroborus. This is one stellar disc of symphonic progressive rock! Formed in Madrid in 1999 this is Kotebel’s fifth album and what a treat it is. The quintet is made up of founder Carlos G. Plaza Vegas (keyboards) along with Adriana Plaza Engelke (keyboards), César García Forero (guitar, keyboards); Jaime Pascual Summers (bass) and Carlos Franco Vivas (drums & percussion).
To begin with let me just say I was really blown-away by this disc. Kotebel seem to have everything in the right place at the right time. Musically Ouroboros consists of seven instrumental tracks, the last of which is actually a live bonus track entitled “Mystical Visiones” [16:22]. As you might have surmised with only seven tracks they’re bound to be long and involved…and you would be right. Let me try to give you my aural overview. Expect to hear lots of guitar and keyboard lead lines each trading time in the spotlight. While it’s true to call Kotebel a symphonic prog band, there are times where the music can get a bit angular, not dissonant in anyway, but certainly edgy. In fact there is a strong jazz-fusion undercurrent running through these compositions that manifests itself not only by the complex lead lines but also by the busy drumming patterns and burbling bass. But then there are huge swaths of majestic Mellotron strings sprinkled about.
Compositions go from flute inspired bright and breezy to more aggressive moments. There are lots of notes flying around and the arrangements allow for a full and lush sound. Many of the tracks feature various forms of staccato musical stabs which form transitions from one musical segment to the next. As mentioned these are longer compositions allowing for plenty of musical change-ups.
Each of these compositions sounds like it’s on the move with a different delicious musical motif around every corner. Overall, very symphonic with lots of keyboard orchestration, but then so much more.
Prepare to treat your ears because Ouroboros has much to offer. I think it’s safe to say that Kotebel have a winner on their hands. I can’t imagine a prog fan that wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy this record. It has so much to offer lovers of almost any prog genre. I like it. Olé!
Jerry Lucky

The fifth release by Carlos Plaza's Kotebel sees another major change in direction, comparable to their original shift from a delicate keyboard project to the wildly imaginative mixture of rock and classical themes with serious operatic support which dominated their second to fourth albums. With Ouroboros, gone is the soprano diva and the sweet keyboard layers and in comes a darker, heavier machine with challenging musical structures and clever twin keyboard interplay. The theme of the album is an exploration of a number of exotic mythical creatures from the familiar Satyrs and Behemoth to less well-known creatures such as the Simurgh (king of birds), drawn from Arabian folk tales.
Each piece is an individual representation rather than a running concept as such with the creatures used mainly as an imaginary frame on which to hang the compositions. "Amphisbaena" (a serpent with a head at both ends) opens the album with an angular arrangement of organ, fluctuating guitar chords using RIO influences and an insistent bass line. Piano and guitar snap and bite at counterpoint with some excellent drumming from Carlos Franco controlling and directing the numerous pace and time changes. Semitones and tritons are sprinkled through the piece giving it an edgy character overall but with occasional soft melodic reflections. Rising piano chords compete with sudden drum fills and injections of guitar while the piece escalates with addition of organ rising up the scale toward its climax. An impressive opener which foretells both the quality and the direction of the album as a whole.
The title track is a lengthy suite of 7 'variations' on a theme and a coda. Here the classical influences take over both in structure and in feel. You might hear Ravel, Stravinsky or Debussy in here as the main theme is stated and then embellished with synths, piano and guitar. There is also a Yes-like quality in parts, of the era which produced the better elements of Topographic Oceans.
Overall the work is less ferocious in style and has a good mix of soft and crusty textures through the 7 variations with the sixth forcefully restating the original theme before a trippy little coda, almost Canterbury in style, rounds off the number.
César Garcia Forero (guitars) penned the next piece, "Satyrs", which starts with a fuzzy guitar riff over a dark bass rhythm from Jaime Pascual Summers, eventually making way for keyboards and a series of thematic changes delivered in a dynamic, stop and turn approach. One of the more dissonant arrangements on the album, the track also has the ever-present quality to take unexpected turns such as the jazzy little piano piece in the middle and its almost metal styled rocky outro. "Simurgh" is another long one at 13 minutes. A simple blend of piano and keyboard figures awakens the song gently before synthesised voice and an eloquent ethereal guitar float in for a brief period after which the song cuts back to its original figure and guitar. A second level of development ratchets up the volume slightly as the theme repeats and builds. The guitar lines here remind me very much of the opening to Asia's Arena album. An incisive piano and drum/bass injection stabs the flowing melody short at this point and the arrangement turns darker with semi and tri-tonal keys and guitar gnawing at an impressive percussion delivery. This denser and more complex section continues for several minutes, again frequently ebbing and flowing between shorter, more melodic modes. The piece then fades out in a spiritual ending, signifying the birds realisation of the truth of their existence.
The synth opening to "Behemoth" hints at ELP before Garcia's very un-Lake-like guitar adds a sinister edge. The eerie calm induced next is a prelude to the slow wakening of the beast, perhaps as the morning sun unfolds across the primeval land. A brilliant warbling guitar sequence is trimmed by delicate piano and tinkly percussive keys after which the lilting guitar rises to a series of crescendos backed by dramatic organ chords. Finally Behemoth veers off, closing out as it came in. The short "Legal Identity V1.5" closes the album and contains some of the best twin keyboard interplays of the entire disc between Carlos and Adriana Plaza along with more tasty guitar and sustained drum/bass arrangements. Legal Identity is a dynamic and fitting ending to an excellent set of works but the bonus is the 16 minute live performance at the Portugal's 2007 Gouveia Art Rock Festival of Mysticae Visiones, the title suite from their second album, featuring the wonderful voice of opera singer Carolina Prieto.
This is an album which mixes rock, jazz and classical concepts in equal measure and takes several spins to really appreciate the intricacies of composition and the flavours of the music which only emerge gradually with repeated listens. At times delicate and at others dense or bombastic, the album draws on a wide range of influences without being beholden to any; a remarkable feat in itself.
Richard Barnes

Spanish instrumental project KOTEBEL aims at developing elaborate music with complex harmonic, as well as quite pleasant melodic and rhythmic structures. These elements are created by using resources which come from the worlds of Progressive rock and classical music. As the title of its first album "Structures" implies, the group lays down its framework for future masterpieces. Seven independent pieces explore different styles within the Progressive rock genre, based on the extensive use of keyboards and flute. It can be placed amongst PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, Tony BANKS, THE ENID or early GENESIS, while keeping a sense of freshness and originality that places the band at the forefront of the actual scene. "Mysticae Visiones" (2001) is a concept album based on the musical representation of a series of metaphysical concepts, including birth and death. The first eponymous piece (35 minutes) is a suite that integrates different Progressive rock styles with elements from classical music (Impressionist period) and other genres. The second piece, "The River" (15 minutes), based on a fragment from the "Siddhartha" (Hermann HESSE), blends oriental resources with symphonic rock. With its female vocals, its jazz-rock parts and its flute ala Airto MOREIRA, many sequences of this opus could have been played by Chick COREA in the Seventies.
Blessed by a huge musical knowledge, keyboards player Carlos PLAZA keep on creating unusual melodies and harmonies. His ambitious and majestic symphonic rock expands the boundaries of contemporary music, with a strong and obvious spiritual inspiration. After an excellent "Fragments Of Light" (2003), the new album "Omphalos" (2006) includes a 30 minute-suite, based on neo-classic soprano vocals, bombastic keyboards, airy flute parts, and eclectic guitar playing, in a vein somewhere between Steve HOWE, Allan HOLDSWORTH and Steve HACKETT. Classical music, jazz and Progressive rock are incredibly melt in this modern symphony. Undoubtely one of the best albums to be heard in 2006 ! "Ouroboros" (Musea, 2009) offers six instrumental tracks (Plus the "Mysticae Visiones" suite as a live bonus-track), well balanced between keyboards and guitars, with syncopated and complex rhythms sometimes recalling GENTLE GIANT. Not unlike other Musea bands in the past (HECENIA, PRIAM, TIEMKO...), KOTEBEL succeeds in being melodious, ambitious, symphonic and experimental at the same time. Perfectly produced (What a sound !), "Ouroboros" is a masterpiece, which is all but a surprise coming from a band collectioning them!
Musea Records


Si nunca escucharon este álbum, prepárense para darse un banquete musical porque "Ouroboros" tiene mucho que ofrecer.No puedo imaginar a un aficionado del progresivo que no pueda disfrutar intensamente con este disco. Muy recontra recomendado.

www.kotebel.com/
www.myspace.com/kotebel
kotebel-music.bandcamp.com/album/ouroboros





Y ahora, un video de uno de los temas de su reciente trabajo, salido a la luz hace poco tiempo:



6 comentarios:

  1. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

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  2. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.

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  3. Gracias Moe por este lossles y gracias Pyra por el 320. Este es un disco muy difícil de conseguir, sin embargo al parecer es muy poco apreciado. Yo lo tenía subido en VBR y registraba muy pocas descargas, no pasaban de una docena. Ahora publicaron su última grabación "Concerto for piano and electric ensemble" 2012. Ya lo conseguí pero no lo escuche todavía. Si a alguien le interesa me avisa, lo tengo en 320. Saludos.

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  4. 320: http://link-safe.net/folder/627ec8bb-f101

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  5. Download: (Flac + CUE + Log)
    http://link-safe.net/folder/76db5ffa-b00e

    @320: http://link-safe.net/folder/627ec8bb-f101

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