Thursday, September 22, 2011


Interesting sidelight on prog here...from Spain in the (rapidly diminishing) shadow of Franco.

Absolute Fusioon

Fusioon emerged in the final years of the Franco dictatorship, when Spain began to unwind a decades-long period of economic and cultural isolation. The last few years of Franco’s reign are sometimes called The Spanish Miracle, so sharply did standards of living rise and modernization take hold. You can sense some of this context in this first album from the little known Catalan quartet. A strong thread of forward-looking optimism runs through Absolute Fusioon. These synth-heavy, prog-complex compositions draw on traditional Spanish culture, but filter it through a space-age aesthetic, so that even old Catalan Christmas carols (“Ya Se Van Los Pastores”) gleam with futuristic possibility.

Fusioon was dominated by piano and synth player Manuel Camp, whose off-kilter, modernistic keyboard riffs define most of these tracks. He was supported by guitarist/synth player Marti Brunet, drummer Santi Arisa and Pacho Chacón on bass, all extremely able musicians, capable of navigating the band’s intricate tempo- and key-shifting arrangements of original compositions, classical works and Spanish traditional songs. There is a bit of Latin syncopation and swing in even the most difficult of these cuts. “Diálogos,” with its skewed synth motifs, its all-hands anthemic choruses and its irregular rhythms nonetheless, has a bit of the slink and slither of Latin ballroom dance. And “Ya Se Van Los Pastores” (which translates roughly as “The Shepherds are Going” i.e. to see baby Jesus) has a smooth-jazz buoyancy and breeziness to it, despite its multiple mood changes.


Here's that Tocata Y Fug

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