This month I´m going to review another album released by this Argentinean label that, step by step, is achieving a great reputation inside progressive world recovering from the vaults forgotten albums with plenty quality and interest.
This time it´s a band that released its only album in 1989 (obviously in vinyl). Those who live music with intensity will understand the words of Felipe Abel Surkan written in the booklet: “Some time ago halfway through the year 2002, as I found myself checking out some vinyl editions in one of the very few remaining specialist record stores in Buenos Aires, I came across a long play by an Argentine band of whom I had no previous recollection whatsoever. Neither had I ever listened to their music nor had I ever read anything about them in books or Websites dedicated to the history of Argentine Rock. As I turned the sleeve over, I discovered a name that rang a bell: Octavio Stampalia. It was my sheer intuition that I decided to purchase the waxing, without having the faintest clue as to what the stuff sounded like. As soon as I got home, I started listening to the album; my suspicions hadn’t been at all groundless: what I had on my turntable was a totally unknown Symphonic Rock recording produced back in 1989; a mega rarity from a creatively lean period when nothing exciting seemed to happen for the lovers of the genre. I immediately decided to look into my record collection in order to see whether I could trace this bloke. My search proved to be successful: Octavio Stampalia as one of the musicians in the current line-up of local outfit Jinetes Negros, whom I so happened to have the very first demo of. I then proceeded to get in touch with Mr. Stampalia and proposed to him the idea of giving this outfit a second chance to be discovered by a wider deserving audience”.
The band consists of Alejandra Hamelink (vocals), Daniel Spinelli (bass), Octavio Stampalia (keyboards) and Santiago Aynacioglu (drums and percussion). As guest musicians we have Mariano Battaglia (guitars in all tracks except “Al reverso del tejido”, where Charly Moreno plays), Wim (sax) and a chorus line formed by Tatiana Zlatar, Marta Mazza, Mario Coppola and Alejandro Chipian.
The titels of the tracks are as follows:
Séptima novena (5:07)
De aquí a cien mil años (4:36)
Cita clandestina (4:00)
Al reverso del tejido (8:16)
Tributo a la eternidad (4:28)
Ciudad sin tiempo (4:30)
Héroes sin medalla (3:02)
This is an album performed by a band that knew the hard moments for progressive rock (80´s) they played a homage to the glorious golden age (70´s). The album opens with “Séptima novena”. I can only say that it´s perfect. The instrumentation, the arrangements, everything.... It finishes in a Pink Floyd style (“The Dark Side Of The Moon”) with female vocals and sax. Another similar song is “Héroes sin medalla”, but it´s worse than the aforementioned.
Then it´s time for “De aquí a cien mil años”, that along with “Tributo a la eternidad” and “Rigel”, which are based on the most atmospheric Tomita with electronic developments with oriental taste. Three good tracks not as good as the rest of the songs.
Other influences could be E.L.P. (“Peter Gun” era) and Tv series of the seventies like S.W.A.T. in songs like “Cita clandestina”.
Harder to be labeled are tracks such as “Ciudad sin tiempo”, that should be slowly listened because of its variations (grandiloquence and intimism inside an equilibrate process), or “Al reverso del tejido” (8:16), a little jewel where we can enjoy varied developments, change of rhythms, and aromas from the seventies drenching every second. A wonder.
The albums finishes with a prophetic track “Palabras”, about the liar and selfish politicians who, serving to unconscious Firms, have driven a country full of culture to the sad situation it has nowadays.
An interesting album for classic sympho rock lovers. It doesn´t hide its influences, but it has a personal touch, mainly in the tracks sung by Alejandra Hamelink, who sweetens the songs with her wonderful Argentinean accent.