Dr. No - El Bufó de la Cort - 2003


(This is a brief revision of the review already published on progVisions about the first and only record from the new Catalan band Dr. No called “El Bufó de la Cort”. The motive is to celebrate the new contract signed by the band with the Dutch record company Xymphonia Records. Thus we would like to regain a work that has improved not only its visual aspects but also its audio result)


Dr. No, are a truly surprise, an outstanding surprise, a symphonic or “neo-progressive” surprise, coming from Salou (maybe you heard about this touristy point in the north east coast of Spain). A group which we could define as the alter ego of one of the biggest prog fans in the south of Europe called Enric Pascual (don’t miss the interview also here in progVisions). A man able to create a project like this on his own and besides composing most of the material, playing drums, keyboards and lead voice… unbelievable. He’s a huge fan of Yes and also follower of the most typical seventies fashion. Enric has taken all this to the studio and using his great musical skills has devised a very nice work called “El Bufó de la Cort”.

A sweet and emotive work filled with good sensations. A nice worked out record. An album that doesn’t stumble, walking firmly through the progressive moors. A very difficult field that has swallowed many groups trying to walk on it, making them disappear.

The band is formed by Enric Pascual (lead voice, drums, keys), Conrad Dubé (bass, vocals), Pere Mestres (electric guitar), Raul Cid (keys, vocals) y Abel Benito (drums). A bunch of good musicians with different approaches trying to bolster it inside a progressive environment, and working on the influences of Genesis (Gabriel’s period), Marillion (“Misplaced Childhood”, “Clutching at Straws”) Camel (“Stationary Traveller”) also giving their own particular view. All the songs are in Catalan, and that’s something that has leaded them to take part in some important musical contests, with success among the critics and the audience, something unknown lately.

One of the most important elements of Dr. No is the subject theme. A concept that has been highlighted by an excellent work of design completing a record with a nice booklet plenty of good musical literature and colour. The record itself is colourful containing a nice range of different approaches to the symphonic rock world showing a very good feeling. “Arlequí (Acronicus Lonjimanus)” is the piece that opens the album with a soft keyboard introduction which heads for a happy and dynamic development. They show a great skill on mixing and constructing nice and at the same time difficult songs. A piece which somehow summarises the musical intentions of the band that unconsciously takes us to those past tunes of the eighties. “Un somni de paper” takes some other path with a slow melody combined with a good vocal work. “Canço d’Esperança” is a good example of how the simple structures converge with good arrangements making a brilliant piece. “No se el teu nom” is a bridge towards a more lyrical and romantic approach filled with sensitivity. “Jardí de l’Eden” is a similar structure to “Canço d’esperança”. “Estació Pirenaica” is one of my favourites (it should be longer, Enric), composed through a wonderful combination of keyboards and drums. The CD closes with which I think is the best piece, “El Bufó de la Cort”. A high quality symphonic exercise, with excellent lyrics. A development that takes several directions from the beginning taking their music to high places during an almost eleven-minute great song. A nice and brilliant ending.


The recording has been remastered to clean the sound as much as possible filtering the music with a fantastic result. One more effort to launch the band into the market with a strong push hoping them to spread their work as far as possible with a qualitative symphonic music.
The truth is that this new release is worthwhile. If you already got your CD and you liked it you need to have this new “El Bufó de la Cort”. A new and dashing official release that I’m sure it’ll make you enjoy again. This is for all those who like discovering nice delicate symphonic stuff.

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - June 2003 -   - Xymphonia Records