Kant Freud Kafka is the progressive rock project of Javi Herrera, a drummer, singer and composer from Barcelona, Spain. His debut album “No Tengas Miedo” is a story about light and darkness, fear and anger. On his new album “Onirico” however he explores the world of dreams. He is one of the few musicians who is exploring the world where classical music and progressive rock meets. After reviewing the wonderful new albums of Isildurs Bane, iNFiNiEN and Axon-Neuron this year, it seems you can still find those interesting band/musicians. I found this independent musician on The BandCamp portal.
Javi Herrera - drums, vocals, keyboards VST
in collaboration with:
Alia Herrera - vocals; Andrea Herrera - tap dancing; Cecilia Burguera - violin; Monica Cruzata - viola; German Fafian - electric guitar (1,3,4); Dani Fernandez - bass; Queralt Garcia - cello; Miguel Gonzalez "Mandharu" - percussion, wind chimes; Rafael Pacha - dulcimer, 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars, bouzouki, mandolin; Pol Sanchez - electric guitar (3,5,6), Spanish guitar; Dick Them - double bass; Guillem Vilar - oboe, English horn
The album opens with a track entitled “Insomnio de Una Noche de Verano”. In the first hectic minute the piano, synth, drums and electric guitar are fighting for your attention. After this short intro the piece opens with a classical piano melody that is played over keyboard strings and glockenspiel. Then for a short while the synth returns and then the music slows down with a beautiful oboe melody only accompanied by a delicate piano. After those progressive and classical moments the bass line gives the piece a jazzy atmosphere before the oboe returns. But slowly the classical sound flows into a progressive one by a melodic electric guitar part. When the real strings (violin, viola and cello) are appearing the classical atmosphere is back. Then the real strings are slowly replaced by a beautiful Mellotron sample. Talking about diversity in one single track! On a delicate way and with that Mellotron the piece slowly flows into the following piece “Dulces Sueños”. This is a beautiful song with masculine and feminine voices on top of a classical and instrumental layer with a leading piano melody.
The vocal opening of the longest (10:56) piece “És Quan Dormo Que Hi Veil Clar” is also classical oriented. But soon the synths and keyboard strings are returning. Then the character of the piece changes into an uptempo song with some folksy elements. The combination of a freaky electric guitar with oboe is also special. After all this a beautiful synth melody follows. Then the classical voices are returning one more time before we can enjoy a lovely violin melody on top of a progressive rock part. There is so much happening in this piece of music with constant changing atmospheres. For me this is one of the highlights of this remarkable album. In the English version of the booklet, that you can download freely at the BandCamp site if you have bought the album, I read that in this suite you can find a little quote from Claude Debussy's “Clair de Lune” from his “Suite Bergamasque”. A humble tribute to the classical master.
“Vida Y Muerte” opens with a classical piano and cello melody. Later the synth and the oboe are taking over this melody. All this accompanied by delicate keyboard strings. Halfway this classical song, the instruments are joined by a beautiful voice who sings the “Life & Death” theme. You can find the most beautiful melodies in this track in which the character is shifting from classical towards a more progressive and song oriented part. Surprisingly the next piece opens with electronic drums before the strings and electric guitars are kicking in. The piece is called “A Nightmare On Major St..” In overall the atmosphere stays mellow and the combination of the male and female voices together with the classical instruments is very beautiful. Later on the voices are joined by a soaring electric guitar solo. This is a lovely part and when the guitar is joined by the violin and the other string instruments the tension of the music is working towards a climax. When the electronic percussion is returning in the end the song seamlessly flows into the last track of the album.
This nine minutes piece is called “Awakenings”. You can find some nice electric guitar, oboe and synth melodies in this track. The electric guitar has a bigger role in this piece but the constant switching between the electric and the (classical) acoustic instruments is beautiful. In the end there are some Spanish accents (Spanish Guitar and tap dancing) in the music before the synths and electric guitar are ending this diverse piece of music.
This Kant Freud Kafka project of Javi Herrera is a pleasant discovery for all the progressive rock lovers who likes to have real classical instruments in their beloved music. We still miss new work from the Hungarian band After Crying but Isildurs Bane is back and this year I reviewed wonderful albums of the American bands iNFiNiEN and Axon-Neuron. So if you are looking in the right place you still can find those kind of little gems. Javi impressed me with this wonderful and remarkable album full of great melodies. The overall atmosphere is classical and on the mellow side. “Onirico” is an emotional album with beautiful and passionate music that comes straight from the heart. This album is highly recommended to the open minded music lover.