Amarok - Mujer Luna

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Luna Negra
Catalog Number: CDLN-20
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:47:00

Mainly composed by Robert Santamaria, needless to say a lot of keyboards will slip into the original compositions. As happens so often with these kind of bands, the music absorbs a lot of authentic Spanish elements holding the middle between folk and lush symphonic material. "At The Park" seems to be an older track that was composed way back in 1979 and was inspired by the film Hiroshima Mon Amour hence the aggressive vocals of Carlos Galego. The marimba fuses nicely with the distorted guitar before a fierce organ sets in. I probably will never understand why the voice of a small child is inserted towards the end, or is serving as an excuse to end this song with a musical box type of atmosphere?

Spanish bands tend to take in a lot of Moorish influences, which is exactly what happens when Amarok delivers "Arabesca In 4 Mov." Fuelled by ethnic percussion and swirling violin, the song evolvesm giving way to flute and even didgeridoo in order to become trance-like. In fact the long instrumental flavour of the song contains a lot of acoustic beauty, coming close to medieval themes combined with authentic Jethro Tull influences. During "Dreaming Dreams" Santamaria's organ playing tends to be in the footsteps of Keith Emerson, yet this happens only briefly. Once again tabla is introduced, which in combination with Marta Segura's voice and autoharp delivers yet again a fair amount of folky material. Once the clarinet sets in, followed by jazzy saxophone, you get material that could easily come from a band like Isildurs Bane. Santamaria's love for ethnic instruments is illustrated by means of "Duo For Tabla & Saz N? 1" where he sees the possibility to fit the unique sound of both instruments in one new song.

An acoustic guitar combined with voice kind of automatically delivers the authentic feel of the native country, as is proven by "Lullaby For The Son Of The Earth." And the love for Spain continues throughout "Where Are You My Love." More daring with a dash of avant-garde innovation can be traced throughout "Austral Landscapes." Comprising five individual parts, this is the longest track on the album. A dark repetitive piano pattern gives way for a more intimate nature governed by wonderful flute, strings and acoustic guitar. Especially the final part of the song is divine with a major role for both flute and violin. With "Where Are You My Love (Conclusion)," Amarok kind of delivers a "jig" which could easily be from Minimum Vital. The album closes with a second version of Santamaria's merging of tabla and saz.

Amarok delivers a fine album yet it combines two rather separate worlds. On one side they try their hand at pure symphonic music with loads of Spanish elements whilst on the other hand they illustrate their love for ethnic material by introducing a fair amount of foreign elements. In the end you get two atmospheres instead of one vision so for a next album I'd love to see these two ideas merged into one.

Mujer Luna (4:09) / En El Parque (6:49) / Arabesca En 4 Mov (9:09) / Sueno Suenos (8:42) / Duo Para Tabla Y Saz N.1 (1:58) / Nana Para El Hijo De La Tierra (2:15) / Donde Estas Mi Amor (3:57) / Tierra Austral (9:41) / Donde Estas Mi Amor (2:33) / Duo Para Tabla Y Saz 2 (2:34)

Robert Santamaria - keyboards, turkish saz in D and A, 12 string guitar, kanun, charango, autoharp, dulcimer, acoustic bas, accordeon, glockenspiel, marimba, derboukas, talking drum, tambourine, krabs, kalimba, vibraslap, greek spoons, chiquitsi, castanets, rain stick, claps
Victor Estrada - spanish guitar, electric bass
Manel Mayol - flute, didgeridoo, backing vocals
Mireia Sisquella - saxophone
Carlos Galego - electric guitar, vocals
Pau Zanartu - drums
Marta Segura - lead vocals
Robert Abella - drums
Jos? Walero - tabla
Candela Casas - vocals
Miguel Angel Ortin - sax, clarinet
Eva Zapata - backing vocals
Cristina Morales - backing vocals

Els Nostres Petits Amics ()
Canciones De Los Mundos Perdidos (1995)
Gibra'ara (1998)
Tierra De Especias (2000)
Mujer Luna (2002)
Quentadhark?n (2004)
Sol de Medianoche (2007)

Genre: Progressive Folk

Origin ES

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1103
Language: english


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