Cast - Mosaïque

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4647.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 102:43:00

The story of the Mexican band Cast is a rather bizarre one. Originally launched in 1978 it took these guys a good seventeen years before they released their very first album. However over the years they had written so much original material that they released four different albums in the space of only one year (1994) after having built their very own studio the previous year. A new album followed almost every single year after that resulting in an impressive discography. International recognition followed putting Cast firmly on the prog map. With keyboard player Alfonso Vidales being the brain behind the yearly Baja Prog festival in Mexicali they also perform during this yearly event, which brings together prog fans from all over the world down to sunny Mexicali. Cast combines lush symphonic textures leaning heavily on the legacy of bands such as Yes, Genesis, Camel and Marillion with the added bonus of classical, jazzy, folky and hard passages. The only member who has been with Cast since the very beginning is Alfonso Vidales who saw his band evolve through various line-up changes. Whatever line-up, though, Cast has delivered its typical recipe of long instrumental sections interspersed with occasional vocal passages sung either in Spanish or in English. So within the very same band already a very nice balance is created.

This new double album Mosaïque is in fact a compilation of both old and new yet unreleased material. Needless to say this effort encompasses various line-ups and therefore certain tracks might have a slightly different feel than others. A great Wakeman-like synth solo flanked with piano, lovely flute and aggressive electric guitar form the backbone for the opening track "Azteca Imperial." Towards the end though both saxophone and clarinet give the song an unexpected twist. Especially the clarinet introduces a Moorish feel in the intro for "Suenos Colectivos." It is the flute which makes way for the symphonic structure Cast is best known for. "Jupiter" even goes as fair as containing the kind of atmosphere you'd associate with laidback evenings aboard a "love boat" type cruise ship. But that is only the beginning as the music evolves more towards jazz as the track progresses. Whenever there's a strong emphasis on the flute then obviously a name like Jethro Tull springs to mind such as during "Ninos De Ccrystal II." A track such as "Cuerda Floja" is completely different as it approaches different areas of the prog spectrum more leaning towards radio friendly semi-fusion type material in Yellowjackets or Spyro Gyra style. Both "Flapepo" and "Nueva Luz" heavily feature the talents of Alfonso Vidales. The latter track is rather bombastic filled with ominous synth loops and matching percussion which sounds ideal to accompany images so if anyone out there is looking for an original soundtrack this is another territory in which Cast is able to make their mark!

With such a huge discography to choose from it is not easy for someone who hasn't heard Cast before to pick their best choice. In that respect this new double album Mosaïque offers an interesting cross section of material recorded at various intervals during the band's career. The additional liner notes give us more information about the background of these recordings even if it's written in Spanish. Also detailed information as to which band member performed on which track is included inside the stylish poster sleeve. The only negative thing I have to say about this album is that once you have listened to it you will have the urge to get yourself the entire Cast collection and as said before this means a huge pile of shiny discs. Mind you, they do accept credit cards!

Disc One: Azteca Imperial (8:49) / Signs Of Love (11:03) / Suenos Colectivos (10:02) / Jupiter (7:49) / Cruces En El Mar (3:32) / Hay Un Lugar (7:15) / Princesa Celestial (3:55) / Flaupepe (0:18)

Disc Two: Zona De Ilusiones (13:05) / Ninos De Crystal (5:18) / Cuerda Floja (8:23) / Flapepo (3:) / Adapted To Your Eyes (5:48) / Nueva Luz (8:39) / Ara Imp (1:13)

Alfonso Vidales - keyboards
Kiko King - drums, percussion
Fransisco Hernandez - vocals, backing vocals
Carlos Humaran - guitars
Pepe Torres - flute, saxophone, clarinet
Flavio Miranda - bass
Lupita Acuna - vocals
Dino Brassea - vocals, backing vocals
Julio Camacho - percussion
Rodlofo Gonzalez - bass
Beto Vidales - vocals, backing vocals
Antonio Bringas - drums, percussion
Javier Rosales - guitar
Ernesto Bringas - guitar
Enrique Slim - percussion
Ruben Hernandez - vocals

Landing In A Serious Mind (1993)
Sounds of Imagination (1994)
Third Call (1994)
Four Aces (1995)
Endless Signs (1995)
Beyond Reality (1996)
A View of Cast - Live (1996)
Angels and Demons (1997)
Imaginary Window (1999)
A Live Experience (1999)
Legacy (2000)
Lagunas De Volcanos (2000)
Castalia (2001)
Infinity (2002)
Al-Bandaluz (2003)
Nimbus (2004)
The Pyramid Of The Rain (2005)
Mosaïque (2006)
Com.union (2007)
Originallis (2008)
Art (2011)
Arsis (2014)
Vida (2015)
Power And Outcome (2017)

Sands Of Time Live (BR) (2016)
Sinfonico Live (BR) (2018)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin MX

Added: April 9th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 2752
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]