Monday, 21 March 2016


Year:    1970
Country:    Catalonia    (Spain)
City:    Barcelona
Label:    Als 4 Vents
Format:    CD , LP
Tracks:   6
Time:    45 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:           Prog Rock           Krautrock

With this stunning debut, MÀQUINA! scored heavily for posterity as this is the first known ROCK album to come from Spain and what an astounding one it is!!! Really these guys made one hell of rebellious record given the context in which Spain was being submitted to Franco's fascist dictature. A stunning artwork depicting a clock rising from a croissant was clearly a call for Spanish youth to wake-up (and have a good breakfast) and get ready for a new day. Quite a revolution knowing the ultra conservateur nature of El Caudillo, even if by that time Spain was letting loose things as European tourist money was flowing in (including this writer spending a few Easter holidays as a kid around those years;-) but although the end was near, it was incredibly risky. Stylistically, we are dealing with a psych/prog rock with extended and excellent interplay, somewhere in between live Cream (with KBs) and early Floyd or even a live Grateful Dead. The twin guitars are one of the features but one of them played bass when the bassist was busy with the flute or singing. The opening track is simply a superb atmospheric instrumental with organ-piano KB attack doubled by a superb and orgasmic guitar, a pure delight! Then comes the 25 min title track (broken over the two sides of the vinyl) with superb organs, twin guitar attack and rather enjoyable but muffled-in vocals, the whole thing going on an not too extended jam and evolving to one of the more entertaining drum solo I have ever been given to listen - maybe because it is not a pure solo as the KB outlines a few phase here and there. The second part of Why? opens the second side of the vinyl and picks up where the first part had left: a superb mostly instrumental enthusiastic prog-tinged rock jam. Quite enjoyable, especially when discovering this in 05, some 35 years after it was recorded. There are some particularly exhilarating moments in this track! The last track is yet another great tune. The two bonus tracks are the afore-mentioned single tracks and although a bit different than the album (especially in the vocal dept but the Earth's Daughter track sounds like some David Bowie spin-off), they do not interfere in the continuous ambiance of the album and they add to the album's incredibly short duration. This album is a relative minor gem for progheads but is a 24-carat nugget for the psych-jam group fans!! Impressive, although I must be careful in not over- rating it!! But I think rounding it up to the upper star is not insulting the album or the proghead.(*NOTE = this review was writen by Sean Trane ).
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