Exposé Online banner

Amoeba Split — Dance of the Goodbyes
(Azafrán Media AP1422, 2010/2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-08-30

Dance of the Goodbyes Cover art

The tentacles of Canterbury reach far and wide, but Spain is not all that far, really. This is a reissue of the Spanish quintet’s debut album from 2010, which went out of print within months of its release. And to be absolutely correct there was a 30 minute three song demo in 2003, which featured early versions of three of the songs here. With an opening track titled “Dedicated to Us, But We Weren’t Listening,” that’s a clear signal where their primary influences lie, and indeed Ricardo Varela’s scratchy Hammond sound and electric piano have Soft Machine written all over them. Throughout one can hear the influence of Hatfield, National Health, prime period Caravan, and plenty of other great reminders of the glory days of that classic Canterbury sound in the band’s arrangements, yet the compositions remain quite original. The six tracks are split between vocal pieces (lyrics are in English) and instrumental cuts, with the vocals supplied by flute player Maria Toro, but even on those the focus remains clearly on the instrumental work. The band is rounded out by some excellent players: Alberto Lopez, who composed the material, doubles on guitar and bass; drummer Fernando Lamas has that masterful ability to add just what’s needed to accent the sound without dominating it; and wind player Pablo Anon brings the saxophone family to the table, powering some very impressive solos and ensemble work. The 24-minute, four-part closing suite “Flight to Nowhere” pretty much sums up everything that’s great about this band. A bonus track has been added for the reissue, an alternate version of the album’s shortest cut “Qwerty,” featuring an alternate lineup without Toro, but adding a tenor sax and trumpet player, almost tripling the original’s length and adding some muscular jazz power. Hopefully Amoeba Split has something new in the works, but until then we once again have an opportunity to hear this powerful debut.

Filed under: Reissues, 2014 releases, 2010 recordings

Related artist(s): Amoeba Split

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Electroacoustic Music Vol.1 - Russia 1997, Disc 1 & 2 – Interestingly enough, this excellent – what should be a 2CD set – is packaged as two separate discs with almost identical covers. Only the careful eye will note the small red "Disc...  (1999) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues