Exposé Online banner

Amoeba Split — Second Split
(Azafrán Media AP 1623, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-12-13

Second Split Cover art

Musically speaking, Canterbury isn’t so much a place, but a state of mind that can exist anywhere. In the case of Amoeba Split, a six-piece with many guests, the spirit is alive and well in Spain. Like their first album, Dance of the Goodbyes from 2010, the second album has all the hallmarks that any fan of that sound would be looking for, a mix of jazz and progressive rock, avoiding the blunt instrument of hard fusion, instead taking a more measured and tasty approach that cultivates finesse and melodic beauty throughout each of the album’s six tracks. The core band features dual keyboard players in Alberto Villaroya Lopez (Moog, electric piano, 12-string, and doubling on bass) and Ricardo Castro Varela (Hammond, Moog, Mellotron, and piano), with drummer Fernando Lamas, Pablo Añón playing alto sax, Eduardo “Dubi” Baamonde on tenor sax and flute, and Ruben Salvador on trumpet and flugelhorn. Add to that eight more players on 12-string, additional keyboards, violins, viola, cello, double-bass, and vibraphone, all track depending. What about the singers? No singers, this is full-on instrumental from beginning to end, the music speaks for itself, with plenty of turns and twists to hold the listeners interest from one track to the next. The amazing nine-minute opener “Clockwise” is a wonderful case in point, delivering delicacy and frenzy, morphing with regularity throughout its duration, never letting the listener’s attention wander far afield. “Backwards All the Time” leans closer to the jazz idiom, but again follows an adventurous path along its way. “The Book of Days” is the album’s shortest piece at just over two minutes, but features beautiful string arrangements intertwined with vibraphone, gently moving the piece forward. Their compositions are very original, but one can clearly hear the echoes of bands like Hatfield, Supersister, Soft Machine, The Muffins, and others in their arrangements. The bad news is that the CD is already sold out (time for a reissue?), and there was a live disc of the same material Directo Mardigras ’16, but it’s gone too, though Second Split is now available on limited edition LP for as long as that lasts, and of course there is always the download option. The long and the short of it, this is a must-have, any way you can find it.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Amoeba Split

More info
http://amoebasplit.bandcamp.com/album/second-split

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dave Sinclair - Full Circle & Into the Sun – Dave Sinclair has long been known as the main keyboardist in Caravan. During recording for the group's The Unauthorized Breakfast Item CD, a rift between Sinclair and longtime bandleader Pye Hastings...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues