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Bubu — Anabelas
(EMI 0946 3891332 0, 1978/2007, CD)

by Rob Walker, Published 1994-02-01

Anabelas Cover artThis is an excellent album, featuring mature composition, great group playing, and a very nice sense of dynamics and texture. There is an intensity to this music which is controlled beautifully over the three long pieces (including a 20 minute instrumental) found on this CD. A solid, adventuresome rhythm section provides the foundation for the great contrapuntal themes woven by sax, flute, violin, and electric guitar. When I first heard this, I was immediately reminded of Magma. The expanded ensemble of Magma is here, along with the harmonically and thematically intricate compositions. Having said that, Bubu is far from a Magma clone. The thematic development is reminiscent of pieces like "Kontark," but it is presented with more of a classical flavor, especially in the three and four voice counterpoint, than the jazzier intricacies of Magma. Perhaps most significantly, there is not the heavy, brooding mood that permeates many Magma works. Anabelas does have an ominous feel at times, but it is not nearly as overpowering as that of Magma. There are free jazz wailing sax outbreaks interspersed with quiet contrapuntal passages, and even an aggressive guitar lead or two. But, far from random, these events all fit nicely into the well planned thematic development and sense of forward motion which alternately builds, relaxes, and builds again through the final recapitulation of the main themes. No noodling, and very little soloing, to be found here. There are (Spanish) vocals on two of these pieces, and they are definately part of, rather than an excuse for, the music. I know that some folks aren't too fond of vocals in languages other than English, but these do not detract anything from the music. For those who are into more intricate prog, there is plenty of dissonance and structural complexity to delight. And for those who look for solid, thought-out compositions, this will not disappoint.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 2, 2007 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Bubu

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