Exposé Online banner

Haizea — Hontz Gaua
(Lost Vinyl LV-006, 1979/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-08-01

Hontz Gaua Cover art

Another obscurity originally released on the Elkar label, Haizea were a five-piece from the Basque area of Spain. Sporting a sound that could best be described as psychedelic electric folk, the instrumentation consists of guitar (sometimes two), bass, drums, flute, assorted percussive things, and the captivating voice of Amaia Zubiria. Hontz Gaua was their second album. Musically, a few parallels could be drawn with the late 60s San Francisco sound, yet tempered with flavor of local folk music and given an overall better sense of direction. Instrumentation is primarily acoustic based, many tracks are sans drums, with long moody stretches of flute and shimmering electric guitar Popol Vuh style. In contrast, there are some very riveting moments, like the sizzling electric guitar leads on "Arnaki" – one of two instrumentals on the album. Amaia's voice may remind at once of any of a number of west coast folk-rock singers of the late 60s, or perhaps even Sandy Denny or Maddy Prior; her voice is direct and fluid, not abrasive, and is perfectly suited to this type of music. Lyrics are all in the Basque tongue, so I have little to say about them, other than some, when combined with the music they accompany, seem to have a presumed Christian connotation (the latin lyrics and baptism with water at the beginning of the title track, for example). The fourteen minute title track is an opus unto itself, beginning with a gregorian chant, through the aforementioned 'baptism,' and into an introspective flute and guitar piece topped off with vocal harmonies, on to the percussive section, then back again to the vocals. In all, a compelling album that may be a little too low-key for some, but fans of Popol Vuh and similar types of music will find plenty here to enjoy. Highly recommended.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 4, 1994 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Haizea

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Zabu - My Coffin's Ready – Lucien Zabuski, aka Zabu, was the original vocalist for Magma, prior to the enlistment of Klaus Blasquiz. This is his first post-Magma solo album, which showcases his unique gravelly voice in a blues...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues