Iconoclasta — De Todos Uno
(Musea DSCD001, 1994, CD)
by Mike Ohman, 1995-11-01:
Iconoclasta's 1985 debut was one of the crowning achievements of Mexican progressive rock, heavily influenced by Genesis (or rather, solo Steve Hackett) and possibly some of the less angular King Crimson, and featuring some of the best two-axe work this side of Kerrs Pink. Ten years later, Iconoclasta are still making albums, though with considerably less fanfare. And I'm pleased to say, they've still got it. With the departure several years ago of keyboardist Rosa Moreno, her place was not adequately filled by her brother, guitarist and chief composer Ricardo Moreno. He is still not as skilled a keyboardist as his sister (note the slow tempos on the tracks on which a complex keyboard line is required), but his playing is competent enough for this music, and is reportedly much improved since the previous album, La Reencarnación de Maquiavelo. Besides, the dual guitar interplay is so dazzling, one hardly notices the keyboards. In fact, most tracks don't even have keyboards. Don't let that scare you away, though, the music is so good you won't miss the keyboards. Moreno and second guitarist Ricardo Ortegon have been playing together so long, it has become second nature for them. The interaction between the two guitars is very naturalistic, whether playing searing dual leads, or playing an acoustic duet (which they do on "La Profecia de las Plagas"). The rhythm section of Nohemi d'Rubin (bass) and Victor Baldovinos (drums) responds appropriately to the complex melodies. There are probably more vocals on this than any other Iconoclasta album. Bassist d'Rubin is the singer, and while her voice doesn't add a good deal to the music, neither does it detract. Still, it is primarily an instrumental outing, there are only three tracks with vocals. The most disappointing thing about this album is that their style has changed very little over the course of ten years. Were it not for the deficiency of keyboards, it would be very hard to distinguish this from any other Iconoclasta album. With a dedicated keyboardist and more openness to new ideas, they could go much further. As it is, this is still a fine album that fans of this style ought to enjoy very much.
by Rob Walker, 1995-11-01:
Iconoclasta's latest release carries on in this Mexican band's readily identifiable symphonic fusion style. A mostly instrumental album, De Todos Uno focuses strongly on the guitar, and in fact, seems designed to showcase both Ricardo Ortegon's fretboard flexiblilty on the driving fusion-laced-with-symphonic pieces, as well as Ricardo Moreno's delicate classical guitar work on the quieter tunes. The 10 tracks explore everything from heavy symphonic anthems to gentle flowing vocal tunes to solo acoustic guitar pieces. Iconoclasta have by now a well defined sound of their own, and this is used to contrast with a few tracks on this album which seem to reveal an overt Anthony Phillips or Steve Hackett influence. The band maintains the same four piece lineup as on their previous album, with Moreno handling the keyboards as well as acoustic and electric guitars. The musicianship is generally strong, though the band still has an occasional slightly nagging looseness with their timing that has plagued each of their albums. To their credit, though, they are trying to pull off some tricky rhythms and changes when this quality comes out. Overall, the variety on De Todos Uno makes this one of Iconoclasta's stronger releases, and certainly something worth checking out for those interested in contemporary symphonic styled bands.
by Peter Thelen, 1995-11-01:
In the time since their first albums in the early 80s, Iconoclasta has been gradually assimilating a greater diversity of ideas into their musical pallette. Long Mexico's premier progressive rock band, they play in styles that are at once challenging and accessible. Like many of the 70s Italian bands, their instrumental forays deliver a high level of compositional skill and musicianship, with spirited driving energy and rich melodic color. There are plenty of intense guitar and keyboard solos, and a full integration of the many sounds of electric and acoustic guitars grafted directly into the fabric of the compositions. Gone is the sloppiness and poor production that sometimes plagued their early releases; also gone are those low-budget instruments, the Casios and such. The ten tracks are split – all written by guitarist / keyboardist Ricardo Moreno; most are the high power instrumental variety, with a few more folk-rock oriented vocal tunes scattered across the album, female bassist Nohemi D'Rubin handling the vocal duties admirably. On these, I'm sometimes reminded of the style invoked by Episode on some of their Edge of the Sky period material... it's rock for sure, but the basis of the composition is more folk oriented and laid back. All in all, Iconoclasta has done an excellent job with this one, and it's good to see them still going strong after so many other bands from the eighties have either called it a day or sold out. Viva Iconoclasta!
Related artist(s): Iconoclasta
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Alexander Vogel & Collaborators - Eight Releases from 2004 – Alexander Vogel is your atypical teenager with an affinity for percussion and English improvisational icons. In late 2004 he took it upon himself to begin solo home recordings which soon evolved into... (2005) » Read more
Sea Level - Sea Level, Cats on the Coast, On the Edge & Long Walk on a Short Pier – The Allman Brothers in their prime were no doubt one of the best American rock bands of the early 70s, covering a little bit of everything and doing it all extremely well — never a shortage of... (1999) » Read more
Soft Machine - Soft Machine Turns On, Volume 1 & 2 – The legacy of the early Soft Machine has been chronicled by many bootlegs and re-releases of the band's first album demos by Giorgio Gomelsky. What so far have not surfaced are official recordings... (2002) » Read more