Exposé Online banner

Secta Sònica — Fred Pedralbes
(Picap 91.821-01, 1976/2010, CD)

Secta Sònica — Astroferia
(Picap 910813-01, 1977/2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Fred Pedralbes Cover artAstroferia Cover art

[This review refers to a 1994 reissue on PDI. -ed.]

Imagine a completely instrumental Allman Brothers, or perhaps more accurately the fusion of the Allman spin-off band Sea Level, then lace it with strong Spanish folk tendencies and further adventures in multiple guitars, and one might start to understand the sound of this outstanding late 70s Spanish five-piece. If you're lookin' for keyboards, you've come to the wrong party — sure you'll find piano, Fender Rhodes, and maybe even a little synth here and there, but only in support roles. This is a guitar show. This disc combines both of Secta Sònica's LPs from the late 70s, both of which are equally compelling, well composed instrumental rock. Most of the tracks are tight and focused, somewhere in the two-to-four minute range: typically they start on a dime, make their point, offer a few solos, and wrap things up neatly — and still give you change. Unlike the Allmans, there are no hyperextended solos or sidelong jams. What you will find are pieces with dual and triple guitar parts, in various combinations of electric, acoustic and classical, with a clear Spanish folk presence permeating most of the material. Guitarists Jordi Bonell, Rafael Zaragoza, and Victor Cortina trade duties as they work through their tight arrangements, supported by Xavier Perez on Bass, and either Toni Arasil or Jordi Viella on drums, album depending. Other musicians guest on the aforementioned keyboards, congas, timbales and other percussion. Although most of the music here fits into the same general style, there's still plenty of variety — enough that no two songs sound the same. Overall, I have to give this one my highest recommendation, especially for guitar-fans. It's one of those discs that's easy to get comfortable with initially, but keeps on delivering the goods long after others have worn out their welcome.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 2010 releases, 1976 recordings, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Secta Sònica

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Strato Ensemble - Drawn Straws – Hovering somewhere between jazz-rock fusion and explorative electronic sounds, this group of improvisors is led by keyboardist Dean De Benedictis, who has already received great reviews in our pages...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues