Exposé Online banner

Ñu — A Golpe de Látigo
(Zafiro 50601123, 1979/1991, CD)

Ñu — Cuentos de Ayer y de Hoy
(Zafiro 74321601912, 1978/1998, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 1995-11-01

A Golpe de Látigo Cover artCuentos de Ayer y de Hoy Cover art

Question: How could you possibly dislike Spanish heavy progressive rock? Answer: You couldn't. A five-piece consisting of guitar / Mellotron, vocals / flute, bass, violin, and drums, Ñu certainly does not conform to the standard five-piece rock band mold. Not just one, but two full time acoustic instruments are prominently featured! There's even harmonica solos on both albums. Unlike a lot of bands which, when using flute (the obligatory prog rock acoustic instrument) or violin, use these instruments sparingly and in a backing capacity, Ñu relies on both of these instruments for much of the melodic and harmonic content of the music – more so than the guitar! The interplay between the acoustic and electric instruments are highlights of both albums. For the most part, Cuentos de Ayer y de Hoy has a very heavy sound. The exception to the rule is track five, "El Jaguar," which is a light acoustic ballad which sounds amazingly like Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See," except in 3/4! A Golpe de Látigo doesn't sound quite as heavy, but it still pretty stout. Vocalist and primary songwriter Jose' Carlos Molina sounds much like Alberto Piras of Deus Ex Machina (or vice versa) in places – a very powerful vocalist with a wide range. The guitarist, bassist, and drummer sound like they grew up listening to Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

There are two major differences between the two releases. While Cuentos is mastered adequately, A Golpe is not. It is clearly mastered from vinyl, with hiss, surface noise, and pops very noticeable in many places. It's really unfortunate for good music to be scarred like this. On a positive note, the other big difference is the predominance of keyboards on A Golpe. Piano and organ are the most featured keyboard instruments here, but there is some Mellotron too. The keys serve as a nice bridge between the acoustic and electric instruments, and give the songs on this album a more intricate feel. Fans of other heavy Spanish bands like Bloque and Mezquita will probably like both these Ñu albums, as will Jethro Tull aficionados and Deus Ex Machina fans for the flutes and vocals. Unquestionably, they're both worth having.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 8, 1991 releases, 1979 recordings, 1998 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Ñu

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Kaipa - Angling Feelings – What is Roine Stolt doing? First he leaves The Tangent and now he's flown the coop from Kaipa, a band he helped form in 1975. I can only guess he's focusing his efforts on getting Flower Kings...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues