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

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jesús Figueroa - Jesús Figueroa – This CD reissues both albums of Jesús Figueroa, Con Todos (1972) and Magica Fuente (1974). Figueroa was the lead singer of Uruguay psych band Opus Alfa, which evolved into Dias de Blues (without...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues