Monday, December 21, 2015

Phoenix - 1974 - Mugur De Fluier

Mugur De Fluier

01. Lasa, lasa Nr. 1 (1:28)
02. Pavel Chinezu, leat 1479 (6:12)
03. Strunga (7:23)
04. Andrii Popa (3:11)
05. Lasa, lasa Nr. 2 (0:35)
06. Mica Tiganiada (3:22)
07. Lasa, lasa Nr. 3 (0:58)
08. Ochii negri, ochi de tigan (3:24)
09. Muzica si muzichia (2:10)
10. Mugur de fluier (3:55)
11. Lasa, lasa Nr. 4 (0:41)
12. Anule, hanule (5:15)
13. Lasa, lasa Nr. 5 (0:37)
14. Dansul codrilor (6:21)

- Nicolae Covaci / guitar, double six, vocals, percussion
- Iosif Kappl / bass, vocals, violin, blockflote, percussion, chimes
- Mircea Baniciu / vocals, guitar, percussion
- Costin Petrescu / drums, cymbalom, percussion
- Valeriu Sepi / percussion
- Gunter Reininger / percussion, celesta, chimes

Mugur de Fluier" could be translated as "Sprout of Fluier", being Fluier the Romanian six hole pipe, and the name of this PHOENIX album couldn't be more precise, being that the unique melodies created with this exotic instrument by Nicolae Covaci clear expressions of Romanian Ethnic music.
"Mugur de Fluier" is the second release of this amazing Romanian band and even when we can appreciate they still maintain a certain attachment to 60's Psyche, the sound is much more oriented towards folkloric musical expressions of their country, a path they will follow through their extended career, being that after 37 years they are still active.

The album starts with "Lasa, Lasa Nº 1" a short percussion and bass based song that will be a constant along the album as introduction and interlude between the central tracks, with the peculiarity of being played faster in each version so starts relatively slow in Nº 1 and ends incredibly fast in the Nº 5 version.

The second song is "Pavel Chinezu, Leat 1479", an interesting Proto Prog track based mostly in the ability of Covaci's guitar an Kappl's bass, some certain resemblance to GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, but the unique vocals makes it different to every previous to PHOENIX Rock band.

"Strunga" begins with a sweet Romanian flute sound (most surely blockflotte) with all the ethnic flavor of Transylvanian music that leads rapidly to a beautiful acoustic passage in which the vocals make the difference, sadly can't understand Romanian but sounds great and the arrangements are very interesting.

"Andrii Popa" starts with a delightful acoustic introduction supported by the always nice vocals, the song flows fluidly from start to end, again with a strong bass work, as the album advances the band gets closer to an authentic ethnic sound and morph from a psyche album with folk elements to a Prog Folk release.

After "Lasa Lasa Nº 2" already commented we move to the exquisite and nostalgic "Mica Tiganiada" played with the Romanian 12 string guitar called "Double Six", even when the song gets faster as the minutes pass that sad atmosphere proper of most Folk expressions continues covering the listener, but a sudden change occurs, an aggressive violin makes the difference and turns "Mica Tiganiada" into extraordinary song.

"Lasa Lasa Nº 3" works as an interlude for the clearly Romanian Folk oriented sound of "Ochii Negri, Ochi de Tigan" (Black Eyes, Gypsy Eyes), a very sweet and fascinating song, as in the previous track the nostalgia is more than evident, wish I could understand the lyrics.

"Muzica si Muzichia" is another wonderful folk track, this time with more complex arrangements than in the previous songs, being that the blend of occidental and Romanian instruments is done with a very good taste despite the complexity. "Mugiur de Fluier" follows in the vein of the previous tracks but the use of the fluier gives a different sound, something between a Medieval Troubadour and Ian Anderson with a modern transverse flute, if we add "Anule Hanule" it makes the perfect trilogy so by this point I can't be more delighted.

But the band leaves the best for the end, "Dansul Codrilor" is the perfect blend of Folk, Rock and Prog, easier to listen than to be described, so I won't try to do it.

Highly and enthusiasctically recommended !

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