Sunday, March 1, 2015

Arco Iris - 1979 - Mañana campestre

Arco Iris 
Mañana campestre

01. Mañana campestre
02. Vasudeva
03. El niño, la libertad y las palomas
04. Soy un pedazo de sol
05. Kukuriku
06. Abran los ojos
07. La savia verde
08. Detrás
09. Llegó el cambio
10. Sudamérica

- Ara Tokatlian / Tenor, High & Soprano saxophone, flutes, quenas, claron, organ & vocals
- Gustavo Santaolalla / acoustic & electric guitar, charango, vocals
- Guillermo Bodarampe / bass, bass fiddle, vocals
- Horacio Gianello / drums, percussion, vocals

A good compilation is Mañana campestre (Music Hall 2649-1) released in 1979 featuring album and non-LP tracks.

Arco Iris - 1977 - Los Elementales

Arco Iris
Los Elementales

Elemental de Tierra
1.Gob (Maestro-Mago de los Gnomos)
2.Destilando el Perfume de los Minerales

Elemental de Fuego
1.Cristalizando los Rayos del Sol
2.Djin (Maestro-Mago de las Salamandras)

Elemental de Agua
1.Despertar de los Hijos de la Man~ana
2.Necksa (Maestro-Mago de las Ondinas)

Elemental del Aire
1.Los Nacidos del Viento
2.Paralda (Maestro-Mago de los Silfos)

Ara Tokatlian - Saxs, flutes, mini moog, synths, piano and vocals
Guillermo Bodarampe - Bass, acoustic guitar and vocals
Ignacio Elisavetsky - Guitars and vocals
Jose Luis Perez - Drums, percussion and vocals
Dana - Vocals

"Los Elementales" is perhaps a somewhat underestimated album. First track has very good Canterbury guitars, and a fine, somewhat freaky jazzrock approach. This sound is another logical evolution for the group. Most tracks has these fusion-jazzrock elements, and I think they work very well, especially the first and last most freaky tracks.

‘Elementales’ has been reissued and remastered lately so that I could give it a renewed listen. And I must say the album sounds even better than I remember on my first listen. It comes very near to the sophisticated sounds of Canterbury (Egg, Soft Machine), mixed with a doses of progressive rock (using seperately moving complex layers, while remaining to sound bright and logical). Highly recommended ! Two additional tracks are added, from a single from around this time. It is more compact rock tracks however with the same musical elements. Not absolutely brilliant as a single but still perfectly fitting with the album’s style. On my second listen on CD I grade it ****°

Without its leader, Arco Iris summon to Ignacio Elizabetsky (guitar) and Mario Cortez (keyboards). They publish "Los Elementales" (Cabal 9013)(or "the elements") (1977) with the help of some other musicians. It was a more jazz-rock oriented LP published together with a single ("Sin contratiempos" / "Los del casco de oro"- Cabal 101).

With their double album "Agitor Lucens V", Arco Iris had reached the zenith for their exploration into their musical vision, a vision of psychedelia, ethnic vibrations and folkish textures in a peculiar progressive amalgam. With teh departure of guitarists Santaolalla, one of the band's main writers, a crisis took place but Arco Iris managed to survive it and become stronger under the direction of wind player-keyboardist Ara Tokatlina, who serve now as a sole leader for the refurbished band. "Los Elementales", a concept-album about the four elements, is a delicious gem of fusion prog. The band's sound is tighter tha never before, reinforcing the jazzy side of their offering and taking it to a particularly intense level. 'Gob' kicks off the album with an orgasmic based on a multi-precussive explosion invaded by Andean woodwinds - this lisergic opening intro gives way to a Weather Report-like motif lead by the synth. Next come a duel between synth and guitar and an excellent tenor sax solo, which seems to capture the inherent resitance of the Earth. Meanhwile, the rhythm duo of Bodarampe and Pérez set a most solid frame for this excursion. A big entry, indeed... and there are still many great things to come all through the album. 'Destilando el Perfume de los Minerales' brings us a more melancholic vibe: it's a slow piece full of poetic candor, which is enhanced by the soaring synth lines and the final guitar lead. 'Cristalizando los Rayos del Sol' brings us back to frenzy jazz-rock, a bit less centered on the fusion side, for the instrumental passages; the sung parts are set on a rockier mood, alternating with flute-driven bucolic interludes. 'Elemental de Agua' is just a brief reprise of the preceding track's opening theme. The vinyl's A-side ends with the first song of 'Elemental de Agua', titled 'Despertar de los Hijos de la Mañana'. This one is a beutiful instrumental that comprises much musical richness in its less than 4 minutes' duration. The piano motifs, the epic excursions of the full band, the evocative flute and sax leads - all of them are exquisite items ordained within a delicious whole. Even though it somehow bears the aura of a prelude, it has enough qualities as to be appreciated as an autonomous apex of the album. 'Necksa' kicks off with a reprise of the closing theme of 'Despertar...', and then leads things toward an 8 minute jamming excursion tha tbrings red hot jazz-rock in a funky mood: very much like Weather Report-meets-Return to Forever, but with an interesting addition of Latin percussion, a crucial element for the track's particular development, which has more to do with serene sensuality than just frenzy fun. Arguably, here are the most accomplished sax interventions in the album. 'Los nacidos del Viento' is quite different, an acoustic ballad constructed by dual acoustic guitar chords on a 3/4 tempo, ornamented by dreamy interactions of synth and flute. 'Paralda' closes down the album with a similar vibe to that of 'Necksa' but with a wider array of ambiences and a more through aggressiveness in some climatic passages. Even in the rougher sections, the ensemble always sounds as a sonically polished unit. "Los Elementales" is, in my opinion, an absolute gem of South American prog: unlikely but true, Arco Iris came back to life expanding the wildest musical trends that they had envisioned during their pioneering first era and framing this expansion in a very solid fashion.

Ara Tokatlian & Enrique Villegas - 1975 - Inspiracion

Ara Tokatlian & Enrique Villegas

01. Camino A Samarkanda (5:45)
02. Sombra De Los Dorados Budas (5:47)
03. En La Ola De Tus Ojos (5:43)
04. Maritimaria (6:32)
05. Danara (4:27)
06. Logré Mi Ser (9:21)

- Ara Tokatlián - Soprano & Tenor Sax, Flute
- Enrique "mono" Villegas / Piano
- Guillermo Bordarampé - Double Bass, Percussion
- Dana / Spiritual Guide

Still in 1975 only solo album is released : Ara Tokatlian meets Enrique Villegas, with AT : alto & tenor sax, flute & percussion ;  and EV : piano ; Guillermo Bordarampe : bass & percussion . It's a rare spiritual jazz album. It includes a poems booklet .

Two sides of jazzy improvisations. First side as a duo, second as a trio. First track is moody jazz improvisation of sax with piano. Second track is layers of flute of a New Age jazz improvisation. Third track is in so called spiritual jazz mode (sax, piano, bass). "Danara" is a jazz improvisation of flute, piano, sax and bass, with also some spiritual jazz touch.  Nice moody jazz album by Arco Iris members under the Arco Iris label.

Arco Iris - 1974 - Agitor Lucens V

Arco Iris
Agitor Lucens V

101. Intro (La Divina Madre) (5:14)
102. Lucero Andino (3:29)
103. Vientos Celestiales (3:45)
104. Bas-Bus/Si El Señor Me Dio Estas Manos (4:23)
105. Bas-Bus (0:40)
106. Principe Del Alba (Aurora Boreal) (4:56)
107. Las Luces Eternas (14:26)

201. El Regreso Del Pajaro Dorado (6:42)
202. La Nave Madre (3:14)
203. El Arcangel Miguel (2:13)
204. Agitor (1:10)
205. Sendero De Marcahuasi (4:38)
206. Paraiso Sideral (6:10)
207. Un Tiempo Y Tiempos Y La Mitad De Un Tiempo (7:25)
208. Lucens V (4:14)
209. Las Huestes De Orion (6:53)
210. Salmo A Cristo (El Sublime Peregrino) (7:15)

- Ara Tokatlian / sax, organ and vocals
- Gustavo Sentaolalla / guitars and vocals
- Guillermo Bordarampe / bass and vocals
- Horacio Giarello / drums, percussions and vocals
- Dana / spiritual guide

The 7 of June of 1974, Arco Iris returned once more to the scenes of the Coliseo theater with another conceptual work. Where the native elements were still there on their last album it was even more worked out with some symphonic edge. This work was titled "Agitor Lucens V", being published by Music Hall. So it was not exactly an opera, the "story" this time was based in the alleged relationship
between the pre-Columbus native culture and visitors from outer space. Without losing their identity, the music was more symphonic oriented with long instrumental segments and heavier use of keyboards. To promote this interesting album, Arco Iris joined efforts with reputed Argentine choreographer Oscar Araiz and played some unforgettable ballet and group shows.

“Agitor Lucens V” was based upon an audio-visual project which came first, called "the Cosmos and the Fifth Man". The piece was also transformed into a ballet version with choreography by Oscar Araiz. Both parts of it were presented in France, one in 1974, the second one in 1975.. 

 In 1974, Arco Iris released their magnum opus "Agitor Lucens V", a double concept-album regarding a cosmic-oriented appreciation of the nuclear origins of South American culture. Since its inception, the band had been clearly focused on the delivery of a solid, experimental rock fusion, which eventually would lead them to the progressive area: "Agitor Lucens" is the manifestation of this musical metamorphosis. This album turned out to be a real pioneering cornerstone in the introduction of prog in Argentina, and it's simply great that this seminal phase of Argentine art-rock should be catapulted by such a mature album - definitely, Arco Iris was a league on their own. Ara Tokatlián enhances his versatile input with a more increased use of keyboards, mostly on the psychedelic side of things, together with his ever growing arsenal of saxes, flutes and folk woodwinds, while the rhythm duo displays a more varied set of structures and frameworks as the repertoire progresses on. This was the last album with co-funding guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla and drummer Horacio Gianello in the band, was premiered in a performance heavily aided with visual ornaments. The opener 'Intro - La Nave Madre' is an epic prologue in which the soaring guitar lines and the organ layers create an eerie mood accompanied by languid ornaments on bass and drumkit: something like a more lyrical version of "Ummagumma"-era PF's excursions. 'Lucero Andino' is a beautiful acoustic piece that sets a nice contemplative mood before the following three tracks go to more experimental places: 'Vientos Celestiales' is an instrumental mysterious prelude to the colorful set of motifs contained in 'Bas Bus - Si el Señor Me Dio Estas Manos' and 'Bas Bus', in which the band alternates frantic jazz-rock and fusion with seamless fluidity. 'Príncipe del Alba' brings back another moment of bucolic introspectiveness in a folkish scheme, something quite pertinent before the 14 minute track 'Las Luces Eternas'. This number sounds pretty much like early Caravan refurbished with blues-rock tones: the sense of energy is properly complemented by a touch of class that prevents the musicians from going too wild on their well-ordained jams. Tokatlián's sax solos are awesome, and so are his organ harmonies, which at some point lead him to attempt a Thijs-van-Leer-like solo, although it is not as much a solo as it is a complex resolution of the preceding progressing harmonies; at some point, bassist Guillermo Bordarampé brings some effective responses to the organ phrasings. The band won't take too long after the sax dominated section to take advantage of the track's tempo and turn it into a more Creole thing, clearly inspired by the cadence of malambo (a typical dance from the pampas): this is where Santaolalla takes action and assumes a starring role with a mesmeric set of highly articulated lead phrases, very Santaolalla, indeed. The dramatic closing portion finds Santaolalla incorporating some unmistakable touches of Gilmour and Hendrix in the twist of his guitar lead while the other three members create a slow, bombastic sonic landscape. 'El Regreso del Pájaro Dorado' takes the jazz thing further than on any preceding track: it features a ritualistic percussive quartet in the last part, really acid, and also you can notice that Santaolalla feels particularly inspired by Zappa on this one. 'La Nave Madre' finds the band returning to the Canterbury thing, a factor that they handle with added candor under their own vision. The sequence of 'El Arcángel Miguel', 'Agitor' and 'Sendero de Marcahuasi' shows a chain of fusion folk elements delivered in a stylish way. 'Paraíso Sideral' is a slow psychedelic rocker that bears a mesmerizing meditative atmosphere all the way through toward the end, which is when a military snare seems to announce that something big is about to happen. And big is what is displayed in this work's last quarter, arguably the best side of the double vinyl. 'Un Tiempo y Tiempos y La Mitad de un Tiempo' is a catchy prog-jazz excursion (something like a Canterbury-meets-Weather Report kind of thing) that comprises varying moods and tempos, as well as an electrifying drum solo, in its 7 ½ minute span. Meanwhile, the 18 ½ minute three part suite titled 'Lucens V' closes down the album with flying colours. Part I is introverted and dense, a piece whose foggy ambience is mostly built on the Spartan chords on acoustic guitar. Part II mixes the edge of psychedelic jazz- rock and the natural sensuality of Latin American fusion, including an ad-lib battle between sax and percussion in a particularly exploratory middle section. Part III kicks off immediately after the previous Part's closing thunder, with a set of demented pipe organ layers that stand somewhere between the cosmic and the creepy, with Tokatlián out-Wrighting Wright (of PF). When a more academic mood is set, the ambiance shifts into a sort of medieval liturgy, an impression enhanced by the emergence of a beautiful solo chanting. This ceremonious ending serves as a very pertinent spiritual epilogue for such a very spirit-inflicted album: "Agitor Lucens V" is a pioneering masterpiece that should embellish every decent progressive collection.

At this highlighting point it is really sad to know the singer and founder of the group, Gustavo Santaolalla (voice and founder of the group) and Horacio Gianello (drums and percussions) left the group some months later (in July 1975). They called the last left over recordings "Ceferino Namuncura", which was supposed to be recorded for a new, now unfinished album.

Arco Iris - 1973 - Inti Raymi

Arco Iris 
Inti Raymi

01. Elevando una plegaria al sol
02. En nuestra frente
03. Maritimaria
04. La Pastora de los peces
05. Abran los ojos
06. Adonde iras, camalotal
07. Solo como el cardo
08. No quiero mirar atras
09. Elevando una plegaria al sol (Inti Raymi)

Ara Tokatlian / Sax, organ, voice
Gustavo Santaolalla / Acoustic & electric guitar, charrango, voice
Guillermo Bodarampe / bass, voice
Horacio Gianello / drum, percussion, voice
Dana / spiritual guide

In 1973, continuing with the idea that was shaped in "South America or...", they published "Inti Raymi", a new Lp of the band was released and was presented officially the 5 of November in the Theater once more. The record was good altogether though not as good as its predecessor. Both Sudamérica and Inti Raymi feature great cover artwork, based on pre-Columbus motives. The original edition of Sudamérica was released in a box -it was later reissued with a foldout cover- and included a poster. At this point, Arco Iris was also known for their highly controversial live appearances.

 Conceived as a concept album around the legendary Inca adoration ritual to the sun, "Inti Raymi" remains partly influenced by traditional Andean music. The opening them guides the listener into a deep spiritual acoustic exhibition, mainly made of repetitive acoustic guitar parts, charrango and discreet atmospheric vocals. "En nuestra frente" is a brilliant jazzy rock illustration including great sax sections and ethnic percussions. The main singing part is written as if it was a folk ballad. The end features a nice guitar solo break. We can notice that the album alternates with a certain facility some folk "bucolic" ballads and captivating jazz rock attacks. "Maritimaria" is a dancing, rhythmical ballad, combining accessible vocal lines, a mainstream jazz rock structure turned into a "warm" Latin flavour. "La pastoral de los peces" is an acoustic, pastoral melancholic ballad with female's voices, chorus and guided by folkish flute lines, acoustic guitar and organ. A pleasant introspect musical interlude. My favourite on this one with the opening track. "Abran los ojos" is an enthusiastic Latin rock 'n roll excursion with effective, academic but pleasant sequences (notably the catchy guitar solo sustained by the Hammond organ). "Adonde iras, camalotal" is a disappointed composition, so soft and so banal at the same time. Musically its mainstream jazz meets easy acoustic folk ingredients. "Solo como el cardon" is a heart breaking ballad only composed for voices and guitar, beautiful. "No quiero mirar atras" is a dynamic jazz rock composition. The most progressive dimension of the album. The track contains some delicate floating passages. The sax solo part is totally freak out. As in a procession the last tune takes back the main theme, closing this musical and spiritual travel. A significant progressive jazz rock item, integrating "world music" elements. Nevertheless regarding the impressive discography of the band, the insistent accessible, academic part of "Inti Raymi" doesn't put it at the top of Arco Iris Career.

Arco Iris - 1972 - Sudamerica o el Regreso a la Aurora

Arco Iris 
Sudamerica o el Regreso a la Aurora

Acto primero
01. Obertura (12:52)
02. La canción de Nahuel (5:53)
03. Canto del pájaro dorado (3:30)
04. Viaje astral (2:25)
05. Tema del Maestro (2:52)
06. Iluminación (1:59)
07. Gira (3:29)
08. Sígueme (1:48)
09. El negro (1:54)
10. Los campesinos y el viajero (2:18)
11. El estudioso (2:28)
12. Oración de la partida (2:53)
13. Epílogo: Salvense ya (3:02)

Acto segundo
14. Recuerdo (3:43)
15. Canción de los peregrinos (2:34)
16. Amancay (2:09)
17. Hombre (17:10)
18. Deserción del viajero (3:00)
19. La duda de los campesinos (3:14)
20. El aliento de Dios (2:17)
21. El viajero delata a los peregrinos (6:52)
22. Persecución de los peregrinos (2:43)
23. Viaje por las galerías subterraneas (1:29)
24. Salida al inmenso lago - Iluminación (2:35)
25. Reencuentro con Amancay - Oremos (0:23)
26. Las colinas y el Maestro / Epílogo: Sudamérica (3:28)

Music and lyrics by Gustavo Santaolalla

Line-up / Musicians
- Gustavo Santaolalla / guitars, charango, percussion, vocals
- Guillermo Bodarampe / bass, contrabass, percussion
- Ara Tokatlian / flutes, saxophones, keyboards, percussion,
- Horacio Gianello / drums, percussion

Guest musicians
- ''Danais'' / the voice of Amancay
- Jose Ferrari / the voice of Maestro

Some time after the release of Tiempo De Resurreccion, Arco Iris presents its conceptual work, "Sudamerica o el regreso a la aurora" or "South America or the Return of Dawn", presented on the Stage of River Plate during the month of October and in the theater 'Operates'. The album was published by the end of 1972 as a double LP.  In that opera they had made and printed a poster that they doubled in four (they were 5000) and did put it within each disc. The unusual programs that were triangular (our symbol). The asceticism had much to do, and gave them a kind of extra energy. Talking about that energy  : " In us there was a fantasy of the message, that thing of superman. It was not an invention but a truth into a kind of maximum sacrifice to become so... Music was my only goal, and I offered it everything in my life, until for example the relation with a woman. It gave everything by music... But we all had an impressive energy. It was the channel: music arrived. But I realize of which it was an ill thing. I did not have opportunity to chat. It was its own state of being. The outside of it was negative. There was some differentiates between the external world and the internal one. I always stayed to the margin, that means: through this group they pass the guidelines. Although we read Marx, Freud, and in the group that was not allowed, some of the sacred books (that Dana read). In addition there was no time to read, because there was always the necessary to drive all the day: to work, to do this, the other, to try (we did it every day) I arrived at Cuzco with Dana, touched stones and we cried. It cried like desperate. It was a weeping that came to me from inside " They performed in the Buenos Aires Festival Rock and the way they performed gave them an esoteric and magical touch him to be remembered in such a legendary way like Monterrey Pop and Woodstock. But the group and their opera never was understood completely. The group was regarded the first Argentine band that lived in community. They even wore communitarian clothes on stage. And they seemed to be busy with praying and until at least 8 at night. "Sudamérica", probably the highest point of Arco Iris' career, was an ambitious work both in musical and ideological aspects. It tells the deep political standpoint story of a heterogeneous group of pilgrims at the verge of the resurgence of an Old Latin-American Empire in a New Era. Musically, it achieves an excellent mixture between different Latin-American folkloric rhythms along with rock, blues and jazz using a wide range of native instruments. A truly masterpiece in it's own style. Although it is a whole work,we can single-out tracks like the bluesy "La canción de Nahuel", the beautiful "Gira", the continuity of "Sígueme", "El negro" and the rhythmically rich "Los campesinos y el viajero", the brave "Sálvense ya", the lengthy "Hombre" (featuring a great fuzz guitar solo), "Persecución de los peregrinos" (with killer guitar), and the superb carnavalito finale "Sudamérica" (also released as a single). (Carnavalito is an uptempo dance style from the Altiplano -at the Northwest of Argentina and South of Bolivia and Peru). Sudamérica o el Regreso a la Aurora is, in short, a highly recommended album for those willing for new -and I mean NEW- sounds. An instrumental percussion fragment of "Hombre" is played live on the movie Rock hasta que se ponga el Sol (filmed at the BARock Festival), thought it is not included on the Soundtrack LP.

This record is a milestone in South American progressive rock. Being probable among the finest and most complete concept albums ever made. Sudamerica tells the story of six men going on a mystical trip around the subcontinent. They will eventually reach the hills and find the way to salvation. But the music here it's the most important aspect of the record. Mixing psychedelia , jazz , rock and Argentinean folk music this is a record that becomes a must if you are into progressive rock!
There are 26 songs in total and doing a song by song review will be pointless with this album but the highlights of the record are the longest tracks Obertura (13 min) and Hombre (17 min) those tracks are surrounded by loads of little tunes ranging from one minute to five minutes in length that are wonderfully produced and arranged

The musicianship and versatility shown by the members of the band here is amazing and the vocal harmonies are lovely. This is a record that must be heard at least once to have a taste of the finest South American prog- I consider this record to be a MASTERPIECE from the beginning to the end.

An extremely rare English version of this album was also released, thou I have not been able to find out exactly when or if it was released also outside of Argentina.

Arco Iris - 1971 - Tiempo de Resurreccion

Arco Iris 
Tiempo de Resurreccion

01. Negro y blanco
02. Vasudeva
03. Hombre de madera
04. Nuestro amanecer
05. Blues de Dana
06. Tiempo de resurrección
07. Mañana campestre
08. Garza celeste
09. Ignea, aérea y marina
10. Busca la estrella elegida

- Gustavo Santaolalla / guitar, vocals
- Guillermo Bodarampe / bass
- Ara Tokatlian / flutes
- Horacio Gianello / drums, percussion

At the same time with Suite No. 1, "Tiempo de Resurreción" (or "Time of Resurrection") their first album for Music Hall hit the stores. To mess things a little bit more, this record included a new version of "Blues de Dana", along with "Mañana campestre". The new folkloric-rock fusion was now clear, with the increasing use of saxophones and the distinguishing Santaolalla electric guitar.

Arco Iris - 1971 - Suite No 1

Arco Iris 
Suite No 1

01. Suite No.1 (13:48)
02. Solo Tengo Amor (3:35)
03. Una Tarde Mas (5:49)
04. Y Yo Quiero (11:59)


05. La Lluvia
06. Volar
07. Para Vos
08. Abre Tu Mente
09. Woman (English version of Tiempo)

Line-up / Musicians
- Gustavo Santaolalla / guitar, vocals
- Guillermo Bodarampe / bass
- Ara Tokatlian / flutes
- Horacio Gianello / drums, percussion

In 1971 their former label issued "Suite Nº1" (RCA Vik LZ-1210), an album of singles and unreleased tracks (some sung in English!) from their first LP. ("Woman" is the English version of "Tiempo" and
"And I want" is the English version of "Y ahora soy").

LP 1972-"Suite Nº1", (or "Nº1 Suite") (RCA 1210 mono/ RCA 1520)***°° 

At the titletrack "Suite n°1" and "Y Yo Quiero" their original acid folk style blossoms. Here we hear soft vocals, electric bass, acoustic guitar only. Sung in English. These two tracks are very good !

Arco Iris - 1970 - Blues De Dana

Arco Iris 
Blues De Dana

01. Blues de Dana
02. La lluvia
03. Volar
04. Para vos
05. Una tarde más
06. Es nuestra libertad
07. Canción para una mujer
08. Lo veo en tus ojos
09. Sólo tengo amor
10. Y ahora soy
11. Quien es la chica
12. Luisito cortate el pelo
13. Abre tu mente

Gustavo Santaolalla - Guitar and vocals
Guillermo Bodarampe - Bass
Ara Tokatlian - Flutes
Horacio Gianello - Drums and percussion

RCA also issued an LP of singles and LP tracks called "Blues de Dana" (Groove 80020).

Dana : "Several band members enamoured with me, and wrote very beautiful love songs to me. Gustavo Santaolalla very was in love with me. The famous "Blues of Dana" was composed with that feeling."
The title track and a few others are "blues" inspired, or "bluesrock", like "Para Vos". Others are more "folk" styled. Some of the tracks are more mainstream in style progression compared to the other albums.

Arco Iris - 1970 - Arco Iris

Arco Iris
Arco Iris

01. Quiero Llegar
02. Hoy Te Mire
03. Camino
04. Coral
05. Te Quiero, Te Espero
06. Luli
07. Cancion de Cuna para el Niño Astronauta
08. Y Una Flor
09. Tiempo
10. Y Ahora Soy

11. Lo Veo En tus Ojos
12. Cancion para una Mujer
13. Luisito Cortate el Pelo
14. Solo Tengo Amor
15. Blues de Dana
16. Quien es la Chica
17. Es Nuestra la Libertad
18. Zamba

Gustavo Santaolalla - Guitar and vocals
Guillermo Bodarampe - Bass
Ara Tokatlian - Flutes
Horacio Gianello - Drums and percussion

Arco Iris were/are a group from Argentine who brought a unique blend of ethno folk with jazz, and  progressive music, with pre-Columbian associations. They lived under extreme discipline under lead of the spiritual guidance of Dana, with Tibetan backgrounds. The group made several music concepts worth to trace. Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla, together with Altar Tokatlian and Guillermo Bordarampé, formed several bands in the 60s (The Rovers, The Blackbyrds, The Crows) to play covers at first and later on, their own songs.
After recording a 3-song demo tape for their group "The Crows", they met producer Ricardo Kleinman (owner of the successful radio show "Modart en la Noche") who agreed to sign them with the condition that they sing in Castilian and change their name!
From that time, in 1967, the group Arco Iris or "the Rainbow" was formed and entered at the same time a new area in their life, still at that time with Gustavo Santaolalla (guitar and voice), Altar Tokatlián (winds) and Guillermo Bordarampé. Some drummers came and went from whom Alberto Cascino stood out. At that time Arco Iris was the group that investigated the South American sounds much more.

The following year they published their first single with a late 60's pop tune "Lo veo en tus ojos"
(="I see in your eyes") and "Canción para una mujer" (= "Song for a woman")(-there's no relation with the Vox Dei song with the same name) with orchestral arrangements by Rodolfo Alchourrón. another Kleinman demand -note the great similarities with the first Almendra single-) :

1969 - Lo veo en tus ojos/ Canción para una mujer (RCA Vik 31Z-1486)

Months later Arco Iris released a second disappointing single
1969 - Solo tengo amor/ Luisito cortate el pelo (RCA Vik 31Z-1569)

and met former Jean Cartier model Danais Wynnycka (a.k.a. Dana). The life of the members of Arco Iris ("Rainbow") changed radically when they met her because Dana turned out to become their 'spiritual guide'. Arco Iris became a community that worked in an old large house of the Buenosairean district of San Telmo. There, yoga in all its branches was practiced: the spiritual one, mental and the physical one, under the indications of Dana, who was also the daughter of a yoga teacher who emigrated from Tibet to Argentina. The Rainbow became the symbol that lead them. They called themselves "the housewives of rock". There was much mysticism around. They all had also a symbol around their neck recalling the meaning of "the evolution of the man in the universe" and followed many rules for living. On the other hand they were also lead by almost too many rules and discipline. That part wasn't particular an pleasant memory, sometimes wondering if it still was healthy or necessary to do so, but they loved her presence (and lead) at the same time. The background of Dana is rather interesting and has significance in the story worth to mention:

Danais Wynnycka was born in the Ukraine, like her parents. She was a survivor and third daughter, after two sisters passed away to short age. Her mother was a sensible and demanding psychologist. Her father was a diplomat and singing lyrical songs. For that reason Dana grew up in Rome, until in an accident, her father lost his appraised gift : the voice. This distressed everything in such a way that they travelled to Tibet looking for a solution. Although he did not recover his voice, he found a spiritual teacher  that changed his life. He lived three years in a monastery, from where he returned to his family to give them too spiritual guidance, slightly westernised. From the more negative vibrations that emanated from post-war Italy, they now emigrated to a full site of positive vibrations, in the opposed pole of the Himalayas: the Mountain range of the Andes. With him it brought his wife and Dana, who was then 10 years old.
"The Mountain range is an important pole of feminine energy. It is necessary that the Argentineans realize this, and they take advantage of it, although our geographic place is so isolated and near the pole. All our country is a very good place at vibratory level, and is so that there are great changes possible. Until that vibration becomes reality, the negative part makes pressure against it. As greater the light, as greater its shades". Dana was a kind disciple of the lessons of its father. She said that "never I was in the pavada ? one, nor I had fiancès ?. I listened my father and learned with him the bases of the spiritual search. I always used the principles of the medicine Ayurveda, the Feng Shui, acupuncture, the homeopathy, macrobiotic with him. With Altar we are vegetarian, never in the life we proved meat, neither we took alcohol, nor we used drugs, nor we smoked".
Dana studied Laws, just as her father. Then she left to study journalism.
"In a summer in the coast, I was chosen to 'Miss Sea'. Then I knew designer Jean Cartier, that prepared me to become mannequin. With which I won in the parades I paid the studies of my definitive race: I made Musicotherapy in the University of the Salvador."
The nexus with Arco Iris made one lady of which helped with the changes express it of clothes to leave to the footbridge: she said to him that friends of their son were interested in their Eastern philosophy.
"As soon as I knew them, I followed with them as their spiritual guide. I had a special capacity to give answers that filled peace to these boys of 18 years. They called her a teacher, because in addition she knew much of yoga and Zen culture..."

By the end of 1969 Arco Iris had begun already some sessions for their first LP "Arco Iris" (for RCA) , to be released finally in May 1970. The pink cover showed a triangular logotype that represents the philosophy of the group. The album includes some very beautiful songs penned by Santaolalla in a vocal pop-folk style with both acoustic and electric instruments. Among them "Hoy te miré", "Te quiero, te espero", "Canción de cuna para un niño astronauta", "Tiempo", and the lengthy "Y ahora soy". The latter sort of previewed the instrumental development of future releases.

Alberto Cascino quit in unease with the "community life" (this is the reason why he is not in the album cover). Several drummers replaced him until Horacio Droopy GIANELLO took the job. In January of 1970 the group was celebrated in the Beat Festival with the song "Blues over Dana" which became their third single for RCA afterwards. "The day which we arrived at the Sea of Silver, in an omnibus where all the groups went, we entered by Av. Constitution and there was a hallucinating Rainbow on the sea". It was as if that symbol indicated already that they were going to win.
Almost simultaneously with the release of the singel the first LP of the band "Arco Iris" was released.
1970 - Blues de Dana/ Quién es la chica (RCA Vik 31Z-1639)

They performed their debut album the 7 of April in a concert in the Lorange Theater of Buenos Aires.
In the month of November of 1970 they participated in the first editing of the Festival B.a.rock that was carried out in the Municipal Velodrome.

Arco Iris kept working at the studio, and released a single in January 1971: "Es nuestra la libertad" with B-side "Zamba", which showed their first attempt to mix rock with argentine folkloric music -style they developed ever since.
1971 - Es nuestra la libertad/ Zamba (RCA Vik 31Z-1814)

At this point they changed the record company. Now in Music Hall label, they cut a highly successful single, the now classic "Mañana campestre" (="Rustic Morning") (with a non-LP b-side "I am a left piece of sun" ) this time for the label 'Music Hall'. It became a classic at that time one of the great successes of the group and it initiated their folkloric tendency to come with their next two LP's.

1971 - Mañana campestre/ Soy un pedazo de sol (Music Hall)

Released in 1May 1970, the first album from this Argentinean band is very fresh and cheerful. A mellow folk with traditional south american influence, nice voices and an early psychedelic side. On an instrumental level, the guitar is clearly the most impressive instrument with excellent fuzz and wha wha parts. The flute is gentle and contributes to this warm, sunny and soft mood. The band successfully combines gentle pastoral folk and genuine psychedelic inspiration. A promising debut album from an original band.

Color Humano - 1973 - Color Humano Volumen 2 y Volumen 3

Color Humano
Color Humano Volumen 2 y Volumen 3

Vol. 2
01. Sangre del sol
02. La tierra del gitano
03. Pascual tal cual
04. Humanoides
05. Va a salir un lugar
06. Un blues para Adelina

Vol. 3
01. Hombre de las cumbres
02. Mañana por la noche
03. A traves de los inviernos
04. Hace casi 2000 años
05. Cosas rusticas
06. Las historias que tengo
07. Vestidos de agua

Edelmiro Molinari (guitar, vocals)
Rinaldo Raffanelli (bass, vocals)
Oscar Moro (drums)

At the end of 1972, Color Humano played at the Buenos Aires Rock Festival (B.A. Rock). They were filmed performing two songs for the movie Rock hasta que se ponga el sol: "Larga vida al sol" and "Coto de caza" (a studio version of this song was included on the third album as "Cosas rústicas"). The movie's excellent performance can be heard on the official soundtrack LP (Talent I-382).

Between March and June 1973, Color Humano recorded enough songs for a double album. Due to business decisions the album was released as two separate LPs on the newly created Talent label (owned by Mandioca founder Jorge Álvarez). The cover of the first volume featured a drawing of the members of the group facing forward, while the second volume –that included a photo poster– showed a drawing of their backs. None of the albums had a title.

The new songs were richer and more elaborate, spanning different rhythms and styles.

The second LP (that is, the first record of the never released 2-LP set) is great. "Sangre del sol" (featuring female jazz singer Egle Martin on percussion) has an uptempo Latin rhythm. "La tierra del gitano" is a changing slow song. "Humanoides" (featuring Rinaldo on organ and Edelmiro on piano) is a potent effort. "Un blues para Adelina" is –no wonder– a blues. "Va a salir un lugar" is a long song that includes instrumental developments by all three members of the band.

The third LP (that is, the second record of the never released 2-LP set) is my favourite. "Hombre de las cumbres" is energetic and complex. "Mañana por la noche" is a simple blues-rock joyful ditty. "A través de los inviernos" is a hard answer to Gabriela's "Haz tu mente al invierno del sur". "Hace casi 2000 años" begins softly with an angelic vocal interlude by Alicia Varady to end with the power trio at their best. "Cosas rústicas" (a.k.a. "Coto de caza") reminisces Hendrix's "Little Wing". "Las historias que tengo" is a long guitar piece. "Vestidos de agua" is a beautiful melody (featuring Jorge Cutello on flute) that leaves us repeating the last verse "cada vez que te miro/ aumenta mi ilusión"("each time I look at you/ my illusion grows").

Unfortunately, Color Humano split soon afterwards. Edelmiro and his wife Gabriela moved to Los Angeles, USA. Rinaldo Rafanelli went to play with Sui Generis and Polifemo, among others. Moro later joined La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros and played in many other outfits.

Color Humano - 1972 - Color Humano

Color Humano
Color Humano

01. Padre sol, madre sal
02. Sílbame, oh cabeza!
03. Larga vida al sol
04. El hachazo
05. Humberto
06. Introducción polenta

Edelmiro Molinari (guitar, vocals)
David Lebón (drums, backing vocals)
Rinaldo Raffanelli (bass, vocals)

After Almendra broke up, three extremely important groups emerged: Pescado Rabioso, Aquelarre and Color Humano.

Color Humano was a power trio influenced by Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, as well as groups like Groundhogs or May Blitz. The name was, of course , taken from the song penned by Molinari for the first Almendra LP.

Besides the extraordinary guitar of Edelmiro (leader and author of almost all their repertoire), the first line-up included Rinaldo Rafanelli on bass and the versatile David Lebón on... drums!

The first LP begins with a nice melody sung by Gabriela (Edelmiro's wife) backed up by acoustic guitar and vocals. This song could have been included in her solo album as well. Some more energetic stuff follows ("Silbame oh cabeza" –featuring ex-Almendra Rodolfo García on drums– and "Introducción polenta") together with quieter ones (the instrumental "El hachazo", the long "Larga vida al sol" and "Humberto"). All themes are lead by the ever-present guitar.

Soon after the album's release, David Lebón left to join Pescado Rabioso and was replaced by Oscar Moro (ex-Los Gatos and Huinca). The band was much more solid with the addition of Moro.