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 AZAHAR : “Azahar”

In the early Nineties I ordered a few Sirius magazines (former Spanish progrock fanzine). I did this to improve my ‘one-year-school-Spanish’ and to discover more Spanish progrock after the exciting Triana. Reading one of these Sirus magazines I noticed an add in which the known Spanish proghead Angel Romero was offering his entire progrock LP collection. I got in touch with him and Angel explained that he was suffering from an increasing dust-allergy, how sad. I asked him for advise to buy Spanish progrock records from him, no problem for him so I bought this album. Nowadays Azahar’s second, eponymous album is still one of my favorites. The difference between their first entitled Elixer and Azahar (both released by Fonomusic) is that the second album sounds more mature.

The eight compositions (running time between 2 and 10 minutes) on Azahar are more varied, elaborated and compelling. The guitarplay is sensitive featuring short but powerful soli and some exciting flamenco guitarwork. The Spanish vocals has a typical Spanish undertone, very warm and expressive. The keyboards sound lush and have a pleasant variety: strings, organ, synthesizers, clavinet and acoustic – and electric piano. The rhythm-section plays dynamic, Spanish people have a natural feeling for rhythm! This CD is a very fine example of the unique Spanish progrock: harmonic, melodic and tasteful compositions without self-indulgence.

Erik Neuteboom (Progwalhalla/Background Magazine)

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