Not everything Prog is conventional, not everything that we perceive is what it is. Music is definitley held within the ear of the beholder and on this blog we get to experience some of the most straight forward sounds and some not so straight forward. Here is a brilliant example of the not so straight forward and done with passion and commitment carrying with it the soul of of a poet and artist. From the scenic and fiery culture of beauty that is Chile comes 3er TIPO that has blessed us here at Progressivelyso with their album, “El Gran Obnubilador y las Infimidades“. A whopping 28 tracks and to be played in a continuous fashion similar to Pink Floyd’s “The Endless River” album in order to get the full effect of the sounds before us. With relatively short songs the album captures the essences of the moment in brief snippets rather than stretching them out to fully explain them so all the detail is put in to these shorter bursts of songs. More of an individual project than a band our artist, 3er TIPO performs every instrument on the album and has composed it all as well giving us a soulful extension of his creativity and the album certainly goes beyond standard dimensions that we would call music which makes it a great album for here. 3er Tipo has also shown us on this album like many other artists have that Prog doesn’t have to be 20min epic songs or a full orchestra or string ensemble to make it Prog; It’s an extension of what we already know to be music but it has been turned around, flipped upside down, reversed, driven over and re-fried again making it very unique and individualistic in the sense that no one else has done this before or if they have it’s got some similarities but still not the same.
The artwork is completely enticing as it makes you question what is the album all about. The font used captures the type I know from watching Yellow Submarine as the opening credits roll in spots so it has a charm to it that I immediately identified with and it pulled me in to the record even more. Its simplicity and unknown meanings to the listener keeps you staring at the pictures as the album opens up and begins to play out to our ears. “El Gran Obnubilador” opens the album up with some singled out guitar notes and some discordant noise from an electric guitar in the back like a broken transistor radio breaking the airwaves through the dust and debris. An air of uncertainty and strangeness hangs over us like the dawning of another day but under a different sun. With what reminisces like the tones and tracks form early Kraftwerk records the opening song has the same poetic brilliance they had back in 1969/70. With what becomes an electric bull stomping through the fields in this track it takes on the shape of things to come both to and fro as we delve deeper in to the mind of 3er Tipo! A great opening track of strained notes and against the establishment of conventional sound. “Largas Caminatas” follows up with a soft interlude a la classical guitar that plays out the gentle waves of emotions and soothes the rough opening waters of the previous track. With what comes across like a piece from the soundtrack to the 1969 film, “More” provided by The Pink Floyd this track exhibits the flamenco styles of South America’s beauty and love for music. Short but sweet enough to whet our desires for more of the same periodically throughout the album. “La Diferencia” takes us to the window to hear the carnival like sounds below on the street with this live action sound of the city in half a minute, pinnacle and a segue to the next track. “La Techumbre Oxidada” brings back the classical guitar to the forefront in this pastoral passage of sound. With the tempo/timbre changes in place it ebbs and flows nicely again with the acoustic Floydian overtones in place as well as the individualism of the guitarists own rites of passage way of playing here. We hear it develop in to a sneer and angst from its calm demeanour earlier to a return to a calm ending. “Miel” utilizes the natural sounds of rain falling outside the open window as the guitar chants its melodies to us. Passing cars and splitting rain waves across the street from the tires rolling by. Sombre and calming again the guitar is the voice here and takes us to an early morning lull in life. “Danza del Extravio” pulls in some pedal effects creating a very Gentle Giant style sounding guitar passage here with its plucking flamenco style and bouncing notes that jump and fall like drops of electric water as we picture a figure dancing in the background to this extension vibe that rings out in a very heavy 70’s tone. In just under two minutes; the sound is made, stage is set, imagery created and point made. Perfect. “Mirador no1” is our first introduction to a human voice through a humming chanting over the guitar chords in what seems to be an idea forming of a wordless harmony that follows through as it chases the guitar to the bitter end in a fury of notes. As if someone pushed fast forward on the speed control at the end creating a theatrical finale to the song.
“La Pérdida del Punto Fijo” brings us back to the time when bands like Harmonia and Faust created their unique sounds of Krautrock and made the intruments do the talking. We find that here in what could easily be from that period where structure is all about how it comes out and not how it’s made. Flange effects help create this stage setting for a play where the voices coming out of the mouths of the actors are the sounds we hear in this song. Abstract and avant0-garde leaving you to fill in the blanks. “Mirador no2” brings back the rainy day in this classical track that disappears like an abduction after 25seconds leaving you in a haunted and insecure state of mind. “Neón y Hambre” calls upon the ear piercing feedback of a Jimi Hendrix bootleg as the notes wind and draw their strength form beyond the guitar and pull us deep in to a void of sound and static. Another haunting refrain orchestrated through often indecipherable notes. “Apatia” sings to us a sea side melody that has the memories in place to have recall other times and places where you sat and smiled at the world. A waltz style piece that plays out its sweet incantations to us from the soft rounded feel of classical strings. “Latidos” has the nostalgia of an Ibiza drug moment from the film More again to me, short but off beat and a sequence of notes that carries you too far and leaves you somewhere you are unfamiliar. One of my favourite pieces on the album.
“Danza de los Tecnócratas y sus Humanos Agazapados” drops in quickly and jumps and bounces around the room straight out of your speakers in this firey classical piece then it pulls back in to a slower pace to bring us in to another facet of the dance as it slowly winds down to a crawl then stops us mid step. Shifting the gears in the tempo/timbre adding some start/stops it displays great differences in what one song can achieve. “La Piel Decolorada del Amor del Metal” gives us the feel of mechanical sounds drifting through an open sea of electric waves that sway to us with their intense tones of electrified currents that sting and stab us throughout shrieking their howls at us from afar. Another haunting and perplexing piece that stands out among the others on the record. “La Distancia, Parte Dos” walks in slowly and gracefully as it enters the room through your speakers and struts around like the villain in a western movie speaking as slowly as they are walking. That brief encounter of uncertainty and unaware of what could happen at any time. Images of the setting sun, a lizard sitting on a rock to grab the few rays of the sun’s heat to thermoregulate before going in to its lair for the evening. The guitar notes are carefully chosen and crafted here to create an ambiance that sustains the images to burn in to your head nicely. “Enredadera” calls upon the passive chords of the nylon strings to bring us this eloquent piece combined with the calm chanting of the human voice to give the song more emotion and it draws us in with its pleasantries and it’s another highlight piece that draws you in and holds you in the album. The diversity on this record is phenomenal and eclectic as it is poetic. “Roquerio” brings back the rain and its melancholy as we are graced with more Hendrix style feedback and notation that also draws upon the early Kraftwerk days where live performances were an expression and extension of the the musician and the instrument only to fade away and wash away with the rains. “La Distancia, Parte Uno” comes to us in reverse order as we heard part two earlier and here we have the beginning as a regression of sorts and a classic Prog move where part one comes later on in the record. A gentle passage of guitar that reminisces on early Pink Floyd circa late ’68/’69 that quietly carries you away to sleep. “Agosto” gives us the incidental music to our wandering afternoon in this relaxing tale of individual guitar notes that has a estranged guitar lead over top of it giving it that sense of uncertainty again as we walk through the haze of midday and travel down through the foggy streets to a dead end. A slow burn but a great short piece of music that is undeniably a theatrical facet of this album.
“Los Pasos del Tiempo” showers us with its haunting refrain that has a vampiric over tone to it as includes a chilling humming on top of the guitar chords. The usage of the classical guitar creates a unique diversity to the record and adds a mystique to the sounds that you just can’t get with other guitars and also gives us impressions of South America and parts of Europe instead of the familiar surroundings of North America. “La Disgregación“, take away the music from any extreme psychedelic Pink Floyd song and just have a few sounds of incidental music and the vocal ad lib Roger Waters makes and you have this here. It’s cleverly crafted and a profound statement as the sounds from the artist’s own voice is the lead instrumentation here as the musical sounds of reversed instruments carry on in the background. “Nectario (maniquíes)” takes us through a vortex of sound here with two guitars, one with placid tones, the other discordant and fuzzed out. The spoken word section in the middle immediately makes one think of the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury scene in the mid 60’s scene in small underground clubs where one would hear musicians and poets collide and form these impromptu improvisations on stage and create something out of nothing. That’s what happens here where ideas and designs collide like crashing stars and form a whole new sound and creation takes hold right then and there. “La Nada” begins with a spoken word interlude and nothing else filling in the space around this voice. That’s all it is, just a spoken word piece that is as simple as the voice speaking, calm, collected and endearing. “El Gran Obnubilador Dos” probably one of the most aggressive songs on the record as the guitar chords push through with strife and are on the offensive and it draws you deeper in to the album even more as you peer in to the darker side of the sounds here. The short burst leads over top are stinging and shove their way through your speakers as you fend off the attack. It subsides down somewhat near the end then drops off the face of the earth and leaves you hanging on to the edge of the cliff it took you too.
“Oh Dulce Neón” takes us back to the classical haunting swing of the strings with this short rapid fire piece that comes to just under a minute and has you wondering and wandering. “Uróboros del Fango Infecto” takes longer to say than to listen to with its 17seconds and the point is made in that short period of time too. A quick jaunt on the guitar and all is said. Brilliant. “Vértigo” brings in the feeling of the title in this also short 46second piece and the notes are painstakingly selected and well crafted here for an execution of brilliant guitar playing. “Misterio de los Amantes Enlazados” the final track on the album and one of the longer pieces here at 2:18minutes closes out the album with another haunting refrain and the start/stops throughout it making it a blending of sounds, tones and careful consideration of the notes being played. The last few notes are the sweet goodbye to the album and the final curtain to an experimentation to sound and an existential observation in the stretching of the boundaries of what is music and what can be done with it.
Overall this album was a complete joy to listen to as it takes you places you never thought existed or bothered to go to before. It’s poetic, creative, brilliant and well crafted and artistic above all else. It’s not what a lot of people would call Prog and perhaps not in the traditional sense but in the deeper facets of the genre and the more Avant-Garde areas of the genre yes I feel that it is because it’s artistic in the sense that there is no recipe for the album but to just exist as sound and as sound to be heard. A soundtrack to aspects of our lives that when we need a certain song that just says how we feel this album has many of those traits and exhibits them all beautifully. 3er TIPO has many influential components to it throughout it and you can hear them wonderfully displayed through the albums unique tones and passages. Enjoy