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Monday, April 09, 2007

Pan & Regaliz - Selftitled (1971)

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I was absolutely taken by surprise by this album. Pan & Regaliz was a Spanish proto-prog/psych band that released this album, I Can Fly in 1971, smack during the Franco regime (I've seen some sources say the album is just entitled Pan y Regaliz). A band must have had really big balls to play music like this in Franco-era Spain, but it wouldn't have been such a problem if this was Germany or Great Britain. I was expecting perhaps a "government approved" vibe throughout the whole album like I do with many of those communist-era Eastern European albums (from Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, countries that had prog rock potential were it not for the governments). But that's not what I got. What I got was top quality prog/psych with a great vibe that makes you think it came out of Great Britain or Germany. They hailed from Barcelona, home to Antoni Gaudi and Pablo Picasso.

- Arthur Domingo: bass and vocals - Alfonso Bou: guitars and vocals - Pedro van Eeckhout: drums, percussion - Guillermo Paris: vocals, flute, jaw harp.

If you're expecting any Spanish cultural references (like Triana, Ibio, Mezquita, etc.), you won't find it here. What you get is basically early prog that leans more on the psychedelic side (though recorded in 1971, it has a more late '60s sound to it), with surprisingly a strong hippie vibe. If no one told you they were from Spain, you could be easily fooled for perhaps certain British or German bands, as mentioned about their description up above. There are a lot of strange effects to go with the music that make me think a little of the Krautrock bands that existed at the time. The vocals are in English, but are surprisingly good! I have the CD-R in which the track listings are supposedly messed-up. I've heard the music being described as a like Jethro Tull's Stand Up under the influence of LSD. I can understand the LSD part, the Jethro Tull part, not so sure. Alfonso Bou's (I guess) vocals at times does remind me a bit of Ian Anderson at times. Certainly Guillermo Paris played flute, but certainly not in the style of Ian Anderson. The flute playing reminds me of the New York Jewish psych/prog band based in Germany called Sweet Smoke. Anyway, let's get with the music: many of the songs seem to have that repetitive nature, like "I Can Fly", "When You Bring Down" and "Today It is Raining", but in a good way. Some of the songs have more jazzy leanings, like "One More Day". A totally killer album, how did these guys do it under the Franco regime? Probably by sneaking it under his nose and made sure the government never found out. One song I can live without however is "A Song For the Friends". It's crap. It sounds like 1930s cocktail lounge music that should have been thrown in the trash. They should've used that space for another song like the rest. Forget "A Song for the Friends", because this is truly one of the great, but totally forgotten gems of prog/psych!


1. One More Day - 3.29
2. Waiting In The Munster's - 3.11
3. Dead Of Love - 3.15
4. Thinking On Mary - 3.29
5. A Song For The Friends - 2.21
6. When You Are So bring Down - 3.14
7. Todaz It Is Raining - 9.17
8. I Can Fly - 3.38
9. Magic Colors - 2.53

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4 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Residentevil2 said...

Thank you

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muchas gracias por la calidad de la
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descubierto ahora y hare bastantes
descargas. Un abrazo.

 
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At 9:52 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Encore une surprise espagnole !
Merci beaucoup!

 

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