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Thread: Luis Alberto Spinetta

  1. #1

    Luis Alberto Spinetta

    So, probably to almost nobody's interest, but I had to give it a try - as long as I am willing to give tries in this life. This guy is something - and not someone - that exceeds all petty discussions about how prog his music is. I understand the cultural gap, but it's global time and we can all bridge the thing, no question about it.

    And I was going to work the other day and I was listening to the Artaud album, and when listening to Cantata De Puentes Amarillos for the umpteenth time I said to myself: "stop, what the f is going on?". So I was reading the lyrics, with verse to verse translation in my language, and it was an epiphany, this guy is a major poet, combining amazing poetry with amazing music, and I listened 4 times in a row and it's not enough. The last 2 minutes of the song just destroy me, but I had to really pay attention to what came before to really understand it.

    So if there are any others here that have been so deeply touched by segnor Spinetta, bring it up!

  2. #2
    He's my fave singer-songwriter bar none, but I suppose you already knew that. I know of no other single artist in rock/pop (etc.) music with his sense of emotional -and- intellectual depth, displayed lyrically as well as musically in terms of both finesse and force, vibe and presence, harmony and contrast.

    Coming to his work anticipating "prog" - that's like approaching a Fellini take on Mr. Bean.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    He's my fave singer-songwriter bar none, but I suppose you already knew that.
    Not so explicitly, but it's a relief to see it. But it can't be just us, outside the non-spanish speaking world, it's not like everyone else is retarded right?

    I've read Lorca, Alberti in the spanish text and mr Spinetta is no inferior, purely as text (but how could anyone separate words from music, it's impossible)

  4. #4
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Hello Zappa, Richard!.
    El Flaco Spinetta came very early to my life thanks to a venezuelan cousin so many moons ago and since then, as I grew up, I discovered his musical universe and poetry and even today, I still do it: I share your enthusiasm for his music and persona!.

    Regards!.
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
    Duke Ellington.

  5. #5
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    Count me in as a big Spinetta fan. His albums Artaud, El jardin de los presentes, A 18 minutos del sol, and Alma de diamante (named under Spinetta Jade) are personal favorites. I came in to know him relatively late, but after a trip to Buenos Aires I’ve managed to buy many of his albums. I must say “A 18 minutos del sol” is one of my favorite albums by anyone. He died way too early. Very talented musician, a true poet.

  6. #6
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    A great artist in the full extent of the word.


    Enviado desde mi iPhone utilizando Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Huge fan,
    Almendra , Pescada Rabiosa, Invisible and his solo records are all different and interesting. The Argentinien rock is very rich and worth to be chequed out. With Spinetta, Charly Garcia ( his different bands and solo) is another one of my favourite musicians.
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they don’t understand!"

  8. #8
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Invisible's El Jardín De Los Presentes is easily one of the highlights of the South American
    Prog scene (and more).

    I'm very much into Prog from Argentina and Chile, many treasures to discover there.

  9. #9
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Invisible's El Jardín De Los Presentes is easily one of the highlights of the South American
    Prog scene (and more).
    Couldn't agree more. One of my absolute favorites from South America.
    "If you want to see the true nature of humanity, just look at the internet."

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  10. #10
    Cantata des Puentes Amarillos has become an all-time favorite for me, a sort of Argentinian Stairway to Heaven, only better. But what about the concept of Yellow Bridges? There seems to be some reference there that I miss.

    The distance covered between Rabioso Pescado 2 and Artaud, in just a few months time, is astounding. This is a complete metamorphosis,
    an artist finding his voice right out of nowhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    With Spinetta, Charly Garcia ( his different bands and solo) is another one of my favourite musicians.
    I am afraid that I haven't been able to connect at the same level with C.G. music. I don't find anything near the emotional depth and mastery of Spinetta.(probably my fault) The other great Argentinian rock source for me has been Arco Iris, a highly underrated band in my opinion. Sudamerica, Inty Raymi, Agitor Lucens V are brilliant in my opinion.

  11. #11
    Spinetta -and Charlie Garcia, and maybe Ricardo Soule (Vox Dei)- became great and somewhat eccentric Argentinian rock solo artists after gaining fame as part of bands considered seminal in their homeland. I would guess a similarity would be to artists as Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and the like. With the hard rock Pescado Rabioso Spinetta was already a great singer and rock guitar player in the conventional sense. Its great to see and hear them in the legendary film Hasta que se ponga el sol (Until the Sun Sets), a film from 1972 in which lots of Argentinian greats of the day appear in a king of local Woodstock, when they were allowed to play for free in Buenos Aires by authorities until the sun, in effect, went down. Spinetta -the long faced one- and the band have fun in this comedy sketch and then are shown playing in a club...

  12. #12
    ^ Great clip, thanks. Spinetta looks so young. Amazing transformation of his voice - from the high-pitch screamer of the Almendra and Pescada era to the quite, delicate voice of Invisible and Spinetta Jade.

  13. #13
    Cantata de Puentes Amarillos is a masterpiece. A prog rock epic only with guitar and voice. I have always loved this ballad, it has the magic only Spinetta could infuse to a simple song.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma View Post
    I have always loved this ballad, it has the magic only Spinetta could infuse to a simple song.
    I am completely unawares of this intermediate, between Almendra and Pescado, album so thanks for posting, I'll be checking out.

  15. #15
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    Never listened to him. Sounds interesting.
    Prog's Not Dead

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    Never listened to him. Sounds interesting.
    If I may suggest a starting point - since I am familiar with your musical preferences - I would say Invisible - Durando Sagrando.

  17. #17
    ^ Durazno. Also the name of one of his best known songs. Completely mofo fantastic 'guitar' progressive album if there ever was one, sporting some of the most creative chord progressions this side of what.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Durazno. Also the name of one of his best known songs. Completely mofo fantastic 'guitar' progressive album if there ever was one, sporting some of the most creative chord progressions this side of what.
    What on earth is going on with Spinetta's guitar sound? I've never listened to anything like it, recognizable even in an ocean of guitar sounds. How does he achieve this? Is it playing, tuning, equipment?

    PS I was sure that Durando was wrong, but I was hoping to spur your participation with some sacrilegious barbarism

  19. #19
    ^ Spinetta's Stratocaster sound was -probably- achieved by way of very slight distortion, most likely through a volume pedal, combined with microdelay alluding to a "doubled" tone and then fixed on a studio-enhanced reverb (as opposed to an amplified such). AFAIK, he used Roland or Peavey speakers, not the usual Marshalls. He would also apply a locked-position wah-wah for the "contained dimention" effect. His playing was stingy and scorching on those Pescado records and the first two Invisible albums, but then he recruited the very young talent of Tómas Kubitsch for El Jardin - although A 18' del Sol one and a half year later proved how Spinetta was more than able to pull those rapid licks off on his own.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  20. #20
    ^ Thanks for this clarifying post. Although it's not the rapid licks that amaze, rather than the sheer power of emotion and perfect blending of styles (blues, jazz, rock, psych) expressed in every single note played. It's gentle and extremely powerful at the same time. Like on this beauty here



    the guitar work from 2.45 till 7.30 approx. has an otherworldly quality that makes me travel to unknown places of myself. Quite reminiscent at times of West Coast psych, but even further or deeper.

    By the way, this first Invisible album is rather underrated. At its great moments, it's not at all inferior to Durazno or El Jardin.
    Last edited by Zappathustra; 04-03-2019 at 03:52 AM.

  21. #21
    ^ The reason for the "rapid lick" comment was that by 1977 Spinetta was treading into more perfectionist realms of jazz-rock/fusion, quite uniquely so on A 18' del Sol and perhaps a bit more clinically on the first two Spinetta Jade records. It's amazing how he could move from the stingy acid-axe of Pescado (in which he came across as a Peter Green- or Hendrix-aficcionado) through the more detailed picking of Invisible and finally embark on the gliss of this:

    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  22. #22
    ^ my single favorite track in Alma de Diamante, and a fantastic masterpiece (I posted the clip a couple of weeks ago on Facebook, in a futile attempt to enlighten the Greek masses on Spinetta-magic). Yes, it's an unbelievable transfiguration, vocally, instrumentally...in a sense Spinetta runs the whole course of the evolution of rock music on his own. And embodies it.

  23. #23
    ^ Very aptly put. Perhaps the most overlooked Spinetta record from the "classic" era was El Valle Interior, the sole release by the 1980 reformation of Almendra. On this one, he essentially returns to (and further develops) the basic formula of Beatles'esque/Kinks'ian "cerebral pop/rock" which he'd already explored with the earlier band. This prompted a faint reaction by those who were expecting more daring continuations on the then-recent progressions of his other projects, something I find a bit interesting, not least because the reformed Almendra was in part a manoeuvre of self-defense in the face of direct threats from cultural bureaucrats serving the extremely oppressive military junta of the day. Reforming an act so previously celebrated - now under significantly more challenging circumstances - was in itself a rather bold and cocky move. But then again A 18' del Sol (in '77) was Spinetta's very own statement in regard to the all-the-more authoritarian governmental implementations of the '76 coup-d'etat; sufficiently abstract and apparently prone to poetic code, yet highly revealing on looking back and listening/reading afterwards. This guy was not only clever but immensely dedicated to the cause of freedom and integrity in man.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    But then again A 18' del Sol (in '77) was Spinetta's very own statement in regard to the all-the-more authoritarian governmental implementations of the '76 coup-d'etat; sufficiently abstract and apparently prone to poetic code, yet highly revealing on looking back and listening/reading afterwards.
    I haven't spent time with the lyrics yet, but it's going to happen. But I fully get what you say. You had to be really inventive in oppressive times to "get it across", avoiding censorship but - most importantly - avoiding being thrown in a cell and tortured to death. The following Markopoulos composition for example, written during the Greek dictatorship, contains lyrics that are complete gibberish, but were absolutely understandable and identifiable by everyone, if only by the plain force of music and Xylouris performance. It was a cry for freedom in bleak times, and escaped the idiots of censor.

    It's a bit OT but maybe not so, so I am giving it here


  25. #25
    I found an interesting book by Miguel Grinberg about the history of Argentinan rock 'Como Vino La Mano , origenes del rock argentino (4th edition 2008). He seemed to be quite aquainted with most muscians and a bigger part of the book consists of long interviews (among them a one with Spinetta .

    003- como vino la mano.jpg
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they don’t understand!"

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