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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Factor Burzaco - II

  1. #1
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Factor Burzaco - II

    For the next several weeks, I will be commemorating 2021 by highlighting some releases from 2011 that are now 10 years old, but likely in the “where are they now?” pile. Next up is Factor Burzaco II (also known as "Viva Burzaco!"), an eclectic avant-rock band from Argentina. They might have completely vanished into obscurity if not noticed by the AltrOck label (now they are just partially vanished). This one is a little difficult to nail down. I can say after revisiting it that it both sounded completely new to my ears, but also very familiar. I'm not sure if that's a complement or a slight, but it is what it is. Any fans?

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    Review from ProgArchives
    Factor Burzaco, brainchild of Argentinean musician and composer Abel Gilbert, released its second album in 2011, simply entitled II, through the marvelous Italian label, AltrOck.

    While having heard their first album some time ago, I confess to not remembering much from it. And so I approached this new album with fresh ears. This album initially left me wordless and baffled. How and what could I write about it? In a way it reminds me of the experiences I had with Italian avant-garde group Nichelodeon's two albums that I reviewed. The same struggling for words and inability to coherently convey the weird and fascinating listening experience I was having with these albums. Indeed, I think most listeners will arrive at the end of this release scratching their heads, trying to understand what it is they just heard.

    Still, what can I expect, you ask? Well, some of what you will hear is: Amorphous dark pieces that roll into propulsive hard edged rock and back again. Abstract female vocals paint eerie sonic images as the variety of instruments gently float around and delicately smear smudges of sounds. Creepy sounds evoked by various instruments lurking about the songs, peering out and quickly crawling back to their roots. Abrupt changes that may scare you on first listen. An animated narration by a male voice about music that gets more and more distressing and poignant as it proceeds, accompanied by vibraphone and percussion playing a hypnotic pattern. Do I need to go on?

    Would it shock you, then, if I said that Factor Burzaco II is a disturbing album. But please don't take this to mean this is a bad album. Au contraire! It is good, because it is disturbing; it is an unsettling listen, a provocative and strange experience. Moreover, it does a good job of balancing its abstract and nebulous side with the tangible ones, where melody takes the reins. When I say melody, you shouldn't expect it in the usual sense of the word, as it is harsh, angular and non-harmonic melody, which I found to be lovely and appealing (maybe that's just me). Indeed, this album offers one hell of a ride, fronted by Restuccia Carolina sweet, insane and diabolical vocals. A wide range of musicians here backs her up, though the music sounds surprisingly minimalistic and thin layered for that big a lineup.

    This is not an easy listen. I can't just pop this cd in and give at a listen at a whim. The proper mood must strike and take over for me to put it on. But when that happens, I know I'm in for an experience. Try this album on headphones, late at night, while doing nothing apart from devoting your full attention to it and allow it to take hold of you. Scary, isn't it? But in a good way! - avestin
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    Member Monet's Avatar
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    From Dadaist spaces via Crimsonesque 80's "standards" to tonal Zappa-like knick-knack percussions and electric guitar parts that are in the vein of Henry Cow, all well nailed with a lot of postmodern tension, that's Factor Burzaco. To these ears, the most interesting parts from "Factor Burzaco II" are tracks "Guantanabu" 1, 2 & 3, and "Mereditika". "Guantanabu 1" has a recital, while the instrumentation returns to the slightly Crimsonian thing that we had previously enjoyed in "In Memoriam". This is followed by "Guantanabu 2" and "Guantanabu 3" that are respective missions consist of the initial density and you get a pure avant-rock. Seven and a half minutes of "Mereditika" has passages of minimalist tendencies with other most delightful thrills, as for instance those beautiful haunting vocals by Restuccia Carolina.
    Anyway, the experimental music at this album is based on a pattern of the permanent evolutionary activity of the significant ‘progressive’ scene in Argentina.

  3. #3
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    For my money this is easily the worst thing they've done. Although I will say the only thing by them I really like is 3.

    I haven't listened to it probably since 2011 though, so maybe if I can be arsed i'll try again in the short term future.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

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    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Well,
    This is the one for me Sean and Friends: I like all of their albums but this one a little bit more and I'm just playing it right now and loving it as the first time!

    Sean wrote:
    "This one is a little difficult to nail down" ... yes it is!.
    "I can say after revisiting it that it both sounded completely new to my ears, but also very familiar.
    I'm not sure if that's a complement or a slight, but it is what it is.
    Any fans?
    "

    For me, it's a complement but I'm a fan !


    Good call !
    Pura Vida!.

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

  5. #5
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    The “advant” crowd has let me down. But that is part of the point of the exercise, posing that music made after 2008 or so has significantly less staying power with the fan base than music from the 15 years previous.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  6. #6
    ^ That advant crowd only wants to take advantage of its status as advanced adversary, and should not be trusted.

    Man, I'm about as advant-guard as they come and to some folx apparently dig it all once it's true advant, but truth is I could never really get my aces up for the Burzaco debut and consequently ceased the pursuit.

    Not "bad", exactly, just somehow a bit too pedestrian to my ears. Not that I even prefer all of my avant-progressive edgy, hyper-dense or spectacular - they surely can't all be Tipographicas or Thinking Plagues or Alamaailmans - and I usually love the "song-oriented" avant stuff (Bittova/Fajt/Dunaj, Orthotonics, Virgule 4, L'Ensemble Rayé plus 137 more).

    Yet the Burzaco failed to touch my heart, head or balls. I prefer other modern Argentinian "advants" like Honduras Libegrupo, Chau Coco!, Las Orejas Y La Lengua, Deformica or Karenautas.
    "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

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    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Hello Richard, Sean and Friends:

    I think, I'm not understanding you guys well, this is my take: in the end, it's a matter of "tastes", I like and enjoy what I listen to and it motivates me to check and buy their discography, etc. and I don't consider an "avant guy" myself ... BTW ;-)


    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I prefer other modern Argentinian "advants" like Honduras Libegrupo, Chau Coco!, Las Orejas Y La Lengua, Deformica or Karenautas.
    Recommended bands, yes Richard !


    Nice compilation and label (from Perú) too!
    ˇSalgan al sol​!​: Avant​-​rock en la Argentina del siglo XXI!
    Pura Vida!.

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

  8. #8
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    The “advant” crowd has let me down. But that is part of the point of the exercise, posing that music made after 2008 or so has significantly less staying power with the fan base than music from the 15 years previous.
    I agree with Richard above. I'm not sure why this particular album would make headway in the avant world, despite it being released on Altrock. Pedestrian is an excellent word to describe it.


    That said...it's much easier for an album from 1972 to become a classic, given so much time as passed, as opposed to one from 2012. At least, for me personally, i feel it would be odd to consider something a 'timeless classic' that has been released in the past 10 years.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  9. #9
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    The “advant” crowd has let me down....posing that music made after 2008 or so has significantly less staying power with the fan base than music from the 15 years previous.
    Maybe!

    Or maybe you simply picked a semi-stinker!
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  10. #10
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Maybe!

    Or maybe you simply picked a semi-stinker!
    Indeed. I don't select only albums I am enamored with, but thought at least more people would weigh in considering the number of AltrOckaphiles out there.

    I thought, if anyone, you might have at least caught on to the inside joke in the original post.
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  11. #11
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Indeed. I don't select only albums I am enamored with, but thought at least more people would weigh in considering the number of AltrOckaphiles out there.

    I thought, if anyone, you might have at least caught on to the inside joke in the original post.
    You mean the vanished part? I chuckled really good at that.

    As far as AltrOck goes, I would say that Factor B belong in the bottom 20% of their overall releases in terms of what *I* like. That's not very high. Other people's mileage may vary.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  12. #12
    I owned the first two Factor Burzaco albums. I tried, but they never clicked with me. Honestly, I didn't remember enough about their music to comment much, but listening back to some of the samples, I see why I let them go.

    I'm not a huge "avant head," so this stuff has to be somewhat special to attract me, and I do have some "avant" stuff in my collection that I enjoy a lot. There just wasn't anything really special or standout about this release to me (or the first one, iirc). I hate to say "Avant by numbers," but I can't help feeling like I've heard what they do a lot. They're not terrible records, but if you're not breaking some new ground in the avant rock sphere, then it's not hard to see why many would find it rather unspectacular.

    You wanted comments, so there's mine.

    Bill

  13. #13
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I never heard factor Burzaco II.

    I bought III, which was ok, but it never enticed me to check out the others albums.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I'm not a huge "avant head,"
    Bill, I'm on my way to Quincy, MA with a leucotome and ol' Quincy, M.E. We're gonna put that avant into your head as quicksy as a headspinzy.

    Quincy.jpgQuincy.jpg
    "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

  15. #15
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Two Adavant Gourd.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Bill, I'm on my way to Quincy, MA with a leucotome and ol' Quincy, M.E. We're gonna put that avant into your head as quicksy as a headspinzy.

    Quincy.jpgQuincy.jpg

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