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Thread: I gathered info on Mezquita from Spain. The band behind "Recuerdos de mi Tierra"

  1. #1
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    I gathered info on Mezquita from Spain. The band behind "Recuerdos de mi Tierra"

    Anyone heard this mix of Spanish and Arabic music in symphonic prog? I love it!

    Please check out my short documentary to learn about this band and then check out their tunes!

    Have you heard any other band like this before?

    It's similar to Triana, but I believe these guys were creating their own style before hearing Triana

    https://youtu.be/DaHOuKzLR60

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hunt View Post
    Anyone heard this mix of Spanish and Arabic music in symphonic prog? I love it!

    Please check out my short documentary to learn about this band and then check out their tunes!

    Have you heard any other band like this before?

    It's similar to Triana, but I believe these guys were creating their own style before hearing Triana

    https://youtu.be/DaHOuKzLR60
    Triana's first album was four years before Mezquita, so it would surprise me if they hadn't heard it. That said, Mezquita do have a their own sound within that "Andalusian" Prog style. Other bands I'd put in the category are Crack and Alameda, perhaps Granada to some extent as well. I haven't watched your video yet, but I will. I love Mezquita and would enjoy knowing more about them.

    Bill

  3. #3
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    It's a great record (as I recall), I bought the CD, from Greg, back in the early 90's when he still lived in Stanton..

    Thanks for the reminder, I'll pull it out for a listen in my car...

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I have the Japanese CD reissue of the first album that came out in 1990. Excellent stuff.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    It's a great record (as I recall), I bought the CD, from Greg, back in the early 90's when he still lived in Stanton..
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I have the Japanese CD reissue of the first album that came out in 1990. Excellent stuff.
    Ditto, I have that as well. I've always loved it too. In some sense, Mezquita may be the ultimate Andalusian Prog band. They really take that "Flamenco Prog" to the extreme, and the Moorish influences in their music are quite pronounced. Really fun and outlandish stuff!

    I'm actually spinning my Alameda compilation now. I like them a lot, and actually find them more consistent than Triana, whose only album I really like is the debut.

    Bill

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I'm kind of remembering Iman Califato Independiente being in the same general mold (Spanish and Arabic influences,) but I may be confusing them with someone else.

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    Great video Sean...thanks. Nice reminder to dig out my CD too. I also got this from Greg WAY back in the olde days.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I'm kind of remembering Iman Califato Independiente being in the same general mold (Spanish and Arabic influences,) but I may be confusing them with someone else.
    I own and enjoy both of their albums. I'm not remembering such a strong Andalusian influence, but it's been a while since I spun their albums. I'll dig them out for a revisit. You could be right.

    Bill

  9. #9
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Hola Sean!.
    I insist: your "spanish" is better than my "english"! (lol)

    Great band and first album, good call!

    Rock Andaluz!
    For me, Triana, Alameda and Medina Azahara are the best known bands of the so-called Andalusian Rock, a genre that I like a lot and that I also collect.
    I try to cover all its variants and not only focus on the mixture of Progressive Rock and Flamenco for example.

    The sevillian band Smash is one of the important pioneers of the Andalusian rock: they recorded a popular song, "El Garrotín (1971)" which became a huge sales success and contributed to laid the foundations for the golden age of the Andalusian Rock and of Triana's first album, "El Patio", "A la vida, al dolor" of Gualberto and "14 de abril" of Goma, all edited in 1975.

    - A good example of early mixing Flamenco with the psychedelia of Smash. -


    Prior to that single from Smash, works such as "Skecthes of Spain" (1960) by Miles Davis or Sabicas con Joe Beck - "Encuentro con el Rock" (recorded in 1966 and released in 1970) had already been recorded mixing musical concepts as disparate as the Spanish tradition and contemporary American music, with surprising results.

    There are also examples of an approach to Andalusian Rock music in Anglo-Saxon rock, such as in the songs "Spanish Caravan" by The Doors (1968) and "A Spanish Piece" by Pink Floyd (1969)

    Back to Spain:
    I think that each of this bands (and some more) contributed to shaping the characteristics of the genre with a lot of variety as we can see:
    - Triana: symphonic rock.
    - Alameda: the "copla" and the Spanish classical tradition.
    - Medina Azahara: the hardest rock a la the Deep Purple style.
    - Cai: jazz.
    - Imán Califato Independiente: experimentation.
    - Guadalquivir: exclusively instrumental compositions.


    Finally, a good video (in spanish):



    Pura Vida.
    Last edited by TCC; 01-16-2022 at 07:56 PM.
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
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  10. #10
    Member Bytor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hunt View Post
    Anyone heard this mix of Spanish and Arabic music in symphonic prog? I love it!

    Please check out my short documentary to learn about this band and then check out their tunes!

    Have you heard any other band like this before?

    It's similar to Triana, but I believe these guys were creating their own style before hearing Triana

    https://youtu.be/DaHOuKzLR60
    Someday, this album is my favorite spanish prog album. Thank you for the video :-)

  11. #11
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I have the Japanese CD reissue of the first album that came out in 1990. Excellent stuff.

    Mine, too, disc on mostly black, with a big "CRIME" on it...(?)

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    Thank you guys for watching!

    Really cool that so many of you have their album/s! I'm surprised by that. You guys are super awesome prog fans in this forum, it's aweseome!

    Sputnik, I don't know if you watched the video yet or not, but I explain that they began forming the sound back in 1973 or so when they were under the name Expresion, so I suppose I worded it incorrectly by suggesting Mezquita had never heard Triana.

    TCC! Thank you so much for that! I'm enjoying some Smash now! I had read briefly about them when studying this video as Expresion had toured with them. But I didn't realize their importance, thank you very much. And thanks for watching my video too!

    You guys are seriously so great and I hope I'm able to add worthy value to discussions and knowledge here with my videos.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hunt View Post
    Thank you guys for watching!

    Really cool that so many of you have their album/s! I'm surprised by that. You guys are super awesome prog fans in this forum, it's aweseome!

    Sputnik, I don't know if you watched the video yet or not, but I explain that they began forming the sound back in 1973 or so when they were under the name Expresion, so I suppose I worded it incorrectly by suggesting Mezquita had never heard Triana.

    TCC! Thank you so much for that! I'm enjoying some Smash now! I had read briefly about them when studying this video as Expresion had toured with them. But I didn't realize their importance, thank you very much. And thanks for watching my video too!

    You guys are seriously so great and I hope I'm able to add worthy value to discussions and knowledge here with my videos.
    As a matter of fact, I did watch the video this morning. Very nicely done, I learned a lot about the band I didn't know.

    It's hard to know exactly what the band's influences were. While it's true that they'd been playing as Expresion since the early 70s, I don't really hear a lot of connection between Expresion's music and Mezquita. Mezquita is far more advanced, and takes a much deeper plunge into the "Rock Andaluz" influences. It would surprise me if the guys in Expresion weren't aware of the burgeoning popularity of that style and bands like bands like Triana, Granada, Vega, Feliu i Joan Albert, and others who had achieved popularity between 1975 and 1978. My guess is this precipitated their change of direction away from the relatively simple and somewhat passe blues riff-rock of Expresion, and that they spent a lot of 1977 and 1978 cultivating that new style informed by the other famous Andalusian bands. That's obviously just my guess, but the timing and the fairly substantial change in the music, plus the moniker change to an Andalusian icon, makes me feel this is likely. It almost sounds like they set out to make the ultimate Andalusian Prog album, and in some ways, I think they did just that!

    Bill

  14. #14
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    Love this album. I have the Si-Wan release which sounds great. Most Si-Wan releases do.
    Will watch the video later.
    HuGo
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    She was gold alright, but then so is rust.
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  15. #15
    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Hello Gang!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hunt View Post
    TCC! Thank you so much for that! I'm enjoying some Smash now! I had read briefly about them when studying this video as Expresion had toured with them. But I didn't realize their importance, thank you very much. And thanks for watching my video too!
    Tankx to you Sean!
    Pura Vida!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    As a matter of fact, I did watch the video this morning. Very nicely done, I learned a lot about the band I didn't know.

    It's hard to know exactly what the band's influences were. While it's true that they'd been playing as Expresion since the early 70s, I don't really hear a lot of connection between Expresion's music and Mezquita. Mezquita is far more advanced, and takes a much deeper plunge into the "Rock Andaluz" influences. It would surprise me if the guys in Expresion weren't aware of the burgeoning popularity of that style and bands like bands like Triana, Granada, Vega, Feliu i Joan Albert, and others who had achieved popularity between 1975 and 1978. My guess is this precipitated their change of direction away from the relatively simple and somewhat passe blues riff-rock of Expresion, and that they spent a lot of 1977 and 1978 cultivating that new style informed by the other famous Andalusian bands. That's obviously just my guess, but the timing and the fairly substantial change in the music, plus the moniker change to an Andalusian icon, makes me feel this is likely. It almost sounds like they set out to make the ultimate Andalusian Prog album, and in some ways, I think they did just that!

    Bill
    Bill nailed it and more!

    The "Andalusian Rock" wasn't a fad or a trend with an expiration date. (IMO)

    And you're right Bill and that's how it's been with other musical genres that we love: the natural musical evolution has made it lose prominence but it's always active/valid by groups like Medina Azahara and/or Arábiga for example: undoubtedly, what is done today is not what was done in its origins, but that doesn't mean that the current "Andalusian Rock" lacks interest nor that the work produced during the period of splendor of the movement has lost validity, thanks mainly to the creativity and enormous quality of the musicians who produced it.

    Expresión was one of the brightest groups from Andalucía in the seventies and despite having released only 1 single in 1974: "Marrakech" (sung in English) - "La Luz del Fin del Mundo" (sung in Spanish), they are considered pioneers of - the urban style - "Rock Urbano" genre, a style quite loaded with hard rock that proliferated during the seventies and that groups like Bloque or Asfalto definitively incorporated into their sound.

    As a curious fact: they composed the first rock opera in "castellano" (spanish) in 1974.

    In 2011, a CD was released with the single plus 11 unreleased songs recorded in the place where they rehearsed.
    "El Eslabón Omeya": I like it and it's a good example of their music for those years.



    In a recent interview, they told:
    "Mezquita has Arabic overtones, but our essence is progressive rock."

    And to the question of:
    1."Who did "Andalusian Rock" before, Mezquita or Medina Azahara?"-, they answered:
    -"Mezquita, in 1973, when we're still "Expresión", we began to make the first songs with the "Andalusian Rock" wave. Then, in 1975, "Triana" came out.
    The change of name and repertoire came later. We had quite a few songs of that style and we realized that there was enough material to record an LP and that's where the first album came from." -

    2. "Andalusian Rock" is a broad genre, what is special about Mezquita?
    -"In those first years, we played cover songs from great rock bands like King Crimson or Pink Floyd, our music had arabian-andalusian overtones but our essence is progressive rock, that's why our songs are so long and very different from those of other bands.
    What happens is that everything that sounds "arabian" is given an andalusian last name (in reality it should be called "Andalusí").
    Progressive Rock are experiments, long songs that in 10 minutes tell a story, otherwise in three minutes, only a few words."

    3."-In what state of health is "Andalusian Rock"?"
    -"Lately, there has been a revitalization of "Andalusian Rock" because there has been an awakening of the conscience of Andalusía.
    The good thing about "Andalusian Rock" is that it is timeless, it never goes out of style.
    A Triana's song today is as fresh as when it was recorded more than 40 years ago.
    In addition, new groups are coming out that are heirs to our history and that see us as their musical fathers."

    Another interesting fact:
    - Máximo Moreno Hurtado, photographer and painter, made the covers of Triana's "El Patio" and of Mezquita's "Recuerdos De Mi Tierra" !!


    Thanks for reading my friends.
    My 3 centavos!
    Last edited by TCC; 01-17-2022 at 11:12 PM.
    Pura Vida!.

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

  16. #16
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    That Andalusian-Arabic mix is a heady brew. I love it.

  17. #17
    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    El Bicho is a good example of a more modern approach of Flamenco Rock. Not overtly Proressive, but at least they have a Spanish Ian Anderson playing the flute!
    I like the energy.

    HuGo
    "Very, very nice," said a man in the crowd,
    When the golden voice appeared.
    She was gold alright, but then so is rust.
    "Such a shame about the beard."

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