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MUSICA URBANA: Musica Urbana
A truly great record by a truly great band. I’ve waited decades to reissue this luminous work which, in my opinion, was one of the most impressive musical achievements of its time. Made in Barcelona in 1976, it exemplified the creative optimism that swept through Spain in the wake of thirty-six years of repressive dictatorship. Formed by four young virtuosi from very different musical backgrounds, Musica Urbana’s unique contribution was to to infuse the languages of rock, jazz and formal composition with flamenco, the Spanish folk tradition and the sensibility of national composers, such as Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz – and then to weave these elements together into a uniquely Spanish iteration of experimental rock. It also captures an explosive cultural moment that came and went quite quickly: industry values very soon took back control. After one more album, already half ‘normalised’, MU’s members shifted into new careers: one becoming a major contemporary composer, others moving on to work with Paco de Lucia and Chick Corea.. but on this one glorious record all the strands come seamlessly together. The pieces here are fully composed – but rendered fluid and organic through rehearsal and performance; an eloquent tribute to the interpretative brilliance of the interpreters. And - because they just made it sound the way they wanted it, untutored in the conventions of the mainstream industry - the sound quality is exemplary: one of those rare accidents of perfection achieved through a combination of innocence, enthusiasm, the spirit of the times, and unbridled talent. The playing too is peerless - and I should make special mention of drummer and percussionist, Salvator Font, an example to us all: in feel, technique and imagination. This new edition is remastered and repackaged.