[Review] Experimental Q – Amintiri Despre Viitor

Experimental Q, where Q stands for Quintet, are a band originally from Romania and active in the 70s, during which time they won numerous awards at student festivals. Although their sound is markedly Prog and of good quality they have not been able to produce any albums during the period of activity. Recently reformed, they recorded two albums between 2012 and 2014, and thanks to their desire they have recovered and remastered the works of the past that will be released in December 2021 for the DJs Techno Conference Label. Titled “Amintiri Despre Viitor” this collection of trackss recorded between 1974 and 1975 contains long-lasting pieces, which showcase a 70s-style Progressive sound. The influences of the pivotal groups of the genre are felt, but the band is able to express their personal traits, having also created over the years a sort of legend linked to the fact that the tracks only see the light today. The album opens with “Amintiri Despre Viitor = Memories About The Future” which is also the longest track with over 10 minutes in length, immediately immerses us in the atmosphere of the 70s. It begins with phrasing between organ and flute, a massive and intricate rhythmic session, recalling the sound of the ELP and King Crimson and the bands of the Eastern European era. A well-developed and entirely instrumental suite, where the keyboards that intertwine with the electric guitar stand out, giving life to the classic Progressive sounds that lovers of the genre appreciate so much. Long solo sections, dark atmospheres and rapid tempo changes are a constant in the piece, which emphasizes the technique of all the musicians involved. Also pleasant is the use of the flute which gives a symphonic touch to each intervention, adding more melodic features to the sound. The second “Vis Intergalactic = Intergalactic Dream” is slightly shorter in duration than the previous one, as well as not having the presence of the flute inside. Sweet dreamy notes on the piano introduce us to the song with a Jazzy touch that soon flows into the Delicate and Symphonic Prog sound with acoustic guitar inserts on a very pleasant organ carpet. Here too the tempo changes allow different solutions to the band, which mixes darker passages with other more melodic ones with mixes and solos between guitar and organ of a good level. The passages are interesting, it is a pity that the quality of the recording is not impeccable, a song like this would have expressed the maximum with a superior sound quality, I’m sure that the remaster made today has already enhanced the traits. Side A closes with this dreamy and dilated track, showing in this first part a good command of the instruments and clear ideas in composition. The second side of the album opens with the first part of the suite “Atlantida I = Atlantis I” recorded in 1974 and divided into two sections. This initial takes up the sound with which the previous one ended, enhancing the more symphonic and dreamy aspect of the Progressive, with a carpet of keyboards and the guitar in evidence on a striking theme and sweet melodies. The contaminations with classical music are more marked here, as often happened in the ’70s, managing to find the right balance between it and Rock. The rhythmic session outlines and marks the time, enriching the piece with elaborate changes and solutions, leaving the keyboards and guitar free to play with the melodies and intertwine pleasantly. Here the references to ELP music from the Tarkus period are more pronounced, a mystery how a band with this ability has never been produced before. The track ends in crescendo, after a drum solo in the final all the instruments return with the keyboards that stand out and open the way for the second part. “Atlantida II = Atlantis II” begins with a repeated bass line and keyboards on which flute melodies and the electric guitar are inserted later. With the intensity that increases with the passage of the piece, articulated and with unpredictable tempo changes, they show once again that they have good ideas and know how to develop them to the fullest. Continuing the speech of the previous one, as it is linked to it, the sounds are a winning mix of more classical and rhythmic Rock keyboards, recalling once again the compositions of the ELp, with personal traits and their own style. Between more symphonic and other more electric openings, sweeter moments and others more accelerated and powerful, the song flows and we seem to have gone back in time leaving us positive feelings. A track originating from 1975 is “Flori = Flowers,” the penultimate of the record, which begins with a sweet piano arpeggio into which the rhythm session is soon inserted. It is also the first sung song of the album, which showcases a good melodic vocal and a clear 70’s stamp, as well as the flute that gives an extra solution to the melodies. The texts in Romanian are well suited to the music, recalling the first releases of Prog at the turn of the 60s and 70s, with also some good piano inserts in the second part that add a touch of classical music to the sound. The album “Atlantida = Atlantis (* Snippet from the future)” ends with a short passage of just over 2 minutes, perfect to end this good work. Characterized by a long electric guitar solo that takes up almost the entire tempo of the piece accompanying us at the end. A good work that fortunately has been remastered and has finally been able to be released even if in copies limited to 300 vinyls, giving us the opportunity to listen to it. I never thought that after nearly 50 years there were still hidden treasures just waiting to be re-discovered like in this case. The quality of the recordings is not perfect but the work that has been done today to release it is really of fine workmanship and enhances all aspects of the album. A listening recommended for all lovers of the purest sounds of 70s-style Progressive Rock. The recordings date back to 1974-1975 and show a good quality both in the composition and execution phase, thanks to the perseverance and desire of both the band and the record company for having offered us this hidden rarity, a pleasant listening.

Tracklist

FACE A

1. Amintiri Despre Viitor = Memories About The Future (1974) 10:49
2. Vis Intergalactic = Intergalactic Dream (1975) 09:45

FACE B

1. Atlantida I = Atlantis I (1974) 07:32
2. Atlantida II = Atlantis II (1974) 05:44
3. Flori = Flowers (1975) 05:09
4. Atlantida = Atlantis (*Snippet from the future) (1974) 02:37

Lineup

Nicolae Bocaciu / Bass
Nicolae Delioran / Drums
Gheorghe Marcovici / Flute (1-5)
Valentin Farcaș / Guitar
Eugen Tunariu / Keyboards, Organ

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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