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7 Sep 2016

Phoenix “Mugur De Fluier” 1974 Romania Prog Folk Rock












Phoenix “Mugur De Fluier” 1974 Romania Prog Folk Rock
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This is one of the best album of the genre. it’s inspired by historical tales about ancient living heroes of romanian people. This five songs “Lasa, lasa” are witty couplets. The song “Mica Tiganiada” is about old lifestyle of gipsy people. “Mugur de fluier” is ispired by Jethro Tull’s “A Christmas Song”, but the lyrics are very beautiful. “Muzica si muzichia” it’s a mery song, short but very funny. Try to find and listen this album, you’ll never regrete! ……. 

“Mugur de Fluier” could be translated as “Sprout of Fluier”, being Fluier the Romanian six hole pipe, and the name of this PHOENIX album couldn’t be more precise, being that the unique melodies created with this exotic instrument by Nicolae Covaci clear expressions of Romanian Ethnic music. 

“Mugur de Fluier” is the second release of this amazing Romanian band and even when we can appreciate they still maintain a certain attachment to 60’s Psyche, the sound is much more oriented towards folkloric musical expressions of their country, a path they will follow through their extended career, being that after 37 years they are still active. 

The album starts with “Lasa, Lasa Nº 1” a short percussion and bass based song that will be a constant along the album as introduction and interlude between the central tracks, with the peculiarity of being played faster in each version so starts relatively slow in Nº 1 and ends incredibly fast in the Nº 5 version. 

The second song is “Pavel Chinezu, Leat 1479”, an interesting Proto Prog track based mostly in the ability of Covaci’s guitar an Kappl’s bass, some certain resemblance to GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, but the unique vocals makes it different to every previous to PHOENIX Rock band. 

“Strunga” begins with a sweet Romanian flute sound (most surely blockflotte) with all the ethnic flavor of Transylvanian music that leads rapidly to a beautiful acoustic passage in which the vocals make the difference, sadly can’t understand Romanian but sounds great and the arrangements are very interesting. 

“Andrii Popa” starts with a delightful acoustic introduction supported by the always nice vocals, the song flows fluidly from start to end, again with a strong bass work, as the album advances the band gets closer to an authentic ethnic sound and morph from a psyche album with folk elements to a Prog Folk release. 

After “Lasa Lasa Nº 2” already commented we move to the exquisite and nostalgic “Mica Tiganiada” played with the Romanian 12 string guitar called “Double Six”, even when the song gets faster as the minutes pass that sad atmosphere proper of most Folk expressions continues covering the listener, but a sudden change occurs, an aggressive violin makes the difference and turns “Mica Tiganiada” into extraordinary song. 

“Lasa Lasa Nº 3” works as an interlude for the clearly Romanian Folk oriented sound of “Ochii Negri, Ochi de Tigan” (Black Eyes, Gypsy Eyes), a very sweet and fascinating song, as in the previous track the nostalgia is more than evident, wish I could understand the lyrics. 

“Muzica si Muzichia” is another wonderful folk track, this time with more complex arrangements than in the previous songs, being that the blend of occidental and Romanian instruments is done with a very good taste despite the complexity. “Mugiur de Fluier” follows in the vein of the previous tracks but the use of the fluier gives a different sound, something between a Medieval Troubadour and Ian Anderson with a modern transverse flute, if we add “Anule Hanule” it makes the perfect trilogy so by this point I can’t be more delighted. 

But the band leaves the best for the end, “Dansul Codrilor” is the perfect blend of Folk, Rock and Prog, easier to listen than to be described, so I won’t try to do it……. 

The beginnings of Romanian band PHOENIX must called back from the 60’s. They released a few EPs during this period, featuring several original compositions and some covers of BEATLES songs. Unfortunately (or fortunately, God knows) the communist officials were not impassive regarding their western style and music and started to create them some problems. Despite all opinions, the leader Nicolae Covaci abandoned the beat influences and instead turned to archaic Romanian music as the source of inspiration. Their journey to old Romanian folklore begin with ‘Cei Ce Ne-au Dat Nume’ continues with 'Mugur De fluier’ (subtitled Introduction for an old Romanian music concert) and ends with 'Cantofabule’, a poem inspired by medieval books (bestiars) dedicated to mythical creatures. 

The work of PHOENIX is a pleasant guide through Romanian spirit and meanwhile some really progressive pages. Living guitar, nice bass, accurate drums and emotional vocals alongside proper arrangements, originality and musical depth describe three of the best Romanian albums ever. 
(George Preda) …. 

Vinyl reissue of the excellent and now very sought-after second album by the best Romanian rock band ever was released in 1974 on the Electrecord state label. Phoenix perfectly blended local, archaic folk music with nostalgic ballads and European progressive rock. ……. 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Nicolae Covaci / guitar, double six, vocals, percussion 
- Iosif Kappl / bass, vocals, violin, blockflote, percussion, chimes 
- Mircea Baniciu / vocals, guitar, percussion 
- Costin Petrescu / drums, cymbalom, percussion 
- Valeriu Sepi / percussion 
- Gunter Reininger / percussion, celesta, chimes 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Lasa, lasa Nr. 1 (1:28) 
2. Pavel Chinezu, leat 1479 (6:12) 
3. Strunga (7:23) 
4. Andrii Popa (3:11) 
5. Lasa, lasa Nr. 2 (0:35) 
6. Mica Tiganiada (3:22) 
7. Lasa, lasa Nr. 3 (0:58) 
8. Ochii negri, ochi de tigan (3:24) 
9. Muzica si muzichia (2:10) 
10. Mugur de fluier (3:55) 
11. Lasa, lasa Nr. 4 (0:41) 
12. Anule, hanule (5:15) 
13. Lasa, lasa Nr. 5 (0:37) 
14. Dansul codrilor (6:21)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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