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10 Nov 2016

Errobi “Errobi” 1975 Spain Prog Folk debut album

Errobi “Errobi” 1975 Spain excellent prog Folk debut album original Elkar label reissued by Guerssen Records in 2002 
full discography on discogs……
The debut album by Basque prog-folk heroes, released originally in 1977; a dose of refined progressive folk rock sung in Basque, known for it’s twin electric guitar sound. Freak Emporium 

Founded by Anje Duhalde and Mixel Ducau in 1973, Errobi was the first Basque rock band. To their blend of symphonic rock and jazz, popular at the time, they added a nationalistic touch and the language of the proletariat. The band had great success and some of thier songs, like ‘Gure Lekukotasuna’, 'Xilego Langileria’ and 'Telebista’ became classics. Having disbanded in 1979 they reformed for a short period in 1985. Both Duhalde and Ducau have since pursued solo careers. ….. 

After the death of Franco in 75, Spain started enjoying a cultural revolution, with the youth expressing themselves in a rocky manner, but a few years behind. Sure there were some rock and jazz-rock groups that took advantage of the last years of the regime, which slowly loosening its strong conservative/fascist grip, because of tourism bringing fresh amounts of cash to a country that was isolated for three decades. But the full explosion of the progressive movement happened in the second half of the decade, and the different regions of Spain, where now making obvious references to their musical traditions. One of the regions that suffered the worst in Spain was the Basque Provinces, and as soon as the regime folded, there came about a flood of folk artists, and a few groups that mixed the folk music with a rock format. In the following years, bands like Izukaitz, Haizea, Itoiz, Itziar and Errobi all releazsed a few albums that can be regarded as folk prog gems. 

Errobi was one of the longer-lasting of those groups and certainly the most adventurous or at least the widest-spectrummed. Mixing more easily straight ahead rock with their Basque folk rock, their sound was consequently different than the other above-mentioned groups. Their first two are definitive Errobi sounds, but they will record albums until the mid-80’s, but by then they had substantially changed. ….. 

This debut from the Basque folk duo Duhalde-Ducau is a rather pleasant surprise for the proghead. Their type of rock holds many interesting twists and a full instrumentation of a group, even if they are presented as a duet. All of their songs are sung in Basque (the counter-shock of Spain’s deliverance of the Franco regime and the sudden provincial or local traditions allowed again) and are translate in the booklet in French and Spanish. Funnily enough and as expected from Basque, they chose to first paste the French translation before the Spanish ones. The naïve artwork depicts a map of their ideal land with the waters of the lakes spelling out their names watering/milking the land. 
While the songs have a definite folk rock flavour, but more in the 60’s west coast rather than the traditional folklore with ancient music, the album is anything but groundbreaking, but remains pleasant. All of the tracks feature a predominantly acoustic guitar duo, but a good deal of them have some interesting bass works, and some other twist: the closing Euzkadi (their region in Basque) hassome Gregorian ambiances. No real stand outs but no stinkers either. 

Hardly an essential album really, but if you have a chance at spinning it (even for sampling), it might just be worth your trouble. But if you are into Basque influenced music, you might want to try out Ametsaren Bidea, first…… by Sean Trane ……. 

Gure Lekukotasuna (77) 
Bizi Bizian (79) 
Ametzaren Bidea (78) 
Agur T'Erdi (84) 


Euskadi 1:32 
Aitarik Ez Dut 5:45 
H I 2:00 
Kanpo 3:15 
Gure Zortea 4:47 
Perttoli 4:25 
Nora Goaz 3:42 
Zuretzat 3:56 
Andere Haundi 5:30 
Euskadi 1:12

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..