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18 Jun 2017

Cai "Noche Abierta" 1980 Spain Prog Rock Andaluz

Cai "Noche Abierta" 1980 Spain Prog Rock Andaluz


In 1980, the Cadiz people by Epic (subsidiary of CBS) and publish their second Lp; An exquisite and full of magic called "Noche Abierta", in which the developments of keyboards and guitars stand out again.
For this album the group is expanded to a quintet with the incorporation of Jose A. Fernandez Mariscal "el niño" as a second guitar................

It is a rock band, from the 70s with a fusion of progressive rock, flamenco or Andalusian rock, we can touch symphonic rock and jazz fusion if you like. Chano Domínguez on the piano, nowadays renowned jazz pianist. Paco Delgado González on guitar, I do not know much about him but they have to listen to those phrases so we can agree that he is a great guitar player. Diego Fiopani in the pots and in voice, this drum made me delirious with the amount of blows and he with the little volume with which he plays, proves that you should not beat him but touch her to the drums. José Laureano Vélez Gómez in the bass, always notorious the technique of low flamenco, a very neat type, but listen, Jose Fernandez Mariscal on the other guitar, there is much more to say. This is really being heard.....................

 Cai's second album, 'Noche Abierta', is one of the finest offerings of Southern Spain's progressive movement, carachterized for its massive Flamenco-oriented nuances. The progressive aspects of Cai's music are very similar to those of Iman Califato Independiente's, only with a more moderate touch of jazz, and a more recurring presence of vocal parts. The musicianship is superb, and by that I not only intend to praise the excellent labour of Dominguez on keyboards and Fernadez Mariscal on guitar (crafty purveyors of sonic magic), but also the well-oiled rhythm section, with an incredible bassist that every now and then comes briefly to the front, and a versatile drummer (who, by the way, has a beautiful voice, too) who can translate his jazz sensibilities into the band's Flamenco essence with incredible ease. Major foreign influences are Camel, Hackett-era Genesis, some of Pink Floyd's ethereal melancholy, and some of Return to Forever - these ingredients help to emphasize the enormously passionate melodic romanticism of flamenco as an integral part of Cai. For example, the opening track, very moving, and very catchy, captures the listener's heart even if they can't understand Spanish. The same romantic aura is reiterated in the following song, only with a more moderate level of passion, as if the emotional flow were a bit more constrained and focused on meditation. The two instrumentals, 'Alegrias de Cai' and 'La Roca del Diablo' are my personal faves: the former captures the cheerful spirit that is present in most parts of Flamenco folklore, while the latter finds the band exploring a more Cosmopolitan trend, that of Camel and "WYWH"-era Pink Floyd, with added flavours from Weather Report, in this way creating a subtly somber air. In both cases, the result is stylish, with a perfect equilibrium between all instruments' inputs. Anyway, generally speaking, the repertoire is very consistent and cohesive: my favourite sung tracks are the title track and 'Extraña Seduccion', both of them driving the band to their most majestic peaks. The latter takes Cai's ability to create beautiful melodies and arrange them inventively to levels of progressive grandiosity, making the final result both overwhelming and cleverly designed. Every time I listen to this album, I regret that this song's fade-out comes so soon, when actually the song is 6+ minute long. 'La Fábula' is beautiful prog ballad constructed in an eerie ambience - had this song been a bit longer, it would have reached its full potential for mesmerizing the listener and deprive them of their waking lucidity. But again, things are just fine as they are. In short, "Noche Abierta" is one of the best things that came out of Spain, hand in hand with the finest works by Mezquita, Iman and Cesar Inca ...................

Unlike their debut, this album was recorded on a major label (Epic). It still has the same keyboard sounds, with the string synth and electronic combo organ, but the MUCH higher production values make it all sound considerably less thin and weedy. Funny, that.
The shorter song length actually works to their advantage. The long tracks on their debut tended to meander a bit, but here everything is tight and economical, saying just what it needs to without wearing out its welcome. Of course, the album's finest moments are its more extended ones, with the moody "Extraña seducción" being a fine centerpiece, and the gorgeous instrumental "La Roca del Diablo" a clear apex. It's the latter that makes the album mostly worth purchasing, never failing to get me all choked up, with beautifully emotional melodies expressed through fantastic guitarwork. It gets my vote among the greatest Spanish flamenco-prog moments of all time.

Elsewhere, the flamenco influence seems to be even stronger, as on "Soñé contigo" and the rhythmically-driven title track. Surely a band that wear their cultural influence on their sleeve, and is all the better for Progbear ............

Recently I was able to buy some new vinyls from my buddy Erik Neuteboom, an important member of our Dutch symphonic community. His devoted appreciation for the Prog Andaluz subgenre (not shown on PA) made me try some of it's fruits. The first record I will review is Cai's Noche Abierta.

The good think about non-English prog is that it's eeeh.. non-English. Instead, some of the influences from the home-country of the band become apparent. The classical art style of the RPI is a good example, but this warm, energetic Flamenco influenced progalbum from Spain is yet another great example. I was very pleasantly surprised by it's innovative power, it's Fado-like vocals that seem to float freely over the multi short note (Gentle Giant comes to mind) melodic structures. The style is a fusion between our beloved classical prog and the traditional Spanish Flamenco. Other influences might be space-rock and some Fusion. The musicians are all very professional and all sophisticated interpretations of Flamenco styled music are played as if it was easy. The symphonic parts are sensitive and the vocals gives the music a totally new dimension. The guitars sound gentle and accurate, sensitivity over note-shredding. The recording is one of the major successes of this album: It sounds like an late seventies record with a perfect production. Don't be afraid, you won't hear any eighties like synths or drums!

The first side has extended song type tracks. The form of the songs isn't always that special, but the level of composition is high and some it's symphonic/space parts are great. The vocals are truly a blessing.

The second side has two longer compositions and is slightly better then side one. Extraña Seducción has one of my favorite ending sections , whilst the fully instrumental La Roca del Diablo proves Cai can play as a 100% symphonic prog band (this track his little Spanish influences). The pace is low, but the solo's are sensitive and the melodies have a big emotional appeal. The symphonic soundscapes are the best of the album. A great ending track for this amazing Prog Andaluz album.

Conclusion. Well.. I fell in love. This is not only high quality prog, but it will also seduce you to listen to it very very often! The Spanish influences are great. I don't think I know of any album of 1980 that sounds better as this one. A very big four star record. Highly recommended! friso .....................

 Spanish progressive band Cai have recently released their first album for almost three decades, but 1980's ''Noche Abierta'' remains their undisputed classic. It's a generally soothing blend of melodic symphonic prog, with sprinklings of light fusion and a dab of flamenco all served up like a dish of fish. The multi-part ''La Roca del Diablo'' is the album's centrepiece, an 8-minute instrumental that features some brief but tasteful vocoder effects. The album's second instrumental ''Alegrias de Cai'' is another highlight, based around a cheerful groove that's reminiscent of Return To Forever with its fine guitar and synthesizer interplay. The title-track is a beautiful piece Rock Andaluz, complete with flamenco guitar and genial vocals. The second half of the album maybe doesn't quite match the first, although it finishes strongly enough with the above mentioned ''La Roca del Diablo''. Overall it's not as good as Gotic's ''Escenes'' although it is even harder to find, but anyone that does manage to get their hands on a copy of ''Noche Abierta'' is in for a real seventhsojourn ........

The success of ''Mas alla de nuestras mentes diminutas'' led Cai to a change of label and a good contract with CBS' sublabel Epic Records.Additionally the band welcomes new guitarist Jose Fernandez Mariscal in the line-up and the best had yet to come for the Spanish group.In 1980 the second album of Cai was released, entitled ''Noche Abierta''.
The potential of the debut finally becomes reality in the sophomore work of Cai.Top-notch Andalusian Prog with symphonic and strong Fusion hints in compositions, where romantic textures are combined with virtuosic performances.The album is highlighted by the warm singing of Jose Velez Gomez, the incredible guitar twists of the Mariscal/Gonzalez duo and the excellent, delicate piano themes of Sebastian Domínguez Lozano.The band combines the synth-drenched soundscapes of MEZQUITA, the atmospheric lyricism of TRIANA and the musical diversity of GUADALQUIVIR in beautiful arrangements, full of both calm and technical deliveries.Some guitar melodies really stick in the listener's mind, the nice Flamenco-styled crescendos next to the electric solos are masterful and the overall mood is absolutely dreamy with tremendous musicianship all the way.

Definitely one of the best Prog albums from Andalusian lands.Intricate, adventurous but also deeply atmospheric material, which deserves at least a high apps79 ...............

The second album by the Cádiz band Cai, "Noche Abierta", is one of the most exquisite works of Spanish progressive, and of course, also of Andalusian rock. The progressive aspects of Cai's music are similar to those of his 'neighbors' by Iman Califato Independiente, although he is distinguished from them by moderating a little more the jazzy accent and turning a greater effort to exploit the lyricism of ideas Melodic - surely this is because the vocal participation of drummer Diego Fopiani was more recurrent. But well, a good dose of jazz (Weather Report and Return to Forever) is also in the music of Cai, which serves to maintain the peculiar vitality of flamenco through the progressive inheritance that receives Camel, the Genesis With Hackett, and to a lesser extent, Pink Floyd 73-75. The technical level of the musicians is superb, and with it I do not mean only the great textures, solos and harmonies that Sebastian Dominguez created on his keyboards or the very inspired guitar electric guitar strings and ornaments by Fernandez Mariscal (skilled and well Complemented creators of musical magic, in truth), but also to the well-shaped rhythmic section, so capable of echoing the allusions and recesses of the melodies and of holding the backbone of each subject firmly and accurately. The presence of Francisco Delgado as second guitarist - who mainly takes charge of the flamenco guitar -, helps reinforce the folkloric cadence of the repertoire.

The semi-ballad 'Soñe Contigo' opens the disc to the point of beauty and majesty: you can almost feel the frustrated melancholy of the dreamy lover, which seems to materialize through sound. The same emotional flow, though more measured and serene, reemerges in 'Awakening'. The first brushstrokes of extroverted exaltations are present in the first instrumental of the album, 'Alegrias de Cai', a piece that carries a melodic line extremely flirtatious, timely ornamented by the colors of the synth curtains and the bells. The homonymous piece (perhaps the most emblematic song of the group) shows a perfect balance between the romantic and the extroverted: attention to the amazing interlude of flamenco guitar, which creates a place of magic in the middle of the sections dominated by the electric guitar And the synthesizer. 'Strange Seduction' is a kind of mini-suite [in truth, it could have been longer without major problems] in which the group explores with particular interest its merging side with an aura evocative and, in many moments, really lavish: such As I hinted before, the subject feels a bit brief when the fade-out appears. 'La Fabula' is an eternal ballad whose ambience is related to the melancholy contained in 'Awakening': the best thing about this subject, in my opinion, is the way in which the cosmetic keyboard curtains are combined with the continuous pieces armed by The guitars, an ideal landscape for the story of the impossible union between the moon and the sun. But the best of the album is reserved for the latter: the second instrumental of the album, 'The Rock of the Devil' is a joy of almost 8 minutes of duration that combines the mystery of chiaroscuro and the splendor of the symphonic rock prodigiously, everything Using motifs and orchestrations that do not hide their aflamencada-arabiga roots. The atmosphere of tension is present in the subtle meanings that are projected as the theme progresses, but come on, it is not terror, but a supraterrenal magic what 'The Rock of the Devil' inspires in the listener: the final climax is enveloping Such that it successfully rounds out the recurring air of mystery of the subject.

Well, what more can I add to this comment. As a native of Cadiz I can only be proud that a record as beautiful and well articulated as this was conceived and made by countrymen of my small country. "Open Night" is a valuable jewel of the progressive Iberian Peninsula. .............Cesar Mendoza ......................

Line-up / Musicians
- Diego Fopiani / drums, percussion, vocals
- Jose Fernandez Mariscal / guitar
- Francisco Delgado Gonzalez / guitar
- Sebastian Dominguez Lozano / keyboards, piano
- Jose Velez Gomez / bass, vocals

1. Soñé Contigo
2. Despertar
3. Alegrías de Cai
4. Noche Abierta
5. Extraña Seducción
6. La Fábula
7. La Roca del Diablo


Mas alla de nuestras mentes diminutas (1978)
Noche Abierta (1980)
Cancion de Primavera (1981)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck