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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Vytas Brenner "Hermanos" 1974 Venezuela Prog Folk Rock


Vytas Brenner  "Hermanos" 1974 Venezuela Prog Folk Rock
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I have the luck of being the first reviewer of this album, strange but only his first effort “La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner” has been reviewed so far, surely there are more people who can talk about his music and some of his albums Vytas Brenner is a man who was born in Germany, but he is from Venezuela, i am not going deeper with his bio or personal info, you can hhave a look to their very well written Bio here, by Geck0 by the way. 

Im glad to say that there are so many valuable musicians who have dedicated their time and talent to create excellent music, this is not an exception, but what i meant is that i very glad to say that Europe or USA are not the only part of the world with excellent proggressive rock, you can noticed it with my previous review of Anabelas by Argentinian band Bubu, no it`s the turn of Venezuela and it`s beloved Vytas Brenner. 

Hermanos is a short album, only 30 minutes of music can be heard herethat could be actually a low point because we as fans of music prefer larger albums, but that`s not really important, an album can be a masterpiece no matter it`s lenght, i remember i gave Profondo Roso by Goblin 5 stars being also a 30 minute album. 

This album is divided in 10 songs, an average of 3 minutes per song but actually they are relationed with each other, what this album offers is a variety of a folkish sound mixed with an excellent drive of keyboards which makes it more symphonic in some ways, but that`s not the end, there are some moments that might be considered as ambiental music for example song no.6 “Pastos” i imagine myself lying in some field watching at the sky and being relaxed. Th majority of the short songs are only instrumental, in the first song you will listen to Vytas`soft and peaceful voice, but the best of the album is the background that keyboards can make, actually keyboards have the leader role of the album, it is not bombastic, but calmed and traditional, the music itself is so catchy and easy to listen so everybody could enjoy it, i also imagine this as a sountrack, it`s short but very well composed songs could fit perfectly in any vintage tv show or movie, with a latin american felling and folkish style, but with the always predominative sound of symphonic prog, in adition to this final comment we can find somewhere a saxophone, which obviously gives to it a brief encounter with the jazz side of Vytas. This is not an album that i would consider as a masterpiece, it is pretty good and so enjoyable when i listen to it, but definitely this is not the best music that Vytas and south american prog can offer to us, i would give to this album 3.5 stars, i like it it is great, but nothing more, only recommendable but non-essential definitely….by memowakeman ….~


After breaking ground in the area of modern popular music in Venezuela with his 1973’s debut album “La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner”, Vytas had to face and fulfill the task of going on with his musical career. Instead of creating a clone of “La Ofrenda”, he went to a different direction with an emphasis on symphonic rock and the introduction of space-rock and electronic krautrock-style minimalism, which meant that the fusion factor had to be somewhat relegated (not to the point of becoming nullified, let’s put this clearly). The first song is an acoustic guitar-based ballad, simplistic yet owner of a moving lyricism that might as well work as an attention catcher. Following next are two pieces full of heavily cosmic nuances delivered on multiple synth lines and adornments: this is quite a departure from the trova-oriented opener, since ‘Madrugada’ and 'Amanecer’ might as well be mistaken for outtakes from a Klaus Schulze’s lost 70s album. But no, this is Vytas Brenner: he manages to do very well with this sort of electronic experimentation, and I really wish these tracks had been longer so we could hear what he might have done with this potential motivator of mental trips. Also short is track 4, 'Danza con Pájaros’, which sets a candid exercise on jazz-fusion based on the dialogue between percussion and electric guitar, while the acoustic guitar strums its way through the rhythmic cadences. 'Gavilán’ is a very effective piece that shows Brenner’s most exuberant side: a solid full instrumentation that features soaring lead guitar phrases and powerful percussive dynamics. The synths go restlessly elaborating appropriate moods for the overall ensemble, and there is even a pretty (albeit too short) Moog solo that provides some spacey nuances to the core motif. In fact, for the last 1 ½ minute the track’s mood gets heavily spacey, even to an oppressive extent - this makes the whole track’s scheme sound like a mixture of the most pompous side of “Ofrenda” and “Symphony”-era Clearlight. 'Pastos’ brings back the electronic ambience a-la Schulze, stating a strange atmosphere where the dense and the laid-back become one sonic source. This is what I meant when I said that I wish tracks 2 & 3 had been longer. 'Ganado’ is a lovely symphonic piece, with a simple rhythmic pattern but a complex series of harmonic developments. 'Estampida’ is a moderately disturbing exercise on experimentation with drum kit, synthesizer and tympani: this is really weird in a deconstructive sense, but it’s also appealing for those who can’t get enough of Brenner’s cosmic side. As a counterpart, 'Ana Karina Rote’ is the most powerful of the few fusion-oriented tracks in the album. Set on a joropo-like tempo, this piece features horns, sax and percussions while Brenner keeps himself busy on his synthesizer, electric and grand pianos. 'Sentado en una Piedra’ brings another ballad, this time based on piano: the instrumentation makes this song achieve a greater dose of magnificence, although it is a bit clichéd. This album has a well deserved mention as a very good album, but all in all, the incomplete development of some musical ideas (which make the respective tracks seem like snippets rather than effective compositions) and the partial inconsistency of the tracklist’s style reflect “Hermanos” as a work less than excellent. Anyway, as a matter of fact, Vytas Brenner excels….by Cesar Inca …..~


Vytas Brenner (September 19, 1946 – March 18, 2004) was a Venezuelan musician, keyboardist, guitarist and composer. 
He was born in Tübingen, Germany. Like many Europeans on the wake of World War II, his family migrated to Venezuela in 1949 when he was 2 years old. His mother, Margarita Brenner, was an Opera singer. 
Brenner began his musical studies in Caracas at the “Colegio Emil Friedman” school, a prestigious institution heavily oriented toward musical education. When he was 12 years old he moved to Italy and then to Spain, where he became part of various music groups, such as “Brenner’s Folk”, “Los Pic-Nic” (featuring a female singer, Jeanette). At 21 years old, Vytas moved to Tennessee to study at the University of Tennessee’s Music Conservatory, where he was a pupil of David Van Vactor. Later, at college in Nashville, Vytas took post-graduate courses in Electronic music with Professor Gilbert Trythall[1], and graduated with honors in 1972. In 1971 he started a duo named “Vitas & Mafe” with Venezuelan singer María Fernanda Márquez. 
In 1972 Brenner formed his own band, “La Ofrenda” (The Offering) and recorded 5 very successful LPs until 1979. With “Ofrenda” he started his pioneer work with compositions for combinations of electric and electronic instruments (synthesizers) with acoustic instruments and piano; and blending Progressive-Symphonic Rock, Latin rhythms, and Venezuelan traditional themes, with astounding results. 
Brenner recorded several remarkable LPs, each one a breakthrough, as he was in fact developing a new genre in giant leaps. En 1982 a somewhat reunited “Ofrenda” performed at the “Teatro de Bellas Artes de Maracaibo”, but was coldly received by the public, followed by strong press criticism. In 1989 the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra performed his work “Oro Negro” (“Black Gold”) at the Caracas’ famed Teatro Teresa Carreño. In 1989 he released the CD album entitled “Amazonia”. He was commissioned to compose works for “Viajando con Polar”, a series of short documentaries about Venezuela’s regions, depicting their beautiful landscapes and rich folklore. He created music for various films, such as “Adiós Alicia”, “Se llamaba SN”, and playwright Román Chalbaud’s “Carmen la que contaba 16 años”. All the while, Brenner was a very successful studio musician, composing and performing in countless radio jingles, TV commercials and presidential campaigns. At the international level, his old and rare vinyl records sell for between U.S. $70 to $220. 
Brenner died March 18, 2004 of a heart attack in Salzburg, Austria at the age of 57, while recording music for an upcoming CD…….~


Brenner’s second album “Hermanos” (1974, Gaviland Records) just prooved how varied the tastes of this musician were.The line-up was somewhat expanded, including two more drummers and an extra bassist.It showed limited use of traditional instruments, reduced now to the presence of acoustic guitars and some percussion, and a definite direction towards versatile instrumental soundscapes.The opener “Agua clara” sounds like a nice connecting bridge between the previous album and the new one, but the rest of the opening side is a monument on South-American Electronic Prog with some notable Mike Oldfield influences, based heavily on percussion, spacey electric guitars and Brenner’s omnipresent synthesizer.The flipside is a mix of Electronic, Psych/Folk and dated Ekseption-like Horn Rock with guest Rolando Napolean Briceno dominating the scene with his sax.Classical colors are limited only to some elegant piano themes inbetween the electronic and psychedelic textures.“Hermanos” was also the first allbum by Brenner to contain lyrics in some tracks, he surely had a warm and delicate voice, basically thrown in the folkier numbers.I respect this man, he sacrified the consistency of a whole work just to bring on surface his superficial skills as a composer and musician….by…..apps79 …..~


Credits 
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Pablo Manavello 
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Piano, Timpani, Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer, Guitar,
Bass – Carlos Acosta, Pupi 
Drums – Eleasar, Frank Rojas, Iván Velásquez 
Electric Guitar – Jairo 
Percussion – Oscar* 
Saxophone – Rolando Briceño*






Tracklist 
A1 Agua Clara
A2 Madrugada
A3 Amanecer
A4 Danza De Los Pajaros
A5 Gavilan
B1 Pastos
B2 Ganado
B3 Estampida
B4 Ana Karina Rote
B5 Sentado En Una Piedra 

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