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(69:07; Rock Company)
TRACK LIST: 1. Tricapsule 3:38 2. Vortex 5:18 3. Another Stage 5:25 4. Clovers in the Field 3:00 5. To Think, to Say, to Do 4:51 6. Ease And Comfort in the Silence of Hearts Entwined 6:21 7. The World as a Whole 8:52 8. Stereotypes 4:52 9. Ascent of the Core - Descent of the Stars 8:00 10. Bonds 2:16 11. Mother Earth Network 7:38 12. A Promise of Light and Wonder 8:56 LINEUP: Claudio Delgift - guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals with: Tom Geisler - drums Theo Heidfeld - drums Nicolas Jourdain - drums Nicolas Roldan - drums ONE - keyboards Fernando Refay - keyboards
Prolusion. Argentinian composer and musician Claudio DELGIFT has been a presence in the Argentinian music scene for almost a decade, and released his first solo album back in 2012. Seven solo albums have been released by Delgift, although I do not know if any of them have seen a proper, physical release. "The Essential" is a compilation album with selected material from Delgift's discography, as was released by Dutch label Rock Company at the tail end of 2018.
Analysis. When listening to the music of Claudio Delgift, a few associations gets noted rather quickly, and they will by and large stay there for the greater majority of this specific album. If it is because these songs are to represent a specific side to his music or if this is a style and approach he has explored throughout all his solo albums I really cannot tell, but a few exceptions aside it is striking how uniform this compilation album actually is. Melodic rock with progressive orientation is perhaps the best way to describe the contents of this album, and the key association that strikes almost straight away are Canadian legends Rush, and then the material they explored around the mid 1980's first and foremost. Delgift know his way around the bass guitar in a manner not too far removed from the Geddy Lee's of this world, and his guitars appears to be tuned in on the same wavelengths as Alex Lifeson as far as overall sound is concerned too, for soloing, wandering clean guitars as well as dampened support riffs. Indeed, quite a few movements and developments also brings forth associations towards the Canadian giants. The drums aren't quite at that level though, but are competent and well developed in their own right, albeit perhaps a bit more unobtrusive considering the mentioned associations given so far. Delgift makes good use of his instruments, and knows how to create a compelling foundation and, perhaps even more important, how to construct alluring instrumental interludes and instrument solo sections. A lot of this album is a true delight mainly due to the instrumental parts, shining bright enough to drown out some of the negatives. Other than the distinct Rush feel I get from this material, a few bits and pieces here and there makes me think that a band like Wishbone Ash has been on Delgift's radar as well, and arguably even a band like Dire Straits. When reading up on Delgift I also see he is a big fan of The Police album "Synchronicity", which to me makes perfect sense. Many of the associations I get from this album aren't all that far removed from some of the material The Police explored back then, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of Delgift's bass lines in particular has a bit more of a Sting and a bit less of a Lee touch to them when considering this information. There are weaknesses to this album as well however. Those who desire high quality vocals will not feel at home with this album, as Delgift's voice strikes me as somewhat uncontrolled. My impression is that he powers the voice with the throat to a grater extent than the stomach, although I could be mistaken there. Still, there is a technical element there that Delgift should try to resolve in my opinion. Other than that, mix and production is a bit on the weak side. Nothing drastically at fault, but you will notice that a budget has been in place when this material has been recorded.
Conclusion. I had never heard of Claudio Delgift until this CD arrived, which to me indicates that this is an artist that have gone under most people's radar. I commend Rock Company for sticking their neck out for this artists, as this is music that deserves to be heard by a broader audience. Those with a particular fancy for mid to late 80's Rush at their most accessible should probably be the first ones to track down this music for a listen.
Progmessor: June 27th 2019
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