Spain has never really been the hotbed for progressive rock even though there is definitely a legion of fans who enjoy the music. Being a musician in that country must be even more difficult. It's a country whose passion for the most part, is for romantic music.
With Tras El Puente, the group known as Omni have released a one time album that is not only unlike most of the music of their generation, but the project is a post-script to years of dedication and work in the avenues of prog rock for each respective musician.
The band recorded this album between 90 and 93 and it is now being released finally as a co-production between Luna Negra and Euphonia. The recording was the brainchild of the members of a mid-eighties prog band named Alquimia.
The music is instrumental and - in a way - reflective of seventies recording artist Finch, but more symphonic and lighter in approach. Some tracks are long and circular, while others are short and breezy.
"Contracorriente," at nearly ten minutes, starts things off. The music could almost be seen as a homage to the fledgling new age movement at the time, for the first few minutes at least. Then it builds to a rousing climax that showcases the musicians' tight abilities.
Each succeeding song is a shorter variation, though the second half of the CD tends to be moodier.
As the disk progresses, each song weaves something new yet seems vaguely familiar. I find the music a perfect backdrop to working. Not obtrusive, but attention grabbing nonetheless. There seems to be a perfect balance of guitar and keys, which often swirl around a spacey, moody build up from track to track.
The recording of this CD may have been limited by budget initially, but the music here is re-mastered and has a very pleasant feel. This is not bold, grabbing music, but it is relaxing and engaging. The perfect companion to late night reading.
And, oh yes, the cover artwork, like the music, is pastoral and beautiful.