10 Songs, 46 Minutes


About Abrete Gandul

Chilean prog rockers Abrete Gandul received their widest international attention to date with the release of 2011's Enjambre Sismico on Fading Records, an affiliate of the Italian AltrOck imprint. But the Abrete Gandul that issued Enjambre Sismico was far different than the group of the same name that had its origins back in 1999. In its earliest incarnation, the band that performed in and around Santiago was very much a vehicle for singer/guitarist Mauricio Dell (aka Doctor Octava), who, according to ProgArchives, formed the group with his drummer friend Antonio Arceu and bassist Pablo Garcia. This lineup apparently made a recording of Dell's songs, but the first Abrete Gandul album to receive any distribution per se (although still a private pressing) was 2000's ¿Bichos=Dichos?, featuring Dell and Arceu plus new members Rodrigo Maccioni on guitar and flute and Rodrigo Garcia on bass (Pablo Garcia played fretless bass on a pair of tracks). Dominated by Dell's idiosyncratic vocal approach, ¿Bichos=Dichos? was regarded as King Crimson-ish by prog listeners who, generally speaking, seemed less than enamored by Dell's singing.

One hesitates to make conjectures about Abrete Gandul's behind-the-scenes goings-on, but it still might be considered notable that, given some listeners' lukewarm response to the vocals of Dell/Octava on ¿Bichos=Dichos?, he was gone from the group (along with bassist Rodrigo Garcia) he had spearheaded by 2005, when Abrete Gandul's next outing, Cuentos Para Dormir, was released, featuring a lineup of Maccioni, Arceu, new bassist Pedro Santander, new keyboardist Jaime Acuña, and second guitarist Rodrigo Pinto. With its entirely instrumental mix of eclectic prog -- and the guitarists sometimes heavily influenced by Robert Fripp's latter-day Crimsoid arpeggiated structures -- Cuentos Para Dormir received generally strong reviews from international prog listeners who were beginning to take greater notice of the band. However, guitarist Rodrigo Pinto would soon leave to focus on his own projects, and the quartet of Maccioni, Arceu, Acuña, and Santander then began work on the group’s aforementioned third album, Enjambre Sismico. This core aggregation -- with only drummer Arceu remaining from the band's very first, Doctor Octava-led trio lineup -- was joined on several tracks of the album by saxophonist/clarinetist Estratos Akrias from another Chilean prog rock group, Akinetón Retard. The result was a stylistically diverse outing that introduced Abrete Gandul to even more listeners outside the group's home country. ~ Dave Lynch

Santiago, Chile