Melange are named for the drug from Dune, Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, so of course their music is psychedelic. Vienta Bravo’s (Brave Wind for those of you who don’t have a google translate tab open) songs also have an earthy folksiness about them earning the band its title of “the spice”.
9/10 gbar Customer review, 13th December 2017
Well I wasn’t expecting to rank Spanish-based music so highly in my list, and I certainly didn’t expect something that sounds like a long-lost artefact from the 1970s to be this fresh and organic. But here we are - this is what Madrid-based Melange have accomplished with their sophomore effort ‘Viento Bravo’.
It’s an album that sounds progressive, psychedelic and folky all at once, and you can immediately hear the influences of those 60s/70s rock groups that have inspired them. It all begins with “Río Revuelto,” where the keyboards and bass pulses into a groove that could’ve come from Yes, then when the guitars enter, they give the song a Wishbone Ash feel before seamlessly venturing into something from the Canterbury scene. “Oxi” increases that folk influence, while adding a Spanish tinge to its melody. But Melange's music goes further and more and more western/folk elements are added to songs such as "Cheroqui”, "Haftraum 25" and "Ruínas", where 80s-style keyboards and psychedelic overtones blends in an explosive and intimate way. Then the keyboards ventures into cosmic territory in the song “Armas Preparadas” in such a way that they could give Hawkwind a run for their money, plus the Spanish vocal harmonies on this, and on the rest of the album, are just sublime. The closing track “Splendor Solis” is the musical equivalent of an autumnal bonfire, where the huge bass lines and percussion starts to reveal its Spanish heart. It’s been there throughout the album, but this song finally brings it out into the open.
The interesting thing about the music of Melange is that it isn’t clichéd at all, and on ‘Viento Bravo’ they’re able to recreate musical landscapes as if it were a soundtrack, and each of the nine songs on here has such an exquisite taste to them. Here’s a fun fact to conclude: Melange is also the name of the spice in Frank Herbert's "Dune" saga that makes possible intergalactic travel and longevity…maybe that’s what the music on here has successfully managed to achieve.
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- Viento Bravo by Melange
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