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Dezo Ursiny / Provisorium (1973)

Powracam na moment do słowackiej nuty - i oto mamy przed sobą kolejną interesującą płytę właściwie dwóch grup - Dežo Ursiny i Provisorium, które powstały pod koniec lat sześćdziesiątych i nagrały parę ciekawych albumów. Stylistycznie płyta nawiązuje do dokonań brytyjskiego progresivu takich grup jak Van der Graff Generator czy King Crimson. Nie jestem fanem takiego grania, ale ulegam prośbom, bo wiem, że ma on wielu wielbicieli.

Dežo Ursiny was born as Dezider Ursiny on October the fourth 1947 in Bratislava, Slovakia, then Czechoslovakia. He started playing guitar in his early teens. In 1963 he played in his first group Fontana and at the end of the year 1964 he founded the group The Beatmen. Ursiny was the lead guitarist, lead singer and also composed own songs for the band, which was influenced by the Beatles.

The group was immensely popular in Czechoslovakia and they released two singles in 1965. In 1966 they played in Munich, beeing the first rock group from behind the iron curtain to play in the west. Ursiny, however, grew unsatisfied with the group in the same year. In 1967, Ursiny founds the trio The Soulmen, which played covers of bands like Cream and also performed own material in that style. in December, the group won the first Czechoslovak beat festival in Praguie in the band category. in 1968, soon after the recording of their EP, Thew Soulmen split up. Ursiny creates the progressive rock band New Soulmen. The group records three songs and disbands in 1969. In 1970, Ursiny founds another progressive rock band called Provisorium and they disband after only two concerts in 1971.

Part of the material Ursiny played with the group gets recorded in 1972 for Ursiny´s first LP, released in 1973 under the title "Provisorium". After problems with communist estasblishment and writing music mostly for film documents, ursiny finally releases his second LP in 1978 and he would never quit recording for such a long time again until his death. All of his albums from that time on are sung in Slovak and the lyrics are written by Slovak poet Ivan Štrpka. In 1978, Ursiny also creates the band Buriak, with which he would record his next two albums. From 1983 he performed with what what would be his most stable band, called again Provisorium, although in different line up than the one from 1970. In 1992, his group, under the same name, underwent major changes. The nucleus of this group would work with Ursiny until his untimely death on May, the second 1995 in Bratislava from cancer.

In 1970 the band Provisorium broke up, but they already had a recording contract with Supraphon so Ursiny's manager decided to get half of the already disbanded Flamengo to back up Ursiny and his long time collaborator Jaro Filip. This album's vision sure was quite ambitious at the time it was recorded (1972), and we have one lengthy piece taking up the first side of the original vynil. Only the seed of Ursiny's later more original work is heard here. The album's sound straddles the line between English influences, especially early King Crimson and perhaps early VDGG, Ursiny's original approach to songwriting, with slight influences from dated 60s "bigbeat" music. Now, the songwriting on "Provisorium" was already quite accomplished although nowhere near his more mature work of the late 70s and early 80s. The performance on the album is not the best, as it sometimes sounds that it was recorded in haste, as if the ex-Flamengo members didn't have enough time to properly rehearse the material with direction from Ursiny. Furthermore there are some very outdated production/arranging methods used here. There is a section of the first track that's completely drenched with reverb, and the backing vocals sometimes sound like the Beach Boys or 60s BeeGees, which wasn't exactly novel in 1972.

"Christmas Summer" is an epic in the typical early 70s fashion, to be compared with "In the Court of the Crimson King" or "A Plague of Light Keepers" in that it doesn't rely on virtuostic showcase (a la "Tarkus"), but rather emotional delivery and mood changes. The main stylistic feature to tie this album to KC is Ursiny's voice, who already has a similar natural timbre to Greg Lake, but he obviously also tries to copy his vibrato and delivery. Another highlight from the album is the ballad "Apple Tree In Winter" a very pleasant slow tune with a melody that is similar to known jazz standards. The other two tunes are a bit weaker but still not bad. "I Have Found" is a very energetic song propelled by the drummer Jaroslav Šedivý, although he also also plays a tedious solo towards the end, but well, drum solos were popular in those days. Altogether this is a very good addition to any prog collection, especially for those interested to hear an "eastern" twist on that classic British sound. This was really the only album by this artist to have that English aesthetic to it, so it's very unique. (progarchives)

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3 komentarze:

ankh pisze...


Anonimowy pisze...

Jestem szczęśliwym posiadaczem tej płyty. Rzeczywiście nasi południowi sąsiedzi wyprodukowali kilka perełek... Jedną z nich jest płyta, na którą chciałbym zwrócić uwagę wszystkich miłośników progressive music - THE WAY-Radiation, wydana przez Panton (div.Bengal Rec.). Rewelacja!!!

Anonimowy pisze...


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