Exposé Online banner

Secta Sònica — Fred Pedralbes
(Picap 91.821-01, 1976/2010, CD)

Secta Sònica — Astroferia
(Picap 910813-01, 1977/2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01

Fred Pedralbes Cover artAstroferia Cover art

[This review refers to a 1994 reissue on PDI. -ed.]

Imagine a completely instrumental Allman Brothers, or perhaps more accurately the fusion of the Allman spin-off band Sea Level, then lace it with strong Spanish folk tendencies and further adventures in multiple guitars, and one might start to understand the sound of this outstanding late 70s Spanish five-piece. If you're lookin' for keyboards, you've come to the wrong party — sure you'll find piano, Fender Rhodes, and maybe even a little synth here and there, but only in support roles. This is a guitar show. This disc combines both of Secta Sònica's LPs from the late 70s, both of which are equally compelling, well composed instrumental rock. Most of the tracks are tight and focused, somewhere in the two-to-four minute range: typically they start on a dime, make their point, offer a few solos, and wrap things up neatly — and still give you change. Unlike the Allmans, there are no hyperextended solos or sidelong jams. What you will find are pieces with dual and triple guitar parts, in various combinations of electric, acoustic and classical, with a clear Spanish folk presence permeating most of the material. Guitarists Jordi Bonell, Rafael Zaragoza, and Victor Cortina trade duties as they work through their tight arrangements, supported by Xavier Perez on Bass, and either Toni Arasil or Jordi Viella on drums, album depending. Other musicians guest on the aforementioned keyboards, congas, timbales and other percussion. Although most of the music here fits into the same general style, there's still plenty of variety — enough that no two songs sound the same. Overall, I have to give this one my highest recommendation, especially for guitar-fans. It's one of those discs that's easy to get comfortable with initially, but keeps on delivering the goods long after others have worn out their welcome.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 6, 2010 releases, 1976 recordings, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Secta Sònica

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jean-Pascal Boffo - Nomades – The long-awaited fourth solo album from French guitarist Jean-Pascal Boffo is in many ways a fusion of the various styles he explored on his first three albums. Nomades is a musical journey through a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues