Exposé Online banner

Ñu — A Golpe de Látigo
(Zafiro 50601123, 1979/1991, CD)

Ñu — Cuentos de Ayer y de Hoy
(Zafiro 74321601912, 1978/1998, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 1995-11-01

A Golpe de Látigo Cover artCuentos de Ayer y de Hoy Cover art

Question: How could you possibly dislike Spanish heavy progressive rock? Answer: You couldn't. A five-piece consisting of guitar / Mellotron, vocals / flute, bass, violin, and drums, Ñu certainly does not conform to the standard five-piece rock band mold. Not just one, but two full time acoustic instruments are prominently featured! There's even harmonica solos on both albums. Unlike a lot of bands which, when using flute (the obligatory prog rock acoustic instrument) or violin, use these instruments sparingly and in a backing capacity, Ñu relies on both of these instruments for much of the melodic and harmonic content of the music – more so than the guitar! The interplay between the acoustic and electric instruments are highlights of both albums. For the most part, Cuentos de Ayer y de Hoy has a very heavy sound. The exception to the rule is track five, "El Jaguar," which is a light acoustic ballad which sounds amazingly like Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See," except in 3/4! A Golpe de Látigo doesn't sound quite as heavy, but it still pretty stout. Vocalist and primary songwriter Jose' Carlos Molina sounds much like Alberto Piras of Deus Ex Machina (or vice versa) in places – a very powerful vocalist with a wide range. The guitarist, bassist, and drummer sound like they grew up listening to Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.

There are two major differences between the two releases. While Cuentos is mastered adequately, A Golpe is not. It is clearly mastered from vinyl, with hiss, surface noise, and pops very noticeable in many places. It's really unfortunate for good music to be scarred like this. On a positive note, the other big difference is the predominance of keyboards on A Golpe. Piano and organ are the most featured keyboard instruments here, but there is some Mellotron too. The keys serve as a nice bridge between the acoustic and electric instruments, and give the songs on this album a more intricate feel. Fans of other heavy Spanish bands like Bloque and Mezquita will probably like both these Ñu albums, as will Jethro Tull aficionados and Deus Ex Machina fans for the flutes and vocals. Unquestionably, they're both worth having.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 8, 1991 releases, 1979 recordings, 1998 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Ñu

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius - Live Wires – Count me as a supporter of the proposition that the world needs more hot electric violinists playing jazz-rock fusion. Jean-Luc Ponty has moved on to other things, and someone has to take up the...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues