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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

VANGELIS: Ignacio (1975)

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

Ignacio is a work in two times where, sublime, the Face A receives too easily the shadow of the noises from its Face B. You have to discover this...

1 Entends-tu les Chiens Aboyer 39:04 (Face A  21:25) (Face B 18 :25) Barclay 813 042-2

(CD 39:04) (V.F.) (Melodic, symphonic and experimental EM)

The first notes of piano which fall remain congealed in the time. One would say tears of cosmos which sparkle in the curvatures of intergalactic breezes. This wonderful, and much romanced, introduction of IGNACIO has rocked my dreams since years. So beautiful, so moving that I would have liked that its small duet so innocent with a synth and its sonic pearls and sad violin lasts beyond its graceful 4 minutes. But nothing is lost because in the world of Vangelis the melodies or reveries like hare are often recurring. Here is an album which is really past under the radar of time, but which has all the same aroused many controversies. IGNACIO or Entends-tu les Chiens Aboyer (Can You Hear the Dogs Barking?), is a soundtrack which went out in the stride of Heaven and Hell in 1975. A mythical album because he exists under several naming, of which a Mexican version, and on which an error (volunteer?) during the mixing, while being digitalized into the CD format, made of it an album which engendered so many passions as dissatisfactions among the fans of the Greek musician and this imbroglio have many a time mixed fans, columnists and historians of Vangelis. If at Barclay we find the original work, at CAM Record the Face A of La Fête Sauvage found its place on Face B. A choice which has pleased to the fans of a more musical Vangelis, because we have to admit that the face B of IGNACIO is rather difficult to tame.

While the dusts of the first melody are fading away, a sharply more monasterial approach floods our loudspeakers with these soft pastoral voices so unique to Vangelis who hum through bells, carillons and synth chirpings. This is more than beautiful and the very melodious wind of violins transport us literally in the core of Heaven and Hell with this rather dramatic symphonic and cinematic structure which quietly will go lulling in the soft and romantic artificial violins of which the harmonies are as much lunar than seraphic. And this melody, so haunting, comes back disturbing our emotions with a big organ which spits its fury. But still, this remains very musical. A fury which melt and scatters its ashes in this too beautiful introductory melody of the face A. It's just a shame that the production and the mixing of this album no longer meets today's standards because this first part is a pure beauty underestimated in the career of Vangelis. But as much Vangelis can be melodious, he can also offer some very stormy dishevelled structures. This is straight what is happening with the opening of the Face B and its first 7 minutes which offer a kind of free-jazz and improvised rock with superb solos from a synth which draw braids on a devilish rhythm of which the introduction sounds strangely like what's going to become the frame of Pulsar. Afterward we fall in a more peaceful structure with electronic effects, which we also will recognize on Pulsar, which perturb the temporary quietude of this atypical structure. Follows then a stream of electronic noises and percussions of any kinds which model an always invisible rhythm (Invisible Connections?). And quietly this ambient and noisy sonic skeleton gets lost to go towards a very cosmic passage before being charmed by a delicate tribal melody à la sauce Greek. A very beautiful melody lost in the tumult. It's the kind of finale that seems to have inspired the electronic rumbas of Jean-Michel Jarre.

IGNACIO is a work in two times where, sublime, the Face A receives too easily the shadow of the noises from its Face B. A Face B which, imho, does not also receive all the attention, nor the credit, which she deserves because after having listened to it we notice that she draws the path of the next more electronic albums of Vangelis who, by the way, has passed to another step by leaving his Parisian studio to become established in a new studio, Nemo, in London and compose Heaven and Hell. The history begins...

Sylvain Lupari (April 14th, 2014) ****¼*

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