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Band: Rodrigo San Martin

CD Title: ď1Ē

Band Website: www.myspace.com/rsanmartin

Label: Independent

Label Website:

Release Date: 2010

 

South America has always held an appreciation for the Progressive Rock genre, especially of the symphonic variety. With that in mind hereís a new name for you to remember, Rodrigo San Martin. Besides being a superb multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger heís also the founder of Argentinean prog band De Rain and keeps amply busy with a many other side projects in a variety of musical styles. His debut CD is entitled 1 as in the number one and given that the CD consists of one long 39-minute track I was immediately intrigued. 

 

The music begins with soft acoustic guitar and voice before the introduction of piano and then a little later full orchestration compliments of a myriad of keyboards. One of the distinguishing characteristics of much South American prog is the attention to melody and thatís certainly evident here even though as you might expect the melody lines keeps changing over the entire 39-minutes. San Martin is first and foremost a guitar player and on that score his performance really shines going from a soft jazzy-fusion to exposing more classical influences. His arranging chops are quite sound as well, offering many musical change-ups where the music builds in crescendo like fashion becoming lush and richly orchestrated. Then there are times where the music turns-on-a-dime going from fast to slow. Buried within the lyrics youíll hear sound-clips, incorporated as part of the lyrical story line. The music never gets overly aggressive, but does have grittier moments that seem to display a somewhat jazzy approach. The overall vibe on 1 is symphonic progressive rock that displays all the classic hallmarks of the genre. There are times where the music is soft and gentle and offers lots of room to breathe and then swells majestically with Mellotron styled strings into grand musical transitions. The vocals at times sound a bit tentative but I think that owes more to his mellow range that anything else and more often than not it fits the musical approach.     

 

I get the feeling Rodrigo San Martin has a lot of music inside that is begging to come out given the number of musical projects heís a part of. And on that score 1 being his first solo effort itís quite an accomplishment. The music will certainly appeal to symphonic prog fans everywhere. Nicely done.

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