Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Luz Negra

Welcome back fellow progheads!  The Memorial Day weekend officially marks the beginning of "Summer 2015" and I have been trying to find a creative way to embrace the sun and fun.  Breaking out the sunscreen, I decided to take the Concert Closet to new territory in my search for all things prog.  This week I get to place a new marker on my "world prog map" and explore another side of progressive rock.  What better time than now to travel south of the border to Mexico City and get in a prog groove with the dynamic sounds of Luz Negra.

Luz Negra has been making progressive music for twenty years and in their own words are "...a progressive jazz-rock band dedicated to making music at the highest level in the country..."  I respect a band setting the bar that high; now let us determine if Luz Negra meets their own standard...

I open the buffet with a silky aperitif called "Danza de Kukulkan." The song opens as if I stumbled across an impromptu jam session; each player feeling the other out and raising the stakes just a bit. Then  the mood changes as the guitar begins to drip like honey; melting across your mind like falling into hot tea...all the while drums are keeping a beat with an understated bass line holding everybody in check.  Luz Negra feels like your favorite sweater on a cool October Saturday--comfortable and always ready to warm you through.  I pick up top notes of Phil Manzanera and Al DiMeola in the guitar playing, with aromatics of early Thin Lizzy wafting through as well.  Luz Negra is almost chameleon-like in the way they change tempo, time, and mood...

Serving number two for the prog-hungry is called "Balada de los 9 Senores del Tiempo."  Almost immediately I pick up a retro groove, as if this song were a '50s cover.  The guitar is as smooth and slick as stainless steel while the drums lead a torrid pace throughout.  Bass keeps up fine, thank-you very much.  Luz Negra channels Carlos Santana on this piece as they sway back-and-forth riding an emotional swing...inspiring and uplifting all at once.

Liner Notes...residing in Mexico City, Luz Negra is the creation of founding member/guitarist Fausto Abaroa Mac Donough.  Fausto is joined by Andres Rodriguez Razo on bass, Carlos De Santos Arellano on second guitar, and Contreras Jose Enrique Villasenor on drums.  Luz Negra came to be in 1996 as a workshop for composition and improvisation--two mainstays of progressive music--and in 1998 released their first album.  In the seventeen years since Luz Negra has released three more albums and is currently working on their fifth production.

Looking the buffet over for my final morsel, I discover a little gem called "El Espiritu del Agua."  A very soothing piece of music; you can feel the guitars creep into your mind while the methodical drums push past your conscious thought and soak into the soft tissues of your inner being.  Luz Negra has cultivated acreage in the prog garden where the soil is extremely rich, fertile, and deep.  You will want to take off your shoes and walk barefoot through the growth, exploring all the sights and sounds Luz Negra has to offer.

I chose the clip below, "Adagio," to post for your listening pleasure because it offers so much in a mere 5:27.  The soothing guitar, soft as down drumming, and therapeutic overtones carry you to your happy place and wash away all the anxiety and stress the day manages to throw at you.  Learn more about Luz Negra at http://grupoluznegra.wix.com/prog.  You will also find their music on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes.  Luz Negra is on Twitter, @grupoluznegra and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Luz-Negra/903674499648085.  Feel free to listen, relax, repeat...

I hope this little excursion brought a touch of tranquility your way as reality seeps into this holiday-shortened work week fellow progheads.  Luz Negra paints with a subtle yet definite stroke; nothing left to chance, yet everything seems so spontaneous and relaxed.  The prog garden has many a plot that does best when not over-tilled, and Luz Negra shines brightly in that shade.  With Mexico now entrenched on my GPS in the search for all things prog, I feel the urge to continue looking for new discoveries.  As the summer heats up, so too does the search...until next week...


  1. Thank you for these kind words of our work, we have ready the new album titled "Sexto Sol" and soon will be in iTunes and Spotify
    Greetings from Mexico

  2. Now you can also download our new album here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/luznegra13

    Hope you like it