ALAS was a mid 1970s, mostly instrumental
progressive rockgroup in Argentine rock. They were also one of the major players in the tango-rock movement in Argentinaduring that period, alongside Rodolfo Mederos's group and Invisible. In spite of their short existence, many prog-rock fans view ALAS as one of the most original sounding in their genre.
Alex Zuker: guitar and bass
*Gustavo Moretto: keyboards, wind instruments and voice
Carlos Riganti: drums and percussion
Gustavo Morettohad left Alma y Vidato embark on a more ambitious musical project. He was eventually joined by drummer Carlos Riganti (formerly of Materia Gris), and by Alex Zuker, which became the original line up for ALAS. They made their live debut at the IFT Theater in 1975. ALAS gained rapid word-of-mouth praise for their live performances and for the instrumental virtuosity of its members.
By the end of the year they released a single: "Rincón, mi viejo rincón", a nice melody with a clear "porteño" sound ("porteño" is anything related or from
Buenos Aires), the back side featured the track "Aire (surgente)", an instrumental with great technical skill. [ [http://tinpan.fortunecity.com/waterloo/728/magicland/a.html ALAS -Argentine Groups A] ]
The first studio album from ALAS came out in 1976. It featured two extended-minute compositions, in turn subdivided into smaller passages. It is one of the definitive albums of the tango-rock scene that arose in Argentina in the mid to late 70s, with the first long suite "Buenos Aires sólo es piedra". On the other hand, "La muerte contó el dinero" is a musically multifaceted track. For this album the band was joined by
bandoneónplayer Daniel Binelli. [ [http://www.rock.com.ar/bios/0/81.shtml ALAS] www.rock.com.ar (Spanish)]
Following this album, Alex Zuker left ALAS and
Pedro Aznarjoined the group. Aznar actually would bring more instrumental versatility than Zucker had, which would prove useful for the second album, which was on track to be released in 1977.
"Pinta Tu Aldea" was unusual in two ways: halfway though the recording, dummer Carlos Riganti left the group, and Moretto and Aznar decided not to replace him. The result would be a very disjointed two halves on the same album. The second was that the record was not released until 1983 by EMI, to this day for unclear reasons.
Yet the album opener "A Quiénes Sino" is generally seen as the best ALAS track ever; the rest of the first half is an exquisite blend of tango-rock with jazz incursions. In the second half the band does not sound as tight or in control of the music. [ [http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive_rock_discography_CD.asp?cd_id=9391 Pinta Tu Aldea (review)] www.progarchives.com -Your Ultimate Prog Rock Resource] Still "Pinta Tu Aldea" is consistently voted in opinion polls as one of the most essential recordings of Argentine rock in that period.
ALAS broke up by 1978. But not before leaving a legacy of creative, elegant, if at times slightly self-indulgent progressive rock. But when the results are good, the flaws are generally overlooked.
* [http://www.alasmusic.com Official site]
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