Category Archives: CARMEN
Carmen first attracted media attention when no less a rock luminary than David Bowie expressed his personal admiration for the unusual brand of flamenco influenced rock that they were perfecting during the early seventies
Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (May 2007)
There are elements of Queen and Jethro Tull in the music and arrangements, but the nearest musical comparison is Babe Ruth Carmen were, in the main, genuinely trying to be different. Santana fans could do worse.
Michael Heatley, Record Collector (May 2007)
…a more easily digested, laid back sound…there are beautiful songs and musical moments here…
…the second CD of the set…is pleasant as background listening…Widescreen modernly fuses the Spanish music that is at its core with gentle electronic, mild jazz, and even a bit of funk (7.5/10)
Avi Shaked, www.maelstrom.nu (July 2007)
Widescreen, the second album in the package, is not strictly a Carmen album;
rather, it revives a solo project that occupied frontman David Clark Allen through the 1990s, an instrumental work that dances across many of the same pastures that Carmen bestrode with such joy, but shot through with so many other musical experiences that it really does feel like the old band is back
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (July 2007)
An original mix, and the first (1973) album shows a very heavy brand of rock with as much offbeat prog and Spanish leanings…Well packaged, fans of prog and Hispanic music will love…
Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com (September 2006)
Imagine the ‘Senor Velasco’ part of Spock’s Beard’s ‘The Light’, combined with some Moody Blues, Procol Harum, David Bowie and touches of Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant. This might give you a bit of an idea of what Carmen sounded like, although, in all fairness, nothing can prepare you for the delight which are these albums
www.prog-nose.org (October 2006)
I have never heard such powerful successful ideas as with Carmen. When I first heard the first LP years ago I was immediately hit by the overwhelming energy highlights of it, so it took a while before I was calmed down over the years to get the whole picture of this wonderful rockopera concept.
Gerald Van Waes, psychevanhetfolk yahoo newsgroup (October 2006)
Anyway you look at it, the Carmen material on this release should be considered classic, and is therefore highly recommended for fans of ‘70s progressive rock, if only for the taste of something a bit different. (9.1/10)
Maelstrom (October 2006)
…these albums recorded in 1973 and 1974 are fantastic…Carmen deserve to be known
www.dmme.net (October 2006)
Angel Air have once again dipped deep into the dusty musical catacombs to recover yet more buried treasure…a mixture of Castillian and Flamenco folk music with progressive rock to create a unique sound that was in many ways ahead of its time
Classic Rock Society (November 2006)
Fandangos is the more commercial of the two albums…Dancing, in contrast, is the more intriguing for noodlers and lovers of the unique…Carmen returns with a passion.
www.allmusic.com (November 2006)
Featuring funky glam rock with a bullfighting bent, it’s an absurdly ambitious album – you can certainly imagine members of Queen sitting around and taking notes from it, but the likes of Wire, The Cravats, and Gang Of Four, too, surely paid attention to the convoluted rhythms and intricate drum patterns. And that was only the debut album. By the time of Dancing On the following year, the rhythms were more disjointed, the styling more operatic and the sound so sweepingly majestic that it scarcely mattered that the album, though impressive, was nowhere near as great as its predecessor.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (December 2006)
…attempted to marry…flamenco with a generous helping of prog rock…with distinctly variable results
Kevin Bryan, Hartlepool Mail (January 2007)
Featuring funky glam rock with a bullfighting bent, it’s an absurdly ambitious album – you can certainly imagine members of Queen sitting around and taking notes from it…Carmen return with a passion.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (December 2006)
…consists of Spanish claps, dance beats, vocalisms and acoustic guitar, melded with a mix of space, prog and AOR.
Tim Jones, Record Collector (January 2007)
If you want your musical education to be richly rewarded and expanded then you owe it to yourself to visit both www.angelair.co.uk and www.fandangosinspace.com to find out more.
There are two bonus songs contained on this two disc set and I fervently hope that there is enough interest for Angel Air to decide to also release the third album on CD. Carmen toured with Tull, with John (Glascock) then joining as Jeffrey Hammond Hammond’s replacement in time for ‘Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll’ which also featured Angela as a guest. He will probably be best remembered by many for performing on the classic Tull albums ‘Songs From The Wood’ and ‘Heavy Horses’, before passing away from heart problems having played on just a few of the ‘Stormwatch’ numbers, but to a lucky few he will also be known as one of the members of the best flamenco rock band the world has ever seen and heard. Carmen.
Feedback (April 2007)
Hard rocking here, flipping into pop-rock there, bounding into psychedelia, falling gently into folk, the band dance exhuberantly across genres, with David Allen’s stunning guitar always to the fore…
All Music Guide (May 2007)
…‘The Gypsies’ wasn’t released in the UK at the time…this isn’t a weak album of a band soon to break up but a powerful follow on from the first two…Widescreen…is a new project from David (Allen)…an instrumental acoustic album that portrays both his classical and flamenco guitar skills.
Feedback (May 2007)
Before hanging up their castanets, Carmen recorded ‘The Gypsies’, a late 70s offering, the Hispanic passion of its forebears retained but with a more US rock sound. It stands up well against its Brit cousins…’Widescreen’: recorded in the late 90s…a pleasant enough outing melding flamenco to techno jazz…
Peter Muir, www.getreadytorock.com (May 2007)
On the strength of “Veracruz” alone, Allen deserves to be up there with Paco de Lucia when it comes to the exquisite fingerwork, but he’s mostly elegiac here, with inner flame hidden well in water-color versions of CARMEN’s “Dancing On A Cold Wind” and “Margarita”. A mature man serenade, “La Luz” can melt the strongest of the hearts, while “Delta” in turns gains pace and loosens up tempting to join in with handclaps, and “Hope” prompting to close the eyes and dream away. Electric buzz of “Carmenesque” feels a bit out of place, but dance beats and David’s barking scat give spice to the jazzy vignettes of “Bouba” making the record as contemporary as antique – in one word, timeless.****1/2
Dmitry M. Epstein, www.dmme.net (May 2007)