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Rodrigo San Martin

Crossover Prog

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Rodrigo San Martin 1 album cover
3.40 | 12 ratings | 6 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 1 (39:12)

Total Time 39:12


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Music tabs (tablatures)


Line-up / Musicians

- Rodrigo San Martín / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, bass, Mellotron, Hammond, Moog, piano, keyboards, string arrangements, programming, producer & mixing

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RODRIGO SAN MARTIN 1 ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (55%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Rodrigo San Martin did not take the easy route when he created this, his first solo album. First, instead of hiring a band to play his music with him, he chose to play all of the instruments himself. With most artists that attempt this, the parts they play on their primary instrument (in this case the gutar) often overwhelm the rest of the music. San Martin apparently has the talent and musical vision to be able to play many parts with equal proficiency. And even more impressive, the album sounds like a band, not a group of tracks that don't quite mesh, as is often the case in this type of endeavor.

Second, he chose to make this album consisting of one single long piece, lasting just under 40 minutes. San Martin has managed to weave numerous themes and styles onto a single long epic. Only occasionally is there a transition between ideas that doesn't work seamlessly. The piece is primarily symphonic, but has traces of metal, folk, and othe prog sub-genres. Very nice.

My only complaint is in the production. The bass frequently booms out of the speakers. And the dynamics of the song have me frequently turning the volume up for quiet passages, and down for the loud parts. Not much of a complaint.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Uno.

This is the first album by Rodrigo San Martin, a true Argentinean talent whose compositions talk by themselves. When I was introduced (by him, in fact) to his music I felt lucky and happy of knowing that there is talent everywhere, and to know that progressive rock is alive and kicking asses. And though I admit I prefer much more his "There's No Way Out" album, it is evident that since his first work he made visible his skills as composer and performer. And I say this, because the album was composed and played by him in its entirety.

So here this one-man-band offers an ambitious one-song-album in which we can appreciate a symphonic oriented sound, changes in rhythm and mood, a diversity of passages, and a great blend of nuances, textures and melodies. I invite you to download the album through his website (it is free) and prepare for this 39-minute epic. Worth mentioning that with our help and spreading the word, his music will be better known, and he may be releasing the albums in CD in the near future, and not only in digital versions.

The song starts soft with acoustic guitar and delicate vocals in English, little by little other elements are appearing, such as drums and mellotron. It progresses, it flows and when we less expect it, changes. After five minutes a heavier tone enters and creates a sound that has nothing to do with the first minutes. A blend of styles make this a very eclectic album, because besides the previously mentioned symphonic sound (mainly due to the keyboards) here we can find some heavy prog moments, some spacey ones, and even some lighter and catchier ones, which make me think is the reason San Martin's music was labeled (wrongly) as Crossover Prog.

After ten minutes there is a beautiful instrumental passage where keyboards and drums join, creating a hopeful sound which all of a sudden will be vanished due to the entrance of the doubled- edged piano, because it creates a calm, but also a tense and nervous sound. Then vocals return, as well as the mellotron, which is essential here. A long instrumental passage comes later and finishes after the twentieth minute; the sound disappears and then the second part of the song/album begins.

Piano notes and a warm and bluesy guitar at first, then atmospheric keyboards complement it. A couple of minutes later vocals enter in a really soft way, giving us a melancholic sound. But guess what, it is only another passage because later the song explodes and its heavier side appears for a brief moment, just before being replaced by some spacey and atmospheric keyboards. Though changing so many times in a few minutes may not be the best formula, here it does not really harm the music, one can let it flow and enjoy it, having in mind that some passages would have been better if they lasted more. The rest of the song is composed by the same elements, by the same changes, until it delicately finishes.

For a debut album, and for a man who did it all, this is a wonderful work by Rodrigo San Martin, congratulations for that. Though I have to admit that the album is not flawless, no, it does have some weaker and plain moments, and I am sorry, but I am not that eager regarding his voice. On the other hand, the song is well-crafted without a doubt, and it shows that we have a new talent rising, aiming for reaching bigger goals. So now after two albums, I am truly interested in his third, which is about to see the light. My final grade will be three strong stars (3.5 would be better).

Enjoy it!

Review by VanVanVan
4 stars It's a pretty bold move to release as your first album a single, 40 minute track. It's an even bolder move to write, sing, and play every single instrument on that album. But you know what? I think that Rodrigo San Martin has a right to be bold. '1' is a fantastic piece of progressive rock, one that anyone should be proud to have for a debut album. Fans of Phideaux should find a lot to like here, as should fans of any of the 'big' symphonic bands: there are traces here of Transatlantic and IQ as well. For the most part, though, this comes off as a very original, fresh piece of music, and one that comes highly recommended.

'1' begins with a spare guitar part which is quickly joined by some high, ethereal, incredibly melodic vocals. This is soon joined by percussion, bass, and a variety of synths that give the beginning section of the track a decidedly neo-prog feel, very much in line with the music of IQ. In fact, some of the guitar parts sound to me like they could have come straight off of their 2004 album 'Dark Matter.' At about 5 minutes in a new theme is added, and the track takes on a heavier tone that recalls sections of another prominent modern prog band, Transatlantic. If you're familiar with their albums and know of the heavier section in 'Stranger in Your Soul,' then you have a decent comparison point for this music: undoubtedly symphonic, but also heavy and even approaching metal. Some rather technically impressive acoustic guitar parts make an appearance during this section as well, made all the more impressive by the fact that San Martin is the only player on this album.

After this a bit of a more atmospheric section begins, with a variety of synths setting up a harmonic background for a spoken word section that sounds like it consists of excerpts from the bible. I will confess that I'm not a huge fan of spoken-word sections like this, but here it works out alright, serving as a sort of bridge into the next section, which features orchestral string sounds heavily. A more minimal, piano-led section follows this, in turn, and it's here that the vocals return as well, this time in a more grounded, mysterious style than the opening. A string and guitar section follows this, and to be honest, it's here that a bit of a structural problem emerges, as this section, with its swelling orchestral parts and guitar soloing, really feels like a finale though the track is less than half over.

I can't criticize this too much, however, as it transitions very nicely into a very pretty piano part. Eventually synths and bass are added in to help elaborate on this theme, and it quickly develops into a full blown instrumental extravaganza, with an excellent guitar solo going over chorus-like vocals. Almost exactly at the 20 minute mark the sound cuts out completely, and there's a little bit of a break while a recording of what sounds like a record being flipped over is played. It's a fun little conceit to demonstrate the nature of the piece, but I wonder if actually dividing the album into two halves wouldn't have been just as effective.

When this 'second side' begins it has a far more jazzy feel to it than anything from the first half, with a piano part and some excellent, laid back guitar soloing setting the mood quite nicely. Subdued but still incredibly melodic vocals come in over the motif that develops from this. I really have to hand it to Mr. San Martin, the vocal melodies here are excellent; I'd be tempted to say they're even on par with Phideaux and the like. Another heavier section follows this, with a fiery guitar solo standing out as the highlight of this section. We're treated to a reprise of that gorgeous vocal melody from the beginning of the 'side' following this, before the tempo picks up and a new melody begins. Percussion takes on a more prominent role, and a gorgeous combination of synth and guitar makes up most of the background music. There's a fairly long instrumental section that follows this, going through another heavy stage before briefly returning to a soft vocal section. This doesn't last long, however, as the heavy riffing quickly returns and with it come the most insistent vocals yet. I can hear a lot of IQ resemblance here as well. Unfortunately, with this section comes my second complaint about the album: the vocals just don't seem powerful enough to me. I don't know if it's in the way they are mixed or in how they were delivered, but the recurring cry of 'let me out' seems so faint compared to the music that I think this section lacks a bit of the power it could have had.

Again, that's a fairly minor complaint against how good the album is in general, and the finale shows that there's certainly nothing wrong with San Martin's vocals in a general sense. Delicate and emotional, the final line of the song, 'I refuse to let/the world torn apart' is delivered with a breathtaking sense of finality and it's a near-perfect ending for the song.

So though there are occasions (though very rare) where '1''s reach exceeds its grasp, for the most part this is a superb piece of music that's overall very consistent throughout its epic running time. I look forward to reviewing Mr. San Martin's other albums in the near future as well, especially after being reminded by this album what an impressive composer and musician he really is. A darn good album and an incredibly impressive debut.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Argentinian singer and composer Rodrigo San Martin was born in 1988, evolving from a young pianist to a Rock multi-instrumentalist with Classical and Jazz education and influences over the years.Already from his teenager period his activities were endless: Composing, experimenting with music production and later organizing his own Prog fest named ''Close to the Edge Buenos Aires Prog Fest'', while he has been a member of several less-known Prog and Jazz projects.In 2010 San Martin played, recorded, mixed and mastered himslef his first solo album ''1''.

With faith on his own strengths the young Argentinian's first production includes one very long eponymous composition, clocking at almost 40 minutes.Do not expect though a breakless piece, there are a few interruptions between the different movements, but at the end this is a pretty solid epic composition.Stylistically ''1'' steps with one foot on 70's Classic Prog and the other on more contemporary Prog stylings, drawing influences from all KING CRIMSON era's, Italian Prog and modern bands such as PORCUPINE TREE.The basic fashion is a lovely Symphonic Rock with orchestral melodies and sampled string sections, blended with atmospheric Mellotron washes and calm piano interludes.It's kind of close to IAN GORDON's material at times.Among these harmonic and melodious themes however there are plenty of heavier moods with complex, FRIPP-ian guitar workouts and powerful Alt Rock-styled grooves with distorted vocals, along with some more poppy and relaxed vocal harmonies.Yes, it contains all the components of a great prog epic, the use of sampled instrumentation is sometimes holding this down, but generally the ideas are satisfying with tons of changing themes and some impressive instrumental textures.

San Martin has included a few bonus tracks in his first work, showing his diverse talent and inspirations and scanning the territories of Blues Rock, Art Pop, acoustic music and Jazz, which are quite pleasant for the ear but rather far from the tite track's atmosphere.

Young and talented artist with a debut album worth investigating, ranging from symphonic and nostalgic grandieur to pretty heavier demonstrations.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I was reminded about this album by the previous reviewer whose review appeared on the front page. I remember when I first heard this, and didn't think much of it. Well, it's definitely a grower, but one that will take time obviously. I was reminded of Requiem Apocalyptique, another one song al ... (read more)

Report this review (#603875) | Posted by Renkls | Friday, January 6, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Let me first of all praise Rodrigo for bringing his music to our attention. This is an album which will give the vast majority of ProgArchives many users a lot of pleasure. So go & get it, guys. Rodrigo San Martin has almost commited an artistic suicide on this album by creating a forty minutes ... (read more)

Report this review (#451348) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, May 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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