Review by: Dinar Khayrutdinov
Album assigned by: Alejandro Muñoz G
Génesis, whose name should not be confused with the classic British prog-rock group’s, is a 1970s Colombian band who obviously took part of the inspiration from folksy late 60s psychedelia (something in the vein of Traffic or Spooky Tooth) and the other part from Colombian ethnic music (which itself is most probably a cross between Latin American and Native American tunes and rhythms). This 1974 self-titled offering is the band’s sophomore album and it is… an okay-to-good record. Yes, for some reason, this is pretty much the only adequate epithet I can come up with. It’s pleasant, it has nice melodies and professional musicianship, yet it is hardly anything groundbreaking or even in any way unique, apart from the fact that the album is incredibly short (only 24 minutes!) but they managed to cram 8 songs and 1 bluesy instrumental into this short running time. To be perfectly frank, after the first listen I was going to dismiss the album as generic and derivative, however these tunes grew on me on subsequent listens, and I really enjoyed the authentic American atmosphere. The album’s flow is smooth, with more folk-rock in the first half and more atmospheric “Native American” tracks (that flute-driven sound is pretty cool!) in the second half of the album. The only element that is deserving to be deemed ‘bad’ here is definitely the production – unfortunately, the album’s sound is muddy and somewhat muffled to the point that you can hardly hear some of the instruments sometimes. In some weird way this reminded me of early efforts by my favourite Russian band Aquarium who had similar production problems early on in their career, so my guess is that, like Aquarium, Génesis probably just did not have good equipment to record on. The parallels, however, do not end there – Génesis’s brand of folk-rock is at times eerily similar to what the Soviet rockers tried to do, albeit a decade later. One track that sounded especially familiar to my Russian ear was Sueñas, Quieres, Dices – listen to Aquarium’s early stuff and you’ll get what I mean.
Overall – I’m not sure I will ever return to this band, but the experience was enjoyable and rewarding.