In 2005, the Dutch progressive rock act Focus, a few years after they reformed, travelled to South America to do a tour. The band at the time included Thijs van Leer (keyboards and flute), Pierre van der Linden (drums), Bobby Jacobs (bass) and Jan Dumée (guitars). During this tour they were influenced and inspired by the stylistic musical orientations that were held there. They also got to know producer Marvio Ciribelli in Brazil. The band gathered a total of fifteen Brazilian friends around them. Together with these renowned musicians, various tracks were recorded in the Castle Studio and the Studio 888. Spontaneously they took a few songs of Focus and Ciribelli. Focus 8.5 - Beyond The Horizon is the result of this collaboration, which has now been released via Cherry Red Records.
On the album you can enjoy seven not really new pieces which combine mainly elements from progressive rock, jazz and Latin music. This sounds at times like modern classical music, and sometimes like the sound art from earlier times. Very often, the compositions have the effect of being spontaneous, random, live and without specifications. All in all, the production supervised by Marvio Ciribelli has a certain improvisational character. The numbers, which can't be ignored by the guitar, the flute, the drums, the keyboards, the piano, the percussion and the voices, are fresh, lively and stylish.
Focus 8.5 - Beyond The Horizon can be recommended to all those who like cultivated entertainment with real requirements and intercultural music of European and South American roots. So if you got curious try this new release. But beware! Don't expect songs such as House Of The King, Sylvia or Hocus Pocus. After all it was released as Focus And Friends.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2017