Pavel Fajt

Pavel Fajt & Pluto

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The Czech rock group Pluto's first album was released under the name Pavel Fajt & Pluto -- the avant rock drummer was the "star" of the lineup. This first opus is richer, lusher, and more varied than its follow-up, Tri, but on the other hand it lacks the raw edge of Pluto's live performances. The quartet (singer Vaclav Bartos, guitarist Petr Zavadil, bassist Tomás Fröhlich, and Fajt) is augmented by a number of guests, including a children's choir for the opening and closing numbers, "Kohout" and "Buvoli," which are two highlights. Avant jazz trumpeter Rajesh Mehta contributes to half of the tracks, while singer Iva Bittová, a regular musical partner of Fajt, shares lead vocals with Bartos on two songs (she plays the giddy girl with a sensual charm that is her own on "Flageolety"). "Lhár," "Nevidím," and "Kohout" all point toward the harder direction the group will take after this CD. Other tracks are more moody. Bartos shines when he gets pumped up, churning pathos like a madman. Fröhlich and Fajt play intricate rhythmic patterns that enrich the rather simple song structures, providing ever-changing flooring. Special care has been put into the arrangements, making this album more accessible than the music of, say, Uz Jsme Doma, Rale, or Slede Zive Slede, although it remains resolutely alternative Czech rock in essence.

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