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(53:43, Viajero Inmovil Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Ciudad Zombi-2 2:38 2. Ciudad Zombi-1 4:02 3. Anos de Apatia 6:19 4. Sonambula 9:41 5. Indios Electronicos 4:39 6. Devian 5:38 7. Que Rest I Till 6:42 8. Lo Viejo por Venir 5:00 9. La Esquina de las Corazonadas 8:51 LINEUP: Dario Iscaro – guitars Guille Marengo – bass Jose-Maria Torrabadella – trumpet Jose Franco – drum kit, percussion
Prolusion. Although this CD arrived without any supporting material, I believe “Entretejido Cosmico” is the debut release by ANTIHEROE, a group of four Argentinean musicians whose website is still under construction.
Analysis. It’s guitarist/songwriter Dario Iscaro who heads up this quartet which, as you can see above, also embraces bassist Guille Marengo, trumpet player Jose-Maria Torrabadella and drummer Jose Franco (who additionally deploys electronic percussion in some occasions). There are nine instrumental tracks here; about a half of them are largely-to-completely uniform in style, but what is instantly striking is that all of them without exception have a distinct lean towards Jazz-Fusion and so it’s clear that those behind the recording have at least a formal training in jazz composition. One of the pieces that lies entirely within the implied idiom, Devian, would have left a better impression had it been presented as three different tracks, whilst as it is it comes across as being rather aimless, having a strong sense of sketchiness to it. The point is that it’s compiled of three musical storylines none of which are thematically linked between themselves and so none sound like a logical continuation of the preceding one. The other four, Indios Electronicos, La Esquina de las Corazonadas, Anos de Apatia and Que Rest I Till, present us the pure shape of the style that is the most widespread on the album. There are quite a few shifts in direction and pace on all these, and although the arrangements – typically in a modern jazz-fusion fashion – never reach what traditional prog heads comprehend as a culmination, fans of this particular genre should find each to be a fairly pleasing listening affair. While Dario’s approach to playing his instrument brings to mind Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth and – infrequently – Robert Fripp circa “Exposure”/“Discipline”, the overall musical picture reminds me more of a cross between the Pat Metheny Group and mid-‘80s Weather Report, the free improvisations that pop up here and there all being so to speak courtesy of the trumpet player. Unlike those on the primary-style pieces, on both the tracks having Ciudad Zombi as their basic title, and also on Lo Viejo por Venir, moves where all the players provide independent, differently vectored solos are well balanced by (read: never exceed in quantity) the unison leads-based ones. The fact is that the fusionesque arrangements on these are often offset by those belonging either to the hard rock or the doom metal genre – a matter that jazz purists might be dissatisfied with, while personally, being an adherent of stylistic diversity, structural contrasts and so on, I don’t think it is really a fault, even though I realize that it somewhat impairs the overall level of diversity of the music on each. The last of the somewhat standout (or freaky) tracks, Sonambula, finds the band widening the album’s basic stylistic frontiers by the infusion of folksy as well as slightly angular melodies which remind me of a minimalist or rather a very pared-down take on RIO. To cut a long story short, this is my least favorite piece in the set. Lasting for almost 10 minutes, it never changes its pace, all the musicians playing exclusively slow, as if they’re groping their way trying to overstep the borderland between dreamland and reality which, however, is never achieved in the piece.
Conclusion. There is nothing really new or breathtaking on “Entretejido Cosmico”, but while its creators won't set the world on fire, they flawlessly do what’s within their grasp. I think fans of each of the aforementioned jazz-fusion-related artists will be pleased with most of this recording if they don’t mind something a little less compositionally perfect as well as musically and technically complex.
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