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Beledo - 2016 - "Dreamland Mechanism"

(55:26, Moonjune Records)


1. Mechanism 5:22
2. Bye Bye Blues 5:38
3. Marylin's Escapade 8:40
4. Lucilla 6:31
5. Sudden Voyage 5:02
6. Big Brother Calling 4:16
7. Mercury in Retrograde 4:20
8. Silent Assessment 5:04
9. Budjanaji 5:05
10. Front Porch Pine 5:28


Beledo  guitars, bass; violin, keyboards, vocals
Doron Lev  drums 
Gary Husband  drums 
Dewa Budjana  guitars
Rudy Zulkarnaen  bass 
Lincoln Goines  bass 
Tony Steele  bass 
Cucu Kurnia  percussion 
Endang Ramdan  percussion 

Prolusion. Uruguay born, US-based composer and musician BELEDO is an experienced hand in music circles, and has been active over multiple decades as a band member as well as a solo artist. His first solo album was released way back in 1985. "Dreamland Mechanism" is his most recent solo album, and was released through the US label Moonjune Records at the start of 2016.

Analysis. Those familiar with the release history of Moonjune Records can be safely assured that this solo production by Beledo is one that fits right into the center of what most perceive as that label's main strength: To release quality albums by artists exploring the more jazz-oriented parts of the progressive rock universe, or arguably, the more progressive rock oriented parts of the jazz universe. Jazz rock is the name of the game here, and of a kind I would guess will feel warm and familiar sounding to those with a firm affection for that style of music. The defining aspects of this production, besides being a mainly instrumental affair, is that it is guitar dominated and perhaps with a few more blues-tinged undertones than what is commonly found on an album described within a jazz rock context. Not that any of the tracks on this CD will ever be mistaken for something other than jazz fusion or jazz rock, as there's always at least one instrument firmly holding on to a prominent jazz-oriented mode of delivery, but there are darker undercurrents with a bit more of a blues based touch to them that is something of a recurring feature throughout. Otherwise the elegant and almost unobtrusive character of the individual instrumental movements is a joyful experience throughout, as neither Beledo nor any of his collaborators see the need to be dramatic or explosive in their respective deliveries. From the more subtle and careful Latin oriented landscapes of Lucila, which would be a nifty companion track to most any De Lucia / DiMeola workouts, to the alternating guitar sounds used on Big Brother Calling, everything stays cool and controlled. Latin guitar without the dramatic aspect of the Latin spirit, fiery but not explosive, and twisted guitar effects that hone in on the mood and atmosphere of the effects used rather than highlighting the intensity of the effects. If the song in question is a more delicate affair with folk-tinged tendencies or gliding guitar reverbs, a harder edged one with darker toned hard riff details or with a more expressive effect, the dramatic aspects are toned down and controlled so that they are a part of the total experience rather than dominant singular instrument details with additional instrument support. Even the opening piece Mechanism, with its Mahivishnu-meets-Kansas kind of initial mood, manage to shy away from the more explosive aspects of having a vibrant violin present, and makes it a part of the greater totality instead.

Conclusion. As usual, Moonjune Records has delivered a quality addition to the list of high quality instrumental jazz rock albums commercially available. Beleodo is an accomplished and versatile composer and musician, and with musicians of an equal stature backing him up the end result is one that comes with something of an automatic quality attached to it. Those fond of elegant jazz rock with a versatile touch should find this album to be one worth investigating.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 14, 2016
The Rating Room

Related Links:

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