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(50 min, Viajero Inmovil)
TRACK LIST: 1. Final 2:58 2. Nuevo-V 8:37 3. Mecanofonico 7:07 4. Aranitas 7:04 5. Marionetas 5:06 6. Acalambrase 8:15 7. Hidralia 5:06 8. Sofisma 6:04 LINEUP: Alejandro Carrau - keyboards Nicolas Pedrero - guitar Leo Ghernetti - guitar Lion Iglesias - bass Martin Benito - drums
Prolusion. DEFORMICA hails from Argentina, but I have no idea whether "H" is their first release. The fact is that this disc arrived without a press kit, while the band's website will probably puzzle any visitor who doesn't understand Spanish.
Analysis. In a way, the content of "H" is as intricate as the architecture of its makers' website, but unlike the latter is totally comprehensible - partly because it is not burdened:-) with any verbal content. With the exception of the last track, Sofisma, there are no weak spots on this 50-minute recording, most of its eight instrumentals being masterworks. On one hand I see Deformica's style as a kind of Post-Art-Rock, since the music, although highly innovative, remains basically symphonic even when the band go heavy or provide quasi improvisations, all of which they do quite often. But on the other, there also are a good few prodigiously complex stop-start movements to be found on the album, as well as counterpoint melodies and even generally singular constructions whose slightly asymmetric nature suggests to me something like Proto-RIO. A recollection of King Crimson's mid-'70s work might help you, readers, to catch my reasoning on the matter, and by the way, the first three of the longer tracks, Nuevo-V, Mecanofonico and Aranitas, each from time to time evokes that revolutionary English ensemble. However I think it would be more correct to say that, having added to their arsenal some ideas from King Crimson's legacy, Deformica gave them a new vector. When listening to the heaviest sections on Aranitas, I can hear some echoes of Anekdoten's "Nucleus", though I clearly realize that these Swedish musicians are themselves inspired by King Crimson, besides which they never ventured on improvisations. What also unites the said three compositions is that on each can be found an episode with quite menacing sounding effects elicited via guitar and bass pedals. The next two tracks, Marionetas and Acalambrase, have much in common between them too, differentiating from the preceding ones by their lesser number of angular structures. But then these are richer in dynamic contrasts (above all in those between fast-and-heavy arrangements and, well, their opposites), both at times a bit reminding me of what Mekong Delta could have done when they introduced features of Classical music straight into 'metal' fabrics, i.e. in the early '90s. Hidralia follows, at first sounding similar, but then overall turns out to be relatively transparent music. Voivod circa "Outer Limits" could serve as a reference, if they had used an electric piano. All the said tracks are diverse multi-sectional compositions rich in whatever a true progressive heart desires, and what is more, each possesses a wonderful kernel, an audible element that penetrates through the locks of consciousness and directly affects the psyche. It also needs to be mentioned that there are usually two keyboards in the picture, namely organ and electric piano, the former working exclusively in a symphonic key, unlike the latter whose tone has a sound resembling Return To Forever. The album's boundary tracks are somewhat less intricate than the others. The opening one, titled Final for some reason, is still a very good tune, but is closer to the '80s than the '70s King Crimson, and not otherwise as is in the case of its three follow-ups. The last track, Sofisma, is much the same story as its predecessor Hidralia, excluding its mid-section which, while lasting for two-and-a-half minutes, contains nothing but the sound of emptiness.
Conclusion. Deformica is a collective of brave, honest, genuinely inspired musicians, and their "H" is a breathtakingly interesting album, lying far outside any busy musical roads - those beaten within the Prog Rock genre included. Not for neo-headed or even those exclusively to symphonic Art-Rock, it comes very highly recommended to all open-minded and adventurous music lovers with a broad stylistic horizon. One of the most innovative among the 2006 releases that I was lucky enough to met with, "H" wends its way straight to my Top-20 of the year, regardless of whether this is a story of Hydrogen or Hardware.
VM: February 7, 2006
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