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(44:46, Azafran Media / Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Caos 6:50 2. Espectro 6:41 3. Foresta 8:25 4. Revelaciones 7:03 5. Suecos 7:34 6. Transmutaciones 8:13 SOLO PILOT: Alejandro Villalon Renaud – all instruments
Prolusion. Mexican composer and musician Alejandro Villalon RENAUD is, from how I read his sparse biographical information, a guy who stumbled into the field of music more by accident, due to a need to create music for photo and video installations that weren't given restrictions in use due to copyright issue. "Simbiosis" is his debut album, and was released through Azafran Media and Musea Records in 2013.
Analysis. Among the sometimes disputed parts of the progressive rock universe we have the music often coined as electronic progressive. Music spearheaded by Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, a type of music with strong ties to krautrock, psychedelic and space rock, but ultimately also disputed due to equally strong ties to the new age scene, due to the frequent use of ambient passages in electronic music. Renaud's material is one that ties to both of these sides, at least to a certain extent. The way he goes about it ultimately makes me regard him as an artist with a solid placement within the electronic progressive realm, but those who favor their music of this kind to be of the Berlin school variety may think otherwise. The opening compositions Caos and Espectro both explore music with some distinct similarities in sound and arrangements to ‘70s Tangerine Dream. Rhythms, textures and sounds are all combined into a totality that easily makes them creations that arouse associations with Tangerine Dream. In a good way, though, as these are strong contributions to this part of the electronic progressive realm. As this album unfolds it develops towards a more ambient-oriented expression however, but one that tends to use edgier, harder edged sounds rather than focusing on an array of softer textures and delicate effects only. What sounds like sampled, effect-treated guitars are given central roles, as are electronic sounds with a firm, cold sound, as well as brittle but hard effects and swirling noises with more of an unnerving sonic quality. The compositions are ambient in nature, with swirling, surging and wavelike sound motifs assembled in a careful manner, the music tends to contain cosmic effects as well, but some key sounds provide details of a subtly more unnerving nature that doesn't fit the more tranquil oriented new age sound all that well. The exotic sounding Suenos, with a sound that made me think of Kitaro in places, is arguably an exception, but still a compelling and well made piece of music, to my ears.
Conclusion. Electronic progressive music with a distinct cosmic vibe is the type of music Mexican composer and musician Alejandro Villalon Renaud has assembled on his debut album "Simbiosis". References to Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and to some extent Kitaro can be made, and while this isn't a production that comes within the confines of Berlin school, this isn't a soft new age affair either. Edgier and harder sounds are liberally used, giving these compositions a firmer and more vibrant tinge than your typical new age artists, and I'd describe those who are equally fond of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis as a presumed core audience for this disc.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 7, 2015
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