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(39 min, Lizard)
TRACK LIST: 1. Deposito Ausente 11:39 2. Enrique 13:16 3. Entomologo 11:55 4. Sr. Osago 9:46 5. Treme 6:23 6. Evangelico 12:38 All tracks: by Yohnosago. Produced by Yohnosago & J Barrenechea. LINEUP: Santiago Astaburuaga - fretless bass Santiago Blanco - electric guitar Juan Pablo Caceras - drums; trumpet; synthesizer Nicolas Carrasco - synthesizers Felipe Maino - violins
Prolusion. Subtitled very eloquently as "Album 1", "Descuento" is certainly the debut work of Chilean band YOHNOSAGO. This is a regular product of the long-term collaboration between Italy's Lizard and Chile's Mylodon labels.
Analysis. This young band certainly has a huge listening experience behind them, and not only. They entered the world of progressive music being well prepared as both composers and musicians. "Descuento" is an amazingly interesting thing: exotic, mysterious and bewitching all simultaneously. Without jazz improvisations, but with lots of avant-garde features, this is an academic RIO-inflected music, which, however, lies far from the genre's lived-in realms and is beyond comparison in general. In fact, this band is an adept at working with a few different styles, which will be verified in due time. The album contains six long instrumental compositions, five of which are from 10 to 13 minutes in length, all being filled with deep, constantly evolving arrangements. There is a massive dose of dissonance, and also the presence of random-like sounds that intentionally avoids concordant interaction between the players. Each member equally contributed to the music, and their joint sound is sometimes fuller than you would expect from a quintet, which above all is due to Juan Pablo Caceras, who plays not only drums, but also trumpet and synthesizer, to keep Nicolas Carrasco's company. Santiago Astaburuaga, whose monster chops on fretless bass are at times pronouncedly heavy, often leads the way along with Felipe Maino's violin, and Caceras's busy, complicated drumming following along. The guitar at times has a harsh sound, though Santiago Blanco showcases a different approach on almost all of the tracks. Two compositions, Deposito Ausente and Entomologo, are slow throughout, yet the arrangements always remain extremely eclectic, combining RIO-like tendencies with those I can't describe otherwise than a highly avant-garde form of Minimalist music. All of the other tracks consist mostly of up-tempo, dense, intensive arrangements, and Mio Rio! Three of them: Enrique, Sr. Osago and Evangelico feature elements of Metal-In-Opposition, while Treme is just MIO. Generally, the last three tunes are closer to classic RIO. They feature a lot of moments of undisguised beauty and are more immediately attractive than the others. Although Treme has a distinct metallic sense, it's a bit less intricate and eclectic, so one may serve it as a starting point to comprehend the entire thing.
Conclusion. To say Yohnosago's "Descuento" is a very promising debut is to say nearly nothing. For a band this young, it's really a major achievement. One of the most freshly sounding RIO-related works I've heard in recent years, it's a sure-fire candidate for my Top 20 list of the year, and the album gets better with each listen, by the way. ProGfessor? Be sure to take them on board!
VM: March 9, 2005
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