Exposé Online banner

Ahleuchatistas — On the Culture Industry
(Angura Sound Ang-001, 2003, CD)

Ahleuchatistas — The Same and the Other
(Noreaster Failed Industries (NFI) NFI-07, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

On the Culture Industry Cover artThe Same and the Other Cover artOf all the genre labels ever devised, math rock has to be one of the most annoying. It’s an insult both to rock and to math, and seems to me borne of two mistaken beliefs. First, that math is inherently complicated (which can certainly be said of advanced mathematics, but the whole idea of math is to simplify things, reduce them to their most basic form); and second, that rock music cannot be complicated. So if music seems to be based on rock, but is more complicated than “Blue Suede Shoes” it is somehow equated with mathematics. Ahleuchatistas are a case in point. They have been tagged with the math rock label because their music, though they are only a trio, is pretty complex stuff; but while “math” implies a certain analytical detachment, their music is comes off as rough and visceral in spite of all the twists and turns the arrangements take. Shane Perlowin (guitar), Derek Poteat (bass), and Sean Dali (drums) function like a bizarre clockwork machine, with all the parts meshing together precisely as they turn and hum. You can’t be sure exactly what the machine is doing, but it is a thing of beauty to watch in action. Like many of the other post-rock bands (the ones that don’t tend towards ambient or chamber-like sounds), all three take full advantage of the sound-production capabilities of their instruments, both within and outside accepted bounds. A minimum of electronic modification is applied (only a bit of distortion), and both of these releases sound very much live in the studio. How these three can keep straight all the seemingly unrelated bits that make up each of their compositions is beyond me. They seem so haphazard at first listen, but all come together into an amazing contraption. Both CDs are excellent, and quite similar in sound, but I’d give the edge to the second for having a wider range of moods. Ahleuchatistas have signed with Cuneiform, with a new release expected early next year, which should give them the wider exposure they deserve.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2003 releases, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Ahleuchatistas

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts of Happiness – It has been said that jazz is all about Swing. I’ll go along with that — as long as I get to define Swing my own way. Swing is more than just a particular rhythmic feel; Swing, to me, is...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues