Alejandro Villalón Renaud — Simbiosis
(Azafrán Media AP-1314, 2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-06-19This Mexican artist is clearly inspired by 70s Tangerine Dream — I definitely hear some Rubycon and Stratosfear in here, but more as inspiration than emulation. There are modern touches added, but that warmth that the Dreamers managed to infuse into their electronics can also be found here. Some of the melodies are sweeping elegies reminiscent of New Age pablum, but there are other things going on involving sequencers and electric guitar (or something that sounds like it — credits are not specific) that lift Renaud's music out of that mire. The CD's six tracks clock in at just under 45 minutes in all, which is welcome in this age of monumental electronic epics. Six to eight minutes a pop I can handle, especially when there's such a nice balance in tones and moods. While nothing is likely to send throngs to the dancefloor, several tracks get that burbling space-groove going, even without the use of explicit drum-like sounds; there are also calmer moments of gradually cycling string chords with melodies that are only implied. Aside from the guitar, there are occasionally other sounds that seem non-electronic, like piano, and there are other parts that are processed beyond recognition. Is that a guitar in "Revelaciones"? Hard to say just from hearing it. Better check the credits... No help there. All in all, it veers a little too close to New Age territory to get my unqualified recommendation, but keeps things moving enough to be appealing.
Related artist(s): Alejandro Villalón Renaud
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more