Alquimia — Forever
(Prudence 398.6733.2, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01Alquimia, beginning with her album Coatlique — Goddess of the Earth back in the early 90s established herself as the premier female voice in the ambient/experimental field. A series of groundbreaking albums followed, including Wings of Perception and A Separate Reality, each different yet equally explorative, then collaborations with the likes of J.L. Fernandez Ledesma, Roedelius, and Zinkl. Anyone reading this review should be forewarned that the disc at hand has little in common with any of those innovative, pioneering releases of the past. Instead, her latest release is a collection of traditional and original Celtic flavored folk and gentle pop songs, with guitar or piano accompaniment and backed by light orchestration and string bass, with additional backing voices (sometimes multitracked, yet there are other backing singers as well), and occasionally spruced up with folk instruments for effect. If I could just forget all of the other more interesting things Alquimia has done in the past, I would have to say this is quite nice for what it is, albeit a little tame for my tastes. Her voice is still magical and powerful, and applied to these songs, she certainly does them justice. Most of the songs here are also presented in a stripped down form (simple piano or guitar accompaniment only) as MP3 files; to my ears, those are somewhat more engaging than the orchestrated versions. I'm hoping this is just a temporary condition, and that she will return to her more challenging and progressive endeavors in the future.
Related artist(s): Alquimia
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
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 Santana, 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