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
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
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
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