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Reviews

Banda Elástica — Catálogo de Tiraderos
(Luna Negra CDLN 04, 1997, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-01-01

Catálogo de Tiraderos Cover art

Banda Elástica seem to have been working largely in a genre of their own making down in Mexico; only the short-lived Nazca was anywhere close to what this band was doing. I say "was" because they have run completely off the fusion / chamber-rock course they were on. Now, on this mysterious new outing, a sensitivity to Henry Cow's free-music, even at times avant gardists like Music Improvisation Company, could be construed as inspiration. After getting over the initial shock of having my preconceptions totally blighted, I took quite a liking to Catálogo de Tiraderos. Any temptation to spring for the fast- forward button was completely thwarted, thanks to how, despite amorphous musical content, the group focuses on the low key, sullen approach, continuously shedding their skin to reveal a slightly altered visage. How Banda Elástica keep this often unbridled music in check is by shortening their non-idiomatic improvisations to tiny one or two-minute segments. Furthermore, out of a core of six players, including winds and marimba, usually no more than three players perform at one time time, giving it a special unobtrusive quality. And amazingly enough, they keep the dynamics down to a dull roar, in fact well below forte almost throughout. Twenty-four short gems that only get raucous and chaotic in about three places; that has to be some kind of record. Many a group in this situation would attempt to fill in every space imaginable. Banda Elastica is a fitting name as their music is just that — elastic as it oozes and slips through the cracks of all that is identifiable. Not everyone's bowl of menudo for sure, but definitely commendable.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Banda Elástica

 

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