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Guillermo Fragoso — Mexxico
(Smogless Smogless SR-2019, 1998, CD)

by Dean Suzuki, Published 2001-03-01

Mexxico Cover art

Fragoso practices a brand of swarthy, doomy ambient prog that bears the imprint of Peter Frohmader. Fragoso serves up dark, dank soundscapes with a love of low registers, thick textures, and timbres ranging from the velvety to the metal edged. Like Jeff Greinke and a host of Mexican composers (Jorge Reyes for example), Fragoso injects exotic touches: invocations of indigenous flutes or percussion, Bartókian “night music” (such as gentle chirps, twitters and rustles, the sound of distant wind heard in the quiet of the evening), evocations of the jungle and the like. There is also an ambient-industrial component such as the gentle clang of struck metal pipes, distant foghorn-like drones and other embellishments perfectly suited to the music. “NAGUel sacrificioALES,” a massive 22-minute tone poem, features a synthesized female chorus, violin, and a plethora of tone colors. Embracing elements of expressionism, impressionism and surrealism, it is a kind of aural radio play that conjures up dream-like images. One caveat is the use of synthesized drums that lend an artificial techno element to a couple tracks. Otherwise brilliant.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Guillermo Fragoso

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