Iconoclasta — La Granja Humana
((Not on label) no#, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01Though I’ve been reading about them in Exposé for years, this is the first Iconoclasta I’ve actually heard. I’m going to leave aside the concept-album aspect of Granja Humana (Human Farm in English), since, as instrumental music, “concept” is a matter of song titles, cover art, and inspiration, all of which are beyond the scope of music criticism. Suffice it to say they’re thinking about genetic engineering, and they don’t appear to be in favor of it. The music has a dark, ominous feel to much of it, not as oppressive as King Crimson, but full of minor keys. The presence of prominent keyboards and acoustic guitar help to lighten things a bit. The music is fairly complicated, and while none of the musicians are slouches, there is the feeling that they are playing near the limits of their technique, and their ideas are almost out of reach. Somehow I think that if they sounded more polished, I would enjoy them less. In general, their inspiration seems to come from classics like 70s Genesis, but with a near-jazzy twist. All compositions and arrangements are credited to guitarist/keyboardist Ricardo Moreno, and there is often a twin guitar lead shared with Ricardo Ortegón. Bassist Nohemi de Rubin provides a bright bottom end, complementing the melodies nicely. Victor Baldovinos keeps the pace going on the drums, though the production on his kit is rather flat, giving it a thumpy cardboard sound. One of the standout tracks is “El último de los Dodos,” which starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar duet, then progresses through numerous sections, including a quiet echoey interlude and a fast 5/4 riff. In any case, I’m glad I finally got to hear this interesting band, and recommend them to lovers of complex music that isn’t overly slick.
Related artist(s): Iconoclasta
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more