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
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more