José Luis Fernández Ledesma Q. — Motivos para Perdere
(Musea FGBG 4190.AR, 1996, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1997-05-01
Ledesma may be known by some already for his recent duet recording with Alquimia called Dead Tongues, and as a member of Nirgal Vallis during the 80s. Now he's back with an opus that, like the work of many of his countrymen recently, betrays no temptation to cavort with current rock music production techniques. (For reference see Conquista y Destruccion by El Puente de Alvarado). I'm beginning to believe that in Mexico the 80s and 90s never actually happened. Lucky for them! The fortunate consequence of this is that you get a 70s-styled progressive album from current times, that exudes nary a smidgen of cognizance regarding neo-prog. Perhaps a bit like Camel, this music doesn't purport to break all the rules and stretch the limits, but rather it establishes its own peculiar identity without resorting to radical posturing. Ledesma favors extended suite-like compositional forms. The expansive arrangements are highlighted mostly by analogue synths, percussion (including marimba), and reed instruments. The drum section seems to have been given short shrift on "La Montana de Los Encuentros," and "Ottla," which suffer somewhat from sluggishness as a result. The exact opposite is true in most other cases, however. Though on the whole an instrumental affair, Alquimia appears on vocals. The chanting is reminiscent of Popul Vuh, and I detect at times something inexplicably Spanish in the mixture. Maybe it's the handclaps. Linking the longer movements are short interludes performed on simple classical guitar, with synth accompaniment. Each of the multi-layered compositions on Motivos para Perdere spins a different tale, with that unmistakable timelessness inherent in the pre-Columbian sound for which Jorge Reyes has achieved semi-legendary status. So far, though, fame seems to have eluded Ledesma, and others of his ilk — Eblen Macari, Arturo Meza, et al. However in these instances, the native Hispanic element is only one small jewel in the overall mosaic of music.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the... (1998) » Read more