José Luis Fernández Ledesma — Extractos
(Luna Negra LN-03, 1997, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-04-01
Expose #12 featured a review with background information of the worthwhile, if a bit patchy, previous outing by Ledesma, Motivos para Perdere. This time around the former (?) Nirgal Vallis member seems more cohesive and unified in his composing. Delicate and classicized keyboard-dominated 70s progressive fare is his stock-in-trade. Largely arranged without drumset (though not excluding hand percussion), the timeless low key sound of Extractos makes references to music along the lines of Mike Oldfield, Steve Hackett, or Anthony Phillips. Instead of trying to mimic pre-Columbian music (a la recent Jorge Reyes), Ledesma merely grazes ever so lightly the edges of that tradition. The result leaves more to the listener's imagination. Singer and fellow collaborator, Alquimia, guests here on one track, as well as a slew of others who add bass, guitars, violin, and voices. Not a barn-burner classic, but highly commendable for how it eludes temptation to get caught up with anything remotely current or trendy. Ledesma's only snafu is a tendency to be a tad uneventful in structuring his work: the melodies are almost always symmetrical in form. However if neo-prog has you ailing for the good ol' days of no-nonsense prog music, you could do a lot worse than check into Ledesma's work.
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