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Mauricio Sotelo — Flor de Sal
((Not on label) no#, 2024, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-06-07

Flor de Sal Cover art

Most listeners will know Mauricio Sotelo as one half of the current lineup of Cabezas de Cera, the player of Chapman Stick and all things with strings; Flor de Sal presents six pieces of music he brought to life during the years 2020-2023, during the Covid pandemic. The sounds on the numbers herein are generally what one would call experimental and adventurous, yet still quite listenable and above all, interesting. The album’s centerpiece is the sprawling 26-minute live “Etiopia-Utopia,” composed for the Mitochondria project, performed in Mexico City in 2023, a looping piece piece that slowly evolves through numerous phases over its duration, a difficult and curious piece to describe but certainly an immersive and powerful experience. “Pareidolia Meridana” begins with a thunderous entrance produced by a mixer with no instruments, only feedback, but it quickly follows into several new rhythmic sections for synthesizer, twelve-string, bells, whistles, voices, and of course Chapman Stick, definitely one of the album’s standout pieces. The closer “De Ayer en Adelante” is an explorative solo twelve-string guitar piece with electronic processing that clocks in at nearly nine minutes; it’s another live performance with loops that dates from 2020, perhaps most interesting for its backward guitar loops; “Metalfonia”  opens the set with Mauricio playing a number of his brother Francisco’s percussive instruments along with his own Chapman Stick, and it turns and twists through a number of interesting phases, while “Universo Interior” follows, a synthesizer and Stick piece created for a Canadian audio-visual documentary. Every one of the pieces here stands alone, dissimilar from all the other tracks at hand, though the album’s explorative nature is what ties everything together in Sotelo’s immersive soundworld. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Mauricio Sotelo

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