Ángel Ontalva — Tierra Quemada
(octoberXart Records ao02, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-11-25
Like a compelling collection of eight instrumental introspective dream sequences, the latest offering from October Equus guitarist Ángel Ontalva has an absolute cinematic quality that offers the listener much in the way of memorable melodic manna. The style of most of these pieces will be vaguely reminiscent of the chamber rock of bands like Present, Univers Zero, and some elements of 70s King Crimson, and in fact October Equus – how could it not? The entire four-piece lineup of their 2013 album Permafrost joins Ontalva on this endeavor (that is bassist Amanda Pazos Cosse, drummer Vasco Trilla, and keyboardist Victor Rodriguez), with four additional players on saxes (Pablo Hernandez), clarinet (Luiz Rocha), cello (Pablo Ortega), hurdy gurdy and duduk (Marc Egea), several of whom have played on earlier releases by OE. As mentioned before, the pieces are fully composed and capture a widescreen cinematic quality that goes well beyond the rock idiom, sparkling with clasical, jazz, and ethnic influenced ideas. Up until the second to last cut “Bicycles Were Quite Popular in the Forbidden City,” one might not guess that this is an album that was composed, arranged and produced by a guitarist, but on that last cut “Cobra Trap,” Ontalva lets his inner Frippian soloing style blossom into some downright stunning and colorful melodic trajectories. This is not an album that grabs the listener immediately (few instrumental releases do), but instead one that rewards dearly over time and multiple plays.
Related artist(s): Ángel Ontalva
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