Nicolas Figeroa — Ko
(Mylodon MYLOCD036, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01
In his opening move, “El Principio,” Figueroa lets the listener know in no uncertain terms, amid a complex web of multilayered interlocking guitar parts supported by percolating bass and drums, that he is not at all afraid to rock; even with that soft and soaring female voice part in the midsection, it almost sounds like he could’ve sampled a track by his countrymen Exsimio, or even Discipline-era Crimson. For the most part, the remainder of the disc moves forward without the rock component, relying on the strength of multiple guitar parts alone (acoustic, electric, Spanish, and 12-string), along with bass and guitar atmospherics all played by Figueroa himself, with guest spots for sax, flute, keys, and vocalizations. Only two tracks, “Corazon de Fuego” and “Sin Limites,” have lyrics as such, the former falling into the light-pop-jazz-funk category – obviously the commercially viable airplay candidate – and the latter being a more heartfelt and soulful piece treated to Figueroa’s supporting guitar tapestries. Drums appear again on “Veranotonal,” an instrumental that sports a somewhat jazzier style with multi-saxes driving the melody over trademark 12-string guitar musings. In all, Ko is strong on melodics and atmospheres, relatively easy on the ears (perhaps somewhere between the ECM sound, Windham Hill, and the California Guitar Trio), and is an easy album to like overall.
Related artist(s): Nicolas Figueroa
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