Perfume de Mujer — Variaciones en la Cuerda Vol. 2 & 3
(Luna Negra CDLN-02, 1996, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 1997-05-01
This 1996 CD release from Cuban ensemble Perfume de Mujer is a compilation of their two albums L’Ultima Cena and Aquarium. Ten participants are credited here though most of the action seems to revolve around vocals (in Spanish), guitar, violin, keys, bass, programmed drums, and percussion. Most of the tracks on L’Ultima Cena involve the band pulsing along to a sultry or slippery groove as vocalist Abel Perez lays a steady vocal stream over the top. Many will find Perez very reminiscent of Demetrios Stratos or Alberto Piras, with vocal lines that overflow with expression and drama. Throughout the material here, he moves effortlessly from smoky smooth melodies to tortured cries and angry snarls. In fact, the overall sound on Variaciones en la Cuerda is similar to Area or even Deus ex Machina, though never harsh or too heavy and a with a distinctly Latin American flavor, courtesy of percussion and use of instruments like accordion and violin. The instrumental work is top notch all around, especially the guitar, which drops in from time to time to deliver some scorching leads.
What I like most about the material here is that it can be almost dark but very playful at the same time. Aquarium improves over L’Ultima Cena as it moves into more interesting territory with instrumental arrangements and interplay that are engaging and full of life. I was also happy to see more prominent keyboards in the mix as well. Interestingly, Aquarium appears to have been recorded live, which is even more impressive considering the control and cohesiveness of the overall presentation. The production and sound quality throughout are top notch dispelling any notions that anything out of a place like Cuba would involve inferior production qualities. A fine collection overall.
Related artist(s): Perfume de Mujer
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more