Exposé Online banner

Roland Bühlmann — Bailenas
(Bandcamp no#, 2017, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-06-21

Bailenas Cover art

Roland Bühlmann’s second album is very much in the same vein as his 2014 release, Aineo. Once again, he plays various stringed instruments (mostly guitar and bass, but also hanotterre, a Swiss instrument rather like a flat-backed bouzouki), blows on a shofar ram’s horn, and programs drums and percussion using various software systems. On average, these melodic tunes are probably a bit more energetic than on the previous album, but there’s a comfortable mood that pervades the tracks regardless of the tempo. The feeling is surprisingly organic given the programmed rhythm parts, which is credit to both Bühlmann’s skill in programming and his human touch on the guitars. A variety of moods are presented, at times falling into a groove reminiscent of Pink Floyd's instrumental sections, elsewhere throwing in folksy acoustic sounds (presumably the hantterre) to provide a slight hint of Steve Hackett. Another valid comparison would be Mike Oldfield, whose layered arrangements are surely among Bühlmann’s influences. While he avoids dissonance, there’s a rich harmonic palette to keep things interesting, as well as some use of odd time signatures and spaced-out effects. Much of it has a little too much rock in it to qualify for New Age status, though there are some meditative moments, especially on the final track, “Pange Chorda,” which uses its 18 minutes to build slowly from ambient washes of indistinct notes through a variety of sections and only brings in the drums halfway through. Bailenas is recommended highly for fans of tasty guitar work who are bored with generic shredding and egotistic posturing.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Roland Bühlmann

More info
http://rolandbuehlmann.bandcamp.com/album/bailenas

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gutbucket - A Modest Proposal – This (the band's fourth album) was the first I'd heard of Gutbucket, but it impressed me so that I immediately tracked down their second and third albums (Dry Humping the American Dream and Sludge...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues