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 hanotterre) 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

2020-06-14
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

2020-05-15
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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tim Burness - Finding New Ways to Love – Tim Burness is an English neo-progressive composer who has existed under the threshold of most music consumers’ radar. The childlike toy count into the first piece, “Open Man,” is an...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues