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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lonely China Day - This Easily Assimilative People – I wrote about this Chinese band’s previous CD back in #36. On this latest effort, they continue their path moving away from sounds typical of rock bands and further into the esoteric realms of...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues