Exposé Online banner

Vespero — Lique Mekwas
(RAIG R092, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-07

Lique Mekwas Cover art

Vespero has been plying the spaceways for about ten years now, though we here at Exposé have only encountered them through a few appearances on Fruits de Mer collections and singles. But their association with the RAIG label goes back much further, and if Lique Mekwas is any indication, there’s a lot going on that’s worth checking out. In broad terms, this Russian band is mining the same vein as classic Ozric Tentacles, spaced-out grooves that combine electronics and other instruments. But Vespero has a lot going on that lift the music about mere grooving. We’re all used to great guitar playing, and that is certainly present here, wah-wah in force, echoes blazing, courtesy of Alexander Kuzovlev. The bass playing (Arkady Fedotov) is superb as well, whether laying down rhythmic lines or stepping out for a solo. Drumming (Ivan Fedotov) is outstanding too, both with inventive patterns and variations that hit accents with the other instruments. Alexey Klabukov’s keyboards are well done, with plenty of trippy analog work. Violin (Vitaly Borodin), sax (guest Pavel Alekseev), and percussion (Alexander Timakov) are three of the elements that really set this band apart. The violin may get a bit less time in the spotlight than the guitar, but Borodin’s solos are flashy and engaging, and the sax adds a jazzy touch that is welcome. The other real strength of this band is the dynamic flow of their arrangements. They know how long to ride a groove before switching it up, sometimes ramping up to double-time, sometimes dropping down to a more floating feel, varying the textures to build tension and release it. Lique Mekwas is great fun from start to finish, and I’m sure the band is a blast live — definitely deserving recognition outside their homeland.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Vespero

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trio Fattoruso - Trio Fattoruso – It makes perfect sense that Uruguay would not be just another blip on the radar of finesse jazz and rock players. Brothers Jorge and Hugo Fattoruso have been playing various Latin and jazz styles for...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues