Vespero — Lique Mekwas
(RAIG R092, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-07
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.
Related artist(s): Vespero
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more