Exposé Online banner

Xavi Reija — The Sound of the Earth
(Moonjune MJR094, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-10-22

The Sound of the Earth Cover art

Drummer Xavi Reija has had a partnership with guitarist Dušan Jevtovič for some time now, going back to Reija’s 2006 album Dream Land that I’m aware of. They did the duo XaDu project in 2015, and Reija has appeared on at least one of Jevtovič’s albums. Add into this long-standing musical relationship such veterans as Tony Levin and Markus Reuter, who work together in Stick Men, and you’ve got a formidable array of talent. All four are credited jointly with the compositions, which combine planning and improvisation in proportions that vary from track to track, and are up to the listener to determine if desired. It doesn’t much matter in the end, as it’s all great, with elements of jazz, rock, and ambient soundscapes mashed up into a wonderful sonic stew. “Deep Ocean” starts us off with a heavy Hendrix-like riff with Jevtovič’s trademark distorted tone and Levin contributing upright bass. Reuter’s touch guitar seems to be providing atmospheric noises in the background, though it’s often hard to tell who’s playing what between him and Jevtovič. Jevtovič does have a set of tones and sounds he returns to, so that helps to distinguish the two if you feel the need. Levin’s use of the upright bass in this context is particularly interesting, especially when he pulls out the bow — it’s not what you expect in such a heavy setting. Next up is the first of the four parts of “The Sound of the Earth,” which drops us into much quieter territory, with floating washes of sound leading into a melodic upright bass part. Eventually a moody electric guitar and an uncluttered drum part come in, building to a climax around eight minutes in, then diminishing back into obscurity. The factors are now established, and the remaining tracks provide variations on these elements, with Levin providing alternative bass instruments at times. No matter how they mix it up, they come up with something great, very much of a piece with other recent collaborative albums on Moonjune (see The Stone House, Lighthouse, and Tales of the Dreaming City). You can call it a formula, but it’s a formula with complex parameters capable of providing a lot of variation in sound. And it’s a joy to hear such talented musicians go for it like this, not at all showing off technique, but listening to each other and playing what works. Love it!


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Markus Reuter, Dušan Jevtović, Xavi Reija

More info
http://xavireija-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/the-sound-of-the-earth-hd

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
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

2019-08-20
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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Už Jsme Doma - Pohádky Ze Zapotrebí – There is a distinct Eastern European feeling to this. Be it in the stern voices over syncopated binary rhythms where saxophones are rarely making notes lasting longer than a third of a second. Be it...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues