Exposé Online banner

Xinema — Basic Communication
(Unicorn Digital UNCR-5035, 2006, CD)

by Pam Thompson, Published 2008-10-01

Basic Communication Cover art

Xinema is a three-piece group from Sweden; the members originally played in a band called Madrigal in the mid-80s (not to be confused with the current band of the same name). Basic Communication, the band’s second album, is driving with a heavy edge, more rock than prog, with purely classical passages thrown in for good measure. There’s a Rush influence here, but it’s mostly derivative more than imitative. Keys add a symphonic twist when the band wants it, which can transition to heavy rock licks. They have a good dynamic range, with changes between quiet passages and heavy scoring executed to perfection. Sven Larsson’s guitar lines are clean, and Mikael Askemur’s solid lead vocals convey the emotions of the lyrics nicely (Askemur also plays keyboards, bass, and guitar). Jonas Ekman’s drumming is tight and precise, and never overdone. The production here is very clean, so even in the heavy parts the sound is never muddy. There are two multi-movement compositions, “Speak to the World” and “Ghost of a Memory,” where the band can show compositional sophistication, along with five stand-alone songs. This is an album of contrasts, light to heavy, dark to bright, with complexity and grace.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Xinema

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Silver Apples - Silver Apples / Contact – Frankly, this is one of those reissues I thought I would never see. The (now long defunct) Kapp label issued these two albums in the late 60s, after which they quickly faded into obscurity. At a time...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues