Friday, July 8, 2016

Sun Body - Sun Body (2016)

What a beautiful name. Sun Body. Sounds like the band wanted to send a message, perhaps of modest solipsistic essence. I'll take the cover as just that too. 

Saying hi from New Jersey, Sun Body thrive in what is sometimes identified as shoegaze, or maybe ambient post-rock. Again, I'm using hard-to-define genres that are rather there to confuse than clarify. "So how does it sound? Is there any , say, Sigur Rós or Caspian, or Gates, or even Alcest in it? Is there anything for us to find there?".

What is certainly there is quasi-droning textures. Timbral, but not indefinite, with the marvellous bass setting the tone. Hearing the album again and again, I find it to be a collection of doomed, hopeless remarks, a personified desert if you will, aesthetically closer to GYBE! or Aidan Baker than anything else. Throw some Mono for good measure too, just for the attitude. Forget any 'Dream Pop' implications, if anything, this is nightmare pop. It is overall really rewarding and refreshing, for it makes the listener feel, well, alone. Abandoned. As we are. To the end. That's what it did to me anyway. The spacey production contributes to the album's necessary bleakness for in all, what remains is just agony and there's nothing for you to help you elude it.

Humble or pragmatists as they appear, Sun Body would not require of anyone to pay for access to their music. But you can make a gesture, show them not all is forlorn. Not as long as we are still around.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nicotina es Primavera - Animal Cerámico (2016)

This is a masterpiece. It is indeed so rare to come across so balanced pieces of music, regardless of the style or perspective. Nicotina es Primavera (what a name, what connotations it is invoking to an ex-smoker) is a highly energetic bunch of creatives from Peru and Argentina. On the first couple of listens I roughly categorised their output within the Avant-prog frame being both correct and misleading. The "genre" is so loose in its meaning that anything could practically fit in.

It is the blend that counts (not a smoking pun I assure you). Animal Cerámico is as adventurous as the best ones within the genre, and also much more than that. It is possible that my Avant-prog knowledge(as well as its sub-genres) is limited and I'm set to take the hit. Being a balanced album, the ranging disciplines flow from chamber music to Rock in Opposition, to free jazz (although the improvs sound more constructed than abstract). Everything is intertwined at points and is certainly executed at its highest caliber. Add that if they told me this is a live recording I'd fall for it.

If I had to draw a certain parallel, I would say that it reminds me more of a sunny and optimistic Univers Zero than anything else. This though does not do any justice, since I find Nicotina... to be absolutely unique. The dissonances, the melodies and the contrapuntal and often complex harmonies here support the light rather than the darkness. I needed that. I'm also not sure when I last listened to an outfit that employs its dynamics so well, so inventively. Or that interchanges between styles, patterns and rhythmic intelligence so smoothly. I dare say it again, this is a masterpiece!!

Be a part of their energy here:

Last but not least, the lads and lassies offer their work for free to those who will appreciate it. Give it a listen and if you like it (if you've read so far you will), support their genius!!

Buy the album, embrace the artist!!! You can do so here.