Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma — Dead Tongues
(ReR Megacorp ALQ1, 1996, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01
Alquimia is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has three previous albums to her credit in the pre-hispanic/new electronic music area, while Fernandez Ledesma is the de-facto leader of the progressive folk-rock band Nirgal Vallis (see the review of their Y Murio la Tarde). This collaboration is a bold step forward into new directions for both. For this album, they play all manner of keyboards, samplers, percussion and flutes, as well as vocals, with guests providing bass, violin, percussion and saxes where needed. Their music explores a dark and slightly avant-garde symphonic world, with liberal use of tape loops and other effects to achieve an almost soundtrack-like quality that beckons for repeated listens. Many of the voices are spoken bits of poetry, while other parts are wordless ethereal flights, or multi-part harmonized parts that may remind of the work of artists like Dead Can Dance or 3rd And The Mortal. And like Dead Can Dance, the music here is not really rock, but often rises to an equivalent energy level. There are many mystical moments herein that I'm certain will appeal to the senses of many progressive fans, a music that moves the artform forward into some new and uncharted territory. An outstanding release.
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