Exposé Online banner

Guapo — Obscure Knowledge
(Cuneiform RUNE 404, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-07-12

Obscure Knowledge Cover art

One can always count on Guapo to deliver full-on at highest intensity, yet still embrace the subtleties and finest textural qualities that make their sound at once mesmerizing and profoundly psychedelic. Obscure Knowledge is one of those discs (there have been a couple before it) that is really just one long (in this case 43 minute) epic length cut, with multiple parts, but if one’s not watching the index on the player, you might have no idea where one section ends and the next begins. At times their extended groaning and growling dronescapes may seem very improvised, bordering on total chaos at times, but this amazing four-piece always comes out of it in some tightly composed way that just boggles the mind. The piece cycles through numerous phases of what begins as composed avant-progressive with hints of jazz-rock and perhaps a bit of metal, evolving through long stretches of free textural sound, based more on driving trance-like experimentation, sometimes gentle, sometimes quite brutal, but always keenly interesting. As with 2013’s History of the Visitation, bassist James Sedwards and drummer/keyboardist David J. Smith are on board, as well as guitarist Kavus Torabi (who also plays in his own band Knifeworld) and newest member Emmett Elvin on Hammond, Fender Rhodes, and synths, who – like other members of Guapo – is also involved in the avant-funk group Chrome Hoof. All taken, Obscure Knowledge is less about flashy playing and virtuosity, and instead about four composers who can work together to create something that frees the spirit and opens the mind.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Guapo

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Judy Dyble - Talking with Strangers – For those of you not old enough to remember, Judy Dyble was Fairport Convention’s original vocalist who left after their first album. She then hooked up with Ian McDonald and the original line...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues