Exposé Online banner

Vespero — Lique Mekwas
(RAIG R092, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-07

Lique Mekwas Cover art

Vespero has been plying the spaceways for about ten years now, though we here at Exposé have only encountered them through a few appearances on Fruits de Mer collections and singles. But their association with the RAIG label goes back much further, and if Lique Mekwas is any indication, there’s a lot going on that’s worth checking out. In broad terms, this Russian band is mining the same vein as classic Ozric Tentacles, spaced-out grooves that combine electronics and other instruments. But Vespero has a lot going on that lift the music about mere grooving. We’re all used to great guitar playing, and that is certainly present here, wah-wah in force, echoes blazing, courtesy of Alexander Kuzovlev. The bass playing (Arkady Fedotov) is superb as well, whether laying down rhythmic lines or stepping out for a solo. Drumming (Ivan Fedotov) is outstanding too, both with inventive patterns and variations that hit accents with the other instruments. Alexey Klabukov’s keyboards are well done, with plenty of trippy analog work. Violin (Vitaly Borodin), sax (guest Pavel Alekseev), and percussion (Alexander Timakov) are three of the elements that really set this band apart. The violin may get a bit less time in the spotlight than the guitar, but Borodin’s solos are flashy and engaging, and the sax adds a jazzy touch that is welcome. The other real strength of this band is the dynamic flow of their arrangements. They know how long to ride a groove before switching it up, sometimes ramping up to double-time, sometimes dropping down to a more floating feel, varying the textures to build tension and release it. Lique Mekwas is great fun from start to finish, and I’m sure the band is a blast live — definitely deserving recognition outside their homeland.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Vespero

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Finch - Glory of the Inner Force – Dutch band Finch's debut album has been long overdue for CD reissue. Acclaimed as a classic by some, and as overrated by others, either way you look at it its still a must listen. Finch were an...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues