Tanger - La Otra Cara

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Viajero Inmovil
Catalog Number: LOYLL003VIR
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:41:00

The Viajero-Inmovil label is releasing or re-releasing music recorded by Argentinian musicians, in some cases, making music recorded years ago available to listeners for the first time. In the case of Tanger, however, it is new music by a currently active band. La Otra Cara is the band's second release, following on from 2000's self-titled debut. The music here is a mixture of pastoral, flute-based (Damián Lois) arrangements, sprinkled with a few rockier numbers. Bands that came to mind were of the Italian school, like Ezra Winston, DFA, and others. But, you can also hear in their music the influence of King Crimson at their more relaxed and lyrical moments, with only a hint of angularity. And there's a certain distorted guitar that certainly recalls Crim. "Trio," which consists of bass (Luis Colucci), drums and percussion (Julián De Ambrosio), and guitar (Ignacio Lois) -- thus, a trio -- at times recalls Crimson's Red period, especially at the piece's beginning, though it goes in jazzier, rockier and groovier directions, at the same time and at different moments.

Tracks here that fit into the first mold, are "Zobeida," "Años," "Espectros," and the acoustic "Evocación." "Años" has its share of guitar bending and soloing in a piece where guitar and flute play co-lead, sometimes seeming to musing on different, but compatible subjects, sometimes coming together in a single statement. We might say the same of "Espectros," which at times has sort of a "spy-theme" feel about it.

Tracks that are a bit rockier include "Rock Und Rolle," where the flute is replaced by sax. Bass and percussion dominate the mix, but only marginally, as one can here a fuzzed ? or acidic ? guitar phrases buzzing in that mix. Their playing here on this piece is kind a loose, giving it a jam like feel. "Paréntesis" is a groovy piece, with a dark underside as bass grinds and throbs away beneath. Guitar plays the throatier version of the flute lines, as they play in unison. A Spanish flavor comes in with the spicier sections of "Chacales" with flamenco guitar and a tango like rhythm, though at times, if you tried to dance to it, you might wind up twisting yourself into knots. And the album closes with "La Trama" which has a metal edge that is softened only by the presence of flute. But it verily boogies towards the end, giving you the feeling of a 70s jam band.

And there are tracks that fall in between. "El Ermitaño" puts Colucci's bass right up front, leading the band through the piece with a walking bass line ? more a contented and leisurely stroll actually, giving the excitability to the flute and Lois' acid guitars. Although Colucci's bass is leading the way, it's the flute that speaks loudly here. Bass also launches "La Otra Cara," another track that has bit of a spy-theme to it, as I kept thinking of the theme from Mission: Impossible when Lois elongated those flute notes. Actually, parts of "Evocacioón" falls into all three camps, including some more outstanding bass work from Colucci.

The pieces are short, the longest lasting only 5:38, most are in the 3:30 ? 4:00 minute range, which in progressive music circles does seem short. The production on this is excellent, as one can hear every instrument clearly. If you are a bass aficionado, you can easily follow along with Colucci; if flute is your thing, well you can follow along with Lois; if it's guitar, then Lois is your focal point. About the only thing here that isn't obvious, or at least not obvious to me, are the synths. Well woven or used sparingly what comes to the fore are the "real" instruments (synths can be heard creating spacey sound effects on "La Trama," however). Interestingly enough, the production also has a live feel that seems very 70s. Maybe it's the distorted guitar that gives me that sense, I don't know.

La Otra Cara provides an interesting listen ? music well played and produced, producing some interesting textures. There is a certain similarity between tracks, meaning none really standout in contrast to another, except to say the rockier pieces do contrast with the more pastoral. But, over all, these contrasts are a matter of degrees. So perhaps a little more diversity is needed. Not that all tracks sound the same from a compositional point of view, but in very general terms, the textures and atmosphere are very much the same. What that all means is, it's an enjoyable release and one will find much to appreciate about it, but it may not have enough to draw listeners back after repeated plays ? the hook that all music must have to become a classic (not to be confused with hooks in pop music, by the way, which serve the same purpose but go about it shallowly). But, it is good with many moments that verge on very good.

Zobeida (3:00) / Rock Und Rolle (2:22) / Años (3:52) / Los Ritos (3:02) / El Ermitaño (5:38) / Trio (2:41) / Espectros (3:17) / La Otra Cara (3:56) / Evocación (4:12) / Paréntesis (3:34) / Chacales (4:13) / La Trama (3:54)

Luis Colucci - bass, fretless bass, sampler, synthesizer
Julian De Ambrosio - drums
Damion Lois - flute
Ignacio Lois - acoustic and electric guitars

Guest :

Fransisco Huici - sax (2, 9)

Tanger (2000)
La Otra Cara (2002)

Genre: Progressive Folk

Origin AR

Added: August 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 793
Language: english


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