Haiku - Las Voces De Un Rio

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Gobi Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:13:00

For this, their second album, Argentinian based band Haiku has replaced violinist Sami Abadi (he guests on "Danzan Cinco") by two people, the first being cellist Mercelo Bru and the second Cristian Cocchiararo on oboe and English horn. The addition of both musicians adds more melody to the music which in fact was lacking from the band's debut El Ojo Del Ahora. Founder guitarist Balbuena and percussionist Carlos Fradkin continue their way of playing, but see the end result as a more melodic, whole courtesy of both newcomers.

It's the oboe which opens "Ondinas" directly introducing the new approach of the band. The oboe take turns with the cello whilst once again the Haiku trademark steps in by means of subtle glockenspiel. I was introduced to this band by means of the Mellotron Magazine Sampler No. 27 which contained "Caminos De Otono" which is also to be found on this album. Again the oboe shines in all it's classical glory and fits nicely within the structure of the song. It's the kind of song which is also reminiscent of the softer works of After Crying. With all seventeen tracks having been written by Alejandro Balbueno, needless to say his guitar shines often as well. Listen how he kicks off in "El Crisantemo Blanco" whilst instruments are added one by one, following the same pattern.

"Amor En Dos" is a musical serenade between guitar and cello, taking the respective places of female and male. "Entusiasmado" is exactly what its name suggests: a very enthusiastically played uptempo piece with some nice drumming. "Sin Olvidar Tu Corazon" starts as a solo guitar piece before the cello steps in to take over the melody. I very much like "El Invierno De Pablo" as it holds the atmosphere of autumn and death. Dunno if this has something to do with Pablo Picasso though. From death to life with the sound of fresh water pouring out of your speakers in "Las Voces De Un Rio" (The Voices Of A River). Again a very repetitive melody which is used as a background for the violin of guest violinist Martin Gonzalez and the cello of Bru. "El Fraterno Dr. Kin" is a solo spot for guest Marcos Cabezas' marimba skills. The interaction between guitar, cello and oboe becomes very predictable after a while, especially as the album goes on and on without really adding new surprises. In fact, the sound of oboe and cello also results in a dark atmosphere, maybe less dark than on the debut album, but still ominous enough to make it a hard task once you listen to the entire album.

A little lighter certainly is the introduction for "Danzan Cinco" but as this one sports the inclusion of violinist Sami Abadi, Balbuena uses his guitar solely to accompany the violin. In "Ventana Con Reloj" piano is introduced and this could well be the instrument which can bring new life into the band as I feel that this instrument could enhance the necessary melodic approach. Here the piano takes the role from the guitar, as all of the song is based on the interaction between piano and cello resulting in the most classical piece on the album. The final song "Ahora" is like a musical exercise in which each instrument has to climb the scales up and up and then down again resulting in a succession of very long sounds.

Haiku delivers nicely crafted music but mainly lacks a bag of surprises by means of strong melodies. Also they tend to put a lot of music on their albums which make it a very hard task for any listener to sit through all of this in one go. Seventeen songs with a total playing time of nearly one hour certainly is a lot if you have to listen to strictly instrumental music from this calibre. I even dare to say that it sounds more like a classical album than a prog album but then again maybe that's exactly what these guys want to hear.

Ondinas (2:49) / Caminos De Otono (3:10) / El Crisantemo Blanco (3:37) / Amor En Dos (2:56) / Entusiasmodo (3:07) / Sin Olvidar Tu Corazon (2:34) / El Invierno De Pablo (4:18) / Las Voces De Un Rio (4:16) / El Fraterno De Dr. Kin (3:09) / Saludo Al Sol (3:17) / Almas Gemelas ? (2:13) / Chacarera De Mambru (2:38) / La Huida (2:55) / Danzan Cinco (3:32) / Ventana Con Reloj (4:21) / Paloma (2:54) / Ahora ? (6:07)

Alejandro Balbueno - guitar
Carlos Fradkin - drums, percussion
Marcelo Bru - cello
Cristian Cocchiararo - oboe, cor anglais


Sami Abadi - violin (14)

El Ojo Del Ahora (1997)
Las Voces De Un Rio (2000)

Genre: Other

Origin AR

Added: November 19th 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 976
Language: english


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