FAME Review: Xavi Reija - Resolution
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Xavi Reija - Resolution

Resolution

Xavi Reija

Moonjune Records - MJR062

Available from Moonjune Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

Resolution may be drummer Xavi Reija's CD, but it was his choice of format and especially of guitarist Dusan Jevtovic which informs us of the breadth of his thinking in what's basically a stew of spiky, fog-encrusted, ominous, apocalyptic, abstract progrock tone wash paintings. Though the release doesn't sound like King Crimson, the bulk of it was written by Reija and often reflects the kind of intellectual interzone bridging gaps between Robert Fripp's multiple conceptions in the old minimalist Starless/Fracture songs, his early soundscape work with Brian Eno, and the fringy jazz-rock of cats like Sonny Sharrock and the late wildman Ronald Shannon Jackson (may flights of hip-cat angels improv him to his rest!).

There are, however, many pools of understated sonics, and these prove to be just as imaginative as the more energetic dust-ups, exercises in what can be done without flurries of notes and ceaseless power chords, Shadow Dance the first explication thusly, a conversation between musicians and listener rather than a fist fight in the back alley or a descent into perdition. It's also one of the tracks where bassist Bernat Hernandez gets to strut his stuff a bit more clearly in fits and starts, reminding one and all that the bass guitar is just as much a lead instrument when allowed its head. It is, however, Jevtovic's offbeat brain and fingers which most take command, his many change-ups in texture arresting and hypnotic.

I suggest playing this CD at the upper end of the volume knob, not so that it deafens but instead to allow the atmospherics to take over and transform your living room into an alien environment, 'cause that's really what's happening here. Reija is one of those percussionists who artfully captures the difficult personification of skewed realities halfway between clatterous naturalism and pinpoint definition so that Jevtovic's work floats and squalls just above it, eerie and foreboding. It's actually Hernandez who most often firmly keeps matters grounded so that his partners can do just that. Listen closely, though. This may be a power trio gig but subtle overdubs and multiple live loopings by Dusan sneak their way in as atmospheres thicken and twist, tendrils rise up and elongate, automatons burrow beneath the ground, and pterodactyls fly down from the clouds to buzz-bomb and harry unsuspecting populaces (Dreamer is a great exposition for all that).

And when you hear what sounds like a fractured recording in Flying to Nowhere (and occasionally elsewhere), starting at 3:30, it isn't a bad patch cord or a cracked speaker but actually an old fuzz pedal that's been revivified and is catching on with players like him, Cline, Frusciante, and others. Thus, don't go jumping at the CD player or worry about your amp. Instead, just sit back and realize it's actually appropriate to the architecture being erected as you listen. Piranesi would get it, and, knowing that now, you will too.

Track List:

  • Flying to Nowhere (Xavi Reija)
  • Macroscope (Xavi Reija)
  • Shadow Dance (Xavi Reija)
  • Dreamer (Jevtovic / Hernandez / Reija)
  • Abyss (Xavi Reija)
  • The Land of the Sirenians (Jevtovic / Hernandez / Reija)
  • Unfinished Love (Xavi Reija)
  • John's Song (Xavi Reija)
  • Resolution (Jevtovic / Hernandez / Reija)
  • Gravity (Xavi Reija)
  • Welcome to the End (Jevtovic / Hernandez / Reija)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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