Review Adrian Garcia – VII
VII is the debut release from Chile’s Adrián Garcia. It’s labelled as an EP but feels much more like an album (it’s as long as any early Neil Young or Bob Dylan album) with a consistent tone throughout; a lush, meditative, instrumental thrum that is both welcoming and experimental.
It’s hard to describe what characterises the sound of VII; spare guitar notes come in and out of the picture, occasional percussion is often just a cowbell or similar instrument, while a combination of bass, guitars, synths and found sounds create a dense backdrop. At times it recalls the heavier moments of Talk Talk or the homegrown pop of Julian Lynch. Perhaps the best comparison would be somewhere between a Clint Mansell film soundtrack and one of Chicago’s post-rock contingency (Tortoise, Gastr del Sol, etc.)
Adrián Garcia hails from Chile, and on the face of it, this is not what you would expect Chilean music to sound like. However, on the contrary, a new sound has been emerging over recent years which has increasingly taken a laid-back hip-hop rhythm section at it’s core, something like you would expect to find on a Mos Def track or 2Pac ballad, and in some ways it feels like Garcia is feeding off a similar influence. In his case he has pushed the sound even further into new territory, creating something quite unique in the process. The reflective, meditative sound of “V Triunfo” and “IV Conquista” in particular are simply stunning pieces of music. And when Garcia ups the tempo slightly on “VI Gloria” the results are perhaps even more mesmeric.
This is a release which illustrates the unique music that is coming out of Chile right now, and has set an exciting blueprint for Garcia. If he can follow up this “EP” with an album that truly builds on this sound, we could be in for quite a treat.
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