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Nazca - Estacion De Sombra  CD (album) cover





4.14 | 37 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After unleashing their debut album in a part of the world unaccustomed to such musical weirdness, the Mexican RIO chamber rock band NAZCA followed up their excellent first album with a more mature and further developed sound. While the debut could have easily been passed off as some long lost Univers Zero or Henry Cow artifact from the vaults, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA (season of shade) takes the "1313" meets "World Culture" sensibilities of the aforementioned influences and adds healthy doses of sophomoric characteristics that allow NAZCA to feel like they have come of age. While still dosed in lugubrious atmospheres that ring of classically trained compositions from the long lost world of Stravinsky heading towards Schoenberg, the band more confidently builds their chamber rock edifice with stronger elements that allow each segment to connect to a larger whole creating an ever expanding sum of the parts.

While the most noticeable distinction from the debut is the production with every one of the instruments shining like a bright star in the sky, the roles of the instruments are even more distinct and clearly delineate passages of counterpoints that attack at dizzying speeds. While the piano tends to range in the classical realms often entering angelic domains with prancing arpeggios, the violin, viola duke it out with the oboe and bassoon to create twisted angular rhythms and anti-melodies that act as terrifying micro-syncopations that display the uncanny talent of the band's members. The fact is that despite displaying their influences on their sleeves, NAZCA go the extra mile to match and at times even exceed their heroes across the Atlantic.

Overall, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA is a much more highly refined album than the excellent debut. The complexity is off the chart with every element seeming like it was designed to fit in its proper place. Seemingly less lugubrious and more playful, ESTACIÓN DE SOMBRA comes off as a more twisted take on adventurism than trying to evoke a state of emotional sadness and even delivers scant elements of jazz dispersed throughout the tangled web of syncopation and instrumental trade-offs. Unfortunately RIO was not the happening thing in Mexico back in 1986 when this was released and the band would soon part their ways but in their wake of dedication released two extremely strong albums that have pretty much gone under the radar as a whole new renaissance of RIO chamber rock bands have stolen their thunder throughout the ensuing decades. NAZCA were one of the earliest second wavers who took their game seriously and unleashed an amazingly brash, bombastic and confident second release.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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