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José Luis Fernández Ledesma - José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central CD (album) cover


José Luis Fernández Ledesma



4.53 | 24 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After being so impressed with Fernandez Ledesma's debut I thought i'd check out some of his later albums beginning with this one "Sol Central". Like the debut Margarita Botello plays an important role with her vocals mainly, but also playing synths and percusion. There are also guest musicians playing sax, trumpet, aboe and electronics. Ledesma himself plays an array of instruments including some i've never even heard of before. I was surprised Fernandez was listed under the Rio / Avant genre when listening to the debut, but after one listen to this one it all made total sense. Haha.

There is a quote from Chris Cutler in the liner notes that says: "Densely written, imaginative and beautiful realized with much advanced use of voices, layering of parts and rhythmics juxtapositions, where electronic and acoustic instruments are perfectly mixed. An impressive release". Chris said it much better than I could. It's actually difficult to describe the music here because of the collage of sounds at times, and also because I have no idea what some of these sounds even are.This is difficult to digest, but it sure is worth having the patience to listen to over and over. Very challenging but even more rewarding. I have held off doing this review as I have felt like I haven't got a handle on it yet. Still listening to it, still haven't got a handle on it, but here goes. There is some very cool art work in the liner notes, and all the songs are translated into English, but actually sung in Spanish. The subject matter concerns the sun, and is pretty interesting.

"Sol Central" is the 36 minute epic. It's divided into 7 parts. "Datura Inoxia" is a song where the mood and tempo changes a lot. Lots of dissonance as well, even the vocals get a little crazy at times. "Amnesia" features plenty of aboe and cool vocal arrangements. "El Avatar" opens powerfully before giving way to vocals and keys quickly. This contrast continues. Check out the guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Intense song that recalls UNIVERS ZERO. The angular guitar before 2 1/2 minutes is a nice touch. "Por Los Cuatro Costados" is a fairly mellow track as sounds come and go. Vocal sounds and aboe are pretty consistant though.

"La Gran Feria" opens with dissonant sounds before an uptempo beat takes over. Keys join in and then vocals. Dissonant piano follows 1 1/2 minutes in. This is one bizarre song. It ends strangely too. "Ciencias Celestes" has lots of atmosphere early before an interesting collage of sounds comes in. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. Atmosphere returns after 4 1/2 minutes with trumpet. "La De Los Acertijos" again is filled with unique and intricate sounds. I like the vocals. "Pueblos Perdidos" opens with lots of atmosphere. Vocal melodies arrive a minute in and are amazing. Nice dreamy sound to this one with percussion and trumpet. When the vocals stop after 8 minutes the trumpet comes in to end it.

This is music for those who have an adventerous spirit. Easily 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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