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Jorge Campos - La Ausencia de lo Sagrado CD (album) cover


Jorge Campos

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Jorge Campos is one of the most talented contemporary chilean musicians. He is consider one of the best bass & fretless players in South America and during his long and succesful career he played with legendary chilean bands like FULANO and CONGRESO.

During the last years he has been working in several side projects like JORGE CAMPOS KUARTET (electro-ethnic-fusion with two basses, drums and a DJ), ARAUKANIA KUINTET based in the music of Victor Jara and Violeta Parra, and GLOBALEVASION (electronic fusion power trio with ex members of FULANO).

La Ausencia de lo Sagrado is his third solo album and again he shows and confirm his talent as a musician and composer. During 60 minutes Campos shows his skills on bass and fretless (among other string instruments)vand takes a lot of different musical styles to make a solid album full of surprises, amazing arrangements and some really awsome songs mixing jazz, south american rhythms, dark athmospheres, electronic effects and sequences that build a kind of conceptual album dominated by instrumental songs.

La Ausencia de lo Sagrado (Viaje): Very dark and almost crimsonian intro with a powerful fretless solo. Through various sections you can feel different athmospheres with ethnical touches and exquisite arrangements for winds, violin and cello. Great guitar work by Tony Springer!

Mar: Very nice and floating song with Jorge and Amanda Irrarázaval vocals. Solid rhythmical drum base and simple jazzy-pop string arrangements.

Ansiedad Amnesia Anonimato: A song dominated by electronic sequences and percussions in constant proression. Simple and dark and in some way a kind of progress in comparison with similar experiments on his previous album MACHI.

La Cosa Loca: Jazzy trumpet leaded song with some background bass.

Estación Paraíso: Another song leaded by effects, sequences and percussions. Now, Campos takes some ethnical elements to build a solid instrumental with some salsa and jazz sections.

Siempre Pensé: Another nice, simple but well composed folk song with Jorge floating vocals. Beautiful lyrics!

Doimo: Wow! A strange mix of ethnic percussions, dark athmospheres and heavy drums... Some sections are pure avant garde and really close to Univers Zero stuff! A solid mini suite with an awsome climax leaded by an extraordinary fretless solo.

Yo Creí: A complex song with and slow intro with electric guitar that leads into a rhythmical secuence with some interesting loops and sequences that Campos uses to show his talent as a bassist... and surprise! He also is talented with electric guitar, cello and sitar, some of the instruments that he plays during the seven minutes of that song.

Trialogo: With the colaboration of Cristian Crisosto (FULANO) on sax and the well known chilean musician and composer Joe Vasconcellos (CONGRESO) on percussions and vocals, Campos build an almost improvised song with some folk elements and mysthical athmosphere leaded by Crisosto sax.

La Ausencia de lo Sagrado (Aire): A short, simple but nostalgic solo sax by Doug Richardson.

Mariana: Another simple but melancholic and almost naif folk song. Again, the floating and emotive vocals of Jorge, great lyrics and a beautiful wind section.

La Ausencia de lo Sagrado (Llamas): Short but misterious intermezzo with simple string arrangements.

La Ausencia de lo Sagrado (Canción): Maybe the weakes song if the album but yet beautiful. Nice lyrics and a simple rhythmical base gives some kind of charm to this almos pop song with folk-acoustic elements.

Cuando Voy al Trabajo: Strange ballad based on an original song by Victor Jara. Jorge stars this song singing a capella. Slowly, percussions, sax, drums, bass and guitar build a kind of jazzy/folk song, very sad and nostalgic.

Very good album... a great example of the chilean prog/fusion scene made by one of the best latin american musicians of these years. Highly recommended!


Report this review (#139536)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've only got acquainted with Jorge Campos' music with the re-releases published by the Mexican label Luna Negra: one of these re-releases was a new version of La Ausencia de lo Sagrado, which bears a slightly different repertoire (a couple of omitted studio tracks and three bonus tracks recorded live). Either if you've got the original version or the 2007 new one, the fact remains that La Ausencia de los Sgrado is the ultimate expression (so far) of Jorge Campos' unique musical vision, a vision of avant- garde recaptiulation of modern jazz with extensive use of modern sonorities and electronic resources with an added awareness of the prog influence. The most prominent arrangements comprised in this album bear a distinctly epic vibe, which in no small degree is due to the elaboration of clever horn ensembles, as well as to the peculiar created by Campos and his guests during the well-crafted expansions of the tracks' main motifs and ambiences. 'La Ausencia de los Sagrado (Viaje)' kicks off the album with a mysterious aura, definitely dense although still apalling in its own terms concerning the building of pleasant under the mid-tempo rhythmic structure. 'Mar' follows in a similar vein to the opener to a degree, although it is clear right from the start that the musical basic idea is bolder: it somewhat reminds me of Western Culture-era Henry Cow, with an enhanced mystical spirit and a warmer spirit, less intelectual so to speak. 'Ansiedad, Amnesia, Anonimato' is a frontal statement of good electro-jazz (one of the most common artistic resources in Campos' music), but the fina lresults is heavily enriched with dense sonic layers, pretty much related to what had previously appeared on the opening number. 'Ansiedad...' has a more euphoic feel, an atmosphere solidly based on the combination of programmed and real percussions while the bass guitar's relentless phrases and the horn arrangements share duties in the limelight. 'La Cosa Loca' is a brief duet of contrabass and trumpet, very cordial, announced and closed by friendly laughters - this piece provides a pertinent sense of intimacy among the exhibitions of sonic adventure that make most of the albums' repertoire. 'Estación Paraíso' returns in full swing to the ralms of electro-jazz, with a patent fusionesque tone that helps the track to achieve a sort of candidness that works as a counterpart to the cibernetic coolness of electronica. 'Doimo' offers a shift of ambience, becoming the arguably weirdest track in the album: here, you will find much of the somer RIO-inspired textures that were so revealing in the first two tracks, and well, here they arre predominant, too. Anyway, the sense of mystery is heavily pronounced in comparison. The last few minutes build a disturbing climax that had been gradually announced in the jamming that had taken place through the previous minutes. Even though things tend to seem a bit nightmarish, things never get to be too explicit: a sense of constraint is cleverly used here in order to give preference to texture over pomposity. 'Yo Creí', which is almost as long as 'Doimo', bears a more relaxed feel, but it doesn't mean that the experimental spirit decreases an inch: actually, here is where the progressive element is more patent, under the recurrent electro-jazz scheme. The cello solo that emerges somewhere in the middle starts an interesting variation in the instrumental expansion. These two tracks are, IMHO, the album's pinnacles. 'Triálogo' is more similar to what pre-Pastorius Weather Report did in the realm of avant-jazz in the early 70s: that is, jazz-fusion with rich additions from avantgarde free-jazz. Joe Vasconcellos and Cristián Crisosto are two special guests on this number (the latter having been a Campos colleague in Fulano). The 'Aire' and 'Llamas' sections of 'La Ausencia de lo Sagrado' close down the studio portion of this 2007 re-release: both are sketches focused on elaborating simple, evocative nuances. The bonus tracks are taken from a Jorge Campos Kuarteto performance at an experimental music festival: they are clear indications of the level of intensity and free creativity that occurs on stage with Jorge Campos' music. Not for the wider prog audiences, but very likely to attract listeners devoted to the modern side of jazz and fusion, Jorge Campos is a real genius from Chile. La Ausencia de lo Sagrado is an excellent example of how music can be inventive while being receptive of the refreshing sounds of modernity.
Report this review (#160705)
Posted Sunday, February 3, 2008 | Review Permalink

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