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4 stars mexican RIO!! OXOMAXOMA, is a lost in time band of Rock In Opposition from Mexico, his debut album called "En el nombre sea de dios" ("in the name of god") had a brilliant bunch of songs, full of mystery and darkness. this album was published in 1990, but even here in Mexico, this album was very hard to find to me. i'm listening it right now, and i had to say, that it's deserving to compare with some albums of the classic RIO bands like Henry Cow, Vortex, Univers Zero or Samla Mammas Manna, if you like to this classic european RIO bands, you will enjoy the music of OXOMAXOMA (garanteed). albums like this, are very hard to find, but when i finally found this jewels, that really makes me feel great, because i live searching bands like this, and it's really hard to believe that some people can't apreciate to this kind of music, but i do. OXOMAXOMA it's one of my favourite band of RIO, and if you're a RIO lover like me, i'm sure you will too.
Report this review (#992531)
Posted Saturday, July 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Talking about Oxomaxoma's music, it's not only about one of the most marginal, experimental and original groups in the Mexican scene. You can find elements in their recordings that are so exclusive, that makes their music stand out as one of the most unique artistic proposals around the globe. For the start, you'll find some strongly accented Zeuhl elements, not in the Magma / Zao jazzistic fashion, but in the dark senseless vocalizations, found in some Art Zoyd pieces, sounding like ghosts whispers or wailings. There is also some of a doom, somber ambient created by Shub Niggurath or Heldon in their instrumentation, that sometimes sounds industrial, sometimes ethereal, Faust experiments on the Wümme years would be another refference. In my opinion the closest could be the English post-punk Metabolist, if not for a third element very common in the Mexican prog scene: the use of prehispanic (Aztec, Toltec) instruments. Is clear that there isn't the slightest economic or commercial compromise on their creative process or the overall project, but this has also lead to very restricted diffusion of his work. Despite being active since 1980, the music on their first era (1980-1997) has been mostly self-released in a series of cassettes, which are absolutely impossible to get, even living here in Mexico.

"En el Nombre Sea de Dios" (In God's Name Be), is the first of this cassettes, originally published in 1990 and gathering their work from the first 10 years. This first proposal may be the most risky -making music from everyday noises; they recorded some of the most diverse objects, like boxes, toys, stones, pipes, springs, etc. The title track (originally recorded in 1982) opens with a tribal drum pattern, accompanied by José Alvarez wordless ambient vocalizations, who serves as a base for a peculiar improvisation played with prehispanic clay flutes, bells, beaten pipes, electronic effects and a second layer of voices.

"Deja de Chingar Pendeja" (Stop F*cking You B*tch / 1980) Is the oldest recording on this album, could be their first, it consists on weird vocalizations, that reminds some crazy wicked character like a goblin or so, accompanied by sampled music from a TV commercial. I guess this was José Alvarez solo.

"La Flor Blanca" (The White Flower / 1981) Is the best achieved track on side A, it features the sound of "trobatrón", a self-made instrument which was a table with riveted springs, played by Arturo Romo as a percussion. There is also an indian tabla that fits well, and Arturo Meza (from Decibel) plays some ambient synthesizers, the result is a relaxing but mysterious dark tune.

"Naufragios y Demoliciones I" (Shipwrecks & Demolitions I / 1988) It's a short track that opens side B, that sounds like some kind of wind chimes or pieces of glass falling, my guess is an onyx or obsidian wind chime, but I don't know for sure. This leads directly into the next track, on my first listen I thought they were the same.

"El Unicornio 13" (Unicorn 13 / 1988) This is based on an industrial percussion pattern, then a prehispanic flute serves as an intro for a vocal section, that seems a little zeuhlish, like an alien language, but in fact, Alvarez improvises with meaningless phonemes while singing.

"La Conjuración de los Cuatro Arcángeles" (Spell of the Four Archangels / 1988) This is another highlight on the album, and the only track in Spanish, with Arturo Meza reciting some kind of alchemist prayers or invocations, in the fashion of the prehispanic rituals adapted to catholic during colonization of Mexico, as an intro. Some ambient synthesizer and electronic treated voices, are added to complete the image, and then takes the listener to a dark and misty landscape somewhere in a Mexican rainforest, based on cello and violin slow staccato accompanied by a distant, ritual voice, added with electronic effects, it has a very dreamy effect.

"El Concilio Chamán en la Tierra de la Niebla" (Shaman Council in the Land of Mist / 1989) These are the combined and sampled voices of Arturo Meza and José Alvarez, along with some prehispanic percussions, bringing up the sense of a ritual dance lost in time and space.

As I said, this is the first in a series of self-released cassettes, for reference this should be the complete discography:

-En Nombre Sea de Dios (1990) cassette

-Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan (1991) cassette

-La Sombra de un Difunto (1993) cassette

- Un Difunto Lleno de Vida (live 1994) cassette

-Live at M.A.M. (live 1994) cassette

-Sin Boca con los Ojos Negros (1997) cd

-Espíritus en Rojo y Negro (2002) cd

Highly recomended group if you're into R.I.O., Zeuhl or any kind of experimental music. If you're lucky enough to find an original release from them, don't think it twice.

Report this review (#1074978)
Posted Sunday, November 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
1 stars My god, what a boring album. Knowing the mexican RIO style, I was expecting it to be furious and dramatic classical- orientated kind of music. Instead, I got almost 40 minutes of random noises, spoken words, dull ambient and not a single one thought-out composition at all! This band does not make music in vein of Univers Zero. In fact, it is closer to improvised songs by Henry Cow, but even in this case, there's no comparison, as HC's improvisations are full of energy and original feeling. To make things worse, the sound quality is totally awful and muffled, although I'd rather blame cassette format rather than the band itself. There's absolutely nothing creative or pleasing about this album except for the cover, which looks promising (but as it turns out - completely misleading).

What else can I say? If you're looking for great quality mexican RIO, go for Decibel, Culto Sin Nombre or Nazca, but don't even touch this monstrosity - unless you're a fan of almost pure noise. Extremely NOT recommended.

Report this review (#1630542)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2016 | Review Permalink

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