Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


José Luis Fernández Ledesma


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

José Luis Fernández Ledesma José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central album cover
4.41 | 29 ratings | 6 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Datura Inoxia (5:55)
2. Amnesia (3:18)
3. El Avatar (4:12)
4. Por los Cuatro Costados (3:46)
5. La Gran Feria (3:47)
6. Ciencias Celestes (8:26)
7. La de los Acertijos (6:27)
8. Pueblos Perdidos (9:03)

Total time 44:57

Line-up / Musicians

- José Luis Fernández Ledesma / keyboards, acoustic & electric guitars, kalimba, ocarina, percussion, sounds, vocals
- Margarita Botello / vocals, vocal Fx, bass synth, percussion

- Germán Bringas / sax & trumpet (6,8)
- Alquimia / vocals & sounds (6)
- Marcela Albear / oboe (2,4)
- Leonardo Patiסn / loops (5)

Releases information

Artwork: José Luis Fernández Ledesma Ruiz

CD Luna Negra ‎- CDLN-12 (2000, Mexico)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy JOSÉ LUIS FERNÁNDEZ LEDESMA José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central Music

More places to buy JOSÉ LUIS FERNÁNDEZ LEDESMA music online

JOSÉ LUIS FERNÁNDEZ LEDESMA José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOSÉ LUIS FERNÁNDEZ LEDESMA José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album is just amazing, in fact, "SolCentral" remains one of the most accomplished JLFL works ever. The sonic pallet displayed in this album is varied and solid, inscrutable and shocking, while standing out as irresistibly appealing to those who are genuine lovers of avant-garde music. The experimental aesthetic journey provided by the "Sol Central" listening experience doesn't take prisoners. Margarita Botello really shines here more brightly than usual, and so do the occasional collaborators at their own turns - it was necessary, indeed, since the compositional ideas and subsequent arrangements are really demanding. Just as an anecdote, let me tell you that Chris Cutler himself (one of the ultimate Rio ideologists) has publicly eulogized this work and Fernández Ledesma's vision. The first 35 374 minutes are occupied by the namesake suite: 'Sol central' is a whole new paradigm of musical splendor and splendid musicality, a defying architecture of dissonant ideas gathering a myriad of layers and cadences, a whole river of dexterous sounds that goes flowing through all its seven sections. The Art Bears-inspired 'Datura Inoxia' kicks off as a powerful set of contrasts that delivers an ordained succession of climaxes and anticlimaxes: genius and madness fused together in one single status. After this tremendous start, things get a bit more relaxed but not less crazy with 'Amnesia': the apparently restful interactions between oboe and percussion are cleverly counterpointed by the disturbing choral arrangements. 'El Avatar' returns to the realms of explicit energy in a Univers Zero-meets-Henry Cow sort of way, comprising an exotic amalgam built by keyboards and sundry percussions, augmented by floating guitar washes and ravishing adornments on synthesizer and woodwind. 'Por los Cuatro Costados' is built around a nucleus of synth layers that seem to evoke the ethereal gloom of autumn fog: the air of disturbance is undeniably patent, but there's still some room for serenity thanks to the relaxing lines provided by the oboe. So far, so good, or to be more precise, so great. and there's still more greatness to come. The restlessness that had only been subtly alluded to on 'Por los Cuatro Costados' comes out with a vengeance in 'La Gran Feria', like a forest fire willing to destroy everything along the way. This track brings back the relentless intensity of the first section's explicit passages, albeit with an augmented sense of tension and density. This section is playful in an oppressive fashion, playful like a fair of ghosts surrendered to a cathartic ritual: the confluent elements are RIO Art Bears-style, avant-jazz and musique concrete. 'Ciencias Celestes' digs beeper in the fusion factor: once again, the interaction between keyboard layers and percusión builds the basic nucleus, with the other instruments and the chanting adding their own colors to the main picture. The explosive trumpet solo delivered by Bringas states an air of tension across the predominant ethereal atmospheres. Last, section VII 'La de los Acertijos' retakes the exotic moods that had already been present in section III, in this way creating a perfect coda for this suite's global sequence. This suite alone is a masterpiece, but there's still one more track called 'Pueblos Perdidos'. This one fills the album's final 9 minutes on a different note, more minimalistic (probably inspired, to a degree, by the mystic side of Popol Vuh), putting an emphasis on the mysterious, and so, steering away from the explicit celebrations that had taken place in the suite's sections. The tribal thyrhm structure is not celebratory really: it's more like the pace of thoughts in the mind during a flow of meditations. The lines drawn by the trumpet and woodwinds are so lyrical, so magical, as is Botello's chanting. "Sol Central" is a total gem of avant-garde progressive music - definitely, this is not for every prog fan, but the RIO lover will find in this album a source of hope for the future of contemporary experimental music. What else can I say? José Luis Fernández Ledesma is a genius.
Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars And this Mexican musician never ceases to impress me!

For those who don't know, José Luis Fernández Ledesma is an iconic and incredibly talented musician from Mexico, who has worked in several projects such as Nirgal Vallis or Saena, and with the help of his unconditional partner Margarita Botello, he has released a vast amount of "solo" albums, in which we can appreciate his compositional skills, and a richness of sounds. Back in 2000 he released "Sol Central" which has been by several people named as his masterpiece. It is an album that comprises two compositions, though the first one can be divided in seven parts.

So that first track would be "Sol Central", a complete 36-minute song, but since it is divided and each piece has its name, I will review them one by one. "Datura Inoxia" starts with a soft atmosphere and the beautiful voice of Botello, but seconds later it explodes all of a sudden creating a surprising and chaotic atmosphere. Since this first piece, we will notice that the album is full of changes, colors, textures, nuances, sounds, everything, it is vast and rich music. Returning to the piece, I love the keyboards and how they put a specific mood; worth mentioning the guitars and other arrangements, because this is first class music, written and performed very intelligently.

"Amnesia" has a totally RIO sound, the female vocals of Botello and the prominent oboe may remind you to Art Bears or Henry Cow. This is the shortest piece, but one can find a wonderful package of musical and visual elements here, you have only to close your eyes and let the music do the rest. The vocal game here is actually wonderful. "El Avatar" is one of my favorite passages here. I love its first seconds with that tense atmosphere; the keyboards and piano play here a leading role, because they mark the rhythm and create the ambient and sensations. A thing I like a lot from Ledesma's album, is that intercalation of pure instrumental passages, with the parts where Botello's voice appear, all are well- crafted and performed.

"Por los cuatro costados" is a beautiful, relaxing and atmospheric passage in which we will listen to the environment, accompanied by a soft oboe and some distant percussion. Three minutes of tranquility. "La gran feria" offers the opposite, in spite of its first five seconds, then the song becomes a bit crazy with some drum loops and some peculiar voices. To be honest this part really makes me nervous. Though I truly enjoy the contrast between passages, this may be my least favorite of the whole album, though it is cool how it represents some of the Mexican folklore.

"Ciencias Celestes" is the longest part of "Sol Central". I like how it is gradually progressing, adding new elements little by little. The guitar here is crucial, so I invite you to put attention to its development through this track. After four minutes there is a noticeable change, where it slows down a little bit, repetitive bass lines appear, and a inclusion of a trumpet can be heard, giving it new nuances and producing different images. Then you let the music take you to its realm, and you will feel calm, easy, and grateful.

The final part of the long epic is "La de los acertijos" , in which we will once again find a richness of elements, some of them creating a folkloric sound that may have a taste of Mexico. This is a weird track, the vocals actually sound pretty strange, but it perfectly complements the music, the structure and what this hearing experience offers.

The second (strictly talking) and final track is "Pueblos Perdidos", which is an exuberant nine-minute track. It retakes the trumpets used from the previous tracks, and it really works as an attraction, I feel captivated by its sound, while the atmospheric synthesizer puts its background. Later Botello's voice join and shine once again, all together create this beautiful and extraordinary final track.

What a great album, though I have to admit my favorite is still Designios, Sol Central can easily be adored by any progressive rock fan. My final grade is 4.5, but I will round it to five.

Enjoy it!

Review by admireArt
4 stars No wonder José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello´s Sol Central (2000) rates so good in this site.

Rich in daring compositions and stylistic directions but mantaining coherence in its whole structure, each track (there are 8) showcases extremely good musical ideas in the true spirit of RiO´s disruptive musical language and the same it holds on to a keen sense of irreverent and raw humor.

As mentioned this Sol Central covers many stylistic grounds and some distant musical references to Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, Frank Zappa & The Residents which are subtly splashed here and there but never substituting Fernández Ledesma´s own musical idiom.

One of the key ingredients which makes this album so undeniably unique and yet not overexploited in its use is its connection to its geographical roots. Yes, if you live or had lived in México these elements will pop up like fireworks on any given Sunday if not its eerie endearing nature will drift swiftly into your ears as exotic postcards from a mysterious and somewhat wild nevertheless spellbinding land .

Usually I am no big fan of sung compositions, I do prefer instrumental music, however I am no fool as to deny myself the pleasure of listening to songs which hold the perfect balance and doses of lyrics moreover if they are as inventive, respectful to the music yet freely chaotic and humorous as this record displays.

An unmissable addition to any RiO/Avant Prog collection and some other curious cat´s one.

****4.5 PA stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Be careful from the sun. Most of this album by Jose Luis, who also known as JLFLQ (acronyms of his name) is taken by the 35 minutes creation 'Sol Central', which deals with the sun (more lyrics details appears on exagerardo's excellent review). I got to know JLFLQ at this site as most of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#282800) | Posted by ShW1 | Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After collaborating with various singers for several years, this is the first album that Jose Luis performed with Margarita Botello. Apparently, he had found an ideal partner to carry out his projects and this is reflected in Margarita's debut, which is definitely one of the best albums in the en ... (read more)

Report this review (#162640) | Posted by exagerardo | Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JOSÉ LUIS FERNÁNDEZ LEDESMA "José Luis Fernández Ledesma & Margarita Botello: Sol Central"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.