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RIO/Avant-Prog • Chile

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Yonhosago biography
YONHOSAGO hailed from Chile in the early 2000s and right from the start they caught the attention of fans and critics due to their unabashed sense of adventure, mixing wild guitars, free improvisation, noise, the complexities of jazz-rock and the challenging textures of XX Century chamber (Varese, Cage): one music press labeled the band as "the great hope of avant-garde rock".

Having started as trio of keyboardist, guitarists and bassist (respectively: Nicolás CARRASCO, Santiago BLANCO and Christian PARKER), line-up changes occurred now and then. The entry of drummer Juan Pablo CÁCERES proved crucial for the development of the band's sound, since he also added his trumpet and keyboard skills to enrich it. Influences from RIO, KING CRIMSON and ZAPPA were reinforced in the growing repertoire as violinist Felipe MAINO and Santiago ASTABURUAGA completed the line-up that recorded the debut album "Descuento" in 2003. It took two years before Lizard Records released it, and by then, CÁCERES had already left the band and moved to the USA in order to pursue his own interests in electronic avant-garde music. As of 2004, the band continued to work as quartet with a new drummer (Christian HIRTH) and no violinist.

"Descuento" is an album soon to be unavailable. Don't miss your chances with YONHOSAGO, especially if you're a fan of the avant side of prog and wonder how a marriage between contemporary KING CRIMSON and HENRY COW-style RIO would sound like when combined with electronic minimalism, musique concrete and sketches of John ZORN.

Written by César Inca Mendoza Loyola

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3.92 | 5 ratings

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 Descuento by YONHOSAGO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.92 | 5 ratings

Yonhosago RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Unusual, challenging, disjointed: three adjectives that pretty much sumarize what Yonhosago's musical offering is all about. Their approach to avant-garde rock is based on an electrifying eclectic confluence of noise, 73-75 King Crimson, "Western Culture"-era Henry Cow, electronic minimalism and XX Century chamber, plus touches of heavy-oriented jazz-rock: the latter element is exclusively operative in the articulated passages of the repertoire. The opener 'Depósito Ausente' is a quiet cry of musical rebellion in the shape of minimal synthesizer ornaments, gradually augmented by austere adornments on guitar, bass and violin. The cautious crescendo that is taking place leads to a rocking sequence past the 5 ½ minute mark: the main reference to this section is KC's "Starless and Bible Black", although the overall vibe is more polished. For the last two minutes, things shift to a set of noisy electronic ambiences, not unlike primitive krautrock (Kluster, Ralph & Florian). 'Enrique' is more notably Crimsonian, setting a bridge between the Wetton and the first Belew eras: tension and counterpoint are married in a prog-jazz setting, with the guitar, bass and violin creating an ever incendiary instrumental triangle while the synthesizer lines go flowing by (Tim Blake-style). The guitarist sets a rare mixture of Fripp and Holdsworth in his fantastic deliveries, which at times border on the metallic side of rock. Things move on toward a chaotic climax before the final two minutes, when the band returns to a minimalist stance: the duet of violin and bass during this epilogue is beautiful. 'Entomólogo' starts with a clear musique concrete direction (the soliloquy includes a mention of Premiata Forneria Marconi. mmm. unexpected really, this portion sounds more like something out of Area's "Caution Radiation Area"). The presence of free-form trumpet deliveries helps to add a stylish weirdness to the continuing development of ethereal moods. 'Sr. Osago' finds the quintet assembling a balance between heavy jazz- rock and "Uzed"-era Univers Zero for the first half. After this exercise on defiant languidness, the second half brings a Crimson-meets-Matching Mole jam, very exciting indeed. 'Treme' states yet another adventure based on the Henry Cow prototype, with the bass serving as provider of funk- oriented foundation. Once again, guitarist Santiago Blanco makes good use of his frenzy facet. The neurotic climax is a delirious display of deconstructive actions delivered with a subtly hidden sense of elegance. The closer 'Evangélico' recapitulates the energetic drive of 'Enrique' and the minimalist flows of 'Depósito Ausente' and 'Entomólogo'. This track's first half is the most explicitly organic moment in the album, but of course, this is a Yonhosago track, so it's reasonable to suspect that the angels of deconstruction will soon come along to bring sonic evil. And when they do, oh, how they do it! Cáceres brings back the trumpet in a particularly intense moment when the synthesizer seems to lead the way for the development of a guitar-violin duel. The way this track ends is the perfect closure for an album that all along has shown a merciless commitment to the delivery of clever inconsistency. "Descuento" is an avant-prog lover's dream; Yonhosago is an item to be relished by the proper audience.
Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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