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OXOMAXOMA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Mexico


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Oxomaxoma biography
Oxomaxoma is a RIO/Avant-prog band from Mexico. They were one of the first groups in Mexico to go beyond normal rock into the realm of experimentation. Their lineup consisted of Jose Alvarez (vocals), Arturo Romo (samples, percussion, keyboards), Victor Mendez (guitars) and Armando Velasco (programming and keyboards). The band also experimented with unorthodox instruments such as glass bottles, stones, pipes, springs and plastic toys mixed with samples from television broadcasts and film to achieve their unconventional sound. They also created their own instruments, like the trombatrón, a table with springs of an old electronic transformer mounted on to it for percussion, similar to several other avant-garde bands such as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Their style was somewhat comparable to that of bands like Einsturzende Neubaten and Plastic People, bringing together different musical styles ranging from, ethno-music, free jazz, rock, musique concrete and electronic to create a trance-like atmosphere.

=Bio by Evolutionary_Sleeper=

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Espiritus En Rojo Y NegroEspiritus En Rojo Y Negro
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OXOMAXOMA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OXOMAXOMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
En el Nombre sea de Dios
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan
1991
4.00 | 2 ratings
Sin Boca Con Los Ojos Negros
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Espiritus en Rojo y Negro
2002

OXOMAXOMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at M.A.M.
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Un Difunto Lleno de Vida
1994

OXOMAXOMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OXOMAXOMA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Obras Completas 1980-1997 (Complete Works)
2013

OXOMAXOMA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

OXOMAXOMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 En el Nombre sea de Dios by OXOMAXOMA album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.00 | 3 ratings

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En el Nombre sea de Dios
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Harold Needle

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.

 Obras Completas 1980-1997 (Complete Works) by OXOMAXOMA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Obras Completas 1980-1997 (Complete Works)
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Exa Gerardo

— First review of this album —
4 stars At last! After 20 years or more of absence, the members of Oxomaxoma had decided to make available again this long lost out of print albums, 3 of the 4 of them, for the first time on CD format, as they were originally released as cassettes. This really nice compilation, serves to those interested in their history, as a general viewpoint of their most active period. As it has been a tradition in the group, this is a limited, numbered self-released edition, with each album presented on a gatefold paper sleeve on mini LP Japanese fashion, with a booklet containing pictures and biographical data in Spanish. All this contained on a hard case promo box. Oxomaxoma's music has been always difficult to classify, they're for sure the most Avant-Garde unit on the Mexican scene, with a primal propose of obtaining music through the recording of household objects passed through diverse electronic effects, self-made or toy instruments, as well as weird vocal improvisations in a Zeuhl fashion, sometimes using a nonsense language, sometimes with no words at all. There is also an overall Ambient Music feature, but it is in fact on a dark mysterious mood. Members of the group had pointed out Can, Magma, Popol Vuh, Ligetti, Braxton, Free Jazz and even H.P. Lovecraft, as their main influences.

EN EL NOMBRE SEA DE DIOS (In God's Name Be / 1980-1990) Is the first of these CD's, originally released on 1990, compiles the experimental work of their first 10 years and features various guest musicians, improving the sound of the group with violin, cello, woodwinds, among others, the main feature on this one is Arturo Meza (from Decibel), a musician long dedicated to the rescue of prehispanic instruments, who has also worked on self-made instruments, as the yeloguerlizet used here. In general terms this is a varied album, full of novel sounds, with a main focus on prehispanic music and mistycism.

LAS PESADILLAS DE EUSTAQUIO RAHAN (Rahan Eustachian Nightmares / 1991) In their second studio effort, we find the group reduced to its very core, being the duo of José Alvarez and Arturo Romo. This is a series of 11 improvisations with a more uniform sound, evolving into the Ambient side of the group, without leaving behind the prehispanic elements. A general sense of mystery and darkness wanders around this album, echoes, solemn marches, abandoned places, pieces of rusty iron grinding.

UN DIFUNTO LLENO DE VIDA (A Deceased Full of Life / 1994) Originally recorded on 1992, as far as I know, this is the live rendition of their third studio album "La Sombra de un Difunto" (The Shadow of a Deceased / 1994) which is the missing piece on this puzzle. My guess is they picked up the live version, to have some of their live work represented on the set, which is obviously very fresh and full of improvisation. On this phase, the group is augmented to a trio, moving slightly into a rock aesthetic, with the electric guitar of Victor Méndez, bass players as guests, and even some sax in two of the tracks.

SIN BOCA CON LOS OJOS NEGROS (Without Mouth With Black Eyes / 1997) This is the only album previously available on CD format, but it has also been unavailable for a long time now. If there is one album to be called Oxomaxoma's masteripiece, this should be the one. Now established as a quartet and added with an excellent choice of guest musicians, mainly José Luis Fernandez Ledesma (Nirgal Vallis) on keyboards, José Manuel Aguilera (Nine Rain) on guitar and the vocalist Maria Elena Durán, the group delivers 9 compositions with a perfect blend between their experimental past, and the technical experience achieved by all the musicians involved. The result is a refined, polished version of their sound, without leaving behind the alienation and marginality so present in his previous works.

For more details on each album, I'm currently working on track by track reviews, just have a little patience if you don't find some of them yet. For the record, there are three more albums on Oxomaxoma's discography, I've already mentioned "La Sombra de un Difunto", there's also "Live at MAM" (1994) originally recorded in 1990 and edited as a cassette in Italy, and the last one "Espíritus en Rojo y Negro" (2002) in which 6 of the 10 tracks are rerecorded versions from the best tracks in their history, this one is also a good starting point, and it's still easy to get doing a little search on the internet, but I truly believe the opportunity to get one of this box sets won't last for long. This is available thru the group members via facebook, just do an "oxomaxoma" search give them a "like" and mail them.

 Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan by OXOMAXOMA album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Exa Gerardo

— First review of this album —
3 stars The core of the Oxomaxoma sound has always been formed by two non-musicians (as they call themselves): José Alvarez and Arturo Romo, surrounded by a wide list of guest musicians, some of them, from the main progressive groups in Mexico: Decibel, Nirgal Vallis, Saena or Nine Rain among others. Although in this extremely rare, almost disappeared recording, we find them playing as a duo for the unique occasion, on a more uniform and consistent second effort "Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan" (Eustachian Rahan's Nightmares), where prehispanic instruments are used with discretion, leaving a lot of room for the dark-ambient side of the group, no harm to the continuity on their sound, that evolves fast from one album to the next in this era (1980-1997), the most prolific on Oxomaxoma's history.

This intriguing set of eleven improvisations, works fine as a concept album, on it, the world of surrealism invades our sonic space, not from the path of dreams, but nightmares. The American writer H.P. Lovecraft has been pointed out by band members as a main inspiration, and this is more evident here than in the previous album, the music on the other hand, has been accomplished with the same methods: diverse recordings of household objects sampled and passed through electronic effects, toy or self made instruments, vocal improvisations, ambient synthesizers and processed mandolin, among others.

Album opens with "Incisiva I" (Incisive I) a piece based on a dynamic rhythm pattern achieved with some kind o percussion passed through a delay effect, that makes it sound like an electric guitar instead, this is accompanied by a cermonial prehispanic instrument, a big seashell used as woodwind with a very low sound, similar to Tibetan horns. Some trademark vocal improvisation by Alvarez completes the passage.

Then, at the distance, through an abandoned forest of rusted machines and giant gears, comes the echo of a distant screaming, something like an amplified squeak or a metal screech that floats ethereal in this cold wet ambient, then it's gone, only for returning again and again, it's the second track "El Poder y la Fuerza de la Naturaleza" (The Power and Force of Nature), that comes swallowing everything into the womb of a misty landscape.

"Jericó: Toma de una Ciudad Dormida" (Jericho: Taking a Sleeping City), this one illustrates the biblical passage in which the city of Jericho is destroyed by the people of Israel, led by Joshua. The track is based in a slow paced, heavily delayed percussion pattern with some low long human howling or moan, probably one of the darkest and chaotic tracks on the album.

"Primera Pesadilla: Primera Visita al Tribunal del Santo Oficio" (First Nightmare: First Visit to the Tribunal of the Holy Office) this is more dynamic, with drums used to generate the effect of a solemn march, accompanied by occasional squawking woodwinds, that leads to the next track "Segunda Pesadilla: Segunda Visita al Tribunal del Santo Oficio" (Second Nightmare: Second Visit to the Tribunal of the Holy Office), this has a more relaxed pace, seems to be based on the use of trombatron, a self made instrument with riveted springs on a table, that serves as percussion. The Holy Office had a lot of activity in Mexico during the Spanish colony, persecuting heretics and carrying out sentences, so it was actually a real nightmare, and these tracks have also a historical character, in addition to dream.

"Marcelino, Pan y Paleta de Ardilla" (Marcelino, Bread and Squirrel Lollipop) This strange name is in fact a game of words, a joke on a very popular old Spanish movie here in Mexico "Marcelino, Pan y Vino" (Marcelino, Bread and Wine), it seems to be based again on the use of trombatron, but for me sounds like beaten pipes, accompanied by a speech of senseless words, treated with a higher pitch.

The original second side on the cassette was like a cyclical new beginning, like going in circles "Incisiva II" (Incisive II) uses the same rhythm pattern and delay effect than its first part, but this time it's accompanied by a very smooth, cool prehispanic clay flute solo.

The title track is one of my favorites "Las Pesadillas de Eustaquio Rahan: El Tribunal Dicta Sentencia" (Rahan Eustachian Nightmares: the Court Dictates Sentence), it starts with a very nice work of counterpoint of prehispanic woodwinds, accompanied by a solemn march rhythm, played with beaten metal plates maybe and completed with a low pitched voice speech, aided by discrete prehispanic stone percussions. By the way, the title is also a game of words, meaning something like "a nightmare for coward ears".

"Fanfarrias y Bostezos" (Fanfares and Yawning) it's a little lighter track, with a treated mandolin and vocal improvisation, from time to time, the voice is accompanied by a toy trumpet playing a New Orleans style solo.

"El Niño del Tambor" (Little Drummer Boy) yes, you've probably guessed this one! It's a very singular rendition of the Christmas classic, ironically with no drums but treated mandolin, and meaningless vocalizations, it even closes with tiny bells.

"Corazón de Punta de Huarache" (Heart of Huarache Tip) another strange name, "huarache" it's a kind of indian shoe, very common here in Mexico. After the break provided by last two tracks, the album closes with a final ambient nightmarish track, achieved with a lot of processed sounds to create a very dreamy tranquility, and when the silent comes, then you realize you've been awaken all the time.

Without any doubt, this is not an album for everybody, just people who like taking risks and be surprised. These guys at the time were truly searching for new terrains on the making of unorthodox music, and this is the testimony of their achievements.

 En el Nombre sea de Dios by OXOMAXOMA album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.00 | 3 ratings

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En el Nombre sea de Dios
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Exa Gerardo

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.

 Sin Boca Con Los Ojos Negros by OXOMAXOMA album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Sin Boca Con Los Ojos Negros
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Zeuhl Glikowski II

4 stars when i listen to OXOMAXOMA, i don't know if Jose Alvarez is singing in a very strange language or if only is screaming words without any sense. this is the second album of OXOMAXOMA, is called "Sin boca, con los ojos negros" ("without mouth, with the black eyes"), and was published seven years after their debut album "En el nombre de Dios" ("in the name of God"). the band had a considerable evolution since their first album, with the participation of different musicians, including Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma, playing piano, synthetizer and some percussion instruments. in the third track "Ella mira la tranquilidad de la tarde" we can enjoy the voice of Maria Elena Duran, again singing words without any sense. this track reminds me a song by POPOL VUH called "Ah!", only for the way to play guitar of Victor Mendez at the bottom. i'm starting to convert me in a hugh fan of this band, and i feel very happy and very proud to know that this band is from my country. without no more to say, hope you enjoy this album much as i.
 En el Nombre sea de Dios by OXOMAXOMA album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.00 | 3 ratings

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En el Nombre sea de Dios
Oxomaxoma RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Zeuhl Glikowski II

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.
Thanks to evolutionary_sleeper for the artist addition.

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