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OXHUITZA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Italy


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Oxhuitza biography
In the realm of artistic direction Fabio ZUFFANTI and Rossano VILLA are, as the saying goes, on fire. This Promethean tag-team co-produced the debut work by hot new property UNREAL CITY and they also worked together on the recently released OXHUITZA album. OXHUITZA is the brainchild of guitarist/composer Luca BASSIGNANI whose compositions are surprisingly oriented more towards keyboards than guitar. VILLA and fellow keyboardist Gabriele GUIDI deploy an entire arsenal of vintage analogue keys and these dominate the sound sculptures on the band's self-titled debut. Behind their vivid foreground of Hammond, Mellotron and Moog expositions bassist Carlo BARRECA (FUNGUS, ZEROTHEHERO) and drummer Christian GIANNARELLI supply the necessary apparatus that holds everything together, although BARRECA also adds some exotic-sounding flute parts.

OXHUITZA take their name from the ancient name for Caracol, a powerful city of the Maya located in present day Belize. The meaning of the name is ''spiral'' and relates to the winding route that originally led to the site. Similarly, the music of OXHUITZA runs a mazy path through the whole gamut of progressive rock, with alleys that lead off into loosely shaped manifestations of eclectic, heavy, psychedelic and symphonic instrumental prog. The group genuinely transcends the bounds of genre-labels but they had to be accommodated somewhere on the site as a significant new band of the ZUFFANTI dynasty. The decision to push the button was thankfully taken by the Psychedelic Team.

The album is housed in a digipack CD featuring lavish artwork that reflects the unnerving beauty of the music contained within. Recommended to all but in particular to fans of KING CRIMSON and NODO GORDIANO.

- seventhsojourn

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3.48 | 25 ratings
Oxhuitza
2013

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OXHUITZA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oxhuitza by OXHUITZA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.48 | 25 ratings

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Oxhuitza
Oxhuitza Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars OXHUITZA is the project of one Luca Bassignani who is the guitarist as well as the composer of all the music here which is all instrumental. Fabio Zuffanti who needs no introduction produced it and helped arrange the music. This is a five piece Italian band with an interesting sound with those often powerful guitar passages combined with a variety of keyboards including Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Minimoog, Hammond and more. The cover art is incredible but the art work on the cd and liner notes seems to clash with it being purple and blue and seemingly out of place. The music which of course is the important thing is a little inconsistant to my ears but there are some amazing passages, especially the atmosphere and dark mood that is often prevelant.

Up first is "#01" which is spacey to start before it kicks into gear quickly with an uptempo driving sound. Organ before 2 1/2 minutes joins in for a while then it settles back before 4 minutes but it's still fairly heavy. Some nice guitar and mellotron here. It sounds goofy 5 minutes in to the end but it's a good track for the most part. "Luna Di Maggio" is uptempo with synths out front pulsating. The synths become spacey as it continues to be fast paced. The organ takes the lead then the pulsating synths return like before. A dead calm follows and I love the mellotron after 3 minutes, then it kicks back in. "Nervi In Fibra Ottica" sounds really good as we get a dark mood with a beat, flute and more. It turns powerful 1 1/2 minutes in but the contrasts will continue. Check out the mellotron before 3 minutes. This is my favourite track.

"Kirky" has a cool sound to it as it's somewhat dark and at times powerful with piano coming and going. The synths lead before 2 minutes and there's a much better sound a minute later with flute but then the synths return quickly. Not a fan of this part. The piano and mellotron sound great though 4 1/2 minutes in. "Pixel" is heavy duty to start but it settles right down. I like the flute and guitar here. A Swedish vibe 4 minutes in then it turns heavy with riffing guitar and mellotron. The synths before 5 minutes are annoying. "Mano Di Luna" is my second favourite tune and the longest. Lots of mood and tempo changes on this one. Strummed guitar after 2 1/2 minutes as it brightens. Piano joins in then it turns haunting before 4 1/2 minutes. Amazing sound 6 minutes in with the guitar playing over top. An eerie ending as the album ends like it began.

I can't pull the trigger on 4 stars as I have too many issues with this despite the fact I really enjoy much of it.

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 Oxhuitza by OXHUITZA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.48 | 25 ratings

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Oxhuitza
Oxhuitza Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars I am moving to another type of music but as I have done a lot recently I take an Italian record with a very nice cover picture of a band which name seems Indian. Oxhuitza is both the band's and the record's name and it's the debut album of the band from this year. On the record we can hear Luca Bassignani on guitars, Rossano Villa on organs, Carlo Barreca on bass and flute, Christian Giannarelli on drums and Gabriele Guidi on piano and organ.

What drew me here was honestly the cover which was so amazing and there are som features on this record I like. Partially the organs and guitars make a powerful flow with melody. A great plus is also the flute. With those ingredients this could be a great record. But something's missing!

This don't affect me. The music feels invisble or a bit poor. I don't challange the musicians crafts but I can't help missing a singer which could have added vocals about some mystical themes. For me melodies also are quite important, so I most say I miss them. Furthermore my taste thinks the guitar sound is too heavy and that's not sympathetic for me. I understand I am fastidious but why like something just because I prefer to like than dislike?

I found this lame and uninteresting and this is not how I want prog to sound. But other's have liked it so perhaps you're the next human being to like it! Show us your opinion. My rating will be TWO stars. That's perhaps a bit low but I can't give it three.

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 Oxhuitza by OXHUITZA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.48 | 25 ratings

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Oxhuitza
Oxhuitza Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Oxhuitza is a project that began life in 2011 on the initiative of guitarist and composer from Fivizzano Luca Bassignani and was named after an ancient Maya city. In 2013 an eponymous d'but album was released on the new independent label Mirror Records, recorded at the Hilary Studio in Genoa and produced by Fabio Zuffanti and Rossano Villa. Along with Luca Bassignani (electric and acoustic guitars), the musicians involved during the recording sessions were Rossano Villa (Hammond organ, Mellotron, Minimoog, Fender Rhodes, vibes, percussion), Carlo Barreca (bass, flute), Christian Giannarelli (drums) and Gabriele Guidi (piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog). The result of their efforts is a nice, fresh concoction of vintage and modern sounds that is really worth listening to. The album is completely instrumental but in the booklet you can find drawings, pictures and words that contribute to set the right atmosphere.

The opener '# 01' seems to evoke a cosmic, frenzied ride in search for light and space. There's a sense of exotic mystery and some sudden changes in mood and rhythm. On the notes of the following 'Luna di Maggio' (May Moon) you can find 'a new light in front of a new beginning' and run freely under the moon, then you can relax quietly in the night carried away on the wings of your dreams, waiting for a new burst of energy.

'Nervi in fibra ottica' (Nerves of optical fibre) features a slower pace and darker musical colours. Here math rock patterns are intertwined with evocative flute lines and jazzy passages where 'the soul gets cool, the machine becomes human and plays, cheats, seduces...'. The following 'Kirky' is another dark track full of mystery. There are some disquieting passages where tension and rhythm rise, then a short, dreamy acoustic section full of hope where the previous tension melts for a while. Well, try to imagine a land covered by an intricate forest with high trees pushing their roots deep into the ground and their branches up towards the sky, then listen to the song of the brook that flows there...

'Pixel' is a good track featuring sharp guitar riffs and calmer passages, exotic flavours and echoes of ancient myths. It leads to the conclusive 'Mano di luna' (Moon hand), a long, complex piece featuring some delicate melodies and a dreamy mood where the musicians pick their way unerringly through a labyrinth of different sensations and styles. On the whole, the album might be a bit short (only about 37 minutes) but there are no fillers and the final result is absolutely good.

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 Oxhuitza by OXHUITZA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.48 | 25 ratings

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Oxhuitza
Oxhuitza Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Modern RPI maestro Fabio Zuffanti sure has a keen eye for talent. Along with releasing the knockout debut from young Italian band Unreal City recently, he's also signed this wonderful instrumental band Oxhuitza to his label Mirror Records, and it's yet another terrific release that shows a promising and exciting new band showing off the best of their abilities right from the start.

This band sure was difficult to place right on the Archives! They passed through many of the evaluation groups before landing under the Psych label, and it's easy to see why. Although frequently quite riff heavy, tearing through fast-paced guitar attacks or slowly building up hypnotic moods, the album is overloaded wall to wall with swirling keyboard explosions and left-of-centre quirky interludes. No wonder the band's name translates to `sprial'! These musicians are full of youthful energy but they still demonstrate a respect and devotion towards the vintage bands. Fans of the beloved Mellotron will find plenty of it here too.

Opener `# 0-1' is an energetic foot-tapper with guitar riffing that winds it's way around snapping drumming and punchy Mellotron/Hammond blasts. A lazy comparison might be the heavier stuff on the more recent Porcupine Tree albums, until you get to the final minute, when just as guitarist Luca Bassignani is soaring for the heavens amongst triumphant waves of 'Tron bliss, the piece abruptly turns quite jaunty, comical and loopy! These sort of twists occasionally pop up through the album, which listeners will either love or hate!

`Luna Di Maggio' is a peppy rocker with some very ragged Hammond abusing in the first half, a sedate and mysterious second half full of trilling synths before a blasting guitar run in the finale with a wild and messy ending! The frantic direction changing present throughout this piece is worked into most of the the tracks on the album.

`Nervi in Fibra Ottica' instantly has me thinking of ancient Egypt and shifting sands, it's full of whirring synth drama, haunting darting flute, waterdrop-like electric piano tiptoes and a booming menace that breaks through the crystalline ambience.

One of my favourite tracks on the album, `Kirky' has gorgeous dazzling classical gothic piano piercing through blasts of ghostly Mellotron choir, in a way that only the Italian bands do so well. The middle drifts into a hallucinogenic blur of hyper-colour whirring synths before racing through a jazzy run and quieter acoustic guitar passage that makes this track sound like something on one of the classic early Banco albums.

`Pixel' opens has plenty of chugging hard-rock riffs with climbing electric guitar soloing with a cloudy post-rock haze in the middle. But it's the middle-eastern tinged drama of closer `Mano Di Luna' that most impresses. Quick tempo changes back and forth and maniacal piano in the first section, leading to cinematic synth scores mixed with Mellotron oceans before an extended ambient movement full of lonely flute that drifts through the wilderness trying to find it's way back to the Gong or Ozric Tentacles album it wandered off from (hint - try looking at `The Hidden Step' and `Shamal', fellas!).

Although the occasional quirky elements grate on me a little, this really is a perky cracker of an album, that not only continues the 2013 tradition of superb Italian releases, but top-quality instrumental albums from this year as well. This self-titled work from Oxhuitza proves just how vibrant and thrilling the modern progressive rock scene is, and talented young bands like this will ensure the genre thrives for years to come.

Four stars - and just look at that artwork! Vinyl release please, Oxhuitza fellas!

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