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Actual Music Quartet RSM - Actual Music Quartet RSM CD (album) cover


Actual Music Quartet RSM


Post Rock/Math rock

3.95 | 26 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This review was originally written for and posted at the Sonic website

The many faces of Actual Music Quartet

At first it would seem that Actual Music Quartet RSM is a group with several faces. One side is displayed in the 1st track, Tram Song, the 5th track, Clock 77:77 and the 7th track, Face 2 Face, in which the style is that of post-rock; quite mellow (at times almost ambient), with caressing guitars and keyboards in the background. This side shows a more varied than usual aspect of post-rock, vivid and rich sounding.

On the other side I hear a very creative band, which tries (and succeeds) to create a mix not found often, a mix which the term experimental rock truly fits. At times going into an almost minimalist approach with a somewhat gloomy and eerie sound, which works perfectly (3rd track RM), they give us a taste of quite a wide array of atmospheres and sounds. A good example of an upbeat and vigorous side they expose to us is on the 4th track, where a great very fast fusion rhythm with a great throbbing bass gives the perfect background for the lead guitar to play an exhilarating role. This is a brilliant high energy track, sure to give you a kick in case the previous track was too mellowing. More variety comes in the next tracks (the 5th one, Clock 77:77) in which some of the post-rock sounds comes back along with some spacey-sounding electronic effects; again magnificent sounds are displayed here evoking great imagery and emotions.

I started by saying that at first it appears they have several faces; I then realized I shouldn't approach it that way. Rather, this is a talented group capable of speaking in many musical tongues to create whatever textures and musical texts they want to relay to the listeners. Come to think of it, this album would be perfect as a soundtrack; the switch from one mood and texture to the others is done very well and is flowing naturally giving the impression that we are following events unfolding as if being shown an invisible movie we can only listen to. In addition, the continuity of the music all through this instrumental album makes this one of the most rewarding listening experiences I've had in a while.

The fact that the band members are multi-instrumentalists is shown through the richness of the sound and in its variety of instrumentation - guitars, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, mandolin, flute, percussions, electronics etc. The musicianship shown here is top quality, and the compositions are well written and well thought-out.

In short, this is a fantastic release, one that will appeal to those looking for an intriguing and beautiful musical ride. If you love music which paints soundscapes, music that seems to depict scenes, or post- rock/rock that experiments (but not in a noisy or off the wall way) then this is for you. Personally, I can't wait for more material from this group -- highly recommended!

avestin | 4/5 |


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