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Igor Wakhévitch - Nagual - Les Ailes De La Perception CD (album) cover


Igor Wakhévitch


Progressive Electronic

3.72 | 20 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars While I may have not appreciated the preceding album Fous D'Or, the least we can say is that Igor's musical aesthetics are definitely not straying from its original path drawn out in the arly part of the decades. In some ways, Nagual is just as unnerving and almost irritating as its predecessor, but at last it doesn't put forward any of that spoken esoteric bullshit right in your face. Oh yeah sure, there is a Mayan or Meso-American mythology concept (the nighttimes tropical forest artwork of Olivier Legris points to it), but it avoids the ridiculous Christian-related liturgical narratives, incantations and pagan-idol adoration bits encountered in his previous works. The music was created for an experimental theatre group taking residence at the Paris Opera, under the direction of Carolyn Carlson, already responsible for Les Fous D'Or

Clearly rid of the intrusive vocal interference of the last two albums, Nagual's almost-all instrumental and mainly-electronic music gets all the space it needs to develops its wings and shows its charms, despite letting some room for acoustic instruments interventions (both string instruments and piano). The unconventional vocals are mainly concentrated in a short section of the early musical progression. If there is a haunting shamanic drums sequence that can give you a tribal ambiance, it's followed a bit later by some kind of semi- celtic jig, it sms to lack a clear musical direction, especially when confronting the titles and their sonic contents.

The minimalist piano and electronic drone of Never Poem has a Terry Riley influence that gives an avant-garde flavour that otherwise lacked in many parts throughout the course of the album. However, I'm not exactly sure how this all relates to the semi-Chinese and semi- medieval acoustic string device used in Smile Of The Wolf piece to the supposedly Mayan mythology, but the Tangerine Dream-like synth layers of the closing Chirakan piece is not really Meso-American-sounding either.

A vast improvement of its predecessor, Nagual is still a very intriguing concept (well matter of speech, really), precisely because it doesn't have any logical explanation to the conceptual soundscapes, but then again, not everything needs explaining. One of his better later albums, this is also one of his less-logical one as well, despite not straying from his general musical quest.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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