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Xavi Reija - The Sound Of The Earth CD (album) cover

THE SOUND OF THE EARTH

Xavi Reija

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars Consummate drummer Xavi Reija is back with his fourth solo album, and as with the wonderful 'Resolution' from 2014, he has been joined by guitarist Dusan Jevtović. However, this time he has brought in two Stick Men with Tony Levin providing bass, upright bass and stick and Markus Reuter on touch guitar. This means that between them there are four more sounds and potential interactions on show than would be possible with any 'normal' quartet. Recorded in just one day, the album is a cacophony of sounds and notes being brought together by four musicians who are consistently bouncing ideas off each other. Reuter and Levin are touring together a great deal, so know each other's styles intimately, while Reija and Jevtović have a long history together as well, and the two pairs combine to make an album of exciting and invigorating music.

One of the joys of this album is the sheer variety, with all four playing lead (all at the same time), although it is often left to Levin and Reuter to attempt to maintain some sort of stable foundation for the others to play against. The four lengthy songs are parts I-IV of the title cut, composed by all four, as they bounce the ideas off each other and see where the music takes them. The second of these commences with Xavi shuffling on drums, Tony providing some beautifully warm upright bass, Markus creating the soundscape as only he can, before Dusan makes his entrance. It is an incredibly intense album, with so much going on at all times, yet it never overloads the senses as it continues to make music sense throughout. Putting these four into a room together, turning on the tapes and then just letting them play, was truly inspired. When it comes to fusion, bringing together jazz, progressive rock and improvisation, then it is hard to find a stronger group of players. This is an incredible album, totally essential to anyone who enjoys this style of challenging and almost avant garde music.

Report this review (#2023384)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2018 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

When you see a combo like this one you already know it can't go wrong. It is great to see how musicians from the Moonjune family have been connecting with the years, at the point of helping each other in different records. This time, amazing Spanish drummer Xavi Reija joined forces once again with wonderful guitar maestro Dusan Jevtovic, along with legendary bass god Tony Levin and the insatiable and prolific genius Markus Reuter, creating a four-piece band of experts on their instruments, working together in a full album for the very first time.

The meeting took place back in 2016, and the result has given us this colorful album entitled 'The Sound of The Earth', which allows the listener's senses to float almost all the time, making connections with countless atmospheres that are eventually inducted in our body and soul. The musical experience here is wonderful, but it is needed that you have enough time to listen to it carefully and let the music take you to its different paths.

We could say the introduction is abrupt; it might take us for surprise, but 'Deep Ocean' is the first of the multiple musical and sensorial experiences this album offers. Its first minutes are heavy, chaotic and maybe complicated, but the calm comes after the storm. Then the musicians begin to play (in both senses) and their freedom allow them to give different solos here and there, until all fades out and then the first part returns in an even more chaotic tune.

The name of the album is also the name of some songs, all of them full of soundscapes that ease our souls. It can be proved in 'The Sound of The Earth 1', the atmosphere is quite relaxing, dreamy and spacey, the presence of Reuter has provided Reija and the band with such wonderful textures, colors and nuances, and even if our minds mention the name of King Crimson, I believe Reuter has created himself a very own sound. Of course, the help of that delicious Levin's bass first, the cadence of Xavi's drums and later the very touching Jevtovic's notes, give as a result a musical and sensorial masterpiece.

After the calm, chaos returns. But not in a pejorative sense. The experimentation is something these four musicians like to do and know how to do, so here we witness how a composition can squeeze the best out of them, how every of the four play their instruments with freedom and never harm each other's sound. 'The Sound of The Earth 2' starts with an addictive and even danceable rhythm created by drums and bass, while guitars appear with a tense sound that increases little by little, creating a much darker atmosphere than in the previous songs. The sensorial journey continues here, I love how these guys' music represents a passage of a simple man's life, a passage of time, an experience. This is the sound of oneself, and in the end, the sound of the earth.

'Serenity' brings what the title suggests at least in the first three minutes. Atmospheric background while a repetitive drum hypnotizes us, and while strings create different figures and noises that appear like thoughts of an anxious person. The calm all of a sudden becomes chaos once again, the music explodes emulating a person's real experience, I mean, when someone explodes, he/she hits and hurts, damage is done, but later, the calm comebacks in order to bring a moment of introspection. 'The Sound of The Earth 3' let Dusan Jevtovic's guitar shine, I was truly attracted by it, but in a second and third listen I could appreciate the equal value of all the instruments in this track. You see, the four members have a different point of view in these compositions, all four attack with their weapons from their different corners, but in the end, all the bullets converge in the central point.

'Lovely Place' is a shorter track. Again it was Jevtovic who caught my attention first, but later Reuter and his touch guitar take its share and delight us with a great solo while Tony and Xavi's intensity increase. 'The Sound of The Earth 4' is the longest track here. A 17-minute trip to different landscapes. The band explores their lands and trespass all the possible boundaries in a very intuitive way, but with the vital element of previously knowing each other, so we, as listeners, are co-responsible of the path we choose and the instrument that leads us in every different passage. Spacey music, experimental tunes, calm and tension, light and darkness, countless atmospheres and figures that will apprehend our senses.

This great album finishes with 'Take A Walk', a short rocky experimental piece in which Jevtovic's guitar is the guide, but Reija's drumming also show a contagious sense of power. In the end, here we can appreciate four monsters acting in total freedom and with the confidence of sharing studio with capable musicians and better human beings.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#2134143)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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