Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: Actual Music Quartet RSM - S/T (2007)

The many faces of Actual Music Quartet

At first it would seem that this is a group with several faces. On one side in tracks like the 1st "Tram Song", 5th track "Clock 77:77" and 7th track "Face 2 Face", 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, a more vivid and rich sounding.
On the other side I hear a very creative band, which tries and succeeds in creating a mix not found a plenty, which the term experimental rock fits very well. At times going into more minimalist approach with a somewhat gloomy and eerie sound that 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 got you in too dormant a state.
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, but that 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.

There is continuity of the music all along this instrumental album, making this one of the most rewarding listening experiences I've had in a while.
The fact that the band members are multi-instrumentalists comes into play in the richness of the sound here and in its variety: guitars, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, mandolin, flute, percussion, electronics etc.
The musicianship shown here is of the uppermost quality and the compositions are very well written and though-out.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any comments?