Factor Burzaco, brainchild of Argentinean musician and composer Abel Gilbert, released its second album in 2011, simply entitled II, through the marvelous Italian label, AltrOck.While having heard their first album some time ago, I confess to not remembering much from it. And so I approached this new album with fresh ears.
This album initially left me wordless and baffled. How and what could I write about it? In a way it reminds me of the experiences I had with Italian avant-garde group Nichelodeon’s two albums that I reviewed. The same struggling for words and inability to coherently convey the weird and fascinating listening experience I was having with these albums. Indeed, I think most listeners will arrive at the end of this release scratching their heads, trying to understand what it is they just heard.
Still, what can I expect, you ask?
Well, some of what you will hear is:
Amorphous dark pieces that roll into propulsive hard edged rock and back again. Abstract female vocals paint eerie sonic images as the variety of instruments gently float around and delicately smear smudges of sounds.
Creepy sounds evoked by various instruments lurking about the songs, peering out and quickly crawling back to their roots.
Abrupt changes that may scare you on first listen.
An animated narration by a male voice about music that gets more and more distressing and poignant as it proceeds, accompanied by vibraphone and percussion playing a hypnotic pattern.
Do I need to go on?
Would it shock you, then, if I said that Factor Burzaco II is a disturbing album.
But please don’t take this to mean this is a bad album. Au contraire! It is good, because it is disturbing; it is an unsettling listen, a provocative and strange experience. Moreover, it does a good job of balancing its abstract and nebulous side with the tangible ones, where melody takes the reins. When I say melody, you shouldn’t expect it in the usual sense of the word, as it is harsh, angular and non-harmonic melody, which I found to be lovely and appealing (maybe that’s just me). Indeed, this album offers one hell of a ride, fronted by Restuccia Carolina sweet, insane and diabolical vocals. A wide range of musicians here backs her up, though the music sounds surprisingly minimalistic and thin layered for that big a lineup.
This is not an easy listen. I can’t just pop this cd in and give at a listen at a whim. The proper mood must strike and take over for me to put it on. But when that happens, I know I’m in for an experience. Try this album on headphones, late at night, while doing nothing apart from devoting your full attention to it and allow it to take hold of you.
Scary, isn’t it? But in a good way!
Prog Archives band page
Review at Progressor
Review at Sea of Tranquility
1. Beginning 1:51
2. Progressions 4:53
3. What 2:23
4. Inmemorian 5:39
5. Guantanabu-1 7:07
6. Guantanabu-2 1:38
7. Guantanabu-3 4:15
8. Straviko 5:59
9. Before the End 0:32
10. Mereditika 7:34
Restuccia Carolina – vocals
Pol Gonzalez – voices
Paul Torterolo – drums
Nahuel Tavosnanska – bass
Fabian Keroglian – vibraphones
Fernando Taborda – guitars
Carlos Lucero – guitars
Alan Courtis – guitars
Sergio Catalin – flutes
Will Genz – bassoons
Dana Najlis – clarinet
Federico Landaburu – clarinet
Nolly Rosa – alto & baritone saxophone
Mauro Rosales – soprano saxophone
Sebastian Schachtel – accordion
Mauro Zannoli – electronics
Lyrics - Marcelo Cohen