Thursday, July 23, 2015

Guapo, Obscure Knowledge

The avant rock outfit Guapo celebrates 20 years of dedicated psychedelicizing with a new album, Obscure Knowledge (Cuneiform). This is their 10th, the third on Cuneiform. It travels far into space with compositional routines that take advantage of the adventurous capabilities of Emmett Elvin on Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, synths, James Sedwards on bass guitar, Kavus Torabi, guitar, and David J. Smith on drum kit, percussion, keyboards & noises. Special guests Michael J. York on woodwinds and Antti Uusimaki on additional keyboards & effects add to the clout.

This is less of a jamband than a well-considered group-oriented cosmic psyche-trance compositional presentation. This is music that has considerable tightness thanks to the longevity of the group but shows nothing of the "here's another album" off-handedness that some long-lived groups fall into.

It is seriously heavy atmospherics where every player has a special role to play in the total mix. Anyone familiar with Guapo will resonate with the album, but then so will those who come to the music anew.

I will admit that I am a sucker for compositional psychedelica when it is done as well as it is here. Anyone who feels similarly should not miss Obscure Knowledge. It's a definite goodie.

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