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El Rayo Verde – Condicional Material Inverso – LP review

I wrote about El Rayo Verde back in November 2012 and commented on their prodigious recorded output –  a few months later – they have released a thirteen track LP - Condicional Material Inverso.

El Rayo Verde

El Rayo Verde

Brevity is the name of the game here and the intro is appropriately named Preludio and lasts for all of 31 seconds – a not so subtle refrain of ’70s Hollywood Westerns.

We head to Esfuerzo de corte which reveals the thematic, that finds El Rayo Verde in a recognisable space as they welcome the listener in to the bar room with fluted guitar and mellow pianoforte telling tales of a life in some disarray.

Me comí una caja de alfileres finds the tempo lifted slightly as we head to the bar with a floating lyric soaring above the instrumentation as the story unfolds of an intention to change.

In short order we head over to Esto y aquello a delightful spin around the room as the band employ trade-mark tempo changes and multiple instrumentation to throw in a range of theatrics to the piece. The lyrics are one of hesitancy of change.

On track five suddenly there is another interlude - Interludio #1 – which adds to the sense of Condicional Material Inverso.

Todos para uno although brief – as all the tracks on this release are – finds the band driving home to the nub of the matter with a plaintiff vocal delivered over a sombre unmistakably Southern American blend of slowly paced mood music, before raising to a crescendo of activity which slowly fades to the conclusion of the track in what could easily be a film score. The storyline continues in melancholic reflections of confusion and this sums up precisely the sentiment of the whole LP.

Hoy no me vas a encontrar which starts the second half of the LP has a a Gallic gypsy feel about it as violin piano and strings trip a dance number around the room.

Throughout Condicional Material Inverso it is difficult to not raise an ear and become engaged with sounds and Un día is no exception to the rule.

El Rayo Verde have transliterated the story-line through an imaginative and evocative score and the interludes – here is Interludio #2 – underscore the theatrics of the release.

El fin de los tiempos opens up the final scene of the release with a violin accompanied by guitar and there is a switch of lead vocal that gives the band a very different feel.

El ruido de los edificios at over four minutes is the longest track on the release, and the band use this opportunity to deliver a spectral sound as pianos space out stopped notes within a constant refrain before the whole band join in and the guitar plays as an echo of the keys.

The unnamed track merely known as ‘-‘ is another piece which extends to nearly the four minute mark and on this occasion the reference point is a more symphonic classical piano opening which transmutes in to sombre vocal that bristles with emotional context.

Appropriately Condicional Material Inverso concludes with Coda which begins with 15 seconds of virtual silence before the instruments float over the horizon in to view and the listener follows the trail of the trail fading to a final 15 seconds of silence.

The LP is a finely balanced blend of music which raises smiles, dancing, forlorn thoughts and emotional journeys in a delightful showcase of the skills of El Rayo Verde.

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