This week’s “Sonic Reducer” is an intuitive affair. That is to say, our reviewer picked out all of this week’s homegrown records using only his sixth sense, his third eye, the heavily guarded temple of his musical soul; you know the place where la neta is more than just a place in space where they make good enchiladas. Drop what you’re doing and drop the needle instead, Fred.
Adam GanerAre Parties There(Self-released)
This work is totally disturbing but may bring listeners closer to determining the truth about what the music in their lives really represents. Is this nuanced muse just a party time friend with benefits or will the spirit stick around and bring listeners cosmic fulfilment on the comedown? Full of brazen glitchiness, mouthy expressions of noise and a reliance on house music methodologies that say “Spring Break 4eva” in super-masculine and ultra-feminine sonic disguises, this recording ultimately answers our critical questions with hung over tuneage like “Bright Candles That Are On Fire” and “Watching Space On Neptune.” Either you’ll love taking the trip offered here in the afterglow or it will simply and quickly kill you. Who wants to live forever?
FilaleteSeven Princes of Heaven(Noctivagant)
This one is totally espooky, kids. I picked it because I liked the cover art and religious overtones—each of the tracks refers to one of the heavenly angels. You know, Michael and Gabriel and Raphael and their winged friends. Given those classical underpinnings, I listened to this record as if it were—and it really is—a collection of art music compositions, program music to be more specific. In the case of these works, there is indeed a leitmotif expressed for each character whose narrative is played out musically. Here, the identities are electrical, stormy and mostly bereft of linear melody yet memorable for their sonic scope and passion. Dark and complicated, vast musical spaces define each expression of angelic power this way. Entrancing. Favorite tracks: “Uriel” and “Jegudiel.”
Lone PiñonNuevas Acequias, Rio Viejito: Traditional Music of Northern New Mexico(Self-released)
I was destined to listen to this record. A fantastic collection of traditional music from the heart of The Land of Enchantment, this record details the significance of Lone Piñon’s work in regional folk music as well as cementing the duo as authorities on the diverse form’s current state of performance and accurate reiteration. The CD version of this record includes cover art and a 10-page booklet by artist Sean Wells featuring sketches of New Mexico elders and musicians who influenced the recording, as well as important historical information that will enrich listeners of this essential iteration of la cultura Nueva Mexicana. It’s all here and it’s all clear, from polkas like “La Julia” to rancheras like “Casa de Adobe.” Vamos a bailar, compadres!