El Tubo Elastico is an instrumental progressive rock band from the south of Spain, but I guess just the moniker “progressive rock” does not cover the whole range of influences of the band's music. Besides the progressive touch, El Tubo Elastico embeds parts of electronic music, post rock, ambient, math and a splash of space rock. The quartet consists of Alfonso Romero on bass, keyboards and programming, drummer, percussionist Carlos Cabrera, Daniel González on guitars, keyboards and programming and finally Vizen Rivas; guitars and programming. The song, Turritopsis Nutricula sees the addition of the marvellous Chapman Stick player Guillermo Cides.
Impala is a fifty minutes journey through the aforementioned spheres; the opener Ingravido sees a challenging groove of bass and drums, mesmerizing guitars, delicate solo work and many sounds/synths that complete the layered music of El Tube Elastico. Although the composition itself is over nine minutes, you are not aware of the time that passes, just of the intensity and the atmospheric parts of the song. Antiheroe gives me the same kind of feeling, well played and very interesting, how these guys create/build up a composition and maintain the slow, so it also feels an accessible song. The track that features Guillermo Cides; Turritopsis Nutricula, is absolutely amazing, his tapping, in combination with the narration really work well together. This composition is a bit more powerful as both previous tracks, less atmospheric, but more instrument orientated. A bit weird perhaps, but the following, twelve and a half minutes clocking El Acelerador De Picotas is seen as two separate tracks on my PC. Must be a production thing I guess. But nevertheless, the spherical elements of the first two tracks continue here. The fine repeating elements of post rock form the base for another interesting journey. Lots of space for dedicated synth parts, interesting guitar solos and great drum and bass fills. La Avispoteca is a haunting, percussive song, which emphasises the darker side of El Tube Elastico. The outcome is amazing; especially the percussive parts and guitar solos, which are the icing on this track. Due to the wonderful bass parts during the final track Impala Formidable, Solid Ether of Nils Petter Molvaer comes to mind. But the guitars take over and take this one in the opposite direction of Molvaer's music. During this one, again the percussive element highlights the song. Looking back to the earlier compositions on the album, I wonder why the band hasn't used this intriguing element earlier. Still, a great way to end an interesting, dedicated album.
El Tube Elastico succeeded in creating an instrumental album that is as interesting as it is atmospherical. A solid production in combination with fantastic compositions and dedicated craftsmanship make Impala absolutely worthwhile to check out.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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