I was pleasantly surprised to get this disc from a band that was completely unknown to me so far - even though they started already in the late 1990s. El Tubo Elastico is a Spanish quartet from Jerez de la Frontera in the most southern part of the country. Its members are Alfonso Romero (bass and synths), Carlos Cabrera (drums and percussion) and Daniel González and Vizen Rivas both on guitars and synths. Indeed, it's an all-instrumental group and their music is almost as flexible as their name indicates. As far as I can tell this is their debut album even though they have played at festivals and also recorded some demos before.
Opener Pandora starts with relaxed wavering jazzy music, but sound wise I'm also reminded of postrock groups thanks to the use of dual guitars. Until a proper fluid solo emerges that is. Here the guitarist appears to have listened to Andy Latimer more than once ... Towards the end we're back in hypnotic postrock realms again. From the top of my mind I would compare the band to a mellower version of Long Distance Calling, another possible comparison would be a heavier version of Ozric Tentacles (with substantially less swooshiness and edgier riffs - check for example El Enjambre to see what I mean).
Most songs are pretty much songs in same vein (which often happens with postrock-influenced instrumental bands), but of good quality and since the album isn't too long you will manage to stay alert and enjoy the entire batch (I think 70 minutes of this would have been too much and a definitely weaker album: sometimes less IS more!). I would say that my clear favourite is Rojo thanks to its oriental influences and cool tension and building up towards the climax. Interestingly some of the guitar play on this track sounds as if it's actually done on an electric violin.
By the way, those who consider getting the download version from Bandcamp - be advised that my physical copy contains one additional piece of music!
***+ Carsten Busch (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2015