Xavi Reija is another discovery of Moonjune Record's Leonardo Pavkovic, who seems to have a special sense when it comes to extraordinary musicians. For his latest release; Reija, the Barcelona based drummer, chose to work as a power trio, just concentrating on drums, bass and guitar. So, besides the bandleader himself on drums, fellow Spaniard Bernat Hernandez was asked to fulfill bass duties. On the guitar we find Serbian musician Dusan Jevtovic, who has made Spain his place of residence for the last years. This innovative guitarist also released a solo album on the Moonjune label, called Am I Walking Wrong last year.
Xavi Rejia's musical style is based on a form of progressive art rock, mixed with free jazz and improvisation. As an extra you get a guitarist who doesn't feel limited by scales, but purely thinks in sounds. Therefore, this album needs several spins to dig in. Most of the compositions have an adventurous, but solid foundation, laid down by the drums and bass. Using polyrhythmic and percussive drumming, the composition's basics are quite impressive and the bass can be defined as the instrument that provides the swinging grooves. Over this strong base, Dusan plays his parts; sometimes just a melody that can move on into an effects drenched soundscape like you can hear on Flying To Nowhere. During this composition, you might think something is wrong with the CD or your CD-player, but the guitar has this mean, overdriven sound intentionally. A sample for the fantastic groove that has been laid down, can be heard in Macroscope, a composition that has the same vibe as do Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's compositions. As a contrast to “free” compositions like Dreamer and Abyss where chaos seems to go hand in hand with innovative brilliancy, is the following composition; The Land Of The Sirenians. This song sticks to patterns as usually used in jazz and fusion. Here the bass gets the attention it deserves and it might end up as the most accessible composition on the album. After this melodic interlude, the guitar and its effects return to the “red zone“ when it comes to recording. Unfinished Love and John's Song are once more built on impressive rhythms and feedback-filled solos. The title track Resolution as well as Gravity combine the free style of the previous songs with more structured melodies, which means fewer sounds and more accessible patterns...and again, a fabulous bass. The final track Welcome To The End, has a perfect sounding drum groove. Add the fine bass and soundscape guitar to the mix and a wonderful song is born. For a drummer, this might be a good sample for a super beat.
I think Xavi Reija perfectly keeps the chaos in order on this very impressive CD. You have to take your time to let the music do its work, but when the music settles in your brain, I know you will appreciate the project. People who like music in the style of Nils Petter Molvær, King Crimson's Robert Fripp and like a challenge, please try this one, it's worth it.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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