Xavi Reija -
The Sound Of The Earth

(CD 2018, 77:00, Moonjune Records MJR094)

The tracks:
  1- Deep Ocean(06:42)
  2- The Sound Of The Earth I(09:54)
  3- From Darkness(07:33)
  4- The Sound Of The Earth II(12:14)
  5- Serenity(05:50)
  6- The Sound Of The Earth III(09:14)
  7- Lovely Place(04:41)
  8- The Sound Of The Earth IV(16:36)
  9- Take A Walk(04:11)

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After Xavi Reija's solo studio debut; Resolution (2014, see review) and the duo release Random Abstract (2015, see review) with XaDu, Xavi reunites with Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic once again. This time expanding the line-up of this project with two renowned names in the scene, both seeing themselves more and more involved on the Moonjune releases; bass and stick player Tony Levin and touch guitarist Markus Reuter.

The input of both these illustrious names is defining the sound of this fine improvising sounding album. Likea lot of the Moonjune recordings, this album has been recorded in just one day, over several sessions. The mix and master each took another day of work. Two years after the recordings the album The Sound Of The Earth is released. Where on other, especially Moonjune recordings the improvisations are perhaps based on existing melodies of musical ideas, Xavi Reija's music gives you a feeling of raw improvisations and spontaneous jam. The Sound Of The Earth is one of those recordings that perfectly captures these moments of intense happiness, when you are aware, something special is in the making. Especially the four parts of The Sound Of The Earth, that give you that free, spontaneous feel. All musicians are credited for these compositions. The Xavi composition Lovely Place is like a flower; gently blossoming into a brilliant piece of art. Guitarist Dusan Jevtovic really shines with an outstanding solo and great melodies. Dusan's own credited parts are beauties in chaos, musically very challenging and definitely not for the regular listener. But several listens later you will discover the structure in the chaos and get to appreciate these fine pieces of music. But in the end, it is the three Xavi Reija written compositions that perhaps impress me the most; Deep Ocean, Serenity and the aforementioned Lovely Place are more minimalistic, more structured songs; ergo, more accessible, more pleasant for the untrained ear.

With The Sound Of The Earth, Xavi Reija has made a nice step forward, the compositions and execution have a raw spontaneous feel, but the compositions never are overplayed or turn into repetitions of previous parts. Certainly, a fine addition to the catalogue.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Dave Smith)

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