Ahleuchatistas have re-emerged from their undisclosed (location) location with Arrebato, a cohesive blend of multifarious tonality and frenetic loops, the grooves and builds of IDM, the drama and meditation of post rock, and the complex minimalist sound world of sonic art / noise experimentation.
The blend of electronically manipulated sounds and acoustic or otherwise very ‘live’ sounds is so fantastically successful that the questions ‘how do they do that?’ and ‘what are they using?’ become moot. The building of guitar phrases with digital delay loops appears seamless and difficult to parse. Guitar lines will go through a series of carefully orchestrated tonal changes, become an aggressive pink-noise ostinato, and form the basis of the next section (or indeed track). Why bother trying to figure that out?
The inventive instrumentation of Arrebato< is altogether pleasingly unfamiliar; foreign; suspenseful. ‘Power With’ is an intimidating hip hop stoner groove with a riff that seemingly goes on forever whilst acoustic percussion busily traps away… there is a freedom with tempo, an elasticity of meter. There are moments of what seem like music documentary – brief phrases of distant mandolin (possibly) going through the wringer – and indeed world music culture seems to be in the back of Ahleuchatistas’ mind… there are sparse moments where I am reminded of a slow, steady, dark, brooding sea, and inspired to draw comparisons with doom and contemporary classical. Ahleuchatistas’ use of effects and production as instruments adds suspense, intrigue, and a beautiful (to coin a phrase) ‘alienimity’ (hereby defined as ‘of having alien-ness’) which is often missing in the merry go round of fast rhythm and upbeat tonality found in a lot of math rock and noise rock.
I’m inclined to describe Arrebato as tense rather than aggressive. I’ve always felt that suspense works better than righteousness in music anyway – which is not to say that Arrebato doesn’t do aggressive. (watch out for the futuristic blast-beats). But how to maintain suspense without being unneccesarily evil or minimal? Buggered if I know, but at least I know now that it can be done.
Bloody well done.
Noise rock, avant garde, ambient, math rock, experimental