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«Les Capelles»

Les Capelles (the chapels) documents the very first performance of the Barcelona-based quartet of accordionist Garazi Navas, electronics Miguel Angel Garcia, double bass player Àlex Reviriego and percussionist Vasco Trilla. Reviriego and Trilla collaborated before in countless formats and bands, including Phicus, Liba Villavecchia Trio and the trio Tholos Gateway. Garcia and Navas relased last year a duo album Aleph / Illuminatus (Elctronic Reactions, 2021). But these four musicians crossed paths many times before: Reviriego played along with Navas when they performed Garcia’s electroacoustic compositions; Garcia invited Trilla and Reviriego to perform at Zarata Festival on several occasions, and the three of them performed and recorded together in the Ab’Bhau quintet.

The quartet was recorded live at the XIVth century Convent de Sant Agustí, now an arts space in the center of Barcelona. The three pieces employ the reverberant space of the chapel as a decisive player in the quartet’s nuanced, highly suggestive and cinematic drones, evoking a sense of irreverent but spiritual meditation. The quartet enjoys the punctuating percussion recalling the bells from the neighboring church and uses the ethereal electronics and accordion sounds as well as the extended techniques of Reviriego and Trilla to intensify the mysterious, timeless atmosphere. This quartet worked as a tight unit that developed slowly the carefully woven drones and colored them with darker, more enigmatic shades.

Tholos Gateway is the trio of Reviriego and Trilla with New York-based producer, recording engineer and electronics player Colin Martson and II follows the self-titled debut album of the trio, released in 2021 by Gusstaff Records. Martson mixed and mastered the album of Reviriego’s Inhumankind duo and the project Bi Cong of Reviriego and Trilla, so the collaboration with him was natural and allowed Reviriego and Trilla to experiment with timbral explorations they have been developing together for years.

II offers eight atmospheric pieces that match experimental, extended techniques and subtle timbral searches of the acoustic double bass of Reviriego and the timpani, gongs and bells of Trilla with Martson’s sonic explorations of the vintage electronic drums, guitar synth and mellotron. These patient pieces sketch far away, alien landscapes with often unsettling but cinematic sounds for a dramatic soundtrack to a mythical, sci-fi story (and Tholos means a circular structure, often a temple, of ancient Greece and ancient Rome).

American guitarist Mick Barr (who used before the services of Martson as a recording engineer) intensifies the mysterious atmosphere of «Alternate Aether» with insistent, cyclical patterns, while Reviriego’s manic bowing on «Revenge Spectre» charges this piece with intense tension. Japanese Yoshiko Ohara (of the funeral doom metal band, Bloody Panda) adds powerful ritualist-shamanic vocals to the mysterious and cosmic «Consciousness Exorcism Seal».  This fascinating journey ends with shiny, optimist lights with «Erased in the Air».

Eyal Hareuveni

Miguel Angel García (elec), Garazi Navas (acc), Àlex Reviriego (b), Vasco Trilla (perc, timpani, gong, bells), Colin Marston (Simmons el.dr, g.synth, mellotron), Mick Barr (g), Yoshiko Ohara (v)