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Alejandro Villalón Renaud - Simbiosis CD (album) cover


Alejandro Villalón Renaud


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 3 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars 2013's `Simbiosis' is the exciting debut for a very promising new Mexican electronic artist, Alejandro Villalón Renaud. Despite taking the tiniest of influences from the usual suspects like Edgar Froese/Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, it's pretty clear Alejandro has his own ideas, refusing to simply remake the defining work of the past masters. With only a slight use of sequencers and light beats, the artist favours drifting, often cinematic oceans of synths, with a very abstract, freeform approach to his compositions. They're still melodic, but not initially instantly approachable or easy to digest, yet it rewards listeners for constant replaying and taking the time to learn how the music works.

The first two tracks drift the closest to the sound of Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream, but really only slightly. Rapidly rising and falling synth winds hiss with purpose in `Caos' around ticking sequencers and swirling effects. With a stark and mysterious opening, once the soft pattering beats hit, it moves up in tempo with confidence, then spirals down with gentle soothing washes for the finish. Fan-like chugging programming powers through `Espectro', the synths eventually taking on a floating elegance, suitably dramatic yet always restrained. Tolling bells offer a hint of darkness, drifting amongst slowly weaving distorted guitar strains. `Foresta' is an icy wonder, piercing glistening synths slicing through the atmosphere, often with a cold machine heaviness duelling with darting piano and drawn out sustained guitar notes.

Rapturous synths rise straight into the air and shoot for the heavens in `Revelaciones', before being brought crashing down with reverberating machine-like industrial unease. The first half of `Sueños' is more hopeful and reassuring, the synths taking on an ethereal, wistful prettiness. It's as close as the album comes to a more romantic piece, before trickling pulses, stinging electronic veils and delicate piano footsteps take it in a more mysterious direction. A droning insect-like electronic swarm buzzes through `Transmutaciones' before being overwhelmed by a sweeping classical grandiosity full of ebbing symphonic majesty. This hugely dramatic finale calls to mind the vast enveloping landscapes of Klaus Schulze.

It's greatly admirable that Alejandro offers original electronic music that doesn't resort to the clichés of so many other artists in the genre both new and old. His work here isn't full of lazy beats and obvious melodies, instead it favours collages of shifting moods and emotive textures. `Simbiosis' will very much appeal to listeners who prefer exploratory electronic works that mixes both vintage and modern styles, but there's probably too much movement to appeal to the more sedate New Age followers.

Alejandro Villalón Renaud is an electronic artist still finding his sound, yet his music here is full of vision and potential, and I have a feeling his next work will be even more satisfying. `Simbiosis' earns three and a half stars, rounded up to four as a sign of encouragement for a very promising modern electronic composer!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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