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Xadu - Random Abstract CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Review originally published at

One year after my first experience with Xavi Reija's music, I am lucky enough to be introduced to a new project called XADU, in which he participates on drums along with his friend and bandmate Dusan Jevtovic on guitars. This guitar player also participates in Reija's solo music, so I already have an experience with his playing because of the album "Resolution". This time both musicians joined forces and created an album entitled Random Abstract, which features nine songs and a total time of 55 minutes.

The first track is "Secrets" and it is a soft but hypnotic introduction to XaDu's realm. That repetitive guitar is never boring, actually it produces a calm atmospheric sound that is made me feel interested, while drums show off Reija's virtuosity with infinite figures that are constantly changing. After four minutes the song explodes, both musicians put much more energy and the sound becomes heavier, aggressive, rockier. It stands like this maybe for a minute and then it slows down and returns to the form of the first minutes. Great track!

"Random Abstract" throws energy since the first seconds. Nervous drums and distorted guitar that produce a dark atmosphere. This song might be used for a film score, I imagine someone running and hiding, trying to escape from someone or something; and the music describes that scene. There are moments in this track that I might think it was a jam, an improvisation, I don't know, but there is a fact, I like it. With "Decaying Sky" I realized that there were already three songs and I liked them all, something that did not happen with Reija's Resolution, an album that was difficult to me to enjoy. But well, returning to XADU, in this third track I like that kind of funky rhythm that prevails as background while guitars and drums create endless notes, sounds and nuances. I like this song a lot because it is very experimental, it gathers elements from funk, jazz fusion and even noise rock in moments. Truly interesting!

I have no doubt that Bernat Hernández is a great bass player, actually my favorite instrument is bass guitar, however, in this album Xavi and Dusan make a perfect match, so I don't miss that third musician that was featured on Resolution. And it is important to separate, because Reija's solo music is a very different project than Xadu, and I think I prefer this one much more. "New Pop" is another experimental track; its first minute is quite odd, it has some strange noises that have no direction. Later it stops for a couple of seconds and new music appear, a new structure and a much friendlier sound that now has that jazzy and rocky feeling. After the third minute we can be delighted by the great interplay between both musicians; Jevtovic 'sguitar is very enigmatic so it is easy to be caught by its charm, while Reija's drums are simply fantastic. This time both instruments, both musicians have the same importance, they are equally guilty of this album's result.

"Something in Between" is another interesting piece because it brings a lot of rhythms and genres in one single song. First it has a slow start, free jazz might be the label but then it progresses and progresses until it develops an exciting and adventurous passage through heavy rock and why not, post rock (in its fast and heaviest side). But after the storm the calm arrives, and that happens at minute five, when it completely slows down and the musicians play a musical game where the instinct guide them. "Deep Ocean" starts heavier than the previous tracks, and I would not say that it is metal, not really, but in moments it is a bit closer, heavy experimental rock I would say. The distorted guitar creates a lot of nuances that are wonderfully complemented by drums. Experimental and avant-garde are labels that come to my mind with this song, but well, why labelling if we can simply enjoy?

"Place with a View" has a much calmer sound that contrasts with the previous track. This one sounds brighter, with some melancholy and hope. The jazzy sound is back here, however, it always have a experimental essence, which I think is the spirit of this album. I remember I mentioned in my Resolution review that drums are the conventional instrument that I least like, which might have affected in my listening experience, it still is my least favorite, however, I've learned a lot since then and have appreciated much more the drummer's work, so this time I can say that since the first time I listened to "Workplace" I said "wow, wow and wow" to Xavi Reija's sound, he does a lot of things that always change and are never the same, he is a truly amazing drummer whose passion has been contagious, so me, as listener, have had a really entertaining and positive experience. The last song is "No Hope" and though it is a nice track, it is the one I enjoyed the least, but well, all is a matter of tastes.

Congratulations to Xavi Reija and Dusan Jevtovic for this enigmatic and experimental album that I have really enjoyed. Also congratulations to Leonardo Pavkovic for his great vision and support to these talented artists.

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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