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Salle Gaveau - Alloy  CD (album) cover

ALLOY

Salle Gaveau

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.50 | 12 ratings

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Tapfret
4 stars Dance in Opposition

One of my favorite humans on planet Earth is Japanese guitarist Natsuki Kido. Best known for his work in the Japan Zeuhl/RIO scene with Bondage Fruit and Korekyojin, he is also a very active jazz performer, as well as half of the folksy acoustic duo Era with violinist Akihisa Tsuboy of Pochataike Malko. Kido's seemingly boundless eclecticism also pulls him in the direction of Argentine Tango. A love that has not only fostered live performances of the works of Astor Piazzolla, but also the fantastic project of Piazzolla-influenced originals, Salle Gaveau. Their debut album, Alloy, is a perfect example of a progressive music crossover project and answers the age old question: Can you dance to prog? The answer, as always, only if you are a good enough dancer. Can you tango?

Alloy features a 5 piece chamber style ensemble consisting of guitar, violin, contrabass, accordion, and piano. Kido is primarily using acoustic guitar, but occasional blasts in with a distorted electric lead, and throws in a beautifully textured Steve Howe-esque undistorted electric guitar arpeggio on the song Tempered Elan. The music is absurdly frantic tango with occasional breaks of mild interlude. Often the tango parts incorporate a large portion of RIO flavored dissonance, but do not stray from the tango feel and are typically well resolved. While no strictly percussion instruments are used, the players are quite adept at highly percussive utilization of their tools. Particularly on the parts that use a large amount of dissonance. There is an undeniable sultry passion to the compositions. One cannot help but move when taking an active listen to Alloy. And I suspect most will have a hearty laugh when they realize how enjoyable the accordion is on this project. I can't think of a time I've enjoyed it more.

It can be well imagined that Tango, in any manifestation, is an acquired taste. For that it would be hard to consider Alloy to be "essential". But it contains extraordinary musicianship and is some of the most accessible RIO out there. For any progger seeking to eclecticize his/her collection, Alloy is a highly recommended vehicle to facilitate that end. 4 stars.

Tapfret | 4/5 |

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