Artist : George Christian
Title : Exilios
keywords: experimental soundart acoustic guitar electroacoustic experimental rock free jazz radioart sound art Salvador
Release date : April 2017
Link : https://selonetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/ex-lios-1
Reviewer: Wayne Rex
I came across this wonderful Brazilian label about a week ago. They are Se-Lo Netlabel and have just the most wonderful and diverse selection of artists on their label. One stood out more than the rest for me, and that one was Exilios by George Christian. Why this artist isn’t touring the world to critical acclaim is just baffling to me.
It’s an album of minimal but full compositions. Mainly revolving around some stoner/folk/psychedelic guitar playing, haunting vocals and (esp track 3) amazing drumming. Seven tracks make up this record but you really wish that it was more. The good news is that apparently this is the first album of a planned trilogy so more greatness to come.
Auroras do exilio I is the opening track. This has some Eastern/Asian vibes to it. Like something a samurai would listen to before going to his potentially final battle. It’s folk guitar married to some haunting effects make for a powerful and atmospheric opener.
The majestically titled Velhonovencontradoson(ho)s is the second track. It’s just magical and spiritual in it’s composition and playing. Reminds me of some of the folky(er) Jimmy Page stuff, especially on Led Zeppelin III but this is more full on and more fantastical. You picture sitting in the woods by a waterfall and deer all around you, whilst your hippy girlfriend dances naked around you and in the water. It’s tremendously played and produced too. The whole record is, to be honest. There’s a lo-fi quality and feel to it but also total stereo and modern sounding.
Labuta is the third track. Ennio Morricone crossed with some break beating drum and bass esqe sounding drums = BLOODY BRILLIANT!! It’s a track that how I just described it, shouldn’t work but it does and work better than you could imagine. This would be just kick ass when played live and blow some minds, I’m sure. Again the musicianship for all involved is second to none.
Lancado ao Uno is the fouth track and the first to include a vocal performance. This has a late 60’s / early 70’s vibe to it and wouldn’t be out of place in some cool Coen brothers film as a stand out soundtrack song.
Noite Stellamarina is in at track five and the initial lo-fi recording quality is music to the ears in itself. In fact it adds to the whole vibe and feel to the song. This has gone into it’s folk roots again but added to the mix is some acid sounding penny whistle, played by some mythical songbird and every note is making your mind hallucinate. There’s some traditional folk guitar playing and also some very neat angular bits too, just to shake up the listener out of their comfort zone.
Sombrass de uma Terra Prometida is the penultimate tack on the great record. There is a dark and uneasy feel to this track. Like good and bad trying to communicate and get along but also finding it hard not to compete for victory. Then the song chords kick in like a mother who has had enough of the squabbling and telling them both to just agree to disagree and move on to live in peace and harmony. It’s a story in literature and theatre all wrapped up in an instrumental song. It’s 18 minutes long and there’s just some wonderful moments. Uplifting crescendos, dark moody atmospheric bits, happy, crazy and wild bits. It’s a psychedelic opera at it’s very best. If you don’t dig this track or see it’s majesty then I’m afraid you and I will never be friends. (Hooray, I hear you all cray as you read this)
Intangivel is the final track. Wow, what a different feel. Still has the eastern vibe, the folk vibe and psychedelic vibe but also combining soundscape played not just with instruments but things around them and exploring other musical contours through voice, guitar, whistle and various other instrument. It’s fantastic experimental music. I found it quite spiritual and meditative too. It’s a perfect track to finish the record with. It’s explores and surpasses every idea and played note in the songs previous and explodes them into a giant peak of hyperactive spiritual, experimental psychedelica. It’s all rather moving to say the least.
Please, please, please listen to this record. It deserves to be listened, downloaded and shared so more people can give themselves unto the music for an hour of sheer sonic bliss.