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CD: Juana Molina - Halo | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Juana Molina - Halo

CD: Juana Molina - Halo

Career highlight from Argentina's musical witch

Juana Molina's 'Halo': exquisite

Flawlessly uniting atmosphere and melody is challenging. Especially so when creating music is approached unconventionally and with the desire to be individual. Having set her bar high, Juana Molina triumphs on all counts, again proving herself as a virtuoso artist who executes her vision with enviable assurance.

Halo is the Argentinian musical witch’s – the press release describes her as a “good witch”, which, considering her unearthliness, seems fair – seventh album, the follow-up to 2013’s WED 21. Molina edited, produced, programmed, recorded and played almost everything. Yet it does not sound like a solo album: the interplay between instruments, her voice and rhythms (whether programmed or from percussion) is organic and that of a band rather than a singer-songwriter recording what they have written. Veteran Molina watchers will find much that's familiar, but Halo moves things on. It is more direct, more groove-based, more sinuous than before and has a be-bop-like swing. And the melodies are stronger.

Circular motifs bed each of the 12 compositions, cycling into each other in the way that – on the intense “Cosoco”, especially – the Discipline-era King Crimson conjured fully formed compositions from initially skeletal structures. Yet this is also a form of folk music with mysterious late-night melodies. Familiar touchstones surface intermittently. The shuffling drums and pliant bass of "Sin Dones" bring to mind The Can of Future Days. “Cara de espejo” could be The Young Marble Giants if they moved in with The Clangers and were endlessly played Cluster’s Sowieoso. “Cálculos y oráculos” is the sound of the sun sinking into the sea as its dips below the horizon. The exquisite Halo is a career highlight.

Veteran Molina watchers will find much that's familiar but ‘Halo’ moves thing on


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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