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Review: Loka – Alexandre Navarro by ymatto
April 5, 2011, 10:12 am
Filed under: Ambient, Electronic, Review | Tags: , ,

Alexandre Navarro - Loka

It was a strange experience listening to Alexandre Navarro’s second album on SEM label the first time.  I was fairly stoked at the prospect of more of the elevating ambience we got on his first album, Arcane, which totally took me by surprise.  So I found the right time to settle into a dark room with my headphones and take Loka in, expecting familiarity. Once again I got surprise.

I went back to Arcane again, trying to collect what stylistic and elemental changes had been made, but honestly, I found very few.  Sure, Loka actually includes a minimal dose of percussion in places, but we’re still talking about music made of the same stuff and with the same sensibilities.

But despite the similarities, somehow Loka takes me to a completely different place and so that is really the only way I can describe it.  It feels more urban — not in the hip-hop euphemism sense, but in that it evokes the city.  It is the kind of feeling you get driving through Los Angeles at 2am on a Wednesday night.  In fact the only musical comparison that kept leaping to mind was to Terje Rypdal, who contributed pieces to the soundtrack of Heat (along with others like the Kronos Quartet and Moby) — a movie that captured that aspect of LA perfectly.  Navarro’s Loka is quieter and more contemplative than most of Rypdal’s guitar work, but a Tangerine Dream remix of one of his quieter tracks might get you close.

There is a kind of cool, subdued longing here that is rare.  It is well worth an extended listening or two on a lonely night.

It is available digitally or on vinyl at SEM label’s webpage:

http://semlabel.com/loka/

– Matt

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