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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

EL PRINCIPIO de NOXA: Hermeneutics (2021)

Updated: Jul 18, 2021

The music is nice and wild with good ambient phases turning into rhythms...

1 Inside the Paradox 4:19

2 Fourteen Blocks of Dark Matter 13:05

3 Microclimatic Sphere 11:56

4 Lunar Coordinates 8:06

(DDL 37:26) (V.F.)

(Ambient, Prog EM, Soundscapes)

Hermeneutics is the theory of reading, explaining and interpreting texts. On HERMENEUTICS, Argentine musician Juan Cruz Astrada explains it more as a conductor who leads to the understanding of a message that cannot be expressed in our daily language. But he manages to express it musically through dreamlike spaces that allow us to disconnect from the known. Cyclical Dreams being a label without borders, as much geographical as artistic, proposes a mini album of 37 minutes where indeed the beauty flirts in its atmospheric environment with an EM whose numerous evolutions require a little more love of music and patience in order to discover and appreciate the charms of HERMENEUTICS.

Inside the Paradox inaugurates this first album of El Principio de Noxa with a line of pulsating oscillations whose excitement melts in a sibylline synth layer. This layer floats like a poem whispered to the wind until dichotomous sound effects open it up to expose a stationary rhythm running its jumping keys into a zone demarcated by the tip of a sharp synth line. This tip fans out the ambiences from which a menu of composite tones that depict a bit of life inside a paradox still escapes. The first half of Fourteen Blocks of Dark Matter is a jewel of tenderness with seraphic winds that carry a stream of arpeggios flowing like a harp caressed by a divine hand. We let ourselves be lulled by this movement whose harmonic dangling is like this clock in the angels' dormitory. A guitar unrolls its chords and weaves layers of nostalgia on this peaceful stream of happiness which flows without any jams until the 6th minute. Alone with its layers, the guitar arrives at the height of a transformation zone guarded by giggles. The seraphic vision turns into a more electronic atmosphere with secret impulses from the synth layers that stick to a down-tempo crumbling little by little the desire of its percussions to take refuge in a more abstract zone.

Microclimatic Sphere is a bit of a flip side of Fourteen Blocks of Dark Matter with a light rhythm, like a soft Jazz Lounge, rather appealing. Trumpet samplings get on this track driven by a good acoustic guitar. The opening breaks at the 3rd minute to offer an ambient structure dominated by a voracious bass layer. The ambiences are thus tyrannized by this very King Crimson vision, with Tony Levin's bass before the track plunges definitively in a long ambient phase clearly more sibylline. So, the scratchings I heard in the opening of Fourteen Blocks of Dark Matter were real. They can also be heard in the violent opening of Lunar Coordinates and its rebellious piano chewing note after note. Afterwards we enter an ambient zone with an old fairground carousel. A good phase of ambient Berlin School clings to our ears, leading to scary movie atmospheres and finally to a jungle music and its hectic rhythm. A last phase cut by bridges of ambiences. Ah how Lunar Coordinates has traveled... to the land of Frank Zappa!

In spite of this last title and its travels from styles to styles, HERMENEUTICS of El Principio de Noxa is an album that can be enjoyed without too much difficulty. The music of Juan Cruz Astrada is more beautiful than rebellious with good atmospheric passages which are transformed into well imagined and well put into music rhythms.

Sylvain Lupari (July 18th, 2021) ***½**

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

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