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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Lucas Tripaldi Capacocha (2023)

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

An album to discover with ears wide open, because the texture of the rhythms is simply irresistible

1 Capacocha 7:07

2 Huaca del volcán Llullu (feat M3NASH) 5:40

3 Mensajeros Adormecidos 3:13

4 Virgen del Sol 6:24

5 Plumas blancas 6:45

6 Niña del Rayo 6:18

7 Oro y Spondylus 3:03

8 El niño de Plata 4:38

(CD-(R) HQ/DDL 43:10) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, Tribal, Latin School)

Where to start with Lucas Tripaldi's brilliant new opus? We could start by saying that the dimension of CAPACOCHA goes beyond the framework of its legend, in which 3 children, 2 girls and a boy aged between 6 and 15, who lived in the Andes in the 16th century, were sacrificed during an Inca religious ritual. Their bodies, preserved intact by the cold, were discovered on the Llullaillaco volcano by an archaeological expedition in March 1999. Although the description states that the music is built on a mixture of Krautrock, Berlin School and ambient music, there are very few elements related to the Berlin School style as aficionados might expect. On the other hand, there's rhythm! Lots of rhythm! Tribal rhythms from another dimension, with a fusion of drums, hand-percussion effects and bass sequences. The result is rhythms that bounce and resonate with a rubbery texture that prolongs their cadence. It's a kind of Hip-hop crossed with Funk or Groove in its most Krautrock way, where different synth textures sail and twirl, some with a strange spectral air, as do oscillations that nourish the grain of the rhythmic modulations. Add to this guitar scores, drone effects, Tangerine Dream's sequencing patterns, static rhythm passages and a few more atmospheric phases, and you've got the ingredients for an excellent 43 minutes of musical and sonic discovery.

The title-track is an excellent indicator of the nature of CAPACOCHA's rhythms. Its opening is pounded by a tribal percussive effect of which the bass tone is imbued with a rubbery texture. Electronic drums, bass sequences and guitar riffs structure a rhythm that's as driving as it is bouncy. A kind of fusion between Groove, notably because of the electric six-strings, and Hip-hop in a fascinating avant-garde envelope that flirts with Krautrock. Lucas Tripaldi adds percussive elements and riffs, elaborating a strange dialogue on the synth with an equally strange melody that cackles in loops. The rhythm stumbles over an atmospheric bridge in the middle before returning under a firmament of reverberating hums. Composed and performed with M3NASH, Huaca del volcán Llullu offers this same texture of bouncing rhythm in a rubbery musical envelope. The flow is more fluid, almost cavorting, vaguely reminiscent of Byron Metcalf's tribal rhythms, with spectral effects in the synth harmonies. The track offers more passion, power and speed in its second half, where the synth draws some good aerial solos. Like Oro y Spondylus, Mensajeros Adormecidos is an ambient track driven by reverberating drones. Virgen del Sol also offers an atmospheric texture with a puff of dark, buzzing winds. The synth weaves two lines of melody, one braided by oscillations that embrace an ascending float. They roll in harmonic symbiosis with the synth's flowing harmonies. There's a dramatic texture to the arrangements that lends cinematic depth to the music and its moods. Cadenced arpeggios give the impression of panic with abrupt rotations while the sequencer, discreet, is dribbling it jumping keys in this track that comes closest to the Berlin School style. Think of music inspired by Tangerine Dream's Wavelength soundtrack. Beautiful for a meditative track!

Lucas Tripaldi takes us back to his strange rhythms with Plumas blancas. But before that, its opening is dark, with cooing synths that bring us closer to the moods of the previous track. The rhythm that emerges has the tribal characteristics and electronic essences of CAPACOCHA's first 2 tracks. It is slower, almost floating, with a vision akin to hypnotic trance. An acoustic guitar invites us into the atmospheric passage, lasting 40 seconds or so, of this track, of which the percussion play brings in a more electronic rock vision, still very mellow, in the final part. Acoustic guitar is also present on the excellent Niña del Rayo, by far CAPACOCHA's most electronic and best track according to my tastes. Its flow is semi-slow and lives in a texture of tribal electronic rock, with a good fusion between these percussions, both tribal and electronic, and a sequencer in Chris Franke mode. The opening of El niño de Plata, with its scratchy vinyl background noises, sets the scene for a rhythmic structure akin to the other lively tracks on this seductive Lucas Tripaldi album. The flow is slower, but well struck by this mixture of elastic percussions and sequenced bassline, while the guitar stretches out its riffs in the way Keith Richards knows to do so well.

As far as I'm concerned, CAPACOCHA is Lucas Tripaldi's finest album. Above all, it shows the great versatility of the artists who appear on Cyclical Dreams, and in particular of these Argentine musician who are not afraid to think outside the box in order to offer innovative electronic music (EM) filled with the wonderful bouquets of South American ambiences. An album to discover with ears wide open, because the texture of the rhythms is simply irresistible.

Sylvain Lupari (June 1st, 2023) ****½*

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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