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Xadu: Random Abstract

Random Abstract is the new MoonJune Records release from the duo Dusan Jevtovic (guitar) and Xavi Reija (drums), otherwise known as Xadu. Normally working in a trio with bassist Bernat Hernandez, these two have decided to go it alone for this latest outing, and the results are no less thrilling.

Once you get through the atmospheric, almost meditative opener "Secrets", the duo really starts to cook with the title track, as Reija busily rumbles underneath some massive shards of distorted guitar noise which builds and builds in intensity. Funk meets metallic jazz on the more upbeat "Decaying Sky", while "New Pop" meshes melodic phrasing with some avant-garde tones. Moody jazz collides with frenetic math rock on the raucous "Something in Between", a real workout for both players and one of my favorite tracks on the album. Dusan's guitar work on this one is dangerous, dripping with menace & violence, while Xavi's drumming provides all the acrobatics the song needs. "Deep Ocean" is dripping with ferocious guitar distortion, while "Place With a View" allows the duo to settle back into more jazz friendly territory. "Workplace" bristles with savage intent, but still keeps a funky edge thanks to Reija's upbeat grooves, and the album closes with the almost indie flavors of "No Hope".

If you like back-to-the-basics instrumental music heavy on mood & menace, chances are that Random Abstract will provide plenty of enjoyment for you. It ultimately might not be the most exciting album you'll hear this year, but you have to respect the wealth of tones and textures found here, and there's an element of 'danger' that's hard to ignore. Good stuff!

Track Listing
1. Secrets (6:38)
2. Random Abstract (6:02)
3. Decaying Sky (7:58)
4. New Pop (7:10)
5. Something In Between (7:51)
6. Deep Ocean (6:53)
7. Place With A View (4:56)
8. Workplace (4:06)
9. No Hope (4:44)

Added: July 2nd 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: MoonJune Records
Hits: 2187
Language: english

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Xadu: Random Abstract
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-07-02 15:59:00
My Score:

Serbian guitarist Dušan Jevtović and Spanish drummer Xavi Reija have teamed up for their second collaboration titled Random Abstract released on MoonJune Records. They call their project Xadu and much like their 2014 release Resolution, the results are quite intriguing but not for the faint of heart.

Again the duo delve into experimental sounds and textures and with only guitar and drums you might think the sound a little thin but upon closer examination nothing could be further from the truth. Jectović fills up the soundscape with delicate picking, fuzz laden rhythms and experimental meanderings while Reija provides a solid backbeat and forays into rhythmic complexity. His cymbal work is off the charts.

The album begins with "Secrets" and its gently picked guitar melody and subtle cymbal taps before exploding into dissonant chords and furious stick work. The title track starts heavy with a distorted fury of guitar chords laced with feedback and doesn't let up. "Decaying Sky" is one of the more experimental offerings with fuzzy guitar and a steady pulsing rhythm before breaking into mellower free form fusion. One of the more melodic pieces is "New Pop" where a gentle intro of cascading guitar chords and washes of cymbals is interrupted by intense interjections of fuzzed out guitar before a steady beat ensues. However, it would seem the duo never wants us to get too comfortable in our listening chairs as the guitar solo and chord voicings are as angular as it gets.

My favourite is the album ending "No Hope" where the melody is able to sink in before things get too out of hand. Some of the sounds Jectović is able to achieve on his guitar are quite remarkable.

If you are into experimental guitar led fusion with the emphasis on experimental, Xadu will be right up your alley. It's not an easy album to digest and I'm sure these two artists would not have settled for anything less.

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