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Soto, Carlos: Tribal Behavior

Lifting the CD from its clear tray reveals the inlaid foto of a dread-locked Carlos Soto and his double-necked fretted & fretless bass. On the back of Tribal Behavior, his first solo CD (or eighth, if you count his seven albums under the guise of Tribus), reads the line There Are No Guitars Or Keys On This Record. Nor are there guests on this Soto laid everything out (multi-tracked) on his double-neck, and is also credited with bass synthesizer and "lead & rhythm distortion bass." Those sawtooth pads, the sampled snare, the trickle of the hi-hat: plucked, fingered and tapped out entirely on steel bass strings. Tribal Behavior does not overly concern itself with solos, scale runs and modal extrapolations, but more closely resembles an electronic/world music/minimalist rock hybrid.

As sole entity or one-third of his hard fusion-rock project, Tribus, the thirty-one year-old Soto was compared to the likes of Les Claypool, Flea, Geddy Lee and Paul D'Amour. As a solo composer, he won't turn over any headstones, but that doesn't mean Behavior's twelve compositions don't cook. Rhythm loops induce a pleasantly hypnotic bedding over which oily licks, octal moans and string pops spring forth like struck wells. While certain moments scream for a monophonic synth solo or flamenco run a la Hammer & DiMeola, such icing might actually detract from the nature of this decidedly calculated sonic mosaic. Industrial spaces are explored on "Maximum Risk," with its flanged floor tom rolls and call-and-response upper-reg fills, while melodic sensibilities become most palpable on the vaunting "Mechanimal" and the contempo-rock of "Critical But Stable." Not to be painted into a corner, Soto reins in the technological embellishments for the low-key, Caribbean-flavored "Latin Rican Night." "Devour" does just what it implies, only nicely. Yes, bassheads, there are solos aplenty, one memorable example being in "Lord Of 1,000 Voltz" when Soto funks out.

With the Web and its unlimited bandwidth come legions of independent artists, but Carlos Soto, an Angeleno, appears to have been paying his dues for close to fifteen years within the confines of California's southland can he push himself up through the cumbersome loam of commercial dreck and signal his presence to a greater audience? The process is begun: visit his page at to lend a hand.


1. Devour
2. Tribal Behavior
3. Mechanimal
4. Lord Of 1,000 Voltz
5. Act Of Suspense
6. Critical But Stable
7. Robotic
8. Resurrection
9. Shred Alert
10. Excess Force
11. Maximum Risk
12. Latin Rican Night

Total time 68:55

Added: November 5th 2004
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link:
Hits: 2484
Language: english

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