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Lanterna: Desert Ocean

A long-obscured line between rock and new age is illuminated: from melancholic to fervent, Lanterna's all-instrumental music is the perfect successor to Rockenfield's & Speer's Hells Canyon. Crafting underscores to films and travelogues that exist only in our minds, guitarist/prime-mover Henry Frayne and drummer Eric Gebow effect an emotional spectrum with only processed electric and acoustic guitars, a bare-bones kit, and an ARP synth for warm strings and deep bass timbres. Frayne also executes basslines on the low E string here and there (recent live performances featured a flesh-and-blood bass player). Where its m.o. is concerned, the duo's moniker is most apt because Frayne chanced upon a description of a primitive film projector, the lanterna magica.

The spectral, delayed guitar lines are bound to send minds racing to The Edge, who made "that" sound huge a couple decades ago. It's safe to say that musically, Frayne has much more to say than that other guy. "Luminous" and "Summer Break" are practically singles, each setting the tone quickly with Gebow's beats and Frayne's layering of arpeggios, suspended chords and sparse melodies, notes ringing out into the sonic void. "Fog" is a standout, with barely several arpeggiated chords an emulation of a sequencer pattern and a minimalistic, somber melody played on the ARP (the chords of "Riverside" are similarly mesmeric in their exiguity). On the flipside, "Cross County" exudes a charm intrinsic to just that, folk and country. "Venture" sports the ARP's beautifully mushy strings, and the combination of analog strings and acoustic guitar is a seldom-indulged flavor. Desert Ocean fills a niche long at rest; thankfully, this is not the group's first album, nor its last.


1. Luminous (6:15)
2. Venture (8:14)
3. Summer Break (5:59)
4. Fog (3:06)
5. 48th & 8th (7:29)
6. Surf (7:11)
7. Riverside (3:55)
8. Cross County (4:50)
9. Hope (5:15)
10. Messina (4:56)

Total time 57:16

Added: September 20th 2006
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: Lanterna Official Site
Hits: 2337
Language: english

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