Boomkat Product Review:
Argentinean mystic Juana Molina conjures up new levels of rhythmic intrigue on a long overdue new album for Crammed.
Four years on from her Crammed Discs debut, ‘Wed 21’, the excellent Juana Molina returns to the Belgian experimental stronghold with her ninth LP, pocketing contributions from Deerhoof's John Dieterich, and regular colluders Odin Schwartz, Diego Lopez de Arcaute and Eduardo Bergallo.
The 12 tracks on ‘Halo’ expand on the rich instrumentation of Molina’s last album, peeling away in even more rewardingly odd rhythmic directions that make you forget she was ever daubed with that godawful folktronica tag.
As ever, Molina’s soothing vocal flexibility is the guiding force here, its warmth acting as conducting force for the instrumentation that surrounds and complements it. Dare we say Molina has deviated from the precision and tidiness of previous albums too, occasionally letting tracks spring to life unexpectedly as on the Can-style percussive freakout Cosoco and the creaking minimal dub reductions of Cara de espejo.
Other tracks, such as A00 B01, bring about the sort of wonderfully weird dissonance that endeared everyone to Juana Molina in the first place.
Given the otherworldly nature of her voice, it’s tempting to draw parallels between Juana Molina’s native tongue and the universal language of Anna Homler’s work as Breadwoman, uncovered and explored so superbly by RVNG last year.
You don’t necessarily need to understand what either are saying to form a real connection with the music.