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Xadu

Random Abstract

Review by Gary Hill

Xadu is a duo consisting of Xavi Reija and Dusan Jevtovic. The album they have created here is diverse and instrumental. It has fusion, techno, space rock and much more in the mix. It’s frequently musically related to King Crimson and things like Djam Karet. It’s quite a solid set and highly recommended for those liking this type of instrumental sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Secrets

This comes in mellow with a rather sparse fusion like arrangement. It builds gradually out from there. It turns to a heavier, more rocking and dense jam later. That works through, and then it drops back down, though. This doesn’t change a lot melodically, but it does shift and change. It’s almost like a jazzy techno space rock kind of piece, really.

Random Abstract
Much more of a modern techno kind of piece, this has a lot in common with some King Crimson and things like Djam Karet. This is driving and noisy in some ways.
Decaying Sky
The rhythm section is more driving and intense in a rock way here. This really does feel a lot like King Crimson, but perhaps if KC were to go off and do a jam album. Of course, they do frequently jam live. This is heavy, melodic and full of surprises. It drops back later into more of a fusion styled jam with psychedelia mixed into it. This gets heavier again further down the musical road. There is an intriguing gradual timing change later in the piece, too.
New Pop
Coming in more tentatively, this gradually works out to a more complete arrangement. Although it does have more of a straight song structure, this is far from real pop music. It includes some classy soloing, too. It works toward fusion in some ways mid-track. There is a resolution back to a more standard rock song after that, though. Then it wanders toward noisy space.
Something In Between
Coming in freeform, this gets more hard rocking and heavy as it coalesces. There is a driving rhythm section later. There is some killer fusion jamming as they move forward here. I can definitely make out some modern King Crimson in the mix here, but heavier and harder edged. It works out to dramatic atmospheric stuff that’s mysterious from there.
Deep Ocean
Heavy duty rocking sounds open this. It feels almost like Jimi Hendrix meets King Crimson. It gets into more modern rock territory from there. This is one of the more straightforward parts of the disc, but this is really far from mainstream. It does have a killer rock groove, though. It gets into some serious heavy metal jam band kind of territory later.
Place with a View
Weird, abstract kinds of sounds that aren’t fully coalesced into a “song” type structure open this. The piece grows in that sort of direction. This is much mellower, sparse and freeform. Some things here feel backwards tracked, but I’m not sure.
Workplace

The drums are quite prominent and crazed on this piece. The cut feels very freeform. It’s rather noisy and quite unusual. I suppose King Crimson wouldn’t be a bad reference point here, either. There is kind of a cool groove to this thing. It gets quite noisy and rocking later.

No Hope
This starts mellower and works out to some rather weird, but almost Americana based jamming from there. It definitely has some psychedelia in the mix. This works through a number of shifts and changes in a rather weird, but satisfying pattern.
 
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