Info La Reponse est aux pieds - Josť Luis Redondo 
"La Reponse est aux pieds"
by Jose Luis Redondo
Etude Records (Etude016)
"Mandelbrot's Silence"
"The Airport"
"2 8 2"
 "Rubber Bands"

Jose Luis Redondo's URL


fn issue October 2011
'N-Plants' - Biosphere
'Sky Snails' - The Electric Golem
'Echo Park' - Willamette
'Gramophone Transmissions' - Broken Harbour
'Negative Space' - Blue Sausage Infant
'Home Patterning' - compilation
'Polychromatic Integers' - Richard Lainhart
'Generate Records' - compilation
'Sung In Broken Symmetry' - Aquarelle

Josť Luis Redondo's album of solo guitar compositions is a testament to dexterity and imagination. Using an unusual collection of stringed instruments, which includes the dobro, acoustic baritone guitar, a 'bizarre piccolo bass', electric guitar and banjo, he accentuates the noises that most guitarists try to remove, whether it's the buzzing of the strings on the frets, the sound of the slides on the strings (which most slide guitarists mute), or scrapes on the winding around the string. Nevertheless, the album still leaves absolutely no doubt as to its sonic origins, especially when he closes the album with a nearly conventional blues guitar instrumental. Each track flows seamlessly into the next, which removes the feeling of a number of different improvisations and establishes a continuity across the album.

Most of the tracks feature an acoustic instrument and are relatively unprocessed, produced with a dry sound that exposes the timbral variations that come in Redondo's playing. When he performs on the dobro, such as on The Airport, he accentuates the scrapings and extra harmonics that come on both sides of the slide. On tracks like 2 8 2 and Earth Brain, he bows the guitar, producing a set of squeaky overtones, which he manages to combine with plucked notes to create an unusual set of textures. His occasional use of feedback from the electric guitar is one of he few sustaining sounds on the album, another card from his textural deck that keeps the album interesting.

Redondo notes that there are no overdubs on the album, which makes the combination of textures even more amazing. It doesn't sound like there's any post-processing going on either. Most of the album is solo, although two tracks feature Montse Fernando G. playing a 'Borden columpio' in addition to Redondo's guitar. Your guess as to the nature of a Borden columpio are as good as mine, but the two tracks where it is used have a disconcerting sound somewhere between a scraped string and a small animal in distress. But apart from these minor excursions on the album's shortest tracks, La response est aux pieds is an idiosyncratic and multiform collection of instrumentals loosely constructed from the guitar spinning off into abstract sound worlds.

Review by Caleb Deupree


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