By Carlos Reyes
Among the many worthy content coming out of Twitter, is Revista 69’s argument (sarcastic or not) that a big chunk of what made Claudia Llosa’s Berlin-fest winner La Teta Asustada so special was its fantastically intricate title. That’s exactly what happens with Ponytea’s album title, so good one would feel a bit more confident while praying. Monterreys’ Arturo Castello Fernandez doesn’t quite have the skill to carry out something as sublime as the heritable fear in La Teta Asustada, but it keeps things simple and reachable, meaning this is way more enjoyable than my what my rating might reflect.
La Sangre del Mártir … it’s minimal music without becoming a token of lo-fi and such, it’s also nominal without feeling too small on its parts, actually, this is very well thought. One would expect this to cling to the religious nerve of Maria y Jose’s Espiritu Invisible, but instead of an experience, Ponytea tackles on the myth, making a more cerebral, and therefore harder to digest record. Not to say the album doesn’t flirt with faith, because it does. Ponytea sometimes elevates everything to evoke its celestial tone, such as in the never-ending augment in “Ana”, others times it prefers to subordinate its sound like it does in “Silence of Sound.” Before going on, it would be appropriate to refer to this album as something as interesting as it is disposable.
Ponytea gets the methods right, but the speed and measurement at which he conducts them, often go from experimentalism to instinctive boredom. “Narque” is probably the most interesting piece here, also a bit tedious; it’s the one assessment on the album where the listener’s disposition (in time and free will) is the key. “Encarnacion” is also attractive in its course to channel faith through its transmission-sounding pace, like tuning in to a radio or tracking image quality on an old VCR set. Among its strenghts, this album works in revealing strings and hints to ‘tune in’; it’s the only way to excuse its lack of texture. But there's too much space here to really work. At the end, this works more as front material than background music, one that would be cinematic but not on the Claudia Llosa league, more in the tone of the fantastic transmutable La Sangre Iluminada by Iván Ávila Dueñas.