Eomaia Nam, Bosques
Black Fish Discos/Isla Visión, Argentina
by Pierre Lestruhaut
There are reasons to balk here. There’s the 7-minute ambient drone opener “Amniosis,” the series of unending reverb-laden guitar jams, the rather druggy (“Mis manos son las manos de alguien extraño pero no es extraño el hombre que toca mis manos”) and often unintelligible lyrics, and the album name’s excessive search for some sort of spirituality (Eomaia: greek for dawn mother, Nam: devotion of body and mind in Buddhism). Because many of us, more often than not, would think of an album exploring the haze between psych rock and noise, as more of an alienating series of trance-inducing tracks that you could only really enjoy after consuming some kind of drug. 17-minute jams haven’t really aged well with pop and indie audiences anyway, so let’s just say you have been dutifully warned about what's roughly to expect here.
But, despite not being an album your more pop-friendly radio station would be too keen on playing, there are a few old touchstones that are being well scoped here. Previously released “El fantasma sagrado” and “Mis manos las manos” will have fans of Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized churning over simple chord progressions, smooth country licks and string sections, slices of humming gospel organ, and salvation pleading vocals. But where every Spacemen 3 song ever recorded had a more spiritual dimension to it (finding Jesus or getting stoned, which for them was probably the same thing), the Argentine duo finds organic motives in their use of musical repetition. Litanies of birth and death (“Lo que murió nutre el árbol”) are sung over minimal chord patterns, and swelling layers of guitar frame contrived refrains about evolution (“Las alteraciones, las mutaciones, suceden en función de la evolución”). Even the three wordless tracks here have a spiritual/organic dimension to them in the same way New Age music has always alluded to themes of environment and spiritual journeys, or recent post-rock acts like Godspeed You! Black Emperor have used layered textures to create an ethereal mood to their music
The more die-hard indie rock fans, though, might be better off with Bosques' more shoegazy debut EP, Pleroma Sum, even if some people are still classifying Eomaia Nam as somewhat of a shoegaze record because of it’s obvious wall-of-sound approach. But, overall, this new album feels a lot more exhaustive than simple guitar reverie would suggest, giving plenty of room for contrasting musical ideas of folk instruments versus electronic beats, or rock riffs versus ambient drones. Which is why, in addition to all of the spiritual/organic associations you can find in Eomaia Nam, one of its main appeals resides in its great musical execution and its courage to anachronistically take on long-running tracks even when the era of the 60-minute CD is long gone.
Eomaia Nam, Bosques