Omar Rodríguez-López– Telestrion
Mon 30th May, 2011 in Music Reviews
With a simply outstanding career spanning over 16 years and a catalogue of 40+ albums, Puerto Rican multi-instrumentalist Omar Rodríguez-López is one of the most prolific musicians of this generation. His work with popular groups The Mars Volta and At The Drive In has won immense amounts of fame and critical acclaim, but his solo works, although less heard of, are where the gems truly lie. Telestrion, the latest release from Rodríguez-López, is an anthology of some of his greatest work as a solo musician, with 37 tracks being included from 17 different studio recordings.
It is extremely difficult to place his music under the confines of a single genre, due to the fact of his vast diversity as a musician, but Telestrion manages to compress all these styles into one neat little package, essentially a Lonely Planet guide to the work of Omar Rodríguez-López.
The compilation opens with Locomotion Capilar a sharp burst of Latin-infused rock music that unlatches an experience of intense energy, both from the guitar shredding of Rodríguez-López as well as the fast paced percussion that provides a powerful explosion of rhythm to accompany the star of the show.
One of the more familiar tracks comes in the form of Rapid Fire Tollbooth. This originally solo track from Rodríguez-López was in fact re-written for The Mars Volta under the moniker of Goliath and features the vocals of Cedric Bixler-Zavala.
The whole release isn’t purely based on the fast tempo experimental work however; there is an eclectic mix of warm and softer compositions that accentuate the tradition of amorous and seductive atmosphere of flamenco music. This is shown within Las Flores Con Limon, which features the vocals of Latin songstress Ximena Sariñana Rivera, who conveys the traditional style of Hispanic music through her soft and alluring vocal ability.
Through the massive back-catalogue of tracks that he possesses, Omar Rodríguez-López has managed to successfully compile perhaps the best mix of his works into an incredible buffet of spicy hot and experimental dishes that are both enjoyable and awe-inspiring at the same time. While some artists struggle to find the perfect mix of experimenting and audience engagement, Rodríguez-López is a forerunner in employing this aspect into his music. This compilation is highly recommended for those who are unfamiliar with his work or are perhaps interested in something a little different, but for those who are a little conservative with their music taste, it may be found a little left of centre.