COATLICUE "GODDESS OF THE EARTH"
Original Issue: 1992 Musica Onirica (MOCD 002)
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
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from All Music Guide:
Latin music is fused with futuristic electronics by Mexican-born Alquima. While her basic tracks feature vocals and piano, Alquima enhances her recordings with layers of looped vocals, electronic processors, sound effects, samples, synthesizers, gongs and bells.
The result is a sound that combines the musical traditions of Latin America with influences of rock, pop, avant-garde, classical and improvisational music. According to Audion magazine, "Alquima aims to dazzle, entrance , relax and excite, and, does so on all counts."
Alquima's debut album, Coatlicue: Goddess of the Earth, released in 1992, featured a nine-part title track and five individual pieces. Her second album, Wings of Perception, released in 1995, was inspired, by what she told an interviewer, "my experiences in the Yucatan region of Mexico, the mysticism of the ancient temples and my reading of the works of Carlos Castaneda."
Alquima recorded her third album Dead Tongues in 1996 with Mexican composer Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma, who played Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, percussion, voices, shells, flutes and electronic sounds. The daily Mexican newspaper called Dead Tongues, "the best Mexican album of its kind this decade." Alquima divides her time between studying music and mysticism in London and composing and recording in her own studios in London and Mexico City.
from New Gibraltar Encyclopaedia Of Progressive Rock:
Alquimia is from Mexico, though she now lives and records in the UK. Her music is inspired by Mexican/Central American occult and pagan influences, including Mayan religion and Carlos Castaneda. I have several of her albums, and they vary quite a bit from one to the next. Most of them have in common a "tribal" feel with lots of hand drums, rattles, wood blocks and other ancient-sounding rhythmic devices.
Coatlique is her first and her most experimental album (of those I've heard at least). There are those who might say "this isn't music at all!" This is more along the lines of sound collage, though she sings with a vocal timbre somewhere between Gilli Smyth and Enya, from ethereal and lofty to trancing chants. The tribal drums and percussion are most prevalent on this album, along with an array of synthesized groans, klangs, hissing and percussive sounds designed to elicit emotions ranging from elation to skin-crawling.
This is an excellent album and should be of interest to most prog fans who don't need too much melody to satisfy them. Those who only like symphonic or neo-prog style progressive music will probably be bored.