Omar Rodriguez-Lopez : Telesterion
What on earth are you doing, señor? One of the most gut-bustingly productive musicians of his generation attempts to distill eight years and nineteen albums (nineteen solo albums, that is) into two hours of double-you-tee-effery on most sonic fronts. I will be stabbed if I call poor form on this release, but… it's puzzling, nonetheless. It's not like there's any need for Omar to resort to singling out fringe-dwelling avant-funk-curious teenyboppers to expand an already rabidly devout following. For instance, it's not Christmas, and my mum hates it. None of the usual 'best-of' boxes have been ticked so far…
Wait. The delay in release means this was perhaps going to be, but is no longer, a Christmas album. Overly analytical of me? Perhaps. What did come out last December was Omar's last actual album, Un Escorpión Perfumado, and I notice the snarling quasi-Spanish-dub number Agua Dulce De Pulpo made it onto this double-disc freak-out smackdown of an effort.
Seriously, it's like extracting the crazy out of Rasputin and injecting it into a field mouse. You will be reeling.
Most Mars Volta fans will already be painfully aware of a lot of this produce on display, but will be pleased to see some Cedric Bixler-Zavala-fronted tracks like Rapid Fire Tollbooth and Half Kleptos make it on. They tend to be the less-adventurous efforts in Omar's solo works, but they still manage to somehow sit in there no problem. That's not to say they are any less manic in feel or composition, really… naaaah, they are.
Do I tell you not to get this album? No - not exactly; it's almost better to treat it like a fancy playlist, with some nice photos and a few good stories in the liner notes (Sonny Kay writes a pretty refreshing - if short - career synopsis in the booklet). But, I'm still baffled. How do you even take a sprinkling of tracks which originate in organically intertwined creation with so many other tracks, within albums which house concepts and explorations specific to those particular sonic voyages, and expect it to all sort itself out?
Like the equally enthralling and excruciating four minutes that is Asco Que Conmueve los Puntos Erógenos going straight into the just-as-headfucking The Power Of Myth, instead of the awesomely placed chill-the-eff-out Oremos on its parent album ( Xenophanes)? Huh? Is my head supposed to explode?
Gah! I'm such a nerd.
Best Track: Man, I don't know. It all sort of slips and swirls around and track numbers go out the window. Much like all of his actual albums, really.
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Imagine if FRANK ZAPPA and JIMI HENDRIX and DJ SHADOW were all in a motorcycle chase. If you like that image, then yeah, give it a crack.
In A Word: Superfluously monstrous: superflonstrous