Calibration is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far
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Omar Alfredo Rodr¡guez-L¢pez is the composer, lead guitarist and producer for the Progressive Modern Rock group The Mars Volta and the former guitarist for the Post-Hardcore outfit ,At the Drive-In. This 2008 album was recorded during (and influenced by) his stay in Amsterdam. Features guest appearances from John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Money Mark (Beasties Boys) plus Juan, Thomas and Cedric of Mars Volta. It is described as being influenced by Electronic music and Acid-Jazz. Rodriguez-Lopez's compositional and playing style is characterized by, among other factors, unresolving dissonances (in particular a heavy use of the tritone), chromatic passages, serial composition and lengthy improvisation. 11 tracks. N20 Records.
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Each track is a spacey adventure into a world of electronic sound collages that Omar has arranged and directed into awesome contemporary pieces of art. His guitar moves in and out of the mix of sounds created by the great artists that surround him on this album. At times, it sounds like something really crazy off of "Bedlam in Goliath," although this album is in a completely experimental direction. This is recommended for fans of the Mars Volta and Omar's other solo projects. This is some of the spaciest music I have heard from him so far, I can't wait to see what he puts out next!
Investing in Omar's stuff can be a mixed bag, albeit one inherently more satisfying by eccentric rock guitar enthusiasts. There are always brilliantly fluid jams but also always heavy indulgences (rarely ever combining as effortlessly as this blissful closer). Thankfully this overwhelming creative source has been refining the latter, making his many yearly outputs, aside from heavy MV recording, still so intriguing; the man continues to own minor-key electric articulation as one of our few visionary stringers.
I bought Calibration, and gave it a listen. I went through the entire album and it was spacey and weird (like I expected). It was okay, but I didn't think I would listen to it too much. 5 days later, I put together a playlist real fast to work to and realize that every single track from this album had grown on me so much in 5 days that they are all on this list. TMV and Omar's side project concept albums are more than just music for me. They are basically all I listen to, they never get old, and since they cover 4 different genres at some point in their albums so far I have songs that sound great no matter what mood I am in.
Calibration is no different. I could seriously put this album on repeat for a few days straight and the thought of it getting old would never enter my head.
This album is just a great relief when i hear it. It's very soothing and flowing, theres not really any empty space in the album. It's filled with beautiful crescendos and decrescendos between the string instruments. There appearance on this album (to me) is the most important part. The strings bring out the true, sometimes very melancholy sounding, themes in the music.
But they make me feel hopeful. So if you love anything else Omar has made, you'll definetely love this album.