Sjef Oellers 11-April-2001 Banda Elastica 2

Banda Elastica are a Mexican ensemble who released a handful albums throughout the 80's and 90's. The CD version of Banda Elastica 2 contains the complete second album and four tracks from the 1986 debut album. Their music has some of the same jumpy unpredictability of some of the RIO bands. Besides the RIO-ish element there are fusion influences and traces of traditional Mexican music. Often they remind me of a Latin tinged version of the Canadian band Maneige. Additionally, there are passages that remind me of Zappa, Miriodor, Henry Cow and (instrumental) Stormy Six as well, but the music never sounds too derivative. Besides the usual rock equipment, instruments such as marimba/xylophone, flute, violin, saxes, cello and clarinet can be heard. There is good drumming to be heard on the album with a varied use of rhythms. The arrangements are clever with great interplay between the various instruments. One moment you will hear sax, percussion, acoustic guitar and oboe in a rather unclassifiable musical combination; next you will hear marimabas, guitar and keyboards in a hot Zappa-esque fusion groove; a bit later some stuttering RIO gets thrown in. Except for the slightly cheesy "Pavor Real" this is an excellent and diverse album. Recommended.

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