Luis Mojica – How A Stranger Is Made

photo by Kelly Merchant

For us music is a grand adventure and the best encounters are those which take us away from the real world whether it is for four minutes of a single track or an hour or so of a larger aural emprise. The new album from Luis Mojica is one such invitation to escape reality, a truly unique proposal which has turned irresistibility into an art form.

Already renowned as part of eclectic avant cello-based collective Rasputina, Mojica has forged his own alluring presence as a solo artist, one which is simply striking within new full-length How A Stranger Is Made, the successor to his acclaim 2016 debut, Wholesome. Mojica is like a troubadour, carrying a piano on his back and a storybook in his voice and imagination with How A Stranger Is Made a quest across a strange land plucking tales and characters from its unique landscape, drawing from their experiences to confess or certainly hint at his own emotional intimacy. The release as a whole is enthralling and each song a piano centred tapestry of the lives of individuals amidst idiosyncratic stories but easy to feel moments which are equally sharing an aspect of the creator himself.

Though it is fair to say that every song within How A Stranger Is Made fascinated and seduced pretty much effortlessly, its opening pair stood atop the mountain of favourites. Insane is first up and immediately hooked ears with the thick beats which announce its entrance and drama. Straightaway there is a contagion in the keys of Mojica, each note dancing and flirting with attention yet equally sharing a just as gripping emotive pungency. Like a siren, the sax of Caelan Manning shines on the shadows of song and word, its smoky lures just as darkly shaded to similarly enslave with the rich notes escaping the piano. The track is superb, easily one of our favourites songs of 2019 and swiftly matched in potency and pleasure by its successor.

Shaman Food strolls in with a swarthy swagger, spirits enticing with vocal tempting before Mojica and his word wrapped keys bounce through the imagination. The rhythm s of Evan Glen Adams infest feet and hips as the man himself entangles thoughts and spirit with his own; another realm of crepuscular shadows brought alive with craft, adventure and a vocal prowess which itself is a cast of a thousand souls.

From its first breath, there is an open intimacy to next up Invoked, the painting of its protagonist revealing more than just a singular entity. The silvery radiance of Mojica’s piano and tones are courted by the darker hues of Jason Sarubbi’s bass, their contrasting textures united in magnetism as rich and inescapable as Mojica’s rousing vocal palette; that mix as thickly enticing within the folkish hued, volatility breathing Moon Men. The cello of Sister Ursuline is a particular seduction, the tones of Mojica another and with his keys ever conjuring, the imagination was ensnared once again.

Across the quirkily stroked, aberrantly woven Cowboys and De La Saint with its melody pouncing, spring in the step sharing shamanic beauty ears and appetite were again enslaved, the latter of the pair a delicious track far richer and diverse than our words can intimate while Witch Love after them offers another shadow draped seduction impossible to hold at bay as once more craft and imagination rise up with startling enterprise.

If not quite to the depth of those before, City Friends only transfixed though there are certain moments of inflamed rapture which absolutely got under the skin, a trait The Ranger similarly offered with its controlled but animated gait and swing. With the violin of Rebecca Moore and Manning’s sax adding their bewitching aural paint the song’s canvas, temptation was inescapable.

Queen Song again unites shamanic and liturgical essences in its own rich musical textile, every note and syllable picturesque for the imagination and leaving a lingering impression as it makes way for the album’s final offering, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Stranger Song. Though it did not ignite the passions as any before it, the voice and piano of Mojica absorbed time and attention.

It is a mesmeric and haunting conclusion to an album which even after numerous plays just thrills and impresses more and more; Luis Mojica a minstrel unafraid to share worldly and personal souls.

How A Stranger Is Made is set for release on October 4th with pre-ordering available @ https://luismojica.bandcamp.com/album/how-a-stranger-is-made

https://www.luismojica.com/    https://www.facebook.com/luismojicamusic   https://twitter.com/luismojicamusic

Pete RingMaster 24/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

InAir – Dreamful

There are many aspects to the sound and songs of British trio InAir but the ones which impress most is the almost nagging quality which effortlessly entices swift returns and then the increasing temptation which rewards every listen. The evidence is most ripe within new EP Dreamful, a handful of tracks which immediately made a strong case for continued attention but truly blossomed in ears and appetite with that incessant curiosity.

Hailing from Reading, InAir introduced themselves with a praise gathering debut EP in 2017, A Different Light revealing the rich flavouring to their alternative/electro rock nurtured sound. Equally live the threesome of lead vocalist/bassist Joe Conneely, guitarist/vocalist Aaron Iley, and drummer/vocalist Connor Shortt has drawn potent acclaim, sharing stages with the likes of Arcane Roots, Defences, Chasing Cadence, Junior, Veridian, From Inside and Death Remains. It is easy to expect the band to again entice eager support for Dreamful such its contagious enterprise. Whether it is their breakthrough moment time will tell but it is hard to deny that point is on the cards at some moment in time.

Control kicks things off, its calm melodic invitation soon engulfed in a fiery eruption. As swiftly though it relaxes into a reserved but catchy stroll as Conneely’s tones proceed to share the song’s heart. All the while that volatile edge still simmers, boiling up with rhythms a tenacious enticement throughout as guitar sparked flames ignite the drama of the encounter. It is an absorbing mix of sound and imagination, fresh and familiar flavours woven into one powerful body.

The following Chemicals is similarly bred, electronic enterprise colluding with rock and metal inspired hues to create a dramatic proposition further enhanced by the emotive strength of vocals. Each though carries an infectious lining which increasingly got under the skin, the dynamics of rhythms adding to this tempting as intimacy fuels the narrative and melodic breath of the song. Eclipsing the opener, it too is maybe just a tad outshone by its successor, Talk To You. It is only slight if it is as together the outstanding pair provides the pinnacle of the EP, the latter an impassioned and lively slice of melancholy draped contagion with potent crescendos and searing eruptions.

The release is completed by firstly Regress, an equally combustible slab of electronic and melodic intensity as anthemic as it is thickly emotive, and finally Life Finds A Way. The closer like those before it simply grew in persuasion and stature by the listen, its unassuming yet enticing beginning breeding some of the EP’s most riveting and rousing flumes of sound and contagion to erupt.

Dreamful is a release which commands attention once given the opportunity, whether it demands it enough will determine if now or in the future InAir really make their mark on the UK rock scene but it is easy to feel they will.

The Dreamful EP is out now.

https://www.inairband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/inairband   https://twitter.com/InAirUK

Pete RingMaster 20/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright