|'El Festival De Los Viajes' translates in English as "The Trips Festival". Historians of psychedelia may recognize the reference to an underground gathering of the 1960s, in which large quantities of psychedelic substances were consumed in wild abandon. The cover of this CD features the title in trippy lettering a la Stanley Mouse or Rick Griffin, with the silhouette of a cowboy riding through the desert against a multicolored sky. OK, it all makes sense so far. The dedication of the album is to "all those who defy the tyranny of perception". It all seems very neat: San Francisco in the 60s, people on LSD, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Hi-Ho Silver.|
Wait a minute here. Huh-uh. Yes, these are clues to the album's contents, but they are also misleading signifiers for something far deeper, something that ultimately has no reliable symbols at all. Let's back up a minute. My connection to this underground disc is through its vocalist Dr. Federico Wolman, who also sings for Argentinean doomsters Dragonauta. I've known the good doctor for years, since Dragonauta's demo came out. I know him to be a man of intelligence, vision, humor, and taste. When he recommends tuneage, it's best to listen with respect. He first brought Reino Hermitano and Glow to my attention; and for that alone I'll be forever grateful. And when he's a participant in a project, well, other music gets pushed aside and the deep listening ears get activated. I've never been disappointed yet. Know also that members of Poseidotica are involved in El Festival De Los Viajes as well.
OK, so there's the background. The music is something different altogether. There are no razor-gargling doom screams, tricky time signatures, or proggy psychedelia here. This is not really like anything we've heard these dudes do before. Federico's vocals make use of his voice training for a clean presentation, rich in vibrato. The music is calm and easy, and will immediately bring to mind the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone and the films of Sergio Leone: 'Once Upon a Time in the West', 'A Fistfull of Dollars', and so on. Twangy guitars, surreal cowboys with no name, and a voice singing intimately to you in Spanish.
The trick here is that this is true psychedelic music. So take a cue from the music's external form and lie back. Now the magic starts. My Spanish is not good, but I know that Federico is crooning personal mantras, knitting them together, and creating a platform so that the visions in your head can take over completely. I can't tell you exactly what I saw when I closed my eyes, but trust me, calling this a trips festival is exactly right. This music inspires visions, just like Morricone's music can, but you might also say just like Can, or Ash Ra Tempel, or Electric Magma, or Poseidotica for that matter. Or maybe even the early Grateful Dead. Pure mind paintings, with lyrics about spiritual death and psychedelic resurrection floating calmly against a lonely background of multicolored tumbleweeds and saguaros. Your personal issues brought to light and imploded. Hallucinations of beauty and terror.
Well, if you've ever been On the Bus, you'll need no more explanation. And if not, this may seem like just a re-worked 60s movie soundtrack. In other words, this won't appeal to everyone, but there will be those for whom this will be essential.
3. El Nagual parte I
4. El Nagual parte II
6. Conjuro de los Matados
Duration : Approx. 35 minutes
Visit the El Festival De Los Viajes bandpage.