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CD Feature/ Exxasens: "Polaris"

img  Tobias

Liftoff: As the sun is scorching Europe with its relentless rays, Jordi Ruiz’ spaceship is entering the frozen eternity of the cosmos, penetrating the boundless blackness of stretched-out matter and galactic debris. In its slipstream, his debut under the Exxasens banner first shot to the top of online retailers’ charts before selling out two subsequent editions faster than formidably fledgling record company Consouling could repress them. If there is such a thing, then “Polaris” was the summer album of Post Rock.

It is certainly more catchy, contageous and celebratory than anything one has come to expect from the genre for ages. Its approach contradicts the dictum that the omission of vocals forces the individual instruments to compensate for the lack of an obvious spokesperson. Consequently, there is neither Jazz nor Dub to be found on “Polaris”, neither intellectual minimalism nor improvised meta-art.

Rather, the album offers twelve straight Rock songs without words, merely spiced up by a few NASA samples and the occasional effect pedal emission. Emotional and emphatic riffing meets elegantly energetic drumming elevated by poignant melodies between the dreamily hymnical and the disarmingly plaintive. Instead of tearing the fabric of his music open, Ruiz has filled every cravisce with sound, creating a dense surface of hypnotic grooves and fibrilating walls of guitar noise.

Even though the effect is physical and powerful, there is a also an initial sense that these tunes are searching for a voice. The fact that the different themes and arrangements of “Polaris” are strikingly similar, with scintillating tones reaching ever higher, adds to the impression of the album working rather as a single, continous soundscape rather than a collection of individual tracks.

And yet, the more you spin the album, the more it develops its unique charm. “Polaris” does not pretend to be outwitting or outsmarting its audience, it works purely on an intuitive level.The amplifiers are humming, Guitar and Bass are detuned to the point where their subsonics turn into pressure waves and sweet feedback cuts through finely oscillating harmonics: His music may be well-grounded and earthy, but Jordi Ruiz is definitely reaching for the stars.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Exxasens
Homepage: Consouling Sounds Records

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