Album Review

Finis Africae – “El Secreto De Las 12” – [EM Records]

Thurston Hunger   12/3/2015   12-inch, A Library

1984 release from a group revolving around guitarist
Juan Alberto Arteche Gual. Recently this was reissued
by the Em Records label out of Japan, which always
catches my eye, if not ear. The sounds here are pretty
new agey, or at least just plain pretty. Hammered dulcimer
and found sound (brooks, birds and maybe a shaman on A3?)
both flow through-out. The album starts with a distant
storm breaking, but then flute blows in like the breeze,
a soothing series of runs, that rise and fall, slowly at
times, and other times quick as rain drops back and fort…
eventually resolving into major key satori. Early Ghost
psych music from Japan was much more ragged and psychedelic,
but there’s a kinda kinship between the two. “Pipo Y
Las Libelulas” drops 80’s synth beams in the pools
of sound while a cello shivers over the piece like
a mangrove tree. The album is deep in water sounds
and metaphors in the track titles. Lots of cascades
and voices as birds, or mutter-moan-mantra as on the
last track trickle in. I remain fascinated by Koki
EMura, the EMperor of EM, and his mission, at least as I
perceive it, to reclaim New Age’s tarnished reputation
among oddball audio enthusiasts. -Thurston Hunger

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