The SOHO Rentals expound upon their magnificent vision with the stunning Metanoia!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
As previously stated, I have spent the last year looking for new sounds and harmonic visions that are more than amalgams of influence but instead those that are truly unique. The harmonic road less traveled has once again led me to an amazing duo, The SOHO Rentals. Metanoia is the raw organic improvisational vision of pianist Alejo Nobili and drummer Matias Menarguez. An ethereal marriage of both the cerebral and visceral where predictability lies in the unpredictable nature of this most lyrically enlightened ensemble. Their latest effort is a reaffirmation of the previous work all while retaining the fresh and incredibly original approach that shows exponential growth since their last release.
Their success in a zen like simplicity in melodic form along with a deceptively subtle manipulation of meter and harmonic intent to create an amazingly textured project from a percussive duo. . Opening with "Heliopolis" we find a rich vibrant color palate from Nobili to enhance the lyrical finesse of drummer Menarguez or perhaps it might be the other way around. Melody is transformed while a slight blues under current simmers just below the surface. The presentation here is on par with any of the great European small ensembles. "Metanoia" is the title track and perhaps the crowning jewel of this magnificent release. There is a hard to define ambient intimacy of this more introspective piece. An abstract but accessible piece that may lean to the free form side of the improvisational street. "Fisk" closes the release with a delicacy of movement. A rhythmic sense of purpose with a strong melodic baseline is not only one of the best descriptions of this composition but of Metanoia as a conceptual work.
The growth point for this formidable pair has been the development and articulation of strong melodies with a lyrical percussive finesse that fits hand in glove with each composition. While artistic comparisons remain inherently unfair, The SOHO Rentals manipulate their sound in such a way that one might expect to see the ECM label tied to their name at some point. The year is still young but Metanoia is a release that can easily lay a legitimate claim as one of the best.
Tracks: Heliopolis; Baguala del tiempo; Querids viejos; Cajita Musical; No hay paz; Metanoia; Interludio; Pasa je Volta; Post-Electro; Fisk
Live From 2013
Personnel: Alejo Nobili: Piano; Matias Menarguez: Drums.