panophonic- Todo es Azul: Lo Mejor de Mi review by splendid zine

Posted: August 25, 2008 in Uncategorized
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Spend a couple of years in South America (I did, if you’re wondering) and you’ll notice something about their version of pop music. Perhaps due to the fact that every other word ends in a vowel, warranting an abundance of long-ass melismatic vocal phrases, almost everything you hear on the radio is way over-the-top dramatic — self-important yet often lilting, as if the world could be cleansed or plummet into the sun depending on what the vocalist sings next. Think Italian opera or Celine Dion. Panophonic’s Tom Lugo effectively captures this spirit on Todo es Azul: Lo Mejor de Mi (Everything’s Blue: My Best), but he also taps into something else: he creates grandiose music that fits easily into his heavily reverbed, spaced out vocal gestures.Using an array of guitars and digital instruments, Lugo crafts his version of Cocteau Twins-meets-Luis Miguel. Tracks such as “Almasgemelasajenas” and “Y Tu en Mi” show Lugo’s propensity for creating dense textures — he combines vocals, guitar feedback, drones and arpeggiated synths into a fine-tuned mix. “Las Dos” presents his version of a dream band in which Robin Guthrie handles guitars, Robert Smith holds down vocals (in Spanish) and William Orbit programs and produces. “Cuervas y Velocidad” runs in a similar vein, with half of the near ten-minute epic being a tasteful “guitar versus the delay pedal” battle.

Lovely? Yes. Intriguing? Definitely. Sensory overload? In the words of the Kool-Aid man, oh yeah. All of this translates into a very interesting disc, full of well-crafted thoughts and fully realized ideas, but as you might imagine, it’s a bit difficult to endure for 70 minutes — the tracks are best served one at a time.



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