(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet carries on the tradition first established by Daevid Allen (Soft Machine, Gong) teaming with Gilli Smith in 1968. The purpose of the project was to bring music artists together from different countries. In the ‘90s the tradition continued with Russell Hibb (Australia), Brian Zero (England) and Fabio Golfetti (Brazil). The most recent incarnation of the band features Fabio Golfetti (guitar, vocals, effects), Gabriel Costa (bass), Fred Barley (drums, vocals) with special guest Fernando Alge (guitar on track 2). Golfetti’s other band is Violeta de Outono which I have yet to hear.
The new album is UFO Planante and I have to say it is a good one indeed. The music combines progressive/space rock, jazz, electronic and ambient with lots of great melodies and subtle atmospheres. Golfetti’s glissando guitar is a major highlight throughout the album and he is an exceptional player. He is able to generate a magnificent tone and the atmospheres and melodies he is able to create using this unique slide technique are ear catching. I never found my attention waning, which is no small feat especially when you consider the mammoth 27 plus minute opening track “First Contact”. A dreamy guitar intro is followed by restrained drum work and subtle washes of percussion. It’s a slow and languid build up before edgier riffs with a bit more bite enter the fold. As the song progresses the music becomes more intense and the drumming is fantastic; very clean and crisp. It is all wrapped in a psychedelic/space rock theme, reminding me at times of ‘70s Pink Floyd. The sound is layered and full with plenty of guitar effects and shimmering atmospheres. You may have noticed the absence of keyboards but that is not a problem as the guitar is often made to sound like one adding that much more texture to the sound.
In the melodic “Sal Paradise” jangly guitar rhythms and a marching drum beat coalesce with Beatle-like harmonies and a smooth bass line. Again, the guitar and drums are the stars of the show but the vocals are not bad either.
Other highlights include the gentle “Spirits” with its inspired drumming and the space rock jams in “Moon in June” showing the band can really cook in a live setting.
UFO Planante is an excellent album and a must have for lovers of psychedelic/space rock. Its richly textured explorations and lovely melodies are a joy to behold making this a musical journey that you will surely want to be a part of. Released on Voiceprint Records.