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Rio en Medio - Frontier


Rio en Medio

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Often reminiscent of a modernized and space-faring Tyrannosaurus Rex blent with a much more intelligent Laurie Anderson, a hugely tamed Kate Bush, and the odd streamer of Lucia Hwong or Clara Mondshine in their best moments, Danielle Stech-Homsy leans aesthetically into carefully crafted electronics for flavors not often set down. Atmosphere is everything in Rio en Medio's work, laying out three-dimensional environments in which mysterious unnameable somethings transit while dimensional warps birth strange flashing manifestations slicing through billows of mist, unaccountable sunlight glinting down from night skies.

The songs here are unorthodox while sonorous, but some, like The Diamond Wall, have decidedly abrupt elements making them all the more interesting, bricolage properly set...unsettlingly indexed at moments but surprisingly appropriate. Frontier is definitely progressive fare, not of the elder standards but rather the new tone of labels like Language of Stone, Secret Eye, and etc. Venus of Willendorf even manages to incorporate glitch, a style, if that's the right term, that has been a little too readily abandoned over the last decade. The cut shows why there's still plenty to explore. In whole, though, Rio en Mdio's work is a new sound warmly familiar, icily estranged, and edgily balanced, a disc that will challenge your preconceptions of just how a soundfield should be laid and what tradition says it must contain.

Track List:

  • Heartless
  • Ferris
  • The Umbrella
  • The Diamond Wall
  • Venus of Willendorf
  • Standing Horses
  • The Last Child's Tear
  • Fall Up
  • Stars Are
  • Nameless

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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