Third Guapo album for Cuneiform...best for this label,I think (though 'Elixirs' to be found elsewhere is a true masterpiece - not a phrase I use often or lightly)...one long piece that runs through a plethora of changes...engrossing,intelligent music that doesn't give up all its riches in one sitting. Simple equation really; the harder you listen the more you hear and the more rewarding the experience. I think their music has undeniable integrity, both structurally and spiritually. Enough said...
"Beautifully crafted instrumental music of the highest standard."
– Postcards From The Yellow Room
"Guapo take classic prog tropes and revivify them...brazenly and gloriously, it brandishes all the hallmarks of golden-era prog rock, but given a steroid boost and stripped of ego."
– The Quietus
"The foursome's sound is fashioned from coordinated chaos, discordant harmony, stimulating but dark auditory shades and graphic musical de-construction."
– Audiophile Audition
"...continues the upward trajectory of development for the band...this is a killer of a progressive work..."
"[Guapo] are conversant with the complex language of R.I.O...their trick is to add an urgent, assertive rock dynamic, which wrests their knotty harmonies and shifting time signatures from the sphere of contemporary classical chamber music towards something direct and gutsy."
Celebrating 20 years in the game, the much-admired instrumental, experimental rock band Guapo are celebrating by releasing ‘Obscure Knowledge’, their explosive new album and tenth release!
The group started their life as a heavy bass/drums duo playing post-hardcore, noisy rock, but in the two decades since, they have expanded their instrumentation and their stylistic references to become one of Europe's most highly respected 'muscular and modern' experimental/progressive rock bands.
Centered around founding member and extraordinary drummer David J. Smith, the group on the album also features three additional heavy-weights of British experimental rock:
Kavus Torabi-guitar (also of Knifeworld, Cardiacs, Gong)
Emmett Elvin-keyboards (also of Chrome Hoof, Knifeworld)
James Sedwards-bass (also of Thurston Moore Baand, Chrome Hoof)
The album's 43 minute long track is a dynamic, fluid beast that takes the listener on a scenic journey through loud New York minimalism, celestial drones, avant rock, kosmiche-noise, rockin' riffs and way beyond.
Smith, who is also a sculptor as well as drummer, looks after the aesthetic considerations of Guapo and is keen to provide a backstory for their albums. Smith explains: "The title of the piece of music and album is derived from the psychoactive rituals of various Native American people who are said to 'tap into obscure knowledge' when performing certain rituals and rites of passage."
released May 26, 2015
Emmett Elvin - Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, synths
James Sedwards - bass guitar
Kavus Torabi - guitar
David J. Smith - drum kit, percussion, keyboards & noises
Michael J. York – woodwind
Antti Uusimaki - additional keyboards & effects
Recorded at Orgone Studios, North London, June 5-7, 2014. Engineered by Antti Uusimaki.
Additional recording at The Elms, West Pennard by Michael J. York.
Mixed at Studio Klondyke, Kerava, Finland, October 2014 by Antti Uusimaki.
Produced by Antti Uusimaki & David J. Smith.