Saturday, 29 December 2018

Arturo Meza's Suite Koradi (Mexico 1985) and Nirgil Vallis with Y Murio la Tarde (1984)

Mentioned earlier on this blog in connection with the ReR Volume 2 Number 2 sample, I was reminded of this when listening to that edition again.  The album from whence the piece was derived came out in 1985, and was a significant departure for this artist who usually traffics in folk and acoustic pop (at least I think he did, I never delved any deeper).

The review from apps on rym presents a very clear picture:

Meza's next album started as a very ambitious idea, just bear in mind we're talking about 1985 here, and the man arranged ''Suite Koradi'' (1985, Gente de México) originally for an orchestra, proving how experimental his mind was.  Apparently lack of financial sources forced him to record the album with the help of analogue synthesizers. Who knows how this work would've sounded if a real orchestra was available, still ''Suite Koradi'' reveals a new direction for Meza, the one deeped into electronic and Classical sounds without forgetting his love for Folk Music. Very nice and dreamy Electronic Prog with symphonic undelines, performed mainly on synths and harsichord, containing elaborate and smooth melodic parts, but also heading to ethereal New Age/Folk at moments with acoustic guitar, flute and the likes. Fourth track ''Retorno de las almas atrapadas en la región de los Kliphos'' has to be one of the weirdest experiences of Meza, a complete pre-Industrial/Avant-Garde oddity with wordless vocals, effects and hypnotic drumming. Couldn't stand alone with dignity, but suits very nice to this whole effort. All in all, a work completely out of place and time and a certain upgrade for Meza, representative of his talent.

Another review, with a bit of background information:

Hell is the Womb of Heaven
After the pastoral folk of his debut album, Arturo Meza got significantly more ambitious for his sophomore release, a concept album that's halfway between prog rock and neoclassical darkwave.

Suite Koradi is based on Meza's theory that we currently live in a world dominated by the Aryan race, which is in decadence and will be replaced by the coming Koradi race, a name which he says means "clarity, something with no shadow, pristine, transparent, crystalline...the Koradis will be a race with no ego, which will be dissolved by mutual agreements between men or by the will of nature itself; pain will be liberating, eliminating everything rotten and unholy, leaving only good. A people that will purge all evil through pain, giving birth to a new life. This music narrates the eternal struggle of good against evil, light against darkness."

Following the concept isn't really necessary as the music is mostly instrumental - the only exception is the last track, a Coptic hymn - and Meza himself has said that it should stand on its own as a personal statement. And, in any case, it was good enough to attract the attention of Chris Cutler, who included an excerpt on a Recommended Records sampler.  Due to financial limitations, Meza was unable to record this composition with a full orchestra as he had originally intended and the album is mostly synth-based, which either makes it sound crappy and cheap or extremely cutting-edge, depending on how you look at it - remember that Spleen and Ideal came out just one year beforehand and that this was nearly a decade before In Slaughter Natives or Mortiis made their appearance.
There's definitely Meza albums I listen to far more, but this is the album that secured his reputation as one of Mexico's premier underground musicians and anyone with an interest in his music should be familiar with it.

And I think that says it all-- in fact, it says more than all since they are both overstating the case here-- I would emphasize the point that two of the tracks are really just noise, not music, and the excerpted piece, 12 minutes long, put in the ReR Quarterly was clearly the masterpiece composition.  So if like me you've already heard and assimilated that one, you don't necessarily need to even hear the rest of the album.

I'll throw in the 2 albums made roughly in the same year.

Note that the 1984-1995 (?) album with Nirgal Vallis, information here, is also well worth hearing with its symphonic instrumental compositions augmented sometimes by female vocals.  Sympho-prog fans will go nuts over this one.  A track called Memories of a Comet is particularly glorious and sure to please all those kids out there who might not have had the luxury to hear this relatively unknown work:

It's not entirely clear to me what Meza's contribution to this joint effort was, perhaps someone can enlighten us.  Note also the involvement of Ledesma Q here, credited as guitarist and as producer.
I see that Vallis made another album some years later, which we will have to search for now.
Annoyingly, the CD release omitted one track, the side b one, from the original LP by Nirgil (I will assume it was just a noise track or somesuch) and the LP is not cheap to buy.


  1. (all 3)

  2. not familiar with any of these but the track sounds great. thank you!