Agustin Criollo - "Oxomorfosis"
(Iconoclasta 2001, icono002)

From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)

Here we have a very interesting little number by a bloke called Augustin Criollo. He is originally from Puerto Rica but now resides in Chicago. This is his second release and his first solo project.

Well I'm going to start by saying how much I liked this CD. I was surprised to find it packed full of really good spacey Synth oriented structures that I found fresh, and welcomed the difference that they gave to this genre of music.

'Movimiento 1' has a very similar style and feel to something you might find on Hardy's 'The Light'. It flows in a very mellow fashion with some good Guitar work. It is most definitely a journey and it takes you subconsciously through its 8.00 minutes with an almost Ash Ra Temple sort of feel, but not quite.

'Movimiento 2' is a lot more lively and just as weird as the first. It unfolds with a Brian Eno type riff that grasps the Drum patterns with reaching fingers. There is an obscure nature to the track and it is full of strange ideas that again sound very Brian Eno influenced, and for much of its 18.44 it has this repetitive riff marching along. After 13.00 it mellows down into a nice Synthy part, and this is where the ideas progress. Its style is very similar to 4 Track stuff that friends of mine used to indulge in years ago and possibly that is why I like this part of the piece. I find that it is interesting when the same riff appears in a new form, leading nicely into the next phase.

'Movimiento 3' is almost Pink Floyd sounding in the way of the Guitar style. It has an Obscured by Clouds feel to it and has some Out of It Lead Guitar work jamming around a similar jam sounding back beat for about 4.00 of its 9.51. It then breaks down into what is just Guitar in essence with bits & bobs floating around in the background before bursting back into the same beat with a just as Out of It Lead Guitar soloing even more wildly. Very promising stuff.

'Movimiento 4' is a blinding 19.55 trip across the boundaries of perception. This is my favourite of the album because it has a very atmospheric feel to it, very spacey. It does a great job in the way of filling out what is an interesting little piece of Sound Creation. Again it has a managerie of nice synthesized parts intertwined with well-played Guitar riffs that have a sort of aggressive tone to them. I really do like this album.

It is not the best in sound quality, but you have to consider that it was entirely recorded on a 4 Track. So in that respect it is a really good album and I think that Augustin has done a great production job on it to get the quality to the standard that it is. To me the recording quality does not matter for it is the music that speaks. Maybe it is because I have participated in similar things over the years, and can relate to dealing with the limitations of a 4 Track Recorder.

Oxomorfosis offers so much in the form of creativity and it was a refreshing CD to review. I would like to hear a good quality studio album from Augustin Criollo because I think that he produces very fine instrumental sound structures that definitely have something to give as far as electronica is concerned. Fair enough the playing may be loose in places and maybe some things are a bit too repetitive, but to me it is one of the better CD's that I have reviewed this month, simple as that.

For more information you can visit Agustin Criollo's web site at:
Here sound files at his web site at:
Contact via snail mail c/o Agustin Criollo; 753 Strom Drive; #2-A; West Dundee, IL 60118.

Reviewed by Albert Pollard

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