San Agustin - "Amokhali"
(Family Vineyard 2001, FV3)
From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
San Agustin is a trio consisting of Andrew Burnes on guitar, David Daniell on guitar, and Bryan Fielden on drums. Recorded live in Atlanta, Georgia, the performance focuses on the easy-paced interplay between the two guitars that explore a fairly limited realm, often hinting at Jazz and Blues, though in a semi-experimental style. The music is melodic and pleasant, though Burnes and Daniell often use bits of dissonance to keep things as interesting as they can. Only rarely do they create any real tension and I could count the few minutes where there was any stirring sense of aggression. "Ocmulgee Hills" is the one track that perked my ears up as the guitars create more interesting sounds than heard on most of the CD. Whines and drones run parallel to one another, phasing in and out as they cut a winding path. Throughout the album Fielden is clearly itching to bust out on the drums and pretty much saves the set from a serious lack of variety and direction. After a few listens to the CD I started to settle into a mellow groove with Burnes and Daniell's valium-like excursions, and even started to tune into the contrast between the guitars and Fielden's more energetic drumming. There a several good moments and some interesting ideas but overall the music didn't consistently hold my attention.
For more information you can visit the Family Vineyard web site at: http://www.family-vineyard.com/.
Contact via snail mail c/o Family Vineyard; PO Box 2161; Bloomington, IN 47402.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz