Rigel Michelena

Bartok's Room

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Take yer fav ball o' silly putty and roll it over a sound/style image of chops à la Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, Alex MacHacek, Joe Satriani, and snippets of "the math-rocker," Robert Fripp, and squash out a nice distorto-reprinted, mosaic-riffage picture of Rigel Michelena's multi-instrumentalist expertise and voicings, and you have this release in a nutshell or putty print.

Seriously, a great deal super-duper, quicksilver riffs, frettage, and wailings are going down here. There is a variety of hippy-trippy, Euro-cool-techno-futuristic, furious, frenetic, yet laid-back Pink Floydian "Comfortably Numb"-ish fusion-prog guitar and programming inside. Did I mention groovin' beats and a unique variety of song flows? Excellent acoustic guitar work is included too!

Michelena has a new groove here of fresh chops galore but in a package that hasn't been heard in awhile. There's even that Lost Tribe boogie-yer-bootay thang in places, but overall this is avant-fusion, not freeform, but free-for-all fusion, whatever goes be slick. Attaching a post-rock, experimental, technical fusion moniker might work with a nod to Frank Zappa and Steve Vai's Flex-Able way of attacking and decimating the expected. Michelena is full of surprises and overflowing with technical prowess. Don't expect to relax too much nor for too long. Bartok's Room is an "upper" y'all. Recommended for the adventurous folks tired of fuzak.

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