Negra Linea

13 Visions

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These 13 visions come mostly out of David Comunello's head. Guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and drum programmer, he sits behind the wheel of this eclectic urban project. Somewhere between post-rock and sleaze, between acid jazz and electro-musette, the music of Negra Linea integrates old acoustic instruments (accordion, hurdy-gurdy) and electronics to create an artsy night-out road movie. Conceived as a sequence of 13 separate moments taken from a half-dazed nightlife journey, the album occasionally sounds dislocated. The first few pieces are strongly reminiscent of both American post-rock and contemporary French alternative pop. The presence of singer Alexandra Prat is no stranger to that -- she is responsible for some of the best moments on the album, including "Premier Rivage" and "Closeyes" (her delivery on the latter showing a strong Tori Amos influence). In these first pieces the music is dense, strange and seducing. Past the "Intermède pour Petite Tête," the beats become more insistent and the urbanity of the music more prominent. Things get downright erotic in "Lugano Bar," "Disconatra" and "Deep Into the Night," with female sighs and screams, dirty black soul grooves, and "red light" cliches everywhere. The guitar work in "Kalle Boroka" comes back to something more musically audacious, but by then, the first 20 minutes of the album (so rich in new ideas and crossbreeds) is long gone. In the end, 13 Visions seems like a strange compromise, as if Comunello had plenty of ideas (and means) on how to produce something different, yet didn't dare to follow his plan far enough to make it work from beginning to end. A shame.

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