Monday, June 09, 2014

Aurelio Valle-Acme Power Transmission

Nuevo Leon Recordings

Best known for his time spent with the experimental rock group Calla (a Brooklyn, New York-based band which he founded in the late nineties and continues to front (even if it's been seven years since Calla's last album, 2007's "Strength in Numbers") some seventeen years later!), Aurelio Valle is another modern day artist whose talents are not strictly limited to music. Indeed, Aurelio Valle is a visual artist in addition to being a singer, guitarist and composer and on his self-produced nine-track debut outing he puts all of his skills to the test with the end results falling just short of  the magical marker we've come to know as brilliance! Named after his landlord's auto parts store, "Acme Power Transmission" was amazingly enough recorded in 2013 in Valle's own apartment under an elevated subway line! That bit of knowledge might not come across as all that impressive or innovative, what with the single argument that their are hundreds of similarly sensational (evolutionary experimental) albums which have been recorded in some of the most unusual places, but given the sheer depth of this recording it should not be so easily dismissed! Especially given the circumstances that surround Valle's break from music. Having spent several years away from the underground rock scene (during which time he worked day jobs in both a motorcycle repair and in a tailor shop!) Valle seems to have used the break in the action for his own advantage. Few artists come back so strong, so focused upon recording an album that shadows who they are as an individual. In spite of it's all-too brief length, "Acme Power Transmission" feels fully-evolved. There is a story that needs to be written here as this is one of those rare albums where everything seems fleshed out, moving from one part to another as if Aurelio Valle is drawing a story board to a movie in the making. Musically you could use the term "soundtrack rock" as "Acme Power Transmission" does convey that feeling. More specifically it starts where Calla left off and then ends where myth and realty collide! And it's all by way of eighties synth lines, improvisational brass beats, indie rock, post-punk and what sounds like experimental recording with found instruments. While there is a modern approach to Valle's musical experimentation one almost has to move backwards in time to the late eighties/early nineties when home recordings started to really catch on and magazines such as Alternative Press were providing coverage to a new movement within the avant-garde scene. At any moment I felt as if I could have been transported back to that amazing time thanks to "Acme Power Transmission" and for those who where there you'll understand all too well the magic that was felt when new music started to appear that defied any known classification. Aurelio Valle's solo album is just that, without classification or real form other than to say that it's this (soundtrack music, synth rock, experimental rock, post-punk, goth rock, etc.) and that (seemingly found instrumental, noise pop, electro rock, drone, piano-driven instrumentation, etc.) while so much more! And it's glorious! Bleak yes, but glorious nonetheless. And it's all for he taking...

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