BAND LINE UP:
César Márquez: Vocals, Guitars, Synths
Nikolas Recabarren: Drums
Juan Díaz: Bass
Edgardo González: Synths
- Tectonic Cells
- Asleep In Layers
- Dawn Of Ages
Bauda the brainchild of César Márquez-a Chilean architect not only of sound but by trade as well-has teamed up with several guest musicians and dutch producer Rene Rutten to blast forth with their third full release. Bauda use a mixture of progressive styles with some post-rock and alternative leanings but this probably wouldn’t go far enough to describe what Bauda are in terms of style. Their third album ‘Sporelights’ is made up of seven tracks of deep, transient music that at times can spiral out beyond the realms of traditional rock music and progress into something much more crystalline and pure. Bauda seem to have been able to conjure this exploratory style and also combine all these separate elements into something commercial sounding and appealing, sure to resonate well with fans of their previous work whilst branching out to a broader audience. For those who may have been holding out for something a bit heavier then you will not get your wish, but there is plenty on offer from Bauda as they traverse the multitude of vast soundscapes and illuminate their concepts with open and honest music.
The album starts off in a way to inspire thoughts of going through ‘Time’ with Roger Waters et al as an electronic vortex is used to open up proceedings and aid the listener on travelling along to this world that Bauda have created. ‘Aurora’ serves as the perfect start to the album but, sadly, it doesn’t set the pace of the rest of the content on the album. Once ‘Vigil’ begins Bauda appear to concentrate on a softer more textured feel which sets the scene for a lot of the album. The title track ‘Sporelights’ uses a soft body of notes along a rolling rhythm that marches along until opening up into more direct voluminous rock, an expansive and resonant track that is a good central figure point for Bauda and what they are all about. One of my favourites from this album would have to be the instrumental titled ‘Tectonic Cells’. With this track I feel they really exhibit their ability to sculpt true textures musically whilst creating an ever evolving and progressing song. It’s not as if there is anything wrong with Cesar’s vocals but this is in my opinion the best constructed track on the album.
After ‘Tectonic Cells’ Bauda bring back the vocals and the journey returns on the path towards the conclusion of the album. The penultimate track ‘Asleep In Layers’ provides a very layered body of music combining several elements that have been heard throughout the previous tracks on the album. It all seems rather formulated and slightly predictable after you have heard the first few tracks on the album. They do have a tendency to break into harder sections using more driven guitar parts and drum patterns which help the songs separate from the more textured post-rock and softer bodies of rhythm. This does help keeps interest levels up and I would state that it is a necessary component to pull off what Bauda have been articulating. If they did not include these parts then the album as a whole would have completely capitulated in my opinion, as the songs require that little surge to be the adhesive that combines the different components and drives them forward to completion.
The final track ‘Dawn Of Ages’ rounds off the album in a less than emphatic fashion and really leaves a sense of unfulfillment, as if the album has not yet finished. Now this is probably done on purpose as there will surely be more from Bauda in the future. It serves as quite a surreal and enigmatic ending to the album but as a song it is very Bauda and exemplifies what the band’s character is crafted from. ‘Sporelights’ may not thrill and astound listener’s but it has a deep and resonant feel that inspires rather than determines. Bauda have produced an album that will serve as another benchmark on their adventurous exploration of music, one that should capture the imaginations of those who fall within its grasp.
They have many qualities that will translate to a wider audience but they also have much to accomplish musically. As said previously there doesn’t seem to be a conclusion here so we should expect to hear much more from these Latin American architects.