Saturday, February 19, 2011

413 - Path to Hocma (2011)


I settled down with a cup of coffee today to write about one submission which came before this one, but as it turns out I'm having some internet troubles (I think), so mediafire isn't working quite properly. Hopefully that issue is gonna get fixed somehow, but until then here is something else quite interesting for you. I have to admit though that I am not really in the proper mood for writing now, so that may reflect on the writeup. Either way, hope you enjoy it.

Probably all of you know of this release by now, since it got a lot of coverage once it saw the light of day. "Path of Hocma" came out somewhere at the beginning of January and yeah again I am rather late with presenting it here. Anyway, this is the second release of the band "413" hailing from Spain...though the term "project" is much more fitting than "band". The thing is that "413" is actually done by just one man, the extremely talented David Pisabarro. Everything from writing, composition, production, mixing, mastering, interpretation, design, everything is done by David. As the story goes, he started out as a bass player in various local bands where he discovered his potential. After he released the first album "Reschith" under the name "413", he started further developing his skills which resulted in being a producer for a number of bands. He was also working with Eskil Lövstrom and Pelle Henricsson, producers associated with names such as "Cult of Luna" and "Refused".
Adding to his extreme ambition and commitment to music is the actual weird way in which "Path to Hocma" was recorded. It is best explained with a quote when David wrote to me about his music: "it was written with no amplifiers, no guitars, without a studio to call home, based only on an electric bass." I must admit that once I started reading about this project I really couldn't believe that it is basically a one man thing. One must really admire the creator of this on both his efforts and creativity.
So, what does "413" sound like? Well, if you take a quick stroll over the web you will see this tagged with everything, from post-metal and (post) hardcore to ambient and post-rock. But without a need for a thousand genre tags, I'd have to say that I would simply tag this as experimental. Basically, all the above mentioned genres could be applied to this project, but the very structure of the album suggests that it is a pure experiment, so to speak. Songs differ to one another in style and composition, one goes fast and aggressive with screaming and choir like vocals, while the next one is a weird slow track with a sort of tribal or even ritual like mood to it. And after that, you get hit by a song which literally manages to draw a scene of the American wild west in your head. Also there is variation in vocal performance, since you can listen to David's singing, as well as guest appearances from Urko Eizmendi ("Krilin"), Joseba Ruiz ("Dazein") and Rubén González ("Cohen"). There are ten songs on this release with somewhere around 50 minutes of tunes and every song has something unique to offer to the listener. "Path to Hocma" is quite an interesting ride and the hour that you spend listening to it rushes past you without you even noticing.
One thing I would also like to reflect upon is the design of the release. It is a cardboard case and a booklet, all thoroughly filled with drawings, lyrics and other info. The drawings and the overall design is excellent, pictures of landscapes and animals, looking like they were all done by pencil. Yeah this sounds retarded, but I don't know the correct art terminology to give you a specific description. Either way, the packaging looks great and it is done by the artist Leyre Otermin.
An important thing must be said is that "Path to Hocma" is available for free. Not only in digital format, but also as physical, which is how I actually got my copy. Of course, there is the option of donating some funds to the whole project, which I sadly couldn't do since I have no PayPal thanks to my shitty country. In any case, you should definitely check this out! This is an extremely ambitious project and there is nothing more to do than praise David's work and wish him the best of luck in his future creativity.

1 comment:

  1. Thx for directing me to this wonderful band. I immediately donated to them and got the CD delivered super-speedy, really awesome unique music :)