posted on 5/2009 By:
Krautrock inspired by the Palm Desert scene and refined in the halls of the Chicago School of Atmospheric Post-Metal, by way of Madrid, Spain. Unless you’re already familiar with El Paramo, or studied in these styles, you’re likely as confused by that description as I was while typing it out. Really, all we’re talking about is an experimental brand of instrumental stoner rock that cruises comfortably along side Kyuss, Colour Haze and Los Natas, but isn’t content to merely roll along in the middle of the desert ratpack, instead venturing off into post-metal territory where it merges with the weighty atmospherics of Pelican and Russian Circles, and recent Isis (LA is near Palm Desert, anyway, if only geographically).
Whereas the word “experimental” can sometimes set off warning bells, conjuring thoughts of discombobulated wankery and pretentious self-aggrandizement, in this case it refers simply to the glory of the jam. El Paramo brings with their loose structure a natural ease that results in the sort of free-flow sonic discourse indicative of a bunch of guys that play what they play because they can’t imagine doing anything else; it is who they are. This apparently bloodborne free-form flair is ubiquitous on El Paramo, though it isn’t entirely boundless, as every track is fringed by wide swaths of hypnotic repetition that work to slot the listener right into the groove, where he’ll be content to ride it as far as the band will take him.
El Paramo is a temperate desert in the Argentinean Andes known for its unpredictable weather, which is fitting as the production on this record (sometimes dry, often soft and misty) allows the dynamics to paint a picture of a grey, overcast day in the badlands, comfy rays of sunlight sometimes poking through to caress a rainbow into a corner of the mist. I can totally see myself leaned way back in a black ’67 GTO, windows down, cruising those mountain desert roads and cranking this little gem at max volume. That’s not going to happen, though, so I’m stuck slouching into my couch with it cranked on my headphones and letting El Paramo drive my daydreams. Still pretty fuckin cool.
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