An all-aluminium 1972 Airstream trailer, resembling nothing so much as an early-1950s B-movie vision of futuristic road travel, was converted into a mobile recording studio by William Reze (aka Thylacine) and driven through the less populated landscapes of Argentina.
It’s a bizarre point of origin for an album that successfully blends the electronic and the acoustic, taking in detours along the techno as well as the more traditional South American musical highways. Certainly, it’s a strange mix, but it’s one that works extremely well, its changes of direction handled adroitly such that, ultimately, the overall sense of unity is impressively achieved.
Reze roots many of the tracks in recognizably Latin-American rhythms, giving a base solidity to the diversity of exploratory musical adventures, from the breathy vocals of opener "Murga" through the more punchy tracks with their echoes of some of Paul Kalkbrenner’s sounds on his 7 album, and the gorgeous lapidary saxophone effects on "El Alba" and "Volver".
It’s an approach that might easily have proved fatal, through over-production or an unnatural stylistic heteronomy swamping the well-integrated musical nuances and points of connection, but Reze’s willingness to let ideas evolve fully before moving on is consistently in evidence, so enabling the record to demonstrate a first rate combination of complexity and cohesiveness.
It takes a rare talent to incorporate successfully a rap by J. Madeiros into this kind of essentially Andean soundscape, but "4500m" manages it as a splendid illustration of Reze’s compositional intelligence. This is an album of substantive experimentalism, a bold adventure that traverses musical territories and topographical features.