Well, this is an exceptional release.
If the more recent swing of Blue Tapes back towards bands - a format that some were predicting the death of amidst the glut of bedroom solo projects - is reflective of anything it’s that the format is still locating new sounds and feelings in 2017. Bands like Trupa Trupa, Quasiviri and Constantina are proof that messy human heads and their fallible hands can still conjure structures that dazzle, intimidate, mesmerise and alleviate.
The gentle, warm, instinctive flow of Constantina’s instrumental rock makes me wonder if Godspeed had grown up in Brazil - like Constantina did - and not the broken, frozen Quebec they eulogise, whether their apocalyptic sound would have thawed into rhythms as restorative and humanistic as this.
This is rock played with a feeling that almost resembles jazz and which lights up synapses in my brain that haven't been tickled since hearing great, lost bands of the early 00s like Oslo’s post-krautrock heroes Salvatore.
Blue twenty-six has been conceived as a testament to the quail (Codorno) and completes a trilogy of mostly-improvised avian-themed albums from the band that include 2014’s Pelicano and 2006’s Jaburu.
Praise for Constantina:
“Constantina conceived of their wonderful Pelicano album – recorded in 2007, but released in 2014 – as a tribute to the pelican. The music is gentle, persuasive and determined. Those long lovely guitar narratives translate as an elegy for the pelicans, albatrosses and other non-human species who now resemble sigils of bones and plastic, and who will eventually be just plastic. Maybe that’s a grim juxtaposition for music so warm and otherwise comforting! We’re sorry. It’s a reminder for ourselves, as much as anyone.” - 20 Jazz Funk Greats