Monday, March 26, 2007


Tristeza - Dream Signals In Full Circles (2000)

Tristeza - Spine & Sensory (1998)

I cant mention hypnotic instrumental rock without mentioning Tristeza. Born in San Diego, Tristexa was mostly the brainchild of James Lavalle of Album Leaf fame. Also of earlier Swing Kids, Locust and GoGoGo Airheart fame. So it is interesting to hear their take on the very new sounds of post-rock at the time. Mogwai had just released Ten Rapid and Spine & Sensory, released a year later, lays somewhat close to that style of post-rock. Mostly repetetive organic structures, played with a rock set-up. Tristeza do not explode their songs in like Mogwai do though, instead continuing their patterns and focusing more on a rhythmic build up that is quite trancelike and dreamy.

Dream Signals was released in 2000, right on the brink of the post-rock boom that we have all experienced. Signals was similar in style, with trancy vibes and a dubbier bass sound and better production values. It can be a divisive album to some who find it too repetitious or even "new-age", (yuck!) and I would have to say it does serve a more late night atmosphere, but it remains very ccharming and appropriate in certain settings. James Lavalle left after this album to do the Album Leaf fulltime and I think everyone suffered for it. Album Leaf was pretty, but not as good as either of these two albums, and Tristeza continued on and until their recent album, A Colores, never really made an interesting song.

Nonetheless, these are two of the finest Instrumental Rock albums to be released and should be heard by any fan of the genre.


Blogger jAy @ jApAn said...

Liked "Spine..." cd. but i could never fully embrace "Dream Circles..". I think it just bored me a little bit...they got really washed-out sounding to my ears. But back in the day, Tristeza's music was like opening up a window and letting the fresh air in.
good to see these albums here.

7:43 PM  

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