Jorge Arana Trio – Oso EP
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Jorge Arana Trio – “Oso” EP

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Product Description

Artist Name: Jorge Arana Trio
Album Name: Oso EP
Record Label: Haymaker Records
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Catalog No.: HAY001-CS / HAY001-LP
Formats: Cassette Tape / 12-Inch Vinyl / Digital Download

The Jorge Arana Trio is Jorge Arana, Josh Enyart, and Jason Nash. They were fused in 2011 from the sparks of noise-rock band, Pixel Panda, and other jazzcore endeavors, including Various Blonde. The trio aptly links their individual and collective pasts and futures, colliding in an avant-garde geometry of rock, jazz, classical, punk, electronic, experimental, and incidental music. Jorge Arana Trio’s latest release, Oso, harkens back to times before the trio found themselves together and propels the current calculations of the band.

The Oso EP will be the group’s second release but first on Haymaker Records. With origins stemming pre-trio, Oso carries with it doses of nostalgia, surf rock, horror film sounds, and the persistence of sophisticated perplexity. Mapache, Jorge Arana Trio’s debut album released in October 2012, hints to Oso with its urgency and darkness. The new release maintains a louder, more aggressive and tonal labyrinth of sound, focused with driving guitars and minimal keys. In November 2012, the group released a split-single with experimental group, Ambulants. Jorge Arana Trio’s unification of past favorites with contemporary direction results in Oso.

From start to end point, Oso is meant to be experienced as an album. The title itself is a nod to Jorge Arana’s old German Shepherd, “Oso”, that he and his family left behind during their move from Mexico to the States when Arana was a kid. Fond memories are recalled in the sound of Oso with precise tenderness, but the EP starts with a plunge. “Foredoom” drops the subject abruptly in the midst of a foreboding journey, fracturing sophisticated time signatures with searing guitars and carnivalesque orientation, inverting metal with whirring symbols and surf rock chords. Relief from prior doom is toyed with in “Kallisto” and “Crime of Passion Fruit,” but rolling drums and thrusting guitars wave into a twisted wipe out. A cogent and rhythmic prism of arrangements in “Old Bamboo” provides a glimpse of order in the whirlwind experience of Oso, but “Banished in Siberia” confounds equilibrium, with a gripping vortex of haunting disorientation and mystery.

Reeling guitars and pushing drums persistently prod the journey of Oso onward, as eerie sounds and sparse moments surprise the experience with an imaginative cleverness characteristic of the trio’s present-day equation, challenging orientation with horror, mystery, and nostalgia. Oso defies definition but points to a time of exploration for the Jorge Arana Trio’s ever-expanding dimensions.

-Kristin Russell

Additional Information

Format

12-Inch Record (Limited Edition) (Includes MP3s), 12-Inch Record (Includes MP3s), Cassette Tape, Digital Download – Mp3 (320 kbps), Digital Download – FLAC, Digital Download – Apple Lossless (M4A)

Reviews

  1. :

    Fearless. The Trio careens through material like it’s nobody’s business, showing their chops and their teeth all at once. At times reminiscent of some sort of demented surf-rock, there’s much less straight jazz influence than on their first record. The one track that maintains the jazz image a little more than the others is “Kallisto”, mainly from the opening section’s odd-metered guitar vamps.

    Production wise, the record is more on the raw and live-sound side of things to match the stripped down instrumentation (this is a guitar, drums, and bass album after all). Jorge’s keyboard only really makes one prominent appearance (on the last track: “Banished to Siberia”), and I suspect the vocals there are one of the albums few overdubs, as well.

    Oso’s scant length–somewhere around just 15 minutes–lends it an immediacy missing from most other releases. It hits you hard and fast and then, before you realize it, it has already passed. This does leave you wanting a little bit more, however. So you listen again. But then, you might start to wonder how a full-length LP might sound, or how the Trio might structure a longer song (each song clocks in under the four minute mark). But then, that might be unnecessary. There’s no excess fat on these songs and they have everything they need already, nothing more or less.

    This is a feisty and athletic release from KC’s first and best Jazz/Noise/Math trio.

  2. :

    As the three musicians relax deeper into their chairs and keep talking, they seem genuinely glad to be home — ready, they say, to share more of their odd stories. The Jorge Arana Trio’s music may be wild, but it’s not impossible to find a connection to it. And 12 minutes suddenly seems like not nearly enough.

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