Jorge Arana Trio – “Oso” EP




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

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