M-Pex & Andre Coelho
Enough Records, 2015
Reviewed by Kent Manthie
As a follow-up to his previous work, Kardinal, a collaboration with DJ Makrox, M-Pex is back. This time he’s come out with Odysseia, a very beautiful acoustic-guitar-based effort with help from Andre Coelho, with whom M-Pex collaborated here. Odysseia is actually the name given to a two-part work: it’s two EPs fused together: CD-1 is entitled Prologus and like CD-2, is a collaboration with bassist Andre Coelho, who plays double bass. CD-2 is called Epilogus and, besides bassist Coelho, this one features DJ X-Acto. http://enoughrecords.scene.org/release/enrmp364 – is the link, if I piqued your interest and you’d like to hear it right away!
M-Pex is a Portuguese songwriter and a great guitarist. On both Odysseia as well as last year’s Kardinal, he shows a great, fluid mastery of an Eastern-tinged sound on the guitar. Adding to that fantastical groove is the hip-hop beats and samples that his collaborators add to the work.
Odysseia starts off with a few slow, methodical, but fluid acoustic guitar solo songs, which are almost hypnotic; without any brash effects or pop-style hooks, etc, the music seems to pull one into its dreamworld, a meditation on some sort of Eastern, desert-wandering imagery.
Then, when you get into the album a bit more, it becomes interwoven with textured layers from the help of Andre Coelho, who, like DJ Makrox did on Volukta, complements M-Pex’s emotionally driven, but modest, though aptly played, guitar work.
Odysseia is another album that is perfect for listening all in one setting. Once you start it up, it’s really quite difficult to find someplace to stop it, if you are just listening to some of it, as if to check it out, give it a sample run, etc. Something about the atmospheric layers of the guitar just meandering here and there, with the DJ-ing interpolating up and down, and in perfect synch with the tune gives the listener a lot more than first meets the ear.
As with his previous works, one can find Odysseia at https://www.archive.org, where you can download the album for free, thanks to netlabel, Enough Records, which is a great source for artists such as M-Pex, who work and create great music and now have a way to get it out there, for people to hear and to add to their music libraries.
I can give a few good examples of the tracks one will find on Odysseia, but as I wrote, it’s really the whole album that counts, more so than any of its separate parts. But, just as a brief list of worthy tracks: “Balada”, “Odysseia”, “Skyhlla”, “Hybris” and “Cyklopes” are great parts of this whole album, which really transcends time and grips you in its soundcycle.
I hope you enjoy this – hope you get a chance to hear it: just go to http://www.archive.org to find a copy of it, or maybe even do a search on Bandcamp. -KM.