How A Stranger is Made –  Luis Mojica (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

They say that there is nothing new under the sun. Really? People who level such criticisms at music, who imply that not only is there only so much you can do with it, but that it has pretty much already been done, who rattle off the “there’s only so many notes you can work with” line, fail to grasp what music actually is. Music might be built from beats and chords, melodies and grooves, but that isn’t really what it is about, any more than a home is about bricks and carpets. People often get so beguiled by the structural things that they miss the fact that songs are built from ideas, imagination, experience, love, fear, longing, sorrow, joy, from pieces of an artists heart, from slices of their very soul…the rest is just there to stop these intangible concepts flying all over the place and drifting off into the ether.

Luis Mojica makes music very much from such a place. You see fleeting, familiar shapes drift past, recognise genres, instruments and words but as always it “aint what you do it’s the way that you do it” or more properly it’s not what you use to build with it’s the finished architecture that matters. In this sonic/architectural analogy Luis Mojica is Antoni Gaudi…you can see what he’s doing you just wonder why know one has been this brave, this imaginative, this wilfully challenging, before.

City Friends is the song which paves the way for the release of this engaging album, a melancholic mix of sweeping urban hymn and strange pop-odyssey and before that The Ranger was a wonderful combination of musical calling card and sonic hand grenade which announced the artists return. De La Saint wanders through baroque musical theatre, shimmering classical sounds and odd jazz landscapes and vibes like Edwardian hip-hop, if you can imagine such a thing, and Witch Love is tribal soul meets voodoo blues meets shamanic pop.

I guess the sign of a truly innovative artist is when those trying to capture the music in words have to make up impossible new genres just to give the reader something to use as a stepping stone and I haven’t been forced to invent new language to talk about an artist since Thomas Abban arrived with his own, similarly alternative world building music. And that’s exquisite company to be in if you ask me.

Pre-order How A Stranger is Made

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