Presente, Ulises Hadjis

Independiente, Venezuela ****
Rating: 81
By Carlos Reyes

You know how I’m always referring to Lisandro Aristimu├▒o or Juana Molina as maximalists, as opposed to most music journalists that see them as minimalistic personas, well Ulises Hadjis stands on a borderline between those artists maximizing their musical vision and those recurring to nominal ways to express themselves. These conditions would place him on a dangerous zone where he could easily fall into the ordinary, but he finds virtue in between the grey flatness of traditional music making a vastly enjoyable pop album. Sure there are some folk and rocky waves, but Presente tackles on its acoustics and what’s wonderful about it is that it doesn’t lost itself in the adult contemporary territory most Latin-American singer-songwriters have accustomed us to. First single “Lunes” is a round exemplary take on the agony of words to accept singular meaning, the pressure time has upon us and the opportunity Mondays give us, a chance to start all over again and rise from the ashes. Although this is his debut album, he has full command over the sound universe he has constructed; it’s nostalgic and ridiculously brilliant in its lyricism, which feels effortless and spontaneous. The album’s sound design resembles that of another great album this year, Luis Alberto Spinetta’s “Un Ma├▒ana”, but this one is a bit more rebellious and radical. I can’t put into words how much I love “En un pozo”, which I found very anatomical, almost sexual; it’s poetic and deliciously resentful. “Siempre” is unbelievably relatable, one that I would be trying to translate and quote here, but so much would be lost by that little transaction that it’s best for you to experience. Another standout track is “Preocupacion Genuina”, a cinematic jewel narrative instrumented warmly by Hadjis’s guitar. With a predomination in chords, it also reaches out for the playfulness of gentle bells and delicate drums. Ulises Hadjis stands out in the current acoustic South-American movement called cancion melodramatica, certainly one to follow.

♫♫♫ "Lunes"