The Saddest Key of All, Los Re#


Delhotel Records, México
Rating: 69
By Jean-Stephane Beriot

Prior to listening to this album I had no idea this was part of an objective set by Roger Camara (Bul) earlier this year; he wants to release an album every month, and he’s actually doing it. Without some of us knowing it, Bul will probably be the most reviewed individual at Club Fonograma, luckily he’s eclectic and not a release-freak like Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Bul is part of Fuck Her or the Terrorists Win, DJ Golonsh, Zozaya, Album, Mercey Hot Springs and now his latest, Los Re# (Los Re Sostenido). I’ve always felt a big similarity on all of these projects, mostly in their production and now it actually makes sense. I reviewed his first release (Fuck Her, or the Terrorists Win) and although I wasn’t crazy about it, it has grown into a healthy EP that I would put as the big standout from what he has released so far (would also raise its rating to at least a 74). The Saddest Key of All misses an identity that has probably been sliced up by the amount of releases, but it’s nonetheless a worthy extension to the monthly series.

You got to give it to him, the guy sings good, knows how to handle minimalism and maximalism when needed, he can rap (Zozaya), produce (Mr. Racoon’s Katy), and also cut and paste stuff a la Girl Talk (DJ Golonsh), so what exactly is he offering with Los Re#? Songs! Because there’s nothing new in terms of musical search (but maybe he wants to find the saddest key of all?), we’ve heard his electronic pop before except that this time, he actually sounds sober. Not as intricate and interesting as Nuuro or Alexico, but conscious and clear-headed of his beats, keyboards and vocal distorts. At first glimpse “Instintos Naturales” stands out right away, it saves a sequence from Album’s “amaramA” and molds a brand new song that is not as sweet as the former piece but comes up as a confrontational song in both music and lyrics.

He reunites with rapper Porno (whose showcases nothing but fury) for the opening track “D#”, a fuming intro ready to splatter people’s brains, not even machines are excluded from the high vibrancies discharged by this highly energetic intro. “Insomnia” is one of my favorites, it’s a sweet song that relies on its tempo to really get its feeling be heard, but I must confess I would’ve liked to hear the female voice from “Es Teatro Griego” to show up. I’ve also noticed a devotion for industrial sound, it’s almost urban (such in “Shot up” and “Save it for a rainy day”), which is well balanced with other songs like “Trophy”, which features beautiful vocals from Ely Mock (I kind of wish she would collaborate on every song actually). The album gets a bit dry sometimes, even chaotic, there’s a lot of stuff going on and not enough melody to make up for it, I’m sure there are wonderful hidden narratives in there but I’m not sure how to get in them. Bul has not given us an album that blows our minds out (yet), but there are songs that will stay with us for long, looking forward for the next half of the series, he’s got enough goodies for a Greatest Hits album already.