Intimate uplifting groove vortex
I see Peralta House as one of the most beautifully crafted albums that I have heard. The intro track "Bade" is the perfect touch to beginning an album, letting my ears warm up to the heaviness of the horn section, and then BOOM right into Speak which puts me into a chaotic space, with it's dire horn lines and flaming energy. I think it's an interesting first full-band track, considering its mood, other bands may have placed it further to the back of the album, but I accept and love it at the front. No Face Enemy: Act 1 & 2 really bring me into the groovezone even further. The politically pointed lyrics so mellowly crooned by Michael Bello wash over me like the last sip of a rich hot-chocolate, drawing images in my mind of towering businessmen stamping on the citizen-ants of any metropolis I might find myself in. No Face Enemy - - what a heavy title! What a heavy reality to be pointing out!
Ok, now I'm one of those guys who has a spot in his soul that is highly reactive to certain aspects of music. It's hard to describe, since it's a feeling I get, but when track 5 Feel Alright came over my speakers I was THERE. The intimacy of the groove and the mood - - Like when a merry-go-round has got me dizzy, and it slows down to a mellow rotation to where I can get my wits about me - - I'm able to move through the atmosphere of this track and explore and breathe. This track is important to me. It beckons me to take a deep breath and step away from the turbulence of the whirlwinds of stress and worry and fear and anger, and "Take my hand - - Dance with me - - Why don't you groove with us tonight?" Looking around I get the sense that the world NEEDS this invitation. I need this invitation. I need the opportunity to, amidst this chaotic life, let someone/something be there for me. This song points out this need, which though I try not to generalize, I get the sense everybody has. Thank you, Albino, for this track!
When La Koolie jumps in, the opening horns make me feel weightless, as I tear across the sky watching the world below, and as if to make a landing, my feet hit the ground just as the groove takes off. The upbeat energy of La Koolie is well-executed, and is perfectly positioned after the potent vibe of the previous track. Steppin' hits me with an interesting composition. It's got a funky 4/4 feel which suddenly morphs into a flowing 3/4 (6/8? you know what I mean). I've tried snapping my fingers to this track to decipher HOW they fit in that strange horn line and all the accents, but I have yet to figure it out ;) .
OK now down to business. The title track, Peralta House gets a new paragraph. This is another one of those tracks that activates a piece of my heart. The intro is perfect, building up to the the two hits that ring out, then dropping into the groove. The bass line's almost romantic, angular THUMP makes my head feel light, as the horns cut in with accents that make my body move. The mood of this song is such that it seems like a story - - before Michael even starts telling the story. It feels REAL. The content of the story is so sweet. "If I had my way, you would not go down." It's emotionally present, and emotionally delivered. I feel like the whole album is leading up to this track. This may be one of my favorite songs I've heard..and it's delivered in the arms of an outstanding album.
Closing it out with P-Slap works well. I can also see this song in the middle of the album, since it's got a real "middle of the show when shit starts getting real" feel, but that's not the point. I think it's a great track to come down off the rest of the album. The guitar voodoo action is really amazing, the overlapping of the grooves really takes my conscious mind for an interesting stroll. When it's done, the silence is reflective. So much to take in - - and that's the primary reason that I usually start the album over immediately to continue looking at all these angles and avenues through which Albino spins their polyrhythmic webs. It's not uncommon for me to listen to this album 3+ times back to back on a road journey. It seems to have something fresh to offer with each listen. I definitely don't consider this the type of album that I skip songs on. It's all the way through, baby. All or nothing.
So to sum it up, I want to thank all the musicians who played on this album (I'm having difficulty finding the credits considering it's only available in mp3 format), and I want to thank the musicians who currently make up the Albino! group, and though I still haven't heard any live performances of any songs off of Peralta House in the 5 or 6 times I've witnessed them git down, they still have a mighty, furious groove to offer, and I hope to make it out to as many of their shows as I possibly can.