Album Title: Telesterion
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Review by: Eric Stuckart
It is pretty well documented that Omar Rodriguez Lopez is both a maniac and a workaholic, musically speaking. In the last decade, give or take, he’s taken part in over 20 recordings, not counting live albums, compilations, one-offs, or his work with The Mars Volta. I’ve theorized that the man simply cannot sit still, and it is possible that he even writes and records in his sleep.
All superhuman musical power jokes aside, the man’s got a body of work that could be viewed as daunting to the casual music listener, or even Mars Volta fans looking to see what that band’s guitarist is up to during his “off” time. Luckily for us, his first compilation album is now available for the curious, and it is quite exhaustive. I mean that in the best way possible; it’s exhaustive just on account of how much content is really on display here.
The two-disc Telesterion serves not so much as a “best of” or “greatest hits” as it does the musical equivalent of one of those sampler platters you get at Applebee’s. Featuring a total of 37 cuts — the vinyl edition has 38 — from 17 different releases (18 on the vinyl), it gives listeners an extremely broad swath of just what exactly he’s capable of on record. Everything from a proggy post-punk style similar to TMV, to fusion jazz, electronic music, funk and latin music is on full display.
As a whole, it is a very interesting, varied listen, as the best of compilations are. Does it all fit together in a nice tidy package? No, but that’s far from the point. The point is to showcase the creative depth of the artist at hand, and Telesterion terrifically accomplishes that task with ease. Fans of creative, adventurous music, as well as Mars Volta fans that have yet to hear Lopez’s solo and side projects need to look into this if they haven’t already. Sure, his music is a bit on the weird side, but there’s a warmth to it that demands the curious investigate.
For more info, rodriguezlopezproductions.com
Pads & Panels received a copy of the music courtesy of the record label for review purposes.