Multi-instrumentalist Jonatan Piña Duluc seems to rarely stand stillor even move in one single direction in his Dominican Republic homeland, where he leads an Afro-Dominican jazz quartet and a hard rock band, and solo projects such as Soundtrack Vol. I -Secuencia, his third independent (completely) solo release.
On one hand, Piña Duluc has already proved his talent for composing by, for starters, claiming top honors in the Dominican Republic's most prestigious composition competition (the Premio Nacional de Música) six different times across three different categories (symphonic/choral, chamber music and Latin dance).
On the other hand, this Soundtrack pulls (or pushes) Piña Duluc into a different writing style. As its title suggests, it presents a series of instrumental suites and pieces written for or inspired by storytelling through film and is entirely self-composed, arranged, performed and recorded (although he turned it over to Iván Batista for mixing).
Listening to music composed for scenes you've not seen or heard is always a risky gambit, but Piña Duluc's strong voices on saxophone and guitar often toss liferopes to the lost listener. Guitar opens and establishes the thick mood of "Impressions Suite I," which hums and rattles like an atmospheric U2 tune. The resonant twangy guitar opening "Veneno Pt. II" suggests an Ennio Morricone western theme, although the background and accompaniment seem to howl an electric nightmare instead.
"Dolce Vita Suite" opens with this same blue guitar sound, electric blue notes strung together to gradually build into a blues shuffle. Piña Duluc doubles guitar back on top of this shuffle to duet with the violin, to then tumble down and then crawl back up his shuffling hook, and then dissipate "Suite" into a hazy blue soundcloud.
The three-movement title suite consumes eighteen minutes, and the powerful rhythmic engine upon which it runs sounds primed to run perpetually. "Iniciación" awakens in a mist of tuned drums and blues guitar harmonics and chords but quickly twists into a knotty progressive hard rock sound, and ends with guitar, saxophone and drums (unsuccessfully) trying to settle an orchestral argument.
"Fiesta del Veneno" builds from churning bass and drums into a happy little saxophone melody that clears out all the other instruments and sets a new stage for spiritualized lead guitar and harmonizing horns, all locked down by percolating percussion, and building up the genuine feeling of communal jazz joy. As "Confirmación" closes this Secuencia suite, the drum and saxophone parts begin ricocheting off each other, accelerating the rhythm and winding the melody tighter, igniting one more guitar solo that explodes like sonic dynamite.
Veneno pt. II; Culpa las palabras; filosas palabras; Estalkeo y persecución en la Duarte; Dolce Vita
Suite; Veneno pt. III; Impressions Suite I; Impressions Suite II; Secuencia I, Iniciación, Secuencia II,
Fiesta del Veneno; Secuencia III, Confirmación, Navajas, Cuarentena 2020
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