BORICUA JOY: The nine tracks on Balún’s newest full-length release, “Memoria Textil”, are like candy — filled with delicious little blips, and vocals caramelized with simple synth melodies. No, this isn’t a cheesy metaphor run amok. Really. Most of the album happens in the higher register — high-frequency beeps, steep vocals and organ that nearly sounds like a flute. It gives the impression the music is being seared or lacquered with honey. Sweetness is the intangible thing that holds everything together. “Memoria Textil” is a gorging on candy, without the inevitably ensuing stomach ache. Lead vocalist Angélica Negrón uses her child-like voice as accompaniment, just like any other instrument in the band. Her wandering phrases augment the mood, giving the band’s music a floating feel. Maybe that’s why the band chose their name? At their simplest, this band from Puerto Rico sounds like Japan’s Lullatone, and at their most complex, Balún’s wild-play with bells and loops is reminiscent of Stereolab’s fondness for synth and vocal texturing. There is a sameness quality to the music, but that change will come within the natural progression of playing more and more music together. One of Balun’s strengths is their ability to balance both chaos and calm with unique charm. Note: This record was self-released via Sgulp! Discos. The band says they’re following up this album with another soon to be out via Si No Puedo Bailar. Balún is José Olivares, Angélica Negrón, Andrés Fontanez, Noraliz Ruíz and Leonardo Velázquez. — David D. Robbins Jr.

Balún “Las Olas”

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One thought on “CALM AND STORM | Balún

  1. Pingback: Balún in Fonográmaticos Vol. 10 | Balun

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