Saturday, August 8, 2015

KoMaRa by KoMaRa

A skinless creature
has nothing to hide behind,
sensitive to touch.

KoMaRa, the self-titled debut album from progressive fusion trio KoMaRa, is the second of three Pat Mastelotto projects currently getting some serious listening on my home stereo. KoMaRa is David Kollar (guitar), Pat Mastelotto (drums), and Paolo Raineri (trumpet).

There's a conceptual heaviness on KoMaRa that doesn't get bogged down in simple, lumbering weight. Instead, the album comes off as a well-balanced mystery that never quite gives up all its secrets. Mastelotto's drumming takes center stage on this highly percussive album, providing not just rhythm but structure, framework and tone. Each track seems centered on his intricate performances with Kollar and Raineri filling the open spaces with texture. That's not to diminish their performances or that of the group as a whole but I can't help but feel Mastelotto's strong influence throughout.

It's simplistic on my part, but Raineri's trumpet reminds me a lot of Naked Truth - another Mastelotto project with a new album due later this year. But where Naked Truth veers more to the jazz/ambient side of progressive fusion (a la Jon Hassell), KoMaRa is firmly camped in the rock side. With Raineri giving KoMaRa its mysterious voice, Kollar's guitar completes the growling narrative.

Why not just give this a listen (and you'll find more vids there on David Kollar's channel).

Rereading that, I make it sound like KoMaRa is a soundtrack. But it's not; it doesn't need to be. It's inventive, explorative, powerful, instrumental, musical. It's "What did I just hear?" and "Can I hear it again?"

The album's sleeve design deserves honorable mention. The graphics are certainly eye-catching but the printing and varnish treatment is top-notch and really gives the design some punch. Credit goes to Adam Jones (from Tool) for the "creature art."

Great cover art from Adam Jones for KoMaRa's debut.
You learn more on KoMaRa's website, The band members' individual sites are:

"I don't know much about music, but I sure like the sound it makes."

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

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