Omar A Rodriguez-Lopez – A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume I

The Mars Volta’s guitarist (we’ll call him Omar throughout) is known for his prolific amount of studio work and this has shown none more so than in 2009 where he has released 6 full length studio albums with more on the way. I’ll be honest with you, his solo work has never really grabbed my attention apart from bits here and there (Solar Gambling, Apocalypse Inside of an Orange) however this record of his holds a very special place in the ranks. It is intensly different from the bulk of his work and in my opinion a fuckload more interesting.

Enter Around Knuckle White Tile, a slothing ambience fills the space for a minute or so until the song decides to form some sort of coherent structure, and from this seemingly simple resonance is a raging cacophanous mass of electric and acoustic guitars, dense synths to fill the air and sparse drumming pounding away in the background. I am trying to pinpoint why this album strikes me as much more appealing to me than his other work and I would have to say that Omar uses the space that he has to much more effect, building dramatic theme after dramatic theme and executing a wonderful balance between electronic soundscapes and all out guiatr assualts.

The fact that the record is also a soundtrack works really well, with each song almost covering a scene whether it by the funky Dyna Sark Arhces or the heavily influenced latin vibe you get from Deus Ex Machina. All I ask is that Omar hurry up and release the movie…It’s been eight years damnit! Enjoy.

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