April 07, 2004

Tristeza "Espuma"

I don't know a lot about the current state of Tristeza. Are they broken up? Are they still around? I'm under the impression that they're no longer functioning as a band, but I've also heard that they are still together, it's just that Jimmy LaValle has left the band to focus on Album Leaf. Either way, that doesn't really affect the music on Espuma at all.

It really doesn't matter, though. Espuma is classic Tristeza, perfecting their electronica-meets-jazz style. The musical patterns on Espuma are soft, gentle and electronic, such as on "Glimpse Exposure," which glistens nicely with a soft, circular pattern. "Enchanter" is enhanced with electronic beats, making it something much more than another indie-jazz rock song. "Living Stains" has a pulsing rhythm that's quite upbeat, too. All of these songs have that rainy-day in the coffeehouse vibe that I really go for, too. Occasionally, though, the songs are too short; "Encahnter" and "Bankoku" just start to get into the groove and then come to an end. Would love to hear more.

If Espuma is Tristeza's last word, it's a high note. If it's just a stop-gap release, then it's a good sign that their future records will be excellent. Though I have a feeling this is indeed their last record, I'm not sad; so many bands have yet to sound half as good as Tristeza does here, so this record is a brief yet pleasant record from a band who know (knew) how to write a really lovely instrumental.

--Joseph Kyle

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