Instrumental, ambient, acoustic, experimental, post-rock Audionauta hails from Buenos Aires and is composed of Jonnhy, Rocio, and Ivo. According to the band’s Bandcamp Page, A kilómetros de la superficie is a compilation of Audionauta’s first tracks. I assume this means that the album is more of a collection of individual tracks than an album built with a concept in mind, but the work still flows very well nonetheless. It features a lot of cosmic-vibed, instrumental music with some subtle electronic components.
The music is well executed and technically sound, but I had a pretty hard time ‘getting’ it, if you know what I mean. The release starts off on a nice note; the intro, “Del otro lado del minuto,” features some piano samples being played backwards. It’s a bright and sunny way to start the experience, but on the other side of that minute, I was left disappointed. The first half of the album had a lot of floaty, instrumental melodies, but not much that was very innovative or ground-breaking. “Venecia” and “Miles de Vueltas” followed “Del otro lado del minuto,” and those tracks were just all kinds of wrong to me. I could imagine a voice on top trying to sell me insurance or diamonds. The next three songs were nothing to write home about either, and I genuinely got a little bored until “1984.”
It starts off fairly aggressively with some elements of industrial music, and, weirdly enough, it kind of fits with the rest of the album, but this was by far the most interesting song. I’d even call it excellent! It’s dark, full of emotion and has more originality and experimentation than the rest of the album. We then pick up where we left off for the last three songs, “El último día en La Tierra,” “Carrousel,” and “Puentes en la ventana.” Those were not so bad to be honest; I thought that section of the album made up a little bit for the lackluster first half; a lot of strings, some accordion, and a warm, fireside vibe.
I don’t think this is a case of a bad album, so let me be very clear; I think it lacks experimentation. Perhaps, it’s a little too mellow and instrumental, sometimes lacking in percussions and rhythm. I don’t mean that Audionauta should start writing dance tracks, but peppering some IDM-ish rhythmic elements into this album would have made it a lot more interesting to me. Overall, the record is a bit too contemplative for my taste.
Now, of course, this review might read a little harsh, but that’s because I, unfortunately, did not connect with the creative elements. That, however, doesn’t mean you won’t. The band plays with textures a lot and does so quite well on this album. It gets a decent score because objectively, the musicality is very good, and I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who are going to like this release way more than I did. I encourage you to check it out for yourself, the album is by donation anyway, so you can always fork out ten bucks or whatever floats your boat if you decide that you like it enough to support.
Written by Norm Boivin
*edited by Danielle Kenedy