Omar Rodriguez Lopez finds it impossible to slow down. The former Mars Volta guitarist is going full blast on his new project, Bosnian Rainbows, mere months after the Mars Volta break-up announcement. The band, a collaboration with Teri Gender Bender, Deantoni Parks, and Nicci Kasper, is releasing its first album June 25.
At the start of spring, The Mars Volta released one of its most diverse, balanced albums to date — spiraling through progressive melodies, pop structures, and synthesized effects. Noctourniquet delivered on all fronts, and “The Malkin Jewel” was one of its standout singles.
Morrow: Conceived as something of a live piano-and-drums experiment, Grand Pianoramax is the principal project of pianist Leo Tardin. Once “a New Yorker from Switzerland” and now “a Berliner from America,” Tardin uses a small arsenal of instruments — grand piano, Fender Rhodes, K-Station, harmonium, Phillichorda — to achieve a diversity of sounds for his duo’s spacey, funky, classically infused music.
Smooth Danger is the duo’s third and newest album; released overseas last fall, it sees a US release in a few months. Though it doesn’t depart much from its predecessors, it cuts back a bit on guest vocalists, allowing the duo’s music to better stand on its own. And it deserves to, thanks to its combination of killer melodies, synthesized grooves, and classical piano that overlay tight, rapid rock and boom-bap beats from new drummer Dominik Burkhalter. (The former drummers, by the way, were no slouches: Deantoni Parks [The Mars Volta, Meshell Ndegeocello] and Adam Deitch [Talib Kweli, John Scofield].)