Review: Maiki – Sea/Sons

Barcelona-born Jordi ‘Maiki’ Rovira produced the entertaining ‘The Stalker’ album in 2009, where he revealed a taste for abstract electronica and a penchant for bizarre but inventive cover versions. ‘Sea/Sons’ is a compilation of EPs he has released in the last year. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the most seamless album to listen to but it frequently produces great moments.

Of the cover versions, ‘Beck’s ‘The Golden Age’ sounds more like Depeche Mode, so it’s fitting that Rovira doffs his cap to Basildon’s finest for the latter’s ‘Sometimes’ as well. He also tackles ‘Way Down In The Hole’, the Tom Waits-penned title song to The Wire. Viewers of the show will be aware there was a different version used for each of the five seasons and Rovira’s lo-fi electronica is decent in comparison. Where he really excels, though, is his percussion-heavy take on Luke Haines’ politically-fired ‘Baader Meinhof’.

As far as his own compositions go, Rovira is inconsistent. His best moment is undoubtedly the longest track ‘Tell Myself Everything Is Sacred, Remember To Be Thankful For What I’ve Got’; a fascinating twelve-minute journey through techno and ambient terrain which meanders through each passage with great fluidity whilst maintaining its core melody. ‘SF’ and ‘The Soft Machine’ are interesting experiments which never seem to take flight,’Analyse’ is a fine if sombre song but three versions of it seems excessive. However, ‘The Ladder’ is deliciously tight and urgent and the standout of a worthwhile detour in to cinematically-themed music.

The variety of ‘Sea/Sons’ proves to be a double-edged sword with Rovira always producing interesting work but often at the expenses of cohesion. Nevertheless, it is to Rovira’s credit that he sounds like a unique performer, interpreting others’ work and often making them his own, whilst also establishing a reputation for quality experimental music.

Web Sites:
Maiki Official Site
Secta Records Label and Shop Site
Maiki MySpace

Further Listening:
Depeche Mode, Tarwater, Steven Brown

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