La Barranca has been a successful ongoing outfit for over a decade. Based in Mexico City, they are led by guitarist and songwriter Jos? Manuel Aguilera, who previously and concurrently worked with Sangre Azteka, Jaguares, Cecilia Toussaint, Steven Brown/Nine Rain (Tuxedomoon), and more. He has an unusually economical style of playing that concentrates on great rhythms, superb tone, and very melodic solos. After the original lineup--Agulera, Federico Fong (bass), Alfonso Andre (drums), all of whom were guest members of Jaguares with former Caifanes frontman Saul Hernandez--went its separate ways, a second version of the band included Santa Sabina guitar virtuoso Alex Otaola and the extremely flexible rhythm section of brothers Jose Mar?a ("Chema") and Alonso Arreola. The band's sound effortlessly moves from flat out rock to fusion-ish jamming and passes through a kind of Mexican folk influence along the way. Aguilera is a good singer with a talent for finding simple melodies amidst rather complex songs. On "El Fluir" the band decided to record live and to cut back on the keyboard and programmed additions to their music. Surprisingly, the result was not an over-the-top jamfest but rather a very tightly arranged set of songs that hinted at the overwhelming power they could possess in concert. The two guitar interplay between Aguilera and Otaola was highly impressive as they explored all forms of playing together and against one another (with Otaola pulling all sorts of radical sounds out of his guitar). "El Fluir" was their first US release since "Tempestad" in 1998. This edition was further sweetened by the inclusion of a previously unreleased bonus track and a video for the first single "Pare de Sufrir."
In 2007, the group went on hiatus in order to find new management and to allow time for solo projects. Jos? Manuel Aguilera released a second project with Jaime L?pez titled "No m?s h?roes, por favor." Bassist Alonso Arreola put out a mostly-instrumental album "LabA: M?sica horizontal" that features all the other La Barranca members as well as jazz musicians like Michael Manring, Trey Gunn, and David Fiucynski. Alex Otaola released a solo project (also featuring appearances from La Barranca and Santa Sabina musicians) titled "Fractales" in August 2007. The "Fractales" music comes with video portions as well. Drummer "Chema" Arreola began work on a book.
In June 2007, Alonso Arreola announced that the group could not agree on matters essential to continuing on and that he would be leaving the band. Although not speaking for his brother or Alex Otaola, he indicated that they would likely leave the band as well. He was careful to point out that this was an amicable split and that Aguilera would be welcome to continue with new members should he so choose to.
Subsequently, Aguilera announced via the www.labarranca.com.mx website that the original trio of Aguilera, Fong, and Andre would reunite for a new La Barranca album in 2008. This album is named "Providencia", it was sold at first only through the official website. Providencia was soon joined by a companion album "Construcci?n", a collection of instrumental outtakes and demo versions of the tracks of "Providencia".
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