"The Ethereal Current"

(Self-Released 2003)Iluminada - The Ethereal Current

Electronic rock with a free form jazz and jam elements, Iluminada's "The Ethereal Current" provides music for a variety of moods. But do not let the "electronic" part fool you. Iluminada's sound is not made up of computer processed vocals nor does it rely heavily on a drum machine. Instead, the band's sound has more of a flow, soaring up and down.

"The Ethereal Current" opens with "Current", bubbling underwater sound effects, before the first song, "Elevator," enters in with a tone not unlike The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" with heavier percussion. Iluminada start "Over the Line" quietly and crescendo up to create a soaring sound that showcases singer Monica Rodriguez's strong, dynamic voice and range while the "background" instrumentation is in no way in the background. On the jazzy and catchy "Tiptoe," the band incorporate a DJ's brief scratching as well as making the final lyrics Spanish. Opening with a low groan, like PJ Harvey's "Beautiful Feeling," "The Nature Of Hope" is a slower song with Rodriguez describing the scene - "Sweaty rooms and vacant hearts/look down from the 6th floor/watch the sun tuck behind apartment one" -- before asserting she "could refuse the nature of hope."

With an intricate and well executed acoustic guitar intro, "Measure of Grace" lyrically addresses another liar, as "Elevator" did, and builds up for a powerful ending. Stepping up to a more flamenco oriented rhythm, as accentuated by the percussion, on "Glide," the lyrics, again, include some Spanish verses as does "Minutes Into Hours" which starts off with a drum solo and, once the music all joins in, bass and flute stand out of the blending of sounds. With an intense instrumental section, "Minutes Into Hours" is the most (focus) jam-oriented of the songs. Midway through "Novum," Iluminada turn the song nearly into a disco tune with a banjo-sounding riff. The closing "Tide" is a quiet comedown with slowly strummed guitar behind the short lived vocals. The song goes quiet then returns once more with humming and beat boxing and then dies away.

"The Ethereal Current" is full of energy and power. Iluminada stay in their self professed electronic rock genre but explore different areas of it by toying with dynamics, tone and using a variety of instruments on each track. Songs like "Elevator," "Tiptoe" and "Novum" show how the band can alter their sound without changing too dramatically and create something different and unique.