This came out of absolutely nowhere to me which I find incredibly surprising. For one thing, I am a rabid At The Drive-In fan and as such I follow The Mars Volta with a mixture of admiration and resentment for what rose out of that band’s ashes. (I’ve even got that Defacto stuff) Plus I’m an avid music blog/magazine reader on top of whatever press releases I get anyways. In theory Lopez shouldn’t have been able to release an album on a high profile label like Stones Throw without me hearing about it until the day of its digital release. But that is just what he did.
This is an interesting release choice by stones throw. The best connection I can make would be the soulful sound. When The Mars Volta released their debut, De-loused in the Comatorium, they kept commenting on the cultural influences in the music and said that they saw the album primarily at its core as salsa music. Yeah the boys were by all accounts strung out a good deal of the time and I didn’t really see the salsa influence manifest itself at many points during that album but there was definitely something earthy on the tracks despite all the technology and prog execution. There were moments with a much more explicit salsa influence on Rodriguez-Lopez’s A Manual Dexterity that stood shone through that non-structured jumble of an album and if he has finally gotten a firm grasp on in the four years that have passed since that release then I could see this album fitting in with the ideology of Stones Throw with their history of soulful digital sounds. Isn’t that why people say Dilla’s the best after all?
If this sounds like some sort of departure from the guitarist’s usual course though you’re very much mistaken. The album, titled Old Money, is still a concept album “Loosely based on the concept of exploitative industrialists.”
You can preview and purchase the ten Old Money tracks at Stones Throw’s online store or wait until the hardcopies ship on January 27th. Check out our box player for a full version of Private Fortunes or download it here.