Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma
02. Road to Santiago I - Night
04. Road to Santiago II - Dawn
05. Xibalba 01. Road to Santiago III - Morning
06. Alidad 01. Road to Santiago IV - Tomorrow
07. Dead tongues I
08. Dead Tongues II
Alquimia: lead and backing vocals, keyboards, samplers, percussion, flutes and electronic sounds
Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma: Piano Rhodes, synthesisers, percussion, voices, shells, flutes and electronic sounds
Arturo Romo ("Oxomaxoma"): percussion
Julio (Jordi) Sandoval: Bass
Blu: tenor and alto sax
Ramon Nakash: violin
Dead Tongues is Mexico-born singer Alquimia's third album and her first to have been widely available.
A collaboration with keyboardist Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma, it also includes appearances by Arturo Romo (percussion), Julio Sandoval (bass), Blu (saxophones), and Ramon Nakash (violin).
The match between Ledesma and Alquimia is perfect: both play many instruments and conceive their music as accumulated layers. It results in dense pieces filled with keyboard parts, flutes, multi-tracked vocals, and samples related to folk music or traditional everyday activities.
The album is bookended by "Foundations" and the two-part title track, both highly evocative pieces featuring recitation by both musicians. Ledesma's texts conjure up dead civilizations. Added to Alquimia's often-dreamy vocal constructions (a Mexican version of Enya?), they provide a slight new age aura that is not completely brushed off by the daring arrangements. In between these two songs there is the suite "Road to Santiago" — a series of impressionistic snapshots — and three more instrumental pieces, very soft and somewhat immaterial. They lack focus and leave the listener wondering what they should have been about. Dead Tongues stands among the most accessible (as in "marketable") albums ReR Megacorp has released.
Followers of the label may find it lacks challenge, but fans of haunting female vocals and those looking for a touch of exoticism will appreciate.