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Maquiladora | What The Day Was Dreaming (Darla)
Dressed in one of the least inviting sleeves I've seen for some time (in a word, 'rocks'. Not the Aerosmith album but rocks, like, y'know, big stones), 'What The Day Was Dreaming' is being marketed as an Americana album, albeit one that's been on a trip into space before landing in the desert.
Ostensibly the work of core trio Eric Neilson, Bruce McKenzie and Phil Beaumont, with an array of distinguished guests (including the suddenly ubiquitous Makoto Kawabata, who provides the charmingly prog 'guitarscape', fellow Acid Mothers Temple inmate Cotton Casino, and Rocket from the Crypt's J. Crane on trumpet), Maquiladora are big on mood and widescreen drifting, less adept at economy and a melodic hook. And they leave the 'auto-tune' setting firmly in the 'off' position, with vocals wavering intimately throughout, as breathy and unobtrusive as the music is expansive and amiably aimless. At its best it's as hypnotic and engrossing as Low's finest, or a blissed-out Yo La Tengo, such as on Dr. Said No, which genuinely appears to be afloat on gently rippling waters. This is Americana remixed for a chill-out room, translucent, inflatable chairs a hair's breadth from a cactus spike.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003