Guitarist Alex Masi was born in Venice, Italy and has evolved in the music industry since the 80’s. He became worldwide known in 1987 with his band “Masi” but up to now, he has about 13 albums under his name ! His most famous projects are with the band “Masi”, “MCM” (2004) and his personal works entitled “In the name of Bach (1999+2000)”, “In the name of Mozart (2004)” and “In the name of Beethoven (2005)”.
Last one is “Late Night At Desert Rimrock”, which is a progressive metal album, fully instrumental, of 54 phantasmagorical minutes. Almost one hour long in which you’ll NEVER seem to hear the same note twice. Two guys jamming together – Alex Masi and drummer John Macaluso – blending guitars and drums in a very inspirational and delirious way.
A bit like Dutch guitarist Joop Wolters often proceeds, Alex Masi doesn’t really have a “planned idea” of how the final product will sound. Nothing is “for sure”, the music just comes by itself, there’s no “story” behind the tracks, they just play the way they feel on the moment, that’s it. And you’ve got the result. Nothing was “thought” in advance.
So the album may sound chaotic sometimes, but that’s what makes its richness, here – which doesn’t mean that the music is not complex not brilliant !!! In this “mess” (can I call it that way ??), every note fits with each other anyways. Everything still finds its proper place, which is quite astonishing. Once you’ll hear the CD, you’ll understand why it took many years to create.
How would I describe “Late Night At Desert Rimrock” in just a few key words ???
Unpredictable, psychic. Very easy to get into it, but definitely too complex to get everything at the first hearings. You’ll need many !!! And this is great because that piece of work deserves more than just a couple of spins. I don’t think I caught every detail yet. As the album goes, you’ll notice more and more special effects. In “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t?”, you know you’re in Australia because of the didgeridoo mixed to the rest. Alex Masi put some of the world music’s influences in this album.
Last track, “Unsolved”, is filled with extra sounds, special effects. You’ve really got a “desert atmosphere”, there. I have no idea how the guys succeeded to create all that, but it’s fabulous !!! And by the way, “Tiktaalik in Evolution” reserves you a little surprise in the mid-song…at 2:34. ;-) I would qualify “Late Night At Desert Rimrock” as a real, fascinating, thrilling and good psychedelic experience ! It’s rather a “mental” than “emotional” album.
I’d suggest you to listen to it lying on your bed the eyes closed…it’s even crazier. ;-)
It’s a fantastic CD to dig…especially if you’re in a confused mood. It’s kind of heavy most of the time, but helps a lot reducing stress and escaping pressure as well. If you enjoy Joop Wolters’ music, then you’ll probably like Alex Masi’ too !!! I recommend his latest album ALL THE WAY ! It might be good to anyone.
Technically, it might be also one of the most “difficult” albums I’ve discovered…
Alex Masi, I won’t forget your name ! You deserve a 10/10 rate for “Late Night At Desert Rimrock” !!!
For a complete biography and explanations about his technicalities, refer to his webpage, it’s rich in information. You’ll probably get a very good answer to all your questions. ;-)
Reviewed by Vikie Martel on May 11th, 2008