Burka “Claustrofobia”

Burka operates at two temperatures: white-hot and supernova. This free-flowing power trio of Camila Nebbia on tenor sax, Raian Valença Joao on electric bass, and drummer Nicolás del Aguila light the fuse from the first seconds of Claustrofobia opener “El Fin De La Fantasia Virtual” and never bother with the rearview. Aguila and Joao pummel listeners with a firehose of guttural tonal slop, gleaming the cube for a mirror that Nebbia’s sax dances all over. There are angular punk grooves as if Burka are refracting the best of Godheadsilo through a free jazz prism.

Joao has a penchant for these nasty earworm groves like cascading arrangements on “Pequeño Episodio” where he mines pop fields for neon shrapnel. Everything gets painted in black and grey as Burka rides this rhinestone wave into new sonic frontiers. “Pequeño Episodio” obscures its underlying urgency with Nebbia’s emotive wisps sailing across the deep rhythmic rivers Joao and Aguila let loose. On “Hiedra,” Nebbia’s saxophone is like a slinky moving in spellbinding motions, changing cadence in the blink of an eye even when Joao and Aguila are locked in a blast furnace bounce.

All three are dialed in at all times giving Claustrofobia a hypnotic focus with space to search out their own dark corridors. “Mitomania” sends Nebbia and Joao into a dueling screech fest as the latter batters the ceiling with howling splendor-fueled notes while the latter cracks glass at all angles before settling into a distorted subterranean romp. The interactions are priceless, but without Aguila making sure the waves keep pushing forward. Nebbia continues her maze-like runs across any and all sonic terrain, firing off these guttural roars and metallic shrieks with no strings attached.

Claustrofobia hits hard until the end. The album closes with “Contacto Estrecho,” a short 1:30 coda, that is pure energy. Joao stomps thick bass notes into a mud-soaked pool where Aguila is pouncing. Nebbia plays out a catchy riff where the runs stab through walls and it gives her a view above the chaos, but with the world below chewing itself into a mountain of dust, Burka just keeps the grindstone barking straight toward the bone. 

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