steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Artifact" CD

Solponticello Records

195 Three Oaks Dr.
Athens GA 30607

Nov 18 - 24 2002

Dromedary is comprised of guitarists Andrew Reissiger and Rob McMaken.  And oh boy are they good.  Artifact is their debut release, and it shows them at top-form.  With Reissiger championing both guitar and charango, and McMaken taking on the mandolin and cümbüs, they have created ten tracks that blend all sorts of influences and ideas together.

Right from the first piece, the two-part "Fado Triado," you know you've gotten into something good, with the Mexican guitar sound coming across terrifically.  It boasts a sense of romanticism to it, and the warm sound of the instruments will definitely get you smiling.

"Tukman's Cueca," meanwhile, is a Greek-tinged piece that succeeds in being both musically complex and joyfully playful.  It sees the duo playing their instruments with a sense of breezy mastery, showing off how simple it is for them to roll off intricate, exact strokes with seemingly no thought at all.  McMaken's mandolin playing is especially notable, really taking the spotlight in the track.

"The Jolly Hobbler," meanwhile, is a laidback stride that would go well as lounge music, yet still stands up on its own.

While Artifact may have a very relaxed atmosphere to it, calling it "background music" is an outrage.  Its sound does work as a background, it's true, but it is in the foreground that Artifact really becomes a truly rewarding work.

Go out and check this album out; Dromedary are on the verge of becoming a powerful force on the scene, you might as well get used to them.  From the enthusiastic warmth of "Tukman's Cueca" to the spirited mysticism of "Camels Waltzing," Artifact is an album that needs to be heard to be believed.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2001]