The Mars Volta, Animal Collective, Mercury Rev
The dizzying effects of Denver experimental trio Rubedo is not to blame on the mile-high city's thin air, but rather the kaleidoscopic and maniacally crafted indie rock emanating from the colorful subconscious of one of the most ethereal and envelope-pushing acts of the year.
Like a cosmic dust storm that eventually forms Solar systems, Rubedo emerged from seemingly chaotic origins to create widely fluctuating, yet structurally sound creations. The manifestations that take shape on the band's debut full length, Massa Confusa, are the prototypical, primordial creations of a still emerging cohesion between vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kyle Gray, guitarist Alex Truijllo, and drummer Gregg Ziemba, yet the three have known each other for ages. While Gray and Ziemba grew up together, and Trujillo and Ziemba formed their first prog rock band in high school, the very disparate paths that each artist embarked upon only recently brought all three together, reportedly after Ziemba saw a vision of the band in a dream.
Together, with a shared interest in alchemy and the philosophy of Carl Jung, the three collaborators began their aural experimentations officially with 2010's Lapis Sophorum EP, filled to the brim with French New Wave references and wistful melodies. The members all delved into their jazz instructions to form free-flowing and loosely structured psychedelic jams that quickly caught a lot of attention. One new fan was former Mars Volta member and keyboardist extraordinaire Isaiah Owens, who even offered to produce the group's first proper LP. That LP became Massa Confusa, and Owens not only produced the album, he is featured on keys throughout the record. More expansive, and yet more intricate of an album, Massa Confusa is a triumph in both experimental chaos and sophisticated rock music, and Rubedo are just now hitting their innovative and ever transformative stride.