Listen to Kan'Nal's "Desert Flower" while you read!
By Reanna Feinberg
Kan'Nal :: 07.27.06 :: Ashland Armory :: Ashland, OR
Kan'Nal's self-proclaimed "tribal shamanic rock" purges the soul with a musical plunger coursing through the Earth and flushing me clean from my feet, bare and rooted, emptying more layers than I knew I had. In a primal mixture of music and dance, their rhythmic fire transforms the space. I've seen the Ashland Armory in daylight and know it's not thick below the waist like a bog, yet I float in something tangible, holding me as I carve rivulets, hollowing a musical canoe with my hips. Teresita Hinojosa and Akayate, performance artists, move like human puppets with someone else's body dancing below pagan clown faces to the building heartbeat of Aaron Jerad's didgeridoo. Joyful, enticing serpentine magic, merely from wearing a curious white mask backwards — the music takes us back to the basics: simple, raw, power.
Kan'Nal by Paresh
Tierro's masterful Spanish gypsy rampage on the guitar plucks my ribs as if harp strings ran between them. He faces Tzol at the front of the stage, squaring off, dueling his guitar against Tzol's hard and euphonic voice. Tzol's powerful lyrics echo and roar, pounding into a whirlwind of desperate, fiery, abysmal banter. Ancient conversations, spawned from the heart, explode in heavy metal desperation. Tierro's guitar talks back, unafraid of flames, speaking this language of heat.
Tzol by Paresh
Teresita duels with a guest musician in voices alone. Swirling sounds and words into the room, like racquetballs flying against the walls, the guest imitates a DJ while Teresita releases Earth-Mother lyrics in spoken-word rap.
Aaron on percussion and didgeridoo creates a spacey electric backdrop with his spit and breath. Gilly Gonzales adds shakers (often rattling the whole post of chimes) and other toys to the surreal mix, creating a high-tech sound without the tech. The music thickens with Tierro's loops and Rodolfo Escobar holding it together with bass. Rodolfo quietly draws the high-energy rhythms into the Earth where they seep and pulse into quakes. Rich sounds ripple through my feet to my spine in walrus echoes, discussing things older than my terrestrial roots comprehend.
Gilly's bare hands work the drum set to dough, bouncing off hard rims as easily as the soft skins of the hand drums surrounding him. He's a child playing a bath into a tidal wave as he breaks into a solo. Akayate shares the spotlight, spinning white sheets in front of a projector streaming images onto stage.
Teresita by Paresh
My legs brace themselves wide, rooting strongly as if on a train with no handholds. My arms fly, shedding emotional crud I've gathered like spider webs on my hiking boots. Cleansing. Pulsing. Breathing limbs lift the air around me. Swirling swords like poi and clanging them overhead in time with the music, Teresita cuts loose anything not yet shaken free. Held still, the swords fill the room with strong vibrations and a settling grace.
The rest of the band takes a seat, playing at the back of the stage, while Tzol plays his rhythm guitar and sings a sweet political religious song. Like the band, I too drift to a softer place, searching for rest, trying to catch my breath. Got it! Just in time, the whole band returns to pulse the growing volcano fire into musical form.
Teresita glides back and forth like a tiger taunting the microphone at the front of the stage, testing its scent before accepting it as her chosen outlet. Tierro smiles at this hunt. As her spoken-word builds, she lifts her arms, revealing wings of golden cloth far larger than herself. She spins in smooth circles, and a gleaming sun materializes at the edge of the stage.
Gilly by Paresh
Waves of intense instrumental explosions rip me at the seams and strip away layers until nothing's left. I didn't need it anyway. The music burns me down, and I'm left dancing among sparks over the crowd above my body rooted to the vibrations below my feet, cemented into a musical vortex, wondering how I'm going to get home, having abandoned the non-essential flesh and bones of my being. No time to think about it now. Turns out the brain wasn't as important as I'd counted, and all that remains is new territory. That and hard-pounding music painting a horizon where the ocean devours the sun in flame to paint the sky in their collaborated explosion. I am joy. I am music. I am throwing handfuls of water on a blazing inferno just to keep it fighting, burning the world to ash where it can grow anew from seeds of this raw musical fire.
JamBase | Ashland
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