Hailing from Montevideo, Uruguay and Chicago, Illinois respectively, it took guitarist Tom Farrell and violinist Javier Orman until they both worked at the same company in Santa Monica to meet, but once they did it was a musical match made in heaven. Both were and remain accomplished and award-winning classical musicians, but felt restless and confined at the prospect of remaining in just one genre for the rest of the course of their careers, so they put their heads together and the result of their brainstorming turned out to be something a little like, as LA Weekly describes, “avant-sonic acrobats”, and I can't put it any better than that! With elements of classical, jazz, world, and music that's generally experimental, at first glance Dúo del Sol might sound like something that'd go right over your head, but they have a secure enough hold on creating songs with just as much appeal as the catchiest pop songs, making it impossible to pin them down into any one genre, and their hello Kaleidoscope album exemplifies all these things in full.
A majority of the album is exclusively instrumental, but hello Kaleidoscope also includes a few songs with vocals, both in English ("Rain") and Spanish ("Me Hace Bien") preventing listeners from ever getting too used, let alone bored, with Dúo del Sol's style, though there's more than enough diversity on display in each song that becoming bored with them is close to inconceivable! Another label that can't be used to describe hello Kaleidoscope is pretentiousness, which is a crutch that'd be an easy temptation to turn to for musicians as educated as Farrell and Orman but each song is organic and comes from the heart, making what would seem as an unusual style wash naturally over the listener, and the bevy of techniques Dúo del Sol utilizes has a lot to do with how successful the end product comes across!
With slower, and sometimes melancholy moods and tempos ("Louie", "While You Were Gone"), rhythmic and speedy dance numbers ("Cualquiera", "Satoomba"), songs that couldn't be more indicative of their names and elicit clear mental images of the picture they convey ("Tightrope", "Clusterfük"), and explorations of of different cultures' musical landscapes including but not limited to Spanish influences found throughout the entire album and accordion on "Rain", "Satoomba", and "El Gran Luminoso", Dúo del Sol's auditory kaleidoscope is one with many colors and details that can't all be recognized from just the first listen, yet it's still just as captivating on the surface as it is after listening to it for the thousandth time. Regardless of if you're coming from a place of loving classical and/or instrumental music or not, the richness and joy in hello Kaleidoscope should entice just about anyone, and that's what it really comes down to: when you know that they're getting as much joy creating the music as you are from listening to it. hello Kaleidoscope is out now, so don't delay in listening to it, because you just might find something you really love!
Personal recommendations/favorites: Never The Same River Twice, After Words, Rain, El Gran Luminoso