Cut Farmington some slack. The neighbor to the south may be just a quick stop for a Target trip, or a blow-by town on to other higher-profile destinations, but it boasts some good people, and some good bands. KDUR Radio has been the recipient of some great volunteer DJs from Farmington, and more and more bands are making themselves known around Durango with local shows.
One of those bands is Cinematica, an instrumental trio that is one of many bands playing “Hoovfest” on Saturday at the Animas City Theatre. Also playing are Columbyne, Signal 99, Haddenfield A.D., and Kapital Punishment, with loads of other guests.
It’s likely that anyone in Farmington that picks up a guitar with the aim to use it probably knows anyone else in Farmington with the same intentions. Word gets around, musicians noodle around with each other, and new bands are born. It’s a common, glorious practice repeated in music scenes worldwide.
“Everybody had been involved in different projects, and we had known each other around the scene,” said guitar player Brandon Mike. “We came together, started jamming, and it just happened. It was magical like that.”
Cinematica recently released an EP called “Cherry Nova,” recorded with Doug Eagle in Durango at Eagle Sound. It’s a short, three-song effort, an ambient and atmospheric rock record reminiscent of Trans Am or El Ten Eleven.
There are sounds that dangle the electronic carrot even though they’re a true band (playing real instruments), and the jam-band carrot, yet it’s done so in a method void of fist-throwing or noodle dancing. It’s mellow, head-bobbing, trance-like music that works. And just when you think they may take off on some improvisational blast, they reel it back in.
It’s important to have bands that make the listener work for it, to give you a product that requires thought to ingest the art. Instrumental bands are like that, leaving something to the imagination of the listener, making you come up with your own idea for what the song is about. You have those friends that listen to music in your home, or stand next to you at a show hammering you with stupid questions. “Why are they named Cinematica?” “How come there are no words?” “Is this rock music?” If the music you make sparks some confusion in some and conversation in others, then somewhere along the way they’ve done the right thing. Instrumental music is great at being that catalyst.
“There was no intention, it just really happened like that. There was no idea of saying, ‘Hey were going to do this as an instrumental band with no vocals. Sometimes you don’t have to speak,” said Mike. “I do love jazz, so it makes sense to me that I would be in a band that’s instrumental.”
The Cherry Nova EP, as well as their sound overall, is ripe for a soundtrack. Influenced by the wide open spaces found on the outskirts of town when leaving just about any town in New Mexico, it’s bold music that’s also capable of a subtle background existence.
“Being from New Mexico, we have a lot of scenery,” said Mike. “That’s a major ingredient to Cinematica.”
Cinematica will be going back into the studio with Eagle in May to record a full-length record, with an anticipated release later in 2017.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. [email protected]