4.3 15
by Rodrigo y Gabriela

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The very first moments of Rodrigo y Gabriela's sophomore effort, 11:11, hit the listener cold in the face, and not just because of the amazing guitar playing. Sure, it's there, but it's what anyone who heard the duo's astonishing debut would expect. No, it's the sound of the record: immediate, forceful, crystalline; it's…  See more details below


The very first moments of Rodrigo y Gabriela's sophomore effort, 11:11, hit the listener cold in the face, and not just because of the amazing guitar playing. Sure, it's there, but it's what anyone who heard the duo's astonishing debut would expect. No, it's the sound of the record: immediate, forceful, crystalline; it's in-your-face compelling and impossible to ignore. 11:11 features 11 new compositions, dedicated to 11 musical artists (not all guitarists, either) who have had an influence on the duo. Recorded in Ixtapa, Mexico, the set was self-produced with the exception of two cuts, which were co-produced with John Leckie. The set was mixed in Wales and London by Colin Richardson, who has worked with metal bands Trivium and Slipknot. The set opens with the striking, rhythmically complex "Hanuman," dedicated to Carlos Santana. While it doesn't work so much on the level of Santana's soaring solos, what it does do is capture the dramatic, rhythmically complex elements of his trademark style and roots him directly inside the entire lineage of great Latin guitarists. Next up is "Buster Voodoo," dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. The late guitarist's original nickname was Buster, and he wrote "Voodoo Chile," hence the title. This track is far afield from the preceding one in that it lifts elements of the Hendrix tune, and moves into a solid meld of heavy metal dynamics and contemporary Latin style -- there's even the use of a wah-wah pedal on a nylon-string guitar to excellent effect. The fuzzed-out intro to "Santo Domingo" is a rather jarring effect for a tune that is dedicated to Latin jazz pianist and composer Michel Camilo, but it's named for the city of his birth and therefore captures in sound the splendor and color of the city. The Afro-Cuban, Spanish, and Mexican rhythmic complexities shown by Gabriela Quintero are perhaps more astonishing than the stellar, even dazzling single-string work by Rodrigo Sanchez. "Atman," dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera and Damageplan, features a searing guest appearance by Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and is truly one of the high points on the recording. It is also a terrific reminder that Rodrigo y Gabriela began their musical careers as electric guitarists in heavy metal bands. Other standout tracks include "Master Maqui," with acoustic solos by Strunz & Farah; "Hora Zero," inspired by -- and dedicated to -- Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla; and "Savitri," dedicated to the John McLaughlin-led acoustic trio Shakti. The set whispers to a close -- in sharp contrast to its beginning -- with the title track, dedicated to Pink Floyd and featuring the piano work of Edgardo Pineda Sanchez. Throughout, Rodrigo y Gabriela showcase their metal chops as part and parcel of their Mexican guitar heritage. They've not simply melded the two, but have created an entirely different form of music for the acoustic guitar in the process. It's also important to note that while their technical facility is indeed dazzling, this is not the reason to sit down and dig into this record; it's the music itself. It's infectious and accessible, full of pathos, intensity, passion, and color. It's dazzling because the compositions are so imaginative and tight -- a light year's growth from their debut. This music is arranged with flair, soul, intelligence, and economy; as busy and full as it sounds, there isn't an extra note anywhere here. 11:11 reveals a true musical and sonic expansion without Rodrigo y Gabriela losing sight of their strength as an acoustic duo. Awesome. [There is a Deluxe Edition of the CD that contains a bonus DVD as well. On it are interviews with Rodrigo y Gabriela, a live rehearsal, a documentary, and a tutorial for "Buster Voodoo."]

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Ato Records


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11:11 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Allie72 More than 1 year ago
I had previously purchased (and loved!) their first album (Rodrigo y Gabriela)... this one is just as good, if not better. It's great instrumental music that you can work to without getting distracted. I actually listen to Rodrigo y Gabriela's music when I go grocery shopping... it takes the edge off an otherwise tedious chore! :)
etgalyon More than 1 year ago
Rodrigo y Gabriela reach new heights with 11:11. Unlike their previous release, Diablo Rojo, which presented many excellently done retakes on classics with only a few original compositions, 11:11 is comprised of 11 acoustic guitar tracks authored by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Inspired by their influences, ranging from rock greats such as Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd, jazz masters such as Al Di Meola, or classic Spanish and Mexican artists such as Paco De Lucia and Jorge Reyes, the album combines Rodrigo's frantic yet astoundingly precise picking with Gabriela's incredible ability to simultaneously perform both percussion and secondary rhythms. The rich sounds they create seem impossible to generate from two acoustic guitars; without seeing the accompanying DVD it would be easy to assume they have a third and possibly fourth member assisting. The rock influenced tracks draw clear inspiration from their respective artists: Santana's ranging melodies, Hendrix' wah-wah and vibe effects, and ending with an eerie and beautiful Pink Floyd sound. Though I'm not familiar with the jazz, Spanish, Mexican and other influences, I'm confident Rod y Gab have likewise captured their sounds. Track 8, 'Hora Zero', is the hidden gem as Rodrigo relentlessly picks multiple notes per second for 5 minutes straight, growing faster and more elaborate throughout the song leading to a chord duel with Gabriela. Great album through and through: 5 stars.
kaiserchiefs29 More than 1 year ago
Just good as the last album. It also includes a DVD.
sanantonioted More than 1 year ago
I first saw them on PBS and was totally blown away. After I bought the CD I was pleasantly surprised with the DVD and the amount of music the performers provided. You will not be disappointed. I thought only Spanish people could only play Flemenco style music. Not so with Rodrigo and Grabriela.
Kuya-John More than 1 year ago
I heard it in Barnes and Noble and had to purchase it. It is a marvelous and exciting album.
nonnadonna More than 1 year ago
Rodrigo y Gabriela are the most thrilling music performers of the century! Their albums are filled wonderful music for all ages and for the ages! Even my toddler grandson can't help rocking to their hypnotic sound. Listening to their latest album, 11:11, or the first album, rodrigo y gabriela, will make your heart pound with excitement! After purchasing their albums you can't wait to see them in person and you won't be disappointed because the only thing better than listening to the CD's is seeing them in person! I love that their personalities come alive through their music. I have always been a fan of latin music anyway but rodrigo and gabriela's sound transcends any music genre labels except that they are musical masters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Getting a chance to see where the creation and inspiration of the music comes from is something that is not shared with many musicians. It gives the viewer/listener a deeper understanding into their creation. The same theme/tempo/melody are carried throughout all the tracks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard them over the speaker in my local Barnes and Noble. One of those catchy musical numbers you don't even realize you're swaying to. I love the beat and soon looked them up. It's simply stunning what two people can do with only two guitars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This CD fell short of the first one I bought from them, 'Rodrigo y Gabriela'; which was spectacular in my estimation. The 'sound' of '11:11' becomes too repetitive, and impacts the compositions in a similar way. I was disappointed. Their elevated skill and mastery of guitar is not diminished by any of these recordings, but the music itself somehow is, and I suspect that's more the failings of the production itself, than of the artists. I'm a big fan and reluctant to discourage their work. On a more positive note, I hope they are pursuing a new avenue of inspiration, as they should. Time for it and they profuse to be so open to international sounds and influence. I wish them all the best and will continue to listen.
SoCalDave More than 1 year ago
I very much like Latin music. This is a great find and a must have to any music collector. It is especially true for a Latin music lover. Add this to your collection and you won't go wrong.
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