Hermanos Gutiérrez – Sonido C​ó​smico

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My favourite instrumental guitar duo return with another offering of stunning, minimalistic instrumentation and masterful song writing. I’m talking of course about the Latin and Western soundtrack influenced Swiss two-piece Hermanos Gutiérrez. Their second album expands upon what was achieved on El Bueno Y El Malo, further developing the band’s overall sound and taking the listener on a uniquely powerful spiritual journey through the music of South America and the American South West.

Artist: Hermanos Gutiérrez
Album: Sonido C​ó​smico
Label: Easy Eye Sound
Release Date: June 14th 2024
Location: Zürich, Switzerland

Written by James Sweetlove

My favourite instrumental guitar duo return with another offering of stunning, minimalistic instrumentation and masterful song writing. I’m talking of course about, the Latin and Western soundtrack influenced Swiss two-piece Hermanos Gutiérrez, made up of brothers Alejandro and Estevan Gutiérrez. Their second album expands upon what was achieved on El Bueno Y El Malo, further developing things with an evolution in the album’s overall sound.

I mentioned before that the band have Swiss origins, so I’m sure that you’re wondering where their influences come from. Well, the brothers were born of an Ecuadorian mother and Swiss father and were influenced heavily by Ecuadorian music of the 50s, 60s and 70s by relatives on their mother’s side, falling in love with the music, language and culture. This was then combined with a love of Westerns and the amazing soundtracks that accompanied them, particularly in the Spaghetti Western style. 

The duo’s previous album had a pronounced Western soundtrack lean to it, with the album conjuring visions of desperados making their way through harsh desert landscapes and lying beneath the stars at night while moving acoustic passages are played. On this album though things take more of an Ecuadorian lean, with clear Latin rhythms and melodies being worked into the tracks. That isn’t to say that the Western sound has been forgotten, rather it has been expertly woven into the fabric of the release in a more subtle way. You’ll find groovier, more emotional Latin segments giving way to dramatic, bluesy Western elements, with incredibly smooth transitions between the two.

There’s a hard to define quality present on this album and I think the best word for it is “spiritual”, as the music connects with the listener on a deep and powerful way. I think the best way to quantify this is that a person from any cultural background could listen to this and be able to find beauty in it or find a way to connect with it. I think that instrumental music in general allows for those boundaries to be transcended more easily, but not all instrumental artists have that unique spiritual quality.

I have to also give praise to the band’s song writing ability, managing to keep my attention across twelve tracks without any vocals present and only a small handful of instruments employed. It would be very easy to become bored of music that is this minimalistic instrumentally, but each song offers something different and stirs up a different emotional response from the listener. I think that they cohesiveness of the album also assists in making the full listening experience feel like a journey rather than a simple collection of songs.

Overall I’m a big fan of this release, I think that its a stunning offering of music with a deep emotional connection for the artists themselves, a trait that is very much felt in the music. I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily better than El Bueno Y El Malo, because I absolutely love that album, but I will say that it is just as good, while being more well rounded and expansive. If you enjoy moving instrumental music or are just looking for something different to relax to, this is the album for you.

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