Local Review: Rifamos – Fadista / Ay Te Watcho 7”

Local Music Reviews

Fadista / Ay Te Watcho 7”

Non Verba Records
Street: 11.03.13
Rifamos = The Ventures + Spindrift

At last, Salt Lake has an instrumental answer to the harshness of an ever intensifying heatwave. Imagine, if you will, Rifamos’ 7” playing to scenes from Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy, aka the Dollars Trilogy or even something with a contemporary flair, like Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Indeed, this is spaghetti western music, but with the use of Clint Burfitt’s organ, this has a certain mod flavor to it. In fact, upon initially hearing this, I thought “Fadista” could be a distant cousin to The Ventures’ 1962 single from Dolton Records, “Genesis.” The similarity here is the tone, but obviously the former is surf rock, and Rifamos’ track is western-themed with Afro-Cuban influences.

Good instrumental rock n’ roll is a true treat. Rifamos’ music doesn’t bombard or crush the senses with effects—rather, it leads the listener on a journey that jostles the mind, body and soul. Much of the stuff that is similar in the genre emphasizes a bit too much the sound that seeks to overwhelm and crush mental ability. The beauty here is Rifamos’ subtle elegance, an attribute that is no doubt due to their superb musicianship. The opening track, “Fadista,” has a quality that invokes the scenes of rundown desert towns and Clint Eastwood types complete in boots, spurs and a quick-to-action revolver. “Ay Te Watcho” maintains this disposition, but with a psychedelic sound defined by Burfitts’ organ.

Although this single has been in circulation for three years, any lover of good music and the scenic expanse of the Wild West should consider this a keeper. Rifamos have shared the stage with a number of impressive acts, including The Moths, Dead Bod and Homo Leviticus. They have even graced the Craft Lake City DIY Festival 2016 KRCL stage. The Fadista / Ay Te Watcho 7” can be found at rifamos.org. It’s only five dollars and would be quite the worthy addition to any collection.  This being said, I would advise that while this single is worth the purchase, one should also strive to catch Rifamos as a live act. Mind you, though, this is based purely on the continuous spinning of this record on my turntable. –Nick Kuzmack