The majority of the tracks on "Eclipse" are somewhat amorphous. De-emphasizing rhythm in favor of texture and atmosphere, many simply hang there suspended in the air. Cantu, Iriondo, and Morelli are fascinated by bowed metal sounds, odd or obscure ethnic instruments, or common instruments played in unusual ways. At various points, you will hear Tuvan throat singing, the sounds of coins rolling across drumheads, multiple prepared guitars, and the recorded and electronically treated voice of Rosa Corn, a traditional singer from Valle dei Mocheni, Trento, Italy. The most impressive thing about all of this is how well it's all been integrated into a coherent musical statement.
Yet, when the band kicks out the jams, as on the title track, it does so with a vengeance. This ever-shifting, insistently rhythmic piece sounds like an outtake from an early 70s Soft Machine session, or perhaps even Miles Davis' 'Get Up With It.' 'Third Ear Dance' is both less funky and less harshly electronic, but no less bracing and features a particularly beautiful multi-tracked oboe solo by Roberto Mazza. The very brief 'Terra' is similar, only with saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and trombonist Federico Cumar waxing eloquently over percolating tablas. Personally, these three tracks are my favorites, but the whole disc literally brims with interesting ideas and an active, human curiosity that I find particularly refreshing. "Eclipse" is not for everyone, but will surely please those already accustomed to experimental sounds à la Aktuala, Don Cherry, the Residents, and Fred Frith. If you know what the 'NWW List' is, you'll definitely want to check this disc out.