Kiko Barriuso is a six-string guitar maestro on his most recent, and seventh proper recording, titled 6 Stringed Music. It does not get any more straightforward than that when it comes to album titles. There are no hidden meanings, riddles, or something that needs to be interpreted. Born in Madrid Spain in 1978, he started with the piano at a young age then gravitated towards the guitar.
After translating Spanish to English on his Bandcamp page this is the overview I got of the album: 6 Stringed Music is a collection of instrumental songs in a world music style. All instruments have been played and programmed by Kiko Barriuso (except where indicated). acoustic guitar mainly, although other types of guitars appear (12 strings, electric ...).
What you are promised is a wide variety of styles and approaches. And that is exactly what you get. I must say straight away that I loved this right from the first note to the end. I have many reasons, first of course is his excellent command of the six-string, the eclectic tracks, and most importantly respect for the level of difficulty of not only playing the guitar incredibly well but venturing into a worldly journey of exploration of sounds. The tracks burst with electric energies and all colors of the musical spectrum.
“Entre Dos Tierras” is a fantastic journey of the acoustic guitar. It is played with style and grace and the full impact and generosity of the varying degrees of sound are appreciated by this listener. “Pisando Un Nuevo Suelo” starts with a nice ambient atmosphere then explodes into some magnificent electric guitar lines. Previous to that you will experience all-acoustic playing and would likely expect more of the same after looking at the album cover as well. It was a nice surprise for my listening tastes as he still played with exceptional precision and grace.
You will find out very quickly that Kiko knows how to make an impact with the guitar regardless if it is acoustic or electric or influenced by another country besides his own. That thought process for me gives even more credence to his ability and amazing talent.
“Un Toque Español” starts and I am wondering if he is going to jump into his full version of “Classical Gas.” The track never reaches that crescendo of emotion and lightning speed playing, instead what you get is a gorgeously short Spanish-influenced acoustic instrumental that ends way too soon. And that is meant strictly as a compliment to how much I appreciated the composition.
“Vuelo Nocturno” is another track filled with worldly delights and sounds. It is one of the highlights of the recording with layers of sounds added to support his guitar presentation. The intermingling of the layers of sounds suits the playing quite well and the result is a richly flavored freshly brewed instrumental gem. I bet you thought I was going to say something about coffee? Well, the comparison is there as a fresh cup of coffee from the finest beans in the world has no comparison, unless you are playing guitar while you’re drinking it, in this instance, it all applies.
Just to make sure he covers all the ground possible; he ends the album with the “Sueño Oriental,” which runs over 7 minutes. On this track you get the best of both worlds, Kiko plays acoustic and electric. The wonder of layering music is a beautiful thing. It is the most progressive and complicated track you will hear.
I think “Closing Time” should have been the last track, it seems appropriate but there is nothing ordinary or anticipatory about any of this music. You just have to wait to see what is next. That is the kind of recording I can appreciate the most.
Kiko Barriuso is a six-string conjurer on 6 Stringed Music. The beauty of the instrument and the lands the music is derived from is a tasty instrumental treat you should not miss. The is the art of music in full bloom and seen through the eyes of one talented man. I cannot wait to see where he goes from here!
Note: For Those of you that do not speak Spanish, I asked Kiko to translate the tracks to English.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder
December 5, 2020
01. Claro Que Si 03:10 (Yes Of Course)
02. Semilla De Amor 03:43 (Love Seed)
03. A Través Del Tiempo 02:54 (Throughout Time)
04. Entre Dos Tierras 04:21 (Between Two Lands)
05. Still Missing You 03:48
06. Pisando Un Nuevo Suelo 04:09 (Stepping On A New Ground)
07. Sensaciones 03:19 (Sensations)
O8. Un Toque Español 03:11 (A Spanish Touch)
09. Vuelo Nocturno 02:57 (Night Flight)
10. Never Ending Winter 02:55
11. A Change of The Seasong 03:17
12. Closing Time 02:27
13. Sueño Oriental 07:17 (Oriental Dream)