"Astrahan" sets the scene about as well as anything here. The track seemingly begins in mid-sentence, as if we've merely come upon the tune a few minutes into its gestation. Barea's work sounds like it needs a few more coats of primer—the drums are almost too present, a bassline clearly played from a guitarist impatient to get out of the studio and back to his normal gig. It's not grit exactly, because these are highly ordered compositions that march stiffly in lock-step and only approach funkiness because of their repetition. But you get the sense that these aren't presets either. (That, or he covers up their use well.)
"Wopetra" and "Noru" are the highlights, with the former warping a stumbling break into a 4/4 template. "Wopetra" doesn't sound "right," but Barea wills the track to meet the genre's form. The tracks on Astroceva sound like hard work, as though Barea is standing behind these children with mussed-up hair and chocolate on their faces that can't stand still and is trying to get them to (at least) stand up straight. He doesn't quite succeed, but that wobbliness that results is exactly the point. While nothing here quite approaches Petre Inspirescu's "Sakadat," Boola seems capable of a similar scene-defying moment. One to watch.