An ethereal and almost otherworldly musical realm. Following a retrospective compilation of solo work and an album of recent work in 2016, Music From Memory continue to explore the work of Spanish ambient and experimental pioneer Suso Sáiz. This compilation explores Sáiz's collaboration with percussionist Pedro Estevan as Orquesta De Las Nubes, which translates to "Orchestra of Clouds". The duo shared an interesting curiosity towards American minimalism and non-Western music, and through listening sessions the idea evolved to try and make music together. And boy do they do something special. By seamlessly blending characteristics of new age, ambient, minimalism, jazz fusion, experimental, and world music together the group has a truly unique musical language, and this collection shows insight into the sounds of post-Franco Spain. Saiz's work indicates a hunger for new sounds from beyond the Spanish borders, as Franco's autocratic dictatorship had banned cultural products seen as "non-Spanish." While he remains a new age pioneer in Spain, the tracks here are drawn from a variety of Western sources. You have Brian Eno's ambient explorations, the tribal-improv grooves of Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the minimalism of Steve Reich all combined with marimbas, guitar, and María Villa's wordess vocals. Orquesta De Las Nubes is indeed a rare, new age ensemble, with the albums first half layered with amorphous floating (peep "Un Regalo," "Tres Ostras" and "Tiempo De Espera"), while the second half explores sleeker electronics and tribal rhythms (check out "Cama Diarmónica," "Como Un Guante" and "Me Paro Cuando Suena - Divertimento Segundo"). 10 Tracks in all, released by Music From Memory. Recommended.
- music label: Music From Memory 2019
reviewed by Ralphy Corduroy 3/2019
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