NICOSIA & LLERE: Ecos Frente al Espejo (2022)
“A music conceived to make the mind travel in scenes of movies not yet shot”
1 Meditación, concentración y optimismo 8:11
2 Amigo invisible 6:19
3 Sueños de Otoño 8:21
4 Eco frente al espejo 6:22
5 A veces lo entiendo 13:35
6 El final es una puerta de entrada 4:47
(DDL/CD(r) 47:37) (V.F.)
Me who was expecting everything from this excellent electronic music (EM) label, I was not expecting an album of a such level at all! ECOS FRENTE AL ESPEJO (Echoes in front of the mirror) blows hot and cold in a presentation divided in 2 times. This new album that Francisco Nicosia has just realized with Mariano Llere, musician-singer-composer and Argentinian producer, proposes a first part that will please the melancholic insomniacs, while the second part of this new album to be released by the label Cyclical Dreams proposes rather a trip in the territories of an atmospheric EM carried on a more experimental approach. A kind of soundtrack of psybient music for movies with gloomy and supernatural ambiences.
Meditación, concentración y optimismo begins this album with big twisted drones that spread a dark veil of radiations. Delicate arpeggios settle on them. The brilliance of their tinkling creates an ethereal melody that has the attributes to seduce Morpheus and our meditative state. This lunar melody tinkles in front of a thin layer of heavenly voices and the reverberating waves of these introductory drones that give themselves smothered elastic impulses without taking on a rhythmic momentum. A delicate layer of white noise and of sizzle joins this duel between darkness and nitescence, adding a subdued psybient envelope to this choreography of luminous arpeggios whose glass chimes seduce more than these oblong drones disturb. Synth layers endorse these melancholic Vangelis-like harmonies after the 6th minute, entrenching the perception that Meditación, concentración y optimismo (Meditation, concentration and optimism) is the gateway to a universe where the fuel of the music wanders into the fire of a sound source focused on supernatural atmospheres. But the balance between the two visions is perfect. Here, like in the very slow procession of Sueños de Otoño. The arpeggios still have that sparkling glow that gives the music an elegiac appearance, while at the opposite end of the spectrum the atmospheric bed is woven with layers and synth elements inspired by the psybient and dark whispers of the paranormal. It's a strange track with a subtle ominous essence that would go well with a film of supernatural forces. The beautiful Invisible Amigo is a splendid atmospheric electronic ballad. Its flow is slow, meditative with arpeggios that glisten in crystal hues, while the synthesizer extends watery, aria-like melodies reminiscent of Vangelis' delicate, hesitant melodies in his most intimate moments. One dreams here as one sighs.
By the delicacy, the quavering of the crystalline synth chords, the title-track moves on a little on the paths of this very beautiful Invisible Amigo. A dark veil of strangeness emerges from this improbable duel between delicacy and its darkness in a track that gently makes slide the listener towards the darker and more experimental side of ECOS FRENTE AL ESPEJO. The first glimpse of rhythm on this album is heard in the hesitant pas de danse that introduces A veces lo entiendo (Sometimes I Get it). The movement is as sneaky as a wolf walking and stalking stealthily its prey at night. Synth waves trace out distant spectral chants that recall more alien movie tunes than creatures of the night over a long structure without a sustained rhythmic backbone. On the other hand, there is a source of rhythm. Under a vampiric bass layer with deaf and false cadenced impulses, it is fractured and/or scattered through the 13 minutes of the track with a plethora of effects and percussive elements that structure an ambient rhythm that is very stimulating for the neurons. In the end it is a superb track whose sibylline ambiences are transported beyond its borders to attract El final es una puerta de entrada (The end is a passage), clearly more aggressive, in the same pattern.
ECOS FRENTE AL ESPEJO is a fascinating album whose first part easily guides us towards a more complex atmospheric EM and whose affinities with the suspense/horror genre help to situate a little better a listener who becomes more captive with a good pair of headphones. This album by Francisco Nicosia and Mariano Llere reminds me a bit of Realms Beyond by John Scott Shepherd (Cyclical Dreams CYD 0039). In the sense that it mixes quite well the science fiction and supernatural nature of a music conceived to make the mind travel in scenes of movies not yet shot. The scripts are ours!
Sylvain Lupari (August 26th, 2022) ****¼*
Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp