Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Songs Of Remembrance LP
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma has always been a musical chameleon. Aside from loose adjectives like "dreamy" and "ethereal," the aesthetic framework for each of his albums is slippery, although the quality is always topnotch. This would include the expansive avant-shoegazing propositions for his work in Tarentel or the cinematic psychedelia from The Alps or gossamer-crush from his dream-pop distillations in Raum or that Love Is A Stream album he did for Type a while back. Songs Of Remembrance collects half-forgotten / half-dreamt / half-remembered melodies and builds hazy, gauzy fragments of songs, set along the oceanic current of the '80s synth ballad, draped with maudlin electronics and murky guitar smears. The sounds are cinematic and melancholy, and most are fused to primitive drum machine rhythms. Lovely Durutti Column like guitar figures dot hushed dronescapes, which in turn are peppered with strange electronics and bits of glitch, with some of this sounding like an alternate soundtrack to Twin Peaks, check out the brief opening few minutes, with its very eighties sounding, reverb heavy drift, echoey guitars floating above loping programmed rhythms, and laced with mysterious almost 8-bit sounding sonic filigree, and it continues to drift dreamily from there, the sound a woozy sprawl of chiming distant chords, and barely there melodies, minus the strange squelches, it would be downright tranquil and serene, the drum machines swoop back in throughout, and again, each time, we're transported back to some alternate universe eighties, all dark streets and cloud choked skies, dingy all-night dives and late night wandering. The 'songs' here are ultra brief, some barely a minute or two, playing more like a strange compilation of sonic vignettes, musical short stories, Cantu-Ledesma displaying a knack for creating lush atmospheres in a matter of seconds, and then letting them fade into nothingness just as we're getting settled in. It says something that we wish almost every track here kept going and going and going.
Lots of the tracks here have a very M83 feel to them as well, lost in time, faded memories, soundtracky, but seventies art film soundtracky, long Super-8 shots of the landscape rushing by through a train window, of glittering city lights, we find ourselves imagining this music set to the films of Paul Clipson, Cantu's long time collaborator, the sounds here evoking similarly abstract and melancholic visuals. There are some 'noise' pieces too, but even then, it's more soft noise, and usually those segue right back into some reverby eighties drum machine drift.
Songs Of Remembrance seems to reprise the fictional USSR electronica of Oneohtrix Point Never, the unintentionally brilliant moments of hypnogogic-pop from James Ferrara, and of course, the delusional, sunshine-noir aspirations from Ensemble Economique!