Murcof - Remembranza
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It's hard to believe that Remembranza is actually only the second true full-length from Murcof. A part of the celebrated Nortec Collective, Fernando Corona dropped his debut album Martes almost three years ago and in the meantime released a funk and brass-infused minimal electronic release under the name Terrestre, as well as last years excellent Utopia, which combined a couple new tracks with outstanding remixes of his work by everyone from Deathprod to Colleen and Jan Jelinek.

Those hoping for something different out of Murcof may be a little bit disappointed in Remembranza, but just about everyone else should find something to love. It's very clear that between his first and second actual releases (if you count the obvious progression shown on the aforementioned Utopia) that Corona has refined his style in serious ways and the result is a beautiful nine track album that's cohesive and nearly airtight.

There have been numerous electronic musicians that have tried to encorporate classical music into their sound, but it often comes across as pieced together, but with his newest effort Murcof has really blended the two in as fluid of a way as I've ever heard. "Recuerdos" opens slowly with open air piano notes and sparse strings while microprogramming slowly creeps into the mix. As the instrumental pieces of the track start to fill out and flourish even more, the beat locks in and pushes the track through to completion. "Razón (En 3 Partes)" finds minor key piano mingling with more glitchy programming before the track breaks off into a droning, haunting midsection before swirling into a skittery, string-drenched finale.

It's a word that gets mentioned in just about every review of Murcof's work, but "cinematic" is a term that definitely comes to mind when listening to Remembranza. It's a dark and melancholy place too, most of the time, with classical flourishes that sound like they were inspired by composers like Henryk Gorecki and Arvo Pärt. Even when Corona adds a slightly playful element (like the quiet found sound of someone laughing on "Rostro"), it sounds more creepy or haunting because of the surrounding instrumentation.

Although it sounds kind of like a weird comment, this newest release from Murcof is just about what I expected in my mind without having heard it based on how his music has progressed to date. That he mostly met my admittingly high expectations is a pretty darn good sign. The hearty 4/4 kick and subtle orchestral sweeps of "Reflejo" add up to one of his best tracks to date, and most of the other pieces on the album aren't far behind it. Someone let this guy score an entire film already. I have a feeling it would destroy.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2005-10-27 20:41:46