Just like great modern art is defined by negative space (that is, the empty space on the canvas or places you could stick your arm through on a sculpture) Santiago LaTorre’s music finds as much definition in what’s not there as what is. Translation: this is slow, quiet music that might drift you off to sleep or out of our solar orbit. Songs have numbers, not names (don’t we all?), and long pauses appear between quiet passages. Wooden flutes, a single key at a time on a synth, drums that arrive late, play quietly and leave early… a sense of calm order pervades this collection. The human voice appears twice, now droning a backdrop, later praying in a distant language, always silently observing, saving its option for later. Mid-disc we hear an actual chord; it’s clear and surprisingly fresh, like a good mojito in a jazz bar.
OK, I lied about no song titles, there are two: “Si El Sol No Calienta” and “åŠå€‹æœˆäº® (Ban ge yue liang)” These are the vocalized tracks, and while the Chinese title is a bit too precious, the music is solid. The press stuff says this was “inspired by outer space” and there are enough bip boop beeps to take us back to the sci-fi of our youth so long as we remember “in space no one can hear you groove.” I’m guessing the title references the Newtonian ellipse of the planets, and the eight tracks match today’s Pluto-free planetary lineup with the vocal tracks’ orbit with Earth and Jupiter. Any calmer and this music would be a Lagrangian point, any spicier and it would melt like a crystal of helium.
Santiago LaTorre: www.accretions.com •http://www.santiagolatorre.com