Sometimes I can spend what seems like an age trawling blogs and bandcamp pages and finding nothing but tripe and mediocrity. Then there are days when something truly wonderful lands smack bang into my lap.
This happened recently when I was given the task of writing about Pie Are Squared, aka Egyptian musician Mohammad Ashraf. His latest release, a two-part opus entitled 'Three Quarter Moon / Memories et Cetera' plays like an expansive and emotive journey through synthetic, ambient heaven.
Opener and apparent first ‘movement’ ''Three Quarter Moon' is a mammoth of a track, clocking in at a whopping 14 minutes. It creeps up slowly, with swelling synthesizers lapping against the eardrums like waves on the hull of a ship. The album itself was written at sea, and the nautical theme is present throughout.
As the first track builds I feel like I’m a kid in the 90s again, zoning out listening to Orbital’s more chilled material; a reverie that’s reinforced by a pulsing, early house ‘womp’ bass line. Serenity reigns supreme here and I’m loving every second.
The track is blended seamlessly with the next, a cleverly-executed tempo change signalling the beginning of 'Memories et Cetera', itself divided up into three tracks. 'Rig Dronium', 'Mom', and 'Supply Boats and Sunsets' are composite parts of a mesmerizing whole, managing to be both ambient and frantic, with a dark, loose feel reminiscent of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.
One second we’re treated to wide soundscapes flanked by leaping, soaring drum lines, the next a calm ocean, populated with soaring symphonic synthesis that sounds like the beautiful offspring of Sigur Rós and Boards of Canada.
On the whole, this is a treat from start to finish and I can’t wait to hear more from this guy. All his music is available free through bandcamp (the other releases are a little more rock-oriented) and is well worth a wee listen.
Posted: Sun 15 July 2012 Total Views: 564Views Today: 2