MICHAEL SANTOS: The Happy Error (Baskaru)


Posted on Jan 28th 2009 01:51 am

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Michael Santos: The Happy Error

The Happy Error
Baskaru 2008
11 Tracks. 52mins04secs

London-based musician and sound artist Michael Santos has already been featured on a handful of compilations, and a first collection of compositions was released as part of Benbecula’s Mineral Series of CDRs in 2006, followed by another CDR release for U-Cover. The Happy Error, brought to you by the rather excellent Baskaru imprint is, however, is first proper release.

Working from a classic set up of processed guitars and sine waves, Santos creates evocative little atmospheric pieces. At times reminiscent of Fennesz or Mountains, especially in its most serene moments, The Happy Error is a varied textural platform upon which emotions flourish gracefully, but Santos’s more openly glitched up soundscapes point in other directions. While the work here is certainly cinematic, and the slow motion process which is applied gives the compositions a surprisingly rich and vivid grain, there is an impression of constant erosion throughout which, instead of radiating a wonderfully warm glow, strips the tones of their inherent splendor and drown them in thick blankets of decay. The music here resembles an autumnal rainy day, dragged down by nonchalant despair and vagrant chill, but held together by abundant shades of earthy browns and yellows.

Textures and moods are not the sole concerns of Michael Santos. Amongst these occasionally arid soundscapes blossom delicate melodies, which, while never lifting from the ether entirely, manage to bring some more refined touches to this album, especially on pieces such as Supercolour, Hopefully Helsinki or Big Shifty. Santos builds his pieces slowly, applying layer after layer of grit and dust, never veering away from this template much to creating a collection that is at once consistent and exquisite, and while his approach is not original in any way, he manages to give his compositions a certain depth which contributes greatly to the overall fascinating appeal of this record.


Icon: arrow Michael Santos | Michael Santos (MySpace) | Baskaru
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