Posted on Jan 26th 2012 12:34 am

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Santiago Latorre: Eclíptica

Accretions Records 2012
08 Tracks. 39mins13secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Two years on from his solo debut, Órbita (Accretions), Barcelona-based experimental saxophonist Santiago Latorre delivers a second slice of sparse atmospheric avant jazz for the Californian imprint. If jazz is undeniably part of the man’s lexicon, his extensive use of electronic textures and atmospheric soundscapes hint at much wider terrains. While this was already fairly developed on Órbita, Latorre takes this to a very different level with Eclíptica.

Infused with his fascination for outer space, Latorre creates here a wonderfully light and peaceful soundtrack, where acoustic and electronic sounds combine to form a whole. If he relies less solely on his sax, he expands his pool of instruments to incorporate piano, accordion, tuba and vocals, but he uses this richer sonic palette with extreme parsimony, applying touches with the greatest of care. On Eclíptica1, he builds a beautiful introspective theme from a stripped down piano motif set against a textured backdrop upon which resonate woodblocks, with only a hint of sax heard in the second half. There is an almost mantra-like aspect to the piece which never finds an echo elsewhere on the record, yet, if the tone changes with the following tracks, the mood remains contemplative all the way through. This can at times take on quite a dramatic turn, as is the case on the nebulous Eclíptica6, on which Latorre experiments with distorted instruments and minimal drone forms for part of the piece, before moving towards sweeping orchestrations in the latter part.

Eclíptica2 also opens on fairly rarefied grounds, but here, Latorre places an impressionist sax motif over the muffled hum of what could be distant urban noises. Things rapidly take on a much more elaborate aspect as percussions first, then accordion, are introduced. Whilst in some ways more straightforward, this principle is also applied to Eclíptica4, but here, accordion and piano occupy the bulk of the acoustic space, cast against a prominent drum pattern, yet, as the latter fades out, Latorre finds himself amidst a dense cloud of statics and distorted noises, which is echoed on the opening moments of Ban Ge Yue Liang which follows as a very similar urban hum to that found on Eclíptica2 serves as textured backdrop for piano and voice; Latorre is a hesitant vocalist, his tone balancing dangerously to add to the fragile aspect of the piece.

This is not the only place where Latorre adds voice to the music. On Si El Sol No Caliente, he weaves an almost prayer-like monotone incantation over a single drone, and if his performance is slightly more coloured on Eclíptica8, his tone remains extremely intimate, feeling at times as if he was whispering straight into the listener’s ear.

With Eclíptica, Santiago Latorre has moved into much more introspective and emotional terrains, and his widened sonic palette actually allows him to trim down his delivery to its bear essential. The album was recorded whilst Latorre was traveling through Taiwan with aim to reconnect with his inner self, and this introspective quest for peace and equilibrium filters through ever section of this very personal and poignant record.


Santiago Latorre | Accretions Records
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

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