With "La siesta del ciprés", released on Spekk in 2010, Argentinian ambient musician imposed himself as a particular, unique and poetic sensitivity, but it wasn't his coup d'essai.
His first album was released two years earlier on Imoto, on a smaller UK and less visible label and stayed more or less completely anonymous until now.
There are reasons fort this, the lack of exposure is the main one but his style of sound and texture wasn't reaching the level of subtlety, fagility, depth and nuances he developped on his second album. "Elin" is purely digital and smooth sounding, where "La siesta del ciprés" owns an analog-like authenticity and an organic warmth.
Without the grain and these new clothes, "Elin" is technically a more generic, usual record if you consider only the surface of sound. But If you go deeper and explore the recesses, it becomes totally another precious Federico Durand, with traces of what would become more prominent later, and burgeons of later flowering, but it's not just a pre-version of what would become, it is a different attempt with a slightly different spectrum of emotion, a clearer lens on, for a certain part, other aspects of his artistic personnality.
After the introductory track "La Tarde Me Dijo Un Secreto", Federico starts to establish his touch with the contemplative and restrained "Maria Tiene Fiebre", opened on vast empty landscape through an intimate level of perception.
"La Nieve Se Inclina" is obviously an highlight, like foot tracks on sand under starlight, while title tracks glows hesitantly under heavy November fog. Federico seems fond of such unfolding drones with warm tones and non-epic perspective but using a kind of melancholic intimate awe instead, like on "Las Flores de Te"., which is maybe his most precious talent as it is the key he unintentionally uses to elaborate instants of unexpected but fragile grace, like on the second part of "Detras de la Colina ya es Invierno". The closing track, "Lyrica", is a another nice contemplative ambient drone track but lacks of such asperities like these field recordings which give authenticity to his second album and only will take more room on his next one.
I would not recommend starting with "Elin" but I would deeply advice it as a necessary addendum to his Spekk album, as both releases give insight to each other, which adds dimensions to what defines Federico Durand's works in progress as an essential emerging artist for the coming years.