I missed the original release of "Love Loops" in 2003 on Temporary Residence, even if I previously enjoyed his "Spring" EP on Dream By Degrees in 2002.
Now listening to this new edition on the Japanese label Flau, with three bonus tracks, I strongly regret my lack of attention and feel grateful for this second chance.
"Love Loops" is a minimalist ambient record, very soothing with its warmth, its quietness and melancholic atmospheres. There are 15 songs based on loops for a total length 45 minutes. Tracks oscillate between one and twelve minutes and you never have the impression it is too short or too long, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is capturing moments, each time weighing up emotions and climates with sensitivity, developing a welcome and comforting hushed delicacy.
He starts playing acoustic guitar on "This Is How You Spell Almanac", quiet, soft and pensive. "Reykjavik" is an orchestral vinyl loop which stands perfectly just below the one minute mark like a sunrise through winter. A solitary walk with "Prospect Park", before the gorgeous and intimate "Mangoes And Sticky Rice" which reminds me of Empress, leading to a city view from the top of an hill, birds singing all around and distant traffic noise muffled in the background, "Your Body Was Like A Jungle Aflame", followed by an instant of introspective joy, "Kona", a sudden sunny spell revealing beauty in the landscape.
There is something icy with "First Day Back From Brooklyn/Fingers Through Your Hair", breathing cold hair under a foggy sky, full of melancholic perfume, before a darker "Amsterdam". Delicate and nostalgic, "Sunset In Your Mother's Garden" perfectly pictures autumnal drizzle in a garden, or later at sea with "Ikebana".
A single loop played during 1:48, "Love loop", a trumpet fragment with high-pitched sounds, for something Lynchian, before an aerial "Eat the moon", seven minutes of lost reverberated piano notes à la Stars of the Lid, shivering and entrancing, which is in fact, under another name, the track "Vicodin Dream / Josi's Last Stand" from the "Conduction Convection Radiation" split album with 1 Mile North and The Wind-Up Bird. The two other tracks from there, "Watching Josi Die" and "Texas Heat" end this album.
As a whole, "Love Loops" is a quite impressive and convincing album, and seven years after its first release we can now presume it is something like a classic to keep preciously.