26 December 2011

Ferran Fages - lullaby for lali (Etude, 2010)

I'm a total new to Etude Records and to the discography of Ferran Fages but sound samples from his record I came across by pure luck made me want to experience it completely. I'm not regretting it.

The atmospheres, textures and compositions along his guitar playing remind me of 90's records by Gastr Del Sol and Dirty Three, but with a more lo-fi, intimate and personal approach.

Ferran Fages is a musician from Barcelona, known for his improvisations with guitars and electronics. "Lullaby for Lali" is apparently much more conceived and patiently composed than his previous releases.  There is a free flowing nature but more like the course of a river, from the hills towards the valley, through minimalism and repetition, in direction of the sea where everything is dissolved, from the particular to the general.

It is in fact a collaboration with Lali Barrière, who is adding metallophone, guitaret (which is an an electric lamellophone) and electronics. He builds context, ambiance, aura and environment around the guitar explorations of Ferran Fages who is then inclined to take the time to express quietly and limpidly his emotions. If you look at the sepia cover you could suspect nostalgia and melancholic reverie as potential themes and you're wouldn't wrong about it.

Two sides for two tracks with the same starting point. One is more melodic and sunny, "Lullaby acoustic" and the other one is more abstract and nocturnal, "Lullaby electric", both are polar opposites completing each other.

The first part of the song is mildly chaotic and it's only after 2:30 that the acoustic guitar finally emerges like the first rays of sun after a last nightmare, offering a progressive and comforting relief. It's like feeling the rays of the sun on your face with the eyes closed after having missing those one full winter long. Then the metallophone starts and we are bathing in pure summer sunlight, walking on the sand with sunglasses until the evening twilight. 

"Lullaby electric" is like strolling after midnight after a hot summer day in the countryside, watching the stars and the glowing half moon. His melancholic solemn guitar playing reminds me of Low or Labradford with the slowness and contemplation, while organ-like drones in the background are painting the immensity of the sky.
A beautiful record which makes me want to discover more about his music.

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