29th April 2016
GUILO – “Incline Thine Ears” (Maeg Music)
Are you feeling so down that you don’t want to leave the house? From the window does Cremona seem to be a district of Gotham City? Has drizzle and damp entered your soul?
Well, if you want an antidote there is one. Insert into the CD player the EP Guilo, a London-based duo debut that consists only of instrumental tracks with acoustic guitar, programming (Simon Christophers ) and clarinet (Alice Westlake). A risk, you think. Certainly a challenge,nowadays. A little madness of genius.
Because the music does work, and how. It bewitches. Eight songs are under three minutes which are many micro scores for journeys of the mind, the primary source of inspiration the never quite appreciated Penguin Cafe Orchestra by the legendary Simon Jeffes (five albums between ’76 and ’88 which have shown that a single path, on the edge of ‘popular music ‘, where the genres crumble and are reborn in a new form, unclassifiable).
The charm of ” Incline Thine Ears ” ( title taken from the Bible ?) is in the taste with which electronic and acoustic sound come together defining a balance really rare: and it captures the ancestry of Christophers for the classic sounds, even tempered and modified by a clear propensity for electronic experimentation, inspired by American minimalism (repeated cellular sounds) with obvious references to the compositions of René Aubry (one album above all: the magnificent “Invités sur la terre ” from 2001) and the scores of Yann Tiersen or, in brief instances, even to the Third Ear Band from the Italian reunion (listen to the initial “Arctic Sound” to believe it) .
With well-crafted music, generally the risk is to slip into sickly, caressing melodies of ‘ muzak ‘or in the monotonous marshes of the so-called new age which since the eighties corrupts the sound of space by spreading the idea of a world clean and clear, virginal, untouched, for the exclusive use of the middle classes in search of relaxation from the stress of modern life .
Here, on the contrary, we are in a universe which is restless and passionate, it makes you fall in love and divide, indicating horizons which change while the mind believes to have seized them : in ” Incline Thine Ears “, for example, the beating drums in 2 / 4 overlaps an arpeggio iterated of extraction folk on which the clarinet circles with free improvisation in the background. The climax is initially relaxed, joyful, then in the chorus looks threatening, and the listener, convinced that they had embarked on a path that leads to a flowery meadow, find themself suddenly in a steaming mound of toxic vapors. Just as in certain experiences of every day life …
Maeg Music Catalogue