Having been fortunate enough to had a sneak peek at Assessment, the 2021 breath-taking release from Tren Go! Sound System & Ornamental I was buzzing to hear from the good folks at Dirty Filthy Records. Pedro Pestana, the man behind Tren Go! Sound System is poised to release his next record and this time it’s something totally different. Here’s what they have to say about this album.
“Suspended Islands OST. The soundtrack for Wura Moraes and Darya Efrat’s site-specific performance trajectory along Ria de Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal.
The audience would attend the small island performances on boats and their route would be accompanied by this contemplative music.
The estuary is the main source of inspiration for this soundtrack. The sweet and salty water’s apparent lack of waves doesn’t hide its own tidal rhythms. It’s a meeting place and we’re invited to visit.”
This does sound like a change from the frenetic energy and pace of Assessment. Let’s chill out and pull on the headphones for this one.
The record opens with the ambient tones of ‘Welcome Aboard!’. With the sound of the wind across the river the song opens and evolves through glimpses of vocal like wails and eerie sonic textures. Eventually the unmistakable tones of Pestana’s guitar appears through the mist and gives this song form and meaning. A soothing and relaxing opening leads us to track two, ‘The Swing of Things’.
We actually begin on a looped guitar riff phasing in and out hypnotically. Over this come more guitars, layering, building, weaving in and out of each other. This song absolutely conjures the mental image of a midnight boat ride. That initial loop is like the percussive sound of the tide against the hull and the glint of the moon on the water. It’s mesmerising stuff.
This takes us to my album highlight ‘The Long Run (Excerpt)’. There’s something unquestionably beautiful about this track. It just feels right. I’m not sure why but it just feels familiar, like an old friend, rediscovered. The stunning guitar has elements of South American folk music with the most restrained fuzz notes played with the utmost care. I could sit and listen to this ebb and flow into my ears for hours quite happily.
The experience completes itself with ‘The Long Run’ itself. An eighteen-minute exploration piece which builds on the tones and themes of the excerpt to craft a monumental aural journey. I would implore you to lie back and let the music carry you away. There’s so much to take in and enjoy along the way but it never overwhelms or vexes you. On the contrary. This is a warm and comforting embrace of a tune, one which the excerpt only alluded to.
Suspended Islands, in it’s four tracks, absolutely captures the feel of that estuary. It is a stunning example of an artist being able to paint pictures in your head with music. The ultimate goal of any soundtrack. It is so far removed from Pestana’s previous work but it’s obviously somewhere he feels totally at home. The comfort is palpable in this music. It literally pours from every note embracing and nurturing our soul. Don’t take my word for it. Cast off and drift on downriver yourself.
Suspended Islands OST is available now on opaque yellow vinyl via Dirty Filthy Records.
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