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Album Review

Emiliano Aires & Santiago Bogacz: Retrato Anos Despues


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Emiliano Aires & Santiago Bogacz: Retrato Anos Despues
Uruguayan guitarist Santiago Bogacz is a genre-bending virtuoso with a strong penchant for improvised music. Over the years he has released many solo and duo recordings, some under the stage name Matador. On the stimulating and poignant Retrato Años Despues he joins forces with his compatriot Emiliano Aires for nine spontaneously created pieces.

Aires sticks to the infrequently heard soprano clarinet, the twittering tones of which, with their hints of vibrato, complement Bogacz's resonant strings. "Siempre Ya Es Mañana" is an angular dialogue with overlapping bursts of notes that are delightfully dissonant. The duet wavers between the contemplative and passionate without losing its spiritual edge. The pair balances the fury of their extemporizations with the elegance of their individual streams of consciousness, and the command over their respective instruments

Elsewhere, "Sacamos La Misma Foto" veers more towards a zen ambience. Aires coaxes out of his horn chant-like refrains that have a touch of eastern mysticism. Bogacz contributes deep resonant lines that chime like bells and darkly reverberate. Overall the meditative mood makes these exchanges sound more like an ethereal, pagan rite than a conversation. The two improvisations echo against one another to a haunting and otherworldly effect.

Similarly steeped in quietude is "Por Ahora Dos." Aires' staccato phrases and Bogacz's muscular strums pierce the silence occasionally, yet a pensive serenity prevails. Angular wails match dense chords and often the two musicians let loose floods of fiery phrases. In the end they return to the somber and soulful atmosphere that is one of the elements that makes the entire set so mesmerizing.

In between the longer pieces there are brief, crisp and memorable interludes. "El Modelo" is a short, avant-folkish, tune that clocks at 50 seconds. Meanwhile "Que Anadie Le Interese," of just under a minute duration, is furious, no hold barred, sonic experiment. It contrasts perfectly with the forlorn, meanderings of the equally concise "Paro 24 Hs."

Bogacz and Aires are remarkably in sync in their shared artistic vision. Retrato Años Despues is a thought provoking album that also moves at a visceral level. It is a unique and demanding work and rewards open-minded listening.

Track Listing

Siempre Ya Es Mañana; El Agonizante Gemido De Un Ser Geneticamente Dañado; 33; El Modelo; Por Ahora Dos; Que A Nadie Le Interese; Paro 24 Hs; Una Mentira Y Un Hacer; Sacamos La Misma Foto.


Santiago Bogacz: guitar; Emiliano Aires: clarinet.

Album information

Title: Retrato Anos Despues | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records

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