Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Arbol : dreams made of paper

ARBOL. dreams made of paper.

Arbol is multi-instrumentalist Miguel Marin's solo project. Prior to this, he worked as percussionist for the artists-collective known as Piano Magic. Arbol takes a lot of the quiet percussive combinations of electronic and acoustic sounds that Miguel used in his earlier work and builds on it. His work is simultaneously influenced by post-glitch electronica like Alva Noto and other artistis on the Raster-Noton label, and also by moody noirish film soundtracks. Arbol is at once sparse in texture and psychologically gripping. "dreams made of paper" is a clear progression form his prior self-titled debut as it collects work he composed on travels throughout Europe. Again, the delicate rhythm of the songs forms an intricate web that shelters the exquisite voices of Suzy Magnion and Eugenie Garreth. Both of the singers have a certain degree of depth to their voices. The lush melodic quality of their vocals plays against the electro-acoustic percussion to create songs of loss and awakening. I enjoy this album quite a bit because it utilizes the same fabric as the debut but develops the sound even more. Where the debut leant more towards the acoustic and found sounds, the new album feels slightly more electronic in parts. One of the later tracks feels like good IDM in the vein of Hermann and Kleine or Marc Leclair. Overall the new album has an embracing near mystical feel. It is a child's dream of loss and hope. Open your ears to Arbol's celebratory stories of the beauty and cruelty of nature.

I should perhaps mention the disc also has one of the best packaging ideas for a single compact disc I have ever seen. You lift up the tab of the white envelope that houses the disc and open it gently, four corners pushing into the center hold the disc in place at an angle, presenting it to the listener. The dark green words printed on each of the four corners pushing away from the center are the lyrics to the four songs that have words. The case is light, efficient and environmentally sound.

01 a bird’s day 02 dreams made of paper 03 bright day 04 reborn 05 0.13 06 moon shadowed 07 noga 08 0.26 09 not with you neither without you 10 november 11 little dancer 12 lost angel 13 golden section 14 too late to say goodbye
+ videoclip bright day

From the Lejos Discos press release:

Our first full length at Lejos had to be something special. For us, it is a dream come true. This new release is made of cardboard, paper, and 14 tracks that define the boundaries between ambient, electronica and soundtrack music.
“Dreams made of paper”, Miguel Marin’s second album as Arbol, is a melancholic work, motivated by the loss of someone dear. Yet it is also full of hope, full of life, as sunshine seeping through the leaves of trees to illuminate the darkest moments of life. One of the main virtues of this work by Arbol is the perfect combination of digital and natural resources. From the magnificent artwork by Queralt Antú Serrano –who has also made a videoclip inspired by the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí included in the CD- to the collaborations of Suzy Mangion (George) and Eugenie Garreth as singers, all the different pieces within “Dreams made of paper” shine in this particular path along a world of dreams.
Our third release, following up on the concept of “pop music for the open minded” that Lejos proposes, reflects all of Marin’s musical background, from his past in Piano Magic to his passion for electronic music, along with his collaborations with different movie directors such as Bigas Luna or Leo Obstbaum and also the famous French architect, Jean Nouvel.
Now that the work is done, with this new album for Lejos, Arbol is getting ready to present these new songs live in different formats (as DJ, alone with his laptop or with a band of up to 4 musicians). Miguel Marín already performed as Arbol at the Sonar 2003 festival.

Arbol (Indus Sonica - Rocket Girl.2002)

“San Francisco” in Comes with a Smile #10 (2002)
“Summer and you” in Acuarela Songs vol. 3 (Acuarela.2004)


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