Drone Records
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Format: MC
Label & Cat.Number: Umor Rex UR109
Release Year: 2018
Note: tape-only release by the prolific ambience composer with the same 4 tracks on both sides (72 min. in total), this 'drizzle' ambience is "shrouded in melancholic vapours and forlorn harmonics... four majestic extended cuts as so many viewpoints on an untouched phantasmal valley... ‘Sirimiri‘ offers sensations in their purest essence, primitively symbolic yet actively contemplative." 2nd. ed. in cassette-case with download code on this label from Mexico City
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"The NY-based producer returns to Umor Rex with a new album, in which the musical discourse and the physical form of the release have an equal, crucial importance. Sirimiri is made of four long and mid-length pieces, each composed of different perspectives, processes and identities. However, Rafael seeks to blend subjective time with the listening experience. A sort of loop and repetition, sub-sequence-based sound. Following Eno, nothing happens in the same way twice, perception is constantly shifting, nothing stays in one place for long. The sum of the four pieces is 36 minutes; the cassette edition lasts 72 minutes in total, since both sides have the same four songs joined together. Physically, the format allows us at least two automatic repetitions. In the digital version the songs are independent, but we also include a bonus track made of the 36-minute loop. The desolation and despair (in a sort of positive way) that we got to hear in The Shameless Years (Umor Rex 2017) is present in Sirimiri, but the impression is concrete, with cruder, less rhetorical landscapes. If The Shameless Years was located between beauty and active tragedy, Sirimiri travels inside the beauty and melancholy of an observing eye, a quiet rebel insurrection. Another substantial difference is the distance from general and globalized concepts; in these unfortunate times, Sirimiri looks for personal sorrows, and places its focus on the particular. Even the names of the songs evoke this in small ways, like in "Sonder", the feeling of realizing that everyone, even a complete stranger, has a life as complex as one's own. Rafael has two guests in this album; Taylor Jordan in "Mountain Strem", and Rafael's hero Carl Hultgren (from Windy & Carl) in "Sonder". Sirimiri means 'drizzle' in Basque, and we cannot find a better word to describe its content." [label info]


"Even though the sound expanses traversed by ambient music often evoke feelings of horizontality, layered planeness and volatile textures tranquilly billowing out, it is also true that the greater representatives of the genre and its sub-branches – like mountaineers – mostly seek for sky-scraping verticality. Ranking high in the pantheon of atmosphere architects, Rafael Anton Irisarri certainly has nothing left to prove. Since his beginnings over ten years ago, his output has gained a density that very few can boast having reached, establishing a sound that has the power to haunt your nights and the crucial energy to bring your most buried existential dreams out of mothballs.

Shrouded in melancholic vapours and forlorn harmonics, Irisarri’s new album for Umor Rex presents four majestic extended cuts as so many viewpoints on an untouched phantasmal valley. Drawing its name from the Basque word for ‘drizzle‘ – which makes absolute sense given the fine-grained, caressingly fresh nature of its sound design, ‘Sirimiri‘ offers sensations in their purest essence, primitively symbolic yet actively contemplative. Where his previous full-length ‘The Shameless Years‘ had more of a demiurgic dramatic tension going through it, which gave it a further “composed” approach, ‘Sirimiri‘ feels less refined and more abruptly sculptural.

The opening track, ‘Downfall‘, kicks things off on a particularly bleak and austere note, submerging its listener in a sort of faded high-altitude euphoria. Minimal drones cloud the skyline as Irisarri deftly orchestrates his wonderful ballet of understated modulations and darkened timbres. Smoothly fading in, the album’s highlight ‘Sonder‘ expands the radius to further high-level elegiac spheres, astoundingly poignant and overwhelming, each bar weightlessly elevating upon fantasized mountain scapes, rife with craggy peaks and steep hogbacks, as it fully absorbs you in its restful tide of slow-scudding pads and guitar riffs.

To label Irisarri’s music mourning or pining would equate to ignore the boundary-pushing fortitude of his art. The soothing ‘Vasastan‘ and ‘Mountain Stream‘ leave behind the weatherbeaten force of the previous numbers, instead flourishing in the quieter, ethereal heights of the spectrum. Here again, Irisarri demonstrates his unmatched capability at crafting constantly changing organic soundscapes, juggling with overly complex textural interplays but making it all look so easy and seamless. Showing off a crucial, frontal, universal quality that’s nothing easy to achieve, Irisarri bewitches and transports, confirming once and for all he’s one of the most singular and vibrant voices in contemporary music, and ‘Sirimiri‘ one of his most accomplished records to date." [Baptiste Girou / Inverted Audio]