22 September 2012

Ricardo Donoso "Assimilating the Shadow"

About a year ago I bought Ricardo Donoso's solo debut on Digitalis "Progress Chance". At first I must say I wasn't all that impressed. The compositions seemed both structurally and sonically a little to simplistic to me at the time. But it turned out this was an album that grew on repeated listens, and come the end of 2011 and Donoso's album was easily among my personal top 10 favorites of the year. The slow progressing arpeggios and gated rhythms had me captivated and every time I listened I seemed to find more. This was definitely a very skillfully crafted record.

So when Donoso's next album under his own name on Digitalis was announced I couldn't wait to get a chance to listen to it, and as soon as the download was released I bought it. Unlike with his first album last year, this time my expectations were very high. I started to listen, and immediately I was impressed. This seemed like a more fully evolved version of the first album. Both structures and sonics were much more elaborate. I was hooked at once. But this somehow had me worried. Because most albums I like right away, I tend to get tired of fairly soon. So I decided to wait a bit until I wrote anything about it on the blog.

Luckily this turned out to be one of the few times an album that had me at once, stood the test of repeated listens. I've hardly listened to anything else for a week and a half, and I still want more, still feel there is so much more to discover in there, in the world Donoso has created that is "Assimilating the Shadow".

As I've already touched upon, this is a much more evolved work than "Progress Chance". Donoso excels in adding new layers of complexity to the arpeggios, and soundwise this album show's a much broader spectrum of frequencies. I find myself thinking of Klaus Schulze quite a lot, even if this is a much more contemporary sounding affair, with a lot of nods to modern electronic music. Anyway, I don't doubt "Assimilating the Shadow" will make my personal top 10 this year. Absolutely stunning stuff!

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