Federico Durand

A Través Del Espejo

A Través Del Espejo is another highly accomplished album from composer Federico Durand, his first on 12k. Whilst employing a similar palette of instruments and techniques to previous (excellent) albums like El libro de los árboles mágicos, this collection seems to look less to the forest, hills and skies, instead radiating a warmer domesticity.

Bell-like sounds and scrapes feel close to the ear, close to the hand – you can almost imagine (and at times, hear) Durand reaching for small sounding objects, using microphones as instruments, pushing looping pedals, coaxing gentle collages out of his chosen ingredients.

Grain (whether sound or film), music boxes, glockenspiels, are sometimes associated with a particular strand of uncritical nostalgia, the same one that gives us ‘retro’ filters for smartphone pictures (perhaps an argument for another day) but there is none of that here; instead Durand gives us ten loose but perfectly formed miniatures that frame a sense of home as both domestic and dream-like.

Highlights could be the crystal clear high end chiming loop at the centre of Diorama, or the burbles and clicks of Canción de la Vía Láctea (Milky Way Song). Indeed, the whole second half of the album is particularly strong, seeming to swell outwards and upwards in a way that confirms Durand as a quiet talent, making the best music of his career so far. A Través Del Espejo is a thing of restrained wonder, a love song to home, hearth and the warmth of magnetic tape. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. – Highly recommended.

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