Pepo Galán – Human Values Disappear

There have been times when I feel, as a listener, too much familiarity breeds a state of brain freeze; where the limbic system suckers and is unable to process much of the matter at hand. So often I question music the minute after I first hear it, in this nature. And that’s exactly what I did with Pepo Galan’s record, a steely, organised affair. At the core lies a penchant for wispy, ambient drones that are delicious earworms to this listener, so much so in fact, that questioning doesn’t matter to me. I just love what I hear. It’s a marvellous escapade through the future present, firing lines all the way to peace’s epicentre.

Here’s the low down. Pepo has nicely-ordered a selection of likeable ambiences with a breath-like quality to them. They are impeccably produced; no faint quills of the throwaway lo-fi are about here. But lo-fidelity fuzz “is” mixed with hi-end sound flat-lining, limiting, and a sense of echo chamber filter systemic. It makes for music that’s astonishingly compact for the big message it sends to your ears, and those messages, as hinted, burrow deep into the brain. Messages that are soothing with no trace of ulterior motive. Sometimes things get more austere, but in general, emotion was never without the seriousness that life can throw at us if we are able to control it. And controlled as it is here, I can’t help but listen in pronounced awe.

It feels influences could be from anywhere – I’d wager a pop at Arvo Part or the original ambient master Debussy, but if more contemporary we have others like Greg Haines synthetic strings and Spheruleus granular synthesis projects to compare this to. Nothing feels like a stab in the dark… every placed sound is “just”, almost entrepenurial in its wide-ranging scope, and a real quixotic tranquiliser to the tirades of abuse this once-negative mind can usurp. I love records like this. I need to forage and forage, but all the same, I need to regroup ontological promise. “Human Values Disappear” is an oasis that puts the dangerous bonfire in our hearts out for a second, or a minute, once and for all. Highly recommended!

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