Ciro Berenguer – Bruma

Argentinian guitarist Ciro Berenguer has recently released Bruma (Slaapwel, November 6). Like the black blanket of night, a delicate and well-crafted long-form piece covers the record’s entirety. ’Los entresijos de la noche’ translates as ‘The ins and outs of the night’, and over its duration of thirty-five minutes, the music eventually falls asleep. Soft notes revolve and cycle around in a deep mix of reverb, and the lids grow heavier as its lullaby progresses. Berenguer uses electric guitar, synths, tape loops, field recordings, and other processed sounds to layer and treat the resulting mix, making for perfect twilight listening.

Now living in Barcelona, Berenguer has a varied approach to the guitar, sometimes preferring the processing of its sound through electronic means and devices, and sometimes playing in the traditional way, with no filters or makeup in sight to block or change its true appearance. Throughout the record, musical fragments and motifs disappear only to return later, lending the music an essential continuity and tonal consistency.

Berenguer concentrates on the fruition of a ripe tone, taking care to ensure a fullness in its blooming, autumnal colours, and being patient in its season of cultivation. Music is a healer, but Bruma works comfortably in areas of restoration and ease. The notes are near-perfect and circular in shape, and the gentle blur of reverb bends it towards slumber, descending into the long, icy sleep of winter. Isolation is an apt theme for our strange new world, but the introverted music wants to remain inside, to go into hibernation; it’s in the long, slow process of shutting down.

The music is ephemeral and elemental, containing an element of the air and its evensong, covering the final seconds of consciousness as well as the rising light of dawn, awakening to the sound of birds and a pale light, and slipping into the end of the day, where November’s plumes of smoke, coming from the burning of leaves, create pillars in the air. In the same way, Bruma colours the air, too. A soother in a strange landscape, Bruma never puts a foot wrong; its patient music is a sedative.

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