Guiri ~ EP1

This music is being reviewed because of a cat.  Not because of the inspiration ~ each track based on a character from Pedro Almodóvar’s “Habla Con Ella” (“Talk to Her”), offering an appropriately cinematic entry point.  Not because of the energetic video for “Lydia”, awash in red filters, directed by Sam Bassett.  Not even because of Guiri‘s excellent music, which takes place in the middle of a stream where strings and drones collide.  More than anything, we want to adopt the cat, who looks like he’s been through the wringer.  His mismatched eyes display an appealing blend of aloofness (common for a cat) and wonder.  We can picture this cat saying, “Sure, you claim this EP is about Almodóvar, but it’s really about me.”  We can imagine him walking around the studio during the recording, making sure everyone gets their parts right: the sleek fur of the melodies, the scruff of the strings, the hairball of the drones. Props to Maria Delicado for the artwork; she’s given this EP, and by extension, this artist a memorable personality.

We suppose we should talk about the music a bit, just as long as everyone remembers this is really about the cat.  Cats can be generous that way, allowing people to do what they want as long as they are taking a nap.  As the EP is only 12 minutes long, there’s not much time for any piece to build.  When the first burst of static drowns the strings on “Benigno”, it’s as if to say, “We have no time!  We have to play our cards now.”  Fortunately the hand is healthy, mostly face cards with a couple of aces.  Abbreviated symphonies dot the landscape like snatches of conversation.  Each character has a turn in the spotlight and an assigned theme, and each piece is distinguished by a particular feature: drone, string noise, handclaps, synth.  In the closing piece, the strings imitate a brass section, inviting listeners (or perhaps viewers) to a final waltz.  Then three plucked notes and it’s over; the cat has awoken from his nap.  Feed him, we say: the good stuff, not the Purina Cat Chow.  He’s earned it.  (Richard Allen)

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