Boomkat Product Review:
Heat-hazy acoustic folk balm by Iñigo Ugarteburu and friends’ Carcáscara, recorded in their native Basque Country, Spain and London
Like a rare comet crossing these pages every so often, Ugarteburu’s lissom classical Spanish guitar strokes are always welcome, and found here in blissed union with vocals, harmonium, bells, marimba, ukuleles, futes, synths and field recordings by Carcáscara’s Fernando Aguirre and Xabier Iriondo. The original recordings were made in 2014, marinaded a few years, and mixed down in 2020, distilling their hybrid Spanish-Americana to a hypnotic essence in eight succinct parts revolving heavenly strums, puckered chamber pieces and immersive, almost raga-like drones that will sound lovely on slow summer evenings.
The music is given to an elegant, lilting appeal, swaying from the waltzing meter and softest coos of ‘Makila Da Eroa’ to a more fully fledged songcraft in the closing beauty ‘En Ese Muro De Piedra’ in a gentle way that shows how they got there across the album. There’s a little more spice to proceedings in the purposeful drive of ‘Apakipo’ that peels away to duet for classical guitar and ukulele sparkling with bells in ‘Laboa Grúas Y Andamiaje’, and a real sunset moment in the hazy harmonium of ‘Aries Resurrection’, while ‘Sano Bueltatu Maitia’ makes haunting use of choral sample and field recordings in the chamber piece ‘Ciervo, Burro, Txitxarro’ that triggers a sublime finale movement recalling everyone from Six Organs of Admittance to Hood.