Boomkat Product Review:
Portuguese legend Nuno Rebelo’s “lost” 1989-90 set of vibrant computer compositions finally sees a proper release, wholly worthy of attention by fans of Nuno Canavarro, Lovely Music, Inc. alum Paul DeMarinis and Maggi Payne, or Rashad Becker, NYZ, Wojciech Rusin, and Spencer Clark in the modern day.
Dispensed by Príncipe’s Lisbon affiliates Holuzam, ‘Improvisações Cristalizadas’ is the long hidden follow-up to the acclaimed debut by local hero Nuno Rebelo, ‘Sagração Do Mês De Maio’. Recorded in 1989-90, it makes brilliant use of then more readily available software and computing power to imagine a vibrant play of piquant melody and intricate rhythms with the evocatively descriptive quality of library music or soundtracks for theatre, but with a curiosity for tone and balance of mischievous naivety and technicality that poetically transcends those brackets and liberates it to the avant garde imagination.
Finally decanted from a dusty hard drive, the album’s 21 tracks form a keenly playful carousel of cues and themes for soundtracking fantasy antics and the ongoing film inside one’s head. They’re all succinct pieces with a timespan mostly no longer than 3 minutes, and ultimately tiling into a bigger picture of the artist’s vivid imagination that encompasses sci-fi dread (‘Moon OK’) thru to cartoonish rhythmelody (‘Swift Mingle’), and charming prototypes for MIDI lounge music a la Guerrinha’s ace ‘Cidade Grande’ or Spencer Clarke’s fruitiest in the album’s final flurry, leading to the unexpected conclusion of striking solo piano in ‘Gone’.