Boomkat Product Review:
Porto's Alexandre Centeio imagines a Portuguese hauntology on 'Panorama', collaging samples, fractal synths and careening hand drum loops into a proudly psychedelic sonic fiction. Peak Discrepant gear, then. Essential listening for fans of Spencer Clark, Hannibal Chew III etc.
A multi-instrumentalist and sound artist, Centeio is part of avant-pop band Stellrays and used to record as Ear Travelling Program, releasing the new age-indebted 'Underwater Functions and Echosounders' back in 2021. 'Panorama' is his second album under his own name, and is his most well-sculpted to date, sounding perfectly at home on Gonçalo F Cardoso's reliable Discrepant label. Centeio uses a wide spectrum of sounds and techniques, blurring everything with tape saturation to make sure it reconciles. Voices echo in the distance, oddly tunes instruments rattle and clang, rhythms hiccup over each other and synths bleat and bleep as if they're possessed.
The producer's skill here is in knowing just how to push things to the edge of acceptability before pulling back. Hauntology, as we realize now, is a tricky sound to nail. There's a thin line between vapid nostalgia and poignant messaging, and Centeio, while he keeps his tongue in his cheek, knows when to stop. Opener 'Lingua Franca' is a cloudy soup of woody beats, environmental recordings and cheeky vocal snippets, but shimmers into nauseous psychedelic territory rather than Lemon Jelly downtempo slop. And just as the record is threatening to hit peak density, Centeio pulls us back into irregularity with the mind-bending 'Icones Cisma', a brain-tickling synth jam that's spiked with grumbly tape scrubs.