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Boomkat Product Review:
Oren Ambarchi introduces a fascinating new electro-acoustic voice to the fray with Manuel Lima’s inception-like debut collage of organ and field recordings made between Germany and his native Brazil.
For his first vinyl release, ‘Realejo’, Lima aptly and deftly distills a personal soundworld across two idiosyncratic works. Adopting its title from the name of a hand-cranked organ traditionally found in Brazil as “the musical accompaniment to the work of a fortune telling parrot”, the album utilises everything from the sound of his friends’ baby crying, to the whistles of the security guard at his parents’ place in São Paulo, and the aforementioned recordings of an organ made in Stuttgart, Germany to shape a subtle yet vividly personalised sound. The soberly paced and spacious results can be said to impart an absorbingly intimate yet widescreen tour of the artist’s sonic purview that resonates with the likes of Jim O’Rourke’s Old News series to Áine O’Dwyer’s ‘Music For Cleaners’ or Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson & BJ Nislen’s ‘Avantgardgasse’ zinger, for example, both in terms of their elusive arrangements and hauntingly poignant appeal.
Whether intended or not, it’s possible to take the album’s title as a smart pun - Realejo; Real Echo - for the way that Lima draws a poetic surreality from his mixture of prosaic and hyperreal source material, and how he abstracts it into these intricately structured wonders. On the titular A-side he wraps us up the sounds of his friends and family with audio lifted from YouTube and a signature, raw grasp of digital synthesis to produce a totally immersive and unique introduction to his soundworld that parses a sense of personality from the ubiquitous. Meanwhile the B-side’s ‘Presenting Yourself’ expands on this idea with samples taken from his previous album ’36 English to Portuguese Lessons’ (Editions Verde, 2017) and fed into a more spacious, abstract side that uses quiet/loud dynamics and jump-cut edits to more dis/orienting effect that simultaneously enlightens and mystifies his curious sensibilities and peculiarities and leaves the road wide open for his future transmissions.