Boomkat Product Review:
Warm Winters boss Adam Badí Donoval assembles an impressive cast of collaborators for this soft-focus set of processed field recordings and low-key acoustic instrumentation. Intimate music for fans of Shelter Press, claire rousay, Ulla, The Caretaker.
Donaval lands on The Trilogy Tapes with a modest album that perfectly encapsulates his musical mindset, fabricating a lucid narrative using recorded fragments from collaborators Kepla (on Chinese horn and cello), John Sampson and Ondrej ZZajac (on field recordings), Adela Mede and Martyna Basta (on voice), Tomáš Niesner (on guitar) and Andreas Dzialocha (on bass). Like claire rousay's acclaimed "Everything Perfect Is Already Here", "Sometimes Life Is Hard And So We Should Help Each Other" has a diaristic quality that lends it an effortlessly endearing quality. Instruments never fight for space, they appear from the musical ether like detritus from another universe, echoing over crumbled tape hiss and carefully selected environmental elements.
'Birdsong in the Car Park' is a short piece, but highlights Donoval's skill balancing nostalgic melancholy (tape hiss, sunny day birdsong) with acoustic guitar and discordant cello. When voices emerge from the noise, they don't need to be understood to make an impact. It's not all chirpy and lighthearted either: 'When It All Falls into Place' almost trips into dark ambient territory, with ritualistic low-end drones and faded Grouper-esque vocals hissing over papery foley sounds and airy white noise.
'Time Passes Slowly When You're in a Submarine' continues the gloom'd mood, using pitch-skewed string samples and screwed pianos to construct a light-starved underwater scene. At its best, it's Eraserhead at the bottom of the ocean, conjuring greyscale cabaret moods and skewering them with waterlogged atmospherics. But Donoval removes some of the grit before coming to a halt: 'Grandma's Tape' might be the album's most direct moment, with ferric Caretaker-esque string flourishes that loop uneasily beneath booming cinematic vocals.