Boomkat Product Review:
First vinyl edition for one of two quietly breathtaking sides from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, certain to smoosh the buttons of anyone who fell under the spell of his sublime A Year With 13 Moons or his prior string of ambient/shoegaze classics recorded both solo and as Raum (with Liz Harris), Tarentel, or The Alps, mostly released on Type or his ace Root Strata label.
Songs of Forgiveness first emerged on cassette in a very limited edition run around the same time as A Year With 13 Moons, but arguably fell beyond most folk’s radars, ours included, due to its scarcity. So we can all be blissfully late to the party together, although to be honest it sounds like everyone’s got on the opiates and hi grade hash and are already rolling around on the floor at this particular soiree.
In contrast to its dreamily marbled partner side, Songs of Remembrance, this woozily durational slab of three long pieces feels like a ribboning memory montage extracted from your brain’s lushness gland and stretched out in the grass on a sunny day, where it’s left to wrinkle, crack and age like a discarded landscape masterpiece or some abandoned script for a west coast road movie.
The hypnagogic levels are sky high here, recalling our warmest memories of Oneohtrix Point Never or James Ferraro’s early years as much as the valerian tone of Ensemble Economique, Keith Fullerton Whitman’s Greatest Hits series, and equally the original MOR radio vibes, American new age medications and DJ Screw tapes that inspired each of them in the first place.
However, there’s something decidedly, uniquely trippy to jefre’s tape-based process and mixing, occupying a liminal zone between defocussed fogginess and crisp, spectral disturbance that sets his work in a dimension of its own. To put it simply; in this LP and its partner piece, Songs of Remembrance, you’re looking at potential new evergreens for ambient mornings, faded come-downs and the dreamy points between…