David Cordero: El Rumor del Oleaje
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Some derive solace from the sunlight streaking through the trees of a forest, others from the breathtaking panoramas made possible by a mountain hike. For David Cordero, the shorelines of his native Spain provide a source of healing power, so much so that he's devoted his entire El rumor del oleaje project to the theme. After undertaking a tour with his friend Juan A. Romdero of different beaches between Bizkaia and Cadiz and collecting field recordings along the way, Cordero ensconced himself at Knockturne Studios where, abetted by the contributions of guest musicians, he developed the sound portraits into their final form using piano, electric guitar, bass clarinet, French horn, and double bass.

Each of the eight titles references the specific locale where the original encounter took place, each title ostensibly capturing the moment when he visited the site. Water sounds are naturally plentiful—crashing waves and soft dribble are plentiful—but so too are the instrument sounds, and as a result the thirty-five-minute recording registers as one that straddles genres, field recordings on the one hand and melodic ambient on the other. During “Rio Salado - Conil,” the delicate sprinkle of Nacho García's minimal piano playing appears alongside the loud water sounds as well as a shimmering ambient-drone that grows progressively more noticeable. With a small ensemble of musicians taking part, “Peine del viento - San Sebastian” and “La Casería - San Fernando” become mini-chamber settings of lilting classical character as much as water-based portraits; they're rich on sonorous grounds, too, with Moisés Alcántara's French horn and García's piano adding significantly to the musical design. The delicate glimmer of electric guitar shadings invests “Hondartzape - Mundaka” with a peaceful spirit in such a way that here more perhaps than anywhere else the healing impact of the physical site comes across.

One of the more striking things about El rumor del oleaje is that in his musical design Cordero often mirrors the physical movements of water; when the organ-enhanced meditation “Ereaga - Getxo,” for example, shimmers placidly, it's hard to ignore the similarities between the musical dimension and the physical phenomenon to which it's conjoined, and much the same might be said of “Gaztelugatxe - Bermeo” when water sounds take a backseat to Cordero's radiant pulsations. With so much stimulating detail on offer, the recording offers an especially luxuriant take on the ambient genre.

January 2016