Monoceros: A Glorious Afternoon

Though the three-inch EP is only twenty-five minutes long, Joan Malé packs a lot of material into his latest Monoceros outing (on his own Imaginary Nonexistent Records imprint—Inrecs, for short).The eight tracks offer an encompassing and diverse portrait of his artistry, with semi-psychedelic ambient (“Capvespre”) and folktronic vignettes (“A Glorious Afternoon”) amounting to picturesque scene paintings of one kind or another.

“Intro” begins the EP in bright-eyed manner with a grandiose synth theme that paves the way for the jaunty folktronica of “Camper” where bright acoustic guitar picking and glimmering keyboard patterns snake a path through an enchanted forest (maybe the fact that Malé lives in St Martí d´Empúries, a little town in Catalonia in the north of Spain, has something to do with the music's sunny spirit). “Pizzicatto Spoon” follows with a dense amalgam of sparkling swirls and slow, crunchy beats (generated by a Commodore 64 drum machine), after which a funk groove lends “Als Núvols” a clubby feel until keyboards and bass nudge the lilting tune into a post-rock direction. With is textural array of long tones, clicks, and whirrs, “Sinus” could be something pulled from the Raster-Noton catalogue, whereas “Cells” presents four minutes of epic ambient soundscaping.

Malé chose the EP title in order to reflect how often fleeting daily moments become glorious days in one's memory, and to encourage one to savour such moments. That general spirit of uplift pervades the EP's outdoorsy material, regardless of the individual pieces' stylistic differences.

July 2010