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White Noise: I.A. Bericochea - Wake Up

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I.A. Bericochea - Wake Up

Label: Idle Hands

Spanish producer I.A. Bericochea’s release catalogue reads a little like his music sounds: understated, patient and classy. With five dance releases to his name over the last thirteen years, the earliest on Richie Hawtin’s M_nus label (when that was still a good thing, in 2003), these tracks have had a long gestation period, and you can hear it.

Wake Up deals in quiet, hypnotic deep house, and the execution is nigh-on perfect. These are barely club tracks: the aesthetic is pure minimalism, while the odd sounds that adorn the beats – a scratching pen, dripping water, a lazy guitar melody – wouldn’t be found on many dancefloors. The material here is more concerned with atmosphere, sometimes verging on the cinematic as it focuses on sustained suspense rather than anticipation and release.
W1 is the first delicate construction, where a subtly shifting bed of percussion is counterbalanced by a queasy bassline, each receding in the mix as the other emerges. The attention to detail is exquisite, each sound richly textured, and the stark structure allows the listener to focus on each sound as it comes into play. Later W3 is similarly nervy, in its own anaesthetised fashion, as unsettled pads and an ominous guitar line hint at a threat offscreen, while the low-end is dominated by a deep bass slide.

The guitar is truly the star of this four-tracker, and this is best exhibited on Wake Up’s even-numbered cuts. W2 has a less menacing vibe, a lazy guitar melody accompanied by maracas which are drowned in reverb and then abruptly pulled back to reality. It all turns a little celestial as a soft grey wash rules the track’s latter half, but this curious heaven is all Bericochea’s own. On W4 the Latin-style strumming really comes to the fore in all its poignant fragility, joined only by a skeletal beat.

The title of this EP may be Wake Up but this music exists in a strange half-lidded world between waking and sleeping, its rhythms somnambulant, its melodies lifted from a taut dream of unclear emotional direction. It’s always impressive when music manages move the listener without gesturing to any emotion in particular. Wake Up is bewitching yet somewhat unreadable, and for that it’s beautiful. Play it while you sleep, let it seep into your dreams, and maybe everything will become clear.


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At 18 March 2015 at 09:40 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review!!!
There are also two releases in the hungarian label Moira Audio "Negro yAzul" (2014) 10 mp3+4 remixes and "Carosi" (2015) 3mp3


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