♫♪  Ricardo Donoso - “Gallicinium”

Boston-based, Brazil-born electronic composer Ricardo Donoso produces monolithic technoid nocturnes uniquely fit to soundtrack your solitary reveries: in the throes of slo-mo underwater drift; in the light cast off of a film projector; in the post-rave self-assessment undertaken before sneaking back into your dreary apartment. His compositions thrill and awe us by way of finely sculpted synth details, overlapped rhythmic grids, and dramatic upward trajectories, as each piece spirals off into the darkness with the certainty that something, however grisly, will be uncovered out there among the steel and the fluorescent haze of the city.

On his upcoming album Saravá Exu, due January 30 on Denovali Records, Donoso forsakes the certainty of resolution and tips the scales in the opposite direction: the descent into a pandemonium of one’s own devising. He lays out the album as a variation on the rituals of the Quimbanda belief system practiced in Brazil. The called-upon Exu guardian spirits share human vices, human needs, and human struggles. If asked, they can curse enemies or bewitch objects of desire. Donoso sonically summons his Exu in a trabalho ceremony. He alights at a crossroad. He lights a white candle. He sips rum. He writes a name in the earth. He incants a melody.

If we glimpsed some hope in the streetlights before, “Gallicinium” brings the chaos to extinguish it. As the track spreads reverbed click patterns and thundering toms out over choral synth pads and bursts of bass, we inhale deeply, unsure when our next opportunity for oxygen will arrive. We know that the descent into madness is necessary to truly understand every corner of our self. We know that the climb out of the pit will restore us.

• Ricardo Donoso: http://www.ricardodonoso.com
• Denovali Records: http://www.denovali.com/?main

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read