Inspired by the Greek myths of the island of Ogygia, the landscape of Gavdos, and the enchantress / sprite, from which it takes its name, Gigi Masin`s Calypso opens with sharp arpeggiated synths. A calm of strings, fanfares and chimes, colliding in busy Brownian motion. Urgent and alive. Like the rush of water. Rivers awoken and swelled by melting snows. Streams and seasons. The constant flow of nature`s cyclical change. Forever returning. Bellamore has keys cascade over a muffled head-nodding break while discordant sonic slices spin in and out, disintegrate. The fine use of feedback in the detail preventing the music ever threatening to fade into chill-out wallpaper. Nefertiti`s twisted tones ring a bell-like tintinnabulation amidst a more abstract sea of bass undulation and synthetic sigh. Imagine 10cc`s I’m Not In Love evaporating into the ether. Sad solo piano is set against hypnotic string resonance on If. While bolder chords, combine with big room boom to underpin and drive the cries of Masin`s machines on Anemone.
At its most techno moments, say Khalifa Golf Club, this album is John Beltran meets ECM, up on Windham Hill. The organic, a zither, breaking the circuitry’s crystal silence. On Mayo Slide, a Fender Rhodes is thrown high, in distorted arcs. The classic ambient of Apollo’s archive taken for a gentle jazz float. Susan Maybe purloins a Japanese public announcement. Its information, static and hum drifting in a wash of treated guitar. Tides of brass and melodica. Coraline subliminally scissors sequences into a dance led by playful note clusters. Picture a Bill Laswell translation of the PCO in dub.
How To Disappear In A Kiss constructs a weeping wall from old vinyl crackles. An orchestral arrangement tugging at its fabric until the aural equivalent of light pours through. Transforming the track from the pain of nostalgia into something optimistic, something new. Cry Winds Of Flame has violin drone and dulcimer-like runs accompany vocals that follow in the footsteps of modal plainsong. While the voices on Enter Venus, are fragmented, and rearranged as an epic rave race. On Demons and Diamonds a guitar is guided through gravitational arches. Overdubbing and phasing creating an effect like speeding traffic. Horns honking a forgotten blues like ships in its distance. A dusty, broken, funk loop builds a tribal thump, a determined pump, beating beneath the Gregorian ghosts of penultimate track, The Water Sybil. The closing Your Name Is My Infinite dissolves in a quiet climax of cicada chirrup and sampled wisdom.
Gigi Masin`s brilliant Calypso is released by Apollo this Friday, February 27th. You can order a copy directly here.