El Mundo Es Sonido / Imaginária Records

The Portuguese label, Imaginária Records, introduce themselves with a poetic mission statement of sorts: “Music is a language. This new label is a hypothetical sonic journey between skyscrapers, wild places, imaginary oceans, deep in our battered but fascinating world.” 

The title of their second release, a collection compiled by imprint founders, Venetian Giovanni Santucci and Florentine DJ / producer LucaEffeSunset, translates as “The world is sound”, and its goal is to take you on a trip. The first part of a planned trilogy, it`s concerned with concepts of acoustic ecology, those put forward by Canadian composer, Raymond Murray Schafer – ideas of “soundscapes” and how we interact, aurally, with our environment. 

The selection opens with a reading of the poem Nuvens, written by arguably Portugal’s greatest poet, Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa, where Janaina Cesar da Silva`s soft and sensitive tones are accompanied by a slightly psychedelic ambience of resonant, ringing chimes. This segues seamlessly into Fernandez Pan Liberson Aznar`s Si Conociera Brasil. A flight of fancy guitar picking that plays around polite, light, wood block percussion, before in rolls a big, slo-mo, carnival, surdo, bass drum and some Brazilian rhyme. It`s backed up by blasts of Herb Alpert-esque brass that are, put simply, pure class.

Italian vocal quartet Faraualla have their 2002 track, Masciare, remixed by fellow countryman, Edoardo Bernocchi. Edorado, who`s collaborated with a long list of avant-garde legends – Mick Harris, Toshinori Kondo, Thomas Fehlmann, Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie, F.M. Einheit, K.K. Null… – turns their freaky folk harmonies, themselves an ancient invocation / spell, into some Cos / Mes-like 21st Century cosmic crashing and banging. Inserting acidic twists and squiggles into the interchanging perfectly pitched operatics and horny husky panting, that sit somewhere between Roberto Simone`s seminal 2° Coro Delle Lavandale, and Aphrodite’s Child’s Infinity. 

The dub of White Isle veteran DJ Pippi`s Ibiza World Inspiration showcases the sublime Spanish guitar skills of Antonio Jimenez Muñoz, and recalls Thomas Dolby’s introspective, and well Balearic cover of Dan Hicks` I Scare Myself. 

Giovanni teams up with the trio, Infradisco, for the deep midnight blue, Mother Earth. Drawing inspiration from sacred Native American myth, they surround fleet, flickering hand-drums and thumb-piano patterns, with symphonic synthetic strings, and darker musical shades and hues. 

Djale`s World Tour (O Mundo Inteiro) seems to have settled, at least momentarily, in Asia – as an Eastern melody is made to manoeuvre a dancing path of cowbell, tambourine, sitar strains, and a blur of “spiritual jazz” cymbal shimmer. When woodwind and slapped bass join in, the song starts sending out future fusion / sci-fi rainforest vibes, while the assorted percussion mimics excited animal calls and cries. 

On Espóra, Mexican experimental music maestro, José Soberanes, takes a flurry of field recordings – birdsong, running water samples – trickling, rippling, washing, rushing textures, that he twists into delightfully distorted drones. Constructing a closing, serene wall of singing sustain. 

El Mundo Es Sonido will be released by Imaginária Records on April 1st. The production and mastering is absolutely beautiful throughout, and that`s because the person responsible, Walter Mengoni, is the godson and student of the one-and-only Tom Moulton. 

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