Alexandre Navarro – Sketches (Constellation Tatsu)


Despite the pejorative sense of ‘sketches’ being lightweight and throwaway there’s also an appealing approachability, a friendliness that a more serious opus lacks. Releasing on tape only adds to the charm. Alexandre Navarro’s Sketches perfectly fits the bill, 13 short pieces of between one and five minutes, built from sampled loops, trebly guitar patterns and delays.

They resemble a more homespun Jan Jelinek in ‘Sexing Dean Martin’ lounge guise, the Elevator Music of Curd Duca, with Mark McGuire figures spun on top, all seams exposed. Its easy to hear how Navarro constructs these pieces, the samples loop unerringly, low-fi delay causing easily tracked echoes, passages of hiss as a textural feature. On ‘Tablachromes’ slapped guitar takes on titular percussive qualities, ‘Miroir part 2’ lays a cello over guitar and pads, and ‘Sirius Flutes’ recalls Kraftwerk’s early flute tracks. Navarro is best when he keeps things brief, as his loops and riffs can sound weak when stretched, but most of Sketches is sheer blissed-out enjoyment.

Joshua Meggitt


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