mastroKristo – Departures (Lost Tribe Sound)


There is space between the music for reverberation and air, even for a periodic jazzy late night flourish of notes. You can actually feel the timbre of the instruments. Not just hear it, somehow this music makes you feel it. It’s imperfect and it’s beautiful because of this. Occasionally the piano will be struck louder than you expect, and things, creak, clack, squeak or even occasionally boom beside the instruments and you feel like you’re in the room with the music.

These tunes progress slowly, feeling like they could unravel at any time, their structure is never entirely clear – it makes sense but you’re not quite sure how – or even where these reveries are going. It feels like music for living in the moment, albeit bleary eyed and tired, perhaps contemplating the sin you’ve no doubt committed earlier in the evening.

The mood of Greek artist mastroKristo is very much nocturnal. In a way its lack of convention is what makes debut so audacious. It feels like he creates his own cadences, his own musical world where concepts we thought we understood about music no longer exist. I can hear elements of everything from The Necks to Bohren and der Club of Gore in his music, but in a way he’s too ramshackle for either – perhaps a cross between the two. On one hand it feels uncontrolled, yet on the other really quite precise because everything is in its intended place. There’s a looseness in its attack and timbre which breeds life into the music.

It’s a work for untuned piano, tuba, bassoon, and tapes and not surprisingly the creator considers it a tribute to the night. There’s definitely a stillness to his approach. Rhythm is the furthest thing from his mind, everything floats along, lethargically, concentrating on one foot in front of the other. It’s music that you can let wash over you again and again, allowing it to reveal its new spaces, new timbres, new hidden moments. It’s low key yet so much is happening. It’s apparently a tribute to all the failed and successful attempts to fall asleep, which is an incredibly apt description. Departures manages to capture those beautiful moments of half awake half asleep dreaming just as you’re drifting off like nothing else I’ve ever heard. Incredible.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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